Genre: Cosmic Fantasy
Self Publication Date: Unspecified
The brightest minds of the galaxy-spanning Transworld Alliance have some good news: they have proven conclusively that creation is the work of a single intelligent, omnipotent, benevolent being. They also have some bad news: whatever it was left a serious flaw in the assembly code of the universe, which will have some dramatic consequences in a few trillion years. It’s not clear how our heroes will solve this problem, but someone has got to try…otherwise, what’s the point?
To Yi, the idea that there could be other islands seemed foolish, if not heretical. Yi’s people had no word for “heresy” or “god” or “faith” or “evil”or “word,” for that matter, but he felt like inventing a new word to describe what he was feeling: these new men were proposing ideas that made him feel angry, confused, twisted about…
The idea of “new men” itself was a new paradigm for Yi (who unfortunately had no word for “paradigm” either). Yi lived on an island with 500 of his brothers and sisters. It had always been this way, the island and the 501, the closest thing they had to “another island” was a rock formation off the coast of the far lagoon, which they called “the sisters.” This was a mere shelf of volcanic rhyolite, too small to support vegetation, let alone other people.
But these newcomers, with their strange dress and even stranger tools, were insisting that they had been to other lands, seen other men, killed quite a few of them, and planned on killing a good deal more.
It took Yi a moment to imagine other islands in the sea…a sea he had always assumed to be infinite and uniform. It took him a moment more to overcome his initial revulsion to the idea. A multitude of islands seemed like a very bad thing. He then gathered his thoughts and spoke.
It did not surprise Yi that these newcomers spoke his language. (“Language” being another word that Yi had no precise word for) He believe that his language was like the sea: all-present, all-encompassing, and eternal. So when he spoke, he simply said:
“Who are these men?”
and he was only slightly surprised when the stranger replied
“These men are travelers, and they have come a long way.”