This excerpt is from Chapter Two of the book “New Planet, New World.” Astrophysicist meets Hopi Sacred Keepers to activate the Transfer Particle that connects universes. Just the last chapter to write – Chapter Eight, a philosophical musing on humanity’s survival anywhere.
As he looked into the eyes of Manny’s grandmother, Tom sank down to his knees before her and wept, just as Manny had wept on the journey there. She calmly held out her hands to him and stood before him. He looked into the eyes of wisdom, beauty and power. She spoke to him in perfect English. “I see that Manny has instructed you well. “ She chuckled with that deep guttural sound he had heard before. “You have the new planet’s location for me.” Tom nodded – there was nothing he could say, so full was he of her presence. She understood. “We know what is to be created here and treat it as an honor to be part of it. It will be your task to place it in order on the new planet. I will introduce you to the other Keepers.” Tom was included in a circle of the most magnificent people he had ever met. The tears continued to flow down his face. “This is good,” remarked one of the Keepers. Tom understood what they had committed to and fully realized that it deepened his own commitment.
“Dr. Hagen, do not lament that we will not return from the kiva,” she said. “I reassure you that this is what we want. We are ready to move on and become part of the Sky People. That is something all four of us have yearned for. We gladly reach for that transformation. We cannot invite you into the kiva. You must stay outside, next to where the North stone is placed. I will show you.” She took Tom by the hand and pointed out the chair placed right above the North stone in the subterranean chamber. Her smile was quite amusing. “We will be inside with the ceremony for the rest of the day. It will be completed by morning. You are to stay at this location throughout. Our people will bring you water and sustenance. At daybreak Manny will come out by the ladder. There is a flat stone that fits the top of the kiva perfectly. You and Manny will place that over the entrance, as this kiva becomes our tomb. Though it is only for our dead bodies – we will have gone elsewhere by dawn.” She looked deeply into Tom’s eyes and he felt he was looking into universe after universe. “I have one request for you. Do not ask Manny what took place in the ceremonial chamber of the kiva. When the time is right he will inform you. Until that time, please resist all curiosity about the Transfer Particle. The fact that you land safely on the new planet in the next galaxy is proof enough.”
He allowed his scientific mind to recede and felt deeply in his body the unification of universes. Tom did not see the energy from the ceremonial chamber travelling into space but opened up to the reality of something he had no prior knowledge of. The taste of the burning fire pit at the center of the medicine wheel was pungent in his mouth. Although the night was cold, beads of sweat broke out on his forehead and ran down his cheeks, splashing onto his buttoned shirt. He was starkly aware that the Sacred Keeper of the Sky People was directly below him. Manny’s grandmother had given him specific instructions and he kept to them as though they were sacred vows. He was in unfamiliar territory, which became more and more unusual as the night proceeded. Yet he was prepared to make that leap of faith to completely trust the elderly Hopi elders who were offering their lives.
Deep sobs arose in his chest and he cried uncontrollably several times during that long dark night. The first light of dawn on the desert horizon was not so much a relief, just a marker of the most significant act of his life. The morning breeze raised a brief sand storm. He gripped the wood of the sturdy chair upon which he sat. He felt the knots of the hard wood with his two hands. This grounded him deeply to the experience of the four Sacred Keepers who he knew were now dead. Humbled by their nobility he waited patiently. He made it so through the night until he heard Manny’s steps on the ladder and was there to embrace him as he climbed out of the sacred kiva. His new friend looked gaunt and bereft, yet had a steely determination in his eyes. Between them they lifted the stone slab and placed it on the top opening of the kiva. They sat at the North apex where Tom had been stationed, very quiet, full of wonder and not a little grief. Breakfast was brought over to them by the other elders remaining in the pueblo, who knew what had taken place. The coffee was good, as were the corn tortillas. There was no need for any conversation or analysis. Tom and Manny entered the helicopter which quickly ferried them to Phoenix International airport. It was a silent journey. Both men knew they had been radically changed.