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The Prophesy Dream of She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives

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She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives wondered how effective the promised dream-catcher of She-of-Many-Paths would prove. Lately, the Shaman’s dreams had been more troubled than usual. In the distance, she could hear the skies rumbling and grumbling in the distance. She could smell the approaching storm; as yet though, no raindrops drummed and not a whisper of wind swayed the nearby oaks. She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives drifted into a fitful dream. 

{Translator’s Note}: Needless (?) to say, the Veritas, like many so-called primitive people’s took great store in dreams and dream interpretation. Nonetheless, they also realized that the outside conditions influence dreams and the reader is also no doubt aware from their own experience. Therefore, before recounting the contents of a prophetic dream itself, they recorded the physical circumstances and physiological state of the dreamer. 

She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives began her journey in the spirit world walking along one of the broad paths that the many branches of the Veritas used for commerce among themselves. She walked soundlessly along the path, whose dirt had been pounded into hard-baked clay by the elements and the numerous feet, large and small, who had trod, run, shuffled, and plodded along this path. Presently, the Shaman came across a blueberry bush and snatched off a handful, anticipating the rich, sweet, aromatic taste. But there was no taste. She coughed and noticed that her eyes watered. Breath came with difficulty, and the air itself seemed to filled with dust or ash — the worst tasting ash ever. She looked toward distant peaks but they were dim as though the air was no longer air but a thin gray smoke, tinged with yellow. Smoke seemed to grow from leafless, limbless trees.

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She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives looked down at her feet and was surprised to see that the baked dirt was not yellow-brown dirt. Instead, the path was a dirty silvery gray flecked with tiny pieces of mica. The road was hard under her feet – much harder than usual. She stopped in her tracks. Something was making an odd noise. No, not a noise. It was silence. 

No crow scolded. No robin tweeted and twittered. No unseen tiny feet scurried through the brush. No squirrels chattered in the trees. She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives saw the rock-hard road beneath her feet spread out like a cancer growing ever larger. As the strange and ugly whitish rock spread out in all directions, She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives could see it destroying all in its path: blueberry bushes, oak trees, deer, squirrels. Everything flying fell from the sky. Everything crawling or running found themselves mired in the ever-expanding death rock. Initial silence was replaced by deafening screeching and rumbling. 

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She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives still found herself wanting to run from this terrible thing that ate her world but found herself instead lashed to the spot, unable to move. She called for her tribe but no-one came. Perhaps they could not even hear her over the din. In the distance, at last, she saw other people coming toward her. Like every other adult in the tribe, she knew everyone and could recognize each such person at a distance. But here she saw none that she recognized. As the throng grew closer, she saw that their faces were also white and flecked like the rock itself and their eyes had no light. Each marched as though to a drumbeat that only they could hear. Their faces showed nothing and their mouths all moved constantly but nothing meaningful issued forth. 

As people in such close proximity inevitably do, some few tripped upon each other. A few such blank people fell. Rather than laughing and spreading out more to avoid further tripping, they began fighting and screaming at each other. Each such person blamed other such people and everyone pointed fingers at someone else and screamed. Some such persons now drew forth magic black rocks and pointed not fingers only but also these magic black rocks at each other. Such pointing came with a loud noise such as a moist shale makes in exploding when placed too close to the fire. Such magic pointing caused blood to appear in the person pointed to. Many such people pointed and many such people of white death in so pointing caused others to fall bleeding and screaming. 

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She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives tried to minister to some who were bleeding and screaming. She began to tear off some of the clothing of these people of white death to make tourniquets. The touch of such clothing repulsed her; nonetheless, she persisted. She saw that no-one else helped her with her ministrations. She began to wonder whether these magic black fire rocks would also cause blood to appear if pointed at her. She stood to look about for anyone from among the Veritas who might help her, but all she saw was an endless sea of the people of the white death coming down the broad white road. Now, each had a magic black rock of fire and all pointed at someone else and made blood appear. They no longer waited for someone to trip. They simply seemed to want to cause harm and kill another living human being. 

The Shaman became concerned for her own people and ran to hide in the Lake of Reeds until such time as she could conceive of appropriate action for no such plan could she yet devise. When, she came to the Lake of Reeds, however, there were no reeds at all. The beautiful blue lake had been replaced with one of brown and it was covered with scum. She walked to the edge and touched some of the scum. It was not a plant however as she had sometimes seen. This scum was not of life but of death. It was mainly white or clear. And, when she touched it, it seemed not of this earth but appeared instead to be of the land of death. When she touched it, she felt no connection whatever to life. 

