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Haven D. Mankin

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Our Landing on Paradisi-Prime
By Haven D. Mankin
Wednesday, December 08, 2010

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Vir-1 found the area hot and wet, steam pouring forth from the plants like the vents of a volcano. Where was he? This was a very strange place, not scary, not a place of monsters, yet a setting from his wildest dreams, a different planet; yes, for his spacecraft is positioned differently from yesterday.

Vir-1 found the area hot and wet, steam pouring forth from the plants like the vents of a volcano. Where was he? This was a very strange place, not scary, not a place of monsters, yet a setting from his wildest dreams, a different planet; yes, for his spacecraft is positioned differently from yesterday. Was it a worm-hole he had passed through? Vir had only read about these strange science-fiction phenomenons; never had he actually passed through one. Maybe his ship drew too close to a black hole’s event horizon. His mind was so fuzzy. He noticed something very strange even more than the idea of worm-holes. The red fluid in his boots! It smelled so sweet…weird yet it seemed a beneficial nectar, but why in his boots? Could this be considered a gift? Deposited from whom, the ruler of this strange place? The nectar seemed to just appear, nobody was around; he was indeed alone, or so he thought. Vir-1 actually had no clue to where he was, he was still in a fog within his own mind. The steam coming off of the plants and the land itself was dissipating; vision was becoming clearer to his eyes though his brain could not comprehend and remained foggy. Everything was so unbelievably sweet, an experience and sensation he had never known before.

It was at this moment that it dawned on him that he actually had no knowledge of the last place he lived; it was only a few moments ago. Vir knew beyond doubt that he had to come from somewhere for he was fully grown, not a baby at all. Knowing he was previously known and loved, he had to come from somewhere, though Vir-1 knew he was no longer there. Heck, he had not traveled anywhere, he had only blinked his eyes, or so he thought. Now he is walking on rich soil of the most wonderful place in all Mundi; this land was different. This land is a most wonderful gift to behold. The ancients used to travel by folding space; had those ancestors moved him while he blinked? This was definitely not the same planet his was on only seconds ago. Why was he forced to leave his mansion on Paradisi-Prime? It was perfection! He had done nothing wrong. Had Deus told him to go? He had no knowledge of a conversation. If Deus was gone, oh how he would miss those beautiful conversations. Forgetting the needs of preparation, he had no knowledge of even climbing the steps of his space ship, yet here he was, and his space ship was upright in its different setting. Strange! “This is enough to make my head hurt…I am so very confused”, he mumbled to himself. At this time warmth made him look down. The red nectar was soothing and brought him peace and comfort without limit, but that sensation had to be only in his head; after all, how could a fluid in his boots be anything else?

So foggy and confused, he stretched out on the soft fertile sweet-smelling ground. Vir-1 was not alone. Made awake by the tappings of a group of funny little furry Grex and the amoenus song from the feathered Pecu fliers all created a magnificent grand symphony much like his previous home, Paradisi-Prime; maybe he hadn’t traveled at all. This land had all the beauty and perfection of Paradisi-Prime; yet this place had a fresh sweet smell of new factura; something new and fresh was happening here, and his side hurt. Had he stretched out over a stone? Why did his side hurt? He had never been sick before nor had he ever had any pain whatsoever. Where he came from there was never sickness. Never! Yet, such an unknown feeling, now he hurt. Was this all false and only the workings of a grossly strange dream? In this moment, Vir-1 saw that other creature! Not a dream at all, this was a creature much like him and upright, yet very different in shape somehow. Thinking he was alone in a strange yet beautiful land was tolerable even with all of his questions, but now things are much worse! Did he have “an enemy”, only mentioned by the ancients in fables, these characters have been unknown for millions of years? Could be friend though, how could he know? Vir had never been in this situation before. Enemies were only the stuff of parables of long ago. So strange and totally unexpected, Vir-1 did not know what to think having never experienced an undefined enemy before. Knowing only love, how should he greet this creature, with a hug or a kiss as he used to do? Maybe only smile and see what happens next? Yes, that is what he decided to do; he would smile. It had worked before when faced with the unknown, but then he had never experienced abuse before; in fact, the whole thing was foreign around the mansion he came from, now only a faint memory if real at all. Everything is still so incredibly foggy; he had only known love before.

