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From the back cover of the book

“Imagine what it would feel like if you lived on a planet that only offered partial, or no free will at all. You would be living a predetermined existence in an easy and comfortable life where others made all of your decisions for you, and that was just the way you liked it.  But then, all of a sudden, a very powerful bad guy appears on the scene and everything in your, previously routine life, changes?”

What makes this book so exciting, are the changes and unpredictable developments in every chapter. In order for Ezerstenia to receive the energy of free will, (a privilege only extended so far to the people of Earth) the Universe sets up a new Game Board where the energy is quite different. We are witnessing the story of Yose of Starlight, a young man who is constantly called to make choices in his, previously predetermined life, and search for the companion of his soul, the one person in the universe who was meant to be with him.

Have we made contact with this planet yet? Of course we have, since the energy of Ezerstenia has already touched Earth, even though it exists in a different dimension. The marvelous character development, sentimental descriptions and the challenges of the players in this book make the story so familiar to the reader that everyone will relate and find part of themselves in these pages. The plot will cause you to sympathize with the characters and perhaps take, along with them, some fundamental lessons in life that relate to their spiritual challenges. If I had to describe the essence of the story in one phrase, I would choose the following:

Consciousness changes physics.

For those who want to enjoy a story full of action, intrigue and adventure, Ezerstenia will reward them richly. For those who feel that the time has come for them to make the first step towards an inner spiritual search but they don’t know how to do it, this book will provide them with many things to think about and give them new perspectives of looking at the physical reality. Finally, those who have already embarked in such a journey, they will discover affirmation and awareness of an increasingly expanded Universe…

Read the first 3 chaptes

Dedicated to the free will of the souls everywhere

Prologue: By the writer

You have incarnated on the Game Board of free will, a Game board full of challenges and battles. This book will provide you with a sword and it will invite you to leave behind the safety of the hill, on which other people just sit and watch. I’m asking you to come and fight side by side with me. You are not the only one who faces fear and loneliness. When you fall down and are injured, I will stand there by your side, just as many more people will do, to reach out and help you… if you let us.

There three very distinct characteristics in this battle. You can’t die, you can always give up and if you give up, you can always return to the safety of the audience, still watching from the hill. We will train you, and besides the basic moves, which we will show you, you have to discover how you are going to fight against the forces that keep you from your goals.

In the beginning, you may constantly become injured, until you learn to balance and use the sword, become used to its weight. Learn to wield it with skill and speed. It rises three feet higher than your head; are you able to seize it and learn to use it. You will have to get used to its weight, it is your free will. In time, you will learn to anticipate the enemy’s moves and it will become easier for you to intercept him. None of us just woke up one day, knowing how to fight. Some stood beside us to remind us that we can do it, or we were fortunate enough to have read this fighting manual that explained the basic moves. Some others invited us to take part in the fight and stood by our side, just as I invite you to do now.

Some went into battle because they didn’t have anything better to do and had hit dead ends. Some did it in order to protect something precious to them and some because they could show the way to the others. Whatever motivation drives us, we are all part of the Game of Free Will, bringing – everyone with their own weapons, and place, on the Game Board – our own Heaven on this side of the veil. The story of Ezerstenia, is one of the ways that can teach you how you can stand-up for what you believe in and learn to fight for it.

Elena Era,
Athens, Greece,
10-21-12

Yose stopped writing and looked through the window at the quiet houses of the city, his beloved Sathucalla. It was past midnight when he sat down to write in his diary. This ritual had been a reverential habit of his, for as far back as he could remember. His small desk was located in front of a window, facing the now empty streets and the quiet low houses with their big yards.

He returned to his diary and continued to write. He wrote every thought, every important thing that happened on that day. He enjoyed writing with the traditional, pen & paper method, and not by using his computer. For that reason he had chosen a heavy diary with a black cover, on which his brother Sowin had carved with small embossed silver letters his name… –Yose of Starlight-

His hand scrolled down, adorning the lines with blue, calligraphic letters. Nothing special happened that day – it usually didn’t – so, after a small summary of the day’s events, he focused on his thoughts. Every night he was concluding his writing with one or two words about the emotions of expectation he was experiencing, about how much he was anticipating to finally meet his soul mate, the companion who was meant to live by his side. But the last few days he had a deep feeling of worry, a feeling that something unpleasant was closing fast. He wondered if he should talk to his father about it.

Yose was one of the Generation of Starlight, a relatively young generation of people who had appeared on the planet Ezerstenia with a highly developed sense of intuition. This was something that had a huge impact on Lovan, his father, Gallahand’s, best friend. That was one of the first questions that Lovan had first asked of him, when their acquaintance, as members of the High Council began to evolve into a friendship between them. Lovan’s open mind and interest, or rather, his curiosity about the generation of Starlight, was what brought them close to each other. Quickly enough, this encounter evolved to a deep, true friendship.

“I see in our records that your generation has not been walking around on Ezerstenia for more than two thousand years. That is very curious… How… how did you appear all of a sudden?”

They were in the year 10.403, so through the most part of the planet’s life, the generation of Starlight had not even been there. Gallahand smiled and looked at Lovan with a vacant gaze, lost for some moments in the information he could gather from the Universe. He had invited his friend to his house, and they were sitting together in Gallahand’s backyard, in his favorite spot. He felt a positive and benign energy from Lovan, and he could speak to him about things that he never discussed before other than with members of his generation.

“We are not from Ezerstenia,” Gallahand finally replied. “We do not know of our origin… it is something we more or less feel and are aware of, but we don’t discuss it.” He stopped for second, feeling new information coming into his mind. “Personally, I have a feeling that at some time in the future… in some way, we will contact the planet of our origin.”

The space technology in Ezerstenia was in its first stages of evolution and the curiosity of the people about life in other planets was starting to mature.

“I guess that some time you will be able to fly there.” Lovan cracked a joke, just to hide his distrust on what Gallahand was saying.

Gallahand just smiled.

Lovan was forty nine years old and he had known Gallahand for ten years when he was only thirty six and took over the position of Counselor. During that period, many of the strange things that his friend believed were settled in him. Besides the particularities of the generation of Starlight, as a whole set of ideas and beliefs, some of their external characteristics also differed from the rest of the Planetary People. All who belonged to the Generation of Starlight had blue eyes, a very distinct blue, deep and crystalline color; probably as the deep blue as the eyes of Slyce, a fellow student and friend of Yose. Their beauty was unrealistic, almost perfect, in every aspect. Well formed, tall bodies, and such beautiful faces, that many had tried to convince some of the young ones to pursue careers in show business… with no success.

Lovan was impressed by how much the generation of Starlight loved nature. Their city, Janathan Sae, was an oasis of green, with low buildings among tall trees that seemed to have been standing there for ages. He had visited the city once before, and apart from the beauty of the flowers and trees that were literally choking every house, he was impressed by their simple way of living.

“The tranquility that I feel in your city is captivating,” he had told Gallahand at that time. They had passed just for a day, only because Gallahand wanted to show him the city. His twin brother, Jeremaya, was living there with his family.

The night was falling slowly and Lovan was enjoying the company of his beloved friend, sitting together in the green backyard with the colors of the dusk darkening the landscape.

“You are feeling the change in energy,” Gallahand pointed out naturally.

“Yes, but is not only because of all this greenery. I have been to many other places with equally beautiful nature, but I have never felt this way while in any of them.”

“The energy comes from people too…” Gallahand said with a smile. “Get into a group of people who are driven by the intensity of the moment, and then into another group, in which they are not allowed to feel like that. Whatever your perception is, you will feel it, and know the difference between them.”

“Does the difference rely on people?” Lovan wondered.

“The difference relies much more on their way of thinking,” Gallahand replied, continuing to smile.

His generation believed in an ideal world, full of positive thoughts and emotions, a world that was in contradiction with everyday life. He could listen to the energy of the planet, and every change that happened on it. They felt connected to the Universe, they loved and nurtured nature and philosophized for hours, communicating their knowledge to the following generations. They seemed to be cut off from the rest of the planetary people, because so much ideology had been a controlling influence for them all, and played a large part in their way of life, In addition, they shared their system of values only amongst themselves. If the Counselor who was the most important member of the High Council was not a Starlighter then surely nobody would pay very much attention to him.

