Lisa Criss Griffin: The Sentinel

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The Sentinel

By Lisa Criss Griffin

Eir felt the flow of his life force pulsate dangerously as he applied the energized memory patches into the sentient memories of the two beings he had come to regard as friends. They both stiffened in shock as the patches took effect, their eyes rolling up and backward into their heads as synaptic electrical activity was disrupted and rearranged. As their bodies slowly relaxed, Eir gently made sure they were both physically stabilized, properly geared up and all the systems on their spacecraft were functioning properly. He quickly returned to his normal state of energy frequency, fully engaged the launch sequence, and secured the spacecraft. He vibrated at a much quicker molecular velocity than they did, so he could not be seen unless he intentionally slowed down his frequency kinetics. Several minutes passed before the Lunar Module began to lift off of the dusty surface of the moon, the vessel abruptly separating from the cradle of landing gear as he watched. The spaceship surged upward amid glittering showers of sharply edged space dust crystals disturbed by the powerful engines, quickly rocketing back toward the orbiting Command Module to redock.

Eir was joined by another Sentinel as his human friends made their way back to Earth. The Sentinels were beings of light energy, entrusted by The Tribara to covertly protect the human beings on Earth. Due to their vibrational velocity, they were rarely experienced by the humans, even when they directly interacted with them. Over the centuries, they had occasionally encountered humans with a surprising sensitivity to their presence, which had resulted in various human cultural myths of extraterrestrial beings and eventually led to an entire branch of human research devoted to the subject. 

Over the last 100 years, human beings began to develop a surprising level of technology, to the point that several of them had visited the moon orbiting their planet. The Sentinels found this development very interesting, since humans were designed to be terrestrial beings until each individual’s time of transformation. Once human beings underwent the transformation, they were free to travel unencumbered throughout the universe as they wished, and became aware of all the other life forms created by The Tribara. The Sentinels always enjoyed the extreme beauty of a human transformation. The newly minted, rainbow-colored being of light that slipped from the terrestrial human shell during the transformation was dazzling to behold, and the Sentinels marveled at the extreme difference between terrestrial human beings and those who had already transformed.

Both of the two terrestrial humans who had recently landed their spacecraft on the moon had an uncanny ability to sense The Sentinels, and had glimpsed Eir several times as he performed his duties. They had begun to talk to him in the hope he would completely materialize for them. They were persistently curious creatures, and Eir had developed a fondness for them as he protected them from the frequent attacks of the Marahs, who jealously despised the humans for their enormous beauty after transforming, and their extreme favor with The Tribara. 

The Marahs continuously concentrated their energies on disturbing the mental health of terrestrial humans, sometimes with fatal results, since transformed humans were immune to all forms of their weaponry. Marahs were notorious for planting seeds of doubt, jealousy, offense, violence and self-loathing in the thought patterns of the terrestrial humans, and then they took every opportunity to fan the flames of whatever they had planted. Sentinels were much stronger beings and were able to counteract the curses whispered by the Marahs into the minds of the terrestrial humans, with combinations of ancient runes provided to them by The Tribara specifically for this purpose. Unfortunately, terrestrial humans were highly sensitive to mental suggestions by the Marah, so the Sentinels stayed busy.

It was not that Marahs hated the humans, they hated The Tribara for creating a new creature more beautiful and more highly esteemed by The Tribara than themselves. In spite of their fanatical jealousy and ongoing attempts to destroy or at least injure the terrestrial humans to mute the beauty of their colorful radiance after transformation, The Tribara had been most patient and understanding with the Marahs. However, there were strong signs that this era of tolerance was coming to an end, and the Marahs had been warned. Eir hoped The Tribara would put an end to it soon. It was always a difficult thing for The Sentinels to accept when the Marahs successfully destroyed a terrestrial human. But terrestrial humans were free to make choices, just as all the created beings had the ability to make their own choices.

Eir had just finished warding off a particularly offensive Marah when the terrestrial human called John Young looked him straight in the eye and said, “I know you are here, and I can see you a little bit. I would very much like to talk with you!” The other terrestrial human looked at John, and then directly at Eir. “I can see you too. Please stay and talk with us. My name is Charles Duke…what is yours?”

