Episode IX -- Iapetus
Premiered 20 March 2009
Multiple Choice -- Episode IX
Iapetus is easily the most intriguing creation in the Saturnian system. One hemisphere is pitch black, while the other is a brilliant white. At one angle, it looks very much like the yin/yang symbol from the Tao. With one side always facing Saturn, the satellite during its 79 day orbit will disappear totally from earth-based observations (its black surface virtually eliminating its reflectivity) and then reappear on the other side of Saturn, increasing in intensity as the brilliant white, highly reflective hemisphere becomes dominant. When Cassini first spotted the satellite in 1671, he recognized it as one of the more inexplicable and anomalous bodies in the entire solar system. In the subsequent 300+ years since, with all manner of data being accumulated at a much closer range... Iapetus is still one of the more inexplicable and anomalous bodies in the solar system.
But science's loss... or its inability to figure it out... does have a silver lining. Iapetus still provides science fiction writers (e.g. Arthur Clarke's 2001, A Space Odyssey (and its sequel), a degree of scientific credibility that Clarke always preferred in his fictional writings. Iapetus will also serve the part here as well... and in upcoming writings of any number of authors. It's just too cool to be ignored... at least by any researchers other than those committed to avoiding new thought at all costs.
To emphasize the point, it should be noted that the satellite has an unusual inclination in its orbit, angled at roughly 15 degrees; most of Saturn’s satellites are comparatively well behaved and orbit in a plane like the rings themselves. Iapetus is far and away (pardon the pun) the most distant major satellite of Saturn… orbiting at the inexplicable distance of roughly 60 Saturn radii. The orbit is surprisingly circular, with an eccentricity of only 0.0283, as compared to Earth’s moon whose eccentricity is almost twice that of Iapetus. Even more curious is the fact that Earth’s moon has an orbit whose radius is roughly 60 times Earth’s radii. Such satellites and their geometries seem all the rage of late. So what is it about Iapetus and Earth’s moon that makes them so all fired special? Why do both support other anomalies like having hemispheres that are radically different? Good questions.
The overall shape of Iapetus is neither spherical or ellipsoidal, but appears more – when viewed from a particular angle -- to be a hexagonal shape (intriguingly similar to the hexagon shape of Saturn’s polar region winds). The horizons on Iapetus are even closer to a straight line than a spherical segment.
Around Iapetus’ equator is a monstrously high ridge, rising some twelve miles into the non-existent atmosphere… on a moon whose radius is a mere 450 miles. The ridge is consistent around the entire circumference of the satellite, and begs vainly for a reasonable physical explanation for its existence. Olympus Mons on Mars has a comparable height, but on a planet whose diameter is roughly five times that of Iapetus.
The possible explanations for Iapetus’ existence include it being an artificially created or a modified satellite of Saturn and possibly used as: an ark and/or seed ship (the latter for purposes of panspermia), a sign post (to identify the location of everything from a star gate to the latest opening of a Starbucks… pardon the pun), an exploratory vessel (where some intelligence came with everything, including the kitchen sink), a spiritual resort for the exceptionally well heeled, mobile types (it has a dynamite view of Saturn and its rings!), or… all of the above.
David had long been inclined to the latter option.
But then, David had also long suspected that Earth’s moon was also an artificial satellite. That would explain a lot of weird things!
David’s initial landing spot on Iapetus was a barren landscape – desolate to the extent of once having been windswept to the point to extinction. The other worldly feel was further compounded by the light gravity and overhead, the stunning view of Saturn and its spectacular rings, and the profoundly dark depth of intervening space.
Then, the non-existent atmosphere transformed itself (from nothingness, obviously) into skies of intense streaking colors, virtually continuous lightening strikes, and thunderous roaring. David’s immediate reaction was to glance about for the man behind the curtain. But there were no curtains; just astronomical and spectacular pyrotechnics… all suggesting the arrival of august personages.
Alas, there were no immediate signs of life, and no evidence of there ever having been any in the surrounding area. As he began to explore, a robed being appeared just behind him. David straightened, as if sensing a presence, and then slowly turned to face it. When he saw the woman from the back of the pentagon briefing room… if memory serves, her named being Kayleigh… he reacted with considerable shock, stepping back and partially stumbling.