Gallahand was talking to Lovan, in exception to the Starlighter’s rule about keeping their ideology to themselves, as he spoke about the peculiarities of his generation, trying to explain to him their own perception of things. The general science of philosophy that the planetary people were following, was documenting cause and effect. For them, there was always a cause and an effect. The ideological core of the generation of Starlight supported the concept that some things had to be like that, because they simply served, they did the job, so the planetary people accepted them without trying to find out why. This, by itself, was a very powerful motive for long and joyful conversations, conversations that both Gallahand and Lovan enjoyed.

The planetary people had a vivid sense of upholding the rules, the forms and traditions, something that was in contradiction with the liberal spirit of Starlight. This was one of the features that Lovan admired about his friend. As a member of the High Council, he could advise the rest of the members about the correct and just enforcement of the rules, but he, himself, was not accepting them as a way of living. The planetary people felt safe with this system, which determined or shaped their beliefs and actions.

Lovan endorsed the notion that without the rules and the guidance given by the High Council there would be anarchy, whereas Gallahand believed that the will of the people should be free.

“Everybody feels safe when moving inside specific boundaries,” Lovan stated.

“Yes, but that doesn’t discourage many people from breaking the law,” Gallahand answered.

“In every ten thousand year period in our planet, some anarchists appear… I think that the method exercised by the High Council, allows everyone to sleep calmly at night.”

“Free choice requests correct judgment my friend,” Gallahand made it clear. “If you move in a wheelchair, you will never learn to walk.”

Lovan laughed. “You say that? You, who as the Counselor, everything you say, every direction you give, everyone follows? The High Council and the planetary people follow every word of the Counselor. Everything he says, even if his counseling differs from the rules and traditions that we are used to hearing.”

“Let’s say that this is controlled, free choice… just because it deviates from the predefined,” Gallahand replied. “But this feeling of direction is what every being living on a free planet must have by themselves. It must emanate from within. We don’t need someone to guide us if we are aligned with the Universal Energy.”

“And how do you define a free planet?”

Gallahand looked up, took a deep breath and listened to the answer. Whatever he felt, he couldn’t express it with words, so he just added: “In any event, it’s not what the planetary people experience. I mean… the whole system works perfectly; never before in our history have we had wars; and as a result, we have had great technological advancement on the planet. Ezerstenia is a well working machine that operates perfectly. Every piece of it knows exactly its task and every behavior affects the machine as a whole. Everything is predefined. Everything happens in a subconscious level… but everything is predefined on our planet.”

“And why should your thesis be correct and not our way of thinking?” Lovan asked, avoiding commenting on his friend’s last words, which he didn’t understand.

“You mean that you individuate us from the others, Lovan?” Gallahand laughed.

Lovan knew that he was teasing him. Of course he did individuate them, as everyone else on the planet did.

“As you have said my friend… you are not from here. You believe in Universal Energy, which for you is the ultimate source of love and creation. We do not believe in invisible and elusive things, like the Universe that you refer to. Our path comes from the laws and traditions that give us the sense of safety. Our ancestors are real, our traditions tangible, applicable, palpable. I can’t imagine how I could start my day without honoring my ancestors first and ask for their protection. It’s in the traditions of the planetary people to honor the ancestors. This is no law.”

“Yet, everyone feels that if they don’t do it, something bad is going to happen. Even but just by thinking about it, they can give it substance,” Gallahand pointed out.

“I can’t understand what you mean by that; people can’t manifest the things that will happen.”

Gallahand didn’t say anything. He just smiled.

“I am trying to understand my friend,” Lovan continued. “But you do obey the laws…”

“If you mean he political system of course… we respect it and we obey it But the traditions that are full of prejudice, dictate the planetary people what to think and what to believe, without listening to their own will; they don’t even try to change them. Have you seen any new tradition? No, because the planetary people are afraid to create something new”

“But, they don’t want to… there is no reason to create something else.”

“Because they had no need for it; until now, the soul of every one of the people is happy having their life put in a box, knowing every time which box to open.”

Lovan looked at him puzzled. “I can’t imagine anyone not doing that. I am really surprised that you of Starlight are feeling alright without the boxes you speak of.”

Gallahand laughed and his blue eyes shone brightly. He enjoyed laughing and his face had a constant smile on it.

“We are wondering the same thing about you!”

Gallahand liked Sathucalla because it had so much green, much like his own city of Janathan Sae. It was not bigger, but it was Ezerstenia’s central city, lying on the first parallel of the planet’s equator. It was in the middle of a huge valley with low vegetation, with a big lake embracing it on one side. The rich greenery and many parks between the low houses were characterizing the city, that’s why Gallahand’s family enjoyed living here. Of course, it wasn’t as green as Janathan Sae, but surely it was better than many other big cities. Sathucalla was one of the prettiest cities on the planet. The houses where low with big yards, and only the government’s buildings had three or four floors, without blocking the beauty of the violet sky.

“The planetary people believe that you are a mysterious generation, much like a different human species,” Lovan continued with the conversation.

“I am impressed that no one has ever tried to find out anything more about you people. There is no book describing your system of beliefs.”

“We have kept our distance for our own protection,” Gallahand replied. “We do not feel comfortable among the rest of the planetary people. Whatever is needed to be known is passed on from generation to generation, through beautiful stories, poetry or music, which tell the system of our beliefs.”

“Why don’t you want to share all this with others? I’m sure that there will be others like me, who could appreciate all these and learn from you.”

Gallahand smiled once more. “We are not here to create a new movement with followers my friend… or to change the planet,” he said and looked at him with his vivid eyes. “Besides that, you know that we can’t be leaders. We would make terrible leaders.”

Lovan laughed at his friend’s comment. He knew that the generation of Starlight often had the need to lose their connection with the outside world, recovering and amplifying their connection with the Universe. This was something that Lovan couldn’t quite understand and with his own perception saw this as inaction.

“The planetary people know all that is necessary for them to know… at least for now,” Gallahand continued seriously. “Even the very concept of the Counselor, which happens to be me, is known, but even so, no one seems to understand it.”

Gallahand served the planetary people as a member of the High Council. He was the Counselor, a position that exclusively belonged only to someone from the generation of Starlight.

He looked at Lovan, feeling that he could trust him completely. “Everyone in our generation has insights and intuition, but only one can unlock the knowledge of the Universe and give answers on current matters.”

Lovan looked at him surprised. “You mean that what we all think we know about your generation is wrong? Isn’t it that, the answers you give to us are derived from your ability to become perfect observers, and bring back balance to everything, by virtue of your exceptional logic?”

Gallahand smiled. “It’s not like that at all. No… That’s what the planetary people tend to think, because they can’t understand and they tend to fear anything unknown. What you call invisible holds the answers. And, as you know, there is only one Counselor each time and the next one appears when the previous one comes to the end of his life.”

“This is somehow….” Lovan struggled to find the correct words, “I think that he would be the only person on the planet to be able to see his time of death.”

“Yes, that’s true,” Gallahand said to himself and continued, “of course it seldom happens by old age. That’s really a small price to pay, considering the honor he is given. I feel blessed to have been born in my generation with this specific gift.”

“You mean that you know everything Gallahand?” Lovan changed the subject. He didn’t like the concept of death, let alone if it had to do with his friend. Gallahand laughed loudly.

“No, of course not… We feel very humble in front of this gift and we are very happy that our duty is just to serve the planetary people. The position in the High Council gives us the opportunity to help Ezerstenia as a whole.”

“Do you mean that they… simply, ask you something and you come up with an answer?”

“Yes, it is something like that. Before the end of the question, the answer is already in my mind. The short pause that I take, after the question, is just needed to attach the correct words to the energy packet before I can verbalize the answer to anybody.”

“And all of the Counselor’s answers come from communication with this Universe in which you believe?”

“That’s right.”

“And what about the rest of the generation of Starlight, can they do this too?”

“They are just aligned with the Universal Energy; only the Counselor can unlock knowledge from it.”

Lovan was the only non-Starlighter to ever learn this information.

