“A very rarefied and elastic substance formerly believed to permeate all space, including the interstices between the particles of matter, and to be the medium whose vibrations constituted light and other electromagnetic radiation.”
“The motion of the planets would be retarded by the ether through which they moved.”
In Ancient Greece, they called it “Aithein”, meaning “burn”, “shine”. Later on they called it “Aither”, which meant “upper air”. It was the closest they got to defining the heavens as accurately as that time and age allowed it.
Of course, we’re talking about Humans here. They don’t see it. Their eyes, those intricate organic designs used for seeing things, cannot actually see the Ether.
Nowadays they call their anaesthetics “ether”. They’re not far from it, either, if you think about it. We sleep in this primordial, ever-flowing substance. Then we fall to the Earth in little drops, filling the fragile little bodies inside our mothers’ wombs. And then when we’re born, we are either Human, or Etherean. That’s what our mothers would tell us about Ether, about why we are so different from the others.
The Great Ether flows through all fabric of time and space, in multitudes of colours. Of course, what we see as colour is merely the interpretation of our brains of what Ether is made of. We see it flow through the night sky so bright and rainbowy, as if the Aurora Borealis merged with the Milky Way and exploded on the colour spectrum. Daylight reveals it ever so gentle and in pale and fruity nuances, like blotches of watercolour in the sky. WE know it’s there, because WE see it.
We know it’s HERE, because we see it. It’s the bundle of building blocks of everything. It creates the rocky mountains and the velvet fields. It orbits the stars which it cooked into creation throughout millions of years. It grows with the grass, and the flowers, and the smelly marsh weeds. It flows through every single being, like the unseen force of life – particles of energy so tiny and yet so concentrated, that when they’re brought together and forced to coexist, they create life itself.
The Great Ether fuels everything, and mother used to say that the only reason why we are called Ethereans is not because of the incredible abilities that it gives us, but because we are fortunate enough to actually see it, and witness its undying beauty flutter in all of Creation. Mother is right, you know.
Ether flows through us much stronger, in bright colours and in a higher concentration. We’re like little tubes of watercolour paint that somehow got more pigment in them; hence the trail we leave behind is more intense, in many ways more beautiful, and less plain.
And plain was the last thing we wanted to be, back in the ancient times. Some of us were strong enough to move mountains, fast enough to beat the sunlight to the horizon, and powerful enough to compel others to do as we pleased.
Some could manipulate the natural elements, the same way that a Human child fiddles with play-dough. Some could summon the winds and fly, while others could draw water out from any crevice and play with all of its physical states, with ease and without the help of any additional instruments, like the Humans. Some of us could change the shape and colour of things, and some of us could change our own shape and colour, taking the form of animals and sneaking into tales and legends of the Humans as fantastic mythical creatures.
Some of us were mischievous enough to toy with the Humans to the point where they built us entire divine pantheons – we were their gods, you see. Some of us could turn pebbles into gold, or had the touch of Mother Nature herself, and some had the power to heal the broken structures of Ether’s physical manifestations. We didn’t need medicines and tools. Our Etherean hands were more than enough.
We were a handful of gods in a sea of ordinary ape people (who’d later become Humans). We have our own spoken legends about our vanity and downfall, but we didn’t learn from our first extinction.
Mother says we used to be giants, tall as trees and roaming the Earth freely, while the smaller humanoid apes worshipped us, in the way that every monkey worships its bigger, stronger sibling. That was back when the Earth’s geography was different, when lakes stood in the place of deserts, and mountains stood in the place of endless fields.
Mother says they still find skeletons of our giant ancestors here and there, but that the Humans are so freaked out about it, they keep it a secret. The point is, we used to be giants. And we used to be worshipped. Only a handful of us, mind you! And we became so full of ourselves, that we treated the humanoids like dogs, tossing them a bone while we ate the entire juicy carcass of everything we hunted. And we owned everything.
Mother says that one day, the ancient leader of our giants felt so terrible, so ashamed of what they had done, that she wiped us all out. All of us ancients, I mean. She says there’s the Ballad of Aithein, the first recorded document of our civilisation, and the first chapter of the Aither Chronicles.
