Original Opening

The First Gathering

Into the still darkness of the roughly hewn room they gathered. Walking in single file, each one holding a small lamp with a red flame. After circling the room to form a circle, and placing the lamps before them on the outer edge of the raised stone circle in the center of the room, they sat in on an outer circle of stone benches. The last one in this procession was the priest. Dressed in a flowing robe of white linen, his face covered with a black and gold mask. He held in one hand an ancient book, and in the other a tall staff, that resembled the crosiers carried by Bishops. But the head of this staff looked to some like a broken Ankh of old, to others it was like a scythe, and to all of them it was a symbol of hope     

Walking to the middle of the circle of light, the priest placed the book on a rock dais, which was carved to rise from the rock floor He placed the croisers base into a small hold shaft in the floor beside the dais. Opening the book, he looked around t the faces of all those gathered. In the silence, all could hear him breathing, and filling his lungs with air, he raised both hands into the air over his head and slowly bringing them down in broad sweeping arcs to his sides, he spoke:

 
“Children of our new God, blessed be. The ancient name, and the One, being born before us. All rise, in silence and face the east”.

”These twenty-five words, change everything about my life”, Roselyn thought, as they had changed the lives of so many others, of all of the people gathered in this room. They had felt the same passion and power about those words. “Along, with them”, she further thought, “so to had the face of humanity and the face of a planet.” Mars, the red planet, the dry mysterious planet, the planet of Ares, the planet of the war gods, and the planet that she had chosen for better or worse, and the planet that she was determined to make her home. This planet that was about to give birth, to a new life for all who chose to answer the call and those to those with enough spirit and strength to understand, In another sense she thought, to those had chosen to come to it, was is really a choice when you feel compelled, or drawn to something that is far beyond any normal need or feeling? Can a primal response or an involuntary effect to an unknown source be called a choice?

However with this new life she thought, there was a new hope for these people and for all of those gathered a chance to create a new faith. Whether they knew it or not, whether they truly believed or hoped, did that matter?  They were like her, unsure and they likely did not expect to see this birth of a planet and rebirth of man.  She was not listening to the priest, because she was lost in her thoughts and she was unsure of her faith and perhaps even unaware of it.

Turning a page in the book, the priest began to speak words that all the assembled knew as well as the priest knew. Words that were the basis for the creation of this room carved from the heart of Mars, and the basis of the faith that was carved into the hearts of those gathered.
”Rise and sing the Hymn of the Prophet, and remember as you do this, the promises you made to the task at hand as you sing”.

Her mind began to wander off again, think of ‘the task at hand’, those tasks behind us as those of their own choice, of choosing to leave the cradle of our race and crossing the void; and those ahead of us, someday living under a new sky and walking with a new earth beneath their feet. Could we say “the earth beneath our feet” or should we have to say the “mars beneath our feet”. That did not seem the right phrase. So maybe we should call it ground, but as is it a mental convention or is it something more primal that make us call this or any firmament “earth”?
”I think I would fare well on Mars where the ceaseless red soothes tired eyes while slowly eating at the soul”

The words of this song, that she had learned as a child back in the cities of Earth, learning it as a child’s taunt, mocking those dreamers who had heard the call of Mars. The words of this song, were still haunting her, not only because they opened up many long forgotten personal memories and memories of Earth. But they were like a narcotic to her. Having soon after understood and learned of the deeper meanings of them, they had drawn her to this place. The words of this song like the other songs of the same poet, speaking of the new Earth impelling her to leave the scarred and dying Earth and to become a pioneer, a voyager and a settler, or perhaps just a fool. 

The words of the songs of the poet’s and his faith guided them all to this new world, a world far from what they thought it would be. Further yet, from what were the ideals that they had held fast to. Yet, in the struggle and in the awaking of this dream there was a freeing the body, both figuratively and very literally to travel to a new world. The words of the songs of this poet and of his faith, they offered the promise of both the hope of a new life and the freeing the mind to explore new possibilities. Now it was the words of the songs of the poet, with their faith for humanity, for a new beginning that was now freeing her soul and the souls of all those with her, and they were creating the new understanding of a new spirit within them all.

The dream of Mars as a new home or a second home for mankind created an entirely new discipline in philosophy and religion. It was allowing mankind the chance of opening its eyes and hearts to the most fundamental of all the questions about God and life. A new chance to re-evaluate the ways of the ancients and to try to find our old gods and perhaps even to create new ones to give them strength.

Did God, create humanity out of His or Her needs for love and companionship in the Cosmos, or did mankind create the Gods in and effort to understand the cosmos and by extension become a companion of the Cosmos?

“Blessed Be the soils and the airs, that will grant our children life. Blessed Be the faith of our past reborn and of our living and of our future unknown”.  

‘The future unknown’, she thought, like she needed to be reminded of the obvious nature of that statement. In one way nothing had changed we still hoped for a better life for our children and for their children. It had been the same from family, to clan, to tribe all the way up top superpower, From a child, in a family to a great section of a greater community, everyone wants a better future, yet fearing the uncertainty of that future

Hopefully there always will be something in the future, if it is better, that will remain to be seen. That is something else we will have to change, our whole frame of reference, a new sense of language, the syntax, the meaning of phrases and the meanings of words. Something as simple a ‘the grass is greener on the other side of the fence’, even if we had grass, would we the need or want the luxury and burden of fences

“Well,” she mused under her breath, smiling and staring at the ritual leader, “If, there is always to be the hope of a greener pasture over the next hill, or greener pastures next year, that is now entirely up to us, because Mars has no greener pastures.”

4 Responses to “Original Opening”

  1. SireneB Says:

    Lots to think about already. Particularly like the last few paragraphs. Looking forward to more!

  2. Interesting: one is left wondering what comes next, how does this develop.

    Scope for exploration of a number of issues:
    What sort of society have they left behind?
    How will their new society reflect and contrast that?
    What are their motivations for being here and how will those change over time.
    How will they interact with indiginous species, if any? Will this be typical of mankind’s past?

    At the same time potential for a more action-based sci-fi story.

  3. More, please!

  4. How blessed do I feel that I am surrounded by friends who are such poets with the pen?!

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