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The Gorge of Onesiphora


The Nada Chronicles, part 4

Hans Brockhuis – 2001

Running Fox Home


Silxtra is the seventh of fourteen planets adherent to the star system Vega, the brightest star of the sign of the zodiac Lyre. Science appoints this star as being one of the A1-White types. Its distance is 24,4 light-years from our own star, Sol.

Cast in order of appearance

Luciana the enlightened; high priestess.
Ignatia, called the fiery; female scientist.
Veleda; seer.
Gailan; president of the Council of Wise People.
Docilius the meek; husband of Ignatia.
Dylys; sun of Ignatia and Docilius.
Hanani the amiable; priestess.
Angelika, the angelic; daughter of Ignatia and Docilius.
Phila; inhabitant of the Hills of Concealed Powers.
Glauca the blue gleaming; eldest daughter of Phila.
Martellus the martial; adult sun of Phila.
Ibo the careful; official of Gailan; husband of Phila.
Phytius the sensible; head-engineer of Ignatia.

The multiform floating sound bowls produced their delicate sounds in the energetic winds of the northern continent of planet Silxtra. But Luciana the Enlightened, high priestess in the Temple of the Emerald Winds, did not care to listen to these gorgeous sounds. Restless, she walked up and down her private quarters. She was losing her heart.

What would happen if the plans of the fiery Ignatia and the group of scientists she had collected around herself would become reality? The messing around of these so-called renovators, who sought to cage the primary energy currents and to employ them for their own pleasures, caused her to shudder at the mere thought at what could possibly go wrong.

In order to substantiate her dreary suspicions, that day she had consulted her friend the seer, Veleda. She had asked the oracle what the future for Silxtra would bring if the plans of the group of 'Modernists', as they called themselves, would go on and worse, received the approval of the Council of Wise People under the supervision of their leader, Gailan.

Luciana suspected Gailan belonged in a subtle way to the 'modernists', maybe undercover or through Dylys, Ignatia's son, who recently became adult and was very much under Gailan's influence. Tomorrow she would speak with Docilius, Ignatia's husband, although it was not customary for her to take such initiatives as a high priestess. As a rule it was in almost all cases the Spirits who were in need that came to her for advice.

The Spirits were beings that vibrated at a higher rate. Part human and part Higher Self, they walked with minimal concerns for their physical realities, and often needed protection.

Docilius though, Luciana knew, was a very gentle man who did not let himself get influenced very easily. Above all he was amiable and pliable. Maybe he was capable of providing Ignatia with different ideas. On the other hand though, that was not very likely, but everything possible had to be tried to stop these 'modernists'. Nervously she laughed. "It would be laughable if it was not so very serious." Because what the oracle had said did not prophesy much good!

"Behold the Pond of Oneness. The surface is quiet and the clear cloudless skies mirror themselves and they know that all is well. But here arrives a young woman at the shores. She starts to fling flat stones across the surface. Clouds come together and far away you can hear the thunder roaring in between the distant hills. Every touch of a stone in the waters shapes an expanding circle, and altogether all circles will merge and cause great turmoil in the pond."

Luciana could not keep down a shiver when she reconsidered the words of the oracle. "Great turmoil in the pond!" That could only mean that the future of the planet would not be a very pleasant one! She sighed deeply and felt the vibrations of the many magnificent colours that went through the temple at that moment, like an electric current that flew through her energy body. The oracle had said more, but that did not reach Luciana's consciousness any more.

Luciana normally would have listened to everything that was said to her, for she was a very attentive listener. But now, because of the fears overpowering her, she did not remember to the rest of what Veleda had said.

"But in the end the disturbance will fade away and eventually the unity in the Pond of Oneness will return..." Veleda's last words had not been capable to sound a chord within Luciana and dissolved in the winds of forgetfulness.

The talks with Docilius, who was summoned by Hanani, Luciana's confidante, at first went by in a relaxed atmosphere. He, too, was worried about the way his spouse had been influenced, and as well about the role of Dylys in all this. Their son let himself be taken in completely and he was not capable to withstand the temptations of all that was envisioned to him. The 'modernists', as was made clear to Luciana, were apparently convinced that the 'caged energy currents' would mean a great improvement that would bring many pleasures to all who would enjoy the satisfaction to be in touch with this. That was also the reason that he and his daughter, Angelika, felt at times rather lonely in their dwelling. And more so when Ignatia and Dylys were elsewhere carrying out their - what he called - alchemic practices.

