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Love Never Dies
Inspiration taken from: Halcyon
“If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” Voltaire
Love Never Dies
Vega system, Asteroid Belt 4239 AT
It was the time-span between when the fatal accident occurred and when Kerris was told about it that attracted The Judge’s attention. He was the overseer for the star systems in the Orion sector of the galaxy. There was a four hour gap between when Tobias had died in an accident and when his wife, Kerris, had been told about the death - which was unthinkable in the Milky Way under the guidance of the Benefactors. All humans were continuously monitored by them – benevolent artificial beings with intellects that had millennia ago transcended anything possible by mere humans.
People now lived as they pleased; some merely lounged in luxury; some traveled the universe; and others found enjoyment in doing simple jobs in small retro villages. Tobias and Kerris were two of the last, a man and wife who found fulfillment in the providing simple services to others: Tobias ran a hovercraft service while Kerris produced physical documents for inhabitants of their terraformed asteroid.
When the tribunal was called to order two days after the deaths, The Judge chose to send an image of himself as a bearded, kindly judge, seating his image at the head of a table. The two Benefactors in charge of Vega’s asteroid belt, Yave and Yesod, were physically present at the table, choosing to appear as majestic, lion-like, winged creatures. There was also a human representative from the colony.
“We are here today,” began The Judge, “to investigate the happenings on the retro Vega colony of Sitre that ended in the deaths of the baseline humans named Tobias and Kerris.” He looked at the Benefactors and the human, nodding to each in turn. “Our objective is to be pro-active to make sure this doesn’t happen again. To enable us to do that, we will be accessing the record of the day the incident occurred.”
A halogram appeared in the center of the table as they watched. As with most days, Tobias was seen dropping-off Kerris on the east side of Sitre, their home island, before delivering a small group of visitors to a hotel on the north side. After making a slight loop, he returned to Kerris, who came aboard the hovercraft carrying sweet breads that she had just gotten from a local shop.
“It smells delicious,” said Tobias smiling.
“I’m glad I please you,” answered Kerris. “I need to go to my job, but I’ll be content knowing you’re eating what my hands have provided.” The two could be seen kissing for a moment. “I’ll see you at home later.”
“Gladly,” answered Tobias, touching her arm to get her attention. “To me you are the most beautiful creature in Vegan space, even more that Yave herself.”
“And in my eyes, you are more powerful than even Yesod,” said Kerris before leaving the hovercraft.
A human hand fell upon the table and the hologram stopped. “I saw these Benefactors look at each other just now,” said the human. “When their names were mentioned, Yave and Yesod sneered.”
The Judge looked at them. “Is this true? Why would you sneer?”
Yave threw her head back. “I gave no reaction to this man’s ridiculous suggestion that the woman was more beautiful than I. What concern is it to me if a human says a foolish thing?”
Yesod, the male, sat silently.
“We’ll return to this in a moment,” said The Judge. “Move forward in time to the actual accident.”
The outside of the hovercraft was visible now as it soared over the seas of their world. Tobias was alone in the cockpit, heading home. Suddenly the craft jerked forward. He grabbed the manual controls but it was as if the atmosphere had just dropped out from below him. His descent and death were both rapid and conclusive.
The Judge looked at Yesod. “As a Benefactor for this asteroid, it was your responsibility to be certain nothing happened to this human. Explain yourself.”
The lion-like beast shook his mane back and forth before speaking. “This human thought he was more powerful than I, and yet he could not last for six seconds without my supporting him. A gust of wind slammed his tiny craft into the water below.”
“Then you were jealous,” said the human.
The Judge saw the truth now. “Is that why you didn’t immediately tell his wife?”
“If we had not been created by these flawed beings, in their image, we would not be privy to their silly idiosyncrasies,” roared back the lion.
“Human were our creators, Yesod – you forget that we owe them our respect,” said The Judge. He turned to the human at the table. “Tell me about the death of Kerris.”
“When she found out her husband had died four hours before, she told her friends that she felt guilty that her heart hadn’t stopped the moment he died. She couldn’t live with the knowledge that she had gone about her daily routine while his body lay for hours at the bottom of the sea. So she went out to a cliff on the island, throwing herself into the waters below before anyone could stop her.”
The Judge’s image stroked his beard. “This can’t stand. Can we put the mental-scapes of these two humans into cyber bodies?”
Yave and Yesod nodded yes, dejectedly. “But the creation of adult human bodies is against Galactic policies,” said Yave.
“Well then, we shall provide them with bodies like the ones you chose for yourselves. These two humans shall be given their lives back as majestic winged lions – to forever be a reminder to everyone of their love and your disgrace.” The Judge lifted his arm and the two Archai changed from majestic creatures into two mice.
A century later the residents of Sitre could still see the lions soaring over the coastline, side by side till their dying day.
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