The old dream was over. It had no chance of ever coming back. And to Dice, that was a good thing. The recurring dream of escaping reality was nice for a while. But then it got to be aggravating. In between constantly being shaken out of sleep when all he wanted to do was fly was becoming tedious and annoying. Now, instead of the flying being a dream and the paralysis he got as a consolation prize from the accident on his eighteenth birthday being reality…the reality was now that he could fly forever and the pain caused by the accident was slowly melting into the dream. He’d waited for over a year for this day.
But did it have to be so bright?
He thought that after his Risigormento the brilliance surrounding him would fade away. It didn’t. It followed him wherever he went. He even tried to lose it by dodging this way and then that way. A zig and then a zag but, nope, it seemed the light was going to be his constant companion. I’ll never need a flashlight, he thought to himself while giggling out loud.
Nicandro, Dice’s biological father from the planet Gijar, found it odd that his first-born son, who had just been resurrected from the depths of death, would be giggling at a time like this. He really does enjoy what all we Noble Gemin take for granted – the gift of flight, he thought to himself while he looked at his son with pride. His son…the Prophet…has been reborn.
“I freakin’ love this!” Dice had replied to Nicandro’s thoughts. Whether Dice could hear his Father’s thoughts or not didn’t matter to Nicandro. There was no reason to hide anything from his son. The truth of the matter was that Dice could now hear everyone’s thoughts. From the old lady thousands of miles away sitting on the park bench in the middle of downtown Atlanta thinking about how she was going to pay the mortgage this month, to the farmer down on Firma on Gijar wondering if it will ever rain because his crops are in desperate need of water. He heard it all. He currently wasn’t paying attention to any of it because he, himself, was thinking about this bright-ass light and figuring out how to click the damned thing off.
Flying higher than he ever dared to fly before, Dice was soaring with the wind over Omaha. He stretched his wings to their fullest extent and locked the joints in place so that his feathers could gulp in every molecule of air the Earth was feeding him. It was Nicandro -who was flying beside Dice-that had to remind him that there was time for leisure and joy, but now was not one of those times. It was imperative that they both return to Gijar. This sudden announcement broke the romance Dice was engaging in with flight. His father was correct. There was work to be done. He could fly later.
Nicandro headed for Carter Lake to gain access back to Gijar, Dice wasn’t far behind him. Nicandro took a dive head first into the lake and was immediately submersed into the night sky of Gijar. Dice would never get used to the idea that to get to the skies of his distant home planet of Gijar all he had to do was dive into Carter Lake. Why did no one ever bring this to his attention in the short time he had on Earth? This was never in any discussion he was privy to in any class or social event in his eighteen years of human existence. It was beginning to amaze Dice that there were so many elements of the unusual surrounding him that were actually right there in front of him waiting to be explored. Statues moving, warp holes to other planets, even the history of how the pyramids were built. Yet, no one wanted to hear their explanations. These things actually made him wonder about the existence of God and all the stories he had ever had to learn as a child. And how there were some adults he was acquainted with that still believed in something that had no valid explanation. They just didn’t want to hear the correct explanation or even want to acknowledge it because the truth wasn’t main-stream. The truth was ultimately common sense. Having faith in something made up was easier than believing in common sense.
For example, explain this orb of light surrounding his being. Dice knew there had to be an explanation for it, although he couldn’t put his finger on it just yet. Someone, somewhere, will explain the truth to him. Or he could make something up and everyone will believe it. Why will they believe it? Because he has a light around him. The light belongs to him so whatever he said would be the truth. Although, there would be some common sense somewhere. Or so he hoped as his head and wings made contact with Carter Lake…
…and was immediately transported to the tranquil night sky of Gijar. He could see the dark outline of the twin planet, Gamgijar, covering the real estate in the night sky to the south. From a distance he could see the floating rock where his new home, Castle Castora, was dwarfed by Mount Idres. Other beings were in flight above the rock. He knew these beings as Gemin who inhabit this planet. If someone would have told him a few months ago that these flying people were his real family, he would’ve laughed in their faces and probably called them a few colorful names. Yet, here he was and here they were and the life that he had always known had changed forever.