Aithein was the warrior queen of our giant ancients, with long red hair and emerald eyes. The Ballad says that unlike the other ancients, Aithein did not possess just one ability, but that she possessed all of them. One night, she communed with the Great Ether itself, and the Ether told her that they’d gone too far, that they were doing more damage than good to their own world, and that the ape men had just as many rights as they did.
So Aithein changed her own body into a giant fireball, and swallowed all of the ancients, and turned them into ashes.
The Ballad goes on to say that the ashes of our giant Etherean ancestors fertilised the lands, and the fruit of the earth that came out centuries later was drenched in the powers long lost. The Humans basically ate from the primordial ashes.
When the Humans discovered fire, everything changed. We don’t know how, but the fire triggered ancient properties in the fruits of those lands. The Humans cooked their food, and with that came the first wave of Etherean births. One in ten, not many of us back then. We grew alongside the Humans and learned what they learned.
Later on, we heard of legends about Aithein from Human elders, supposed descendants of the giants’ slaves. It’s a fuzzy time in our history, I’ll be honest, a bit like the missing link, because we ourselves couldn’t find a better explanation for what happened between the giants and the Ethereans we are today.
At first we felt like our ancient giants did. We felt like gods, and we acted as such. But that got many of us killed quickly. You see, the so-called evolved Human (unlike the apes preceding him) is afraid of what he cannot explain or understand. And so, he kills what he fears. Then he immortalises us as gods, and as time progresses, we are forgotten and considered unreal, especially with the advent of modern monotheistic religions.
We used to laugh at them, the Humans, with their pale white auras and tasteless existence based on eating, drinking, fornicating and inventing wonderful things which they used to destroy other things and other people. We called them plain, useless, a swarm of locusts blessed with a home they weren’t worthy of. Little did we know back then, in those ancient times, that we were just as bad.
And so, we learned our lesson quickly, especially after the death of Osiris. The Book of the Dead tells you that Isis scoured the whole of Egypt to put his body back together. I can tell you now that she didn’t. All she could do was weep. The rest of us stepped back into the shadows, spoken of only as gods and mythical creatures. We were outnumbered by an intelligent species of Humans.
We evolved into our own secret society, with strict rules and legislation. We chronicled our passage through time. We learned the difference between Ether’s colours based on the powers which were associated with them. We came up with classifications of our abilities, which we studied and chronicled accordingly.
We practised our Etherean existence away from the Human eyes, and it was easier back then, when the Earth wasn’t over-populated. As the Humans grew in numbers, so did the Ethereans, but on a much smaller scale. Nevertheless, we needed some form of law enforcement, as some of us were so drunk off our own powers that we thought we could take on the Humans by ourselves, and shoo them off the planet like rats off a ship.
The Divisions were created for that precise purpose: identification, classification and control. Those who refused control were either contained and re-educated according to our laws, or were killed. We do not enjoy killing our own, but when they threaten our secret but peaceful existence, when they kill innocent Humans, and most importantly, when they kill innocent Ethereans, we do not forgive and yes, we kill.
Today, it’s much harder to keep our Etherean existence a secret. This planet is overpopulated; it’s swarming with Humans, most of them confused about their own purpose in life. If we reveal ourselves, they’ll just lose it completely. They are as backwards now as they were before, but it’s worse this time because they have terrible tools at their disposal.
They won’t just kill us. No, they will catch us, dissect us, study us, probe and poke us until they figure out what we’re about; and when they realise exactly how powerful we are, they will try to replicate our abilities and then kill us. They will kill us even if they cannot replicate our abilities anyway.
And if we rise against them, chances are they will drop some of those dreadful nuclear bombs, hoping to wipe us out, to eliminate this “threat to the Human race” that are the Ethereans. They will destroy their own world, just so they won’t have to share it with us.
I don’t know if it’s because they’re a retarded product of evolution, or because they are selfish on a global scale, but the Humans might not like us that much if they see us for what we really are. In fact, we are MOST fortunate that they cannot see the Ether. We are MOST fortunate that they cannot see our “true colours”. Now I have that Cindi Lauper song stuck in my head…
What you are about to read next is a series of events that kick started the end of the world. The world as we know it. The world as YOU know it.
Mother says it all started with the Alchemist. She says that the Alchemist is the spitting image of Aithein herself.