Birth of Janavrah

Written and illustrated

by Adrienne Potter

Irvana's parents were unnerved when she passed out again and Mardee stayed by her side with his scanner monitoring her body functions, but Beldan assured them that this was normal and that everything was alright. When she flailed her arms wildly, as if fighting off an attacker, Kaylar wanted to wake her up but Beldan prevented it.

"If you wake her now it could be dangerous," he said. "She is deep in dream sleep. She is using a part of her brain never before used. It is unusual for one so young to enter so deeply into dreamworld, but it has happened before in centuries past. We should wait and hear what she has to say when she wakes up."

Irvana had no idea how long she was in the blackness. She felt cold and damp and alone. It was a feeling of incomprehensible isolation that she wished would end, and it did. Suddenly she was above Othgar looking down at the Pitorgans warring with her alien and human friends. She knew the month and day, although she didn't know how she knew. She just knew, as if she had always known. She knew how many Pitorgans there were, how many ships they had, how strong their weapons were, where they landed, and she knew something else. There was a dark presence that was shutting her out. She could sense it as clearly as if it were cold air blowing on her brain. It wasn't Pitorgan. It wasn't even on the planet. It could SEE her, but she couldn't see it though she tried with all her mental strength. It knew she was there. Suddenly Irvana knew that two had to play this game. She threw up a mental curtain and blocked herself from the presence, as if to say, "I'm none of your business." Then she woke up and looked into the faces of the friends and loved ones around her.

They waited expectantly. She looked from face to face, trying to comprehend everything that had just happened to her, then she asked for water. It was quickly brought. She drank, took deep breaths, and drank some more. As she rested she realized what the dream meant and what was happening to her. It had been exhausting. It had taken all her faculties. It was like running a mental and spiritual marathon at high speed with unthinkable intensity, as though she had been snatched up by infinity and given a glimpse of the eternities. She felt she knew everything compared to what she knew yesterday and yet she knew nothing compared to all that there was to know.

She felt suddenly aware of the feelings, the thoughts, and the presence of everyone around her, as if she were melded with them into one being. Later she learned that they all felt a feeling of warmth and caring and no one wanted to leave or say anything. They just wanted to enjoy the wonderful feeling of the moment.

At last Irvana spoke. "I saw our ancestors. I saw beautiful lights and rainbows. But then everything went black. The ancestors told me that the Pitorgans will come back to this planet...back to Othgar, on Oct. 19 around 3:30 am. They'll come with many ships and more sophisticated weapons than before. They have someone helping them but he blocked himself from the dream vision. I knew he was there but I couldn't see him or know his thoughts. He could see me, but then I was able to block him.

Beldan flinched and trembled. "It is the Grisling!" The aliens around him were visibly shaken. "Visions in the past have foretold him. He was once one of us. In fact, he was a Crystal Seer but he used his power to dominate and tried to become the supreme ruler 500 years ago. He wanted to make us his slaves. A war was fought and he lost and was banished to a far galaxy and told never to return. Apparently he has found a way to return and he has joined with the Pitorgans."

"Five hundred years ago?" asked Meltro, confused. "How can he still be alive?"

"We are a race that lives a thousand years," Beldan told him. " I am 700 years old."

Meltro stared, open-mouthed. Irvana wondered how old Darak was, but she forced herself to focus on the moment. "The Pitorgans know of your existence now," she said.

"Yes. No doubt the Grisling taught them of our skills," answered Beldan. Then he looked at Irvana. "You have done very well child. You see the visions of an adult though you are still young." Irvana flushed, suddenly self-conscious. She had never sought this kind of attention and wasn't sure how she felt about this new ability. Or was it new? She had sudden memories of times when she knew who was on the com before it buzzed. Many times she knew her friends' thoughts before they spoke them. There were times when people turned their eyes from her in discomfort and she realized that she had been penetrating their minds unconsciously. As a child she had known that someday she would do something special, although she had no idea what, and when she arrived on Othgar it felt like she had been there before.

She felt eyes on her and looked in Darak's direction. He was looking at her with a new respect, just short of awe, and his eyes seemed to bore through her. She didn't want his worship. She just wanted his friendship.

"I'm tired. I want to go home," she told her parents.