The generation of Starlight always saw the world as full of promise and hope. They couldn’t understand a mischievous human intention and even if there was one in front of them, they faced it with benevolence and love. That’s why they never wanted to be in charge, not of the High Council nor of anything else. They became exhausted having to be in a defense position or having to act diplomatically if they wanted to reveal a suspicious situation.

This was one more reason that no Counselor wanted anything to do with the planet’s political system. All other members, except for him, had responsibilities which needed to be constantly attended to and they had to be constantly available to solve problems. But the Counselor’s spirit and thoughts had to be free.

All the people of the generation of Starlight lived in Janathan Sae. This small city provided the tranquility and the habitat they needed. It was one of the safest cities, since no one else was allowed to settle there. The only ones not living in the city were Gallahand and his family, because of his place in the Council. Of course, some of the generation’s young ones sometimes left their homeland, just to complete their studies and follow the call of their soul mate.

This romantic view, combined with their beauty, made them attractive to many men and women respectively whenever they decided to leave their small city for their studies. But this quest is so quiet and specific, that they discouraged anyone trying to flirt with them. For the generation, there were never past relationships, nor ex-lovers. There was always only one mate in their lives and that mate was forever.

One of the strongest beliefs of the generation of Starlight is the existence of a perfect mate for everyone. The existence of a twin soul, usually located somewhere beyond Janathan Sae. When they had matured as young adults, their body and soul begin to emit specific and unique vibration, something like a silent beacon broadcasting a signal of their position. This is one of the most sacred moments in their lives and Yose was already feeling the anguish of this expectation.

Yose took a deep breath and his beautiful eyes looked through the window at the stars and the two moons, all having a crystalline shine. He stared at them for some time, trying to feel the call, but His time had not yet come.

He let this feeling of expectation take over, but soon enough this precious moment was covered by this worry; he had been feeling for some time now. Mist clouded his thoughts; He knitted his brow and closed his diary.

Something was about to happen… something bad was closing fast. He could feel it for some days now and he wondered if any of the others were feeling it too?

Although he was only nineteen years old, Yose was a beautiful, tall blonde teenager, with a shining face. He kept a low profile, but he was cheerful and enthusiastic. He shared his most personal thoughts and feelings with his beloved sister, Jeycy, and his girlfriend from his childhood, Slyce Save.

Jeycy was two years older than him. A beautiful and sweet being, that loved being close to nature and her studies where about botany. Together with Yose, with whom she had a strong bond, they learned to listen to nature’s energy and had endless conversations, sharing their thoughts and emotions.

Sowin, who was twenty two, was studying design and architecture but his passion was painting. He liked abstract notions and symbolisms, colors and harmonic contrasts and his paintings could be found all around their house. During his particular period, he had been working for many hours every day on a specific painting, one that he let nobody see.

But the curiosity of Yose and Jeycy led them one day to his room, and after managing to open the locked door, they finally saw what their brother was so covertly, painting.

The portrait was of a young woman with long hair and calm look who seemed to be looking straight at the observer.

Jeycy smiled at Yose. “That’s her?”

He smiled back and nodded. “Sure… that’s his soul mate.”

“That’s amazing! He saw her even before he met her…”

“Sowin is an artist and he can see and manifest the energies that he feels. The time to meet her is near.”

“Our time will also come Yose.” She knew exactly how much her brother wanted to finally find his soul mate.

“I know that Jeycy… It’s just that I feel nothing yet.”

Yose looked at his watch. It was past midnight… time to go to sleep. He stood up and looked at the empty streets of Sathucalla. He loved this city. He felt like it was his city, in a unique different way than he felt about his homeland, Janathan Sae; it was like it marked the starting point of an imminent turn.

He closed his diary and put it in his desk drawer.

Just before he closed the window, he stared at the now sleeping city. He could clearly see in a distance, far beyond the capabilities of human vision. He let his sight wonder for a moment around the half-lit city streets. He didn’t know why, but this last month he had been feeling all of his senses becoming different, more acute. It was spring time and the air was relatively cool. He filled his lungs with a deep breath and closed his eyes, sending the energy of his own love to the twin soul whom he was seeking.

I will find you, his thought went out to the universe, and he envisioned a white light shining all around him, like a beacon in the night. I can’t feel you yet, but I will find you…!

Aarhan coughed, to clear his throat before talking but he did that mostly to get the attention of the Senators because the Council’s session was about to commence. The secretary was ready. The Chief and all twelve members of the Council were sitting around the big white oval table, wearing their blue-gray uniforms.

There was a relative anxiety among the members of the Council, who where exchanging uneasy glances.

“Let the session commence.” Aarhan’s voice sounded like an order.

The secretary turned on the voice recorder and turned to Aarhan. With his old aged look he observed all members one by one before starting to talk, feeling their anxiety. He knew the reason for that, but everything had to be in its own time. They would certainly discuss this subject, but first they had to follow the agenda. They always followed the regulations.

“Lovan, you may speak.”

Gallahand watched his friend as he spoke about the indications their scientists had of the measurements they had taken from the polar vortices. His exceptional knowledge of physics had earned him the right to be in charge of the Scientific Community. At the planet’s poles were two gigantic vortices, which were swirling slowly. But now the scientists were faced by a unique phenomenon, because the vortices seemed as if they were losing their swirling power. This had never happened before and Lovan expressed the concern of the Scientific Community, that the vortices could soon reverse their direction of rotation. And that would mean a great change of Ezerstenia’s magnetic field, with unknown consequences.

Gallahand closed his eyes trying to understand more of the troubling emotion he was feeling over the past few days. Surely it was not the phenomenon Lovan was describing, although he was feeling that it was something very important, something that was preparing the planet for a big change. He looked inside himself for a beautiful thought, just to feel better, but he stopped. No, not now, he thought. I have to concentrate.

He opened his eyes and saw Ianhar watching him. His anxiety was the most intense.

He is going to speak, Gallahand thought.

Ianhar stood up, looking straight at Gallahand. “I think that everyone wants to hear your advice,” he said almost quivering. “Is it true?”

Gallahand immediately felt great discontent around him. Khain Deth was sitting next to him. Khain Deth? But… what was this intense feeling directed at Khain Deth!

“You better wait for your turn Ianhar!” Aarhan lectured him calmly. He looked at all members one by one, enforcing order. “We don’t know if all this is true; wait until the procedure is over and we will come to that.”

There was something that Aarhan didn’t like. And that was to become troubled about matters for which he had no answers. He was well suited to be in charge of the High Council and his knowledge about Ezerstenia’s political system was exemplary. His life was ruled by the laws and traditions and that gave him full control on himself and on governing. The laws were providing apt answers and the traditions provided specific guidelines, ensuring safety and evolution.

The reason that Aarhan didn’t start the discussion with this important matter was because he didn’t have the answers, and although that was happening rarely, it still made him feel that he was losing his control.

“Chief, we want Gallahand to speak,” another member shouted.

“He will placate us Aarhan,” the rest of them agreed. “Let him speak.”

Aarhan looked at Gallahand, nodding for him to speak. When the Counselor of Starlight was called to provide answers in current matters, everything fell into place. The Chief hoped that the answers he was going to give could settle the matter quickly.

Gallahand touched his forehead thoughtfully, feeling Khain Deth’s piercing gaze on him. Lovan, standing opposite Gallahand, was looking at him more calmly than the others. He was feeling a great threat to Ezerstenia. He had a strong feeling that a terrible war was coming; the peace and prosperity they were enjoying would be crushed like a leaf under an angry step. He couldn’t feel much more yet, but he could feel the outcome intensely.

Khain Deth’s presence beside him made him uneasy… he felt like it was burning him. He looked at Khain Deth, gesture that revealed his awkward position. He stood up looking at the other members, almost without knowing what to say.

How could he speak about a great destruction just around the corner? Everyone was staring at him in fear now. It was the first time that Gallahand had stood up to say something.

Some days ago, they had captured ship carrying military equipment. The two arrested crew members died mysteriously in their holding cells, before revealing anything and the High Council, had ordered the police authorities to investigate immediately, in secrecy. Nayath, as a member of the Council and in charge of the police, was still investigating.

Today Gallahand faced Khain Deth for the first time after the events and immediately that unpleasing feeling became stronger. How could Khain Deth, the planetary people’s chosen one, be involved in all of this? Of course, since he first met him, his intuition warned him to be careful and except for formal events and occasions, he didn’t have anything to do with Khain Deth.

