Here is some complementary information, that the characters could not access, but that the reader will like to know, about the creatures of the Mandala, or the real end of this strange affair, years later.
The Centaurian interstellar probe was powered by a «dusty plasma bed» nuclear fission reactor. She weighed about twenty tons, including seven tons of uranium and plutonium. It was certainly far from able of relativistic speeds, but it was still supposed to reach the nearest star of Centaurus in less than one century. Such a machine was quite within the reach of technology and budgets of Earth since before 2000, but it involves the risk of entrusting tons of uranium to rockets which explode about once every hundred. For the Centaurians, with a robust genetic system nearby insensitive to radiation, the game was worth it, but on Earth taking such a risk is unthinkable.
Of course some speculated that the probe had stopped emitting because it was intercepted by the Cosmic Guardians, from the absolute prohibition on colonizing other inhabited planets. However there was no indication about this in the libraries of Centaurus, and there was no reason for the Cosmic Guards to attack a peaceful scientific exploration probe, which anyway had been carefully sterilized before its departure. Most likely this complex machine was the victim of a simple technical failure.
Attempts were made to locate the current position of the probe. Knowing the exact date of the end of Centaurus (based on the orbital parameters of the abandoned satellites) and its flight parameters, it was obtained an error box of a few light years wide. But any attempt to find it, using a quantum telescope, failed. Probably she had been hampered by interstellar gas, or destroyed by meteorites. But if she still existed after more than ten million years wandering into the galactic void, she had cruised near hundreds of stars...
The «shepherd» was coming from a civilisation which always refused technology, from the power of a strong religious and environmental fanaticism, advocating an excessive respect of nature, including in its most unfair aspects. Hence the importance of pastoral symbols in their culture. However some ascetics were skilful enough to develop their wisdom secretly, while merging into this fanaticism, in order not to be spotted. This allowed them to slowly multiply along centuries, without having to face repression. Until the day they had enough power to dismiss the idiotic priests: a discreet revolution, unnoticed by the ignorant people. Save that, now that the wise had the power, this people started to receive teachings of happiness and unfolding... still without technology, now useless. This is how this civilisation awoke and took its place among the concert of the planets, until the spiritual transition.
The great white being with indistinct shape, the «jellyfish», as some named it, was from a very strange planet. Oh, not so strange in facts, it was much like Earth, save that it received six times more water during its formation. So it became an ocean planet, were the highest mountains could not reach the surface. In more, this ocean having no polar ice caps, it was warm through all its depth, about eighty degrees. Life started to evolve here in a way much similar to Earth... until the appearance of oxygen.
When algae started to produce oxygen, there were no trees to limit the oxygen percentage in the air (note 38). So, oxygen accumulated, up to several bars in pressure, and 90 per cent in content, too much corrosive for any form of aerobic life. But on the other hand, this warm ocean could dissolve very little oxygen, forbidding the appearance of large animals. And it had only a 10 metres layer of pure layer near the surface, the only place where algae could thrive. Under was a mephitic anoxic hell, with high quantities of carbon dioxide, salts, hydrochloric and sulphuric acids. At the bottom were deposits of rotten organic matter and metal sulphides. This carbon and sulphur were recycled in carbon dioxide and sulphuric acid by subduction volcanism.
So life evolved into a strange way: a layer of microscopic algae, just some metres thick, near the surface, where jellyfish-like creatures appeared too. To be stable, such a layer had to see some self-regulation of animals, to avoid depleting the algae and condemn themselves to starvation. Also, winds and waves were dispersing this layer. So there was a strong evolutionary pressure toward some kind of self-regulation and linkage between these animals, instead of a competition. Animals evolved into sending fibres, linking to each other, and avoiding the algae to sink. This allowed for an incredible efficiency of photosynthesis, with the algae layer looking like a brown-red soup, where jelly-like transparent animals formed a supple but strong structure. Starting from some Sargasso, this ocean skin expanded on the whole planet, forcing a calm and flat ocean surface, despite the violent winds.
So, this reddish ocean skin was a fabric, about 10 metres thick, with algae providing the basic food. Animals, similar to jellyfishes in constitution, but with elongated shapes, developed veils, filament and pouches to contain the algae and optimise their life cycle. Keeping bubbles of carbon dioxide was helping them to float. And these beings had to be transparent, to keep the algae into the light. This forbad all kinds of teeth, bones, skin, skull, shields, shells, and even eyes... and predation. So, the skin of the ocean was teeming with elongated animals, standing vertically and nearby touching each other, their head near the surface, and their tail down to the anoxic layer, pumping nutrients from here for the algae. When dying, these animals broke their links, and fell into the anoxic layer, forming an organic layer at the bottom.
These animals had to keep moving, to control the algae and bubbles, and also to avoid hampering each other. So they developed a complex nervous system. More, their head near the surface could capture oxygen... allowing them to develop brains! From there, came consciousness, feelings, spirituality... up to the spiritual transition!
However, these jello beings were very different of any solid being... Being deaf and blind, but equipped with thousands of thin tentacles, they were feeling their environment... and feeling its taste, not in a mouth, but everywhere in its volume! And each of them had a different taste... Having no defined body shape and limit, they were rather feeling a sphere of influence, where they knew what was happening. Their tentacles, reduced to some nervous fibres, soon extended over hundreds of metres... They were so numerous that they were nearby touching each other, and each had thousand others in his sphere of influence... so they were intertwined, in a way. Of course, it was easy for them to exchange messages, and new ideas could spread on the whole planet in some days, as if they were all connected in a kind of gigantic neural Internet! However these messages were not words, but dances and sets of tastes representing emotions... A bit as if they were communicationg with music, but without the sounds!
