The day started like any other. With the ever-annoying blare of an alarm clock so despised, I would gladly treat myself to the act of throwing it out the window, if by doing so I wasn’t going to vent the ship’s atmosphere. Alas, this is one of the more vexatious struggles of living on the move. After all, there’s very little an aspiring journalist can do, if they have neither name nor contacts, other than prowling system after system, in search of fresh stories. But I shan’t digress.
I eventually stumbled my way out of the tube-like bunk, rewarding myself with a long and very vocal stretch, which got the blood flowing. If this was a movie, that’s the point where I’d load up the trusty old coffee maker, with some abominable brew mixture, the resultant liquid produced by which, would barely pass for consumable, let alone enjoyable. A movie however, this is not, and a coffee maker I do not own, so I had to settle for a candy bar from the tiny dry ice cooler I lovingly call fridge. Biting into the block of chocolate, I stepped forward and sat in the pilot seat where a familiar blue hud greeted me. Already reaching for the info network shortcut, a tiny blinking light caught my eye. I had mail. I didn’t usually get mail, so it immediately took precedence over everything else. Opening the message, I was relieved to learn I didn’t have to go looking for a story today. A story had found me.
Said missive was from a man called Zin. He introduced himself as shaman of the Ku’ Lin people. To my slight embarrassment, I must admit I had heard that name being thrown around before, but I had no idea who these people were, or that I was in fact parked in orbit around one of their home planets. No wonder I struggle to find work. Anyway, the man somehow caught wind of my presence in the system. How exactly, I fail to comprehend, but he also knew I was looking for work, and offered to share details of his people’s culture, if I promised to spread the message of the Ku’ Lin. A courtesy, I would later discover, not extended to many. Beggars can’t be choosers I thought, agreeing under the single condition that I remain impartial. And remain impartial I did. Any conclusions regarding the veraciousness of these accounts, I leave to you.
Proper dialogue began, with the man sending me several text files, outlining the movement’s basic ideology and core beliefs, as well as telling a brief history of the nation. Vivid stories of humanity and Ku’ Lin once being part of a single advanced civilisation, the fleet of which separated whilst fleeing from an army of Vanduul more than 100,000 years ago, the former settling on Earth, the latter- on Goss II. It would appear, the fleet split as it was ascertained that a small part of it was on collision course with a super comet. According to Zin and his people, some time in those last 100,000 years, Earth’s humans were devastated by natural cataclysms, which caused the complete restart of human existence, and led to the old civilisation being lost to memory. I asked him to elaborate:
CTZN: Referring to past Earth civilisations you feel lived closest to your ways, would you say there are still people today on Earth, who posses the knowledge or maintain the traditions of the pre-separation humanity we both supposedly originate from?
Zin: We know that when we connect to the great spirit, he gives us all the knowledge of magic and eternal existence we could ever dream of finding through ritual. Those whom truly are, will know not only of past occurrence, but of the state of being, which is all we are, and this state is divine within any being anywhere within or without the Verse. If you seek to find cultures knowing of our common history, you must seek the cultures least disturbed by technology and modernism. To most they may seem primitive, but to us, they are those who evolved beyond technology, and fostered this connection.
CTZN: Alas, in the 30th century, no more uncontacted tribes remain on Earth. In fact, it was the latter part of the 21st century, in which the last such tribes were approached by anthropologists, in order to save them from extinction, as Earth was in the grips of severe climate change, threatening their lives and those of hundreds of millions more. Would you say this was the point at which the line of people learned in the ways of the old civilisation ended?
Zin: I can not say with certainty, as I was not present, but it is my belief, even with the contacting of ancient tribes, their knowledge and culture did not go forlorn. Belief and culture lived with our tribes amongst the greatest of hardships, as they must have survived with Humanity too. Thus, there must still be many a connected peoples on Earth, just not so openly in this day and age. The old civilisation, we believe, died around the time of your Christ’s death, though not because of his impact on humanity. Simply due to time based estimates. Some Ku’ Lin, however, hold the opinion that Christ was an unheard last call of the Great Spirit, due to foresight of the Blind Light.
The Blind Light, first described by a high Ku’ Lin shaman, and presented in one of the documents I was given, is I quote “an evil that is so dark, it glows with pure power energy, thus it seems to be a form of light without a source. It will cause many to worship it and call it salvation and freedom“. Keeping an open mind, as one should in such situations, I had a theory I wanted to explore:
CTZN: This ultimate evil that your highest shaman, Kur, speaks of. Does it have a physical manifestation? Are the Vanduul its physical manifestation, or is it simply what controls them?
Zin: It holds no physical form, and it doesn’t control them. All physical beings, even the Vanduul, are creations of the Verse. Their ways may be those of their nature, ones of a super-focus or a strong belief in the physical reality. The same reality many humans worship too. But as they are conscious beings, there may be some that follow this evil. All we know for certain, is that this foul cocooned for the last millennia, only revealing itself in recent years.