"All this is very difficult", sighed Docilius, "and observing this I have to tell you something else."

Luciana looked up: "And what may that be Docilius?"

"You are familiar with Phila, the one who resides on the slopes of the Hills of Concealed Powers?"

"Unquestionably so, go on."

"I explained to you that because of Ignatia's activities, I am rather lonesome at times, and a few Cycles ago I came into contact with Phila, who's got - as you know - a very gracious nature. She commiserated with me a bit as it were. Angelika and I have been there a number of times, and together with their children, Glauca and Martellus, the four of us seem to have developed a strikingly beautiful vibrating combination. We occupy ourselves with vibrational poetry, and I must say that this resulted already in the appearance of some of our work in the Gallery of Goodness. Maybe you have heard of it?"

"No Docilius. Those affairs are not our rule. But tell me, what is the role of Ibo, Phila's husband, in all this?"

"Ibo is chef de bureau of Gailan and is not interested at all in poetry. He is involved only in the affairs of state and is not often at home."

Luciana thought for a few moments. "So it looks like there are two factions in the building. The modernists at the one side and the, let's say 'Hidden Powers' on the other side, is that correct?"

Docilius nodded. "Definitely so, that is just about it. We try, in a subtle manner, to make as many Spirits as possible aware that the idea of the energy concentrations, as is strived for by the modernists, will prove to become a catastrophic route."

"A very dangerous route, Docilius!"

"What do you mean?"

"When I say a very dangerous route, I mean a very, very hazardous course, Docilius. Yesterday I have been to the oracle of Veleda and what she told me does not give us room for many doubts. The well being of the very planet, our Mother Silxtra, is at stake Docilius! We must try and stop these modernists with all that is in our power. This just cannot go on any further!"

Docilius started as the sound bowls reverberated. It sounded like a sigh. "You are telling me something, Luciana. I also think that this is a disastrous undertaking, but what can I do, apart from what I already do with Phila and the others?"

"Ignatia is your spouse, Docilius. You are the only one who still has any influence with her."

"That remains to be seen. We hardly see each other these days, and I also told you that nowadays Phila is much more of a listener to my emotions than Ignatia ever has been."

Luciana looked up and at that very moment a certain tension materialized between them. "I trust you do not exchange energies with her, Docilius!" She said it menacingly.

"That is not any of your business, even for you, Luciana. I have got my own spirit, I make my own decisions and nothing more than where circumstances brought me will and ever will happen."

The high priestess almost had to laugh. She sighed. Influence of the temple was waning rapidly. This was something she already knew for a long time of course, but this was a confirmation of that once again.

"To be sure, Docilius, forgive me. Because of the seriousness of the case I forgot myself."

"All right, Luciana. I will try to persuade Ignatia, but I have stern doubts about the possibility of that. She has very much become part of the system and it will not be easy at all for her to say goodbye to this. And above all, the influence of Gailan is not to be underestimated. He is not only in favour of the plans; he encourages them. In my opinion he is also planning to re-elect for the next term."

At that moment the gong of the midday prayers resonated throughout the temple. Hastily Docilius bade his farewells and Luciana made haste to her confidante, Hanani, in order to solicit intersession for a good conclusion.

Three months later we find Ignatia, with her son Dylys in their virtual laboratory. Together with a few assistants they are busy with the last preparation for their big experiment. After a few failures, which unfortunately brought about some damage, they were certain that this time everything would work out just fine, and that the next step would be field-tests. The real job at last, but first things first.

Meticulously all instruments were calibrated and the great screen showed all green and go. With a characteristically exuberant arm swing, Dylys activated the generator. Now the energy began to deliver itself to the powers that would discharge the energy, just until the critical point. Then all these joint powers would be captured and hidden within the great global sphere, which they had called the Ignus. After that it would only be a small step towards tapping all these bundled and 'caged energies', awaiting to be used for each end that would be suitable.

