The mother airship drifted slowly through the air, as insubstantial as a cloud. They were not far above the endless ocean, searching for shoals of fish.
Gadaar was playing his sitar again, sitting cross-legged on the sunny deck, clad only in a loin cloth. She watched as he played, plucking strings, eyes closed, humming a tune. A smile curled the corners of his mouth, and energy radiated from his soul.
Her eyes were flecked with grey. She stared bitterly at the sea. The steel in her gaze showed she was a survivor, but she was not an adaptor. As the seas had risen, and washed away her home, her life, her civilisation, she had persevered, destined to spend her life tortured by memories of the past.
To the children, her stories of green rolling hills, beaches and cities of glass and steel were merely curiosities.
“Show us some handwriting!” they would cry. Dutifully, she would draw a line of Latin characters, as the children stared with wide eyed amazement. In this day, even handwriting was a lost art.
When faced with such monumental destruction, it can be hard not to believe in Kali, that God who has the power to annihilate at will. The rational mind collapses in the face of such catastrophic events.
Tanweer held out her hand up to the sky. Seeing the wrinkles and blotches of her skin, she closed her eyes and called out to the cosmos. Nothing. Nothing since Kali had brought the deluge of hate so many years ago. Was Gaia dead, or had she died inside herself?
While waiting for the ocean to yield it’s bounty, the children had taken the baby airship up to launch their gliders. Despite her fading eyesight, she could still make out the brightly coloured flecks of the gliders, high up above, as they circled lazily across the sky.
She took a deep breath.
“Today is the day,” she declared.
“And so you have said it,” responded Gadaar, not opening his eyes or halting his play.
“Today, I will find dry land. I will manifest it.”
Gadaar did not speak.
Tanweer fetched her crystals and laid them in a circle on the deck. She stood in the centre, legs together and arms open to the sky.
There was a certain peacefulness in the air. At first she felt nothing but then, quite surprisingly, that old familiar feeling returned, that feeling she had lost for so long. Gaia was listening to her. The connection was faint, but it was there, and as her confidence grew, so did it.
“It’s working!” She laughed with euphoria.
Concentrating, she allowed herself to open to the ebb and flow of the energy. As it built, whisps of clouds grew in the sky, and the sea started to stir. She relaxed, comfortable, and at peace.
Her purpose was clear. She would ask greatly of Gaia, and she knew she would have to pay.
Almost at once, it began. The clouds swelled and turned grey, the sky turned dark, and the sea began to boil. As the storm grew ever powerful, bolts of lightning struck the sea, with deafening thunder.
“Old Mama! What are you doing?” wailed the people of the airship, in fear of the great storm brewing.
Tears poured down her face.
“I can’t control it any more…” she whispered.
She succumbed to the great power, and fell to her knees. What was that she saw below? A patch of the sea was becoming ever darker, as if a great shape was looming below.
As she collapsed to the floor, and closed her eyes, her last sight was a peak of land rising from the boiling ocean. She smiled, exhaled, and allowed her soul to drift from her mortal body, and join with Gaia.