Vir-1 wondered around this new fantastic land and called it Paradisi-Prime, like his past home due to its inherent perfected comfort, it seemed fitting sure enough. The place was unbelievably beautiful, actually refreshing! “Amoenus!” He shouted, hoping someone would hear him and come out of hiding. The new creature never came out; trying to re-focus he returned to search for his shadow creature. The Pecu fliers kept him company and suggested direction by their warm flight and sweet melody. Walking beyond the beautiful Pomum grove before him, Vir-1 saw his shadow! Wait, this creature was indeed different than Vir-1, like his sisters seen elsewhere in Mundi. Vir-1 called out his emotion again, “Amoenus!” and smiled just as he had planned to do. She turned around and smiled. A smile in return, so far so good, Vir-1 thought, so he boldly asked, “What is your name?” “Deus named me, Mulier…Mulier-1” the reply came from an incredibly beautiful minstrel voice so flowing it seemed to never stop as it bounced from ear to ear and floated across Paradisi-Prime.

The two walked around Paradisi-Prime for the rest of the day and grew to know each other better. There was something closer than familiar between the two however, but how could that be? Neither knew the other. Mulier-1 had said she was alone when she awoke in this strange land, not knowing how she got there. When Vir-1 said the same, rubbing his side, it was an eerie serendipity indeed! Were they closer to each other than simply showing up in the same place in Mundi, in the same garden on Prime? After their walk, no other person was seen on Prime yet all seemed wonderfully balanced. Why just the two? They got along as if they were one.

A strange affection grew between the two. Not expected but somehow it was the most unplanned natural thing imaginable. Unplanned? Maybe it was all planned, but certainly not by the two. As they walked over the beautiful sweet terrain of Prime, always accompanied by the singing Pecu fliers and the always affectionate Grex groupings, it felt like it always was…was perfect. However, due to previously unknowable jealousy and selfishness, it wasn’t. Oh no, not on the part of the two space travelers; they were one, but there was something else indefinable going on. Unknown at the time, someone else, some strange force was lurking about. “Things are not always at they seem” echoed over the mountains again as in the days of old after the first war against Deus, but the growing love of the two choked the ears to hear such unwanted echo. Yet, it was indeed the same sinister echo always present, at times unheard, yet floating about ever since the early war in Mundi when Deus lost a third.

Again, as if to shake out any fuzziness and redirect, Vir-1 called out, “amoenus!”, and it was; the most beautiful world he had ever seen in his vast travels. Pomum groves afforded the best food, the most wonderful flowers, sweet smells, and the “nectar”; oh the wonderful red, life-giving as it seemed nectar. Mulier-1 said she had encountered the same red nectar in her boots! Vir-1 wondered why always in boots? The nectar was wonderful alright and dripping from everything good, so why did it seem to settle in our boots? Our boots were like firm foundations to us; did the nectar have anything to do with our support? So many unanswered questions in this new land kept the two wondering. Was there a forced direction in our steps, thought Vir-1? No, “I’m no puppet”, there was no “direction” being given, movement was freer than any applied direction. This all remained a welcomed mystery. Again Vir-1 called out, “amoenus factura!”, and it was!

As exploration of Paradisi-Prime continued, Vir-1 and Mulier-1 enjoyed their days with great anticipation; funny how time never seemed to move at all during these exciting days. It was like those times when you are doing something really creative. Finding yourself lost in the work, you felt that with a blink of an eye, the day went by…that was life on Prime! Never was there a sense of being tired, no boredom, no being anxious over anything, not a worry or concern, nor any frustration over not knowing how they got there in the first place. It just didn’t matter anymore. Together, they agreed the whole experience simply was the most peaceful, beautiful, and wonderful thing imaginable.

