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
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
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
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,"
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.
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
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
"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
"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
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."
"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
"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...
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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