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Wishing - gift or curse
I don't know what woke me. One minute I was so warm and dreaming. The dream was intangible and I could not hold onto it as I woke. The next minute I had a disoriented strange feeling that something was not exactly right. Warm sunbeams paint stripes across the foot of my comforter illuminating dust specks that floated in random patterns through the air in my bedroom. As I stretch and start to slide from my bed all of a sudden the world rocked and since I was now off center I tumbled to the floor getting a slight abrasion on my elbow. Damn that hurt! I was used to this sort of thing, living on the peninsula. It must be another earth-shake. I just didn't have any idea how bad it was, if this was first instance and I sensed it before it happened, or even if it was not over yet with more to come. I had to force myself not to wish it were over. Who knows what would come from that? Oh! I guess if you don't know anything about it I will have to explain.
Wishing - what is it?
To you I assume wishing is yearning for something. Maybe you are sitting around on a hot day and wish you had a popsicle? Maybe you are out doing errands and get a flat, you wish it did not happen or wish you were somewhere else?
Well that is not what wishing is to us. We are not anywhere near you, thank goodness! That does not mean that someone like me, like us, is not there. A long time ago, in the early 1800's my many times great-grandparents decided to emigrate to the United States of America. There names were Paul an Erin. At the time they thought it would be a great idea. You see, Erin had an unusual ability. She did not know about it till after she had a child. At first it was just little things like wishing she had enough meat to make a better meal and miraculously there was enough for everyone or wishing it did not take so long to clean the house and it did not seem to be dirty anymore. Wishing the vegetables offered at the market were fresher and when she got home they were. It started to concern her on the day she could not buy a bonnet she really liked. Later while cleaning the dinner dishes she was daydreaming and wished she could have that bonnet. It really scared her when it was on the table when she was done.
People used to say things like, the gnomes must have done it, usually when something disappeared. or appeared in a place you know you already looked for it. Erin started to get uncomfortable and finally discussed it with Paul. They started experimenting on their own. Where did these things come from? Where did they go when you wished them gone or away? Paul went to the store to inquire about the price of the bonnet saying his wife admired it and wanted to know how much it would be. The store clerk advised him it was no longer for sale and then whispered that it had been stolen right out of the window display with no one seeing who had done it. He thanked her and left with dread in his heart. When he got home and told Erin about this she began to cry. Something unexplainable can be very frightening. He advised her to wish it back. They spent most of the night discussing all the ramifications of their problem.
Luckily for all concerned and the unknowing populace around them they were honest, good people and did not want to exploit this in any way. After much discussion of all types of scenarios and small experiments they decided it would be better for their family if they were away from lots of other people, so they emigrated to America. Don't get me wrong, it was still difficult for Erin and her family. The hardest part was trying against her nature to wish for things. It is hard to be so unselfish that you never wish for anything for yourself. The flip side of this coin is that you can't be so virtuous that you all ways want things for others either. You would actually have to resist the urge to want something for someone else.
Even the unformed yearnings for certain things would sometimes come true. The upside was that she, Paul and their children always had enough to eat on the journey and they always shared with whomever they could. Erin would wish that a fish would take the bait when Paul or one of the other men fished and tried never to want anything that the other emigrants had for fear that it would seem there was a thief among them. Because, when those things disappeared and showed up among her own possessions it would be awkward and embarrassing. They had experimented with wishing for certain things from specific places like fresh fruit from a tree rather than the farmers market. Not all of the experiments had worked the way they wanted or the results were not easily explained.
The worst day she could remember was when one of the women on board was complaining and nagging for hours. It was an accident and thankfully fixable. Erin wished the woman would shut up. All of a sudden the woman was quiet and after a minute or so there was a great uproar. People were exclaiming that the woman was struck dumb! They were beginning to get hysterical. It could have been much worse. When Erin realized in horror that this was her fault she immediately wished it had not happened. Guess what? The only thing that happened was that everyone was instantaneously as they were seconds before she had wished the woman would shut up. Even her family members. Erin did not know what to think, but it shook her so badly that she had a hard time sleeping for days.
