Vangel glibbed a word bundle in his parler and fluted it across
the Decisional Alter, straight into Sion's horn-shaped audory. It
was a good shot, one that came from a lifetime of practice; being
their species' prime method of communication. However, for the three
Divrep Primaries aboard the ship, it was a less common occurrence.
In accordance with their solemn vows, glibbing and fluting was reserved
for the occasions that warranted discourse, and only were permitted
to take place in the Alter Chamber.
travel time - that other than in a suspended state - was spent
reading the Scribes of Omnipron and inking their personal reflections
on the complex interpretation of the meaning of the text; exchanging
parchments on their subtly subjective theosophies, for each others'
consideration. They emitted a low humming tone from their frottle
glands, when at prayer, but it was only as they approached the
next Assessment that glibbing was permitted.
were less bound by fundamental orthodoxy, but were still devout
Omnipronites, nevertheless. So as long as it was never done in
front of the Primaries, glibbing and fluting were perfectly normal
and permissible activities. After all, someone had to get on with
the maintenance of the engines, life support, guidance systems
and food supply. Those involved in the production of nutrifung
were particularly prone to long bursts of glibbing, as their daily
chores were relatively simple, and they had their activities down
to a fine art, leaving plenty of free time. It was, however, essential
work and they were experts in their field; literally. An entire
deck was set aside for the cultivation of nutrifung. It required
a huge area for its unique mycelium to thrive at optimum efficiency
and the farmers not only had to tread carefully, during the periods
of examination and harvest, but also had to maintain a delicate
balance of humidity and culture medium characteristics (altering
slightly with each cycle) requiring constant tweaking and adjustments.
Crop failure would be disastrous, as it formed the bulk of their
diet, providing a perfect balance of protein and vitamin requirements.
Nutrifung was presented for consumption in a variety of ways,
but over-flavouring was considered to be sinful and indulgent,
so it was essentially the same meal every day.
needs were met by vapour recycling within the sealed environment
of the ship. This was occasionally supplemented if they flew through
clouds of molecularly dispersed alcohol. The intoxicating droplets
- formed by trawling the clouds with absorbinets - were handled
extremely carefully, and quickly treated to remove any undesirable
effects, converting them into water and oxygen.
the Alter Chamber, the Primaries' orange ceremonial robes fluttered
in the downward breeze, generated by the beating of the Wings
of Truth, which fanned the Celestial Proximeter as it swung to
and fro; making the task of accurate fluting even more of a challenge.
After a while the Celestial Proximeter settled into a fixed position
in its Holy Gimbal. Ervou took a reading and consulted the astrohologram.
that a new planet requires our Inquisition," he glibbed to Sion
and Vangel, in a neat double bundle, dual trajectory fluting from
a single parler burst.
we must abide by the Alter and set about the mighty Omnipron's
will, as has been decreed," glibbed Vangel. This was met by a
brief hum from all three frottle glands and closer inspection
of the astrohologram.
a blue-green planet, close to our present sector," glibbed Sion.
"I shall instruct the helmsman personally and provide him with
the Mission coordinates." With that, Sion took his copy of the
holodisc from the projector assembly and, bowing to the other
two, left the Alter Chamber.
the detailed enlargement of the chosen planet in silence for some
time, before Ervou fluted a word bundle to Vangel; painstakingly
glibbed, as he knew how tetchy the elder Primary could get at
times like this.
think that we might be blessed with a spiritual species on the
occasion of this Inquisition?"
always travel in hope," came the curt reply.
Primary Vangel. We must trust in Omnipron," fluted Ervou, lifting
the edge of his robe, bowing and turning to leave the Alter Chamber.
we trust," echoed Vangel's word bundle, after his departing colleague,
as he returned to studying the astroholographic representation
of the subject of their next Inquisition.
been over a megacycle since they'd last encountered an alien species
with a spiritual infrastructure which was sufficiently well developed,
ethically principled and universally followed, to pass the test.
Most had developed belief systems. At best there might be a tenuous
code of conduct, at worst they found a mixture of warmongering,
self-indulgent, fornicating, thieving primitives, with no sense
of moral fibre or God-fearing decency. It was the task of the
Divrep Primaries of Omnipron to instil order where there was chaos,
spirituality where there was a vacuum, and a harmony of belief
throughout. Essentially these were the fundamental doctrines of
Omnipron, a sound foundation on which to build an acceptable and
would be made once the Divine Proximeter had isolated a target
planet; usually one with a sentient dominant species which showed
all of the signs of civilisation, no matter how loose a term that
might prove to be. The ship would go into a concealed orbit and
the Divreps, with the aid of carefully trained crew members, would
examine any electromagnetic transmissions from the planet's surface
for a maximum of three microcycles.
or signals, were perceived as an indication that the species responsible
for them would be sufficiently developed to warrant an Inquisition.