Gallahand rose, but for the first time in his life he didn’t know how to express in words what he was feeling.

“Let us all be alert,” he just said, avoiding looking the others in the eyes. He didn’t convince anyone. All members around him started talking loudly.

“Your intuition is infallible Gallahand,” said Ianhar. “We believe and honor your gift and it will be very useful in this turmoil. We really want to hear what you believe!”

More voices of protest where heard. Gallahand felt that everybody was looking at him, but Khain’s look was much different. Lovan watched him carefully.

“Well….” Gallahand continued hesitantly, “something is bothering me about this and I believe….” he glanced at the Chief like he was asking for help. “Aarhan, what I want to say, is not easily told. Look around you, how peaceful our planet is…”

Everybody stared at him now. He turned his back to all of them, looking through the window for a moment at the violet sky and he half-closed his eyes trying to see far away. For a second he was lost in his thoughts.

“Everything is peaceful and quiet….” he said to himself like he was remembering something pleasant. “Sathucalla, our beautiful city… our children laughing in the streets… the people working, have nothing to fear. We have never faced war situations and the possibility of facing one now is something that never crossed our minds. It’s impossible that such a thing could happen to us, nothing can ruin our peace.”

He turned to the Senators like he suddenly woke up from a dream and his eyes stopped on Aarhan.

“Who would dare to believe what I have to say?”

Everyone was frozen solid after understanding how serious the Counselor was becoming.

“Gallahand, you mean….” Aarhan noted slowly, trying not to believe at what he understood so far, “you mean that there is a possibility of war? That someone is thinking to threaten us?”

Silence fell heavy on them all, like never before felt in the Council Chamber.

“Who could it be?” The Chief continued with a quivering voice. “Who could it be? Who would want the suffering brought by a war? Who would benefit by something like that?” These last words came out almost like a whisper.

“I am sorry….” Gallahand replied and shook his head. “I am sorry that you have to hear that. I feel that a great evil will soon fall upon Ezerstenia… and that evil will affect everything, down to the last pebble.”

He said nothing more. He sat in his chair and rested his head on his palm with his elbows on the table. Aarhan took a deep breath and looked at Khain Deth with a look that was hoping for a different opinion on the subject. Everyone in the hall was getting the chills.

“Khain… what is your opinion?”

Khain looked at the Council and smiled.

“My fellow colleagues,” he said, in a lighthearted mood, “you are absolutely correct in being concerned about this event, and I’m sure that all these ominous predictions about the future must have troubled you.”

He looked at Gallahand with compassion and smiled. Gallahand raised his head and looked back at Khain in wonder, feeling that he would not like what he was about to hear.

“I don’t question the gift of this glorious generation,” Khain went on continuing to smile. “They have warned us many times in the past for imminent dangers in times of crisis. I accept that as you all do. But…”

Gallahand’s eyebrows furrowed with concern, but what…? He thought, feeling challenged.

“We may have given more significance to this specific event than we should have. I think that it is an isolated incident.”

He opened his dossier and took out some carefully arranged documents.

“I myself, with Nayath, did a research regarding the ship we captured. I have here all the evidence proving that it was nothing more than an attempt made by a gang who wanted to bring some weapons of mass destruction to Ezerstenia, just to annihilate another gang in the city of Doone. All the evidence I present to the Honored Council can be cross checked.”

The members of the Council turned to Nayath, who hurried to agree with Khain. “It is true.”

The Senators looked at each other in relief. It was much easier to believe the more pleasant explanation because it settled everything. Gallahand looked back and forth at Khain and Nayath speechless. This was the first time in the history of the Councils that someone questioned openly the opinion and the intuition of a Counselor! He knew what he was feeling! However, he wouldn’t risk exposing the gifts of his generation without being absolutely sure!

Aarhan looked at Khain with a smile on his face.

“I can say that I am relieved, but I am still troubled by what Gallahand said,” he said in a diplomatic tone just as Khain handed him the documents.

Everyone turned to Gallahand waiting for him to speak. Lovan looked at the other members in fury. It was difficult for him also to accept all the things his friend was saying, but it must be true. He felt that he believed his friend… at least he was trying to.

“I don’t think that we should discard what the Counselor told us,” he said vehemently “You cannot question him! I’m sure there is something behind his intuition!”

Gallahand was not in a position to say anything. They could see the confusion on his face. Khain stood up and started talking calmly.

“Our beloved Gallahand has helped us many times with his intuition when there were important decisions to be made. But this specific incident was of no importance. I admit that it is our fault too, because we gave it so much importance. I’m sure that you agree with me dear colleagues… you too Lovan… that Gallahand feels the same relief as all of us, now that the matter is settled so smoothly.”

He patted the astonished Gallahand on the back.

“I insist!” Lovan shouted.

Aarhan chose to end the session. Khain’s answer had put the subject in the correct box and it would not bother them any longer. He didn’t want to continue the discussion because it could take a turn for the worse.

“The session will resume tomorrow at the same time,” he said and stood up.

Gallahand stood up too and approached Aarhan at a rapid pace. A deep frustration could be seen in his eyes.

“Aarhan,” he said with tension in his voice, “my generation’s gifts have never been questioned before and we have always served as Counselors as best as we could. I don’t know how Khain managed to prove the gang theory, that’s why I’m addressing you personally. I have to say this: what I feel is very intense and it is, unquestionable!”

 Aarhan looked at Gallahand’s flashing eyes. He was very pleased with Khain who had gotten rid of this headache topic for him, and Aarhan would never question that, alleged, concrete evidence. He squeezed the documents that Khain handed him. They were something solid, authenticated with signatures and they drove away any speculation for him. And of course they put the matter in the correct box.

“Dear Gallahand, I never question your intuition. But maybe your emotions point to a different direction that you may have missed. I’m sure that you will clarify that pretty soon. If you need a leave of absence, I would be glad to give it to you!” he said and patted him on the shoulder.

Gallahand couldn’t believe what he was hearing. He looked back with anxiety and despair.

“Aarhan what are you talking about? Was there any chance for me to speak if I wasn’t more than sure? My gifts have served you well even in your personal problems! How can you forget that? How can you question me?”

Aarhan looked into his friend’s eyes as though he was trying to see beyond them.

“Look, I don’t ever question your gifts. You people of Starlight are so complex, that you can occasionally get lost in your thoughts and feelings. I insist about that leave of absence. Take all the time you need if you want to understand what is happening. And if your intuition leads you back to the same conclusion, talk to me personally. And then I will prove that the faith in your generation’s gifts is not lost.”

He left Gallahand standing dazed and walked towards the exit, holding the documents tightly in his hands. Gallahand felt like he had been dropped in a void, having nothing to get a hold of. He leaned on the table for a moment trying to assimilate all the things he had heard. Lovan came and touched him on the shoulder. Gallahand felt a look fixed upon him and he raised his eyes and saw Khain, standing by the exit, smiling vaguely. But his gray eyes were the most ice-cold and inexpressive eyes that he had ever seen in his life.

Khain Deth had first appeared in Sathucalla when he was elected as a member of the High Council. He was born thirty four years earlier in Assamanga, a big city in the north of the planet. His parents were well-off, but they died in an accident when he was very young. After finishing his studies, he started doing charity work, selling all the fortune he inherited. Soon, his social work made him one of the greatest benefactors of his city.

Despite his young age, he had managed to draw many people’s attention. The Governor of Assamanga, in appreciation for all that Khain had done with his charity work, and the high esteem in which he was held by most of the people, saw in Khain Deth’s face the perfect representative of their city to the High Council. Khain accepted the honor by saying, I intend to offer even more. Continuing his charities; this was something that proved to be the best political campaign a candidate member could ever make. He had earned the sympathy of many people in many cities. Thus, through his victory in the elections, he made it to the High Council. He then settled in Sathucalla.

He continued his charity work in Sathucalla as the man in charge of Social Welfare, and over the next two years his work was outstanding. That earned him the title of the planetary people’s chosen one, and everybody spoke the best of him. Both the lower and the upper classes benefited and were enjoying tax decrements due to their contribution in his humanitarian work.

