Title: Harvest Quest Chapter 3
Series: Another Life
Joel watched Enoch closely as the young man took a deep breath through his nose. He could see his hands shaking from across the room. Joel didn’t know if it was fear of the two big men or nervousness as all eyes were on him. He watched as Enoch tries to swallow the lump in his throat and physically gather his courage.
“It....it....” Enoch stuttered, then stopped. He took another deep breath and blurted out, “I thought it was just memories at first. It was Earth. I was walking. Everything was dying. But it wasn’t. I could see signs of life. Then I thought it was dreams. But they weren’t dreams. And they kept changing. And I-“
“You were having visions and you didn’t tell us!” Chandir roared. “There won’t be a belt left unused in the universe!”
Joel’s mouth dropped open when Enoch gave the giant dom a soft smile. He wanted to reach out and grab him when he walked toward Chandir. Something about the thin sub made Joel want to protect him. But underneath the veneer of fragility was a very strong young man.
In a quiet, tender voice, Wryn asked, “Did you seize? Did you lose consciousness?”
“No, I am fine. I didn’t block the visions. I’ve learned to listen to them. You showed me that,” Enoch told the large man.
Chandir embraced his sub and in a loud whisper said, “You will still feel the pain of my hand for running away.”
“Oh for star’s sake! He did NOT run away,” Astrid huffed out. “He came to tell Joel and Teegan of their destiny.”
At that statement, everyone started talking. Enoch was agreeing with his co-conspirator. Chandir was emphatically telling Astrid that Enoch had in fact run away. Wryn was telling Lars that he had no clue of what was going on. Even Teegan had joined in asking what his destiny was.
“One moment, please.” Joel’s voice rang over the group of doms and subs. Once again, all present stopped and looked to him. “I have a few questions. But would like them answered by one person only. First, what is a vision.” He directed the last to Wryn, who seemed to be the calmest of the group.
“Visions are from the souls of the galaxies. When they deem it necessary for the tales of time, they send a vision to a Historian. It is the duty and honor of the Historians to record what has been, what is, and what is to come,” Wryn explained. “Enoch did not realize that he was a Historian. He learned through pain and suffering to block the visions.”
“But they cannot be blocked,” Enoch admitted.
“No, they cannot,” Wryn agreed. “By trying to block them, his body and mind were held hostage by seizures.”
“Each time I was shown what was to happen, I tried to help by telling those around me. Soon, it was thought that I was making these tragic events happen. But here, on Gliese, Chandir and Wryn are helping me understand my gift.”
“Knowing the future is a gift?” Joel asked.
“Yes. I know that now.”
Astrid jumped in and said, “The visions can be prophecies too. Sometimes many different versions of the same future maybe told. Enoch has been shown different variations of what could come.”
Wondering what this had to do with him and Teegan, Joel asked, “And what is to come? What is our destiny? You’ve not answered why you are here.”
“You have to return to Earth.” Enoch’s words were quiet but they echoed throughout the room.
The stillness was broken when Teegan shouted, “No! You can’t take him from me!”
Joel reached out and put a hand on his sub’s shoulder giving comfort and warning. Before he could speak all within the room let their own voices, arguments, and questions compete to be heard.
Enoch lifted his eyes and met Joel’s. The sub’s eyebrows were burrowed down in concern. His pupils were constricted. His mouth in a tight line. Joel knew that only the worried man could give the answers to all the questions. He just needed everyone to be silent.
“The answers lie with Enoch. If all would stop yelling, we could hear him.” Joel’s voice was raised and forceful to be heard over everyone else. Once it was quiet, Joel turned to Enoch. “No one will interrupt you again. Please, tell us what you know. Why do I have to return to Earth?”
The young man looked even more frail as he took a deep breath. “Gliese have offered us another life. But she can’t give us all we need to survive. There are nutrients that are only found on Earth that keeps the human body living.”
“But all has died on that planet,” Joel said.
“Yes. We took more than she could give us. But a very long time ago, a group of scientist stored seeds in vaults. In case of a catastrophe. Those seeds are still there! You are to go back and get them.”
“There are seeds? Still on Earth?” Joel asked. A memory of his mother’s face came unbidden to his mind. Her face gaunt, dark shadows under her eyes, teeth loosening and falling out because of lack of nutrition. Had he known there were seeds to be grown, he would have gone and retrieved them then. Anything to have saved his family.
Joel felt Teegan’s eyes on him breaking him out of his memories, asking for permission to speak. Joel nodded his consent as he composed himself.
“No one thought to use them when food became scarce?”
Enoch shrugged. “The visions don’t always reveal everything. All I know is that deep in a cave, there are seeds waiting to come to Gliese. To be grown here.”
Astrid turned to her own dominants. “I, too, have had visions. I was shown of men, long ago, trying to use the seeds. But the soil was too depleted, too poor. Those men made a pack to hide what was left so that they would not be wasted. They still had some hope that the soil could be revived.”
“But why Joel? Why can’t someone else go?” Teegan’s voice was full of desperation.
“Because I studied all my life learning of plants and how to grow them,” Joel explained. “I know what vitamins and minerals plants carry. There is no one else.”
“Yes. You are the one to know the seeds. But you are not the only one to go. You will have company along the way. To keep you safe. To guide you.” Enoch said.
“Who?” Chandir demanded of his sub.
Joel could see the worry and fear in the large dominant’s face. Looking around, he saw the same look on all of the faces. All but one. Lars, who had been silent this whole time, tilted his head at Joel.
Enoch saw the exchange and spoke to Lars. “Yes. You will go. But the stars have not told me why.”
“I will go too! I will not stay here and let Joel go on his own!” Teegan cried out.
“Yes. You, too, will go. The stars can not separate the link between you. But there are others who will be separated. And that is where I must go next.”
“But not tonight,” Lars said. “You are on the edge of exhaustion. Your doms are worried for your health. Tonight, we will find bedding for you. Tomorrow is waiting for us. Tomorrow will give us time and opportunity to plan the next step. Tonight will refresh and replenish all.”
As Lars started directing the visitors to empty cabins, Joel wrapped his arms around Teegan. He knew he could get through anything as long as he had Teegan by his side.