In the deep dark vastness of space, on a remote world, in another universe, dwelled an ancient race formed at the beginning of time itself. This race possessed a brilliance of intellect, which in the passing of time had advanced far beyond the flesh, far beyond any life form that had come after them throughout all the galaxies. On a particular day, in the distant past, these beings were forced to make a decision which would, in the passing of time, affect a whole universe and beyond. On this day, having made their decision, the Astrans went serenely about their last moments in their present form. The scientist Hevra had elected to be the one to make the transition possible on their behalf. His sacrifice was accepted without emotion for it was partly his fault the need to change again had arisen. He should have seen where Rodin’s experiments were leading but he had not been vigilant. In all fairness none of them would have thought this situation a possibility. In performing the act of change, Hevra would be excluded from it and so would not survive in the new form. They had been in meditation, preparing themselves, and by the days end there was nothing to be seen other than the remnants of a greatly advanced culture observable in the artefacts that they left behind. The place was vast and perfect yet it was silent and empty.
Only two visible signs of life remained in the one launching site left to them. It had not been used for generations. The Astrans preferred isolation in their desire to avoid danger and to preserve their peaceful existence. They had allowed no further contact with other worlds and had successfully prevented any intrusion into their intellectual paradise. Their life forms had advanced to the point where they were visible only as mystical shapes, appearing as vapourous clouds of fragmented light with all the colours of a prism. But all this careful protection of their existence had proved pointless. The corruption had come from within, from Rodin who sought power over all his people. He had wanted to harness that power, taking it out to the worlds beyond and conquer all things, which was anathema to the Astran race. They had all been guilty of taking their logical gentle life style for granted. They had, despite all their knowledge, failed to consider destruction of all they knew and were, could come from one of their number. It took only one unbalanced mind to achieve it, one out of tune was enough for the cancer to grow. Rodin had been the mind of absolute genius, the pinnacle of intellect and power and this one male had brought about their destruction. He had pursued a path which had become an obsession. Rodin had not risen above the old form of the flesh and the desires that came with it still lingered within him. The insatiable thirst for power had continued to hold him and he was unable to let it go. With all his knowledge and technology, he knew he could gratify his need for power out there among the more primitive races, but he also knew that his own race would not allow him to go. They would come after him and destroy him. The only way was to leave quietly and implement the destruction of all he left behind. He prepared a ship for himself and in another location at the old launching site he left a small shuttle in case any problem developed. Launching his ship into deep space, he left behind a sequence of destruction which could not be stopped. The end was now upon them, the final process accelerating at great speed. In what little time they had left, they had discussed what to do and had calmly elected to accept this final form of existence, after all it was not a great deal different from their present form. They would come together in the form of one being, one complete living entity. There was no other way to ensure their survival. There was no form of mechanised travel other than the small ship Rodin had left behind intact.
In haste, they had chosen a female to contain this living entity. She was the leader of their council and the wife of Hevra. Her name was Janna Asares. Both Hevra and Janna had returned to the three dimensional form they had long since abandoned. Janna would again be capable of procreation in the only way open to them without their own technology and equipment. To that end she had already been implanted with the first seed of life that would continue their race and multiply it. Janna had entered the capsule, closed off from the now silent planet which would shortly cease to occupy a place in the universe. She lay there, the Tal-ka-ra that was a part of her forehead now glowing with life. Its many jewelled facets reflected the fiery pulsating power within it, showing it to be no ordinary adornment but an essential part of her being. Within it was all that had been her people, the power, the intellect, the mystery, the collective life force that had been Astran. The memory of this body of people was now imbedded as an integral part of this three dimensional female and so was totally functional within her. Hevra closed the door of the capsule and activated the launch sequence that would take the chosen one away from the doomed world and on to safety. The small ship rose into the endless darkness of space. The sole occupant didn’t look back as she was launched into the void. She didn’t witness the zenith of the power build up and the ultimate explosion that wiped her world from existence. There was no need to look back for all but two were within the mind of Janna Asares. She was now the Keeper of the Entity, the Al-ka-ra that was her people. She had accepted with the philosophy and logic of her race the need to leave her partner Hevra behind. There was no emotion. It was logical and logic had governed her people for countless generations.
