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The Waters are waiting for you - by Rachael Lowe

She is leading us with some speed. The light when it strikes her body refracts a rainbow that is whizzing with the speed we are travelling. Tadpole is in her wake, creating his morning song. The music emanating from him is exalted! I feel puffed up with pride, behind him, pulsing to his beats. Can life really feel this good? Aers ripples to a stop. We’re here, in a dry and oxygenated undercurrent atop the seabed. She turns to face us, readying herself for the call. She finds me with her eyes. “We call on you, the waters, our friend. We are you, you are us. You give us safe passage and all that we need for life. We thank you.” Softly, she continues. “We have still to learn. Teach us. We have been greedy, taking from you for no reason other than to further our misguided inquisitiveness. It is because we yearn for knowledge, but we have been doing so at your expense. We have been against you, you who are alive, and we forgot…” Hearing her words, I examine myself for guilt or any sense of self-recrimination. It is because of me, Lehrehm, that we are here, at the edge of the life-giving world we knew. It was my misguided inquisitiveness that caused the waters to sour, the fish stocks to decline, our pristine skydome to thin, and our sun star to leak in dangerous radiation levels. I’d found blueprints for a smelter to build solid structures for the optimisation of harnessing the atmospheric tides and gravity waves from the mesosphere to generate energy for Pani, just as we do with the oceanic tides and waver power. I plundered mineral resources and sea-coal beneath the seabeds and in the underwater volcanoes, sea kelp too, but the excessive plundering took us to the brink. “… we are communing with you, the waters, as one body, wild after a volcanic eruption and you are gathered as one force moving across seabeds for miles, travelling at your greatest strength. We are you in your watery body now, to learn who you are, to learn how we can live side by side with you.” Aers’ voice lulls me back, and I see my fellow Panis in meditation. I meditate too, becoming one with the wild heart of the ocean. When we re-surface, I go directly to the launch to ride the cosmic dolphins to the outer rim of the old skydome and the nerve centre of our new skydome, to the centre of innovation. We were sent on a mission by the Pani Council to innovate economic, social and biotechnologies for increased harmony and adaptive resilience. They chose me as chief innovator, even though it was me who placed our world at peril. And this morning in oneness with the wild aspect of the ocean, I believe I cracked a breakthrough formula 50 51 Part 2: Oceans on the harnessing of oceanic wave and mesospheric tidal energies to providing enduring protection from the harmful radiation of our sun star, cooling our atmosphere and tempering the weather systems. At the factory, I will work with my key assistant Sable, a previous Pani Councillor and one of the Andromedans who came to live with the Panis to teach us about living in harmony with nature. I’m awkward with people, and she understands science and gives voice to it for the others. We will do very well today! ~ “Lehrehm, I, I’m glad to bump into you. I want to tell you something. And how was your day at the factory?” Aers recovers from colliding with me in the stream way. We dry ourselves on the village boundary that is floating calmly on the ocean, the magenta of the setting sun giving her face a rosy blush. Excitedly I say, “We’ve cracked it! And …”. “That’s great L. Really really great. I have news. It’s not easy to say, so I will just say it. I am going to Earth in the next migration”. I hear the words, but I cannot understand them. “I know this is a shock to you, but you will understand. I know it.” She takes my hand, and I look at our hands webbed together. “I want you to stay. Or, or, I go with you,” I tell her. She removes her hand, “I know”. And she’s gone. I think I hate her for it. ~ “The land arose from the ocean and formed islands and continents. Teeming with organic life and creatures of every size and colour, the land provided for every living thing. The Earth’s oceans were abundant with …”, as S-Blob began winding down his oratory, reminding us of his time on Earth and that our volcanoes on Pani will soon rise into great islands, I saw Aers move to his side, the night stars luminous behind her. Every night we gather, listening to S-Blob’s stories of Earth and Pani history. He gives us knowledge and hope. He is an inspiration to us, for he had been so lost and has now found his place with us in this new skydome, helping us to navigate our corrective course, a new home for all Panis to soon migrate to. Aers addresses us all now. I find myself holding my breath. “I love you,” she says. “And you all know I have been only half happy here. But, I now have direction. Communing with the waters has shown me my path,” She pauses, and I exhale slowly. “I am migrating to Earth. My purpose is to assist the Earthlings in their attempt to correct their course, to help them create their manifesto for harmony if they desire my help in that matter. You have been great teachers to me, and now I know what to do with all I’ve learned.” How can I love her even more than I love her at this moment? I rise to show her that my love for her is alive, and a hand on my elbow detains me. It is my Andromedan assistant, Sable. She rises, and by her side, I wait, confused. Sable makes an announcement, “Lehrehm, here at my side, has been appointed to the Pani Council to serve us. We acknowledge him. As in due course, we all serve on the Council; we will all be acknowledged. For now, let us celebrate Lehrehm’s appointment and Aers’ destiny.” My heart swells, feeling full of love for myself, for Aers, and so sad at the same time. Aers is moving closer to me as fellow Panis greet us, congratulating us. My heart is pounding, and suddenly she is standing before me. Greeting each other as Panis do, forehead to forehead, embossing each other with love and respect, I cup her face in my hands. Feeling moisture on her cheeks, I move to embrace her, but she slips from me, gone.

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