This was one thing Erin did not tell her husband, Paul. How could you explain something like this? Sometimes she thought she was possessed. Having to curb even her own thoughts and squash her desires. This was the hardest thing she had ever come up against. Think about it. What are the ramifications of doing things like this? Does it effect the person wishing? Does it change the very fabric of time? It was just too horrifying to contemplate for long.
Had the two of them not been such innocents they would have thought it out further as to the ramifications of what it would do to or more precisely how it would manifest in their children. Where would something like this come from? The only other person she had ever told was her priest. He told her that being a good person she could do great works for the world and perform miracles. That was scary too. All that attention, everyone wanting you to touch them, heal them, do things for them. The church maybe wanting to conduct their own investigations and lock her away in a nunnery or something, or worse yet perform an exorcism on her to vanquish her demon. When it did not work, what would they do to her?
Now I just seem to be rambling on, OK, long story short they did not find pioneer life as the most wonderful of endings, but better than some other solutions. Some of their descendants decided to try the unmentionable. A colony ship was being sent to far off Cerulis and the government, now aware of their unique familial traits was eager to exploit their abilities for it's own purpose. The knowledge of their talents was kept secret for national security reasons and any of the descendants found to have the "wishing aptitude" were closely watched and in some extreme cases sedated for their own good. The groups that remained at large were asked to be an initial colonization team to see if they could get to Cerulis with just pictures and if they could actually bring various objects to Cerulis after they arrived. This turned out to be just the tip of the iceberg...
Back to present
I apologize for my rudeness in not introducing myself, my name is Mirala. I am on the peninsula because I do not want to be a pack mule. Bringing things back and forth every day. Cooped up in some tower with little interaction even with your family. I would rather be lonely than caged, at least I get to smell the fresh air and be outside every day. The down side is the peninsula is also considered volcanically unstable.
Our tracking and communication technologies are ineffective here so that is why I chose to come here. They can't find me if I don't want them to, and believe me, I don't want them to. The upside? We, the wishers, are all so much more in tune with our abilities here. I am not a scientist so don't ask me why. Those of us that are still on Earth are not nearly as strong. We, the descendants of those who came here years ago, have become the tool behind the Pan-Americas colony push. All the other Earth continent republics are basically mortgaged to us for the right to send colonists anywhere. Don't get the wrong idea here, we are not slaves, just very restricted. They give us lots of creature comforts but I like being outdoors.
You would think we, wishers, could just wish the government to leave us alone, it is hard to explain, you have to be very exacting and think of every detail or it all goes haywire. I have tried. Without the computer program for Pan America's Colony & Shipping there would always be a high percentage of accidents and mishaps. The program calculates weight, mass, distance and the syntax needed to be specific enough to bring things here without mishaps. You have to make your mind completely blank and read the script while letting it be the only thing you want to think about to accomplish the task at hand. When we first came there were fatalities. There were also problems with losing stuff too.
We have wishers on other colonies now, but they are not as strong or focused once they leave this planet. The majority of spacial moves falls to us with the intra-global moves being carried out by those of us on other colonies or on Earth. We have to stick to the program, the "wisher program," if we want to be pinpoint exact. One time I started thinking about lunch. You just can't day dream, ever! I lost the cargo I was supposed to be bringing over somewhere in space I guess, but my lunch landed on the tarmac, with a splat! I just don't know where it came from or whose it was and of course after landing on the ground it was inedible. There were no upsides that day.
Not An Earth-Shake
I get dressed quickly and go outside to investigate. Oh, no! Not an earth-shake. My place looks like the jungle around me because I took a whole day to work out what I wanted to do and not do to get the trees and undergrowth to conceal the shelter I had constructed in a natural way. There is a very large road crew not far away. It looks like ten or twelve really big machines rolling along. Some consuming trees and undergrowth. Some scraping and one setting gravel. That one must have a wisher on it so they don't run out of gravel for the road. I can't tell if they are headed right for me or just in my general direction. I also won't flatter myself with the notion that this huge group is after me, but this situation is totally inconvenient none the less. I don't have time to build up a boulder wall and since that would be totally out of place in this environment without my making it jungle covered I am going to have to clear out for a while.
Next stop the cave system I guess.