Slowly the sound of the generator cranked up and up and up, until they could hear it was at full speed and they could give it a start. Out of each observation station they got the message 'green and go'; the great screen showed no irregularities.

"We are there, Dylys, let's start", Ignatia said

"At last," was the only thing her son could say.

Phytius, the head engineer, counted. "Five-four-three-two-one-start." Then at that precise moment he pulled the switch, and an imposing chain reaction began. A very small portion via warmth-changers caught energy from Vega roared through the pipes, producing a lot of noise as if thunder was enhanced a thousand times. Finally it all ended up in the Ignus, where it revolved and pulsed almost endlessly.

The sphere shuddered and winced for a long time on its Durabasalt pedestal. For more than an hour enormously colored flashes set the laboratory in a glimmer that looked very much like an aurora borealis. But at long last everything quieted down. This now was 'caged energy'; ready to be tapped by means of the designed energy valves. All the time the indicators stayed in their safe zone. Now it was time to try the first valve that was directed towards a huge lamp. It was to be used for the great work at last.

Again Phytius counted. "Five-four-three-two-one-start." Poised, he pulled the switch and all at once the laboratory was illuminated by a glaring white light; the amplified light of Vega. The light dissolved the previous rose-red glimmer of the atmosphere. The shout of joy and merriment of those present was more than substantial.

"Victory!" yelled Dylys with an enthusiastic arm swing. "I am going to inform Gailan immediately. He should be glad."

In Phila's elevated dwelling the Society of Hidden Powers was assembled to speak about the current situation. Docilius had the floor.

"…Thus we must come to the conclusion that the modernists indeed have transferred their 'Ignus project' from the experimental status towards that of implementation. This is going to become very dangerous, because we all know that the so-called caged energies are eventually capable of detonating the whole planet.

"We have compared the scientific results with the available data and it is unbelievable that the modernists do not, or do not want to see the hazards involved. We have also seen that Gailan has been re-elected as chairman of the Council of Wise People, so that it looks like these modernists have considerable support at their disposal.

"Unfortunately it has to be admitted that our efforts to supply those Spirits with more passable and balanced information has failed, and therefore we now have to decide as to our following strategy. At all cost we have to prevent the installation of the ignus in the open field, or worse, activation. The tectonic plates of our continent are insufficient to resist the forces that will emerge when, heaven forbid, these 'caged energies' are not so innocently released as is claimed. Suggestions?"

Suggestions were bitterly few, and those that were put forward were either insufficient or not feasible. It appeared that the meeting would have to be adjourned with nothing achieved. But all of a sudden young Martellus raced into the great hall where the society was assembled.

"The ignus is at this very moment being installed near the sector woods," he panted. "And they are going to switch it on tomorrow afternoon!"

"That is bad news", Phila started. A cacophony of excited sounds set off at that very moment.

Chairman Docilius cut that off after a while and when everybody had quieted down at last he continued: "It is of no use at all to talk at random in this way. We have to do something, because it looks like we have been presented with an accomplished fact. Who wants to speak?"

Glauca, the adult daughter of Phila, asked for and got the floor.

"Because of the fact that it seems that we have been running out of time to consider a good plan, I would suggest something that will possibly enable us to survive the consequences of the forthcoming disaster."

Glauca's words shifted the energy of those present from anticipation and resignation towards one in which fear was predominant. A fear for the imminent catastrophe that before long had seemed to be far-away and abstract, but now began to generate more and more threatening proportions.

Glauca continued. "Angelika and I, during the time that we grew up and were educated at the School of the Infinite Powers of Vega, have often been trekking through the Holy Hills of Onesiphora, not so far away from here. At one spot there exists a huge granite gorge that runs into a large cavern, made of Durabasalt. If there would happen to be one place safe enough for all of us, that would be it. I suggest that we try and collect as many Spirits as possible to show them the way to this place so that they all will have the best opportunity possible to escape from this allotted fate. There is plenty of room there and as we all know, Spirits do not use too much room in the first place. What do you think?"