"Of course!" Beldan responded, and Kaylar took her home in the transport and helped her into bed since she was half-asleep by the time they arrived.

She didn't know that as she slept Meltro and Beldan talked far into the night about how to prepare for battle with the Pitorgans. October was only three months away and there was much to be done. Earth Force needed to be notified that the Pitorgans would be returning. Obviously they wanted to take over Othgar and use it as a base from which to attack their former enemies, and obviously they had acquired new technology and stronger weapons, perhaps from Grisling. Probably he had spent his entire exile plotting a victorious return and developing aggressive technology.

But would Earth Force accept Irvana's dream vision as fact? Probably so. Earth had proved the existence of seers, and what had once been called Extra Sensory Perception or ESP was proven to exist in certain people who had what is known as "the third eye," an extra section in the cerebral cortex that enhances perception of reality and discernment of things that are not obvious.

A certain segment of the population was born with this extra area of the brain and the rest were not. Some people were more aware of and adept at using "the third eye" than others, and this was attributed to high right brain activity and it's ability to interact with the third eye. It had also been learned that those with high spatial recognition had better control of the third eye and often had photographic memories. Unbeknownst to anyone, Irvana had been born with all of the above.

At about three in the morning Meltro returned home and began to spread the information he had gathered. Earth Force was stunned by the news.

Mardee had scanned Irvana's brain during the dream vision and found that there was an astounding amount of activity in the right brain during the course of it, as well as a steady rhythm emanating from "the third eye." Five hundred times the normal amount of neurons moved from the right brain to the cerebral cortex and back at a hundred times the normal speed. He informed Meltro of these results and it was included in the report sent to Star Base IV and to Earth Force Surveillance on Earth.

When Irvana awoke and saw sunlight streaming through her skylight the next morning there was already a turmoil of activity on Star Base IV and back at Earth Force Center. Commanders and Generals had been called in the night. When she went downstairs for breakfast her father was unshaven and looked haggard and worried. He was on a com-conference with the Commander of Star Base IV and a General from Earth Force. The main questions were, what technology did the Pitorgans now have and what technology did the natives of Othgar have that the Grisling had shared with the Pitorgans? Then they needed to know how to enhance the natives' technology with their own, or vice versa.

The humans couldn't pronounce the word the natives called themselves and so they had resorted to calling them something close--the Evarjans. The Evarjans didn't call the planet Othgar either--they called it another difficult word that the Earthlings simplified to Janavrah. The name was officially changed by Earth Force since the humans respected the right of first domain. It was written as the translators spelled it, which was Jaxnashjpvbrahl but pronounced Ja-NAV-rah. The humans had never encountered a race with such sophisticated oral language ability and sound perception. The Evarjans, including Beldan and Darak, could distinguish more sounds and pitches than Earth canines.

"I'm glad you're up," her father told Irvana. "I need more details from the dream vision you had. Last night you were too tired and I insisted that you be allowed to rest, but Earth Force and Star Base IV are demanding to know every detail. Do you feel like a com-conference right now?"

"Of course Daddy," she said yawning, as if he had asked her to recite a homework assignment.

Before she had even had her breakfast she sat down next to him in front of the screen which received and transmitted visual images simultaneously, and began to answer their questions. The dream seemed sharper than ever, as though it had ripened overnight, and she closed her eyes and saw it with a clarity that fascinated her.

They wanted to know if she could recall or sense anything more about the Grisling. Yes, he was not Evarjan. Maybe he had once been, but he was not any more. He had evolved. Into what she could not comprehend. He was vicious, cruel, dark, very demanding, and totally obsessed with control. Nothing like the Evarjans she knew. He had attempted to injure her mind, her dream abilities, which was why she blocked him. She knew she had succeeded because she felt the attack withdraw. She had sensed a weakness in him but could not focus on what it was. For a split second she had pitied him, but why? She couldn't grasp the answer.

She told them every detail she could recall about their ships, the new weapons, their sound, size, appearance, and how they operated. They had a personal weapon that was like a laser and directed an energy blast that obliterated the target. They had larger guns that it took three to operate that could obliterate an area two hundred feet square. They had the same bombs that they had used against Earth Force in the past war but they were different now. They were spherical at one end and pointed at the other, and their purpose was to destroy energy.

