The Forgotten People

Gather around children, gather around. Let me tell you about our ancestors, the story of how we came to this world long ago and from far away. It is a good story and one you should pass on to your children and have them pass on to their children. We must never forget our roots, you see.

Long ago, many thousands of peoples lived on a distant world. The world was old and could no longer support all the people. There was starvation and sickness and disease. Many people died and there was much hardship. The people suffered greatly.

One day, a boy named Edo turned his eyes to the heavens and prayed. “Make the world young again,” Edo said. There was great despair in his voice. “Let the world’s bounty be returned to the way it once was!”

But, of course, this was impossible. No more than I can become as young as you, the world could not be made young either. The world would never again support the people who lived there.

Yet Edo’s words were not in vain. For Parungo, the Sky, heard his words and was moved by them. Parungo, from his vantage point above the world, could see many other worlds. One was the world we live on now, what we call Trigo. Parungo saw that Trigo had a great bounty that Edo’s people could live in harmony with.

Parungo sent several great birds to our people. The birds were terrifying, as large as a mountain, but Edo told his people they had come from Parungo and his people believed him. Edo led the people into the mouths of the birds and the birds flew into the sky, into the void between the worlds.

They traveled for many days and nights, huddled inside the mouths of the birds. Some thought the birds would never land. But eventually, they came to land on Trigo. The birds opened their mouths and let Edo and his people out.

Edo and his people found the land was young and fresh. There was a great bounty in the water and the woods. They strove to make their home here, in harmony with the world.

But the people who had been left behind on the old world were still suffering. Edo knew that it was shameful that he and his people alone should be given such a prize. He prayed again to the Sky, but the Sky of Trigo was not Parungo.

The new Sky, Janeba, either did not hear Edo’s words or did not understand them. The birds never returned and no other people were ever brought here. It is -

What’s all this commotion about, Liro?

Children, go back to your mothers. Do not argue with me, just do it.

Liro, go get my spear. If there truly are birds from the sky, we must not meet them weakly.

Gather around children. It is time for you to hear the story of your people and where you come from. Sit down and come close. We must not speak too loudly, for the masters might overhear us and they do not want us to tell these stories. But they are important to know, because they tell us from where we came.

Yes, Tira, I know what you have been taught by the masters in their schools. I too was taught the same when I was a young man, but I was also told this story by my father, who was told it by his father, whose own father lived in the time before the masters came.

You all must listen carefully and remember; never let these stories fade. Tell them to your own children, when you have them. But always remember to be quiet, lest the masters hear you speak.

Long, long ago, our people lived on an old world. Many other people lived there as well, including the masters’ ancestors. The old world was dying. Too many people lived on the world and it could no longer provide. It was like an overburdened pack animal - it may be able to struggle through its duties a few times, but eventually it will collapse and be no more.

Our first ancestor, Edo, prayed to the heavens for the world. “Take my people away from this world,” Edo said. “We are too many! If we leave, the world may live on.” Parungo, the great god, answered Edo’s prayers.

Yes, Sasa, I know the masters do not call him Parungo. Parungo is not their god. Parungo was great and held kindness in his heart for the unfortunate.

Parungo sent many great birds to the world and gathered Edo’s people into them. They carried them away, to the world named Trigo, where they lived in harmony with the land. But Edo knew that Trigo could support more than his people.

He prayed to Parungo to bring more people from the old world, people like the masters’ ancestors, to Trigo to live along side us. But Parungo said he would not bring them to Trigo, that Trigo was for Edo’s people and only Edo’s people. However, he would take them to a different world, one not as great as Trigo, for only Edo had prayed to Parungo, while the masters’ ancestors kept their eyes blind to him.

The masters’ ancestors grew jealous, for they had been given a poorer home than Edo’s people. And though many generations passed, so that Edo was only a legend, the masters’ people never forgot.

Eventually, they tamed great birds and led them to Trigo, where they found our people still living simple lives in harmony with the world. They captured our people, made them slaves. They try to punish us every day for their jealousy. They hold hate in their hearts because we were given a great bounty they were denied.

One day, our people will be free of them. We will return to Trigo and live free lives in harmony with all things and all people. And though the masters’ people will be weak and we will have the opportunity to make them our slaves, we will not. We will teach them our ways and there will be harmony between all peoples.

What is that noise?

Run off to your parents, children, I will take care of this.

No, I was not spreading heresy. I was telling a story, nothing more.

You need not beat the children! They know I was merely telling a tale. Please, take me instead!

Come children, sit. I have many stories to tell you this day. Stories about our people and how we came to be where we are today.

I have heard this story from my father, who heard it from his father, who heard it from his father, and so on back through the generations. You know our people have served the masters for ten generations now?