Lifeforms which hadn't reached that stage would have to be studied
first hand. This could prove both unacceptably dangerous to the
Divreps, and potentially disruptive to a society that already
had a grasp of the concepts of an approved theosophy, and so was
the information gathering stage of the Inquisition, there followed
the Assessment, in which the Divrep Primaries met around the Decisional
Alter for intense discussion. It was during this phase that all
of the findings of the Inquisition were placed before them. The
Divreps then had the demanding process of assimilating that material
and trying to prove that the subject species followed a spiritual
course in accordance with the doctrines of Omnipron. If the Assessment
found that things were in order, then they would bless the planet
and slip away discreetly. If, however, the Assessment found that
there was a lack of spiritual infrastructure and ethics, (or even
if these elements were present, that very few of the beings actually
adhered to it) then it called for Divine Intervention.
cases of Intervention it could be a case of simply lending support
to existing spiritual leaders with an approved theosophy, along
with enforced equilibration of belief amongst the others. In such
a way, basic tenets could be spread across the face of the planet
and then bought to bare on the populous; who often lacked little
more than guidance. Those situations could usually be resolved
in 10 or 20 cycles of vigorous instruction.
recent Inquisition had produced a considerable challenge. Ervou
was beginning to despair of ever finding another planet which
fulfilled the requirements, and to his growing concern, the other
two Divrep Primaries seemed to thrive on total conversion cases.
The last case had sickened Ervou, less from the lack of spirituality
displayed by the species, than by the ultra zealous manner in
which his colleagues had rectified the state of affairs. He knew
that it had been for the best, and he had been in full agreement
with the Assessment, but even so.
had been dispatched to the planet's surface, carrying Vangel and
Sion, plus two back-up crew members, all of them physically altered
to resemble the dominant species; through the fearful process
captured 20 of the self-styled Splaru, the closest that came to
men of God. The Splaru were subjected to 30 microcycles of punishment/reward
reconditioning, at the end of which the Primaries had 20 new converts,
and ardent disciples of Omnipron.
Splaru were being proselytised, the crew back on board the orbiting
ship bombarded the planet with herbostatic rays, causing crop
failure, and electrostatic cloud seeding, to create constant lightning
storms. Measures which, although ultimately reversible, would
strike fear into the hearts of the aliens.
the converted Splaru priests were delivered to specific locations
around the planet, in turn enrolling new devotees. The Splaru
were equipped with psybeam generators, used to induce an overwhelming
sense of theistic vacuum throughout the settlement upon which
they were directed. The Splaru priest would then enter the community
and exude goodwill, converting huge numbers, sending them out,
in turn, to preach to smaller groups, offering food and shelter
as incentives to join them. In no time at all, the Divine Intervention
swept across the face of the planet, reaping a harvest of believers.
At the point when the majority had either been converted, or where
accepting assistance, a global "Prayer for Salvation Day" was
announced. The very next day, after the aliens had come together
in the face of seemingly insurmountable adversity and worshipped
their mutual deity, the ship's crew terminated their disruptive
efforts on the environment. The impact on the mass psyche was
tremendous. They felt that they had been given irrefutable proof
of the existence of Omnipron, that by accepting him into their
lives and by abiding by his doctrines, that they were assured
a certain future, full of love and mercy. Vangel and Sion retrieved
the psybeams, returned to the ship, carried out a final Assessment
and blessed the planet, before leaving orbit.
had established a concealed orbit above the latest subject planet.
It was an uncommonly beautiful world, with a confusing mass of
electromagnetic output. From the continents bathing in the immense
waters, they chose one small island at random and locked into
a stationary orbit above it. Following the three microcycle Inquisition,
the Primaries met once again.
glibbed the opening statement. "My brothers. We are gathered around
the sacred Decisional Alter to debate the case of Earth from the
information afforded by the Inquisition. Blessed be Omnipron.
Let they Assessment commence."
customary it fell to Sion to present the first phase of the Assessment,
and he glibbed a constant succession of paired word bundles in
his parler, fluting them to Vangel and Ervou's audories as he
results suggested that we were dealing with an advanced society
and a bewilderingly dense EM output from the planet was identified.
