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   Flaming Lake, The, by Dejan Djordjevic  
  Novel, first publication in October 2008
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      - Aula, Aula where are you? she spoke quietly, almost whispering. - Aula, for God's sake, reply me. Zena knew she had to find Aula. The matter was urgent and she was in the Dangerous. As the souls used to tell her, she should avoid the Dangerous. She heard terrible stories from the souls of these winding ghostly red halls where Aula was hiding. She knew that the Guards could grab her any time. She knew what they would do to her. But she had to take that chance. She actually had no choice. Aula was a Prophetess, the only one left after the Third Cycle which ended ingloriously for the human race. When the souls took over, Aula was forced to retreat to the Dangerous, ghostly red halls built by humans in the middle of the Third Cycle. Retreat and wait. Zena knew Aula was hoping to destroy the souls one day, no matter when. To tell the truth, her powers were collosal even now, but not nearly as great as the souls. Zena remembered the First Cycle, one fine stage in the Earth's history when humanity started to envade space. Not to colonize it, but simply explore it in great detail. Then, towards the beginning of the First Cycle, with the plans of colonization of other worlds, they made computers which, as microtechnology was advancing, became more and more advanced themselves. It was the golden age of the history of humanity, indeed. Somewhere in the middle of the Second Cycle hyperdriven ships were constructed and planet Mars was colonized. Then Venus. Then people, aware of their powers, started to leave for other Astral systems and continued their colonization. The process was inevitable for the humanity on Earth was crowded, and people lived much longer than they used to. They lived for two hundred, two hundred and fifty years and not sixty or seventy as in the beginning of the First Cycle any more. They no longer died of diseases, but of old age. In the beginning of the First Cycle earthmen organized a systematic search for their brothers by reason. Giant ears of radio-telescope were directed towards the sky, receiving signals from immeasurable interuniversal distances and sending them over to the computer center where the data were processed. The eyes of optical telescopes could see far away and take a good look at the starry systems thousands of light years away. But nothing was found. It seemed that the space was silent. Humans dreaded that they were alone in the dark nowhere of the Universe. And then, when there was no hope left at all, contact was made. Contact with another civilization, far more superior than the Earthly civilization. The contact with souls. This was at the end of the Third Cycle. That period marked the end of the human reign on Earth. Now the Aliens became the masters. Now they could rule the crowds and do what they will. And their imagination was vivid. Vivid and distorted. For earthlings, of course, for in their original world what they did was quite common. And so, instead of the human race colonizing the space and conquering new areas, it allowed itself to be conquered. Conquered in the real sense of the word. Sometime in the middle of the Third Cycle, the scientists in the laboratories on Earth found the way to store memories of the dead from the grey mass in their skulls to crystal computer memories and in that way save life after death. But these were inconceivably expensive services, so hardly anyone could afford such pleasure. Humans knew how to store minds, not souls. But the Aliens did. Actually, the Aliens were the souls. Earthlings knew a lot about them. They knew that the Aliens conducted an experiment some ten thousand years ago and tried to separate spirit from the body and store it into computer memory. They knew that their first attempt was a failure. But they were persistent in their endeavors, so persistent in fact that after six hundred years they succeeded.

      Related theme(s)  
  • Aliens - Extra-terrestrials
  • Earth

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