A bit of explanation: This story is set on a large tree that is growing off an asteroid (a dyson tree) and is so large that there is some degree of gravitational pull. Humans live inside small (by comparison to the tree - still huge) sealed pods called tufts which contain entire ecosystems and semi-plant life that absorbs energy from the tree and produce oxygen. Locations are described in terms of degrees around the tree from a specific large tuft called Landing. How Humans got there and how they govern themselves is for me to know and for you to figure out from the story.
By Sakura Kangen. Please Email email@example.com with feedback.
Do not release this commercially without permission. Do not publish this anywhere without first consulting me.
Kom brushed aside the foilage that had found its way onto his hammock. There was alot of deadmatter falling recently. Some of his tuftmates liked a lining of soft foilage on their hammock, but Kom hated it - spit spiders often found their home in such convenient clumps of foilage.
Kom shuddered at the thought. When he was young, a spit spider had poisoned him, and he nearly died. He smiled then - remembering the old Philosopher who had miraculously cured him.
"Oie! Kom, go to sleep already! Don't just stare at the wall like you've had too much sapwine."
He turned and saw an unfamiliar man lying in the other hammock, rather pudgy, with a heavy set brow and small, dark eyes. Despite his somewhat aggressive appearance, he looked quite cheerful.
Kom looked at him for a moment. "You are?"
The large man stood up and bowed. "I am Par. We meet on good terms. You are?"
Kom returned the bow, "I am Kom. We meet on good terms."
Kom sat on his old wicker chair and said nothing more for several moments.
Eventually Par spoke up again, "I am your new tuftmate. The Council assigned me to you after the.. shall we say.. disagreement you had with your last mate."
The smaller man raised a single eyebrow on his otherwise emotionless face. "Disagreement?"
Par seemed to be struggling, "Well, perhaps 'disagreement' wasn't a good word.. Well, hmm," he shifted into his hammock, "the Council somehow caught word that you were, hmm, not fulfilling your duties?"
Kom looked at him with a deadpan expression, "You mean sex."
The man cringed at his directness, "Well, y..yes I suppose that's it. So, anyway, so, anyway, the Council thought that perhaps the problems you have been having with all your tuftmates is that you prefer, shall we say, the, hmm, more masculine?"
"That's not it at all." Kom shook his head, "I'm not going to have sex with you or with Shie."
Par looked at Kom like he was insane. "Well, why the hell not?"
"Philosophers don't concern themselves with such things."
Par looked even more bewildered, "Since when was a twig like you a Philosopher?"
Kom's gaze became steely, as he got off his hammock again to brush off some of the foliage he missed.
"I will be a Philosopher." He said after a few moments.
Par laughed. "No, you'll be a tuft farmer. How could you possibly even consider this idea? The Philosophers don't just adopt anyone, you know, and you'd have to get it past the Council first - I don't think anyone has ever actually tried to become a Philosopher.."
Kom's shoulder's slumped, and he looked towards the entranceway, away from Par. "You may go to the Council and tell them that I will take Shie back. She didn't laugh at my dreams."
Par laughed, "Alright, I'm sorry. I'll hear you out from now on, dai?"
Kom continued to look at the entrance, and Par realized he was serious.
"Well, okay, I'll be going.. but you should learn to look on the green side of the leaf once in a while."
Par walked out of the room, and Kom said nothing.
As Par went through the open doorway, however, a fracture appeared in the tree wall.
"What did I do?" Par asked, hearing the loud cracking sound.
"Nothing." Kom walked over to the wall, stroking it with his hand, feeling the thin crack that had appeared in the wall to his room. before looking up at Par with genuine worry on his face.
"The tree is dying."
Kash, Grand Philosopher of the Tree, pressed her dainty fingers onto the large button, and God appeared - a massive figure in the gigantic Great Hall of Landing.
God looked at Kash for a moment, expecting her to speak, before saying, "Kash, are you well?"
Kash bowed deeply, "I am well, and you?"
"Well enough." came the gruff reply, "How goes the mission?"
"What is 'the mission', Lord?"
"Nevermind. Why did you summon me?"
"The Council has reported to us a dramatic increase in the number of fractures in the tuft pod at plus 120 degrees from Landing. If I didn't know better I would've said the entire pod was breaking off.."
"Breaking off, you say?" God smiled, "I see the mission has progressed well."
Kash's already-large eyes widened, "You mean.. the tufts actually are breaking off?"
God's smile widened, "Not exactly." God waved His arm, "You may inform the Council that they are dissolved. I am assuming control of this Tree."
