The 2020 Event |The Sideshows|

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Universe W-2020: The Psychenauts 7
April 27th, 2020
Salv(i)ation

The Diviner’s Sage

ChairElder Ealdra stands at the helm of the Zeroc Council of Life. The air inside the meeting chamber is a dirty sludge; two emissaries from the other Zerocian High Councils, Of Law and Of Creation, stand in attendance. Chairseats Jolon and Kuland refuse to face each other, though one treats the room with a victorious smile. Chairseats Astro, Eulalie, Griffin, Mahrana, Agartha, and Morwen all sit with their eyes to their laps. Chairseat Gray holds lotus position, though he does not float. He’s not entirely sure why they’ve been gathered, but gathered they are.

‘On with it, Elder.’

“I suppose I’ll be on with it, then. Chairseat Jolon, as you are all aware, recently spearheaded an expedition back to Earth.”

The crowd, even those who knew of the involvement with Earth, gasp in dreadful astonishment. The floor, lustrous chrome and silver, becomes cloudy. But only for a moment, to the notice of nobody, before growing bright once more.

“It was entirely successful, no lives were lost or beings injured due to our intrusion into the Earthsphere. In fact, thanks to a series of very fortunate co-inciding circumstances, the human informedia mass deliverance system mistook our invasion ship for a vessel of a certain newly prominent fiscal cabal, I forget the name. That aside, the expedition’s ground squads, headed by none other than Admiral Derrick Bolt, surprised everyone when he reported the discovery of the Mokka Fruit, the missing link between our species and the Dee-eff-Zee-tee dimension. It seems that Existence has brought us back into contact with that which made us the masters of our Universe.”

“What is the purpose of this convention, ChairElder?” bellows Chairseat Gray. The emissaries tremble, made uncomfortable by the scent of mutiny. “We discussed this in private before the expedition was launched; the Universe was bringing us towards the Holy Fruit so our connection with Her would be made natural again. In other words, we are to burn our synthetic bridge and cross the river via the tree that fell in the last storm. There shouldn’t be a debate.”

“There is no debate, Sage, and I appreciate your concern.” The emissaries settle. “I thought it should be brought to a vote though; everyone in agreement to cancel the synthesis and widespread use of fabricated DifZoral Tryptamine?”

All hands raiseable do just that.

“Very well,” Ealdra hears herself say; then, his eyes open.

“Hello?” Sam shouts into the disorientation around him.

“Hey there,” says a voice, and suddenly there’s a bong in Sam’s hands. It’s large, mighty, a two-footer, orange glass, yellow paint swirled in a diamond matrix. Their mouths touch and Sam feels a lighter in his hand. The voice says, “Hit the bong.”

“Ace, is that you?” through the whirlwind, atoms and molecules flying like cows and manure in a tornado.

“Hit the bong.”

His eyes close and she address a council, though not of Life, of Creation, nor of Law. A different council, one made of five other Zeroc elders draped in cloaks, three a dark purple, the rest a lifeless, empty black, presenting in alternating order, one purple to each side of Ealdra. They stand upon a burning scarlet circle of complex runes, arcane shapes connected by sacred geometry, and lines that mimic the strings of Existential reality. Darkness makes up the rest of her perception.

“What was the decision of the High Councils, Ealdra?” one of the cloaked figures asks, though she’s not sure which one.

“They voted to go back to nature,” she answers. “To regress, in the words you may wish for me to use. He can’t be summoned, you all know He can’t.”

“You know what we know?” from one of the cloaked figures. It’s impossible to tell which, they might be using telepathy. Neither Sam nor Ealdra can pinpoint the source.

I know He can’t, and that is enough. For me, it is enough, and it should be enough for all of you.”

The cloaks all turn to one other, their faces blanketed in shadow.

“We’ve convened for no reason, then, Ealdra? You summoned us here, you know the consequences for a false alarm.”

Ealdra reveals a hand from a pocket in her cloak. It holds a small fruit with a pinkish-white rind, no stem. “Yes, all actions have their consequences, Council of Adom; some we know, some we can’t.”

The cloaks look to each other again. “We do not wish to harm you, Ealdra, nor do we wish to end your life. The ChairElder of The Council of Life? You’re smart, girl. Smarter than all of us. Had we brought Him back… in truth, we are all worried when you called us to convene. We had all hoped you had not lost your senses.”

“Had they voted against taking the natural path,” she cuts in, feeling an outside influence in her words, “after we went through the trouble of securing it, then we may’ve hadn’t a choice. But, what happened happened, so here we are.”

The hoods drop and the circle fades. No faces are exposed to the eyes of another. “And we are glad we’ve come to this conclusion. Thank you, Ealdra.”

“You’re welcome,” Sam says as he brings his eyelids open. He blinks like a strobe light and his inner vision depicts the interior of The Psychenaut’s ship. When he’s able to discern the hinge status of his blinders, he sees Ace smoking the orange bong.

“What the hell was that?” Sam asks, then throws his hands on his mouth.

“Salvia-derived salvation,” Ace says, exhaling a cool cloud of smoke. “Salv(i)ation. Entry seven, Sam. In the past and still today, the Zeroc use Salvia Divinorum for one purpose above all other applications of the Diviner’s Sage: the testing of leaders.”

“Ace, what are you talking about?”

Ace hits the bong again and immediately exhales the smoke.

Are you smoking Salvia right now????

“Goodness no, there’s Cannabis in here. Now there is, anyway. Listen though, Lady Salvia has the uncanny ability to allow Her smoker’s consciousness to fling itself destinationlessly through all of Existence in order to hijack a random life in the Existential lifeline for a random duration of time. In essence, Salvia allows you to live a different life in a totally different part of Existence, it gives you an experience totally other, totally foreign and exotic compared to your own life that you forget your own life. Until you come back, that is, and the trip becomes just that: a trip. A memory. It’s one of the most powerful Psychedelic substances in all of Existence.”

“Ace, where is everyone?”

“The Zeroc, of course, the master race of the Universe, we’ve learned to control it. To master it. When we administer a Salvia trip, we give the user a simulation, in layman’s terms, and we tap into it and observe with Dee-eff-Zee-Tee. The user is given the helm in a certain political scenario, and we judge his or her actions; the trip is administered when they sleep and they’re unaware it’s coming when it comes. It’s how we select our leaders, Sam; it’s called fishing for a reason; we fish at night, and if we catch, we consider ourselves lucky.”

“Why did you send me on that Salvia trip Ace, I didn’t even do anything. I wasn’t even there, it was… what even was that?”

“What did you see, Sam?”

Ace throws himself on the couch beside Sam. He stands up on all fours and looks Sam through the eyes, into the boy’s pineal gland.

What did you see?

Fin