There is no such thing as Tuwhenga (as far as I know) Have fun reading.
By Thane Zander
1 Hone “Hooky” Rewaka and his story
2 Dwight J Kippenberger and his story
3 Mila Tusitala Wright and her story
4 Shaun “Madman” Edward and his story
5 Margaret Blithe-Hopkins and her story
6 Ta’ane Rednaz, the Quickening
7 Te Marae o Hine 10th October 2008
8 A Sense of Anticipation
9 Te whakaminenga at Little Waihi
10 Tuwhenga’s arrival.
11 A space in time, a time in space.
12. The Healing
13 The Folklore, Hooky’s tale
14 The Folklore, Dwight’s tale
15 The Folklore, Mila’s tale
16 The Folklore, Madman’s tale
17 The Folklore, Meg’s tale.
18 The Folklore, Tane’s tale
19 Tuwhenga’s legacy.
Hone “Hooky” Rewaka and his story
It is the 12th of July, a winter southerly screaming through all the holes in the shearing shed south of Porangahau. The shearers are lined up and very busy, clipping the winter fleece from the Romneys gathered for such an event. Of course, no matter the weather, the shearing gang is dressed in black woollen singlets and khaki shorts.
The rousers, normally wives and girlfriends of the shearers, though some from out of the area, work too, and are busy sorting and packing the fleece. Amongst them, a twelve year old boy, working feverishly to keep up. It’s his first season with the gang, having walked out of school to save his sanity. He had a clawed hand, the right one, a defect from birth, and this deformity made it impossible to stand the ridicule he constantly received. Yes, in 21st century New Zealand, biases existed, and bullying.
His name is Hone Rewaka, his mountain is Taupiri, his river, Waikato, his iwi – Ngati Maniapoto and his waka is Tainui. To his friends, he was plain old Hooky, after the hand, and he had moved from Ngauruawahia to be with his uncle and aunty with the shearing gang - to be a man. His work lasted all day, and he handled it well. He enjoyed the mana of the gang; the way they all worked with each other to get the days work done. His dream was to be a shearer, but he knew his hand would be a stumbling block, especially as most shearers sheared right handed. But one day he was going to try.
After the days work, all the gang would muster in the cookhouse and eat the kai the wahine had cooked that afternoon, usually Pork Bones and Puha or similar fare. They’d share a beer and tell tales of the days events, then when completed, all head off to the local pub for another few beers or so, before retiring early. Of course, Hooky was part of the gang and went with them, though he was only allowed a fizzy drink or a glass of water. ‘One day’, he thought to himself, ‘I’ll be man enough to share their mana’.
Yes, 12th July 2005, the nights long, the days short. Tonight was a full moon, if the clouds parted enough to let it shine on the south Hawkes Bay farms. Enough light perhaps for sheep to wander with some sight. Enough light perhaps to keep tired minds awake. Hooky went to bed that night, and his life changed forever.
3.00am 13th July 2005
He awoke with a start, sweating profusely, even in the cold of winter. He looked around, listened, and couldn’t discern what had awoken him. Then the word came to him, Tuwhenga and a date, the 24th November 2006. He stretched his mind, trying to think who Tuwhenga was; it sounded Maori, it sounded important, but it just didn’t register in his young mind. He got up, slipped his shorts and gumboots on, and exited the sleeping quarters to see if any of the whanau was awake. He found Hinemoa Raku, his southern cousin, sitting on the bench in the kitchen, smoking a cigarette. They exchanged pleasantries and she offered him the smoke. He declined, but one day he knew he would smoke, all the gang smoked.
He asked her if she had ever heard of anyone or anything called Tuwhenga, to which she searched her mind and drew a blank. She asked him where he got the name from, and he told her about waking up with it on his mind. She said ask the kaumatua in the morning, he’d probably know if anyone did. ‘Yes’, he thought, ‘Uncle Waitere would know for sure’. He wished his cuzzie well and headed back to bed. It was then he remembered the date, what relevance did that have, it was in the future? He removed the gumboots quietly, so as not to wake any of the gang, including Uncle Waitere, and slipped under the covers. The soft snoring of tired shearers permeated the quarters, and he drifted off to their peaceful sound.
Later that morning Uncle Wetere stated it must be a made up name, he had no recollection of any such word in the Maori language. He’d asked his fellow shearers, even rung his mentor and father, Koro Waitere and he too said it was bogus. Still the name stuck in Hooky’s mind for a few more days and then was forgotten.
24th November 2006
He’d worked hard again today. Driving the farm tractor was a breeze and his deformed hand was no problems when negotiating the many paddocks he had to plough. He worked now with his cousin Hemi’s agricultural equipment service, working in the Manawatu. Most farmers were due to plant their crops, some already had, and others were behind the ball after all the rain in October. He sat down on the step of Hemi’s spacious house in Rongotea, and took his work boots off, placing them neatly beside the step, under the eaves. He still thought about those days working for the shearers but after the dream, he’d had a change of heart about being a shearer, and asked Hemi if he could come and stay thinking he’d find work in the region.
He thought again about the date. It was today, and so far nothing untoward or strange had happened, except Hemi’s wife Mary said there had been a small earthquake centered around Turangi at 10am and was felt by her. He didn’t see any connections with this Tuwhenga, and promptly dropped his train of thought. He went inside, had tea, and so tired from the work, went to bed early. He was still a young man, with plenty of energy, but even driving a tractor all day was tiring. He slept.
He saw her, in a pool of water the colour of pounamu, her brown flax cape and hood showing clearly. She called to him ‘Hone” she said and she was clear as a bell. And she was beautiful, very beautiful. Her looks were sharp Maori and her demeanour was that of royalty. He heard her say “I am Princess Te Huia te Heu Heu, and I lived a long time ago. I was around the last time Tuwhenga came” and then she showed him a stick figure, though a little filled out, of an opaque greenstone colour, glimmering, with no feet, hands, and a plain round head, but in his mind the figure was just as beautiful as the lady in the lake.
Then she showed him the Orb, Tuwhenga, God of the Cosmos, and in a flash it was gone, the stick figure gone, and the princess gone. Just a black void filled by nothing. It woke him up. He walked around his room, shaking his hands, chanting in Maori, and trying to erase the haunting memory. He never remembered his dreams, even the nightmares, but the princess was clear and concise, the figure too, and the Orb. The Orb, an opaque light green, similar to white jade, but more luminescent. Was that this infamous Tuwhenga, the orb. And Maori didn’t have a God of the Cosmos, as far as he was aware. There was Rangi – Sky father, Papatuanuku, Earth Mother, Tangaroa, God of the Sea, and Tane of the Forests, amongst many, but no God of the Cosmos. The thought chilled him, Why He?
Dwight J Kippenberger and his story
The 12th of July, 2005. Dwight Kippenberger was sitting in his Victoria University lecture room, twiddling a pencil. His mind wasn’t really on Professor Hunt’s anthropology lecture, nor was it on the other students. He was thinking of his sisters’ birthday tomorrow, and how he was going to send her some money. She was older than he, and had stayed in New York when his father had successfully applied to work at the US Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand.
He thought, too, of his favourite places in his old city, where thespians could comingle with glee and abandon. He also thought of the lack of wind. Of the few things he really hated about Wellington, it was the wind. One day a strong northerly, the other a howling southerly, and maybe respite from both for a day. It made riding a bicycle very difficult, but he didn’t have enough money for a car or scooter to be able to best the wind.
He clicked over the pencil again, mindlessly twirling it in his deft fingers. His thoughts raced to his manuscript, the children’s story he was writing for a friend. He’d nearly finished it, and he was sure the first copy would go to his sister.
Mentally he fell upon his own mortality (perhaps the lecture was working) and wondered what he’d be doing on his 18th birthday in November that year. He was hoping to have all his studies over by then and be working on another book, this one a Sci Fi novel. He had the basic plot and story, and was prepared to dig in over summer and write, before Uni started again in 2009.
The lecture finished and students began to file out, making a bit of fuss and ado as they left. He gathered up his books and bag, placing the former in the latter. He saw Maree Leadbetter just ahead, raced up to her and touched her elbow to gain her attention. He asked her if she had anything on Friday and would she like to go the poetry reading in Courtney Place, at the Golden Epistle, a haunt for Wellington’s thespians and writers. She nodded yes, and said she’ll pick him up from the Embassy. Buoyed by that success, Dwight made his way to the bike shed behind the Refectory building, unlocked his bike, and pedalled the nearly two miles to his second home.
He stopped in to say hi to his mum and dad (both staff there) and continued on to their living quarters, a spacious house out the back, with at least five other houses. Permanent staff with families always lived on site. He made his way to his bedroom and placed his bag by the dresser (Rimu he believed – information gleaned from furniture at Uni), then changed his clothes to something a little warmer. His room was cold, but it was decidedly colder when the southerly blew, as it did now.
He moved over to the computer desk, bent over and turned the power on to his other life. The Compaq Presario was given to him by the Embassy, as a welcome present for him and the family. They all had one and were networked on broadband to have internet access. This was mandatory for all US staff, so they could keep in contact with family and friends in the States, as well as control the affairs of their own properties and the likes. Right now, Dwight was going to go online and try and catch his sister, Amelia before she hit the hay (a good kiwi term he’d learnt). The Presario rocketed on as it went through its boot up, and soon he was surfing his current sites of interest for updates on mainly political sites. It did seem George A Rush was going to get a second term in office. His sister failed to show up online on YIM, so he finished checking his sites and then went off to shower.
He settled in for the evening, checking sites, arranging emails, and generally taking care of foreign business matters. Once he’d finished, he gave himself an hour or two of story writing time. They ate late in the Kippenberger household and at 9.30 pm, he enjoyed his last meal for the day. He then retired to bed, happy with another good day.
3.00am 13th July 2005
Was it the sound of gunfire on the TV, or the crackle of fire in the hearth? Whatever it was, it woke him up. Then he thought he remembered a dream he was having and the word Two Finger entered his consciousness. Or was it Tuwhenga. The name was unfamiliar and had a Maori ring to it. He got up, the computer still on, and entered the name into Google and came back with two hits, one a part of a poem from someone called Ta’ane Rednaz, and another from an unintelligible website that had no English Translation facility. So there was a Tuwhenga, but what was it and what did it mean? He made a resolution to ask a Maori tutor at Uni later today, to see if there was such a name in Maoridom.
He went back to bed; suddenly realising there was a date on his mind, the 24th November 2006. It made no sense, as he wasn’t aware he’d organised anything that far ahead. Still he wrote it down on his night-thoughts pad, and went back to sleep.
Later that day, Dwight sought out Ripene Te Hira, the Maori studies professor and ran the name by him. He personally didn’t know of the name or word, and mentioned he’d ask various iwi around the country he had contacts with. Dwight gave him the website where he found the poem with the word in it as if that would help. Poets are prone to making names up and this could have just been coincidence.
It was a few days later that Ripene found him and stated it was a made up name and that how he happened upon it must have been pure chance. That was the last day Dwight would worry about the name, he had uni work to do and it swallowed his time.
24th November 2006
University was going well for Dwight. All his subjects were finished or near finished and only a couple of exams remained to be done. He had just arrived home after a very tough day, had made a small meal, eaten it and showered ready for bed. First, he checked in on his emails, answered one from Amelia, making his own plans to return home after exams and spend a couple of months in New York being a thespian (or as he liked to be called – The New Bohemian). He was itching to get there, but there was still a week or two before he was underway.