Eir sighed and mentally rolled his eyes. The last thing he wanted was to have to directly interact with these terrestrial humans. They were incredibly curious and demanding creatures, and Eir had never been seen by them before. Eir looked over at his fellow Sentinel Zakif, who simply shrugged. “Why not? Just apply a couple of energized memory patches before they go home so they won’t remember you.” 

Eir muted the Lunar Module’s communication system and began to slow his molecular vibrational velocity in order to sync with the terrestrial humans. The astronauts stared in reverent fascination as Eir solidified directly in front of them. “Shazaaaaaam!” Duke exclaimed excitedly. Young’s mouth had fallen open and his eyes bugged out as he stared in rapt disbelief at Eir. Eir gazed patiently at the men. “Well, what do you want to know?” The men just sat there staring at Eir, causing him to question the wisdom of his impulsive decision.

Charles Duke gathered his thoughts and blurted out the first things that popped into his mind. “Well, what are you? Are you the only one? What is your name? Why are you here?” Once the questions began, Eir realized it would be difficult to stop them. He knew how curious terrestrial humans were, so he looked around for Zakif, hoping he would help him out. Either Zakif was long gone or he had found a good hiding place to safely view Eir’s predicament. 

Eir settled in and answered the astronaut’s questions patiently, coming to the realization that the creatures were actually quite intelligent and somewhat charming. He found himself enjoying their company and began to ask questions of them. Eir asked about things he had always wondered about but never expected to know since Sentinels rarely conversed with terrestrial humans. The three of them talked the entire time the astronauts were scheduled to be resting, and they were all disappointed when Eir realized it was time to end their visit. It would only be a few minutes until their Command Module would contact them and communications with their fellow terrestrial humans would resume. Eir had explained to his new friends the necessity of using the energized memory patches at the beginning of their conversation, and eventually they understood the wisdom behind it. Both men had agreed to that stipulation in exchange for a chance to better understand the workings of the universe they were not aware of.

The two astronauts began to complete their final preparations for their return to Earth as Eir unmuted their communication system. Fellow astronaut Thomas Mattingly promptly contacted the men from the Command Module orbiting the moon, finalizing their plans to return to Earth. Both Young and Duke were careful not to mention the presence of the Sentinel to Mattingly, as promised. Once the astronauts were ready, Eir reluctantly produced the memory patches and carefully placed them above the heads of his friends. “Are you both ready?” Eir asked gently as he looked into the eyes of the two men. They nodded affirmatively and took a long last look at Eir, secretly hoping their memories of the Sentinel would not be completely obliterated. “Okay then,” Eir said with a catch in his voice. “You will immediately become unconscious when I energize the memory patches, but it will not hurt. When you wake up, you will feel incredibly refreshed and your craft will be successfully docked with the Command Module. Neither of you will have any memory of me or of our conversations. Enjoy the rest of your time on Earth, my friends. I look forward to seeing you both after your transformations.”

Eir began to energize the memory patches, saddened that their time together was over. It was a shame that they were not cognizant of the other created beings until their transformation was complete, but that was the way The Tribara had wanted it, and The Tribara was always right. Always. 

Zakif rejoined Eir as the reconnected spaceship pulled out of the gravitational field of the moon and into the beauty of outer space. “You did the right thing, Eir. The Tribara would be displeased if you hadn’t followed the directive concerning the memory patches.” 

“I know. It just seems like such a shame that these interesting, intelligent creatures are not fully aware of their fellow created beings sharing their universe while they are terrestrial humans.” Eir watched the spaceship as it receded into the darkness overhead. He suddenly noticed the ominous presence of several Marahs closing in on the disappearing vessel. “Come on Zakif, we have work to do!” The two Sentinels intercepted the Marahs before they could harm the travelers, fulfilling their ongoing mission to protect the terrestrial humans. 

Eir and Zakif returned to Earth, alert and watching for further signs of the dangerously jealous Marahs. It wouldn’t be too long before another transformation would occur, and the Sentinels found themselves looking forward to enjoying the overwhelming beauty they would have the pleasure of witnessing, once again.

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