A group of aliens, calling themselves the Aruk, defied their home planet's government and launched an attack on earth. In the dark of night they appeared into various houses in various towns all over the Earth. The Aruk attacked the Earth families in their homes and then kidnapped 150 children.
The Temporalgraphers from planet Aun's government shuddered as they sensed the future timeline fracture in front of them. The Aruk, in taking children from earth, sent earth's timeline splintering off into many directions and would ultimately change the course of that planet. Many of the Earth children had not even been born yet and the Aruk had sped along their development in order to take them. Only a few of the children were older, between three and five Earth years. The Temporalgraphers watched in horror as the Aruk caused fires, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis all in order to cover their tracks.
Planet Aun's government sent its best team to try and stop the Aruk but their efforts were blocked by the Aruk's own agents. The Aruk disappeared into the galaxy taking the children as prisoners.
"Where did the aliens take them?" a young boy nine years of age asked very quietly.
Five children sat in beanbag chairs around their history teacher. They were in a circular room whose walls were covered in various charts and pictures. Some of the pictures would be recognized by any normal human as scenes and events from Earth's interesting history. Yet the rest were things that any normal human would not recognize. They showed the history of an alien race; a different and strange language captioned the pictures.
Yet the children did not seem bothered by what the pictures portrayed. It was just yesterday that they added a new picture to the wall showing a lesson they had recently finished. The children were not aware that they should find their surroundings to be anything other than ordinary. Instead they were busy paying rapt attention to their alien teacher.
Like his parents and ancestors before him, the alien was highly intelligent. Individuals in his race each had a special gift that enabled them to make good use of their intelligence. He was a Temporalgrapher; not only did he have the gift to remember history but he could also see the temporal timeline in both the past, present, and future. After the Aruk incident he had decided to devoted his life to teaching history and how consequences ripple through time.
His body, although it had form, was not entirely there. It seemed to flicker in and out and not fully materialize. He told very few where or when he was. Like the rest of his people, he had three long legs and arms. He was thinly built and tall, with a light purple tinge to his skin. Also, like the rest of his people, his bald, tattooed head seemed unnaturally large for this gangly alien's neck. The tattoos, which were forest green and encircled his head and base of his neck, were given to him once he came of age. They described his talents and unique abilities; because each individual is unique, each Aunantet's set of tattoos are different. Again, the children did not seem alarmed by this alien's appearance.
To them, their history teacher was not strange, for the human children had known him all of their life. The children listened because they wanted to learn. They not only wanted to learn history, they also wanted to learn how to use more of their minds. Ankh was only one of many teachers who were schooling these young Earth children how to use their whole brain capacity, how to think in more than three dimensions, and how to think outside the 'hypercube'.
"Where did the aliens take the children?" the young boy asked his history teacher, a little more loudly the second time.
"Draeton, please remember to raise your cube," Ankh prompted gently.
The young boy closed his eyes and grimaced as he concentrated hard on the cube in his hand. For only a few seconds, and with a great deal of difficulty, the boy managed to use his mind to change the molecules in his cube until it was constituted by an element lighter than the air around it. This caused the cube to float a few inches above his hand before he lost control of it, and it dropped back down. The young boy slowly opened his eyes and looked apologetically to his teacher.
"That's all right, you are getting better at it," Ankh reassured him. "Now, regarding what happened to the one hundred fifty children...you must have all memorized the story by now. Must we go over it again?"
A fourteen year-old girl by the name of Rivinaig smiled, as she already knew and understood the young boy's reasoning.
"It is more fun hearing you tell the story," She answered, grinning.
Ankh's normally purple face deepened in color, blushing as he pretended to concede to finishing a story he had already planned on finishing in the first place.
"Very well," he said with a smile. "The alien kidnappers were from our species, the Aunantet. The kidnappers were members of the Aruk, a faction that had separated from the main government. After the Aruk attacked Earth, they disappeared. It would take the Aun government 2 years before they found where the Aruk were hiding the children.”
“Meanwhile, the Aruk brought the children back to their secret base. They tested the children repeatedly, trying to find every weakness the children had. The Aruk put starvation, pain, rigorous training programs and confusion upon these young ones in order to find the breaking points of their species...” Ankh seemed to get lost in thought and his voice slowed, “from what we could tell, it seemed like they were treating you children as though you were just some new weapon for them to develop and test... then again, you all were infants and they never were the parenting types."
Rivinaig, the oldest, remembered many of the tests and punishments unlike the younger children. She shut her eyes against the flow of scenes and memories of pain streaming past her mind's eye. Ankh paused and glanced at her in sympathy knowing the other children were too young at the time and their memories would not have endured as long and as vivid as Rivi's.
The memories were tough on her but she knew it was important to face them. After a second or two, Rivi opened her eyes and nodded at Ankh, who was not only her teacher but her assigned guardian as well. She knew he would understand her feelings. Ankh, Rivi knew, was thinking the same and would now continue the story.
"Anyway, the Aruk would not have time to fulfill whatever their objective was because two years later the Aun government had discovered their hidden facility and sent a group of Aunantet to storm the place. They freed the children and captured a few of the Aruk...but most got away.
