The Loss of the Thing: Fellowship of the Thing
"Time has laid waste to the forgotten lands of Saibertakjaya, and the dust carry tales of a time where dangerous creatures roam the land. Creatures, with big heads and small bodies. Creatures who cover their skin from the friendly rays of sunlight. Creatures who have no need for legs. Creatures so powerful, they seek to rule the earth in place of The Almighty! Creatures... known as humans...
And from the forgotten ancient race known as the humans, there borned a legend as old as time itself. There was the legend of the three who sought to end the misfortune of the Thing, a creature more dangerous and evil than the vile humans. A creature beyond words of description. A creature, that only time can destroy... This is the story, of the Fellowship of the Thing!"
The young boy sits intently, looking at his grandfather, his face expressionless as he awaits the continuation of the story his grandfather was telling him.
"Now, listen carefully, young padawan. One day, you will grow up to be a Jedi, and to know the legends, is to know what lies beyond the barren plains of our red planet. For the state of earth is still uncertain, as the last of our primitive ancestors, the humans left it to rot millions of years ago. Nothing lives in the 'dead' planet, except for legends that has been told for centuries past."
"So this is a legend from the earth?" the boy asked. "Yes" the grandfather replied. "Now, hear me speak as you learn of this tale, for the destruction of earth lies in another tale, another time..." And so the boy listened, and the grandfather spoke.
"The Fellowship of the Thing was formed to battle the misdeeds of the Thing. But that was not always so. It was originally created to protect the Thing, from itself! But as time passed by, the power of the Thing diminished, and with it, the trust of the Fellowship... You see, the Thing was a creature who controls the living, foolish humans, by their minds, and led them to believe lies through its dark arts.
So it was by this dark magic, that the Thing controls the three members of the Fellowship. And it was this dark magic that brought the Thing into his own demise. You see, at the time when the Thing first came into the putrid lands of Saibertakjaya, it brought with it an aura of calm and tranquility. It was a leader, charming and charismatic. Or so, the people thought.
It ruled the Lands of Saibertakjaya on Earth with a copper fist! Unfirm and soft. Unjust and irresponsible. But with its dark magic, it weaved a web of deceit and manipulated the foolish humans... binding them in its grasp, stealing what freedom they had. Reaping the fruits of their work. But still, they respected it, for it showed great charisma. And above all, the people needed a leader, not a foe.
And with someone to guide them, they relentlessly followed blindly in its lead. Sometimes doubting its actions, but nonetheless, nothing was said. This was before the legendary Kalamari of the Squid Clan came to be. It was a dark and morbid time... and the legendary hero lay dormant in the plains of Saibertakjaya, waiting for time to call out to him..."
The boy listened intently at his grandfather as the tale told itself. The old man spoke with a fondness of time passed. His voice full of emotion as he spoke of the tale of his people. The tale which brought them to this place, this time, this moment...
"And then they came a time when a great festival was to be held in honour of the great Hoop Players"
"Hoop players, grandpa?" asked the boy. "Yes. Hoop players" The boy seemed puzzled. "What are Hoop players, grandpa?" he asked. "Hoop players are people who play with hoops and balls" the old man answered. The boy looked confused. "It was a game played on Earth back in the ancient times when humans had no natural enemies. They did not know back then, how to use their time wisely. Their time was wasted on things known as entertainment. 'Hoops' was one of those 'entertainments'. It was a game played by two teams who must bounce a ball and throw it into a hoop to score points." "That sounds like a silly game, grandpa!" the boy laughed. "Yes... my child. They were foolish and took pleasure in simple and mindless things. But enough of that. We shall continue the tale" And with that, the boy refocused his attention.
"So, with the festival looming, the Thing had prepared a performance to honour the players. But it needed dancers. Therefore, it sent messengers to all four corners of Saibertakjaya to seek out those who are worthy of such a performance.And from the shadowy plains of Saibertakjaya, the reply came in the form of the legendary Kalamari of the Squid Clan!
Now, the Squid Clan was a mysterious tribe of people who are nomads of the dusty plains of Saibertakjaya. They are well known for their prowess in hunting and their savagery. None would dare venture out into their territory for fear of returning without a limb, or not returning at all... Their reputation as ancient protectors of the lands are greatly feared as it was once said that when the tides of war broke out between the rival clans, the Squid Clan will be there to stop the blooshed and restore order to the lands. And when all was peaceful, they would retreat back into the vast plains of Saibertakjaya.
So it was no surprise that Kalamari received a cold reception when he first arrived at the town hall. But after a week, he managed to gain the respect of the other performers, for he was quick to learn and willing share his knowledge and humour with them. And with that, they performed side by side on the day of the festival. And the Thing was glad.
It was during this time that Kalamari was finally acquainted with the Thing. They worked together to make the festival a success. And so it was. And they were the best of friends... until one day...
It was a weekend and the Thing had planned to return to its Homeland far away in the depths of Subandberjayasikit to seek out its family of which it has not seen since it came to Saibertakjaya. By now, Kalamari was well acquainted with the local people and thus stayed back to take care of things while it was gone. But it never came back...
