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Chapter Four

..I was back again. Back on the still, dank ship. Or had I ever really left? It is getting harder to tell reality from....well, I still don't really know what or where the other times and places come from. I think these artifacts...yes, it has to have something to do with these things that I had found laying around, half buried in the dust. I had found some of them that first time I went exploring. That's when the...well. the visions (for lack of a better word) started.

I clearly remember last year. So many months ago...or was it longer? The ship. Our ship, had run into the dust cloud and lost navigation. We had found the closest planet with a compatible atmosphere and limped our way to this desolate world. But the landing was bad. The ship was never meant to actually land on a planet. It had been build in space and couldn't take the stress of a descent.

I had been the only survivor. And those first months had been pure hell for me. The loss of my had been so very quite and bleak at first. This world has little to offer except dust and rock. The ship could keep me alive for ages. It was designed to transport hundreds of people for years at a time. But could I endure this desperate loneliness...

The pain of loneliness has subsided in the past few weeks. Since I found the relics. Those oddly shaped colorful metallic crystals. And I had books to read...our library reader was still powered up. The loneliness wasn't so very bad now.

The artifacts sang to me. Not in real sounds but in...something...I could feel it right before a change. Then I would be some where else. I would be..someone else. And when I am there, I can not really tell that, "that" place is not the true reality. Maybe this place is the one, the "other" is really a dream. Am I going mad?......

Chapter by Michael

Chapter Five

"Ashlyn? Are you ok?" The words startled me. Gretchen was standing over me with a puzzled look on her face. "Jake is outside talking with that smelly old Aldorte. How he can stand the stench is beyond me". Mad? that must be it, I am going crazy.

"Oh I'm alright, I guess" I replied. "It's just all so confusing. These relics I found are really playing with my head."

"How so?" questioned Gretch.

"They give me strange visions, visions of other places and times in my life. Just before you came in I was daydreaming of the time when I worked in a bookstore back home, I felt as if I was really back there." Gretchen stated to laugh, "Girl that was ages ago, You must have been what? sixteen or so back then". "I was a junior in highschool" I answered. "Oh then, it was a long long time ago" Gretch kidded. The hiss of the airlock turned our attention to the door. In walked Jake followed by Grizzle the Aldorte. "Jake!" Gretch and I said in disgust.

"Do you have to bring him in here? Gretch was holding her nose. "Look he's a nice enough Aldorte but he's really smelling up the place" Grizzle grunted "Oh Enkori better than Grizzle? To Grizzle, Enkori ones that smell bad" Grizzle wrinkled what we might call his nose. "Take it easy ladies, Ol' Griz here says he can tell Ash what those strange crystals are."

"Me tell" nodded Grizzle.

Gretch and I held our breaths and waited. "Well spill it Griz" urged Jake "Tell em" Griz took a long breath and started.

"Crystals called Okiers" began Griz

"Okiers see future and past. But one must know how to interpet, can get very confusing. Our old ones knew how to master Okier but knowlege was lost many kipsots ago".

"Let Griz see crystals, Griz must touch". I turned and picked up the stones, something inside told me not to let this creature have them,"Don't do it" the voice in my head whispered. Reluctantly I handed the stones to Griz. "Mugwal, thank you" said Griz.

At once Griz turned and bounded out the door, running and hopping toward the wilderness beyond.

"Griz, come back" I shouted but it was too late, The Aldorte and the stones disappeared into the thick underbrush. "After him" yelled Jake and the three of us dashed out the door......

Chapter by Slo

Chapter Six

We were running as fast as we could! That stinky Aldorte, Grizzle, appeared to be flying, his feet barely touching the ground!

Try as we may we could not catch up with him! Soon he was gone from our sight! We stopped to catch our breath and wondered if we would ever see old Griz (or worse yet - smell him) and the stones/relics again!

Jake and Gretchen asked me if I was ok --- they said that I had been so strange these past 24 hours. They had been very worried over me....fearful that I had caught the dreaded Andorte fever. It had killed so many of our Enkori mates.

Perhaps that is why I was so confused and lost? What did the relics/crystals mean? Were they somehow connected to my dilemma? So many whys and no answers it seemed.

After we had rested we decided to continue on with our search for old Griz. We thought it would, perhaps, be futile but we had to find him and learn the secret of the relics!

The heat was unbearable but we plodded along and suddenly, from a distance, we could hear the strangest melody. The sound was almost as sweet as a children's choir yet......eerie at the same time.

We were very tired, hungry and our thrist was unbearable. Yet we were driven to go on........listening to the melody seemed to take a hold of our if we were somehow connected to it's tune. On and on we went and finally collapsed. Jake said, "Ashlyn...don't fall asleep...fight as hard as you......" and he nodded off.

I rolled onto my side looking for Gretchen....she was about 3 feet from where I lay...."Gretchen, can you hear me?" "Yes, Ash, I can hear you but shush...shush.....listen to the melody."

Try as I may I finally fell to sleep.

Feeling piercing eyes staring at me I sat up with a jolt! Oh my God....what is happening to me? The land around me was no longer a burnt out, desolate, horrible sight......the air was pure, the sun shown brilliantly down upon the lushest grass and flora that I had ever seen before!

  I looked around for Jake and Gretch and saw them sitting at a festive table! The table was laden with the most wonderful food, wines and fruit and they were heartily enjoying the feast! Still feeling that someone was staring at me I cautiously stood up and, as I headed for my friends, I kept looking around....all around... to try to see who was watching me.

Suddenly, out of the sunlight came the most beautiful, handsome man I had ever laid eyes on! He was carrying more food and gifts and his smile, oh his smile, drew me to him like a magnet!

I asked Jake and Gretch.."What is going on....what happened?" Jake, in his roguish way, said " Griz!" "WHAT?" I screamed! I thought he had lost his mind! Griz smiled at me....oh his smile......and told me he had been searching for the crystals for so very long. I told him that I just didn't understand. I was sure the fever had finally taken it's toll and I was, once again, daydreaming...or worse....having the worst nightmare of my life.

Griz approached me and began telling me his story......I was so out of it by now that I just kept saying "I don't understand, what are you telling me?" Finally, Griz stopped and looked at me.............a long, long time...shaking his head...I could see he was searching for words to make me understand.

  He took a deep breathe and said, "Look Ashlyn when you worked in the book store did you ever read the story of the beautiful Princess kissing the frog who turned into a Prince?" "Wellll, yes I do remember a little of that story!"

"Well, kiddo, the Ancients of the Aldorte world said that if one of us ever found the relics....the crystals..and rubbed them hard enough to send a sweet melody over our land....our world would become a Eden......and we all would become handsome and beautiful and we would have all the joys of life for our own."

Once again, he smiled.......oh that smile!

I am writing this journal for my children to pass on to their children and their children so that they will know how their world came into being.

Oh, OH! I see it is my water just broke......." darling it is time........time for a new life to begin!"

Chapter by Mayen

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