Chapter XXX: Ethereal

An Excerpt from
Diary of the Ethereal
Entry 20:229
Date 72 of 7499 SC



I’ve always felt so misunderstood and abandoned in this place, I seem to spend most of my days here in my room, learning about The Core’s predominantly peaceful history. So many things in the last week suggest that it was, for the most part, a fabrication of what truly has occurred and we were simply fed the small details that they allowed us to know.

 Music hasn’t played in and around the plaza and various environments of The Core for the last few days. It seems like such a different place without the background ambience. Even The Children for the most part have remained very quiet. I’ve heard very little talking. I think people are scared.

I walked through the courtyard today, stretching out away from the passage that led to the canteen and North Circle, diagonally across towards an intersection between East Block and the Worship Hall, to a small oasis in the large tiled centre of The Core.

Everything seemed so dormant; the world that I’d grown up in seemed to have altered so severely over the last few days. I’d known, as had so many, that tensions had been building for years. It was inevitable that something would occur sooner or later but I don’t think I ever imagined it to be like this.

Rumours have bounced around the walls of residence blocks, faint whispers in the hopes that they aren’t caught by the all-seeing-eye. I’ve heard tales of the Cold-Gods, of terrible deceit amongst our carers and amidst our own brethren. I’ve heard stories describing vividly the heroic behaviour of some of The Children, standing for what they believe so strongly in, believing so strongly that there is more beyond the walls of The Core.

I have to admit, I hadn’t ever really thought about it until now. Everything seemed so amicable, peaceful and relaxed in my life before. I suppose I had no need to go in search of an ‘uprising’, I always had my music.

Whilst I was sat between the dark moist greens of foliage at the edge of the courtyard, lent up against a tree, allowing the bark on the trunk to hold my back, cradling me comfortably in the softness of it’s beautiful nature, I noticed, quite bizarrely, one of the younger, teenage Children scurrying across the paved courtyard looking quite agitated. When I peered around the bushes for a closer look it seemed he was following one of the Parental manifestations, I’d heard Father had been missing, so this came as quite a shock to me. I stood, to gain a better perspective, it seemed this particular model was dressed more effeminately, clearly one of the less common models, intended to portray Mother.

Now, it’s not usually in my nature to be so inquisitive, but I couldn’t help but feel the urge to follow, after all the rumours going around, it seemed strange to me that this odd couple would be heading towards the Worship Hall, especially considering it’s closure 7 days ago.

In careful pursuit of the pair, I suddenly had such a rush of adrenalin, I felt as though I was part of something for once, no longer misunderstood, no longer so abandoned, I felt as though I was involved.

In my periphery I noticed something else move, another, slightly younger child, I recognized him as the male child ‘Oblique’, who’s adjective had always slightly puzzled me. I dropped back once more, to keep a clear perspective of all that was occurring, I tried to imagine where they were going and why, yet I continued to draw blanks.

Mother and the older teenager moved to the large doors of the Worship Hall, which seemed to open on her command. I drew up quite close, hidden quite well behind a tall marble pillar. Opposite me, Oblique mimicked my movement behind a second pillar, though I don’t think he noticed me.

The doors shut quickly and quietly once they had entered. Oblique and I, left outside, clearly both puzzled as to what to do next. After a moment or two of thought, Oblique crouched, fumbling through a small bag, revealing only briefly a diverse selection of what were seemingly random tools. Deciding eventually, after a little hesitation on what looked like quite a dangerous knife. I found myself gaping at him and had to force myself to close my jaw. I wasn’t really sure what to expect from him, I started to wonder what it was exactly that had prompted his most recent name.

Quickly glancing around, presumably to check for the return of any Father manifestations, Oblique got back to his feet and circle around the back of the big dome-like hall.

I suddenly felt out of my depth. These children seemed to have so much more confidence than me, so much more conviction than I. How could they simply follow around and disobey the guardians that had kept us alive for so long?

I sat, back firmly against the pillar. I immediately thought to myself… “this isn’t as comfortable as a tree.” My mind reeled back to the rumours that had been going around, about a world outside of The Core, or the Colony as they had recently taken to calling it… A world of trees, fruit and wilderness, all these things so condemned by our governing bodies, all these things that now sounded so tempting to me. I dreamed of the sweet citric taste of an Orange, and I wondered if it would taste any better from the outside world.

From my purse I took a flask, a special gift from Mother to I, “Ethereal” cast on the side in a silver font. Taking a swig to refresh myself, and retain my cool persona, I stood and went in search of Oblique, I had no idea what I’d do if I found him, if I would continue to follow him or to ask to join his mission, whatever that may be. I wondered to myself if people could do that, just tag along for a mission. It all seemed so exciting, like a dream of adventure.

When I followed the corner round, all I found was a hole, low in the wall, and a sheet of flimsy panel missing, I presumed that Oblique had crawled in… and with little hesitation, I crawled in after him.


The End

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