Before Vir-1 had ran into Mulier-1, he had a sense of not being alone. He knew Deus; this feeling was just the opposite as black is opposite of white. No, this was a very uneasy sense, even scary, terrifying! So counter to the actual Paradisi-Prime experience, the sensation only could be a bad dream. Vir-1, thinking the sensation was indeed only this bad dream, had dismissed it from any reality days ago but now it had reoccurred again. Surfaced now with a degree of intensity requiring sensual observance, Mulier-1 also knew something physical was there too. Terrifying as the sensations were, preservation called for the two to ignore it all together. Call it as stupid as “an ostrich with its head in the sand” the reaction continued the peace, even if it was to be short-lived.

The good, even romantic feelings they both shared equally was the desire to work, though “play” might be a more accurate word to use here, around Prime. Somehow, helping in the Pomum groves, tending the Grex groupings, laughing at the antics of their young and helping the Pecu fliers build their nests seemed so natural; not work at all. Days went by like the blink of an eye. Deus was close; always very close. There was comfortable relationship with Deus, though hardly understood, but that was certainly okay with Vir-1 and Mulier-1. Understanding was not required. They needed nothing else!

Times were good, even exciting on Prime! Everything was an adventure. Every day had something new to experience. Every turn opened new vistas. Wonder was there to behold on Paradisi-Prime, all crafted at the hand of Deus! As they walked, the air itself seemed to say “amoenus”. Yes! “Amoenus”, said Mulier, that it is what we will call this area. Yes, the definition of beautiful did fit this land, in fact, all of Prime was amoenus! They continued their walk while Vir was reminded by past sensations that there was also something rather evil in the shadows, indefinable, unseen, sinister, and strange. Against desire, he kept open to his peripheral vision; innocent peace was the best, but this feeling returned. Should he always be aware? Aware of what? Vir-1 didn’t like these foreign feelings borne out of the shadows. The light was always the best.

One day Mulier-1 came across a strange form much like a tree, thorny in nature, rough bark that seemed to move as she moved. Did those limbs, like arms of a dragon so out of proportion that they did not at all go together, move as she moved? Working for a defensible position, some force created invitation rather than confrontation.  She kept her distance and turned toward some beautiful flowers in diversion to ease her mind. Yet she could not help but look back over her shoulder, bouncing back and forth between the forms beauty and concern. It pulled her. What was that, that thing so out of place in Paradisi? “Vir! Please come! Please come see this strange thing we have never yet encountered on Prime”, she said. Vir-1 did not have a clue what this strange form was, but felt that strange scary feeling flooding over him, once sensed earlier in his explorations on Prime. “Let’s give it a name so we can control it”, said Vir-1. They decided on, Spineus; it seemed fitting.

Spineus was firmly rooted into the rock outcroppings, almost seemed to be a part of, not the rocks, but the cracks! The darkness and nothingness of a deep crack in the crust of Prime fit the nature of this energy. Somehow it all fit. The two continued their diversionary explorations on Paradisi-Prime, truly enjoying their days and the magnificent beauty they found. The intensity of the beauty clearly took over the minds of the two and they soon forgot about Spineus. Life seemed easy and care-free; food was plentiful at hand with little work to do, yet life was most full-filling and rewarding! One day while following a small stream and talking to Deus, they encountered…Spineus? Is that really Spineus? Not in this new location for they were days away from the previous encounter at the rock outcroppings. Maybe there are two of these thorny guys…no, this was identical to the first in every detail…no, this was indeed Spineus! He is not a firmly rooted tree but has actually been following the two for days!

