Fulcrum

Fulcrum Fulcrum Celestial sat with about two-dozen of her best friends. She was dressed head to toe in the latest gear. Her shoes were black patent boots with a slight heel and glistened silver in the bright artificial light. Her silver pants had a slight flare to them, flowing around her boots and accentuating her thin hips. She wore a jet-black shirt and classy tailored jacket that ended mid-thigh.

Her sparkling silver necklet bore an ancient symbol. It was created by a long down-stroke, a cross-stroke at the very top and a loop above this. The exact interpretation was lost to time, but it was still known by a select few that this was the symbol of life to a small past civilization living along a magnificent river in an otherwise very dry desert on a typically green and blue Oxygen-breathing planet. Celestial’s friends were all dressed similarly, one in a beautiful loose golden dress and emerald anklet. The room was luxuriously furnished, the walls a soft glossy mauve, the color of the season, with a classic lounge suite in black vinylon. When the chairs ran out, they took to footstools, beanbags, and the soft fluffy carpet.

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The women were exhausted. The air in the large room was thick with fatigue, and as they sipped their various caffienated beverages everyone felt it. Aah, the luxury and the hard work in being a member of a world-influencing secret society. Celestial felt it the most. She knew this because as the High Priestess she could sense the exhaustion emanating from the others.

This caused a sensitive reaction, increasing her fatigue, and she struggled to keep it under control. They had met to discuss where they went wrong. Lerenae, the hostess and the woman in the flowing knee length gold dress and white silk shawl, repositioned a stray strand of waist-length deep red hair and secretly thought they were wasting their time. Whatever had gone astray had happened centuries ago, in antiquity, and nobody remembered quite what or how. If they did, they wouldn’t be in this mess.

Starting with records taken three thousand years ago, they had reviewed their meticulously kept and extensive history, tracing all activities through the strands of time, to see what effect their small actions had caused at various critical points in Earth and Galactic history. They read in many languages: old Latin, English, Chinese, even the long forgotten and still beautiful French. Lerenae wanted to cut their losses and act straight away to adjust the time-line. She glanced at the other women eagerly involved in earnest discussion on the effects of the earlier and previous legends, how effective the enigmas of missing detail had been in creating various cultural obsessions and folklore in the subconscious. All of them had been philosophers, literary analysts, historians and writers.

Lerenae was the only one who had grown tired of it all. Celestial, always the perfect leader with a wonderful understanding of the human mind, had been one of history’s greatest writers. Actually, no, she had been several of them, and a few religious martyrs. Lerenae looked across at her. She managed to operate as chair and participant both without appearing to monopolize the conversation. Lerenae knew that this meeting could continue for months.

Her only consolation was that by the end of it, the philosophers would have discussed every possibility, the analysts proven and rebutted them all and a group consensus conclusion reached as to the problem. A similar process would then be used to reach a solution. Even when they disagreed they were like a perfectly functioning organism, though that rarely happened. Celestial realized that Lerenae was the most uncomfortable. Everyone was discussing their recollection of human society and the functioning of the group at first alien contact in relation to Saint George, the Dragons and various other cultural idioms. Everyone participated, speaking in turn, asking leading questions and cross-referencing with various side-discussions, but Lerenae was not paying the slightest attention.

Celestial offered to help Lerenae organize snacks as a ploy to get her alone. As Lerenae bustled about with favorite fruits and cookies, Celestial started the coffee. She coughed to get Lerenae’s attention and they looked at each other, Celestial’s searching sapphire blue deflected by Lerenae’s hard jade green. Celestial spoke first. You were never a major character in history she stated simply.

Lerenae was obviously taken aback. For a moment she struggled for words, struggled for a secret meaning. She answered smoothly, I had some very good, unbiased views of some of the best of them. Celestial nodded. You were all the supporting cast, interacting with all the successive heroes.

I’ve spent lifetimes scrubbing floors while you watched legends from by their sides. When we could not do a thing on our own, it was you who used the subtle powers of a woman to influence the powerful men. Lerenae, what went wrong? Not with our mission but with you. Nobody else sees it, but when you chose not to be a psychologist you triggered an absence that even Qansina’s presence could not fill. She was to be your protege, Lerenae; I needed her to learn from you so that her future could benefit from your influence upon the world. I also needed you to fill the world with your accumulated wisdom.

Only you can look at human-kind from your point of view. Lerenae let her guard drop. You said I would never be great.. she drifted off. Celestial hugged Lerenae.

I said it would have been different, that you would have been resented more than celebrated in your lifetime, she said. It would have been different. You more than any of us are capable of handling a trial. You know that is important. She stood back to look at Lerenae.