He shut the computer down, shucked his clothes and climbed into bed. It was a warm night, and for once there had been no wind driven rain for a week. A rare Wellington day!
He was largely untroubled in his sleep, though his mother did pop in and say goodnight around 9.00pm. Nothing unusual, except maybe he was in bed early. His mind drifted as he dropped off again, and this time it reminded him it was the day he was given in his last peculiar dream. He even remembered the name. Eventually he slept, and slept well. But at 11.35pm, he was up. And pacing, and chanting and questioning his sanity. But he couldn’t get the picture of Princess Te Huia te Heu Heu out of his mind. Nor her message. Nor could he erase the strange beautiful figure, and most horrifically, the Orb. He was in awe. He knew they were all related to Noo Zealand, but he was unsure where he fitted into this dream. It was almost a calling. He walked out to the kitchen, made himself a cup of espresso, and sat in the lounge trying to piece together these dreams.
Mila Tusitala Wright and her story
She notched the calendar, as she did daily. Today was her youngest mokopuna birthday, Selili Hine Wright, turning three on the 12th of July, 2005. She had already baked the birthday cake, iced it with lemon icing, and decorated it with Barbie doll paraphernalia. She looked across her cluttered but orderly lounge, the present wrapped and sitting on the small table by the window.
At sixty eight, she’d lived a full life, working for twenty five years at the Toyota plant in Thames, but now retired and living in Pukekohe in South Auckland. Her husband, Bill, a part Maori of urban Maori descent, still worked, he being five years younger than her. She still remembers the day they met, she not long out of her first marriage, and parked on the side of the road in Papatoetoe, a puncture in her right rear wheel. He was the first one to stop and assist, and she had asked him to her place so she could offer a reward for his kindness. Even today, his kindness is what people know.
She watched the clock tick away, counting down the hours before he came home. He worked at the Wiri Coolstore, as a labourer; still fit after all these years. She remembers her family trying to stop her marriage, thinking a Samoan woman should marry a Samoan man. It ostracised her for a while, but when her whanau realised what sort of man he was, they accepted him. This thought always brought a smile to her face, the way they fell over each other.
Thirty minutes to go. She knew it would be a long night, her tamariki made sure of that. First would be the child’s celebration, all the whanau delivering gifts, hugs and kisses, and when the kids were in bed, the adults would party. Of course the kaumatua would all sit separately and discuss matters at hand, whilst the youngsters would hook into the booze and guitar songs, singing well into the night.
But tonight, Mila needed to be home early. In the morning she was required to go to the medical centre to see about a growth on her back. It had been annoying her for months now, and it wasn’t until Bill had pointed it out one morning that she realised she should get it seen to. So her and Bill arrived home early, the moon lighting the ground before them. She noted it was a full moon; kēhua country.
They arrived home as the phone rang. Bill hurriedly ran inside, leaving Mila to lock the car and carry her bags full of Taro inside. She heard him call out, apparently her mother, who resided in a rest home just north of them, in Manurewa, wanted her. She shuffled her big Samoan feet up the steps, the sound of laughter ringing from within. Bill and Mum always got on well.
She started to speak to her mother, when she cut in. Speaking to her in pure Samoan, she told her daughter to be wary of dreams in the next few days. And that was it; she hung up without saying goodbye. Sometimes she wondered about her Mother’s sanity.
3.00am 13th July 2005
She lay in her bed, looking at the clock. It was just past 3.00am and she had quietly awoken, and had no idea why. She was a light sleeper, but even still it took her a while to wake up as if she was awoken suddenly. But this time she just woke up, and lay there. Thinking. Thinking about why Tuwhenga (Fa’atiu perhaps) was suddenly a word she needed to note. She could speak passable Te Reo, and hadn’t heard the word before. She debated about awakening her husband, but realised the word would probably not feature on his vocabulary, as he spoke even less Maori than she. She did get up and have a look at next year’s calendar, she always kept one a year in advance, and there was nothing happening on the 24th November 2006. Yes she thought, Tuwhenga and a date, both utter mysteries, yet both utterly tangible thoughts. She got back into bed, kissed her husband lightly, and went back to sleep.
When she awoke, the lump was gone.
24th November 2006
The doctors had given her a clean bill of health that month she had the messages. Even though he was unsure why the lump had gone, he was aware there were no other concerns. Tonight she had been all day at the Otara Market, and she was dead on her feet. She had retired early to recuperate, and to leave her husband in the lounge so he could play his guitar and ukulele. She’d drifted off to Bill playing Kaulana Kawaihae. He wasn’t as good as Brudda Iz, but he certainly put heart into it.
She looked out the window. It was a dark night, a little bit humid, and a warm northerly blowing across the great city. She looked at the bed again. She remembers going back to her childhood, playing on the roads around Mount Vaea in Apia, her homeland Samoa. She remembered her nephew, Lavi Taito, passing her a coconut that was a different colour, more green than brown.
Then for some strange reason she was floating in the pool at Aggie Greys Hotel, a young girl of fourteen, talking to a palagi called Denis. He had no other name, and every year he arrived in Apia, stayed at Aggies, and drank Gin, Limes, and Lemonade. But he told her tales about New Zealand, tales about Australia, and tales about all the islands. He was a Navy surveyor, and he got around plenty. But where he was a boon for a young girl, his English, she learnt the language quickly off him, quicker than she did at school. And his English was colourful.
Just as she started to drift again, she saw her. Definitely Maori, definitely a fine maiden, and definitely she had a name. And a regal name, Te Huia te Heu Heu, princess of the hot lakes, queen of inner Aotearoa.
She looked at the bed again, but it wouldn’t go away. The stick figure, fleshed out a bit, but a stick figure nonetheless, with no hands or feet, and a perfectly round head. Just like those adverts she thought, but this one was a wonderful colour, an opaque light jade, almost milky pounamu. Then she remembered the Orb, and Tuwhenga. What was happening she thought? And why me?
Shaun “Madman” Edward and his story
SHIT!! Shaun swore to himself. The calendar must be wrong, 12th of July already, and he’d missed so much of the year. His fifteen year old body, suffering from anorexia, gothic interludes and the pain of marijuana, shivered in cold delight. He’d just finished whipping Spazzo on the skateboard at the skate park just out of Ngamotu. The Taranaki weather had stayed surprisingly fine for the skate off, two true champions, head to head. And he had nailed him. Mind you, the spectators knew Madman was the king of the park, all who had skated or watched and knew his crazy moves.
As he walked home, up the road from Fitzroy, he texted his girlfriend, Leticia, to meet him a Wimpey’s ice cream shop. He felt the back of his neck, an almost mindless action, but felt a chill run through his body. Maybe the paranoia from the last joint was setting in, maybe he’d injured himself, strained a muscle or something. Maybe it was the full moon tonight. Yeah he had a chart on his bedroom wall of all the moon phases for that year. Even had Matariki material lying around, the Maori New Year data, it fascinated him.
He was your typical pakeha kiwi. He had done Te Reo at school, as everyone was supposed to, knew certain myths and legends, and could, if pushed, hold a conversation. But that’s where it stopped. In his youthful exuberance, he was a skater and nothing more. School was a place to catch up with friends, kick back during classes, and not give too much attention to the actual curriculum. They’d even offered him counselling to try and reverse his downward spiral into vagrancy but he was happy to be “just a kid kicking back”.
He met Leticia and they chilled out on ice cream and donuts walking back to Madman’s place at a gentle stroll. Occasionally he’d scoot off on his board and race back to her, so attached to it he was, but she didn’t mind. She loved his roguishness and his nonconformity, and she was growing to love this young kid. He smiled at her when he zoomed back, and they joked and played until they arrived at his house. His Mum would still be at work, but he had a key, so let himself and Leticia in. Mum didn’t like her being here alone with him, but she would be gone before Mum arrived home from work.
After his girlfriend had gone he pondered her parting words. “Watch out for the Full Moon tonight, you’ll be spooked”, and she laughed roundly when she said it. He knew she was into crystals, rocks and candles, and burnt incense so her words he took as semi prophetic. Tonight, after dinner, he went to bed early, he was so knackered from the skate off, his body burnt from the release of energy. He had to revive.
3.00am 13th July 2005
He didn’t have a clock in his room, so got out of bed and had a look at the one in the lounge. It was just after 3.00am and he was awake. He looked outside, the Moon falling into the western sky. Then it came back to him, the reason he woke up, he suspected. Tuwhenga, or a similar name. His knowledge of Maori folklore and whakapapa didn’t mention anyone or thing of that name, but it was a very Maori name and seemed to have some importance. He wrote the name down on one of Mum’s notepads by the phone, and put it in his jeans pocket, to get it checked out later that day, with either Rangi, or Hauroa. They were skate buddies, both from Waitara, who’d bus in each day to use the great facilities in New Plymouth.
Before he went to bed, he checked the calendar to see if it had any of the following year’s dates. Only January, he saw, so he copied the date down too, 24th November 2006. He didn’t know why that was important, but he would check at school at lunchtime on the school’s computers.
The next day he arrived home late, no luck on the name, and no luck with the date, so he tore the paper into little pieces and chucked it in the rubbish bin. He thought he’d never need either again.
24th November 2006
He sat on the step of his Fitzroy flat, facing out to the sea. The wind was a warm northwester, coming off the sea and brushing lightly onto the New Plymouth foreshore. He smelt the ocean smell, wet, inviting, existing. He’d swapped his skateboard last year for an old surfboard, and right about now he was ready to surf a while. Though there wasn’t much to be seen. Still it was a good way to slow down after a hectic day at work.
He left school in October the previous year, and walked straight into a job as a junior storeman at the local supermarket, FoodRite. He’d start at 4.30 in the morning and work through till 2.30 in the afternoon, long hours but a good first up pay for him. And it gave him time to surf until around 7.00pm, when he’d eat, mostly baked bean sandwiches, sometimes, like tonight, Rice Risotto. He surfed the small waves until about 6.00pm this night, the waves too small, and got back to the flat, to find his flatmate, Gerry, was home from his driving job. He cooked for both of them, they ate, and then he had sat down to play on his Playstation for a few hours before bed.
He quit the game around 9.30pm and went to bed, the duvet his only cover. His mum had tried to get him some sheets but he didn’t want the hassle of washing them each week, so he just slummed it under the duvet. He had it in the back of the head that something was supposed to happen that day, but it had been business as usual. He went off to sleep quickly.
He sat staring at the clock, numbed. The time was 10.47pm, and the dream had awakened him. All he could see in his mind was the Princess Te Huia te Heu Heu and her stark beauty, hidden under the brown robe and hood. His mind was also rotating images of her, and the stick figure, a creamy green colour, with a round head, no feet or hands, and a certain magic about it. The quick glimpse of the Orb too sent shivers down his spine. He went outside and lit up a joint, sitting on the step watching the wind play on the sea. The joint didn’t help rid him of the dream, nor did it distort it. In fact, in his mind, it intensified it. He hurriedly put out the joint, and returned inside. He was sure he wouldn’t get back to sleep, but as he walked to the bedroom, the vision dissipated and by the time he was under the duvet the only thing that was bugging him was the joint. He’d meant to give it up, and he would try from now on.