It would have been impossible to analyse such a plethora of information
in three cycles alone. As a consequence the Inquisition focused
on one small island, chosen at random.
is an unfathomable generation of precisely controlled air movements
and associated noises. Consequently, in the time available to
us, we agreed to concentrate on the premiss - as is written
in the Scribes - that actions doth speak louder than words.
the EM analysis showed nothing that was readily identifiable with
the basic principles of Omnipron. With little grasp of their cultural
complexities and language it was essentially impossible to dissociate
between reality broadcasts, historical reconstructions and entertainment,
but I shall come back to that. A concerning portent was the apparent
emphasis on material acquisition. It has been our experience that
the more self-indulgent species are less likely to adhere to spirituality
within a formalised context. Some of the EM output portrayed acts
of violence visited upon fellow species members, often with primitive
hand-held devices, which relied on the sudden generation of explosive
energy in order to impart velocity to a projectile, which in turn
penetrated the outer shell of the target being, causing sufficient
internal disruption to bring about termination. Although these
instances did not appear to be orchestrated in a manner synonymous
with a major conflict scenario, any act of violence perpetrated
on a fellow being is in direct contradiction with the ethical
principle. However, as I mentioned previously, it is impossible
to ascertain whether these distasteful broadcasts represented
the direct reporting of current events, were a form of entertainment,
or as I now believe to be the case, can be interpreted as an educational
tool designed to remind the population of the horror and atrocity
associated with such deeds.
non-visual forms of EM, the most common consisted of bursts of
melodic patterns, infinitely varied and wide-ranging in nature.
Interjected between each of these was a brief commentary and occasionally
the vocal repetition of a segment. From the number of these forms
of non-visual broadcast, we can safely assume that they are enjoyed
by a large number of the population. It is quite possible that
we have found a form of aesthetic celebration. The next most common
form in this area of study were purely vocal broadcasts. Although
we have been unable to translate them, we have been able to identify
tonal variations within the delivery and we believe that they
represent a scale between peaceful discourse and aggression. The
majority of the vocal-based EM analysis fell into the former category.
I think that it is reasonable to assume that this well balanced
level of discourse, often between several individuals, could represent
theological debate, or at the very least is demonstrating civilised
activity of a uniform nature.
the end of the second microcycle we identified a constantly repeating
feature on almost all of the EM bands under analysis. We would
have to wait before its meaning would be revealed, as the species
spend approximately one third of their time in an unconscious
regenerative state. Again, this could be regarded as an indulgence,
in comparison with our own, brief rest periods, but time has not
permitted for a study of their physiology, so I am content to
assume that this is a health necessity, rather than an avoidance
of spiritual duty."
to a close. Rubbing his parler thoughtfully, he looked across
his chance. If he could just convince his colleagues, then there
was a chance that this planet could be spared Divine Intervention.
Ervou gathered himself up, straightened his orange robe, placed
his hands on the designated sectors of the Alter, and prepared
to make the case for Earth, in the second phase of the Assessment.
third, and final microcycle, we concentrated our reality viewscreen
on the most densely populated region of the island. It was at
this point that we had a major breakthrough. Large numbers of
the dominant species were utilising their self-contained, bipedal
apparatti. This was unusual, as up until this time, the majority
had relocated by utilising independently propelled transport modules.
Our previous experience has shown that large groups, moving without
artificial assistance towards a common area, can be associated
with spiritual activity. Their destination point tied in with
an image that featured recurrently in the previous microcycle's
EM analyses; which were themselves now becoming even more frequent
and longer lasting.
a third of the local population gathered together in this one
place, positioning themselves in such a manner that each being
had an uninterrupted view of an oblong of close-cropped vegetation
at the centre of the assembly zone. Our simultaneous EM uptake
analysis revealed that a further 50 percent of the beings in the
immediate region were adjusting their receptors, in order to witness
the transmissions emanating from this area. This in itself was
encouraging and when we checked the EM uptake in a wider scale..."
dissected the word bundles, mid-sentance, in his parler before
fluting them, for dramatic effect.
half of the population of the entire island were gathering in
groups to observe the proceedings, or else focusing their personal
dwelling-based receptors - both visual and non-visual - onto this
of them were seen to be be wearing garments of a matching fabric.
had drawn them to this place, and although their behaviour was
not yet entirely uniform, it represented a fabulous potential
for devotional activity. What happened next almost made me forget
myself and glib with excitement. The assembly of Earth beings
started to move the air with their physical tonal systems and,
wonderfully, as it grew in volume, it became clear that they were
producing the same sound. This activity is synonymous with prayer
and we had proof of a well-developed harmony of purpose.
group moved onto the central area of vegetation. The noise from
the assembly grew further, almost reaching the aggressive end
of the scale. At that point I had serious misgivings, that perhaps
we were about to witness violence on an amphitheatrical scale,
as we had once seen many cycles ago.
one solitary being, carrying a round, white object, made his way
to the middle, and the volume decreased. On magnification and
spectrophotometric analysis it was found that he held a sphere
of treated animal hide. He wore black fabric, whilst the others
had divided into two evenly numbered groups, standing in readiness,
and distributed such that those wearing white fabric formed a
pattern across one half of the oblong, whilst those in red mirrored
that pattern in the other half. A small ritual took place at the
centre and the black-clad being presented the sphere to a red-atired
individual, who placed the sphere on the ground, eliciting more
noise from the assembly. The black-clad being, who I will now
refer to as the Primary - for reasons that will become clear -
briefly expelled air into a small object which emitted a high-pitched,
shrill sound, and the red-atired individual struck the sphere
with end of one of his bipedal apparatti.
event progressed, the sphere was captured first by one group and
then the other, travelling up and down the area of vegetation.
