For years we lived in the peace of our world, content with the knowledge that had been handed down from father and mother to son and daughter. In the darkness of night, we gathered with families, heard tales of the Ancients, and learned that when one ceased to exist on this plane, the other world awaited. In the day, we went about our business, living our lives. When the skies were clear, one could look up and see the red stillness that was and had always been. It was simply, The Beyond.
The Beyond was a place the Ancients believed the essence of our being went once we ceased to exist physically on our planet. Another was The Traverse. The Beyond was preferable. It could be seen. We knew when we looked at it that perhaps our loved ones were there. The Traverse was frightening. What did it look like? Why could we not see it? As the ancients explained it, it was what was just past The Beyond, and only a select few were chosen to go.
We became curious and began to wonder what was inside, or even on the other side, of The Beyond. Did one truly go there when one ceased to exist? If we could somehow build a craft that could take us there, would we see our loved ones? And if we could go farther, would we find out who went to The Traverse and why?
And so began the journey to build crafts that would take us into The Beyond and perhaps to the Traverse. It took years of failed experiments. We worked as one, those on the long side of the world and those on mine. It became a universal goal. What was already a functioning global community became more so. Then the day came when one of the test launches of a craft lifted off, hovered and moved higher toward The Beyond. We were ready.
The world rejoiced! Soon we would have answers. More tests were done, crafts were built, and teams were chosen to go on the first journey. Training was intense, but all knew it was worth it. Those who were chosen would find answers, bring them back to our world, and perhaps become the new Ancients with new answers.
When the day arrived for the four crafts to depart, everyone was there to witness it in person, those from our side and the long side of the world. The crowds were large and the mood was high.We who were chosen boarded with pride and an intense emotion we had never before felt. Finally, we would see The Beyond. Finally we might see loved ones long passed.
All went well with lift off. We made it through several layers of atmosphere and neared our first destination: The Beyond. The red glow that had been so comforting was now slightly frightening. We were worried. As we entered the brightness of The Beyond, our crafts tilted and alarms sounded. We did our best to keep control, and watched as our three sister craft did the same. Finally we broke through.
Again, we struggled to maintain control as we moved from the red atmosphere of The Beyond to the mysterious unknown of The Traverse. It took such concentration, that none of us noticed what it looked like until we were through and steady.
Finally, we were on the other side of The Beyond and instead of the brilliant red we had known all our lives, we saw a peaceful blue that hypnotized us. This was The Traverse. The vastness was almost overwhelming. Our small imaginations had never envisioned this. We no longer believed we would find our loved ones, but we did believe we would find others, and we wanted to experience their beauty.