The Thing returned on the First day of the week of the cow, pale and nervous. No one knew of its return. For no horn was heard... no miles of caravans. Only a lonely figure returned to Saibertakjaya that evening. Kalamari received a call and rushed forth to great his leader, the Thing, but he was instead faced with a shade of his leader.
Anxious and nervous, the Thing could hardly recognise him, and so Kalamari introduced himself to his leader, for fear that it had forgotten who he was. Yes, such was the power of the dark magic the Thing wielded. The Thing could hardly recognise its faithful follower but instead, handed him a letter.
The letter was addressed to Kalamari, and so with shaking hands, and curiousity, Kalamari opened it and read it's contents...
The letter spoke of an illness which had befallen the Thing. It was a spell, casted upon the Thing by a rival, cursing him with an unknown disease that sought to end its life! The Thing, however, had tried to break the curse, and was successful, but not completely! The curse still lingered, and threatened to end the Thing's life in an indefinitely period of time. But it wasn't only that. In preparing the counterspell, the Thing had placed an enormous risk unto itself. For the counterspell sought to damage the Thing's memory beyond repair. But it was a risk worth taking. For the people still needed it... and it had to name its succesor before its time was up, and the counterspell was the only thing that would buy the Thing that time...
Having read the letter, Kalamari realised what must be done! The Thing had entrusted him with the responsibility of caring for the Thing. The Thing still had to attend to it's duties. And news of the Thing's condition might trigger terrorist gropus to strike upon the weakened lands of Saibertakjaya. No... Kalamari had to make sure that the Thing was presentable in all its dealings. He had to make sure no one knew about the Thing's condition. He had made a vow to his ancestors, to protect the land at all costs. He will protect the Thing at all costs... even with his life...
But even as he made his decision, panic gripped him like the steel grasp of an eagle's claw! He has an important meeting with the MOE (Minister Of Electronic gaming) just minutes away! Beads of perspiration dripped down his brow as he contemplated his next move. Yes, he has no choice but to confront the MOE with the truth. This was a task that would take more than one person to accomplish. Kalamari had realized this fact from the very beginning. He couldn't be there for the Thing all he time. He needed help, and help was at hand, for among the ministers and officials who advised the Thing, the MOE was the most loyal and trustful of them all. He was closest to the Thing, and thus, what better person to seek help from, if not from him?
A quick message was sent to the MOE in preparation for the coming event. The note was simple, yet it puzzled the MOE to no end. It read, "Play along. All will be revealed in due time". And with that, the MOE left the building and headed toward the Food Garden, where they were to meet.
Kalamari brought the Thing along. Draped in a cloak to conceal its identity, (something which wasn't a norm to the Thing) Kalamari lead it towards the table where the MOE was seated, and introduced the Thing to him!
The MOE, shocked beyond disbelief, began to exclaim out loud! But before he could speak, Kalamari had beckoned him to play along. Sickened and puzzled as he was by this fiasco, the MOE could do nothing but follow. But even throughout the introduction, Kalamari couldn't help but notice his eyes full of disbelief and confusion. This was only the beginning...
Kalamari did no more than to introduce the Thing to the MOE and to proceed with matters at hand. No mention of the Thing's condition was voiced. No questions asked. No answers given. Kalamari presented the Thing to the MOE as a new found friend. They began talking, but as time passed by, it became apparent to the MOE that the Thing could not remember anything about its past, or about itself. And as the meeting went on, the MOE could only sit, and listen, and ponder in his mind, what was going on.
Finally, the meeting was over, and plans were made to show videos of the Thing to it, hopefully, to induce some level of recall..."
"What is a video?", the little boy asked. "That, my young child, is a 2d moving picture, used widely as a medium in the dark ages of the earth" replied the old man. "2d? Were they really so backward, grandpa?" the boy said in disbelief. "Hahaha... enough of that my child. They were a race who were ruled by the media. Video, was used for entertainment, unlike the holograms we use solely for instruction and communication" "I see. So what did they use for instruction and learning?" the boy continued asking. "They used an old system called schools, which promptly failed because of the lack of parental guidance. But enough of that, history will be spoken of at another time". And with that, the old man turned back towards the tale...
"And in the failing light, the three of them walked towards the MOE's office. The MOE lagged behind and pulled Kalamari in step with him. "What is going on?" he asked. "Is this a joke?" "Nay, it is no joke" Kalamari replied. And the truth was told. The MOE was stunned in disbelief. How could his idol, the great Thing, be strickened with such a terrible disease? He lagged behind as Kalamari took his place next to the Thing, and guided it along towards the MOE's office.
At the office, the MOE showed videos of the Thing in action, hoping that some amount of recall can be achieved but to no avail. All seemed lost, but the two of them would not give up. They prayed for the best, and Kalamari offered to excort the Thing back to its quarters. But the night was far from over for Kalamari and the MOE, for the was much preparation to be done for the upcoming day...
Kalamari tossed and turned the night away. Unable to sleep, he thought of all the solutions that lay ahead of him. Tomorrow was a big day, for the Thing was to host a radio show that evening with one of the most beautiful and available young woman in Saibertakjaya!"
