Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Surviving Outbound @Liza0Connor

The backstory for Shaman Troy
Like many third sons of the better families in Caldone, when Jason Troy turned ten he was sent to the temple in hopes of being chosen as a shaman. Only one in a hundred boys that arrive are chosen. Many are dismissed on their day of arrival when they failed various tests for empathy and kindness. The result of the early culling of meanness means his fellow students are really nice and no one ever plays pranks and will always help if you struggle on a certain skill or lesson.

But it also means in the first two years, you are always losing beloved friends when they are sent home once the shamans determine a student lacks the skills required to be a shaman in his field. One friend, who had been soaring through the tests was dismissed when he wrote a compelling letter to Headmaster Daniels that females should also be allowed to be shamans. From that debacle, Jason realized some of the leaders were less enlightened than others and that speaking out, even on a just cause, could get you removed.

Thus, he studied hard and avoided the headmaster as much as he could.

In his second year at the Shaman’s school, he had a dream about a cave. The next morning he woke early and logged out with the intent to go hiking in the nearby mountain despite the fact he was not in the least bit athletic. The Shaman logging him out worried as he stared at his sandals. “You are not properly dressed,” he scolded.

Jason’s heart quickened. What would he do if the shaman refused to give him permission to leave? “Sir, I must go. I am confident the Gods will keep me safe.”

The old fellow walked to a cabinet and opened the door. “You should never presume such a thing. The Gods are busy managing the entire multiverse. What would happen if everyone took such an attitude?”

“You are correct, Shaman Michel, I apologize. I will return to my quarters.”

The Shaman pulled out a pair of hiking boots and socks, an aluminum canister and two energy bars. “If the shoes fit, you may go. Otherwise, you cannot.”

To Jason’s amazement, the shoes fit to perfection, so off he went with water and energy bars, in search of the cave he’d dreamt about.

Two hours later, he located a cave opening hidden by a large bush. Upon entering, his skin tingled like it did when he entered the main shaman temple for prayers. Thus, he knelt on the stone floor and prayed. “I am your servant to command.”

A sense of peace surrounded him, but no commands were given. He rose and moved deeper into the tunnel. While he may have forgotten food, water, and proper shoes, he had remembered to carry a small electric torch, which revealed twelve stone tablets in a dark hole in the very back of the cave. He sat and tried to make sense of the words on the tablets. While he had learned twenty-three languages thus far, he did not know what the markings on the stone meant.

Memorizing the shapes of the letters, he returned to the library and searched for the same symbols. After three days of failure he approached his favorite teacher, Shaman Piper, for help. The shaman marveled at the letters Janson had drawn then lead him to a room stacked with boxes. Locating the box, the shaman and Jason carried it to a table in the room. There they sorted through the stone tablets.

“This one!” Jason cried, finding a tablet with similar markings.

“Are you certain?” the shaman asked in disappointment.

Jason nodded.

The old shaman sighed. “It is Gaelic, a language that none of us know.”

Jason sighed. Why would he dream of a lost language?

That night when he went to sleep, he dreamed of returning to the cave where he placed a stone tablet in his lap. Whenever he stroked a cluster of symbols in the stone a word spoke in his head. When Jason woke, he wrote the meaning of each cluster of symbols. Over the next five years, in his spare time, Jason mastered the lost language of Gaelic. One day he was in the garden, working on translating the words of the tablets, when the Supreme Seer approached.

“It is not allowed to carry stone tablets from the library,” the great Seer chided.

Jason looked up at the old fellow with such a kind face. He sensed nothing but light in the seer. “It is not a tablet from the library. I found it in a cave. I am trying to translate it into a language we can read.”

To his surprise, the great Seer sat down beside him on the grass and asked to see the tablet. Jason gently placed it in the old shaman’s lap. “The first part says ‘To save the Path of Light, the Soul of Three must travel to New Earth before the darkest hour befalls.”

The Seer frowned. “How do you know this?”

Jason grimaced and shared his strange dream. This might very well get him expelled from school, but he could not lie to the Seer.

“Help me up,” the Seer requested.

Jason secured the tablet and assisted the Seer up.

“Thank you. Now, who has assisted you with your path?”

“Shaman Michel gave me shoes so I could travel safely to the cave, and Shaman Pippa told me the language was dead. That’s when I had the second dream which helped me translate the first tablet.”

“Let us see if Shaman Michel has boots that will fit me,” the Seer said.

Oddly enough, the boots fit the Seer perfectly and the two made their way to the hidden cave. The Seer laughed when Jason pointed to the large bush that hid the entrance. “Right before our eyes, but none could see it.” He then patted Jason’s arm. “Except for you. I perceive greatness in you, my boy. Indeed I do.”

A week later, Headmaster Daniels attempted to send Jason home, but the Seer overruled him. The Seer then put Daniels in charge of feeding the poor and asked Shaman Pippa to be headmaster of the boys.

A month later, Jason was given his cloak of a shaman by the Seer himself and promoted into the High Council. His only focus was to find the Soul bond of Three and a blue bull who never forgets.

While he was honored to sit with such enlightened shaman on the council, Shaman Daniel never let him forget he was inferior and the moment he failed, he’d lose his seat.

Surviving Outbound
Liza O’Connor
Saran along with her ‘not dead, just no longer human’ soul-bondTamara, and their giant blue bull leave in search of a handler so Blue can escape Earth and travel outbound. The man Saran meets and falls in love with turns out to be Tamara’s husband. Their spiritual joining of three sets into play a prophecy written long ago. Together, they become Tamsarandem, the most powerful soul-bond in all the multiverses.  

The shamans pay for their voyage to Terranue, an unknown planet, never before colonized by humans. In return, Tamsarandem must look after the other colonists and help them to prosper and find their Paths of Light. They will need to do this mostly on their own, for the Gods are running out of authorized interventions. However, the God Pane, with the help of the sentient ship-computer, Marybell, constantly search for clever workarounds to ensure The Path of Light will reign supreme upon the final collapse. But there is only so much they can do within their bureaucratic rules.

Having failed to stop Tamsarandem from leaving Earth, those who walk the Path of Darkness embed their own people, including their darkest lord, on the ship to ensure it will never arrive at Terranue.  

Shaman Daniel, who sat to the Seer’s right, spoke urgently to their leader, his request loud enough to be heard by all. “Allow me to bring in someone with more experience.”

The Seer placed his hand on Daniel’s arm. “We wouldn’t even know of The Soul-Bond of Three if not for Shaman Troy. He alone found the Cave of Light and mastered the lost language of Gaelic. He then discovered the passages that foretold of The Soul-Bond of Three. Do you truly believe a boy so young could have achieved such a feat without the help of the Gods?

“Your Imminence, I do not deny the boy has accomplished much, but perhaps he has done all that he was meant to do. Perhaps now, it is time for our scholars to take over.”

Shamans around the table nodded in agreement.

Shaman Troy bowed his head in shame. He had failed everyone.

The Seer of Light shook his head. “I have never forbidden any of you to search caves for lost tablets, from learning the archaic languages of the past, or from discovering hidden clues in sacred texts. By all means, assist in this critical matter if you will. But Shaman Troy will continue the path he set upon twenty years ago when he was a mere child of twelve. And I have faith the Gods will deliver The Soul-Bond of Three to Shaman Troy when the time comes.”

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Book 2: Surviving Outbound
Book 1: The Gods of Probabilities

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