Jim Westergren
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"If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves." - Thomas A. Edison

The Ultimate Ritual

Aliath felt the wind blowing through his white hair. The cold air made an effect on him even though he was a High-Elf. He was the last person existing who had been around since more than thousand years - almost the beginning of time. He has done everything that could be imagined, seen man performing all kinds of action but yet the basic riddle of man he could not comprehend - why was man fighting each other? Why?

Aliath felt ashamed to not know the answer. Who else would know, if not him? And this had been the motivation for his travel. He will carry out his ultimate ritual - his life achievement. Then he will get his answers.

He had travelled for 3 months and the old magician had now almost reached the ancient ruins of Ghylopia. There he stood with the view over the valley and the green field. On the hill before the horizon laid the ruins of what had been the most powerful temple of the High-Elfs, Ghylopia. He vaguely remembered when the temple was new almost 1,000 years ago.

Still, a millennia later, Aliath felt the presence of the magical field over the area. Not a single person had been here since hundreds of years. Not after the great battle of Klepony - Aliath remembered...

Now it was quiet. Only the sound of the wind remained.

Aliath continued walking with his wooden staff that had been with him as far as he could remember.

A couple of hours passed and Aliath had arrived to the top of the hill. All that was left of the ruins of Ghylopia were a few fallen big stones. Aliath took out a flat stone he had with him and placed it on the ground. On it was inscribed:


It had been a burden to carry it all the way but he considered it necessary. Aliath took up his ancient book which was written in the forgotten elf language, he was one of the last people able to understand it. Aliath formed the Pentagram on the stone floor under him with the blood from a dragon he had obtained for this purpose 134 years earler.

He begun to read out loud the first lines of a ritual which had never before been performed. Today was the day. He would find his answers. He was not afraid of dying.

The wind grew stronger and the clouds darkened over the hill.

Aliath continued to recite line after line and it began to suck the life out of him. Dark clouds covered the sun and the hill was covered in darkness. Thunders sounded and some nearby trees caught on fire.

Aliath almost could not stand it anymore, due to his weakness, but it didn't prevent him from continuing the ritual.

Fire began to spread onto the hill.

The strong wind developed into a storm which threw out the leaves from the trees.

Aliath read out the last line and then he screamed out the forbidden ancient magical word while he smashed his magic stick in the Pentagram so that it broke.

The cacophony suddenly diminished and a blinding light generated from the pentagram, so strong so that Aliath fell. The burst of light went up in the sky and all the black clouds disappeared. The light took a blue form and then disappeared with a strange sound. All was dark.

Aliath opened his eyes. In front of him was a portal in lighting blue frames and an eternal blackness inside. Aliath felt ready to confront the gods and stepped inside.

-- 2 --

Aliath did not see nor hear anything. He was in nothingness.

He hesitated but then he decided to take another step and stepped out of the portal.

He was back in the temple ruins.

His immediate conception was that nothing had changed. It made him feel strange and disappointed, but as he moved he noticed that there was a big layer of dust covering every surface.

Aliath started to go down the hill of the ruins and everything just seemed to be the same. Empty as usual, no people, the trees the same... Suddenly he realized that there was no wind . It had always been windy here since the beginning of time.

While walking on the path, he saw a red object. When he came close, it lighted up.

It stood up and Aliath prepared himself for defence.

Then it spoke with strange English, "Master Aliath, you are welcome."

"Who are you?" asked Aliath.

"I am a robot here to serve you. ID Number 7263497, X series, from prototype 38Z - but you can call me any name you whish."

Aliath looked at it; he had never in his whole existence seen something similar. Then he asked it, "Is this the future?"

"Yes sir, for you could be said to be so but not for me."

"What year is it?" asked Aliath.

"151, Sir."

"151, but that is much less than before. Was the counting restarted?"

"Yes, Sir. We started new counting when Earth exploded."

"What! Is this not Earth then?"

"No, Sir. This is a small peace of Earth that secretly got salvaged in order for you to return. We are inside a secret space-shuttle."

Aliath thought about what was said before asking, "Why is it a secret?"