“I knew there was something strange and evil about that tree!” Vir said as they both backed away. “Deus, what do we do?” Out of the air, “back away and stay close”, came the reply. The two quickly moved to another spot, a spot much more refreshing, much more of an oasis. The two had to re-focus and bring back peace; they felt as if their every thoughts were being controlled by some sinister maneuver outside their own control. They were weak, looked upon their own abilities, and gave Spineus too much position. Privately, they cried out, Deus, we need you!

There was something comforting about the cool refreshing mist they found around Paradisi. They did stay close to Deus as instructed. While in the mist life was great with a sense of love and fullness; Spineus was nowhere to be found. Peace was again at hand; little did they know that seeds had already been planted, and in Mulier, they started to grow fast. For Vir, it took a little longer, but not much.

It all turned the day Mulier-1 wandered away…wandering over a distant ridge apart from Vir-1; longing for something only for herself, she encountered Spineus not looking strange at all. In fact, Spineus seemed downright friendly, inviting Mulier to come closer. Dare she move closer, closer without Vir? She was brave; after all, she was a space-traveler! What could a tree do? Mulier-1 sat on a nearby rock to study this tree-like form. A tree? This was no tree. Spineus did seem to move though ever so slowly…was this real, thought Mulier to herself? Then as she was sure that the tree had not moved for some time, another voice was heard; this one coming from behind her. “Vir? Is that you?”, as she spun around. No one was there, yet Mulier was not alone.

“Hi Mulier” said the new voice, as he walked out of some craggy rocks more into the light, my name is Anguis. “Who named you?” said Mulier, thinking that maybe Anguis had already run into Vir-1. “Who controls you?”, she added. “I named myself” said Anguis, “no one controls me, least of all Deus! I come from another region of Mundi called Pecco. It is really very close by; it is always very close by. I would like to be your friend…can we visit for awhile?” Mulier-1 felt an attraction, and Anguis, though somewhat scary looking did have a kind voice. What was this strange new feeling develop[ping within Mulier; it was not as warm as the feelings she had for Deus or Vir, but it brought on a more private inviting present she wished to open. They talked about life, desire, fulfillment, focus, rewards, Deus, and Paradisi-Prime. Anguis had been able to convince Mulier-1 that she needed to think for herself and be more concerned with her own fulfillment rather than to worry what Vir-1 thought or certainly what Deus expected. As evening came, Mulier walked back to Vir with a whole new sense about life; she felt pretty good about herself. Herself.

It was a beautiful cool evening on Prime. Mulier-1, with only a slight memory really too fuzzy to resurrect about recent events, relaxed eating honey and grapes that the Pecu fliers had told her about, even some juicy berries from those generous Grex directions. Everything was perfect. Even Vir-1 was quiet and at peace, which of course meant that she could concentrate on the words of Anguis. Mulier-1 sure did like the idea of dealing with her own self-fulfillment; not a care in the world, but her own. It seemed more simple in fact and less cumbersome. This sure was a different feeling from the way she felt yesterday.

The next morning, Mulier got up early and ran back to the craggy rocks; “who are you looking for?”, came the soothing voice of Anguis. “You! I want what you have to offer…I have thought all night about it. Since landing on Paradisi-Prime, I have never felt this way. It excites me and I don’t have to think about Vir-1 or Deus or anything else! I like it.” She shouted in an aggressive voice, “Won’t you show me more?”

In the most beautiful soothing inviting voice she had ever heard, Anguis said, “Have you experienced the center Pomum, the tall one in the middle of the grove? I know the Grex and Pecu have shown you wonderful things to eat, the awesome pomi fruit, but the tall perfectly symmetrical Center Pomum with its beautiful red exquisite pomi fruit is the best of all. There is only one special location in all of Mundi and its right here on Paradisi-Prime and in that grove for this unbelievable treasured delight; you cannot find it anywhere else. Let’s go there.”

As they walked and talked the land became more familiar, had she been here before? “Amoenus!” Mulier mumbled. Yes, she had been here before, but now the steam had dissipated and it all seemed clearer now; the flowers were even sweeter than memory served. This was a special place. This was a place close to Vir’s spaceship; this was the place where everything had started. Why did she ever wander around in search of other places on Prime when everything is right here? Had she missed the earlier vision or did Anguis’ words make clear her vision? Yes, it was the most beautiful spot in all of Mundi.