The capsule came at last to its destination, the planet Helas. This was to be their new home, this place that took its name from the legendary warrior come deity named Hel. Janna descended like some god from her ship and settled to a new life among the primitive race she found there. They welcomed her as some divine being and accepted her teaching and knowledge. In her present form, she was as they were. She gave birth to her child and he also was born with the Astran Al-ka-ra, with the shining Tal-ka-ra an integral part of his forehead. Janna dutifully chose a partner from among the Helassions and gave birth to more children, all carrying the mark of the collective Entity of their race. Janna’s grandchildren also bore the glittering jewel, all in communication with the whole. They resembled Janna and were fair skinned with hair the colour of flame. No-one born with the collective memory developed the physical appearance of the Helassions despite the early intermarriages, other than the height variation. Thus a special race developed on Helas and always their leader was the eldest son of the eldest son, in direct line from the first child of Janna and Hevra Asares. All were telepaths, communicating with the Astran Entity, the Al-ka-ra, through the crystalline jewel that was part of their flesh, the Tal-ka-ra.
Thousands of years passed and each generation, though few in number, grew strong and more like their forbears in intellect and temperament. Their desire for peaceful co-existence with their fellows was maintained as was the development of technology and the arts. They became known as the High Council of Helas and the Helassions lived and developed beside them. The Al-ka-ra was living energy in the form of the Tal-ka-ra, and a tremendous source of power and knowledge. So they evolved, becoming known to the Helassions as the Alkara Keepers. They didn’t make the same mistake again and maintained contact and interchange with other worlds and galaxies, extending what became known as the Helassion Federation. They also enjoyed ties of family which they had not known since that far off lifetime in another place so long ago. On the surface their logic and intellect appeared to have precedence over emotion, which was an inheritance from the previous evolved development, yet underneath that they were capable of extremes of emotion. It was secondary to logic and duty and so rarely showed. They were required to consider their duty to each other more important than any weakness of emotion or self consideration that might linger under the surface. So they continued until the dawning of another eventful day in their history, once again, an event not of their choosing.
It was the time of the Unus Festival when all who bore the Tal-ka-ra came together in one place. It was a time of physical linking of hands, of re-uniting with their House, a renewal, a pledge, symbolic of their unity within the Al-ka-ra. It was an acknowledgement of the Entity which served the Eternal One, the father of all life. It was a celebration of their oneness from the beginning of time with their creator. The Emperor of the Triax Galaxy arrived as a special guest for the celebration afterwards. He claimed eternal friendship in the name of Lella Tallis, his Alkaran wife, as he greeted Asar Asares, the Lord of the Alkara Keepers.
Asar’s son, racing towards the arena, realised he couldn’t make it time and stopped where he was, joining them through the mind link. In the arena, they all joined hands, the old the young, male and female, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. Closing their eyes, their minds were one within the Al-ka-ra. The moment was almost over and without warning the movement above began. The sky thundered and death rained down upon them. It was unexpected and over in moments. Asar’s son cried out and the screams of his people echoed through his brain. He registered the flashing fire, the acrid smoke, the pain of searing burning flesh. He felt the agony of it. Even the children were torches of fire.
He heard his father calling as the flames consumed him, “remember this day Orion, remember it.”
How would he ever forget? He was beaten to his knees by the weight of it, sinking into blessed unconsciousness. His last sight within his mind, was that of his beloved little sister Liannar burning like a fiery candle, the pain too much even for him. As soon as he came round, he was on his feet dashing to the Arena, dreading what waited for him there yet compelled to go. When at last he joined them, he found a sea of flame, still burning, where once had been living people. In his despair he would have joined them but his father’s voice came from within forbidding him to even think of it. He must live that they all might live to lead the Helassion Federation, for he would be all that was left to them in this time of need. He was as Janna had been, alone and the bearer of his race.