We got to the campsite, unpacked everything and had dinner. While Jane and I were cleaning up after dinner, Taz and Jullian made sure the site was clear of any danger that could be seen and not seen.
At the beginning of the evening, we all were sitting around the table, not saying much. I sat there listening to the others speak about the good old days. The sun was starting to go down around 8:30; I stepped outside to get the fire pit burning. The wood was still damp; I am going to assume that it had rain here not too long ago.
Once the fire was started, I sat on a foldout chair, gazing into the light. In the beginning, it was just the flames dancing around, gently being moved by the wind.
Soon there was a set of eyes looking at me from within the flames. I did not feel threatened; I continued to stare rate back, blinking from time to time. I do not know how much time had gone by, the sun had fully set, and the stars were starting to show in our night sky. More sets of eyes were on me now.
“What is your biggest fear, Zita?“
“Being locked up in a birdcage, where no one knows where I am but the individual that placed me there.”
I did not bother to look for the origin of the voice; the entities surrounding me spoke as one. They were the Us’Us; this group seemed to be sadder than they were anything else.
“What is humans’ greatest fear?“
“I would say that the mass majority would fear death. It is the unknown that bothers them.”
“They should not fear death,” I heard rumbling of thunder all around me.
“They should fear the land and us. Humans have little to no connection with the land. Not being able to communicate with the land or us, the land has started to become sterile. The land is going to reject the people; they will wonder places and will not find what they need. The land once gave them what they wanted, providing for their every need. Humans were to be the caretaker of Earth. Humans were to care for all living things as equals.“
“That is one thing many of us have not done.”
“What have you done, Zita?“
“The Zeragil and Fastrial’s have not killed me yet, nor simulating me into their collective!”
“If it were not for your abilities, you would be added into the lottery like the rest of the humans!“
“Do not act as if that is doing me any favours! You know just as I do what I have done.”
“You have a warriors soul … why do you choose the path that you are on? There are several open doors for you to choose from that have little resistance, a life of stability, structure and wealth!”
“Maybe I like the challenge; maybe I do not trust the corrupt, maybe I choose to protect the weak and more vulnerable. The Earth is going to reject a great deal of life here. Between man’s War, famine and unknown disease … let us not forget climate changes, why bother with me?”
“You will die, just like we did when you do, will you back up NaNa or the land?“
“Soon enough, I will die when I do it will I will support the universe and the balance of life and death.”
“Stay on sacred land, that is the only place that she cannot get you. All humans that are on pure land are safe, just as we are.“
“War, crumbling buildings, unnecessary deaths … that is all on humans themselves. The environment rejecting life … creating new chaos … that is all on you! … I see a problem! No balance … as long as there is no understanding and compromise, this cycle will continue! So this is what I will do, I will stay on sacred grounds, help the weak, educate those who will listen to me on how to rejuvenate the land, and fix the errors of our ancestors … if anything adjust to the changes that will happen.”
“We expected nothing less from you! Stay in the far north of the hemisphere; if you leave, we may not be able to protect you.” I could feel small droplets of rain landing on my face. “NaNa has claimed most of the Southern parts and has started to head North. We are not sure how much you will believe this, but we did try to continue to communicate with all humans, few heard our words. Once the land is more than half destroyed, that is when the people will feel our effects on their lives. It will start with the insect population taking over the crops; from there, it will continue to increase. Maybe humans will start to open their eyes and see what they are doing. If not, the lottery will commence!”