Margaret Blithe-Hopkins and her story
Her blond hair shone in the mirror in her en suite bathroom. Even at forty two, Meg considered herself well aged, holding her eighteen year old looks very nicely. Her blessed husband Slovedan, too, found her still desirable, which was good for the both of them. She finished brushing her hair, and wandered into the lounge. A quick look at the calendar before work, just to reassure her it was still the 12th of July, 2005.
Meg worked as a sales representative at a local travel agency, a short distance from
her St Martins, Christchurch home, in Bryndwr. Her day was generally busy, especially at this time of year. The ski fields all over the south island were busy with customers, and a lot of foreign tourists were flooding Christchurch, looking for air travel, hotels, motels, or even self drive motor homes. The ride to work in her trusty 1967 VW Beetle fought the cold well, though the chill wind off the Port Hills did at times find it’s way through some obligatory rust hole and send a chill up her spine, and goose bumps down her legs and arms.
This morning, the traffic was extremely busy, and she was held up in a small jam the closer she got to work, and had time to reflect on her children, Hannah, 23, Jenny, 21 and Georg, 19. It had been weeks since she saw the girls, both studying at Otago University for Law degrees, and she’d seen Georg about a week ago, after he had stayed for a few days between flats. He worked for the airport as security, a job that though not paying well, had its benefits. He was now settled in Upper Riccarton with two flatmates that seemed to be ok, both working and both steady young men, for now. She wasn’t too sure if he was smoking marijuana; though he had started smoking roll your own cigarettes. She wasn’t sure where he’d got that from, no one in either family smoked, and Georg smoking worried her. But she also felt he was finding his way, and would decide as he got older how to live better.
She arrived at work, checked the desk calendar, yes still 12th July, and started to wonder why she was referencing the calendar all the time. It had started two days ago, she thinks, and it seemed to be increasing in tempo.
The day was busy, and her mind floated along with the work. Tour parties were demanding, which was good, and meant plenty of work for her and her colleagues. As she tidied up to go home, she checked the calendar again, and knew she was going nuts. Time for a holiday perhaps, Franz Josef or Wanaka. Probably neither as both would be busy with skiers and trampers.
She drove in the infernal late hour traffic, her car just ticking over with the effort. At least the cold southerly wind would be blowing the smog away making it easier on everyone to breathe. But at a cost. The snow on the Port Hills was driving the temperature down and making it very uncomfortable for most. She did see a homeless man all rugged up in an army great coat on the roadside begging for food and shelter. Normally she would stop and offer some money, but tonight it was just too cold to open the window. The bearded figure just smiled at her as he moved on to the next car behind.
Her husband was spending the night with a friend this night, so she cooked a light risotto meal and settled down to watch Coronation Street in peace. She doesn’t remember falling asleep, nor does she remember waking up at midnight and putting herself into her lavish four poster bed. She does however remember waking up and looking at the clock.
3.00am 13th July 2005
Why three o’clock, she thought. The sky must have cleared outside, the moonlight streaming in through the open curtains, lighting her carpet with its soft touch. She searched her mind, and repeatedly Tuwhenga leapt to mind. She didn’t remember dreaming or if she did, she didn’t remember the name, it just popped to mind after she awoke. She knew it was a Maori name, or possibly one from Rapanui, Tahiti, or Hawaii, all places she had visited as part of her training for her job. She knew plenty of tales and lore from all those places, and though most matched, no two were exactly the same, except Maui and his exploits. But this Tuwhenga, very important sounding name, commanding respect she thought, just didn’t feature in her recollections. For some reason, she thought of the Moai on Easter Island, or as she knew it, Rapanui.
She flashed up her laptop, plugged in the broadband cable, and waited until the browser opened in Google. Just two hits, one from a book of poetry online and bearing no relevance to the figure she sought, and the other in a language she couldn’t decipher. But that was it. Before she closed the computer, she checked the date, 24th November 2006. It too had no relevance or meaning, so she shut down the laptop, and went back to sleep. In the morning, she forgot either ever occurred.
24th November 2006
She got off the computer late, around 9.30pm. The last thing she did before shutting down was check tomorrows date. But for some apparent reason, today’s date seemed more important. Of course, she thought, the dream last year. She’d mentally clocked the time till now but had forgotten on the day, due to the strong Nor westers and the high temperatures for this time of year. In her Celt heritage, today was Lleu, the domain of the weather gods. Her Norse ancestry too suggested Ragnarok, the coming. Why these surfaced now she had no idea. Even more distressing, the phone call from Jenny on Rapa Nui, and the repositioning of the Moai. She loved those statues, and if something foul was amiss, she didn’t want to see them suffer. But it would also be a tourist bonanza, as would the huge eruption of Kilauea. Her world had been busy that day, and she hadn’t had a moment to stock of her own world. Until the moment she got off the computer.
Slovedan was already in bed, having to be up early for a golf trip to Timaru for a few days. She would be on her own, which was an often occurrence anyway. With no children underfoot, they were at ease to find their leisure pastimes. His was golf, hers was photography around the city. She then checked her camera gear, all set and sitting on the table in the lounge. She had forsaken film for digital, and was now starting to bear fruit in the pictures she was taking.
She got into bed, kissed her husbands sleeping forehead, and snuggled in close to him. She reminded herself to see her optometrist the next day, as she had had eye problems the past few weeks. Nothing major she thought, but best be prepared. She fell asleep with her radio playing soft classical music.
She looked around her. The scene seemed wrong, somehow this wasn’t where she was supposed to be. It was dark, but light enough for the wall clock to show 11.28. That’s when she realised she was in her family room, staring at the sliding doors and the dark green world outside. She sat down horrified. She hadn’t slept walked since she went through puberty, and yet here she was, sleep walking. A chill went down her spine, and she took a quick breath. Then it flashed in her mind, The Lady of the Lake, dressed in a brown robe and soaking in a dark green pool up to her upper arms. And she knew her name – Princess Te Huia te Heu Heu. She didn’t know what iwi she was from, probably predated iwi in a sense, she seemed to be from the past. And then she remembered the opaque green milky white stick figure, with the round head, no feet and hands, and a luminescence that was simply marvellous. The picture of Te Huia flashed in her mind again, and her hand held an Orb, the same colour as the stick figure, with a word whispered gently across her mind, -Tuwhenga.
She walked back to the computer, flicked it on, and immediately on boot up, did a Google search once again for Tuwhenga. Still only those two entries. She switched it off, and went back to bed. But she felt like a cigarette. She hadn’t smoked since she was a teenager, quitting when carrying the Hannah. She knew Slovedan had the occasional smoke, and on checking his golf clothes, found a packet of Lucky Strikes, American smokes, and lit up. The dream dissipated, as did the smoke exhaled from her lungs. It had felt good. She climbed into bed and promptly dropped off to sleep.
Ta’ane Rednaz, the Quickening
Ta’ane didn’t know what it was, nor did he care. He did know that that he’d been on “the ward” for two weeks now and he’d just had his third injection of Resperadal Consta, his arse hurt like buggery.
He’d had plenty of time to reflect on the previous eight months, and he was amazed at how deep he had gone. He could point out a start point, and individual dates sprang to mind, but the true journey of a mind traveller started in 2000 when he was hospitalised and diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. But he’d weathered that five year storm, with two other hospitalisations.
But visiting his daughters in Auckland on the 26th of December 2004 was the turning point. It was the same day the tsunami hit South Asia, after a 9.6 on the Richter scale earthquake on the seabed. His oldest daughter said to him secretly that Sarah, his youngest, and also mentally retarded, had sent a God Bomb to warn the world that she was coming. He’d had a flash then in his mind of a huge fist punching into the Indian Ocean and starting the tsunami. That had frightened him, as there were no previous visions as far as he knew (except perhaps the hallucinations of 2003).
He’d valued the visit, but his mind was already starting to slip, and by the 25th of January 2005, the mania was underway. During February, he was bedridden, held prisoner by his mind, as such luminaries as Thought Police, Mind Police, and US Air Force (all elementals) questioned him for his past mistakes and threatened to end his life if he didn’t prove himself guilty. But one day in that month he argued the video being shown from angles that clearly weren’t seen from memory eyes weren’t his memories. He argued with the conveners of the court, The Gods of The Nineteen, that if these inquisitors had been present for each event, why didn’t they intervene for the greater good. This disposed the Gods of the Nineteen back into space, and he was left to fight on with his mania, now hypomania.
During March, he was mentally supported by 10,000 Zen Buddhist monks from Asia, and the Spirits of 17,563 condemned men and woman around the world, as he embarked on his next foray into the unreal. But first - reality. He remembered eating, during this duration, Veal Cutlets or Meat Patties, from February through to his arrest in June 28th. No breakfast or launch, just cooked meat on a sandwich. He also drank large bottles of sugar water (Raw sugar and plain water) to keep his energy levels up. He also remembered not using the internet, and went totally under by locking himself in his room.
He also remembered setting up his Navy Medal and his Koru necklace, one at head height, and one at heart height, dangling from the light fitting and practicing throwing God Bombs at them, though without touching them. He remembered feeling fit, mind, body, and soul. As well as that, he was pacing the room around the bed, walking in new players to help meet the threat from the Dark Force (he had no idea what it was.).
It was during March that Tuwhenga arrived. He brought a new dimension to daily life, passing souls, spirits and ghosts from sunken ships, submarines and drowned people, as well as downed planes, train wreckages and so on and so forth. The various objects would zoom into his room in miniature form; latch onto his body (Ships, legs and arms, Planes Torso, and other head and neck.)
He was awakened from his reverie by Monica, another lifer on “the ward” asking for a smoke. He took out his packet from his Hoody top and deftly rolled a cigarette for her. He asked her if she knew what day it was, and she answered 12th July. He said thank you and toddled off outside to enjoy her smoke.
The day didn’t mean anything to him, but his reverie did, so he wandered off in his mind again to recall the events up to this date. He remembered Tuwhenga well, the Cosmic Wind of the Universes (yes not one universe) and a long lost God in Maori folklore. Tuwhenga pointed out the Moai on Rapanui, his people’s lookout for his return. Ta’ane had always known about the Moai and now had an answer to many questions.
The most intriguing part of this story took place from April through May, and until he was booted out from his flat and forced to reside at a doss house in Palmerston North, The Shady Rest. The Mind Travellers Lament. This was started when the God’s of Twelve settled on the twelve houses in the cul de sac he lived in. House one had a mighty Condor of South American origins (Inca), House two, a Giant American Eagle, House three a Chariot, House four an Obelisk, House five Gog, House six Stonehenge, House seven Magog, House eight Warhammer, House nine a Kalahari Bushman of no name, House Ten, a Lion, House eleven Quango, the Mountain Gorilla, and House twelve, Hikioioi, The Giant New Zealand Eagle.
These Gods were there to protect Ta’ane and to assist him in his journeys to follow. He remembered that there were large hawks some 12 foot high listening on every major tree in the neighbourhood and acting as security, and reassurance for Ta’ane as he went about his business.
What he remembered is the world took a virtual reality blow when the tsunami hit, and people were doing strange things. One thing that happened was that a virtual reality parlour had a game about moving pieces of the planet around, placing The Great Wall of China on the mountain ranges of Aotearoa, the Eiffel Tower over My Ruapehu, and the Brooklyn Bridge over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, just a few of thousands of examples. It was a world game, and all countries took part, but the world was becoming unsettled with so much spirit and soul being used unwisely. Tuwhenga said it had to be stopped so he could do his work, so Ta’ane trained himself to be a mind Mentat and to fight the groups playing the game (in their minds) and to replace all the pieces back on the right objects, to restore order.