“What the hell?”
Kayleigh shrugged, a fact admittedly difficult to see within her flowing robes, but which was nonetheless readily apparent on her face. “Yes, as a matter of fact… hell is indeed one of your choices.”
David started. “My choices…? What have my choices got to do with anything? And… by the way… who are you?”
Kayleigh smiled, and bowed very slightly. “I am Paatal. Or rather I am of the Paatal… a member of a community of souls unified in their diversity. I have become separate from their cosmic consciousness in order to act as Guardian.”
“And these… allegedly legendary beings… actually need a ‘Guardian’?”
“When the Paatal began their Grand Experiment,” Kayleigh, the Guardian, gently explained, “it was their intent to experience the ordeals of living within the dense confines of three spatial dimensions… a physical plane where limitations abound and the illusion of restrictions take on the appearance of reality. For example…”
Abruptly, the thunder and lightening ceased.
“At the same time,” she continued, “a buffer of time was inserted between desire and manifestation, so that sustained emotional experiences would be required before one could manifest true change. With these constraints of space and time, the Paatal hoped to find within emotions and extraordinarily brief lifetimes, the capability to manifest with incredible speed and virtuosity.”
“You’re telling me the legends were true…?”
“Most legends are... at least to some degree. There is always a bit of truth in such tales.”
Kayleigh turned with a wave of her hand, as the landscape became filled with scenes from mythologies and legends, all blending in and among themselves.
“As Guardian,” she began, narrating the scenes, “I am to watch over the Grand Experiment… remaining separate and distinct from the participants who are living within the four-dimensional space-time creation. I am to observe, monitor, and ensure the completion... or the resolution... of the Experiment.”
“Conditions have evolved to a point where a substantial intervention is now necessary… the reason we’re having this conversation.”
The landscape scenery began to show scenes of Earth devastation -- from burning landscapes and forests to polluted seas and lakes to visions of a desert devoid of life and even the possibility of its future traversal.
“Members of the Paatal community, who have so zealously enacted their parts in this greatest of drama, have now reached an impasse.”
Scenes of wars, conflicts and conflagrations began to be overlaid on the landscape scenery. David winched at the sometime routine but nevertheless horrifying images.
“The very stage,” Kayleigh continued, “upon which the Paatal are performing is nearing total destruction. And not only from the vagaries of the strange and colorful beings and dramas that the densified community of souls have concocted.” Turning to David, and causing him to turn toward her, she added with gravity and pointed intensity. “But also interventions from external sources… beings from the fourth and fifth dimensions.”
The landscape scenery began to be populated with pictures of various and diverse extraterrestrial races, UFOs, cattle mutilations, allegedly natural catastrophes, and other evidences of extraterrestrial influence.
“These intruders, while acknowledging the Paatal as something akin to gods, have seen self-advantage for themselves by thwarting the goals of the limited Paatal personas – by intervening in the Grand Experiment. At the same time, they hope to find a way to control the Paatal’s latent, inner powers.”
“Bummer,” David commented… and then looked sheepish.
The landscape scenery abruptly ceased as Kayleigh turned to look at David.
“As you say… a bummer.”
David winced slightly. “Yeah, well… I’m assuming that there’s a solution.”
“There always is,” Kayleigh answered. “A portion is already in progress. Isolated members of the Paatal in their guise as three-dimensional humans, have already encountered hints and pieces of the puzzle. They have begun the process of remembering their true state. Others have shared their partial enlightenment and sometimes their puzzlement with their fellows… often on a massive scale. Everything is intended as a wake up call for the Paatal… yourself included.”
“But why me? And why now?”
“You appear to be at a major bifurcation point, a decision time of great significance.”
“Oh, man!” David begun. “I really don’t know if I want to be hearing this. It sounds a bit disconcerting.”
“I can assure you,” Kayleigh smiled, “that you did indeed hear it.”
David grimaced. “And I suppose you’ll want me to stop just reacting to things and begin taking responsibility for my actions.”
