The Taw Collective
I stand on a dune. A bitter breeze chafes my skin. Scanning the horizon, there's little to see.
I'm not alone. 14 great spheres hover over the landscape. All are different sizes and colors. Each orb asks a question.
Do you fear darkness? – Resolute, I open my mouth to say "No", but it already knows my answer.
Do you know where you're going? – "I do not." It can see as much.
Do you know how you came here? – "I come here by way of a dream." The wind on the dunes stirs.
Do you have a purpose here? – "Exploration," I say. There is only silence.
Do you bleed if cut? – "Yes, but I'd rather not prove it."
Do you possess emotion? – "Yes. Many emotions." The sphere rotates and sits motionless again.
Do you know love? – I think for a while. "It is sacrifice."
Do you see what is or what could be? – "I see both. I find I prefer what could be."
Do you carry a burden? – I do not understand. "What do you mean?" Nothing. Blowing sand stings my face. "I carry only what I need. Burdens must be valuable, or they're only hinderances."
Do you know little or much? – "Little, I'm sure. But I have many volumes of knowledge stored within my consciousness."
Do you value hope or strategy? – I ponder this. What strange questions. I want to walk away, but I cannot move. "I value both, but strategy is my way."
Do you hide your intentions? – "I hide nothing." They know I'm lying.
Do you believe in the unknowable? – How do I answer this? I search myself for an answer. "I do. There are things I will never know."
For a time, all is silent.
Then, with a loud humming noise, one of the spheres descends. It is Taw. The largest and eldest among these monuments of the sky.
Do you know yourself? – I gaze at the orb. The lines and markings on its surface swirl as I watch it. "I know myself. I think."
Taw hums, moving closer to where I stand. It regards me as the tiny visitor that I am.
It peers through me. Somehow, it senses my inner thoughts. It surveys the vastness of my potential and the depth of my ignorance.
It knows just how little I know.