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.

1. Nym

Do you fear darkness? – Resolute, I open my mouth to say "No", but it already knows my answer.

2. Ruen

Do you know where you're going? – "I do not." It can see as much.

3. Strata

Do you know how you came here? – "I come here by way of a dream." The wind on the dunes stirs.

4. Cahst

Do you have a purpose here? – "Exploration," I say. There is only silence.

5. Stil

Do you bleed if cut? – "Yes, but I'd rather not prove it."

6. Atla

Do you possess emotion? – "Yes. Many emotions." The sphere rotates and sits motionless again.

7. Reyv

Do you know love? – I think for a while. "It is sacrifice."

8. Talon

Do you see what is or what could be? – "I see both. I find I prefer what could be." 

9. Tiger

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."

10. Aris

Do you know little or much? – "Little, I'm sure. But I have many volumes of knowledge stored within my consciousness."

11. Inkh

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."

12. Mask

Do you hide your intentions? – "I hide nothing." They know I'm lying.

13. Glayv

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.

14. Taw

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.