There were aspects of his old life that he would surely miss. It took him a second to come up with those aspects because, really…his life wasn’t all that spectacular. Back on Earth he was a mass of flesh that couldn’t move on his own volition. He had his family. Ok…he had his secondary family because his primary family, consisting of his mom and dad had met their doom at the site of the plane crashing into his house. But, he did have Marcus.
Where is Marcus? he suddenly thought to himself. Was Marcus still somewhere between this planet and Earth? He was right behind his father and him before they took the plunge into the lake. Dice was pretty sure he didn’t tell his brother to follow him regardless of where he goes. Marcus might’ve stopped right before the dip into the water. When he was done with Nicandro and what it was that he was leading him to, he would head back to go get his brother. Dice had wanted to share this amazing transformation with Marcus since the day he knew that he was able to fly.
Dice’s light could be seen all across the surface of Gijar and Gamgijar. His aurora was the signal all of the hopeful – and the hopeless – had been looking for. His brilliance streamed across the night sky as it headed toward Mount Idres. Nicandro had enlisted four of the Ma’at Waryn to be the Prophet’s constant guardians. Those four Waryn had been alerted that Nicandro would be heading back to Mount Idres with the Prophet. They would all know when his mission had gone as planned. Truth be told…they didn’t know how they would be sure that Nicandro would be escorting the Prophet back to the Mountain until they looked up to the brilliance illuminating the entire sky. Then…they knew their Prophet was in their presence. The four lifted off the ledge of the threshold leading into the Ma’at Temple to meet their new master and lord.
Dice could hear the thoughts of the Waryn heading in his direction. Waryn have never been able to utter a single word due to their tongues being removed for security reasons at the time of creation. But their thoughts were loud and clear. There was awe that wiped out skepticism and visible proof that negated intangible disbelief. They had been mistaken and they were regretting the error of their ways. They revered Dice as the answer to their prayers. And, since they were now silently praying, Dice was sure to hear them, absorb them and then answer them just as they believed he could.
Salvene, the Queen Mother of the Gemin, looked up to the night sky as her eyes followed the Waryn getting closer to the bright spot of light of promise and optimism. This was her son, her flesh and her blood, coming home to save them all. She was silently hoping that Dice had more of her blood in him than his father’s. Having too much of the Royal Blood in him would be a death sentence for all of Gijar. The light surrounding Dice was reassurance that the opposite was coming true. The day of reckoning was coming soon. She smiled knowing her son would be the one to wield the proverbial hammer of justice.
The Gemin on Firma weren’t interested in the politics of the prophecy. Whispers had spread far and wide across Gijar that a new deity was coming; one that carries peace and compassion in his heart. It was believed there would be chaos before there was order. How could there possibly be any form of chaos coming from the calm and reassuring beacon streaming across their night sky? This was a sign that the days of the old Gods were done. The new God was on his way to claim his throne in the heavens. In these thoughts, they kneeled in respect to the Lord they can actually verify instead of the ones who remain in solitude within the mountain.
The forest had been asleep for some time after the Gijarian Sun travelled to the opposite side of the planet. The trees had gotten their fill of energy and were now gorged from their feast while in tranquil repose. One tree in particular was awakened by the spectacle in the sky. Cantha had waited for the signal promising her savior’s arrival. And there it was streaking across the night sky just above the forest heading for the Ma’at Temple. It wouldn’t be long before she could edict her revenge on the witch who had cursed her. Cantha swore to do whatever it took to complete the deed even if it meant to entangle her convictions with someone with a higher power. The higher power flying through the sky would suit her long-term needs quite nicely.
Dice was home. He knew it to be his home even though he had only spent minimal time in this atmosphere. Home is where his story would begin. His past life as a teenager on Earth was just the prerequisite to what now lay before him. The love he had found and then lost, the anger, the jealousy, the joy, and the pain…all of the emotions from years of finding out who he was had all been practice for this time. For this place. For this occasion.
