Photo by Vin Hill Art
Time Weaver ~ Chapter 2
The following text is an excerpt from Christy’s forthcoming fiction novel, Time Weaver. The fictional story follows three young women on their journey through personal psychic expansion and their collection of other psychics to form a network of people who value both the darkness and the light. Together, they navigate an impending post-apocalyptic world in an effort to maintain life’s true meaning; the ebb and flow of darkness and light.
Psychic Activation ~ Naria
“What’s happening to me?” Naria asks. Her external seriousness seems to surprise the two playful women. Why are they turning colors?
“Ah, you’re activating,” Sambria says. “I wonder if it was the jump here, or if it had started earlier than even that.”
Naria notices Karina’s examination as she says “You’re right, she’s activating. How did I not know she activated right now?” Not much surprises the time-traveler and this was unexpected.
“Yeah, your consciousness from back then isn’t here right now to learn about it. And she’s –” Sambria looks at Naria, whose face is pale, eyes glazed over. “Clearly, she’s not going to remember this, and apparently I don’t tell the younger version of you about it either.”
“Let’s get her into the dark,” Karina says, and Naria feels the warm arm wrap around her, to guide her. “She needs to move through this, and it will be emotional.”
The women change course and walk out of the station.
Naria’s view of the two women has gone blurry, but she can still see her own feet. She notices they’re walking through Shibuya crossing, but what usually has hundreds of people passing through is for some reason empty and there are no cars. This apocalypse like moment brings to her the realness of the future reality to come.
The two women continue to talk as Naria passively comprehends.
The fourth and final blood moon, of the blood moon trinity of 2015, where you come from, will fall in September of that year and exposed the new, heightened powers and emotions people developed. In 2020, a total takeover by the ‘feel cops’ divided the world. The feel cops are robots created to arrest anyone who externally shows emotion. The fear of these new and intense emotions peaked in 2020 and they publicly banned them all, creating a deep hidden culture of indulgence.
Two distinct types of zones exist now, public space (light) and private space (dark). All homes are public space and in the light. The feel cops only police the light – they detect the lack of emotion and alarm in the presence of displayed emotion. In the darkness, these robots overload with emotion and malfunction. The dark is the only place we can let out emotions freely.
People in the light interact without expressing emotion on their face and hide visual cues to their thoughts. The removal of body language diminishes communication by eighty percent due to the missing social and facial cues. Spoken word is highly valued while simultaneously used to hide true meaning and feelings behind the words. As a result, the skill of hiding one’s emotions – lying – has become an art form.
The light is bright, cold, and the air is thin. It’s an eerily peaceful feeling, like walking through a quiet forest on a brisk night. The change in physical air is a direct result of the lack of emotion present. Emotions were felt on subtle levels, and as awareness increased, they become anything but subtle. The dark is only a tint dimmer in the day, making it easy to miss visually. Those who are sensitive feel it in their bones.
The three women shift into the dark through a nearby known portal.
Naria notices a red gate as they pass under it and shivers run down her spine. The air is thick and warm, with the overindulgence of emotion. The emotions previously held back now pour out from Naria as Karina guides her to sit along the raised edge of a garden wall.
“What is this place?” Naria asks as she looks up, the tears softening. “I feel everything in here. I feel it all so strongly. What is thi –? Ahh..” another wave of emotion stops her.
Karina rubs her back and says, “it’s important that you feel it all, so that you can learn to decipher what’s present. It’s not all good, and what is good, is too good. But under that, you’ll find yourself.”
Those who live 100% in the light are called “Brite Beings.” People in the light live simple lives, go to school, and enter a preselected job. The repressed daily public culture drives most to an over indulgent private district where all rules are off, this is the dark. An average person goes to work, then plays in the darkness to the brink of no return and then goes back to work with a sort of “fight club” rule. Incidents in the darkness go unreported and those who live 100% in the light have no awareness. Those who chose to live 100% in the darkness are called “Night Dwellers” and they run the vast underground network, culture and structure that is the darkness.
Darkness? This is darkness? Naria’s eyes are closed now, her hands covering them tightly. She experiments with cracks on one side of her eyes, letting the dark in. Pink and blues swirl into purple fuchsias. What do they mean by darkness?