Everyone saw in Khain’s face the new Chief of the Council, but this didn’t seem to bother him and he committed himself to his work. Going from one city to another, he could see the problems close up and with generous offers he benefited many people.

Gallahand half-closed his eyes. The afternoon was warm and the suns were shining. He sat in his rocking chair and started to smell the sweet scent of the flowers in the garden, something that made him relax. Once more, Khain crossed his mind. He was a seemingly sweet talking handsome man with short brown-blond hair and gray eyes. He didn’t have any family, nor was he ever seen going out with a woman. He hadn’t made a good impression on Gallahand from the beginning and today his concerns were confirmed. Khain’s look at the end of the Council’s session, apart from being ice-cold, was provocative. It seemed like he was saying: “I know what you are suspecting and it will do you no good!”

He felt that today they both were in battle stations. He let the energy of the Universe embrace him and he asked for guidance. What should he do? The answer was immediate… Find the evidence and present it to the Council.

He took a deep breath. The best he could do was to follow Khain. But he never had assumed such an active role… how would he be able to do such a thing without Khain spotting him?

The answer of the Universe was crystal clear. Act, for the next steps to happen!

When he opened his eyes, he saw the sky full of violet clouds. He had lost track of time. From inside the house he could hear the members of his family talking lowly because they didn’t want to bother him. The first rain droplets started to fall and Gallahand reached out, welcoming the spring rain silently and with gratitude.

On the other hand, Khain stood up from his couch and climbed up the stairs to his attic. It may have been dark, but this didn’t stop him from moving with great ease. He pushed open the attic door and headed towards the small desk in the corner, between some large, sealed boxes. He sat on the chair and turned on his small laptop.

The screen lit up and his fingers sped over the keyboard.

“Everything is ready,” he wrote.

“We are also ready,” was the answer. “The army is ready. How is your army recruiting going?”

“I have enlisted several hundred, Khain typed. “Your army is the basic one, don’t forget that.”

“We won’t,”  they answered. “And you mustn’t forget the reason we are doing this. We sent you on a very specific mission. We must have him on our side! Ezerstenia is our second chance! We cannot waste it this time!”

“It will be fulfilled,” Khain answered and terminated the communication.

His face was blank. He stood up and took a long cloak from the closet. He wore a mask and immediately two slanted, fiery eyes shone on its surface. He put on the hood and quickly went down the stairs to the basement. There was a vehicle, without license plates in the garage, specifically made for his mission. He climbed in and after making sure that there was no one around, he hit the road.

The vehicle took off and transformed into a small flying craft as he flew towards the other end of the city. In a few minutes he landed beside a grove of trees, close to an old bridge. The area was sparsely populated with tall trees and dirt roads, a place famous for the illegal transactions that normally took place there. A night club of sorts was located under the bridge. From the outside it looked like an old hut, but on the inside it was very well preserved and furnished.

Khain entered without anyone knowing his true identity. The place had discrete music and low lights. Smoke from different stimulants filled the air and was choking the place, but the customers didn’t seem to care. Suspicious transactions, use of addictive substances, all kinds of nefarious commerce was taking place… the Club favored all types and levels of illegal activities.

Some people were sitting around round tables, but many of them were standing. Half naked women were sitting on men’s laps and they were laughing and whispering. The club’s owner looked around with half closed eyes and served up drinks of doubtful quality.

Khain recognized Délorel, a member of the High Council. His disguise could not hide his huge stomach. He was already on Khain’s side without knowing who was behind all of this. His motivation was power and money. Khain stood at the door, looking for a specific person. Some of the customers turned and glanced at him, but they didn’t give him any more attention than they would give to anybody else.

Khain’s eyes pinned on a thirty year old man who was talking with a low voice to some people around a table. Khain’s look was so intense that the man felt his presence and turned to him. His hat was hiding his face in the shadows. It was Nayath Narlest, another member of the High Council who was on his side. In addition to Délorel’s motivations, Khain was going to make him his second in command. Nayath was the only one that new Khain’s true identity.

The two men looked at each other and Khain went outside. A little later Nayath followed him. They stood in a corner between the trees.

“I’m listening,” Khain said.

“Everything is in order as you can see and we presented the matter to the Council as agreed,” said Nayath with a slow voice. “The arrested men were punished as you ordered.”

“Good. Listen. In precisely a week from now, on the seventh day, I want you to gather all our followers in the cave. We will give them the weapons at that time, because we will be attacking soon. There, and then, I will tell you when the operation will take place.”

Khain’s voice sounded unnaturally beautiful, almost like fondling the senses and playing weird games with the listener’s mind. Nayath could feel it like a side effect by a stimulant. It was soft, benign, but equally deceptive. He focused his thoughts back to the discussion.

“Will the attack begin at Sathucalla?” Nayath asked.

“Yes. The other cities will follow.”

“Perhaps…”

“Why are you questioning me?” Khain stopped him. “Do you believe that they could prepare any kind of defense? There is no army, no weapons, nothing! And the police will try to save themselves and not the planetary people.”

“I guess you are right.”

“You told me that you have some other people in mind to talk to. Go and do it now!”

“What about Gallahand? You can see that his suspicions were correct.”

“I will take care of him. I will meet you at the cave. Go now. And send me Délorel. I have a job for him too.”

Nayath nodded and left. In a little while Délorel showed up. It was the third time he met the mysterious stranger and he was seized by nervousness and fear. He was tempted by the upcoming profit and large amounts of money had already been transferred into his personal account. The stranger had assured him that the only thing that was going to change on the planet was the political system… the harsh way, but the procedure would not take long. Soon enough every city would accept his terms and he would establish a new regime of governing for everyone.

And the dark stranger had promised Délorel, Nayath and many others that were part of the political system, high ranks in the new government by saying… “I am giving you the ability to choose sides from the beginning. With or without you, I will conquer the planet, so you better choose wisely…”

“I am at your command,” Délorel said, not having the courage to look him in the eyes.

“My dear Délorel, I want you to conduct a research for me. I want you to learn as much as you can about the generation of Starlight… especially about Gallahand’s family. I don’t want you to tell me what the people already know, I want the information that few people possess. A piece of this information that interests me is the history of the previous Counselors and which family they came from. All of them who were in the High Council!

“All of the… Counselors”

“Yes, and do not dare to ask more! No need to say how cautious you have to be with your research! As you have seen for yourself, Gallahand’s insight has almost gotten us in trouble already! So, watch out! Contact me as soon as you come up with something.”

He took a digital disk from the folds of his cloak and gave it to Délorel.

“This is to erase your traces.”

Délorel took the digital disk and left, full of questions. Not because he didn’t know where to find the material the Stranger was asking for, but as to what he wanted that material for. Never before had the generation of Starlight been targeted; why would someone want to know about the Counselors?

Khain walked towards his vehicle. Thousands of thoughts were swirling in his mind. Soon everything was going to change. The well placed image he had so patiently created was paying off and no one suspected him… Except for Gallahand of course…

But he did have a plan for Gallahand… The new regime had to retain the position of the Counselor. He needed Gallahand’s mind and his ability to open the library of the Universal Knowledge. Yes, Khain had learned that information about the Counselor. He was told how the Counselor could obtain the answers that he would need. Many things had to be done in Ezerstenia and he needed the man who could obtain the knowledge for new applications. And not just for Ezerstenia…

Khain looked at his vehicle’s console. There was no way that Gallahand would accept to retain his position of the Counselor under the new regime. He was only forty six years old, so he had many years of career ahead of him and the next Counselor would only take over when the previous one came to the end of his life. This meant that the next Counselor was probably already born and was in his childhood, or might even be a baby, which means that he would be more susceptible to new influence.

There was no way to find the next Counselor, so he would make him come forward. Khain took a deep breath with mixed feelings. He would have to kill Gallahand… that was the only way to bring the next Counselor forward.

The week passed quickly, with no one knowing who this mysterious stranger was, the one that everyone just called, the Stranger. Everybody that chose to be on his side knew only the basics. That a new force was preparing to change the planet and that the victory was taken for granted. Whoever joined him would enjoy money and position in the new regime. And most of the people, some driven by fear and some driven by their personal ambitions, chose to join the Stranger. They hoped that Ezerstenia was going to become a planet on which everyone would be able do as they liked, and Khain let them enlist with this belief in mind. Although their fighting spirit was very low, they wanted to change their lives for the better.