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She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives decided to head back to her own cabin and call a council meeting. She knew a path over the ridge and hoped that the white road of death had not yet killed such path. Suddenly, she was at her cabin door. Sitting in front of the cabin door, laughing, was Fleet-of-Foot wearing a white death-mask. She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives spoke urgently. “Fleet-of-Foot, be true to your name and run quickly to summon the tribe. There is a great plague upon the land and I fear it will kill all things unless we act quickly.”

Fleet-of-Foot just grinned at her, and replied, “Do your own errands, old lady. I am from the future where I am king.”

“King? What is a ‘king’ and do you not hear me? It is urgent that we summon all the people now. There is a giant white rock of death covering all things. I cannot stop it alone.” 

Fleet-of-Foot shook his head. “No, old woman, that is just a better kind of path. It is faster and allows more people to travel. It kills nothing but useless trees, bushes, and animals.” 

“Useless? How can you say trees, bushes and animals are useless? We depend on them for our survival.” She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives now saw that Fleet-of-Foot seemed enclosed in a giant shiny bubble. His voice seemed to have lost its rhythm and music. Indeed, he spoke quickly but without any connection to his own heart. 

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“Listen, Old One,” continued Fleet-of-Foot, “we have better ways to find food now and everything else. We have no more need for animals, bushes, and trees. Everything is done more quickly and efficiently now. Perhaps you do not yet see the wisdom of this new way, but you will. Everyone does eventually. Well, everyone who survives. You see, One-Too-Old-To-Save-Many-Lives, now everyone has only one way of how-to. My way. The way of As-Fast-As-Possible.”

“Fleet-of-Foot, there is some good to that way of how-to, but it must be balanced with other ways. Where are the other candidates?” 

“Not really, One-Too-Old, speed is really all that counts. I killed all the other candidates. Too much trouble. They didn’t seem to realize that my way is the only way. My way of how to has made many weapons as well for fast killing. Such weapons as these end arguments very quickly indeed. And, I have wasted too much time already talking with you.”

At this, Fleet-of-Foot pulled out a magic black killing rock and pointed it at her. 

Before he could use his weapon, a hundred eagles dove from the sky onto every part of Fleet-of-Foot, and tore him apart with their talons. Fleet-of-Foot screamed. 

At this, She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives awoke and realized it was she herself who was screaming. Outside, she could now hear the storm outside bringing life-giving rain and the crack of nearby lighting and the ripping of trees struck by such. The Shaman decided this was a dream that she needed to share. She decided that when the storm had passed, she would call together first the Six-Who-See-With-Animal-Eyes, including Fleet-of-Foot, to see what possible meanings could be gathered and whether such a dark dream should be shared with all of the Veritas. Beyond meanings, however, she wished to amplify her own wisdom about whether such an imbalanced world as the one she had seen could ever come to pass. 

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Further sleep that night proved impossible, even for one so disciplined as She-Who-Saves-Many-Lives. She turned the problem this way and that in her mind, trying to see if such path of inharmonious blindness could ever come to pass. Could the Veritas, or indeed, any people come to view speed as so important that they put no value whatever on any other way of how-to? Being in harmony counted for nothing? Making something that lasted for many winters counted for nothing? The pleasure of the making itself counted for nothing?  It seemed unlikely. It was also unlikely that one tree could grow through another. Yet, she had seen such herself and not far from here. But to see trees, bushes, and animals as being without value? To replace such with a huge block of ugly white flat stone? To make a gray white pond scum to cover lakes? To laugh at and mock other ways of knowing? These seemed impossible, not just unlikely. Still it would be good to see whether fresher eyes on the world could see a path to this not-life way of life. Often, she well knew, a perfectly good fruit with a slight crack may become first a home for a few tiny mold plants and soon the entire plant is encrusted with foul-tasting mold. Some few ants could begin chewing on logs and eventually destroy an entire lodging as she herself had pointed out to Pond Mud. Could something like that happen to an entire world? Wouldn’t the people stop such an infestation long before it was too late?

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“Magic Portal” to Other Worlds!