Our circle was forged millennia ago because the stars were right. Celestial hesitated. Your destiny was written in them from the start, and I have to confess, it’s so strange. It still is. Lerenae sniffed and struggled to keep herself under control.

I’m so embarrassed she sniffed out. She turned around to get herself under control. Celestial took her gently by the shoulder and turned her around. A single tear had begun to collect just beneath the corner of Lerenae’s eye. Lerenae didn’t meet Celestial’s eye. Please look at me, said Celestial. Don’t hate me because I made you cry.

It’s a good thing to do every few centuries you know. Lerenae set her jaw, determined not to show any emotion before Celestial. Celestial just sighed. You’re a human, you know, she reminded Lerenae. Humans are well known for their emotions.

It’s what distinguishes us from the animals. Lerenae didn’t even know why she was crying, just that she wanted to make everyone happy and that there were too many forces pulling her from each angle. She just wanted to run and hide, but everything inside her told her that she had already done that, and now was the time to emerge. No she said quietly, I can’t do what you’re thinking. I just have the ability.

I’m sorry. Celestial sighed. I don’t know what is right for you. I just hope that you’ll realize it when the time comes because if you don’t none of us will be in a position to. In the meantime, I suggest you think about what we’re going to do with ourselves because these people will philosophize the house down before they notice the blindingly obvious.

Just in case. I’m trying to keep them under control out here but it’s not doing much good. Just remember, no matter what we do, you’re a part of that and we need you. Celestial carried out the now perfect coffee, leaving Lerenae to reflect. Lerenae sat in silence. She had seen the best and worst of humanity.

She had watched treachery, love, religion, fashion and hate. Sometimes she saw them all at once. Within her loneliness and disappointment, Lerenae had seen the worst and best that Homo Sapiens had to offer. Loneliness was the key to profoundness, she had heard over again through many lifetimes. Lerenae had experienced the drive toward greatness, but been constantly thwarted.

She let her able mind develop a picture of the world had she followed what Celestial had thought to be her fate. The world had been ready for her, and she would have filled it with a profound insight on how most people seemed to work, running from negative feelings in a wealth of confusion that manifested itself in religion, genocide, vegetarianism and philosophy. She reflected, comparing that wisdom to the mission of their group, the Unlapergico Toldarsibno-Gamma. Three thousand years ago it had been. They knew the secret to religion, to domination by force. But they also knew the secret of the true leader, to rule by persuasion, and of the absolute control, to alter subtly the subconscious of man until his every thought within his psyche is controlled by a carefully manufactured set of apparently random sensory inputs.

Even a thousand years ago, Celestial had known something was missing, that her psychological insight was incapable of going the direction Celestial wanted. They begged, pleaded and even blackmailed empty threats. Finally they sent in Qansina. Qansina fired up many people and made herself famous. From talking to Lerenae whom she had served comfortably for almost as many lifetimes as Lerenae had lived, Qansina had developed a similar aptitude for psychology. Qansina was brilliant, but her hard and magnificent work was lost to subconscious noise. Lerenae could hear discussions of just that point in the next room and bustled to get back out there.

A silky black bobbed head was shaking about as Qansina, a petite figure in a stylish little silver dress and mauve shoes, argued that the point behind her philosophy had been lost through time and other influences. They all knew that all Qansina had left in the popular mind was a deep interest in psychology, and a deep curiosity, the need to have a deeper understanding of the world, the sort hinted at by Qansina who of course possessed such an understanding. A few heads started as everyone realized that this was exactly what the original thinkers had prophesied were warning signs that their time was about to reach a critical point. Qansina wanted the needed light in the darkness to be the rediscovery of her best works and Lerenae felt a moment of panic at the possibility of a false solution. She clapped loudly.

Take forty, people. It’s late. The action had the desired effect, and as people turned to her food, Lerenae allowed herself a smile. Not only did she have a unique perspective that had almost been wasted by premature exposure to an earlier age that would have spoiled the impact, but she also had gained an extra dimension in which to examine that perspective properly. Lerenae was experiencing her first real smile for over a thousand years. She now felt hope, and a joy that everything was going just right for her. Things hadn’t gone wrong at all, she restrained herself from shouting at the still very alert group.

That would have to wait for the morning, when they were in the receptive rather than philosophical mood. Qansina’s role hadn’t been a failed patch-up. To the contrary, she had paved the way for the saving voice of the masses. Lerenae would bring history to a close in the most fabulous way possible from the ashes of its bleakest period. She was still smiling deep into her sleep. Creative Writing.