CTZN: So is it safe to say, it is corrupting the minds of humans too? Perhaps manifesting itself in their, well, our, aggressive expansion into multiple star systems?
Zin: I do not think so. Humanity has the right to travel. What you are implying is true on a basic level. At its core, this energy does not foster your expansion, it simply influences your ability to understand. Thus you see a logic which no longer stems from the reality that truly is. It is akin to an ongoing simulation, cancelling your outward senses, causing you to recreate reality in a parallel mental vision, but applying small yet all-important altered details, opinions, emotions, and even vision.
CTZN: Do you mean to say, it is preventing us and other species, from connecting with the Verse in quite the same way you do?
Zin: Not only as our people do, as we purposefully push our connection to the highest levels of worship. The energy may only influence those whom seek it willingly, thus it is a prerequisite for the corrupted individual, to seek evil in order for him to merge with it. When this is the case, the subject is disconnected from his energy source, the Verse.
CTZN: There are others too then. Species that can establish such connections, simply not to the degree the Ku’ Lin can.
Zin: All life has a connection at birth. One only distractions can hinder.
CTZN: Those distractions. The Lin I assume? The truths not rediscovered, which in time turn into lies.
Zin: Lin means connections, mainly in a spiritual sense. It is most commonly used to refer to the mental connection between two or more beings. Within the name Ku’ Lin, it means broader, networked connections, as in communities or tribes.
CTZN: My apologies. I have misunderstood. Called upon on such a short notice, I did not have time to fully comprehend the information you have made public.
Zin: Not many do, as our knowledge comes from the eternal, and what you were presented with, is but a mere overview. Thus we seek to attract only those with pre-knowledge of the subject, or those with an instinctive connection, willing to discover more about it. Simply because we are not entertainers of masses, but we know our teaching may help others rediscover the knowledge within themselves.
CTZN: I will be truthful. Even as we speak, I fail to comprehend some of the concepts you present to me. As a man of science, I find them too abstract to grasp.
Zin: We are happy to hear that, as it shows you are trying to understand.
CTZN: I am here to relay this information to our audience. It is up to them to draw conclusions.
Zin: There is much base knowledge in belief, to be obtained, before one can dare let go of the physical and trust in self. One of our greatest teachings, is that the greatest form of entry into higher consciousness, is to let go completely, and learn as you observe what is without us.
At this point of the conversation, I could sense he could not decode the Ku’ Lin teachings any more, so that I would comprehend them better. There was time for one more enquiry, as our dialogue was drawing to a close:
CTZN: May I ask you one last question?
Zin: Of course.
CTZN: What is the state of relations between the Ku’ Lin and the UEE citizens and military personnel you share the system with?
Zin: We have ambassadors, which represent us before the UEE, when there is a call for meeting. They have agreed not to intervene in our tribal existence, as they carry an unofficial policy not to disturb indigenous life. Of course, publicly we will never be acknowledged as being such, as humanity will never accept we inhabited the planet long before your arrival. It does not help that we only made contact with the stationed military forces, many years after they first settled on Cassel and began terraforming the other two planets in the system.
CTZN: With that, I would like to thank you for sharing your story with me.
Zin: It was as much your pleasure as it was mine.
In my preparation of this piece, I had a consequent back and forth exchange with Zin, over the following few days. In it, he clarified that albeit self-sustaining and reclusive, the Ku’ Lin were known in the system as avid traders, predominantly of medicinal herbs and artisanal items. To paint them Luddites or technophobes, would be a grave oversight too. They are very much a spacefaring nation, but one that mostly flies out of necessity, in order to maintain relations with the rest of Goss, and keep its trade going. On a practical note, anyone willing to join them, should go through their public profile first. In general, they are looking for people interested in farming, goods transportation and other small scale operations, that are also willing to learn of their ways.
Before I conclude, I want to go over one particular portion of Zin’s story, which some might consider the most controversial part of his account. Having always been fascinated with Earth as humanity’s cradle, I have studied many historical documents catalogued by the ARK. One of them spoke of a group of 21st century scholars, that was working on the archaeological site of an ancient temple that went by the name of Gobekli Tepe, and was located in what would have been the country of Turkey back then. During excavations, they discovered pictographs on one of the temple’s pillars, that were particularly interesting. The pillar was a memorial to a calamity. A cometary impact, that occurred some 12,000 years ago, killed an unknown number of animals and people, and cooled global temperatures by between 2 and 6 degrees Celsius, wiping out entire species in the span of just 1,000 years. Those findings would later be validated by ice core samples taken from the ancient ice caps of Greenland, that indicated a very large icy comet entered Earth’s atmosphere, around the same time period. Zin denied having any knowledge of this event. Whether that is a mere coincidence, or possible proof of his account, I leave to you to ascertain.
Thank you for setting aside the time to read this story, and don’t forget to keep tabs on ctzn[news] as new stories and reports roll out.