This project took four solid days of no sleep and pacing, both in his room and outside in the dark, so the neighbours wouldn’t become alarmed. As a result of this game and its idiosyncrasies, Ta’ane found another game being played, once again in minds, this one with serious overtones. He’d been for a walk to the local dairy for his smokes (food for thought as Tuwhenga called it) and spotted a ramshackle garage on an unkempt property. In the garage he perceived to be a very miniature scale solar system containing one hundred and sixty three planets with a very small scale Earth leading. They had been parked up there during the game when the virtual reality slip occurred, the last contestant and driver of the system, a Ronald Bell from Highbury, had got drunk on Tui Beer and had spotted some hash and got very paranoid about his situation.
Ta’ane got home and immediately turned his room into a planetarium, based on the kind Liet Kynes had in Dune. He covered all holes in the walls and ceiling with shoe polish that matched the décor, rubbed out all the marks on his duvet, and readied the stereo for the long flight ahead. He hid all his shoes, and chose only socks for footwear, ones that would see the distance of the amount of pacing he had to do. At around this point he remembers his landlord (and flatmate) giving him three weeks to move out, which regrettably went over the head of the busy Ta’ane.
He then started the pacing building up speed as he went, in an L shape around his bed and between the Aardvark (his home office wall unit). He hadn’t been on the internet for months now, and it mattered little. He knew he was manic, had even looked at the CATT team card several times with their phone number, but he had work to do first. For two weeks, he walked, and he lay down. When he walked, he called in new helpers, all unnamed but there. But then there were the ones that were named, and at one stage he had had seventy three visitations or voices in one day, all wishing him well and encouragement. These included Quango, the Mountain Gorilla, Geronimo, Sitting Bull (who named Ta’ane One Big Foot Crow Feather) Quinn the Eskimo, Jack the Ripper, Mickey Finn, Doyle (IRA), Madame Butterfly, Wu Tang, Wu Chang, Inchatuanga (Incan goddess), Te Kooti, Te Rauparaha and Atiamuri to name a few.
After the pacing, he’d lie down flat on his back and meditate, dropping off to sleep, where the real work happened. The miniature planets needed to be off planet and in space. Ta’ane knew from his quick lessons from Tuwhenga that the planets represented on Earth were ghost shells of the actual planets, and one day when their respective Suns died they would all be drawn to Planet Earth if they weren’t put back in space. So the first priority was to get the planets off Earth. For that to happen, they had to find a space port, as none were visible around Palmerston North or the lower North Island. But there was one to be found in Otara, Auckland, the off ramp from the north.
Ta’ane started by taking the Driver’s seat on Earth. This is best represented by an oversized Ta’ane sitting atop the planet, ready to guide the rest of the large solar system (made up of life form planets from this known Universe). His quick tuition had stated he’d need DogStars to drive the convoy with their power, and to form the convoy into a shape that would sail through (inner) space to its initial destination. The first thing that came to mind was a train, as a railway existed just up the road from his place.
The train, shaped by all the planets with DogStars as wheels, followed the road up Botanical Drive, through the roundabout at Cloverlea, and onto the tracks below the flyover. The train then headed north, and whilst it chugged along, Ta’ane awoke and continued walking, still processing ghost, spirit and soul requests to be revitalised, as well as playing driving rock music to keep the energy levels high. The sugar water helped too.
He remembered that long journey, a couple of hours, then the train was in space and chugging away to a new part of space, away from this universe and growing to full size to make a target for the real planets when the time for this universe to collapse came. It was during this journey as navigator and driver that he found out there were actually forty seven universes, two of which roamed on the outskirts of realty and were prison Universes for wayward planets/societies.
12th July 2005
He stopped reminiscing then, time for a cigarette. The staff left him alone, he didn’t disturb anyone, and he certainly wasn’t one to self harm. He rolled a smoke, got up from his chair (always the Blue one) and wandered outside.
“Hiya Ta’ane”. Paula always said hello. He grunted a reply and sat down on the parapet of the garden and lit up. ‘Food for thought eh Tuwhenga’ he quipped to himself. Hell the stuff would probably kill him, but not before the rest of the quickening happens (he knew). He looked over at the other patients of Ward 21 in Palmerston North Hospital, each one of them there a gem and a pleasure to know. The mentally ill have a rapport, even if society shuns their existence. Yeah sure, some are hard to get on with, especially those with forms of depression, but by and large everyone survived fine.
It suddenly dawned on him, tonight was a full moon. He knew the hypothalamus would be affected again and give him a strained look on reality. He’d feel it alright, between the top of the neck and the top of the spinal cortex. He’d be rubbing like made and no amount of smoking will stop it. He also knew he could slip back again, and what new messages would he receive. He’d still be Ta’ane, he knew, but what of Tuwhenga, and the others – ALL the others, enough to blow ones mind. He stubbed the smoke out and went inside to his blue chair, to continue the reprise of his trip to date. As usual, the chair was empty, and he sat down, legs extended out in front to balance the body as it slunk down into slack mode.
Flight of Fancy
Yes that trip, up through the North Island ticking off names as he went, Utuku, Taihape, Taumaranui, Te Kuiti and Pukekohe, where he guided the train off the tracks and formed an eighteen wheeler stock truck, the king of trucks. He drove the whole menagerie up the southern motorway and skipped lanes and back tracked after going past the south bound off ramp to Otara, at which point the world became dark, very dark, and stars shined in the ether. He was in space and driving a truckload of planets in no clear direction. His survey training, then, came into being, and he noticed beacons of light that seemed to lead along a path in a certain direction (red – wrong way, green – right way) so he navigated the planets along the space road until the DogStars started to run out of energy, and with none to pick from, he had to find another power source.
Just ahead, about one light year away from the track, was a star cluster, where an exploding star had left a mass of energy. He steered intuitively towards the cluster and the next thing he was star jumping at ultra light speed into new universes, each jump preceded by a green beacon. Someone had been this way before, and he was going this way now, and it seemed the right thing to do, until at last, he came to a Virtual Reality universe, where planets, starships and DogStars moved at will in an organised fashion.
At that moment during his reverie, he was evicted from his house, and ended up at The Shady Rest in the centre of Palmerston North, a boarding house for druggies, ex prison folk, and the mentally ill. There were sixty people living there in all, and all had a story to tell. Except Ta’ane. His illness had now taken total hold and he was in full blown hypermania, shutting himself in during the days, and walking the streets at night. Barely eating, and not sleeping, but still capable of taking his medication, he settled into a nomadic lifestyle. But one night walking the streets, one of the other residents, a Maori tangata of Rangitaane origins, stepped up to him and did hongi in the middle of the path. Ta’ane hugged the man, Malcolm Kauika, and whispered ‘I give Te Rauparaha back to you’ and they stood and stared and each walked off in their own direction.
A few days later, another Maori tangata, Daniel Hohepa of Tuhoe iwi, did the same thing, and this time Ta’ane whispered ‘ I give Te Kooti back to you’. It was about this time Ta’ane, who as it happens, is a pakeha of five generations and considers himself of Ngati Kiwi ancestry, stood in the back courtyard with a bright moon, and did ‘Kamate’, Te Rauparaha’s haka and did ‘Utaina E’, Kingi Ihaka’s haka which he had learnt at school. Both Daniel and Malcolm were drawn to the courtyard and all three did each haka three times over, awakening the residents and causing general mayhem. But no one dared stop them, even Wayne Pohanga, the night security watchman, stood by and watched; a tear in his eye.
And the journey recommenced for Ta’ane, piloting Earth and the planets through Virtual Reality (VR). At night when he did sleep, he navigated, until suddenly both his daughters joined him, learnt the trade and were soon piloting like true professionals. He took time then to step down, and concentrate on matters on Earth, particularly in Palmerston North, a veritable time machine, especially in The Square.
He’d walked all over the centre of town, looking for smokes, as he spent what money he had on trying to bust a screwed up VR where Air Eaters (boy racer cars) and Eighteen Wheelers (Mentat Trucks) were creating havoc in the centre of the city. Coupled with Time Machines in and around the Square, the place was in chaos, both during the day, and during the night. Law and Order was barely being carried out, and he was going to see if he could rejig the problem. He knew the chaos wasn’t in his own head.
The Money he had went into pokie machines, more especially the one machine in the Hubbard’s Bar on Rangitikei Street, where the Wizard machine was resident. He’d scored two hundred dollars off it so far, and was feeding it back in, as he noticed that whilst he played, the place emptied out, and he was left on his own. The road noise outside grew quieter too, and he figured it was time to pull out and walk Tuwhenga’s lane.
In his mind, he mapped the sidewalk into 12 time zones, each zone owned by a god. Most people walked haphazardly down the sidewalk, but time jumpers walked their own lane. His was four, and he’d walk it religiously, forcing people to walk off his lane as he went. This happened night and day, and during this period he only encountered one other time jumper, the sexy lady in black that walked time zone two all the time. She wore high heels and he could count the cadence of her walk and it was always pure, and he named her Vanessa May Coffin, because it sounded right.
But she was a time jumper, and a threat. He only ever saw her walking down or up Broadway, but he was sure she walked in the Square, though he’d never caught her. His mind thought she was representative of Old Pakeha Square, the two time lords standing on the North East and South East of the Square. His own Time Lord was Te Marae o Hine. He despised everything else in that Square except the duck pond. Nature was welcome. He especially despised all the new time machines the Council had placed in the Square, to modernise it. Yes there were problems.
The Air Eaters and Eighteen Wheelers had suddenly disappeared he noticed, after the third day of busting VR, and he was out of money again. He found a smoke or two in the ashtray outside The Break Bar on Kings Street, and celebrated his achievement.
He remembered that at that time too there was no need to go into space again, as his girls had parked up in a new Universe, the Ghost planets waiting the time when the life planets would be zoning in on their shadows.
Yes the memories, and Tuwhenga all to blame. Tonight he knew he was going to be visited, but he knew neither what for, or why for. He just knew The Cosmic Wind was coming back to visit. He had a suspicion he had a new task for him, something he might not be willing to attempt. So far, the past months had been mostly fun and some not fun, but necessary and he was hoping, now that he was mentally more stable, he would not be required to mind slip again. Yes he was pleased with his accomplishments.
3.00am 13th July 2005
His watch shone 3.01. The bed was a bit cool, the sheets in disarray. He’d been dreaming, but knew not what it was about. All he had on his mind was New Years Day 2006.
23rd December 2005
He sat in his new whare, it had been over a month since he moved in. It was a one bedroom flat and he loved it to bits. He sat on the second-hand couch he’d bought, which doubled as a double bed, and drank his coffee. It was a pensive moment, looking at the photos of his whanau and friends, and waiting for Malc’s and Howie to arrive. Malc’s had texted him to say they were on their way. He hoped they had smokes.
He stared at the computer; the previous evenings work still weighing on his mind. How on earth had he become an online psychic? It happened overnight; he correctly identified several posters on the TradeEm Messageboard and had said salient things that stunned them. He had hit close to home. The scarier thing, his open message to the MB that an earthquake of 5.2 would strike around Hutt Valley early in the morning and for crying out loud, one hit, though 10 kilometres from where he said, and at 5.0. He was still shivering.