At the end of the next day, Khain returned home on foot. He continued his everyday activities, being in charge of the Providence, so no one could suspect him. After all, he was not going to do this boring job for much longer. Some people in the street greeted him and he returned their greetings with a smile.

A man, in his middle forties, was watching Khain from a distance, filled with fear and guilt. His hesitation could be seen by his clenched hands and indecisive look, but finally he approached him. Startled by the presence behind him, Khain turned about. He relaxed immediately when he saw another miserable person of the planetary people. It was many times that strangers stopped him in the middle of the street asking for help.

“Good evening,” Khain smiled at the stranger.

The man looked around in fear and he nodded to Khain to get into a small alley nearby.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” Khain asked while following him.

They got into the alley. The man looked very agitated and every now and then he looked around cautiously. They stood behind a niche, so no one could see them.

“What is it?” Khain asked starting to suspect what the stranger’s intention was. “What do you want to tell me?”

“Be careful,” the man whispered continuing to look over his shoulder. “He is going to strike and nothing can save our planet… I took his side for the money but I love my freedom too.”

“What do you mean?” Khain’s eyes grew narrow.

“Only you can save Ezerstenia from the Stranger!” His eyes opened wide in terror when he uttered that name. “He is gathering an army and he will destroy everything!”

The man said nothing else; he quickly turned and ran down the street without waiting for Khain’s reply. Khain looked at the man as he was running and his cold gray eyes became even narrower.

They had to hurry!

Gallahand could feel the passion burning inside Khain Deth. He had a definite indication from the Universe that Khain was the source of the imminent disaster that was going to hit their planet and his own role as the Counselor would be to create the possibility of choices for the planetary people to make.

No one would believe him though… unless he could give them proof that the planetary people’s chosen one was up to something. For days he wanted to get lost in beautiful thoughts but his duty kept him grounded. He sunk in his armchair and knitted his brow without listening to the Council.

Aarhan’s voice was heard for the second time… “Gallahand!”

Gallahand looked at Aarhan like he just woke up from a deep sleep. His eyes stopped on Khain who was sitting across from him. Khain looked like he was waiting for something.

“I insist that he needs a leave of absence,” the Chief stated to all the members. “It’s the best thing for him; he seems to be so confused.”

Lovan tried to say something, but Gallahand stopped him with a glance. If only he had brought back evidence with which he could confront the Council. It was futile to spend more energy trying to persuade them.

When the Council concluded, Gallahand stood up and walked with Lovan towards the exit. Just as they exited, Lovan urged him on a little further. Gallahand’s eyes had been seeking Khain. He saw him talking with a low voice to Aarhan, but they exchanged glances and made eye contact. Gallahand’s eyes were a vivid clear blue while Khain’s were a cold dull gray, like slate.

“We better leave the building,” Gallahand said and edged Lovan gently towards the elevator.

They stepped in along with some other members of the council. Gallahand was taller, and more handsome than all the others, and he had a shapely body. His dark blonde hair was wavy and shoulder length and his face was pale with a perfect skin. No one of the generation of Starlight had ever grown facial hair and even the men’s faces were as toned and smooth as a woman’s.

They exited the building and Gallahand turned around to see if for any reason Khain was following them. Thankfully he wasn’t. He nodded at Lovan to go and stand a little further from the building’s entrance.

“Tell me Lovan,” he said, sensing he was about to hear something not good at all.

“Gallahand, I don’t want to trouble you but I’m sure that you already understand much more.” Lovan’s voice was quivering slightly. “Someone is asking about your generation. Someone is looking for information and is digging deep to find out things about your people that were never searched for; especially about the Counselors!”

Gallahand sensed a bad feeling growing within him. His breath became faster and shorter and he looked at his friend laying his hand on Lovan’s shoulder. “Do you know who this man is?”

“No, but Grayce told it to me confidentially…”

Grayce was in charge of the planetary archives. The information about everyone that ever lived on their planet was stored in the archives, as well as the records of all the events that ever happened on Ezerstenia. It was an invaluable archive, plus, copies of the data were kept secretly in three more cities. Very few people knew more details. One of these cities was Janathan Sae.

Grayce liked Gallahand a lot and knowing that Lovan was his good friend, he asked Lovan to convey this piece of information to Gallahand.

“Normally Grayce should be able to find out who that man was. Nobody can access the database anonymously,” Gallahand stated.

“Exactly, that’s what impressed me,” Lovan whispered. “Whoever took the information, installed a virus that destroyed all evidence of the access.”

“What about the security cameras?”

“Grayce checked them. They show only a shadow.”

Gallahand’s eyes darkened. His mind was on Khain from the start of this discussion. He was certain of that, his intuition was crystal clear. For some reason, Khain wanted to learn more about his generation… that was another puzzle. What did he want to know about the generation of Starlight?

“There is something else… Whoever that man was, he copied all the data regarding your own family.”

Gallahand felt his blood freeze in his veins as he thought about his wife and children. A momentary dizziness almost knocked him down. Lovan caught him by the shoulders to steady him but Gallahand signaled that he was alright. He had to go immediately somewhere alone to think… and think hard! No, no… He didn’t need to be immersed in pleasant and positive thoughts as his inner self forced him to do lately… there was no time for postponements. He had to act immediately!

For a moment he squinted, revealing an intense, inner fight.

“Gallahand, what’s wrong?”

“I suspect many things, but please don’t ask for more,” he replied. “I will tell you one thing and please don’t ignore it. A great disaster is imminent, something very bad is going to hit Ezerstenia… and I think I know who is behind all of this. We will discuss this at my home one of these days. I will let you know as soon as I have concrete evidence and not just my intuition.”

Lovan, silent, looked back at him.

“My friend, I don’t ask you to do anything. Even I, who know about this imminent evil, cannot do anything about it. As you saw for yourself, no one believed me. Just be alert, nothing more. You are my best friend and I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.”

Lovan shook his head.

“I have to go now,” Gallahand said. He raised his eyes and looked at the cloudless violet sky. “If I could, I would go to Janathan Sae… but I am already targeted and I don’t want to endanger anyone else. Besides, I have a mission to accomplish…”

“You have a mission for me? What are you talking about?”

Gallahand gave him a reassuring smile. “You will hear from me soon my dear friend.”

He departed with slow steps and the short cloak of his blue-gray uniform billowed out behind him in the breeze. In Lovan’s eyes it looked like a tragic flag which was preparing to face an upcoming storm.

Gallahand headed to the vehicle parking area, with a thousand thoughts spinning around in his mind. He got into his vehicle and drove home. He switched off the engine and leaned his head on the steering wheel closing his eyes for a moment. He needed so much to think of pleasant things and battle all these negative thoughts; but first he should take the positive energy he needed so much!

He took a deep breath and got out of the vehicle. No, he couldn’t do that now.

He entered the yard and looked around at their beautiful and tidy garden. The first flowers were just blooming to welcome the coming spring. Vathian, his beloved wife, knew how important it was for her husband to be immersed in nature, where he gathered most of his energy. That’s why he was tending, with great love, the front garden as well as the back yard, his favorite spot.

These flowers must have bloomed that morning because Gallahand hadn’t seen them on the previous evening. He leaned over the half open flower buds, he fondled them and smiled. Now, that’s something beautiful…! He felt the little flowers’ energy at his fingertips. It felt like the flowers had reached out a small hand and touched him.

He stood up and opened the door of the house. It was a low-rise house with the bedrooms on the upper floor and the living room with the large kitchen on the ground floor. In front of the house there was a small garden which seemed to welcome the family and all visitors with its beauty, but the back of the house seemed like nature’s heaven had settled there.

That was Gallahand’s favorite spot.

He removed his short cloak and hung it in the closet next to the entrance. Everyone else was away and the house was silent. He unbuttoned his shirt’s top buttons and took off the badge from his chest. He held it for a second in his hand before putting it in the drawer. It was the emblem of the High Council, twelve golden stars in a spiral shape. He sighed as he put it in the drawer.