Kash looked at him with her mouth gaping, "..bb...but.."
God looked at her angrily. "But what?"
Kash's shock turned to terror and she bowed again deeply, "My wish is as yours. I will go now."
Kom awoke to the sound of a Councillor's staff banging loudly on his door.
"Kom! You are being summoned by the Council!"
Kom shouted from his hammock, "On what charge!?"
"For the charge of failing to meet your duties as a tuft citizen! Open the door at once!"
"Beetleshit! I work hard in the farms!"
"If you do not open this door immediately, you will be summarily executed!"
Kom jumped out of his hammock. They were serious. He had trouble finding his way to the door - all the fireflies in his lantern had died.
When he opened the door he was gagged and blindfolded, and dragged as a prisoner to the tuft's Council office. He didn't even get a look at those who were arresting him.
When his blindfold was removed, he squinted at the very bright lighting of the Council office, caused by the large amount of glowworms on the walls. They burrowed into the treeside and fed on the sap inside, and released excess energy via bioluminescence - this was Philosopher's knowledge, and Kom was proud to have known that.
When he had become accustomed to his surroundings, he realised he was in the Council hall, surrounded by many of the tuft representatives, and the old bearded Council magistrate who held the ruler's staff, standing behind a table full of papers. He looked to his right and saw Par among the representatives.
His eyes widened, but he was unable to speak as his gag was still on. Par said nothing and looked at him with a steely gaze.
The magistrate looked down at his papers for a moment. "Kom, is it?" he asked quietly.
The magistrate looked down at his papers again and said, "You are charged with the crime of failing to meet the sexual duties of a tuft citizen, the crime of seeking to gain knowledge of the Philosophers, the crime of aspiring to become a Philosopher, the crime of sedition against the Council, the crime of disrespect to Council Members, and the crime of treason against the Council Government. Your crimes were reported by Councillor Par, who we believe to be of good standing. What do you have to say for yourself?"
Kom's gag was untied and he had just opened his mouth to speak when the large double doors of the council hall burst open and a clerk came running in.
"A.. philosopher.. approaches!" he cried between pants, just as a young man (or older boy) with longish blonde hair and dark blue eyes strode confidently into the hall.
Kom looked at the philosopher.. was he was a philosopher? He didn't look like any of the others he had seen.
The magistrate stood and bowed. "Ah, Wise One, we will just dispense with this prisoner and then we will hear you."
The boy nodded. The magistrate looked at Kom again, then said "Right then. Death sentence.", while signing off the papers.
Kom tried to protest, but his gag was quickly retied and the burly enforcers began to lead him away. Kom looked once more at the philosopher, deep into his eyes that betrayed a wealth of emotion from his otherwise deadpan face. Kom was inwardly begging for the boy to intervene, as mutual understanding came to both of them through their linked gazes.
The boy gestured towards the guards leading Kom away, "Stop."
The brutish enforcers looked up at the boy, unable to work out what to do. The boy walked over to Kom. "This person is now the concern of the Philosophers. You will not execute him."
The guards dropped Kom and backed away quickly as if he was a live bomb. The boy moved very close to Kom, who was only half-standing, and untied his gag, saying "I am Ai, we meet on good terms. You are?"
Kom continued looking at his eyes, and said very softly "I am Kom, Wise One. We meet on good terms."
Ai placed a hand on Kom's cheek and looked at him for a moment, before the magistrate coughed loudly. "Ahem, what did you want to see us for, Wise One?"
Ai stood up. "Ah, yes. I have come undertree from Landing."
This caused much consternation among the representatives. The magistrate looked up from his papers again. "From Landing? Why would a Philosopher travel plus 120 degrees to get here?"
Ai calmly strolled over to the and took the ruler's staff from the bewildered magistrate's hand. "Because I am now the ruler of this tuft pod. The entire Council is dissolved, including this branch, by order from God himself." He looked over at Kom, and added "Let it also be known that this man Kom possesses the same authority as I do."
The magistrate glared angrily at Ai as the Council erupted in protest, while Kom's eyes widened in shock. "Well, what are we to do then?" the magistrate demanded loudly.
Ai shrugged his shoulders and smiled a toothy smile. "Return to the farms I guess. You're all ordinary citizens now."
The rabble grew louder, and Ai's smile vanished. He struck the floor hard with his new staff. The councillors grew silent and looked at him again.
"I said, you are citizens! Get Out!"
The councillors suppressed their rage as they bowed at a perfect ninety degrees.
"Our wish is as yours! Wise One!" they shouted in unison.
Well, that's all for this chapter. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org