As much as he was shivering the day he was released from “the ward”, and returned to The Shady Rest. The wind was a howling Sou wester, and it carried icicles in it all the way from the Deep South. That was August the 8th. He wasn’t sure then that being released was the right thing to do, as he still felt a bit manic. But he had to be out of the ward, to see where life would take him. Not long after rejoining The Rest, he was asked to do night security. He thought this a fine opportunity to work, get money, and write poetry again after a nine month hiatus. He now had his computer back and some furniture and was settled in for a long stay. First, he had to check the poem about his adventures, to see if anyone else had visited the site to search for his alter ego.
The poem was a load of rubbish, just rambled thoughts and ideas, but he left it on the internet for all to see should they be searching. He had done a Google search and found only two mentions of Tuwhenga. His own, and the unintelligible one. He did note that that his had had a small number of hits, possibly indicating others were involved, but he couldn’t be certain.
During his three month stay at the Rest this time around, he and Malc’s and a new guy Howie, a good friend of Malc’s, became very good friends, and nothing was said about Te Rauparaha, or for that matter any Maori legends, except, just to appease his curiousity, Ta’ane had asked Malc’s if he knew of Tuwhenga. He didn’t elaborate, just left the question hanging. Malc’s shook his head, but also said he hadn’t heard of him but it sounded important. If they only knew how important!
So there he sat, watching the fly on the wall opposite, reflecting on his journey to date. He got up and went to the kitchen to fill the jug, he had enough coffee to keep them happy, but he also knew they would bring beer. Then his mind raced ahead to the 31st December, whether it was worth running away, though he knew Tuwhenga would find him wherever he went. He’d found him once before running away, when he lived in Foxton. That time Ta’ane totally ballsed up the cosmic answer, yes means no, no means yes. And when asked if he wanted to be a Cosmic Navigator, he’d said Yes. And Tuwhenga had gone, to be replaced by ghouls and demons and suicide attempts. He wasn’t going to have that again, no way in hell.
1st January 2006
He was parked on Rangitikei Street looking down towards the Square. The time on the Town Clock said 1.35 and it had to be a.m., the street lights were on. But that’s not all Ta’ane was doing. Two and a half hours before, after a record equalling eighteen ghosts busted the night before, he’d decided not to go to work that night, nor ever again. He sat looking at the cloudless sky, pinholes of existence bending his own. The Quickening had started sometime around 8.00pm earlier in the night, his hypothalamus felt the swelling of the cerebral cortex, and the hypermania was underway, again. This was the fifth time he had gone manic, and this might be the worst one.
He started the car, drove up Rangitikei Street, down Grey Street, and into Koromiko Avenue, and lastly Rangiora Avenue, all the while doing a sedate forty kilometres an hour. He didn’t want to draw attention to the fact that the left front wheel was damaged earlier the day before when he was pursued by the Grey Lurker, the nastiest kēhua at The Rest. He parked the car and made his way to his whare, Turangawaewae o Tangaroa, named after his days at sea and the fact that Tangaroa was the Maori God of the Sea and Oceans. He felt comfortable with the name, even though he was a Caucasian male of pakeha lineage. He did however know his mountain was Mt Rolleston, his river was Waimakariri, his iwi was Ngati Kiwi, and his waka was wounded and needed repair.
But that was the last conscious thought Ta’ane had as he entered his home (the doors wide open).
He was walking down the road, his head shaved barring a small mullet at the back. He now called himself One Big Foot Crow Feather, as he had been named, spirit chieftain of Palmerston North. However the policemen waiting for him as he returned called him Ta’ane Rednaz, and promptly arrested him for vagrancy.
He’d gone the past three weeks with no memory, no money, no food, no smokes, except for the huge array of Universal Thug (thought) Bombs he’d collected in a cosmic fight for sanity. Tuwhenga had kept count and Ta’ane had amassed 183,563 Thug Bombs to add to his other strings on his bow. He’d been fighting for something, something he still wasn’t allowed to know. And the Police weren’t about to tell him. Hours later, Ta’ane was back on ‘the ward’ and this time it would be a long stay. Even the injections failed to bring him down, and he found he was spending his time singing Old Maarii songs in Bass Baritone, which annoyed the hell out of the staff and patients.
Malc’s and Howie occasionally visited, providing smokes and welcome korero. One phrase Ta’ane could quote well was “whakatau mai” – take a seat, or sit with me. They asked about the kēhua, both were aware he had been ghost busting, heck the whole Rest knew he and George (The Boneman) Kutia were busting reality at the haunted site. The worst thing during the busting period, he recalled was the ghost of an eighteen year old boy that died there the year before.
He informed them he was sure they were gone now, and that his mind was going too. They said he was fine and left him, with a packet of smokes and a can of beer.
Ta’ane sat outside his whare on the car seats he’d picked up off the streets. They made great outdoor furniture. He remembers all of a sudden feeling a chill in the wind, and thought of Tuwhenga. He’d learnt in his mind travels that the wind Tawhiri and the sea Tangaroa, had their normal makeup, air and sea, and that contained in each was a touch of Tuwhenga. You usually felt Tuwhenga, when on land or in sea, when a chill suddenly hit you. This was the spirit wind or current permeating the domains of lesser gods and refreshing the sea and air, and as a consequence, Papatuanuku. Earthquakes were by and large Tuwhenga working with Papatuanuku to reinvigorate the land. Tuwhenga is everywhere, the cosmos is everywhere, and his grip is everlasting. But that was his spirit; the actual Tuwhenga had yet to arrive, as he did every two to three thousand earth years. Ta’ane knew (as Tuwhenga had communicated), that the last visit was in the 8th century AD, or the two thousand eight hundred Millennium Stat star time.
Yes, the more he remembered the more easily it sat upon him that he was a cosmic warrior, doing his duty for the cosmos. As far as he knew, he was the only chosen one. And he kept it secret. Now he was starting to realise that Tuwhenga was coming back early, that a crisis was unfolding in the Ark of the Covenant.
23rd March 2006
He was doped up to the eyeballs, the new medication made him very drowsy and he was sleeping thirteen hours a day with it. He was being moved, probably his last resting place, to a respite care facility outside Feilding. Even though he was not yet forty eight, he felt ancient.
Maybe the previous year had aged him like a tall kauri in the Waipoua forest up north in Nga Puhi country. He’d seen that one and felt equally as old as the tall monolith. He knew it was Tane Mahuta, one of the Maori gods, but seeing it in its full magnitude amongst lesser trees was awesome. He knew the tree survived because it had a god given right to survive, and that Tawhiri, Tangaroa, and Tuwhenga all touched his wood, and that he fed Papatuanuku through his massive roots which in turn were fed by Papa with clear spirit water. Life went on.
He had settled into Saint Dominicas with ease, his ability from being a sailor and fitting into a new ships company following him into everyday life. He slept mostly, and comingled with other people of varying states of mental illnesses. The dreams no longer filtered out, perhaps because of the sleep, the memories all buried in the past, with nothing to feed his mind. He did occasionally feel the chill in the wind, but not once did Tuwhenga make an appearance in his thoughts.
He started writing poetry again, got himself another computer, started doing courses at university, to broaden his mind, to help recuperate, and bide his time. He knew in the future there was a day he’d have to use all his ability, but when he was unsure of, and even unsure as to why?
24th November 2006
Ta’ane came off the compulsory treatment order. He celebrated with a pint at the local pub, a Tui Mangatainoka Dark Ale, a very fine drop he thought. He also celebrated with his first attack of the pokies for more than a year. Although, this time, it was ten dollars, but enough to have a little time of virtual reality. With that thought, Tuwhenga hit his memory cells, and another quick flashback occurred. But now he was under the influence of the Gambling God, and no two bit space junkie was gonna ruin his fun.
He played for nearly an hour, and then he accidentally pressed three credits per line and immediately struck free spins. After another thirty minutes, he’d won one hundred and ninety dollars. He pushed collect, took his money, and walked around the corner to the Salvation Army store, and bought fifty dollars of clothing, which he promptly donated back to the store. Yes they were appreciative. The rest of the money he would bank and send to his daughters bank accounts so they had money for Christmas.
Later that day, while sitting on the computer, he decided to look up Tuwhenga again, to see if others were having the same experiences. Still only two. He meant to look up that one website with the poem to see if there was an email address. He’d look later. Then it struck him. Yes he looked, he was wide awake, but he’d seen someone with stark beauty in a deep green pool with a brown cape and hood on. Her name was Princess Te Huia te Heu Heu, and she was a guardian (maybe Hinemoa’s sister from another life), he knew. He had a feeling this was taken in the past, and that the pool wasn’t in Aotearoa. He knew he felt this to be true. Then he was staring at a luminescent light green stick figure with a round head and no feet or hands. He also knew this wasn’t on this planet, that somehow it had everything to do with Tuwhenga. Then he got a date, 11th October 2008; damn, he thought, and his fiftieth birthday. Then as quick as they had come, they were gone, and he felt the medication taking effect again. It was time for a nana nap.
Te Marae o Hine 10th October 2008
She’d just arrived up from Christchurch, the trusty V Dub eating the miles and still chugging along. She’d parked it in the middle of the Square, thinking what a silly place for a car park. She had had a look around, the clock tower the centrepiece of a very busy centre of town. It was midday, and people were out for a welcome lunch, enjoying the sun and lack of wind. The air was still a little cool, the legacy of a cold southerly the night before, which had left a lingering chill.
She looked around, saw the large trees acting as a perimeter fence but failing to stop intruders, saw the statues or plinths no doubt used to denote the founding fathers including one to Te Peeti Te Awe Awe, the Rangitane chief who arranged the sale of the land and the likes. Then she saw the building jutting into the square, and thought how positively ugly it was. She asked a passerby what the building was, and was told that it was the City Council chambers and was a source of derision and disdain since it was built many years ago.
She saw, then, the three poupou on the side of the building, along with two others standing over ten feet tall, and knew she had found what she needed to see. She walked briskly, but with measured steps, drawing ever closer to the courtyard. She passed the War Memorial, walked over the grassed bank, and entered the main courtyard of the special area. She saw now all poupou were finely carved and although she didn’t understand their relevance or meaning, she did know that this place was indeed tapu.
She walked past all the boulder sculptures, eventually reaching the western end, and saw the sign in bold brass on the wall of the embankment – Te Marae o Hine, the Courtyard of the Daughter of Peace. Despite the traffic noise and the sound of commerce, this place was indeed peaceful. Her mind quickly imaged Te Huia, but there was no relevance, except to say they probably shared the same whakapapa. She walked back again, marvelling at the sculptures. Each had a plaque on it and she read the names given the boulders and the sculptor of each. They, in her practiced eye, were spectacular, as were the poupou. This whole little corner of civilisation simply drooled essence. She noticed then that there were five other people walking around, looking, stopping, reading, moving on. One was an elderly Pacific Island woman, dressed very smartly, and walking with some pain.
The others were all male, of varying age, one young boy, another lad who could only be a surfer, mottled blond dreadlocks with alight green tinge (her mind slipped to the stick figure – ‘why now?’ she thought), a tall lanky male also about the same age as the surfer, but with a crew cut and tidier clothes, (a very neat Maoritanga T Shirt too she thought). The last figure was busily copying down the names from the boulders plinths, moving studiously as he did so. He walked with a very slight limp, and mumbled to himself as if there were no one there. She sat down on the north-eastern most plinth, opened her sandwiches, and ate heartily. She felt this would be a prerequisite for the rest of her journey.
