Lower CoSMOS-Nothing Special

Credit: Mahsa Habibi

“There are ways to stop your madness though, Tui. Have you considered them?” Handlin said

The council of elders began. Tedious speeches, societal updates, and short reminders followed. Afterward, each in turn glanced at one another, recognizing their respective planets and as diplomats, gave a greeting from their societies; learned through communication and development over millennia. They noticed after the ceremony one was absent. There resting in their midst, an empty seat, one for Tui Magoint, a male representative from Fwei. Delegating for another hour, they discussed what to do about the empty place until finally summoning the wife of the delegate. She bowed to them. Some acknowledged her, others did not. The moment of their conversation meant more to them than their colleague’s whereabouts. Amiv, his wife, suspected areas of where her husband may be but remembered the other times of a similar occurrence. She believed and blamed herself as the cause of the disturbance.

Tui spent hours on the terrace near the council’s chambers watching machines great and small, fast and slow, travel through the Zuro Grande pathway at the city’s center; the place of inter-space commerce. Nothing was as large and more efficient anywhere in their cosmos for transport.

            “Tui, dear. They have finished,” Amiv said to him.

            Unmoved, Tui’s head then drooped down, taking his gaze away from the ships passing by.

            “Oh, no. Tui.”

            She ran to him and lifted his head.

            “Sit to your chair, Tui. The council has left. No one is there.”

            He grabbed her and leaned into her front, finding comfort.

            “Is it your head again?”

            “Yes, my love.”

            “You must not think of these things. It is bad for you. You do not know for sure, so why bother with the idea of something you cannot see or know that is there. It is mental torture,” she said.

            “I wish that were possible but that is how we started my love,” said Tui, “We are nothing special.”

            “Tui,” she lifted his translucent orangish red head and licked his face. She then stood a step back from him, grasping his wrists.

“You, my Amiv are special to me, of course. In my heart, but to others, they will think nothing of your death when you are gone but will console me; telling me how sorry they are that you are gone. But they will not mean it. Maybe in the smallest way. The same with me. Should I die, tomorrow or tonight, my love, a sadness and then nothing after that.”

            “Oh, Tui. Yes. Yes. A sadness from me. A long mourning.”

            “A memory and then nothing.”

            “Dear, Oh Dear, Tui. It is the present you need to concern yourself with.”

            He nodded.

            “What about the people? All of them are everywhere. From every place in the universe. All the languages we brought together here. No war. Harmony reigns and peace our only beloved friend.”

            “It is what they and we all want.”

            “How many others are like us?” Tui said.

            “We have talked this way before, my love.”

            “Councils. Buildings reaching to the sky. Riches. Pleasures. Pride. Love and wealth. Decadence and celebration. Pageantry and spectacle. Riding the clouds and mist of galactic air. It is all the same.”

            She nodded, “Yes.”

            “We are nothing special. Nothing unique. Everything is found. All are different beings. Stronger. Taller. Bigger. Smaller. Some can fly. Some can crawl. Others transform their bodies into objects. Other resistant. We have stretched our biological boundaries to what we want and sometimes desire. We all may be different but what hasn’t been found?”

            His wife lowered her head. Tui brought her to his level of depression.

            “I am sorry, Amiv.” Instead of crying Amiv’s skin color changed temporarily to full orange, flushing other colors to disappear underneath it. He grabbed her and pulled her in, holding her close and placing his head on top of hers.


            That night, Tui walked their home, and Handlin, a large Broosk, entered the residence. Tui stopped and Handlin stepped toward him.

            “Alright, Crazy. I did what you wanted. But tell me, you criminal, why?” He said while squinting and bearing his teeth is a false disgust .

            “She turned orange yesterday, Handlin.”

            “Orange? What did you say?” Handlin said.

            “It is why you are here. Take me to it.”

            “Now, Tui. It is not that easy. I convinced the Lacktor to allow you through, the rest you have to get on your own but this is not your first time into the docking bay. Last time was not too long ago. If you unlatch anything that is secured, they will know,” Handlin said. Tui nodded.