Yes, I know, that seems like a long time. Longer than any of us can reasonably fathom, I think, though our masters live that long at least, sometimes. I know our current master has lived since my great-grandfather’s time, though my great-grandfather is long dead.

Time to us is not the same as time to our masters. We must live shorter lives because of how we came to be here, you know. I will tell you of it now.

For you see, long ago, longer even still than we’ve been servants of the masters, longer than even the masters could travel between worlds, longer than any written history knows, we lived on an old world. It was a dying world. The people on the world were bad people and didn’t know how to live properly. They prayed to false gods and did decadent things.

One day, some of the people decided to leave the world. Our first ancestor, named Edo, was one of the people, as was Dano, the father of our masters’ people. They gathered their people into great ships and passed through a hole in the sky. On the other end, they came out to other worlds.

The first of these worlds was Malma. Edo looked down on Malma, which was a glorious world with much life and prosperity and said “We should live here!”

The father of our masters’ people, Dano, said we should move on. “This world is not our place. It is too close to the old world we wished to leave behind.”

“Nonsense,” Edo said. “This is a bountiful world. Our people will live strong and good lives here. Besides, we came through the hole in the sky. When a bird flies to a top of a mountain, does he care that another mountain far away may be further from the plains? Neither should we.”

But Dano still disagreed with Edo and took many people with him, even as Edo and his people settled on Malma.

But of course Dano was right. For when the true God punished those on the old world, his wrath came through the hole in the sky and did great harm to Edo and his people, casting them into darkness. Dano and his people were among the few spared God’s wrath.

Our people toiled in darkness for generations on Malma. We forgot the story of our peoples and made up lies to tell ourselves in the night. We were no better than we had been before we left the old world, maybe even worse, until one day the masters’ people came and found us. They saw what had become of us and, remembering the history of our two peoples for they live much longer than us, agreed to lift us to the light.

But it is only through hard work and penance that we can ever truly walk at our masters’ sides as equals.

Now go to your beds, before the night watch comes along. They would not be happy if they found you awake past our curfew. I do not want to see you all having to toil in the fields for extra time, though it may do a few of you some good to labor harder.

Come here, children, and sit down around me. I have a story to tell you. It is about our people and how we were saved from the darkness.

It is a story that has been told for generations.

Once, long ago, we were a powerful people. We freely traveled between the stars. We had powerful ships and could do things that even now seem like a dream to us. We were mighty and none since have reached those heights. We settled upon the planet of Malma and made it our own.

But we were also bad people. We sinned greatly and turned our eyes from God’s glorious light. We were not alone, of course. Most people at the time did the same. It was not a good time to live, for there were not pious men and women in abundance. Most people were petty, foolish, greedy, and hateful.

God knew that our people would not change on their own, so He punished us by casting us all into the darkness. Our fall was great. We lost all that we had built, becoming little more than animals who huddled together in small packs at night, beneath the naked sky. We were savages.

But God did not punish indiscriminately. For there were some good people left even in those days. He sent a prophet to those people, a man named Dano, who led them to a world of safety. There the good people began to spread and reclaim those who had been punished by God.

They were a good people. They came to Malma and found us and felt pity. They knew that we had once been great like them and had only been misled by our own foolish ways. They wanted to let us repent and repair our souls.

They took us up, raised us from the depths we had fallen to. But we could not be made their equals, for we were not worthy. Only through toil and true repentance could we ever hope to strive to their heights.

Off to bed with you now. You all have a long day of work and study ahead of you if you wish to become good servants of God.

Come, children, and let me tell you a story. It is an old story and a good one. It is the story of how we came to our place in the world.

It is one I learned from the Scriptures itself and one you too will all learn by heart and tell your own children.

Long ago, humanity had become sinful and heretical. We did not pray to God and did not follow His rules. He looked on us in sadness and cast us into the darkness as punishment. Our greatness was broken, our heights no more than a distant memory.

But not all people were evil in those days. Those that were not were led to a safe place, where they were able to grow and recover what had been lost in God’s punishment. These people worked with piety and great deference to God’s grace. They grew strong, even while the rest of humanity remained weak.

When they were ready, God commanded them to rise from their hiding place and reclaim what had been lost. They did as He commanded, spreading their word and their works across the cluster.

They even found our people, huddled on some planet, forgotten and savage. They lifted us up and told us to toil, so that one day we too could become great like them. And we did. We worked for God and His chosen people. Until eventually, we were granted a favored place in His creation, serving Him as free people.

What’s that Yumi?

I don’t know which planet we came from. Our people have forgotten, but I think that’s for the best. We should not wonder about the darkness from which we were saved, only revel in the light we live in now.

Wouldn’t you agree?

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