He’d caught the Overlander Express at Wellington Railway Station at 8.30am. The ride up the coast had been a revelation, which soon opened up to the burgeoning horticulture and agriculture of the Horowhenua, and the seamless boundary into the Manawatu. He’d arrived in Palmerston North after a couple of hours, left the train, which would continue up the island to Auckland, and decided that since it was a nice day, he’d walk into the centre of town. He didn’t have any idea why he had to go there, but was somehow drawn into doing it.
The old Maori man at the station had pointed him towards Rangitikei Avenue, the main north route into the small city. He’d had an idea to check out the city on the internet before departing and was surprised at how robust and modern it was. It also surprised him to find out it had one of the largest student populations in this country he was now calling Aotearoa.
He’d walked down the avenue, dotted with car sales yards and small businesses, until he saw the clock tower. He’d read that the original cross on the tower had toppled in 2006 and that the whole tower had been refurbished and the cross replaced with a white translucent edifice. At night, so the article said, the cross could be seen illuminated in four directions, though not overly evident, unless one looked. It was resurrected to appease the Christian faithful, but many in the city didn’t want it. He marvelled at how deep seated Christians could be.
He walked past Featherston Street, which stretched far into both the east and west, out of site at his level. Then Grey Street, past Queen and King Street and Cuba Street, and made it to the Square at nearly 11.00am. He felt hungry, so walked around the Square looking for somewhere to eat. He saw McDonalds’ Golden Arches over on the southeast side of the Square, and decided to support the American economy and eat in. He’d had two big Mac’s, some Fries, and a Coke, and sat and looked at life going past. He knew he shouldn’t enter the Square until he was ready, and he’d not been ready.
He looked around the Square though, saw the tall buildings framing this little patch of green, saw the trees forming a perimeter fence guarding all entrances and exits to the park. He noticed the foot bridge over the pond and the myriad of ducks wandering around. He noted, too, the concrete building on the west side that protruded into the parklands, the monstrosity it appeared to be. He thought then too, about the carpark. How strange it seemed that in a place with plenty of parking and a relative lack of cars, that a piece of a jewel would be a carpark. He knew this land was gifted by Te Peeti Te Awe Awe, and his statue stood on the south east corner, looking east to the Manawatu Gorge, the way that Rangitane had come from to the Manawatu. How would he feel now that pakeha decision makers would bend ruination on such a fine area? He knew of places in his own homeland that were suffering under the same problem, that the past should not be revered, totally.
He’d lingered long enough, and made his way out of the eatery, crossed the road opposite the site of the old PDC, and headed towards the Marae he knew existed there. Actually, he thought, the whole Square was a marae, but most modern city dwellers neither cared nor worried about it. As long as they could shop they were happy. He passed a homeless man, called back to him and gave him a ten dollar note. The man, Mike Newman, juggled in the Square for money enough to buy a packet of smokes, and he was largely successful.
Dwight approached the Marae from the southeast, past the clock tower and into “the” Te Marae o Hine. He didn’t look at anything yet, kept his eyes down and just paced the length of the place, and then back again. He felt a chill run up his bare neck, only stopped from reaching lower by the Maoritanga T Shirt he wore, gifted by Henry Tewhero, a student in his class at Victoria. He rubbed his neck, thought about Tuwhenga, then turned back facing the marae and looked up, seeing the poupou on the ugly building (reminded him of the Enterprise on Star Trek) There were three, each about four foot long, and no doubt each telling a tale. He then turned left and saw the two poupou that stood over twelve feet high, and depicting the ancestry or whakapapa of the local iwi. He then looked down, and saw what he thought he had come for. A quick look around the courtyard confirmed that there were indeed ten boulders on plinth’s (or Ahu he joked to himself) He saw the sign at the other end, Te Marae o Hine, and he was sure that the sign only referred in the place he was in now. The original concept of the whole Square being a Marae had been bastardised by petty politicians, and he shed a tear.
He made his way around each boulder, noting the name, the description and the form. He had no clear favourite, just very pleased to be able to share the mana of the creations and recreations (volcano creates, man recreates). It was at this point he noticed that those lingering the most accounted for five souls. A lady of early forties and well dressed, and in her prime and very sexy too he thought, another lady, much older, maybe late sixties, and a Polynesian (he couldn’t differentiate between Samoan, Tongan, Nuiean etc) but in her own way too, she was beautiful. She walked in pain though, he noted. Then there was the young Maori boy, standing and staring at the poupou on the south of the site, trying to come to grips with his Maoritanga no doubt. He noted the boys’ right hand as it pulled down the woollen shirt at the back, the coat tails hanging out of a pair of dark track pants with a tiki design down the side.
The surfer was way out of place, yet he seemed to belong. He moved with a limp too, though compared to the Polynesian lady, his was more pronounced, probably arthritis he thought. The dreadlocks were coloured blond and lime green, and he thought then of Te Huia and the stick figure. Yes all the people in this courtyard were beautiful in their own inimitable way.
Except the old guy. Well he wasn’t exactly old, what hair he had was grey, and his beard was grey at the bottom and red on top. He sported what almost looked like a Mohawk with hair down his back, the side of the head shaved bald and starting at a point above the nose and tapering away. He moved slowly, and his limp was barely discernible, but it was there. He had the feeling this sad old creature had experienced many things, and was maybe going to experience many more. He walked up to the guy and said ‘good afternoon’, to which the old fella replied, “Kia ora”
Dwight had lingered for another forty minutes, with the others assembled, then sat down and wrote about his experience.
He’d taken the long route from New Plymouth to Palmy, going across the country to Taumaranui, down and across to Taupo, then southeast to Napier over the Ranges, and a very quick trip from Napier to Dannevirke (he was sure the driver was psycho). He hitched again from Dannevirke, this time he’d had to walk quite a few miles before an elderly man picked him up. He knew the dreads set him apart, but the old guy was quite kind and gave him the time of day. He’d even asked Madman what he was going to do in Palmerston North to which he replied he didn’t know, just knew he had to be there.
Ralph, the driver, drove him right down Main Street East and stopped outside the Court House to set down Shaun, who thanked him for the ride, and said farewell. He then looked around. The Court House looked imposing though it did appear to be under reconstruction. He saw several people enter and leave as he watched, some in suits, some in street clothes. It wasn’t hard to decipher which ones were the lawyers. He had a little chortle and looked back behind him. The bus stop was populated, but near empty, and no busses were to be seen. He saw the carpark building across the road, which appeared full. He swung back around to the west and saw The Square. Palmy was famous for its Square, a greenbelt in the middle of the city. He walked off down the road, past the Lotto and Post shop, and crossed the road on the pedestrian crossing. There seemed to be moderate traffic flow today, and with that thought he looked at the clock.
The time was just coming up to midday. He was hungry, and bought a Kebab from the caravan parked in the Square. He had swallowed the whole thing in five minutes, and then moved off towards the other side of the park. He could see the building jutting into the sacred ground but he forgave them as he’d seen the poupou. Three in number, marking Te Marae o Hine. He had a recollection that the whole Square was Te Marae o Hine, in honour of a local Maori Chief who’d helped the pakeha back in the 19th century. As he passed the carpark, and looked back to a statue in the southeast corner, he’d wondered what that Chief would have thought now about the intrusion of insanity.
He’d passed the clock tower, another unnecessary intrusion, and entered the area where two more poupou stood guarding the south zone, and ten spit ball sculptures carved out of Taranaki Volcanic rock (He’d seen the article in the local Taranaki paper). He had noted with care, the fine job done by the sculptors, and he’d wondered if he put his hand to it, he too could do this. For now, he thought, the Rheumatoid Arthritis was confined to the knees.
He had been so lost in his reverie he’d almost failed to notice that there were other people standing, looking, touching, and he’d not once registered they were all doing the same thing.
A young Maori boy, cleanly dressed and with a smile on his face, a Samoan woman, who seemed to do everything with a measured pace, a Pakeha woman with blond hair and glasses, a tall lanky kid his own age, dressed in what he’d thought were American clothes, and last but not least, the old guy, well he wasn’t old, he just looked old, seemed old. But the striking thing was his hair, a V shaped cut from front to back down to an almost mullet. He wore a tracksuit, even though it wasn’t particularly cold. But he hadn’t like the others, touched the sculptures. He’d stare intently at them, but he wouldn’t touch. It had seemed to Shaun that the others were aware of the mana of the sculptors who crafted such art.
The Nissan had travelled well. She’d left home the day before and had stayed in Te Papaoiea, in the suburb of Awapuni with her sister, Aveolela Finau. She’d awoken late, the drive having had it’s effects, had breakfast with her sister. She had then gone for a drive out to the Race Course, Te Peeti Te Awe Awe’s pa site, then had visited Massey University, after many years of absence. She’d sat several English papers as an extramural and visited twice for contact courses, but had never had the time to walk around and soak up the atmosphere. This time she parked the car, and spent a couple of hours walking around soaking up the bush, the buildings, the hubbub of activity. She made it back to the car in time for her next errand. She’d promised herself a tour of The Square, or Te Marae o Hine as they had renamed it.
She’d read on the internet that the local council, with community backing, had made large scale changes to the Square to try and curb crime, and to generally modernise the place. And she had wanted to see for herself what a modern city does to keep its people happy.
She parked her car outside a place called the Empty Vessel; a place, she gathered, was a watering hole. She placed two dollars in the parking meter, thinking she would be less than an hour, and walked past Subway, the smell enticing, across the pedestrian crossing at the Walk Now signal, and into the Square. She had come in from the South, off Fitzherbert Avenue, and she had looked behind her down the tree lined street. This was a pretty city, she thought, but the Marae was anything but pretty.
Ahead of her she had seen the carpark intruding right in to the War Memorial and Clock Tower, an unholy sight. Over to her right was the statue commemorating the founding fathers, and a bit less to the right, in the north east corner, stood Te Awe Awe. He was almost hidden from view by the Information Centre kiosk. She noted the changes to the Clock Tower, the old cross gone replaced by a white monolith. She could barely make out a cross in the midday sun, and had been moved to think at night it must be impressive, if lit.
She’d been so busy looking the other way, that she had missed the duck pond to the left of her. The bridge over it appeared to be new, as did a lot of the construction. As she had neared the Clock Tower, she saw a path that veered off to the northwest, and then she saw the boulders, the poupou and the people. She entered the court, whispered a small karakia to herself in Maori, and walked right through, with no one acknowledging her. She turned and faced north, the low wall on that side of the courtyard with the writing on it “Te Marae o Hine – Courtyard of the Daughter of Peace.”
She’d turned back southeast from whence she had come, and boulder by boulder, she looked and felt and sense the aura of the sculptor and his or her handiwork. She had had a little laugh after the third boulder when she thought of the Moai and their Ahu. This little place was a piece of Rapa Nui. She felt all the sculptures, and then stood next to a young Maori boy looking at the two tall poupou. His gaze had been intense, as if he was reading each nuance of the carvings. She herself followed the intricate lines, the curves, the faces, the bodies, all whakapapa no doubt of the Rangitaane.