            “Ah, but there is a change in our people, my friend. It is the way they think. Can you see it?”

            “No. Tui,” said Handlin, moving closer to him. “There are ways to stop your madness though, Tui. Have you considered them?” Handlin said, already imagining himself knocking Tui out and dragging his body to bed for the night. “You will make her worse by leaving, Tui. If you think she is sad now, wait until you are not here anymore.”

            “That is it, my friend. Someday I won’t be. Who is to say that this is not that day?” Tui said.

            Handlin shook his head confused, “No. Now Tui, don’t start with me, you old Zasx. Besides, where will you go?”

            “Anywhere. Anywhere, Handlin. You see what I’ve done to Amiv.”

            “You’re not thinking. And the council will come for you. You cannot walk away from them without telling them,” Handlin said.

            “Are you not listening? They do not care. Come.”

            Tui walked out of his quarters motioning for his large friend to follow him down an empty hall connected to the city’s lining of residences for their citizenry. Some were out for a walk, others stayed indoors, but rarely did anyone venture out alone.

            “Look, Handlin. Look around.”

            Handlin did as he asked. No one was nearby.

            “I have seen it before,” Handlin said.

            “No one will care. The council will not, and neither will Amiv. She will forget someday.”

            “I will never understand you. Two months ago, you were yourself and suddenly you seek death like a friend?”

            “I want freedom.”

            “Freedom? You wanted me to see our world. How can we be freer?” Handlin said.

            “You will see. Do you want to come?” Tui said.

            “I could not do what you are doing to Amiv.”

            “You still don’t understand, Handlin. Their minds are gone, tragedy cannot bring them back. Look, there is no one around. We have done everything from here to the end of the universe and what did we find?”

            “Peace, Tui. Peace for everyone.”

            “Yes, but the same things! Everyone, everywhere. The same things. Nothing special.”


            “Did we miss something? Something not categorized that should be in our records?”

            “I don’t know, Tui. Why does it matter?” Handlin said.

            “Because isn’t there more to our lives?”

            “You have lost your mind, Tui”

            Tui left Handlin who returned home. On his way, Tui’s travels and demeanor bothered the Broosk’s every step. Near his home, Handlin stared at his surroundings and examined his life, as he gave Tui’s ideas consideration.

            He then waved his arm in the direction he came from as a final gesture to his friend Tui.

            “He will be here in the morning,” Handlin mumbled.

            As the night continued, Tui had nothing with him but his council garb and the will to come to the entrance of the commercial and civil bay of transport, a hub of vehicles waiting for use. The council’s official transport connected the side of the bay’s structure to the wall, locking it in place and available when needed.

            “Not a soul,” Tui said, amazed he was alone. No one cared.

            “Why have all this? For what reason? Where did the security go from two months ago?” He chuckled to himself, “What has happened to us?” Tui gave a deep sigh of relief, convinced he was doing the correct thing for his life.

            The council’s vessel clicked and released its docking arm from the side of the wall. The arm pulled into the ship, allowing the craft to suspend in the air. Tui’s head shot up, watching it drift from the port without him inside. The ship turned direction toward an opened area where it moved to a secondary part of the bay and into a free shot into the atmosphere. Tui gathered his legs and ran toward the connecting platform near the ship, too late to catch up with it. The craft left on its own.

            “Someone knew I was coming.” It injured his excitement to leave more than angered him. He expected an arrest and confinement until the remainder of the council decided what to do with their rogue colleague’s attempt to escape their civilization a second time.

            “Right. No one cares,” he chuckled and began his way home. Handlin’s admonition on Tui’s, selfishness convinced him, in brief, of no longer having to decide to leave. He may still do so, but had to start the plan again, with Handlin’s help or another friend to secure a vessel.

            “Handlin. I better be careful. He is a good Broosk,” Tui said to himself.

A third attempt remained on his mind until returning home, but so did his lack of consideration for his wife’s feeling about his exit. The room where they slept was quiet and Tui readied himself for rest. He entered and sat where they slept together.

            But she was not there.