He took his shoes off and headed barefoot to the back yard. He opened the big glass sliding door and felt peace as soon as his feet touched the stone floor. He raised his eyes and looked at the violet sky with the white clouds in the distance. He would like to be able to fly, just to lie on that feather bed leaving behind all the feelings which darkened his soul.

He sat on his favorite armchair and put his feet on the wooden table. Deep in the garden he could see tall conifers with silver-green leaves which completely covered the stone hedge. They were so tall that the treetops seemed to touch the sky. There were low bushes in green-bronze colors and flower beds with flowers ready to bloom on each side of the rock paths, that were meandering all through the garden. Gallahand closed his eyes enjoying the coolness under the trellis which was full of greenery and flowers.

The breeze brought in the sweet aroma from the little white flowers, and Gallahand took a deep breath. He felt the burden inside him become a little lighter. He stood there for some moments without thinking. He could stay like this forever, with his beloved Vathian. But he couldn’t let himself be drugged by the internal peace he was feeling, because it would be difficult to return to the harsh reality. Recovering his positive energy could take hours and Gallahand felt that he didn’t have enough time.

He let his feelings roam free and asked the Universe to reveal to him his part in this situation. He felt that this thought was becoming a key and visualized his image, going to the Bright Library.

What he felt brought tears! The Universe revealed to him that his circle was closing and it was calling him back.

His circle was closing?

Before returning here, you have a very important mission to accomplish. To give to the planetary people the right of choice.

He not only heard clearly these two phrases in his mind, but he also saw them written on a piece of paper. The image of himself writing a letter flashed before him.

He wondered why and covered his face with his hands. He felt a sob in his throat and his whole body shook with a silent cry. How could he protect his family if he was gone?

And it was time to leave… that meant that the new Counselor was ready!

Write the letter now Gallahand! He heard a clear voice inside him command.

His communication with the Universe came in the form of feelings or thought packets, which he then translated into words. It was the first time that he had heard whole phrases however.

He stood up and brought a piece of paper and a pen from his desk. Feeling a new power in him, he started transform into words all those feelings that had been generated inside him. As soon as he finished the letter, a feeling of peace filled his heart. He looked up and smiled and it was like the face of the Universe was smiling back at him.

Vathian, his companion, came in without making a sound and hugged him. She was very sweet and petite. She was three years younger than Gallahand and came from the tribe of the Assamangans. This tribe, who lived in the north of the planet, had silvery skin, white hair and incredible violet eyes, similar to the color of Ezerstenia’s sky.

“Sweetheart, did you come earlier?”

Gallahand had just sealed the envelope. He hid it among the white sheets of paper and after putting them on the table, he turned towards Vathian. He seemed like he was shining. Vathian looked at him in awe and held his face between her hands.

“You are full of light!”

He kissed her passionately and with a sudden move he picked her up in his arms, and they entered the house. Without letting her down, they went up the stairs into their bedroom. They were both laughing. He almost threw her on the bed and with quick moves he took his shirt off. He lay down over her and their lips met.

They made love, and nothing could foretell all the bad things that would follow. Gallahand chose to bear the burden alone. His family would be informed when all this was over. Their laughter and cuddling helped them make love full of passion, as if they hadn’t been together for years.

Gallahand looked at Vathian lying beside him. They were both short of breath. They started laughing. She leaned her head on his chest, looked at him and smiled.

“You are shining today!”

“You too,” he replied continuing to smile.

Gallahand’s face was beautiful. Beautiful! Vathian closed her eyes for a moment breathing in his beauty. His hand stroked her cheek enjoying these moments with her.

When Lovan asked Gallahand to describe to him the generation of Starlight’s unique feelings of love, he answered:

“The people of Starlight never talk to each other about how we experience ultimate love, because it is something we take for granted. But if you ask me what Vathian means to my soul, I will tell you this…”

“I wish I could place her in a beautiful thought, so that nothing could ever happen to her, even if I knew that I could never be able to touch her. I would be satisfied just to be able to look at her until my days in this world are over…”

“If you ask anyone of our generation individually, they would tell you the exact same thing, in different words maybe. For us, love means devotion, offering without the expectation of return blessings; it is the ultimate expression of our feelings without boundaries, filled with honesty and freedom…”

“Freedom…?” Lovan wondered.

“Not like an open relation,” Gallahand smiled. “Freedom means to let your mate freely express their feelings and not make them feel that your love is choking or stifling them in any way. Freedom in love means to keep the balance. Freedom is the wisdom of love.”

“It seems like you are getting… enslaved… in a way.”

Gallahand laughed out loud.

“No, no… Of course not… It may seem that way because people use to put their feelings on a scale. I offer this, and if you don’t offer me that, in return, then I will… offer more… thus causing sorrow and broken relations.”

“But this way of thinking will allow the exploitation of many people.”

“If you think wisely, you will get back whatever your heart wants,” noted Gallahand. “When you start to seek your mate by saying I can offer this much and my mate must give back this much… then that relation is doomed from the beginning. You can’t weigh the offerings in a relation. For example, we know that we are different from the rest of the planetary people. We know that we are beautiful and we are what you would consider us to be, the good guys. But we would never negotiate our gifts just to find our soul mate.”

“So you take every one of your gifts for granted and you proceed?”

“You are what you are and you don’t have to remind anybody of it all the time, not to yourself nor to anyone else. You don’t wave it like a flag just to get your mate’s attention. The search must be done quietly and you must learn to hear the energy of others, so you can discern the person that was born and meant to be with you. And that applies not only to the generation of Starlight but to anyone who seeks a relation that will last until their old age.”

“And if you are mistaken?”

“That is something that has never happened in our generation.”

“And what happens with all the rest? How can they make out who is their ideal mate?”

Gallahand let this question become a key to the Universal Library and immediately the energy of the answer emerged in him.

“Not everyone is born with the need to search for their soul mate. Not everybody is looking for something so specific. Most of the people, as soon as they find someone with whom they apparently match and spend some good time together, they feel fine with that relation. Many others enjoy the toxicity and conflicts that can develop within a relationship. What I mean is… when someone is born with the need to search for their other half, they always find it. And that’s because they are meant for that. It is among the things that they are destined to do in their life. The people of Starlight are destined for that. It is one of our characteristics.

“And you are the only ones to find your soul mate?”

“No, others on Ezerstenia are born with this mission too. Not too often, but it still it happens.”

Lovan looked for a moment at Gallahand with hesitation. “You know, my daughter Sashea, is in love with Yose,” he said with a smile. “What does your generation do in such a situation?”

Gallahand smiled. “It happens very often. But nothing is done… by our side. For us there are no previous or alternate relationships other than the one that we are here to fulfill.”

Lovan’s eyes were smiling. “And for how long are you willing to wait?”

Gallahand burst into laughter. “I know what you are thinking my friend. We do not wait longer than needed!”

When Gallahand started his soul’s voyage from city to city guided by his intuition, he couldn’t imagine the power of love hidden inside him. He immediately recognized the other half of his soul in Vathian’s face when he was studying political sciences at the Supreme Institute of the city of Doone.

They have never parted ever since then.

The next day, Gallahand didn’t go to the government building but stayed at home. He acted like nothing was happening and he just told his family that there was nothing important to do that day. He prepared his favorite herb tea. He took a book and said that he would spend the day reading in the back yard. But he was actually thinking over his next move.

Yose decided to speak to him that day about his own feelings. He couldn’t keep it inside him any longer. And his friend Slyce, with whom he had discussed the subject, urged him to speak to his father. So, instead of Going to school he stayed home too and as soon as everyone left he went to the back yard to find his father.

Gallahand saw his son approaching.

“Is it a good moment to interrupt you father?”

“Of course, my son, what is it?” Gallahand smiled back and put his book down.

Yose sat in the armchair beside him and looked him straight in the eyes. “I feel… I feel something bad is coming.”

Gallahand’s face grew serious. “You can tell me everything more, Yose.”

“I feel that a great evil is closing… not just for us but the entire planet… something very bad is going to happen.”

Gallahand felt numb. He looked at his son. “For how long have you felt that?”

“For about ten days. Tell me father… is it a common feeling… something common that we all feel?”