Irvana told them what Darak had told her about the Pitorgan's previous visit and the method used to expel them, but she didn't understand enough about Evarjan technology to explain it.

"We need Beldan here," said Commander Bergen. "Will he come?"

"I'll send Mardee," answered Meltro.

Beldan came, and now there were three on the Janavrah screen. He brought a  crystal, larger than the one he used to help Irvana with her dream vision, which he displayed in front of the screen.

"When this is activated it interrupts many kinds of energy and redirects it to another part of the universe, a place you call a black hole. I don't know if it will work with the new energy that the Pitorgans have. The Grisling knew of this crystal and may have conquered its power. He does not know of the new technology we have generated since his departure."

"And what would that be?" asked General Fister of Earth Force eagerly.

"Is this a secure channel?" asked Beldan.

"Scrambled and micro-encoded," answered Commander Bergen.

Beldan took out a small, crystal pyramid from a pouch he had brought. It seemed to be lit from within. "This pyramid takes the energy directed by a weapon and returns it to its source," he said sadly. "We had hoped never to have to use it, but we do not believe in subjection by corrupted races."

Meltro was fascinated. These natives lived so simply, yet their technology was unlike anything known in the universe. They seemed so gentle and harmless, yet they could be so instantly powerful. At the same time their power meant nothing to them. It was only for defense, never for aggression.

"What do you mean, corrupted races?" he asked.

Beldan sighed. "My race knew the Pitorgans thousands of years ago. They were once harmless and peaceful. They chose to evolve into an aggressive and corrupt race and as they did they developed their lizard skin. It represents all that is corroded within them. They have abandoned the philosophy that once ruled our galaxy--one of learning, creating, and loving. They now choose to steal, dominate, and entertain themselves by the suffering of others. They are lazy in sustaining themselves but adept at forcing others to sustain them. There are slaves on their planet. Some may be Evarjans who were stolen centuries ago. Some may even be human."

Irvana suddenly felt sick. Earth had worked so long to eliminate slavery and establish permanent democracies, only to have unknown slaves on a disgusting planet across the galaxy. She felt an instant loathing for the Pitorgans and empathy for those slaves, and suddenly, in a flash of dream inspiration, she knew that there were humans there. Some had even been born there. And one of them was...

No!! It couldn't be! Why hadn't her parents told her?!

Suddenly Irvana jumped up from the chair and ran to the door. She found her speeder and started to fly away but went fifty feet and stopped. Running away from this was useless and stupid. She returned to her garden and sat forlornly in her swing, tears rolling slowly down her face. It didn't take long for her parents to find her.

"Irvana! What's the matter honey?" her mother asked gently, worried that the strain of the last few days had been too much. Irvana took a deep breath and looked directly into her face.

"Why didn't you tell me I have an older brother?" she said through controlled sobs. Her parents looked at each other. Did this child know everything now?

"He disappeared a year before you were born," started Meltro. "He was only five." Kaylar interjected, "The police, the Earth Force Surveillance teams, the neighbors, our friends, our relatives, everyone looked for him for two years. He disappeared without a trace and finally we had to face the fact that it was an alien abduction. We were heartsick, and when you came you gave us so much joy that we tried to forget about the pain of losing him. We never talked about it, even with each other."

Meltro added, "We know there were more. You see honey, that's why the war with the Pitorgans started. A small town kept losing people and so they set up surveillance equipment everywhere around it and caught the Pitorgans in the act." This had been another unspoken reason that Meltro and Kaylar had wanted to colonize this new planet--because it would bring them closer to their lost son.

"I want to see his picture, I want to know if it's him that I see."

"You've seen him in a dream?" asked her father incredulously.

"Yes! Don't you get it? He's a Pitorgan slave!"

Her parents looked at each other with pained expressions, not wanting to think about what they had suspected for years. Meltro held out his wristcom and set it for display. He found the file that held his only son's photo and showed it to Irvana.