She had then noticed with care those that seemed to be lingering in the courtyard. All seemed to be there for a purpose, and all were lingering. She felt like going to each and introducing herself, the Samoan thing to do, but something had held her back. The thought of that word again curtailed her thoughts – Tuwhenga. She instead had looked closely at the five people that stood around, moved around, or simply shifted. The old guy got her first, his demeanour somewhat unnerving. He walked with a very subtle limp and dressed in a black tracksuit with some Maori motif down the legs and arms. When he turned, he had the large word Maori in red letters on his back. He certainly wasn’t Maori, with his pale skin and white beard and greying hair, which was long at the back.
She had then shifted her attention to the fine palagi woman standing near the boulder with the mother significance. Yes she had been a mother, her hips still wide from the exertion, but in all other respects she was a fine upstanding lady. Her blond hair seemed natural and in excellent condition. That woman cared for herself very well. She had thought of herself at that age, and she too had been quite a looker.
The characters she had found intriguing were the two lads that seemed to be of the same age. One very tall, the other stocky. The tall one seemed to be wearing foreign clothing; she’d only seen the likes worn by those Samoan’s with family and friends in American Samoa or LA, so she had guessed this lad was American, or had been to America recently. The stocky one with the light green tinge in his bottle blond hair seemed to walk with difficulty. He’d shown no sign of pain when he walked, but she had guessed it wasn’t far away
The last one was the young Maori boy standing next to her. She’d seen the clawed right hand when walking past him, and guessed his lot in life was pretty rough. He seemed to have well muscled arms for someone so young, and his hair was short and well trimmed. She had guessed he looked after himself very well.
Then she had left, she had needed a shower to help ease the pain. The long drive had taken it out of her, and she needed rest before the remainder of the journey.
The day had been like any others. Nothing but work, driving a tractor at 7.30 in the morning, sowing seeds on Hamilton’s place, nearly seventy acres, a small job. But he’d cried off work at 10am, telling his boss he had an appointment he’d forgotten about, in Palmy. He then hitched a ride from Rongotea into Cloverlea. He had walked down Highbury Avenue to Botanical Road and into town via Main Street West. He’d stopped at The Mad Butchers and had bought a packet of Saveloys, he loved them uncooked, as a few people did, and ate them as he had walked. He had known where he was going, just didn’t know why.
He decided to detour to the Library and see the Elephant Sculpture. He’d heard a lot about it, but never had seen it. What he found was pure enjoyment. Parked outside the main entrance to the library, the sculpture stood at least three metres tall, and its varying composition, he had thought, was well contrived. He had liked it. He had also known there were other statutes around, but time was short and he had to be where he needed to go.
He had walked into the Square from the Library side, the northwest corner, and made his way across the only untouched piece of green in the park. He knew that the other green areas were mixed with concrete and other paraphernalia. He hated the carpark. He’d felt like doing a haka in the Council Chambers to challenge the council to get rid of it. Yeah, he had thought, a fifteen year old Maori boy would make a difference.
He had thought about the statue of the local iwi chieftain, Te Peeti Te Awe Awe as he had walked, his feet thudding on the damp ground. He had been aware, thanks to his cousin Tama, a local Rangitaane expert, that the whole Square was the courtyard of the daughter of peace, Te Marae o Hine, and that pakeha had violated it’s sanctity. He was also aware that many pakeha were incensed about two things in that place. The carpark, and the encroachment of the Council buildings, into the Marae.
Suddenly the clock had chimed, taking away his thoughts. His step had increased, as he neared the courtyard proper, the one the current city fathers deemed enough for a marae. He approached from the north past the clock, and into the arcade, made up of more sculptures, the two sets of poupou, and a strange mixture of people all looking at the things he had noted. He had only had one wish, and that was to decipher the poupou standing guard on the south side of the marae. He had stood there, and a woman had joined him. She seemed to be a pacific islander, her face giving her away. She looked young, but he guessed she was Kuia.
He had returned to his deliberations, and found his young mind stretched by the totem. He made a point to see the local Kaumatua when time permitted. The Rangitaane culture was as interesting as his own, though he had been away from his for quite some time now and missed talking with the kaumatua and their teachings of whakapapa.
He had moved off then, after the woman had gone, and sat on one of the plinths, in fact the one right next to the great cement monolith jutting into the marae. He had seen the two young guys, they’d been there since he had arrived and he guessed both were on a mission too. One looked to be a yank, the other a surfie. The fine looking lady, probably the same age as his own mother, was also there he had felt, to fulfil a need. They were all pakeha. The old guy, well he had thought, not that old, was the conundrum. He looked pakeha, but everything else about him spoke Maori. His clothes, his style of walking, and the warrior hairdo, even the beautiful “Kia ora” as he had passed. He knew when he next met such a man, he’d do Hongi.
He’d slept in the alley behind the Arts Building. He’d been there before, when he walked out of the Rest and hit the streets. He’d been vagrant for a whole week then, eating out of bins, smoking discarded butts, and drinking drinks kids failed to finish and left lying around. He had been ever grateful to those that did good deeds. He’d even busked his magic trick with his key chain that earned enough for a packet of durries, if he was lucky. That was when the Police had carted him off to Ward 21.
But he had gone back to the alley. He needed to be aware of what was happening. If anyone had been looking for him too bad. He had slept well on the concrete, he always did sleep well anywhere. He had gotten up before dawn and wandered into the Gull Service Station and bought a pie and coke for breakfast. He had a job to do, and needed light to do it. He had then wandered over to the Marae, and for the next five hours, had written poetry about the totem (he hadn’t known the Maori word) and the sculptures. He had known instinctively that around midday, the real reason for him being there would manifest itself.
Around 11.30am, he’d gone and got a Kebab, then gone to the Lotto shop to get some tobacco. He needed to smoke, and he remembered that the past three days he’d smoked a whole packet of tobacco (he only smoked roll-your-owns), expecting the date to roll around. He had known from his dream that his birthday was the real prize, but the day before was as important. He’d lit up a smoke and wandered back to the Marae. He loved being in the Marae, but he hated, nay, loathed, the rest of the Square. All of it was offensive, even the grassed northwest section didn’t bode well.
As the Clock had tolled Midday, he had made his way back to the Marae. He had stood at the western end, watching people, a favourite pastime. Usually at midday he had noted on previous visits, there were a lot of office workers walking through the Marae. Today, no one had been passing through, just another five people walking, sitting, standing, touching, thinking. He recognised all of them. No he’d thought, I don’t know them, but I do know I’m not alone in this adventure. He’d guessed everyone else had been eyeing up all the others, and he’d have been right he knew. He hadn’t formed opinions about the five, but he was keen to say hello to the young boy. He was like a key in this he had thought.
Then he did Utaina in his head, holding back the actions:
Utaina mai ngā waka
Ngā waka o te motu
Tōia mai rā ki uta
Ki te takoranga.
A hiki 'nuku, hiki e
Hiki rangi, runga e
Tēnā, tēnā rā
Ngā waka o te motu
Tōia mai rā ki uta
Ki te takoranga.
A hiki 'nuku, hiki e
Hiki rangi, runga e
Tēnā, tēnā rā
Utaina mai ngā iwi
0 te motu
Ki runga Tauranga e tau.
Utaina mai ngā iwi
0 te motu
Ki runga Tauranga e tau.
A hiki 'nuku e!
A hiki rangi e!
A hiki rangi e!
A hiki 'nuku e!
A! ha! ha!
Ka hikitia i tā nga iwi
Ka hapainga tāna waka
Aue! Aue! Aue! Ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue! Ha! Hei!
A hiki rangi e!
A hiki rangi e!
A hiki 'nuku e!
A! ha! ha!
Ka hikitia i tā nga iwi
Ka hapainga tāna waka
Aue! Aue! Aue! Ha!
Aue! Aue! Aue! Ha! Hei!
A ha ha!
Aue, aue, aue, ha!
Aue, aue, aue! Ha! Hei!
Aue, aue, aue, ha!
Aue, aue, aue! Ha! Hei!
He’d been amazed at the result, on the Hei, the young Maori boy had come his way, and he had whispered a “Kia ora” at him as he passed.
He had thought then he’d seen enough for now and walked back to his wounded waka parked at the back of the Arts Building. He’d driven home thinking about the next few hours ahead of him.
A Sense of Anticipation
Jenny Moorcroft loved Easter Island. She’d spent the past five weeks working with the islands Moai custodian, Angel Carlos Hernandez, or Dez as he preferred. She’d taken thousands of photos, drawn up maps, and spent the last week on a resurvey of Rano Raraku, the quarry for the giant figures, and still they had trouble discerning finished Moai and unfinished. They’d argued about certain aspects of the carving and finally agreed a whole complete Moai only be included in the census.
Today was the 9th October UTC 2008, and she was taking the day off to recharge her batteries, and to take a stroll around and marvel at her workplace. She’d been full on recently and lost focus on exactly how important these objects were, and how devastating for the generations that built them and then disappeared, be it tribal, be it foreign interference. The clock ticked over 9am, and she packed away her breakfast things. She weighed up whether to walk (an all day event,) or take the Hilux. In the end she settled on the Toyota and drove off to the revered sites.
At first she failed to see anything unusual, but soon her curiosity was peeked, and she started to look at the Moai with a different perspective. Something wasn’t right, something was very wrong. And she couldn’t put her mind to it, nothing unusual registered, until she drove past Moai 234 and 235, both of whom should have been flat on their back, yet here they were standing in the barren field looking over to their relatives standing sentinel by the foreshore on their Ahu. She was stunned, and then it hit her even harder, they were all facing in a new direction. Not just 234 and 235, but all the Moai on their plinths, all facing she guessed, West South West. She hurriedly drove to Rano Raraku and found some Moai had “walked” out of the quarry.
She radioed the news to Dez, and asked him to check to see that the villagers and locals hadn’t been out playing a trick. Pretty soon the whole island was standing looking at any Moai they could. One islander, Rewi Atu Cordez, who considered himself an expert on the Moai and was also a medicine man of sorts, simply said “he comes”. When questioned on what he had said by Dez, he simply shut his mouth and walked away, the locals following.
It took all day for Dez and Jenny to do a resurvey, and all Moai that had been toppled, were standing again, and all facing the same way.
Hale o Keawe Heiau, Mahealani Pahinui stands looking at the carved statues. She had noticed that morning that they were different somehow, but now it was plainly evident they were different. The teardrops from the eyes just shouldn’t be there. She wondered if Brudda Iz had known this affliction, after all he was a god to his people. And these ancestors were gods too. She asked Polo, the caretaker, and he just shrugged his shoulders and said something bad maybe, was going to happen, though tears could be joy too. No he’d never seen it before, nor heard of it. The shaking of the ground took both of them by surprise, a small earthquake.
Up on Kilauea Jeff Simpson, US Geological Society felt the quake too. He’d noticed straightaway he needed to be off the mountain as lava activity suddenly increased and the heat started to permeate a great distance out from the mouth of the large volcano. He sure as heck wasn’t going to make the 9th October UTC, his thirty first birthday, his last. He left the gear where it lay, and sprinted full bore down the mountain.
The fish had all gone, Ariki Temara, knew. He’d been fishing the lagoon for thirty five years and had always had a bountiful harvest with which to feed the whanau. But now he would return barren. He’d known it only once when the lagoon failed, and that was after a cyclone that poured fresh water into it. But he also knew the folklore, fish will disappear heralding the return of the of the Sky One. He saw the ripples on the water, looked around and saw no boat, nor any wind to make the ripples. He looked skyward and the light clouds drifted aimlessly northwest.
