Only the dilwildi on this island and the herbies survived. The winged people were utterly destroyed. Why?
The presence was not bound by the material world.
It did not perceive time as a unidirectional flow but as a stationary axis along which its perceptions could move at will. To the presence the winged people still lived at the height of their glory, as did the ice ages and the new law of antler and fang. All was not “good,” for the concept had no meaning. All was. It was enough.
But now there was a disturbance in the all. The presence was questing for the source and meaning of the disturbance.
Intelligence was moving again on his planet. It had no place in his projection of the future, for this was a planet that could never produce intelligence, save when the presence moved in the world and made it so. This he had done once and was satisfied. That intelligence had come again was a negation of his powers of prediction.
It was a discontinuity in the all. He would investigate.
He observed the works of man, wingless man. His power was great, but here was a thing beyond his understanding so he bided his time. For one to whom eons were as heartbeats, the wait of a generation was not to be noticed. Then one came to the island! He moved to draw it to him.
And it had defied him! An insignificant creature that he could have snuffed with a thought; it had defied him!
None had ever defied him before. Anger warred with curiosity.
So it was that he took up the creature and showed it the wonders that were himself. Then he arrowed his consciousness into the pitiful mind before him.
The world was rocks and sunlight; harsh, unrelenting. No living thing moved. The wind sighed through the ruins and the dilwildi had gone.
Jean was alone.
He stood; swayed; pain was a living river of fire surging through his body. The ruins lay before him, waterless and forgotten.
Dismissed. He had been tried and found insignificant.
Did Moses feel like this? Should I carve tablets of stone to carry back from my Sinai?
Jean’s stomach contracted and his mouth was sand. Surely much time had passed since he had climbed the mountain. Starting down, he stumbled.
His crooked leg. It could have healed him, had it chosen to do so.
Should he take back his revelation to those who had cast him out? Should he claim holiness and its fruits – food for his table and a woman for his bed? A bitter taste of unlaughed jest was in his mouth. What woman could ever make him forget Aeolios?
Swaying slightly, the Prophet came down from his mountain.
Was this a God or a hallucination. You decide. I’ve said all I intend to on the subject.
FYI, concerning the phrase, “But now there was a disturbance in the all.” This was written before Star Wars and its “disturbance in the force”. If you need know where I might have heard a similar phrase before, try Doc Smith. more tomorrow