The Mole-men

 

Men of the golden age, we were good savages, we lived free and happy. Your traditions scarcely evoke those blessed times when we lived in peace. These things are forgotten. But am I not Enoch, father of the new men, companion of the ancients? My role is to testify, memory is my duty.

I tell you about Eden, I tell you the golden age. This blessed era was not one. Time has nothing to do with it; it’s all about space. Instead of Goilden Age, we should say the Golden Land. It refers to the earthly paradise, so badly named: it was not on earth, but above. At the vertical of the North Pole, on a gigantic mother ship, stationary hovering 100 km above. On this ship lived goddesses and gods, our masters.

The sunlight was amplified and reflected by the crystalline surface of the mother vessel, which made it dazzling. Its brutal brilliance eclipsed the moon and the stars. No more night. The day was still going on. The solar star seemed far from the blinding radiations of the mothership. This brilliant planet occupied a good half of the visible sky. Humans could not look at her. So they called it the Sun, and its inhabitants the Sons of the Sun.

They were tall, twice as tall as a man, and ten times stronger. Their skin was luminescent, lighting up in the shadows. They looked like they had absorbed a little radiation from their divine planet. Humans, male or female, were admitted with them. They fought for the honor of serving and staying with them. If by chance they returned to earth, they were treated with the same respect accorded to the gods, and were called Sons of the Sun, like our masters the great gods.

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“It was golden, the first age to be born: without vengefulness, without constraint, without laws, it respected good faith and righteousness. No punishment or fear, no threat on bronze tables and suppliant crowd. They did not fear the face of their judge, and without a protector the people were safe.

Then the pine had not yet been felled in its mountains and had not descended on the sea to visit a foreign world. Mortals knew no shores except theirs. There was no ditch around any stronghold. No straight trumpet, no bent horn, no helmet, no sword. Without any soldier, the tribes passed gentle recreation without any risk.

The earth too, exempt from all obligation, without being touched by the hoe or wounded by plows, gave everything of itself. Satisfied with food produced without any constraint, the humans were picking strawberry tree fruits, blueberries, graspberries, dogwoods, blackberries attached to thorny brambles and acorns fallen from the broad foliage of the tree of Jupiter.

An eternal spring! The peaceful zephyrs caressed with their warm breath the flowers born without sowing. Very soon, even, the virgin soil carried harvests and the field was covered with heavy ears. There, rivers of milk, there, rivers of nectar; drops of blond honey fell from the green yesteryear.” (source)Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, 89 – 11

It is not to described the life on earth but the very life on the Goddess’ Sun that a Latin poet of the name of Ovid willy nilly wrote these lines. He stole them from me. This is almost verbatim the story I told about life on Hyperborea – as the Greeks call it. I lived there for four centuries. One century to be, one century to learn, two centuries to enjoy. Did I enjoy?

Four centuries! As much as four of your lives, ephemeral you are! In your account, I have lived ten thousand lives, without ever meeting the rest of oblivion, the cold caress of death that regenerates the old body. Yet I changed body as decor, often I did, too often – the Goddess was watching.

Ephemeral friends, if your short lives grieve you, know that an endless life is not a picnic. A god hanged himself last year. Eternity had tired him. He is more lucky than me, who no longer choose my destiny. Another took control of my fate, she is the only mistress on my board, and I adore her.

But my story must begin before, well before the return of the gods. Well before they leave. Before the great war of the gods against the gods. From the time we live happy. I remember, I was a young hunter, in the footsteps of my father, the best hunter of orcs in the steppes. And the terror of the uruk hai.

We both went on an adventure, on the orc tracks, and I do not count the nights under the stars, in those blessed times when the sky was still visible, the air was pure and fresh and the soft light came from a very small sun, terribly far away. My father and I were like two hands: one does not go without the other, and the other is always ready to lend a helping hand.

And the war broke out. The great planetary war of the gods against the gods. Heaven cast his anger to the face of the earth. The gleam of a hundred thousand lightning bolts and a terrifying roar rolled the rocks and stones, waved the top of the mountains, and scolded all the underground waters that burst forth from the disemboweled soil. And then it was the turn of the devouring lava. Poor creatures in the face of the superhuman gods, the poor humans were hiding in an attempt to escape the massacre. Hope very illusory.

The combat gases spread their mephitic vapors to the deepest caves where the human cattle sobbed. Many are dead. Guided by the smell of corpses, a masked giant dressed in a tight suit would sometimes cover them with quicklime. Those of them who still lived uttered long terrible cries when the lime burned them to the bone. His job done, the giant was leaving.

The surface of the earth was a gigantic fire. The poisoned air was unbreathable. For humans, no hope of survival in this devastated battlefield ravaged by ash and embers storms. The survivors did not have a choice. They sank ever deeper, ever further from the cursed ground.

There is a complicated network of tunnels in the depths of the earth. Subterraneans cross the oceans under the sea floor. This network has galleries of variable height: the deeper we go, the higher the ceiling. Some of these tunnels go around the planet. The longest are the deepest. They would be called vitrified, as if the heat had melted them.

There are also vast singing caverns where the infinite tinkling of giant crystals echoes. There is also housing, cities, public places and even fields and woods. This is where the mole-men live. For the most part, they are blind. Like the mole their totem. They walk with the help of their third eye. This highly developed organ acts as a sonar that allows them to visualize space in three dimensions. The dolphins have the same meaning, and the bats too, our companion caves.

The survivors live like moles, eat like moles, and die like moles. The great war of the gods ravaged everything for tens of thousands of years, making the air unbearable and everywhere spreading deadly radioactivity. One hundred thousand years of frost in a poisoned atmosphere have made the surface of the earth similar to that of the Moon or Pluto. Frozen nitrogen lakes dot innumerable vitrified deserts that in the distant future will become salt lakes.

Or live ? In the deep galleries, in the singing caves, in the belly of Gaia, always further from the ground towards the Earth Core. I remember the happy times when my father took me hunting the orca of the steppes and the fearsome Urukhai. The monster half-fawn half-man that the giants of Ur have developed to destroy us. My father Thyann the hunter was chieftain. He died many moons ago.

I, Aorn son of Thyann, of the Clan of the Unworn, I will tell you in this book the adventures of the man I have become, the one now called Enoch the patriarch. My apprenticeship in the hard job of man has been going on for years in the depths without light. I see myself as if it were yesterday. All these years, all these centuries running in dark corridors. All these millennia to look for the Earth Core!

I knew that one day we would get to, even if I could never have imagined what we would find.