Anguis reached up for a pomi fruit from the Center Pomum tree and handed it to Mulier-1, as she took a bite, Vir-1 walked up, amazed at the surroundings yet thinking he had been here before. Wait! Mulier-1 don’t…it was too late…she loved the taste. Unbelievable! Anguis was smiling. Vir-1 was nervous; hadn’t the strange mist told him to stay away? Was that voice even real? Vir tried to remember but everything was…was a dream? The mist doesn’t talk! I have traveled through all of Mundi. I have never experienced this before. It must be a dream and not a poison, he thought, as he also took a big bite. The air seemed to cry; only Anguis noticed that reaction as he drew back into the shadows.

The strange sensations grew. The furry Grex were nowhere to be found; the Pecu fliers did not fill the air anymore and Anguis had gone yet was watching in anticipation. Again Vir-1 found the area hot and wet, stream pouring forth from the plants like the vents of a volcano, just like before when his ship landed on Prime. Mulier-1 and Vir-1 looked at each other and grew afraid, an emotion not sensed before; their oneness was now history. Before this moment, there was no reason for fear. The red life-giving nectar once found in their boots, once smelling so sweet, now had turned brown and foul. What is going on? Just then a mighty wind began to blow pushing the two away from the Pomum tree, out of the grove and toward Vir’s awaiting spaceship. The land began to shake and rocks blocked once familiar peaceful paths. Once beautiful blue skies became dark gray and the ground moaned in pain. There was no turning back now, they had obviously upset Deus. Deus! Deus? Oh, they had forgot all about Deus! Anguis smiled a winner and so watchfully waited in grand anticipation for what was going to happen next.

“Let’s get back to my spaceship, Mulier-1” said Vir-1. “We have to leave Prime now; it is not the same wonderful place it once was.” The wind had changed everything for the two; the once-close grove was now far away though the spacecraft had not moved. Had Paradisi-Prime changed or had the two space-travelers changed? It all happened so quickly. What really did happen? It was a mystery to the two, but not to Deus! Heck, both of the bewildered space-travelers didn’t have a clue what happened. Strap in and blast-off, we must leave our peace now. Sadness came over Deus; things had not gone according to plan.

They began searching throughout all of Mundi for another Paradisi-Prime. The first encounter with Paradisi just happened; there was not any effort involved or expended, it came like a gift. Now there would be work to do; could they start over again? Had they learned anything by the past events? “Do you think there is another place like Paradisi-Prime?”, said Mulier-1 wishfully, “I sure did like that place!” Vir-1 pondered the events, how he had arrived on Prime by himself. How he had found Mulier-1, the never-before-known pain in his side, and the fun they had being together; sensations he had never experienced before…full oneness with another! As he reflected back on recent events, he thought more of Deus than he had before; would he ever see Deus again? Walk with Him again? How strange it all was! Maybe Deus wasn’t real; could this all be a dream? Maybe he had hit his head on some of those craggy rocks at the initial landing of his craft? Vir-1 touched the inside of his boots, called by a familiar warm feeling, and found the nectar again. The nectar! They still had the life-giving loving nectar. Only, this time it was red again! Somehow he knew things would evidently be okay again and he would see Deus again, at least one day in the future, the relationship would be restored. The red nectar was the proof of the present reality of love, sacrifice and relationship. The two were learning, even if slowly, it was a lot to take in. Factura-Paradisi was indeed real and was our gift, borne out of love, it all had not been a strange dream. “We are going to find Deus again!”, shouted Vir-1. Keep the supporting nectar close and reach out to Deus; this will be our pathway back to our second Paradisi-Prime landing. Vir continued, “Mulier-1, take the controls and head for that distant morning star!”

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