“More precisely… for your thoughts.”
David simply stared at Kayleigh, as if searching for an alternative.
Finally, he said, “Look… just confirming what I’ve recently heard about the Paatal is not exactly conclusive proof that it’s true. There are, in fact, a few things that don’t quite make sense. Why, for example, did the human race… if they’re descended from these lofty beings of the eleventh dimension, develop the capacity to so easily kill their own?”
“Other alien races have attempted to acquire the Paatal’s essence by what might be characterized as genetic manipulation of DNA and interbreeding. As a result each human being now has significant, albeit very subtle variations in their DNA, and are thus operating under a multiplicity of alien influences. Some humans are fundamentally Draconian, while others might be Pleiadian or Sirian. There are few exceptions to this variation in the underlying human DNA.”
“And all of this switching of dimensions and realities I’ve been experiencing lately… who’s playing games with me?”
“The process is called ‘Ascension’. It’s the process where one consciously removes oneself from the Wheel of Life, to begin the process whereby one can complete their portion of the Grand Experiment.”
Then Kayleigh smiled mischievously. “It is something you chose when you requested a ‘whole new ball game’, one with ‘new rules’.”
“And you took me seriously?” David’s expression of sheepishness would have been worthy of an Oscar… if they only had such a category for an Academy Award.
“The universe always takes you seriously… especially when you verbalize your requests and add emotion to the mix.”
David grimaced. “I’ll try to keep that in mind.” Then another thought occurred to him. “One last question… the end of the Mayan Calendar I’ve heard about…”
“The final fail-safe end of the Grand Experiment. It’s when time itself will cease.”
David raised his eyebrows, looking at Kayleigh with a questioning look. She did not immediately respond, remaining passive. Then she smiled very slightly.
“There is a caveat. Actually, there is almost always a caveat. In any case, if you and enough others like you have learned to roam and respect the limited-dimensional universes, then time will continue… the Grand Experiment will move into a new phase. For others, who release the alien DNA influences, they will be allowed to leave the density limitations of the three-dimensional space and return to the cosmic consciousness. And finally… those who are not yet ready to make the transition… those will stay, and quite possibly participate in the Ta Ra Nee.”
“This seems too easy. I just have to choose?”
“That’s all you ever have to do. But choose wisely… and maintain that choice during increasingly small buffers of time.”
David grimaced slightly, as Kayleigh looked closer.
“You have another question?”
Kayleigh smiled condescendingly, until David abruptly smiled and looked self-conscious.
“Okay,” he said. “Do I have to be on my own in all of this?”
“No. That’s not your way.”
David laughed. “It certainly has been up until now.”
“You may also need a little faith… one that includes an acceptance of the law of allowing. Those we love, we love best by allowing them their own path.”
“You’re not going to tell me… right?”
"What could I possibly tell you? You’re a god! Remember?”
“All too well,” David admitted. “On the other hand… can you tell me where we are right now? Is this really Iapetus?”
"Lovely place, don’t you think? And it’s served so many wonderful purposes. Even now, it’s our… way station, our pit stop... whatever you want to call it. Perhaps, even a seed carrier and disseminator... if not of living organisms, then perhaps also of ideas.”
“Which would suggest a point between an origin and a destination. So… what is my next destination… my next adventure?”
“Whatever you choose… doing whatever you can imagine… your thoughts.”
“I don’t know… I can imagine a lot.”
Kayleigh’s hood slowly slipped down, revealing a beautiful and very powerful woman… just the sort of woman to attract David. All things were indeed possible. Added to the appeal was that she smiled, but remained silent.
“I’ve seen you before,” David began.
“And you’ll likely see me again. Meanwhile…”
Abruptly, a flow of colors and sounds cascaded down upon David like a waterfall, showering him with all manner of stimulating sensory experiences. His expression becomes almost orgasmic as he delighted in the moments.
“Ho boy! This is too much!”
Water suddenly replaced the colors flowing around him, forming a whirlpool with which David only slowly connected. Then with a big smile crossing his face, the scene phased.
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