The old man stopped and looked at the child. "The radio, is an old contraption which was used by our ancestors for communication and entertainment. It carries sound through signals in the atmosphere. Unlike us, the primitive humans were unable to communicate over vast distances telepathically" the old man explained. "I know, grandpa. I read about it before" the boy smiled. The old man stopped for a moment. Then, he continued his story...
"The day went on almost as usual, with Kalamari helping the Thing regain its memory by showing it around. Kalamari himself was bogged down with meetings, but he sacrificed his duties to take care of the Thing. As evening approached, he grew anxious, for he knew not what to do about the radio show. The show had to go on!
So, minutes before the show, Kalamari approached the young woman and confided in her, the secret of the Thing! The woman was none other than the legendary Xeena from the island of Pinelang. The food from this island was reputated to be the best in the world, and thus it is from this island that our very own menu originated from.
Armed with this new found knowledge, Xeena knew what must be done. The responsibility now rests with her. With mic in hand, she led the Thing to the radio booth, and proceeded to tame the crowd with her soothing voice. She was inexperienced, but within moments, she had the audience tuning in to her frequency. Such was the power of Xeena the warrior of the mic that the audience did not notice the odd behaviour of the Thing.
And thus the evening was saved by the trio. But it was not over yet. Halfway throughout the show, the curse which had befallen the Thing began it's terrible task. The Thing was smitten with the intensity of its blow and staggered. It faltered and was quickly aided by Kalamari and Xeena.
As Kalamari stood by its side, Xeena returned to the mic and proceeded as if nothing had happened. The Thing was weak, as it was tedious for it to fight the curse for so long. But the night was a success! The people were ignorant of the Thing's state of mind, and peace was maintained... for tonight...
The next morning, the sun brought with it a new beginning. But for Kalamari, his nightmare has just begun. For in the span of eight hours in which the Thing had slept, the curse had erased whatever memory Kalamari and the MOE had tried to help the Thing regain the previous night. Kalamari was saddened, but still, the show must go on... and thus, in the rising rays of sunlight, he gathered the MOE and Xeena and together, they formed the Fellowship of the Thing!!!"
"Kalamari woke up to embrace the rising sun, only to realize that the sun will not shine very long. The curse had returned the Thing to its vegetative state. And in the dim light, Kalamari could only hope that the Thing could recover. Twas a new day and out he ventured to see if the Thing needed any aid.
And as all good stories go, aid was indeed needed. The Thing was as lost as he was the night before. But this time, it had the Fellowship to guide it through it's daily meetings. First, was a meeting in which the Saibertakjaya committee had to discuss a few issues. The MOE had gone ahead of the Thing to inform the Professional about the condition of the Thing. This made things easier for Kalamari as all he had to do was to make sure the Thing did not falter in its speech.
The Professional proved to be a great help, being influential during the Saibertakjaya committee proceedings, he directed the topic of discussion away from the Thing. But doubts lingered in the Professional's mind as the meeting proceeded... thoughts which were not shared until it was too late...
The day continued as usual for the citizens of Saibertakjaya, but for Kalamari and the Fellowship, the day was far from over. The Thing was becoming increasingly difficult. Taking care of it was a great task, and the burden was felt by the Three who formed the Fellowship! Its demands were becoming more meaningless, and its demands for attention made the Fellowship hard-pressed, as they could not spend much time with their families.
That night, Kalamari crept into bed during the wee hours of dawn. Unable to return home until the Thing was safely asleep, Kalamari had no choice but to stay up to finish his chores and duties. Such was his dedication to his friend that he sacrificed sleep and health to care for them. But his efforts were in vain, for in the brightly shining sun of tomorrow, he was to be faced with much trouble.
In the hot and humid afternoon sun, Kalamari received a call from the Thing. Wondering what it was, he picked up the call, only to find that the Thing had seeked audience with him. Rushing to the meeting place, he found the Thing holding its arm. Further inspection revealed a cut wrist! Yes, the Thing had attempted suicide!!!
Panic gripped him like the steel grasp of an eagle's claw! Wait, I said that before didn't I? Ah.. nevermind. In the state of confusion he used all his powers, and aided by his Handphone, he summoned Xeena to his side!"
"Grandpa, what's a..." "Yes... yes.. I knew you would ask me sooner or later. A handphone, is an object used to communicate with other being over a long distance" the old man explained. "But don't they use telepathy back then?" the curious youngster asked. "No... their brains weren't developed yet. It is said that Kalamari was one of those few who started using telepathy, but because no one else had the ability to receive his messages, he stopped, and used a handphone instead.
The handphones cause much trouble for decades, and it was only a century later that someone discovered that the radiation emitted from the handphones were actually suppressing the human's natural ability to communicate telepathically. After that, they also realised that the radiation actually reduces the lifespan of humans by 75%! It was no wonder that after the discovery, they finally evolved and lived longer." The young boy stared at the old man with big round eyes filled with wonder.
"And so it was that Xeena came to the aid of Kalamari. Both of them were afraid of what the Thing might do next. It was clear that they couldn't handle it much longer.