Gallahand didn’t answer immediately. He was wondering what to say, but most important, what should he reveal.

“Father…?”

Gallahand took a deep breath. “No, Yose, not everyone feels It,” he replied. “As a matter of fact, only I feel it… and now you feel it too.”

The young man seemed worried. “What is going on?”

“The truth is that something bad is going to happen to our planet,” he finally revealed, choosing his words cautiously.

Yose then felt like he already knew the answer. “A war is going to break out, isn’t it?” he said impulsively.

Almost immediately he looked surprised at his father. Gallahand was surprised too.

“This is my feeling too,” he agreed looking at Yose with an exploratory look. “What else do you feel?”

Yose looked at his father without actually seeing him. On hearing this question, the answer came to him immediately. “Someone familiar is behind what is going to happen,” he said slowly. “Someone very familiar and loved by everyone… we will not make it… he will dominate…”

Yose’s eyes filled with tears. He looked lost.

Gallahand’s eyes were wet too after realizing that the new Counselor was ready. It was the first time in the two thousand year history of Starlight that the next Counselor emerged from the same family or had appeared so early. He took Yose’s hands in his own and looked deeply into his eyes.

“Everything is all right my boy, everything is all right…”

Yose looked back as though he was just waking from a dream. “I am puzzled, Father… why did I see all that? I saw the future!”

Gallahand clearly heard a voice inside him saying: Do not tell him!

“You experienced a very intense moment… it happens from time to time. Insight sometimes travels beyond dimensions and we can see little flashes of possible futures.”

“But it seemed more than just a possible future.”

Gallahand shook his head. “That’s true… it will happen soon.”

“Did you tell that to the Council? Did they listen?”

“Please, let’s stop here. Soon I will know more and I will speak to everyone… to you all and to the Council. I do have some thoughts… Don’t tell this to anyone. I will tell all when the time is right. Go to your class and we will talk soon.”

Yose left and went up to his room troubled. The vision of this insight of a possible future seemed insignificant in front of the confirmation that something bad is going to happen. As he was preparing his school bag, he stopped. Did it make sense to go to school? He couldn’t continue living his life like nothing was happening. He picked up the phone and called Slyce. He wanted to meet with her.

Slyce Save was his beloved friend and classmate ever since their childhood together. They were of the same age and he loved and cared for her, like she was his own sister. Her parents were divorced and she lived with her mother and her Brother Skaye, who was ten years old. But in reality they were raised by their grandmother, since their mother Arious led a very busy life working for a large commercial company.

Yose went to meet her, leaving his father alone.

Gallahand heard the door close and relaxed. He had to look at all this calmly. The next Counselor was his son, but the Universe suggested that he should not know about it yet. This seemed logical… if Yose learned about this, it would be like transmitting a homing signal, and Khain Deth would certainly find him.

He asked the Universe about his next move. His decision to act created many options and in his mind he saw a very critical date for Khain. In two days the week would be over and that night, if he followed him he would find out many useful things.

And so it was done.

That night Gallahand watched Khain’s house. Khain lived in the north suburb of the city, near a big valley on the outskirts of Sathucalla. Across, from the house there was a small park, and Gallahand stood there, hidden in the shadows behind a tree. His eyes were fixed on the door of the house and his heart was pounding. In one hand he was holding a video camera ready to capture Khain’s movements in order to bring that evidence to the High Council.

Two hours later he saw a dark figure exiting the house and moving silently along the pavement, going from shadow to shadow. The man was moving hastily in the empty streets of the city. It was midnight and no one was around except Gallahand who was following him silently. The trees along the pavement offered some cover and he hoped that the man would not see him. Suddenly, Khain turned around. Gallahand quickly hid behind a wall. He felt a cold sweat breaking out on his face. His heart was pounding so loudly he could hear it.

Had Khain seen him?

Khain stopped for a second, paused, and then he moved on again.

Gallahand had the impression that Khain turned just to be sure that he was being followed!

After some time, Khain led him to the edge of the city and into the countryside. Gallahand had to hide in the shadow of the last tree. He couldn’t follow Khain into the open. Yet his camera was recording everything. Fortunately, Khain didn’t go very far. Gallahand saw him approach a cluster of trees and stand in front of one in particular. Gallahand marked that tree in his mind. He saw Khain doing something to the tree and then he entered the trunk, which closed immediately behind him, and Khain disappeared.

Gallahand turned off the camera. He looked around and rushed to the trees. His footsteps sounded very eerie in the wilderness and he was scared. Short of breath, he stopped in front of that specific tree and he started to examine it, trying to find with his hand the opening mechanism. He pulled a protruding branch and the trunk opened, revealing a dark passage.

He entered without hesitation, determined to finally end all of this. He immediately experienced an ominous feeling almost crush his soul. He closed his eyes and asked the Universe for help. In front of him there were narrow steps going down deep inside the earth in a spiral descent. As soon as he stepped on the first step, the opening disappeared behind him. The sound surprised Gallahand who was now in complete darkness.

He turned on the camera’s light and started to carefully go down the steep and slippery staircase, over which underground water seemed to have been flowing for ages.

He continued his descent for a few minutes, until he faced a stone door. He pushed it open and behind it he could see a frozen stone corridor. There was a bright opening in the distance. He could hear a hum coming from that opening. He turned off the camera’s light but continuing to record everything and he proceeded holding his breath.

When he arrived at the opening, he knelt beside it and looked thought it carefully. What he saw made him freeze and stand back.

Thousands of people were gathered inside an underground cave!

As soon as he recovered from the shock, he looked more closely. There were some steps that were leading from the opening to the bottom of the cave. He couldn’t stand there because it was a very dangerous point. They could easily see him. He looked around searching the terrain for any opportunities to hide. The staircase was carved on a steep rock face. Those rocks would provide him with the perfect cover.

With his eyes fixed on the crowd, he descended a few steps and carefully crawled towards the closest rock. The cave was lit by countless lamps of self-reproducible energy, all of them hanging from the stone walls. In the distance he could see countless containers and big objects carefully covered. He easily made out the shapes of flying crafts. He shuddered.

They seemed ready to go to war.

There was an elevated platform somewhere in the middle of the huge hall and everybody was looking there, like they were waiting for something. Shortly after, a dark figure stepped on the platform. The only discernible characteristic under his hood was a pair of red eyes. Gallahand’s heart was beating so loudly that he felt it would explode. His blue eyes opened wide. That was certainly Khain Deth!

He continued to record everything with his camera!

The crowd let out a cry and they all raised their hands, waving. Khain raised his right hand and everything became quiet. They all waited for him to speak.

“On the night of the next full moons we will take over Sathucalla!”

His voice was loud and clear. The crown cheered. Gallahand felt pain and frustration thinking of the unsuspecting citizens getting attacked in their houses! Tears flowed on his cheeks and he clenched his fists, full of anger. No one could stop Khain. He couldn’t do anything!

Yet… there should be something he could do!

After Khain relayed some orders about the coming attack, he turned about to leave the platform engulfed in the cheers of the crowd… but at the last moment he stopped. He turned, and his red fiery eyes looked directly towards Gallahand.

Gallahand felt that Khain was looking right at him!

Khain stood there for a few seconds and then he descended from the platform. Gallahand was looking without actually seeing. Khain had mentioned many details of the attack, but Gallahand seemed like he hadn’t heard any of them. Thankfully, they were all recorded. The most important thing that he kept in his mind was the date of the attack. In ten days, the prosperity enjoyed by the planetary people would be over…

He looked up seeking for an answer. Now that I found out, what can I do? He didn’t stand there waiting for the answer because the crowd started moving. He had to leave immediately!

Crouching carefully, he moved towards the opening, he went through it and into the stone corridor and he rushed to the staircase. He could hear the hum of the crowd behind him getting louder and he hurried. He had no idea of how this crowd got inside the cave in the first place. There were certainly many entrances besides the one he had discovered. He had to get out before they could spot him. He quickly climbed the stairs. Three times he slipped and was hurt, but he didn’t care.

Finally, the stairs ended! He pushed the trunk with all his might and went out in the night breeze, with great relief. He waited for a few seconds, just to catch his breath.

The trunk closed behind him and Gallahand rushed home.

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