I thought back to the time I decided to accept this challenge twenty-three years ago.
“What a fool I was!”
Sla warned me, but I dismissed his warnings arrogantly. I should have listened more closelywhen he told me about the Peesanga.
It is hard to describe them and even harder to imagine their life. Well, even this is wrong, it is not them, it is IT or maybe he/she/nga. First, I thought there were three races on this planet, fighting each other to extinction.
Then I realized, they all belonged to the same race but had different genders – so to speak. I understood the “he’s” and the “she’s”, I utterly failed with the “nga’s” because their role has no reference to our genders and there is no experience or knowledge I could compare to its gender.
All of them were shapeshifters, having a natural form, a social form for interacting across genders, and a warrior form. Their forms, except their natural form, were strictly functional. Their natural form was very much like a jellyfish with long tentacles. All tentacles had the same dominance and strength. In a social setting,their communicative tentacles appeared stronger and more dominant. As far as I understood their biology, the total mass stayed the same, no matter which form they chose. In their war-form,they changed most. Only three tentacles were even visible, two of those were to fight and transfer chemicals into their opponent to subdue him and then kill him. Since his opponent could do the same, it was a question of who had the stronger body to withstand the chemical attack.
They communicated through pheromones and colors, a very unusual way of communication, considering they used mostly one tentacle both for pheromones and colors. Their receptors were on their head.
Back to the issue, for ten years I have tried to implement a peace treaty between the three entities, each living on a separate continent.
Mixing was strictly forbidden even though they knew they could only procreate when all three met in a civilized manner and stayed together. Such a rule cannot be enforced on a whole planet and there were always little groups trying to live together in secluded places. I watched those groups secretly and realized, none of them were able to procreate.
So, after ten fruitless years with billions of deaths and no progress,I took stock and accepted defeat. Sla answered my plea immediately and appeared in my house on the planet.
“Well, well, I hate to say: ‘I told you so.’ But in all fairness, you deserved this little punishment for your arrogance. Did you learn something? Sla waited for my answer enjoying my obvious discomfort immensely.
I collected my thoughts, flashing backto the last ten years, searching desperately for a positive aspect of my efforts and found… nothing.
“No. To be quite frank, I do not think I understand the mechanics of this civilization nor did I make any headway since I arrived ten years ago. To top it off, I had thirteen years of training for nothing.” My frustration was quite visibly painted on my face.
I felt miserable and thoroughly ashamed.
“Don’t beat yourself up too hard,” Sla answered, “even our best anthropologists had a hard time to understand what has been going on with these people – if you want to call them that.”
I looked up wondering, “what do you mean?”
Sla admitted, “I omitted some details you could have found as a world-class biologist but otherwise it is virtually impossible to know. You see, there are two very unique properties connected to these people. There are only three beings on this planet – apart from their animals.”
“Ah, Sla! If you look out of this window you will see hundreds of people on the street – each one an individual. Are you sure about this?”
Sla nodded in a very human fashion – he loved human body language. “I am well aware of all these so-called individuals. Maybe I have a reference for you. There is a scientist on earth who had an interesting theory about morphic fields. Have you heard about it?”
I nodded, “I seem to remember something about a field connecting all human brains or something similar.”
“Yes, that’s the thing. I am not sure if this field exists on earth but there are related fields here on this planet connecting all entities of one gender to each other, strengthening the specific gender the more of its kind is killed. The connection is so strong that there is no way to say where one being starts and the other one ends. Our biologists concluded there is only one being of each gender with a lot of bodies.”
“Ah! Now I understand why no gender gains real advantage over another gender. This is crazy! I respect nature and it’s creativity but how can this race survive? I know they have been around for quite some time – given their archeologicalfinds.”
Sla agreed, “you think too straight. It seems logical that eventually all of them die in their never-ending war since they cannot procreate. Right?”
“You see, it gets even more complicated! How about if you knew this civilization has been living for more than one-hundred-thousand years.”
“Impossible,” I objected, “they would be extinct by now!”
Sla enjoyed himself and nodded again in a very human fashioned way.
“We have observed approximately 100 cycles by now. You see, this race can only procreate when there is only one body left from each gender. The second this happens; their respective fields urge them to come together while their bodies change and they become sexually mature to procreate. In the process of this procreation,the three bodies meld to one body which eventually dissolves and the resulting trillions of spores are distributed by the winds throughout the planet, beginning a new cycle. This happens about every one-thousand years.”
I was confused, “okay, but what did I learn here?”
“The hidden reasons are the most compelling ones and you need to realize, you must never give up searching for the truth.”