The voices in his head were becoming garbled and distorted. There were too many of them. He was finding it increasingly difficult to pay attention to one signal before twenty more would trample out the one. He was certain that this would eventually drive him mad. He had landed at the Ma’at Temple where all of the Ma’at priests were apparently silent in their show of his coming. However, their voices were loud and crystal clear as they all – every one of them – tried to be overheard by the next in his cranium.
“Pay no attention to the noise,” Nicandro was instructing from beside Dice, “Tune into the signal.”
The signal? Which one exactly? There were so many signals coming in all at once, thought Dice.
“Not so,” replied Nicandro, “there are many sources, yet only one signal. Concentrate on it. Once you have mastered the concentration, the other noises will be drowned out by the strength of the one. I will teach you to be adept in your choosing at a later time. But for now, follow me.” He said as his talons click-clacked through the priests on their knees in reverence to their Lord. The clicking of the talons seemed to be extremely deafening to Dice and louder than what he ever remembered. He had walked next to Nicandro on marble flooring a few times and could not think of a time when his talons created so much clatter.
“You’re senses are now magnified and unimpeded. This will all be explained to you by Anapa as soon as we get you settled.” said Nicandro.
Dice, at first, was enjoying these extra perks he was gaining by becoming Gemin. He could fly, he could hear people’s thoughts unknown to them, he could see clearly in the dark and now he was a freaking rock star. He didn’t know if he was going to enjoy Nicandro being able to hear everything that he, himself, was thinking. This one little novelty in all of his extra gifts might be the only line item he would be placing on the “con” side of his list of things he liked and disliked about becoming a Gemin God.
“In time, you will learn how to block your thoughts from others such as myself. It is important that you strengthen the cloaking of your inner-most thoughts in the moons to come. This will also be explained to you by Anapa. You have a lot of learning to ingest and precious little time to do it.” Nicandro replied to Dice’s thoughts.
The pair of them had made it to the grand staircase leading to the higher levels reserved for Anapa, the Temple’s Library and now the home of the new God of the Gemin. As Dice was awkwardly climbing the staircase, he had to smile because he was the new God. The crazy kid who used to get anxiety attacks over a pimple forming under his chin. That same crazy kid was now marching upward a very large and very grand staircase on legs with talons on the ends of them where his feet used to be. He was enjoying the newfound genuflection and worship thing, but he wondered if he was going to get used to it. He wondered if he would get complacent with the whole Lord gig he was about to embark upon. As with any new endeavor, he also wondered if there was an escape route in case he realized he wasn’t cut out to be a God of the Gemin.
“There is no escape route,” Nicandro’s words were echoing in the Temple’s fixed silence as they were climbing the stairs to Dice’s destination, “you were born to this. The only way is forward. Once you accept that and embrace it, the better off you’ll be and the sooner we can bring peace to those who have been begging for it.”
Dice had no idea what this all meant. Peace? To whom? People have been begging? For what? Dice was considering this flying business to be a pretty sweet escape from the reality of lying motionless in a bed while machines beeped and buzzed in his waking moments. Closing his eyes was his peace. Escape was what he had been begging for. He didn’t realize there were others seeking the same thing he was seeking. And, to top it all off, he was now some sort of zombie having been brought back from the dead to this wonderland of gold and white brilliance. In all of the movies he had ever seen…people who were brought back from the dead were gross and had sores all over them for all eternity. He had to admit that he had made out pretty darned good. Now, he just realized, he would have to take classes and learn how to quell voices in his head and bring peace and help those who were begging? He just wanted to fly and live in that huge castle with his real family. He wasn’t aware that he was being recruited for something greater. He wasn’t even sure he wanted this job they were beating a path up these huge stairs for.
At the same moment that Dice had those last thoughts, and before the thoughts could soak into his sub consciousness, he was being introduced to Anapa and to his new life into divinity.