"It is secret because it belongs to a rebel force. Let me fully explain to you Master Aliath. You are the leader of this secret rebel force and I have been waiting here for your return for a little more than 200 years. The purpose of the rebel force is to unite mankind again before it dies out totally. The problem is that there exist more than 50 political parties of man which has brought war since thousands of years. The current scene is that there exists 25,000 different space ships, more than 2,000 space platforms, a couple of trillions of robots with their 43 robot civilizations across 13 planets, but only less than 800 humans are remaining; spread over the whole galaxy. This ship is camouflaged. Only you and me are what remained of the rebel force. Others were discovered and terminated. There are also no other humans on this ship but you, only about 2,100 robots. The enemies are using organic life detectors and your existence will be discovered in exactly 28 minutes and 15 seconds. Then they will launch their atomic missile which will wipe this ship out in exactly 4674 seconds .... Sir, I need to know your strategic plan."

Aliath was very disappointed that man was still fighting against each other and said, "Robot, I am sorry but I want to go back to my own time. It was better there."

"But sir, then I would have to stop you. If you leave, mankind would die."

Aliath realized that he should have confronted the situation earlier and done something about it. To wait later and see is not a solution.

-- 3 --

Aliath stood still while hundreds of thoughts streamed through his mind.

"Give me more data, robot."

"Ok, sir," the robot replied and projected a strong blue light.

"Here, master, our ship is that white spot and the missile is this small yellow spot moving toward it. These grey things are planets not yet categorized, the small ones moons, and this big yellow light is from a star. The missile is moving with a speed of 0.02C - 2% of speed of light."

Aliath studied the spots in a way only a High-Elf could do and then said,

"Robot, I have the solution. We have to be projected out of this space-shuttle in a small ship with an incredible force with a calculated vector which will be close to the star, go through it as an orbit and then land on this grey planet here. The gravity from the sun will be of enough power to alter the course of the missile at least 2 degrees which will make it collide with that planets moon as it will in that exact position at that time."

"But Sir, to land on uncategorized planets without permission is a violation of galactic policy. And we don't know if it even has an atmosphere."

"It is an order, do it. It is our only chance." - Said Aliath to the robot.

"Ok, Sir."

-- 4 --

Aliaths plan got executed exactly as per his instructions. They had been shot out from the space-shuttle in a secret small capsule with a speed of 0.05C and the robot had calculated the vectors so that it would fit.

It all went as planned and they were coming closer to the planet with a speed and course that could not be altered.

After some heavy shakings they landed in some liquid ground.

"It must be water" Aliath told the robot.

After half an hour the automatic steering of the capsule had taken them on solid ground and the robot stepped out to analyze.

After confirmation Aliath stepped out to breathe the atmosphere.

"It is air, but not as good as in my time."

They stood at the foot of something that looked like a hill and they decided to walk up on it to get a better sight.

The sight was surprising. It was someting that looked like a big, noisy village.

Aliath saw things flying, lights flashing, sounds worse than thunder and a lot of smoke.

"Master Aliath, this planet is inhabited. This is a city and what you see now is what is called war."

"War?" Aliath didn't understand the word.

"War is the intense destruction of different groups of the human race. They are killing each other."

Aliath felt the anger starting to evolve within him and noticed that it was written "USA" on one of the flying machines. He turned around and walked down the hill in a state worse than usual.

"Master Aliath, is there any solution?"

After a silent moment the High-Elf suddenly came to see the insight he had travelled so long for, stopped, turned to the red machine and said,

"Yes, but it is nothing we can force on them. They have to see it themselves.

The problem with other life is that they cannot see the real values of things. They are so to say too materialistic...

The solution to that does not lie in revolution but in rehabilitation.

Even you, robot, cannot understand this which explains the downfall of your own civilization.

What is needed is a truly responsible person who develops and starts a new practical philosophy with the aim of rehabilitation of every single person...

I guess that person would be me, wouldn't it?" Aliath looked at the robot.

"Yes, Master Aliath, it must be you. And we can start on this planet."

"Accepted" answered Aliath to the robot knowing that the machine had not the faintest idea of the subject.

It was funny, and a feeling of joy arrived to the spirit of Aliath - something he had not experienced in a long, long time. Then, he smiled.

He overcame his deep apathy and whispered "I will do it", and deep inside him he now knew that he would make it. He had lived for more than 1,000 years and now he could live another 1,000!

-- The End --

6 Jan 2005

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About the Author Jim Westergren Jim Westergren is a Swedish web entrepreneur. He is happily married and has two lovely children. Some of his interests are web development, SEO and writing. He is the Founder and owner of TodaysWeb offering SEO, web development and manages projects such as DomainStats and N.nu. Read his ..

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