“The Aunantet tried to contact the people of Earth, but Earth apparently cannot respond or can't understand the message when it reaches them. However, the children were assigned to Aunantet parents, and a facility has been established to teach and house the children. The Aunantet government decided that they should be taught everything they can from the collected knowledge of both worlds.
“These children soon began not only to learn the history, science, literature, math, and geography of both Earth and Aun; they also began to learn to use more of their brain capacity than any other normal human. They began to learn to use their minds more efficiently."
"Like the Aunantet!" a young girl said.
"Yes," answered Ankh. "Now who can tell me who the one hundred fifty children are?"
"Us!" another child said.
"Yes, very good. You know the story well," Ankh said with a chuckle that made his robes ripple like water in a pond. "Now then, I believe that's the end of class for today. It's time for you to go. But don't forget— over the weekend I'd like you to write a report on what we've learned this week on freedom and how it influenced changes throughout history."
A hole then materialized in the wall of the circular history class and 14 of the 15 students filled through the hole. Rivi stayed behind.
"Something troubling you, Rivi?" Ankh asked, standing and stretching his three arms over his head.
"I was just wondering why over all these years, no matter how many times I've heard the story, no one tells us what happened to the Earth parents."
"Well, as far as I know, the parents did not fare well from the ordeal. Most of them probably died. Those who may have survived have probably been sent to an asylum...no one would believe that aliens took their children," Ankh patted Rivi on the shoulder. "But that doesn't mean that you children will never be able to go back to Earth."
"Though I doubt we'd fit in well... Oh, here's the computer I've been working on," Rivi said, walking over to her beanbag chair to get it and hand it to Ankh.
"Hmm, this seems quite complicated," Ankh said, looking it over. "I'll show this to Anit in the Communications sector and see what he thinks."
"Thank you, Ani. Is Eni cooking dinner tonight?"
"Of course. You know she cooks on Fridays. She doesn't want you to forget how to eat like a normal Earth Human!" Ankh answered with a laugh. "Don't worry— I fixed the food preparation generator system, just in case."
"Uh, Ani, please don't be mean…Eni has only degenerated one meal down to the molecular level this month— one meal!" Rivi shook her head and laughed jokingly.
"Okay, okay, you should get along now, go on," Ankh laughed as he herded Rivi towards the hole, which sealed itself as she left.
Rivi returned to her family's quarters later than normal that day. She had stopped by the complex's library to investigate some irregularities she was sensing. After a moment, she had learned that it was one of the library's computers. She went down to the library to offer to fix the problem. Now that she could tell that everything was all right with the complex, at least electronically, Rivi's mind would relax and leave her alone until it noticed another anomaly in the functions of the computer systems in the human residence complex.
Yes, she was late, but Eni, her Aunantet mother, would understand. Her Aunantet parents had always encouraged her gift. Just like the Aunantet, the Earth children had noticed that once they began to increase their intelligence beyond normal human standards, they also became aware of special gifts they each possessed. The children were being trained in combining their abilities along with their advanced intellect and to use the resulting phenomenon constructively.
For Rivi her gift involved computers— she was a Comp Amalgamator. Combined with her advanced intellect and using specific areas of her brain that go unused by most humans, the resulting phenomenon was that she could link her mind into that of a computer's and work directly with the system without needing to use the common input devices like touch screens or keyboards. She could get right into all the information constantly being processed and tell the computer what to do just by thinking it. Lately she was beginning to learn how to form computers out of normal matter. She could form a seemingly useless piece of metal into a full computer system. It still took a lot of energy for her to complete the task, but if she broke it down into small stages over a few days she found it much more manageable.
"But I am starting to get better at it," Rivi said encouragingly to herself, then laughed and shook her head as she realized that she had actually said it aloud.
Rivi entered her family's quarters to find her Eni in the kitchen area, hand-preparing a salad. Enuet looked up at her daughter and smiled as Rivi came over to help.
"How were your classes today?" Enuet asked.
"Interesting as usual, Eni," Rivi answered with a laugh. "Where's Ani? Normally, he's home by now."
"I don't know, but he should be home soon. Here, let's sit down and we'll eat dinner; he wouldn't want us to wait."
Rivi carried their dinner over to the kitchen table. Enuet joined her daughter as she sat down to eat.
"You were a bit late coming home," Enuet said mischievously.
"Yes, there was a problem with the library's computers," Rivi answered.
"Nothing serious, I hope?"
"No, not really. It was…"
Suddenly, Ankh came in the door. Enuet got up to get his food as he entered the kitchen.
"I don't have time to eat. Rivi, you'll need to come with me. Go and get a few things from your room to take with you because you'll have to leave now!" Ankh said hurriedly.
"What's wrong, dear?" Enuet asked Ankh, as Rivi got up from the table to go and get her things from her room.
"I really don't have time to explain," he said.
"Okay, I'll go and help Rivi."
"That's all right— I'm finished, Eni," Rivi said, reemerging into the kitchen holding a shoebox-sized black container.
"All right— we need to go… Enuet, are you coming with us?" Ankh asked.
"Yes, just let me get my shoes," She replied.
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