Feverishly, the members of the committee collected as many Spirits as possible that wished to come to the Gorge of Onesiphora and to await the potential danger there. It was very clear that they had been running out of possibilities to fend off the evil. At first the group of fugitives grew slowly, but on and on it became apparent that there was a huge crowd on their way towards the Holy Hills.

When Docilius arrived at the temple to persuade the priestesses to come, primarily he only got to see Hanani.
"Luciana is not well", the priestess replied upon Docilius' questioning.

"Nobody is feeling well at the moment", he answered gravely.
"It is really imperative that we all go to the gorge, and possibly even hide in the cavern. We do not really know where this will lead to, but we should be prepared for the worst."

Hanani nodded. "I will call her."

While Docilius waited he heard the multiform floating sound bowls producing dissonants. The tones seemed very different from what he had experienced during his earlier visits to the temple. But the situation itself was not comparable, he recognized. Somewhere he heard someone giggling nervously. It was Luciana arriving, who behaved rather differently from what he was wont from her.

"He,he,he, you see it now. I told you before. This was due to become a great disaster. Look down at the chaos below in the city. Everybody is in havoc and did I not ask you to persuade Ignatia and the others to change their minds, or that of you and Phila? This was bound to happen." She clearly had the worst time not to burst out into laughter.

"I know Luciana", Docilius sighed. "It is a disaster and unfortunately we were not able to turn the tides. And you do know that we tried. But maybe it will not be so bad as we think, and all our efforts to get everybody into the gorge will prove to be needless in the end. But you should come, because if what we are afraid happens, the temple will not be spared."

Luciana calmed down. "I am sorry Docilius, I forgot myself again while you were here. We will come, but first we will pray and ask Source if it would be possible at all to let this fate pass."

The gorge became fuller and fuller. It was good that Spirits do not take much room, because otherwise it would have been filled up to the brink very soon. Angelika and Glauca were at the entrance and showed the way to the arriving souls. It was not hard to find. The huge cavern, with its stunning colours, its gems and semiprecious stones, stalactites and stalagmites, caused crimson purple-like radiances. The whispering of the meandering brook that flowed through the hall gave a calming effect. At the end of the room the access way of the cave was visible, through which the daylight of Vega could be seen.

At one point it became clear that everybody who had wanted to come to the gorge was there, and gradually the vibrations of those present became more quiet and composed. Luciana had brought her sound bowls, and their loving sounds blended themselves with those of the brook that found its way down by way of many little rapids. Everybody was in anticipation of what was going to happen.

Time went by and all of a sudden there was this extraordinary moment, when Vega found itself exactly on the axis of the gorge. A brilliant beam of clear white light set the backdrop of the cave in a splendid luminosity. The magical gleams of the gems scattered a bouquet of magnificent sparkles that transformed the grotto into a many-coloured magical place, bringing awe to those present.

After about a quarter of an hour the magic of the moment disappeared gradually and they could see that Vega was slowly hidden from view. The sky became dark and gloomy as an unbelievably subdued light surrounded those present in the Gorge of Onesiphora. The vibrations contracted and a dreadful feeling increasingly took possession of them all. Far away thunder could be heard and the atmosphere in the cavern became more and more oppressive.

All of a sudden they understood that it was not thunder that could be heard. They felt the earth tremble and vibrate, but bit-by-bit it became quiet again and the Spirits got a little hope again. Would that be all? The trembling started anew and again they could hear the thunder. The noise rose to a roar in an apparently never-ending crescendo. The vibrations in the grotto became that of the fear of death, and at the ultimate moment there was a gigantic peal and they saw that the entrance of the cavern was crumbling down. Great blocks of stone tumbled down as the cavern continued to collapse. In their fear they observed that their doorway to freedom was becoming smaller and smaller, and soon was barricaded totally. They had been buried alive in the darkness of the cave.

That happened aeons ago.

"But in the end the disturbance will fade away and eventually the unity in the Pond of Oneness will return," the oracle had said. And today planet Silxtra has been resurrected out of the ashes like a phoenix and a proud people lives there that calls themselves Silxtra again and may be recognized as being a subculture of Altea, those of Atlantis. The members of this fine-looking race are in possession of a light brown skin and can be described as mammals with an insect-like appearance. The planet is a member of the Confederation of Humanoids.