So these beings quickly evolved into a very brilliant emotional and spiritual civilization, but completely devoid of any ego, concepts, reasoning and Aristotelian logic! For this reason, most humans found their contact very disconcerting, not finding their usual thought structures, ego, concepts and language. They had to keep on emotions and vibrations only, and humans unable to feel these were clearly left on the touch line. But basically, deep spirituality and meditation were the same with them as with us. This explains the presence of one of them into the small sphere in Palomas, where he was acting as a keeper of the essential, free of any involvement into concepts and stakes.
Madame Eraert was too confident with her son Jerôme, or the false promises of spiritual materialism. It is just too easy for the ego to take control over the spiritual unfolding! This is why the only way is the total destruction of the ego.
What happened was a consequence of the bad discussion between Jerôme Eraert and some of the engineers of the KRG, during the second appearances of the light beings. Jerôme befriended with three of these engineers, and, little by little, from his charisma and subtly distorted spiritual views, he succeeded into ensnaring them in a large public project involving the lokuten! Or rather semkuten, living into virtual worlds, but this also entailed the building of electronic brains using the famous psychophysical circuits...
Jerôme founded a spiritual group, where he carefully avoided all the usual defects of the cults. At least enough to make a good start, as, unavoidingly, these features appeared later. He was promising no less than immortality for the deceased people, into a fantastic realm of virtual worlds of an unprecedented quality, running into a huge network of computers! These worlds would have «no morals», allowing for sex with everybody «in the Dumrian way»! Of course this was only a grotesque caricature of Dumria, but the difference was still way too subtle for many Humans. So, just as the famous Raelians with their «sensual meditation» and their fallacious promise of immortality, he prospered well, recruiting among atheist middle class and materialist intellectuals. He even got the support of some Nobel prizes and other world class «philosophers», very good theoreticians but still ignorant of the elementary facts about consciousness.
When he succeeded into gathering enough money, he claimed that he had the actual mean to realize his project: Rolf's psychophysical circuits, that he could build, thanks to the help of three rogue engineers of the KRG!
From the point of view of the Cosmic Guards, this was a catastrophe, with the unveiling of the secret of the psychophysical electronic circuits! And all the more dreadful that the announcement was made to a world wide audience, in a context of heated debates and muddling false theories on the survival in the Metaverse through ghost bots! For many ignorant people, this was a much more credible path that the mysterious and dreaded spiritual transition, which could not happen before centuries anyways.
Of course, this «unveiling of the KRG secrets» attracted the attention on the KRG and Palomas... The new director of the KRG, Julian Gensher, and the new director of the Palomas centre, Jabal Stenton, both denied any involvement into such a project, past or present. And actually, they did not knew, and found no trace into their archives. But they soon had to keep silent and ignore the fuss, learning that, in any conspiracy theory, denial is always interpreted as an evidence or being accomplice. People who were really in the know kept silent from the beginning, having anyway built a huge alibi for the famous day they were with the Cosmic Guards: they were playing a game with Dumria! Videos records showed no trace of the contact, which took place in a psychical time, like in a CE3. Even a complete police search of all the KRG and Palomas would find nothing, and of course no judge bothered to do so. For the time being, in order to be quiet, Rolf Gensher was sick, while Steve was officially in a rest house for overworked people, in reality in a PEC residence in Idaho mountains. Other engineers of the KRG, involved or not, denied everything, and some had to ask for police protection of their private life.
Jerôme and his main supporters were to start the first public demonstrations of their semkuten. Everything was working well in the laboratories, they were perfectly able to control their characters by psychophysical influence, using sensory isolation caissons. They even already had some deceased persons living into their first virtual world, complete with house and bank accounts (into Jerôme's company, as, expectedly, it was still illegal for deads to have a real bank account!). They even had clear evidences that the semkuten were really hosting these persons, as they were able to tell many details that only these persons could know. Jerôme and his engineers had successfully implemented Rolf's incredible technology!
What happened during the first public demonstration was not immediately understood. The semkuten were visible, and moving, and speaking. However extensive tests showed no difference with the usual behaviour of autonomous humanoid robots driven with random generators. Especially, all the ESP tests failed.
The debate raged for years, and it involved a huge trial, with partisans and opponents debating noisily into all the media and Internet forums.
Jerôme's psychophysical circuits were legally seized and analyzed. They showed only quantum random generators commonly used in electronics, with some circuits mixing this random value to the signal. Such a device has only very low psychophysical properties, already known since 2000 and the PEAR experiment. They were 10,000 times less powerful than required to really control an autonomous robot! The random voltage produced was indeed enough to change its behaviour, but in a pure chance, just as millions of entertainment bots and sex bots were doing every day. Rolf laughed lengthily...
Soon the idea of semkutens was considered as a huge scheme, and Jerôme was dismissed as a con artist. Even if nothing such was ever found about Jerôme himself, several managers of his group showed the usual abuses of cults. But Jerôme still had followers tens of years later, even if no virtual semkuten was showing any trace of influence from a deceased person... not even a little, but clearly zero.
Years after, just before rendering his last breath and rejoining Liu in her paradise, Steve understood that the Cosmic Guards had probably disabled Jerôme's circuits, in order to dismiss any attempt to really build lokuten or semkuten: ridicule is much more efficient than forbidding, as politicians knew since centuries. This was a wise caution, as sooner or later, the true secret would be found by other researchers. So the message was clear: humans had to evolve into their natural bodies, and, beyond some point, to keep silent about anything looking like spiritual powers. Use them silently for the good of others, but not display them. So, Steve had some good reasons to be happy and proud, before he closed his eyes to our world, abandoned all thought, and peacefully entrusted himself to the light coming to take him.
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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