“Answers will come, hang in there,” Sambria says.
More colors peek through Naria’s fingers as the details of this world go on in story.
Sambria continues on, “For over a decade now, people have communicated based on face value alone. Kids who did not know a time before this and have grown up without externally expressing emotions are entering their teens. This generation is informally and secretly referred to as Gen-AI (Generation Artificial Intelligence). Public acknowledgement of their generation would be to publicly acknowledge the darkness, thereby bringing it into the light.
Gen-AI children are not allowed into the darkness, if they could even find it. On occasion, one will wander on the edge, but with no ability to comprehend what it is, they do not enter. Perhaps they can feel it, the emotion oozing from the shadows. Traditionally, children can perceive much more strongly than adults, and that hasn’t changed. But they get no guidance or even external acknowledgement of an awareness into what they perceive. This leads to further suppression of emotions and a new robot demeanor adopted by the youth.
In the light, there is no violence, heartbreak or pain. There are strong social rules and expectations which bind them. In a way, these people are saved from all the negative aspects of life. However, this so-called peaceful life in the light protects from raw, painful emotions while diluting the beautiful ebb and flow of life. There is no flow, no passion, and no drive for life. People flatline through their youth and into their systematized adult lives. What will happen as these kids enter their twenties? Will they be lost completely, to a life of complacency and false security?
“These questions drive us. We call ourselves the Emoticons,” Sambria says.
Luckily for us, the Dark and the Light continue to fight amongst each other and not with us, because both vastly outnumber the Emoticon network. If the Emoticons restore emotional freedom, the play in the darkness must end. This threatens both the light and the dark. “So,” Sambria says, “we fight for those who have no idea of our existence while being ridiculed and undermined by both the light and dark. People here in 2035 think they only have two options, Unlimited, unrestricted fun, or revert to the controlled and monitored entertainment of pre-2020.”
“Ahh –” Naria interrupts with a screech so loud Sambria’s face contorts and she covers her ears.
“Let it out, you’re safe here,” Karina says, hand still resting on her back.
Naria lets out a softer weep of distress.
“Talk it out, what are you experiencing?” Karina encourages.
From the way the two older women seem completely un-fazed by her anguish, Naria wonders what others experience with their gifts and if the daily life of an Emoticon looks similar to this. “I can see the darkness,” Naria begins, as the wave fades. “I can see what I feel. Why can I see what I feel?”
“That’s because…” Sambria stops herself, the look in Karina’s eye reminds her.
“Answers are within,” Karina says. “Keep going.”
“It’s like I’m suffocating on emotions,” Naria continues. “I can see all of the emotions stuffed in this place. It’s so dense. I see what other people feel. I feel what I see. So, if – ahhh,” another wave hits, but Naria talks through it, “purple: anguish, blue: calm and then sad, pink: despair and lust, orange: connection and creativity, green: love and peace and destruction, red: passion and rage, yellow: force and will.”
The wave fades.
“Well, that sounds intense, no wonder it hurts so badly,” says Sambria.
“So, not all of what I feel is me? Then, I can let go of what’s not me? How do I tell what’s me with certainty?” Naria asks the universe as she takes her hands off her eyes and opens them a crack. “The colors have stabilized. I can feel them, but they pass more easily now.”
“Great,” Karina says. “Your gift, Naria, is crucial to our work. Sambria can read thoughts, but for the Night Dwellers, who live one hundred percent in the dark, their thoughts are buried by the darkness. Naria, you can read their auras, which get brighter in the darkness, as you learned just now.”
“Thank you for the work you just did,” Sambria adds. “It helps all of us.”
“It does,” Karina says. “There is another option that the masses don’t yet see. They don’t see the hope for a third option of trust and the love of both the darkness and the light. How to re-shape society and avoid utter chaos? Well, this is a question we can’t think about yet. We simply focus on how to save future generations from a meaningless existence, where all emotions are unexpressed and suppressed. Your role in this, Naria, is so important.”
A sense of purpose previously unfamiliar to Naria grows inside and around her. She looks down at her own skin to see how all of her colors blend together, memorizing each strand of light, so that she will always know herself.