At times the Primary would produce the shrill sound and activity
would cease for a moment, while he conversed with one of the individuals.
Sometimes the sphere would leave the confines of a white demarcated
border, within which the events were taking place, and again,
the Primary would cease the activity, relying on disciples who
would advise him of the precise point on the border where the
sphere had crossed. Depending on which group individual had last
contacted the sphere, the Primary would then direct one individual
from the other group to project it back into the unfolding drama.
If the sphere approached either of the far ends of the demarcated
zone on the vegetation, then the assembly became quite restless,
and occasionally the sphere would
be propelled into a holding area, although a previously static
individual would endeavour to prevent its ingress. At these moments
the noise from the assembly would verge towards the aggressive
end of the scale.
spent some considerable time in evaluating activity, and I now
believe that I understand its meaning."
rubbed his parler, while the other Divrep Primaries waiting expectantly,
before continuing with his appraisal.
have mentioned, I believe the being wearing black fabric to be
equivalent to one of our own Primaries. He alone has the authority
to suspend activity and to guide the others. It is he who presides
over contentious issues within the drama of spiritual society
that unfolds, even to the extent of banishing any one of the other
participating individuals, if their behaviour falls outside the
predetermined principles of ethics that are so clearly in evidence.
sphere represents the passage of the soul. The drama is a reenactment
of its path through life, the pressures and temptations that are
put upon it, and its eventual destiny. It meets many challenges
on its way, often depicted by severe and harsh treatment, as is
portrayed by the force with which the sphere is struck. If it
is propelled beyond the boundary, as demarcated upon the close-cropped
vegetation, then it has symbolically been jettisoned into purgatory.
it is the Primary's task, in this situation, along with the assistance
of his disciples, to bring the soul back into the vessel of life,
as is represented by the vegetation.
of beings work together to influence the path of the soul through
life. My considered opinion is that the white fabric wearers embody
the positive, the good, and the principled doctrines upon which
their society was founded. The red personify the negative, the
evil and the indulgent temptations of sin.
ends of the vegetation represent the eventual destination of the
soul. For red individuals then, their task is to try to guide
the soul towards damnation. If it is propelled past the white
protector, into the holding area behind, then it has figuratively
been plunged into the realm of eternal torment. If, however, the
white individuals can deliver the soul past the red protector,
then it has passed through the gates of salvation, and is guaranteed
a state of grace in the life ever after.
made by the assembly are the prayers of response. As the soul
is in jeopardy, so they pray for its delivery, and when it is
in the care of the good, they rejoice.
passage of the soul into the holding areas is essentially inconsequential
to the overall message of the drama, which is the reaffirmation
of spiritual infrastructure within the planet's society."
stopped glibbing and gave his parler a well-earned rest. Vangel
and Sion waited for him to recover a little.
are concluded with our Assessment?" Glibbed Vangel, after a while.
"Is there anything further to be added?"
of the Primaries responded, so the time had come.
gathered together around the Decisional Alter to determine whether
the dominant species of the planet known as Earth follow a spiritual
path in accordance with the fundamental doctrines of Omnipron."
Vangel glibbed the Divine word bundles with great care, and fluted
them gracefully to the others. It was almost superfluous, as they
both knew the contents, as one bundle landed in each of their
audories, but in matters like this there was no question of deviating
their ceremonial orange robes, each Divrep Primary produced a
matching precious jewel and held it above a twin-cupped receptacle,
in front of their relative positions around the Alter. A low hum
emitted from their collective frottle glands and at a crucial
moment of their prayer, they synchronously dropped the jewels.
Each receptacle acted as a balance, and all three had voted the
same way. With a sound that was halfway between a click and a
chiming bell, Vangel set the Celestial Proximeter free, within
its Holy Gimbal, and the Wings of Truth began to fan it, once
decided," announced Vangel.
expression was one of great joy and relief.
the traditional blessing of the planet, the ship slipped away,
out of Earth's orbit and back into space, to continue their quest.
on Earth the usual post-match brawls were springing up outside
bars in the immediate vicinity of the newly opened Megastadium.
Lurid football chants echoed around the streets, as the yobs got
to work on smashing shop fronts and terrorising the local inhabitants,
until the police waded in, brandishing batons.
the war ground on in the Middle East, tension mounted in Asia,
the Third World continued to be exploited or ignored, crime flourished,
and the planet's resources were continuing to be plundered and
polluted by the voracious activities of the dominant species.
did they know, just how close they'd come to being the subjects
of Divine Intervention.