Part Eight- based on Picture 9
Word Count: 541
As he spoke, the translation lagging in its wake, and trying to fit it into concepts that I would understand I began to see that he really did think that I had been here before. Not me, exactly, if I got the gist of it, but someone like me, long long ago. The time reference didn’t translate at all, which I assumed was something to do with the differences in lengths of days or something, the days here certainly seemed longer than mine – but that could have been boredom.
He told a very long story, not all of which I understood, but it seemed that once long ago every so often White Men would appear in this land, men who looked like me, with the same blond hair and bluer than blue eyes. It was a regular occurrence evidently once. No-one knew where they came from, and they didn’t stay for very long, not longer than a few years at a time. They brought with them skills which these people did not possess back them, water-skills. Irrigation and ways to move water uphill, and they shared this knowledge. With these new skills the people of this world, who had until then lived close to the few water sources they possessed, (I’m sure he said there was only one river but that seemed wildly improbable) were able to move away and build elsewhere.
The White Men were revered. He used a word a I did not know, which translated as “those who care for us.” They brought prosperity and travel and for a long time the world existed in symbiosis with these strange visitors. They took away metals and they paired with women from this world and somehow created the strange coloured genetics that existed here.
He had hardly finished speaking when he stood up, and gestured to the ubiquitous guards that followed him whenever he was with me. Firmly, but not painfully, they attached to my wrists restraints of that peculiar metal the boxes were made of. I nearly screamed as the metal seemed to flow over my wrists, fitting around them snugly, but when I opened my mouth no sound escaped and I found I could not speak at all.
The led me within the confines of the complex for many hundreds of steps, the place was like a labyrinth, and the corridors completely identical, the walls red like the mountain.
Finally there was a door at the end of a long straight corridor and they led me to it and the guards pushed it open. My head reeled with what I saw there. It was a cavern, inside the mountain itself; so large that you could not see the far wall, and lit by floating balls of light which swooped and floated like huge clouds. The door we had entered seemed to lead onto some kind of dais, which overlooked the floor of the cavern and when my eyes adjusted to the brighter light I could see that the space was packed with people, the crowds going back so far I could only guess at how many thousands where there.
It was eerily silent. The old man walked to the front of the stage and began to speak.