"It's him!" cried Irvana. "I saw him in a slave camp! He's much older now, and he's thin and pale and sad and angry!" She broke into sobs and her mother held her in her arms as she wept too. Irvana's world seemed to have crashed down around her in the short space of a day. The beautiful new world that she loved so much was threatened with destruction, her new friends, the Evarjans and Leena and everyone would be in danger, and she had a brother who was a slave. She had always wondered what it would be like to have an older brother or sister, and now she suddenly had one and he was trapped and suffering.

"She needs a meditation session," said Meltro gently. "We all do."

A meditation session meant sitting in a reclining chair with a headset that fed soothing sounds to the ears and beautiful scenes to the brain. People had been taught to take several deep breaths to relax and then to let all the tension flow out of their bodies like a river during these sessions. Then you imagined yourself away from wherever you were, in a serene, calm, peaceful and beautiful place where there were no worries or problems. A certain word was chosen and associated with this place to help you go there quickly. Whispering the word to yourself could have a calming effect. Such sessions improved mental health and helped you focus on solutions to your problem rather than on the pain you were experiencing.

Irvana lay on the recliner for an hour while Meltro continued the conference with Commander Bergen and the Earth General, who had been informed of the reason for the sudden interruption. Beldan had returned to his people.

"You should have told her years ago," chided Commander Bergen softly.

"I know," answered Meltro, "but she was always so happy and it became impossible to think of ruining everything with such disturbing news. It would have become her cause supreme."

"It's going to be anyway," said Commander Bergen.

Meltro sighed. Kaylar was watching over Irvana and when she came out of meditation she took her place. Irvana rejoined Meltro at the com screen.

"I'm sorry for running off," she said, now much calmer.

"That's okay, we understand," responded Commander Bergen, who knew the Fastin family well and had watched their progress on the planet closely. He knew of Irvana's talents and intelligence and felt a closeness to this family and to all the colonists. Besides liking them they had been a great benefit by providing the Star Base with fresh food as soon as their farms started producing. The mining operation had brought added commerce to this sector of the galaxy and the biology data base and studies related to it were increasing earth's knowledge of alien plant and animals daily. Even if it weren't his military duty he would do whatever it took to protect these families and this planet. And from what he knew about the Evarjans they were a race worth fighting for. "We need you to tell us if there's anything more you can recall about your dream," he told Irvana.

She thought. There had been something, but what was it? Why was this eluding her when everything else seemed so clear? A momentary flash came to her and she suddenly realized....

Darak! He had been there in the dream with her! How?! Was he a crystal seer too?! He had to be. But why didn't anybody know? This was something she couldn't tell Commander Bergen, or her father. There was a reason Darak wasn't revealing who he was and she knew she had to trust him. Was this how he knew to be in the ravine the day she fell and to guide her away from the rocks? It had to be.

"Irvana!" Her father interrupted her thoughts. Irvana suddenly seemed so distant.

"Oh, sorry Dad," I was just thinking if there was anything I left out, and there is." Quickly she remembered another item. "They have spy flyers."

"Spy flyers?"

"Yeah. It's some kind of flying probe that transmits data back to them about their enemy. Here, I'll draw you a picture."

She drew pictures of the spy flyers and everything--their ships, weapons, bombs, and energy cannons. The detail amazed the men but they held back their wonder. They sensed that Irvana didn't want to be treated any differently, no matter how different she now was, but they complimented her on her art.

Commander Bergen turned from the screen to talk with one of his officers. Then suddenly he was back on the screen with a concerned look on his face. "It looks like you have another of those storms coming in. The satellites just relayed it. I guess this will have to wait."

"Thank-you sir, Janavrah out," said Meltro, and he immediately relayed the message to the other settlers and activated the shields around the farm and the colony buildings. The Garcias were too far away to return to Othis but they had brought shields with them and would activate them around the transport. They could also stay in the transport which had its own shields if they chose. The Lus were at home and activated their shield generators, as did Mardee. When Meltro commed the Anders their housekeeper droid informed him that they had left on a picnic early that morning and had not commed all day, nor had they answered when she commed them to ask what they wanted for dinner. Meltro tried Dawn and Ridge's personal frequencies but there was no response. Something must be seriously wrong and the storm was coming in fast...

Go to Chapter 5

Excerpt: "..."It ended for us but not for him!" she cried. "It seems earth left some unfinished business didn't it? Besides, he'll die if we leave him there any longer!"

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