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Final Meditation

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  • Final Meditation

    Final Meditation

    Breathe in, hold, breathe out, Chairman Yang thought to himself. His meditation was source of focus, and one of the few avenues of solace he had left. There were no interruptions now, no urgent reports of spectacular success or bone grinding catastrophe. Even the mundane status reports were gone. It was quiet, all the time. The Gaians were gracious ‘hosts’, and his captors treated him like a guest in every way, except that he could not leave, would never be allowed to leave. He wanted for nothing, but everything he desired was denied him. It was bitter. There were times he even longed for the tender mercies of Santiago’s punishment sphere. At least the pain was something; a stimulation that Santiago made sure was always new and strikingly unpleasant.

    Breath in….

    Chairman Yang held his breath. One minute, two. Three. Four. He could feel the throbbing of his heart as his body cried out for oxygen. Even though his eyelids were firmly shut he saw colors, weaving, mesmerizing. He could feel himself rising, and the feeling in his extremities started to fade. His will would overcome his body, and that of the patiently vengeful and overly kind Gaians.

    You aren’t allowed to do that, a voice said. It was all too familiar, deep and throaty – Deirdre Skye.

    Now he knew he was hallucinating, the final act of the mind as it slipped into anoxia, and death. Somehow he had expected the false hope of the bright tunnel of light, another figment of a dying mind, but not this – the ultimate mockery: Deirdre, now long transcended to be one with her precious Planet.

    A translucent image formed, and he could see it clearly. It was Deirdre and her image was that of just after the departure of Unity, naturally young and beautiful, before the torments life and conflict on Planet had ravaged her, and before the anti aging drugs and regimes had taken their toll on her inner glow.

    Come with us now, Sheng-Ji Yang. You are invited. This time no one will be left behind. Behind her were Nwabudike, and Zakharov. They looked solid, but insubstantial. Each wore a serious expression, but he could tell that none of them bore him any malice. That was strange. Even stranger was that now, at the end, he felt no malice toward them, even though they so richly deserved it for destroying all his dreams.

    Yang could feel his remaining senses narrow, and collapse. He imagined his fevered body straining to serve his vital organs, shutting off blood and life to his extremities. Then, as the crisis worsened, the oxygen was used and his vital organs failed, one by one, until only his brain remained. Even then the delicate chemical chain started to fray and break, one synapse after another collapsing in a rush that could only end in the final peace. Death.

    He felt a hand, then several more hands, reach for him. Touch him. And he let go.

    Silence. Nothingness.

    To his everlasting astonishment Yang realized he was not dead.

    Of course you aren’t dead, Sheng-Ji Yang. No one will ever die again, the voice said again. This time it wasn’t just Deirdre’s voice, but a much more powerful Voice that seemed to have thousands or millions of overtones, facets, and harmonics, rich and varied.

    Cautiously Yang reached out, and felt Planet for the first time. Then he felt Planet reach for him, and accept him. Peace. It was the achievement of the inner harmony he had always desired. Yang felt no joy, but sensed a profound contentment he had desired for his whole life.

    It was right. It was Truth. It was the Center.

    Yang accepted Planet, and was gone.