Another omen, he thought. He checked his Olympia watch, and noted it was the 9th October UTC, and in that great year 2008. He’d turned fifty and was glad of the encroaching retirement where he could concentrate on being a teacher for the young (if he wasn’t already so.). He saw the ripples again and noted they came from the west south west. At least they weren’t coming from Muroroa. That demon had yet to raise its ugly head, though some blamed it for the distorted fish stocks soon after the explosions stopped.
Yuendumu, Central Australia
Bullai Bullai (meaning the North Wind) usually dispensed native medicines. He’d been trained by his father, who was trained by his father before him, way back by at least fifteen generations. His family were always healers, and his name came from the wind that healed in Central Australia. But today, the 10th October 2008 on the Western calendar, he had to drive to Uluru. He’d sensed a change, and needed to go to the Rock to see what was happening. He decided to drive the old Holden Kingswood, the V8 Chevy chewed too much juice. And his funds were decidedly skimp for the moment.
After negotiating the highway to the rare site, he parked the Holden up, opened all the windows, and started to go into a trance. The first thing he noted was the fresh breeze from the south east. His mind envisaged Adelaide, maybe even Aotearoa, and he opened his eyes suddenly realising that the rock was a dirty brown. The Orb!! He’d heard about it during dreamtime sessions and now he was sure the Great One was due back again. He knew he had to keep this quiet, it might install panic in the wrong ears. Aotearoa he thought, that was interesting. There was an old Maori gentleman living at Yuendumu, been there for years, maybe he should run this by him.
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Carol Quettel washed the dishes. It had been a small party, herself, her husband Rick, and son and daughter – Michael and Susan. But it was an important party. Rick had stopped fishing for good, and the family fishing boat had been sold. Rick was 74, and found it was time to give away the business.
They (Rick, Carol and Susan) all lived in the family home on the outskirts of Saint Thomas. The family’s descendants stretch from Danish, to Norwegian, to Creole Indian. They’d been on the island for two hundred years. Their heritage was rich, but since the introduction of US rule, things had changed markedly. The place had become a haven for tourist ships plying their trade in the Caribbean. Most of the commerce geared around this industry, Michael a computer sales expert tending to machines in the Island, and Susan a Vets assistant taken care of the islands animals (all introduced).
But at night Susan spoke to New Zealand, her online boyfriend Ta’ane. But she hadn’t heard from him in months, no doubt in hospital again. She checked her calendar, 9th October UTC, and he hadn’t even been online for her to wish him a happy birthday. She chewed her nails when these things happened, wondering if he’d self harmed again. That had scared her; in 2003 he went way west (as the cowboys would say.) They (she and Ta’ane) had had an affinity, both having served in each countries Navy.
The Earthquake hit at 9.15pm, just a little rumbler. It unsettled Susan, as it unsettled most of the islanders, not used to such events. She had a hunch the quake had something to do with Ta’ane, she knew not why. It was the first thing that popped into her mind.
World Volcano Watch 9th October 2008
The US Geological Society monitored the daily mission of Papatuanuku in her monumental battle to keep the world in flux. Earthquakes and Volcanoes are monitored on a regular basis and mapped on websites they run. However, on the this day, they became inundated with reports of volcanic activity the world over. Something on Earth, or in the cosmos, was causing a large number of volcanoes to become active again, some after a long lay off.
The following volcanoes began erupting:
Ngauruahoe Lava New Zealand
Ruapehu Ash New Zealand
Whakaari (White Is) Steam New Zealand
Rumble 3 Lava New Zealand
Raoul Island Mud The Kermedecs
Niuafo'ou Ash Tonga
Kavachi Lava Solomons
Rabaul Ash Papua New Guinea
Manam Lava Papua New Guinea
Semuru Ash Indonesia
Merapi Agung Lava Indonesia
Ciremai Lava Indonesia
Popocatepetl Lava México
Volcán Coronado Ash México
Mount Erebus Ash Antarctica
Mount Saint Hellens Ash USA
Mauna Loa Lava USA
Kilauea Lava USA
Heimaey Ash Iceland
Etna Lava Italy
Copahue Ash Chile
Llaima Lava Chile
By all accounts, each region was hit by a small earthquake, announcing volcanic activity, as the reports came in, no property damage, and the volcanoes were barely erupting, no major concerns there. They had sent a notification to all countries to continue to monitor the situation, and also emailed all observatories and NASA to monitor space to see if any untoward was happening. Then they waited.
Te whakaminenga at Little Waihi
Meg had looked at the map. It was 5.30pm and she was ready to continue the journey. Her recollections during the afternoon had taken a lot of time and her mind was now clear, having seen what she thought were “The Others”. She couldn’t recall seeing any of them in her dreams, but the fact that she had seen them and felt a rapport meant a lot to her.
But first the map, and Little Waihi again. She’d looked at it on the internet, a little lakefront township on the western side of Lake Taupo. She wanted to reassure herself she had the right place and was travelling the right way. She estimated the VW would take four hours to get there, all going well. So far in her travels, she’d averaged around 90 kph, and she felt all going good, she’d make it before midnight, a time she felt important. Even if she got there earlier, she could bide her time.
She left her motel on Fitzherbert Avenue, and drove north up the avenue, skirting the Square, the scene of today’s unusual meeting, and drove north up Rangitikei Street. She noted the empty car sales yards and thought there must be a recession on, or at least one to come.
The VW cruised at 50kph over the railway lines, and picked up speed as the 100kph sign appeared. She depressed the throttle pedal and slowly the speed crawled up to 90kph. But before she got a mile out of town, she noticed the number of hitchhikers, and suddenly realised that two of them, the Yank and the Surfer, were from the Marae. She had a feeling the next one she saw she’d pick up, and sure enough, just past the Kairanga/Bunnythorpe cross road, the young Maori boy stood with thumb out. He had a big pack with him but she stopped and picked him up.
He placed the pack on the back seat next to her suitcase, and climbed in the front passenger seat. “Kia ora” he quipped in his youthful falsetto, and she replied “hi” back. She thought he was a fine looking young man, and thought about the day she was that age she would have swooned for a fine young man like him. She started driving off, not asking him where he was going. As if reading her mind, he asked if she could drop him off at Turangi, saying he had to go north from there to a place called Little Waihi. She replied knowingly she would take him all the way as that was where she was going. They drove off into the night, the sun starting to set as they did so.
Mila loaded her small suitcase into the boot of her trusty car. She’d bought it off an ex-navy man on the North Shore in Auckland, a real bargain. She’d had it nine years and it had never missed a beat. And it travelled well, having taken her and her clan to Kapa Haka and Polynesian festivals all over the country.
She knew Little Waihi, having stopped in once to see the birthplace of Bishop Takuira Max Mariu, one her icons from the Thames days when they travelled Saturdays to Hamilton to hear him sermonise. Mila was also aware he was buried on the marae at Little Waihi, so this trip would be a bonus for her.
She bid farewell to her sister, who kept pestering her about her reason for travelling, just to say she was catching up on things before they caught up with her. In a way she was right, she’d known for ages that things were not well with her, and she suspected she might have breast cancer, but she was too scared to go see her palagi doctor.
She drove up Racecourse Road, turned in Pioneer Highway, and headed east until she came to Botanical Drive, where she turned north and continued on until she turned right into Tremaine Avenue, the longest street in the city. She drove past the railway station, turned left into Rangitikei Line and exited the city. Not even a mile up the road she saw two young lads, the ones she had seen at the marae.
She stopped and offered them both a lift. They only had light backpacks and she put them in the boot. The tall one, with an American accent, said many times “thank you” and hopped in the front. The surfer dude hopped in the back, and once again, no one said where they were going, they knew each other now and assumed they were going in the right direction.
She was past the old guy before she knew it, and couldn’t stop to pick him up, but she had enough onboard.
The twenty eight wheeler
He’d seen the VW, and it was familiar, but seeing his old Nissan burnt an image in his mind that was excruciating. He knew all the number plates he’d ever had, a sad irony in that, and when PP3773 flashed by in its white livery, he was stunned. He’d seen some of the people at The Square in it, and figured they were on their way to Te whakaminenga.
It was nearing dark, and he needed a ride badly. He didn’t have a pack or bag and was quite obviously a derelict personage. He heard the bright blue juggernaut long before he saw it. He could hear the gears building up speed as it drove out of Palmy. He guessed it was hauling heavy, and would be a long time slowing if it decided to stop for him. And right he was, the gears chopping down as the truck came to a halt about one hundred metres past him. He hobbled-ran as fast as he could to the cab, stepped up on the steps, opened the door, and hopped in
“Kia ora” said Wayne Hemopo, and they shook hands. Wayne was a very big man, in his forties he guessed, heck maybe even fiftyish. He was a chatty driver, and soon the miles ate away as they talked about rugby, politics, religion, sex, and everything else under the sun. Darkness had enveloped them for some time, and Ta’ane asked Wayne about Little Waihi. Wayne knew where it was but hadn’t been down there.
They drove through Waiouru without stopping, the foot well down on the pedal. Ta’ane had seen the VW and the Nissan at the Oasis Truck Stop, no doubt refuelling and toilet comfort stops. He was ahead of them now; he knew both cars couldn’t overtake a truck at full throttle. On the Desert Road there was silence. He sensed rather than saw Ruapehu’s ash eruption, but Ngauruahoe’s lava was plain to see. He didn’t raise the issue w with Wayne.
Ta’ane was pondering the birthday present he was about to receive, and hoped his family weren’t looking for him. He thought he knew what Tuwhenga looked like, from the days when he was manoeuvring the planets, he was sure there was a huge eel shape protecting the entourage. But he wasn’t sure if the Man would appear in that form. He knew the orb part of it, and thought probably, but still he wondered.
Wayne let him out at Turangi, as he was continuing on to Tauranga. Ta’ane then walked up the Tokaanu Road, State Highway 41, hoping for another ride. He had about an hour he guessed to be at his destination, well before midnight.
A short trip past steaming cliffs
He saw the Nissan again, under a street light, and this time it slowed down and stopped for him. He went around the back, climbed in the rear right seat, and said his welcomes to every one. The VW passed them before they got underway, and soon it was evident to all that they were to become part of something very different. How they had all kept their secret for so long amazed them all, as they sat being retrospective and quiet.
Ta’ane didn’t even mention the car facts. In fact his eyes were like the others; wandering around the spaciousness of the Nissan, weighing up each other, except of course Mila, who was busy driving. Ta’ane was impressed with the gathering of humanity. He guessed as best he could, the origins of the players, but he wouldn’t know if he was right until they all introduced each other.
Shaun looked out the window as they began their climb out of Tokaanu. He’d never been this way, and the darkness hid the landscape. He guessed it to be heavily timbered and steep, which he was soon to see as the car’s headlights swung over the terrain around sharp corners. Then he saw the steam.
Dwight was doing the same, and he too saw the steam. He asked in general if this was volcanic country, which he bit back as soon as he asked, remembering his own study into the central plateau. However the old man did grunt a yes, so that confirmed it.
Ta’ane couldn’t see the steam fumaroles, as they were on the wrong side of the car, but if the boys were seeing them in the dark, then activity in this area was of a high nature. Normally the steam dissipated soon after exiting the fumarole, such was its weakness. Then he remembered the volcanoes part in his tale, and a small shudder went down his body.
Mila drove with extreme care. Despite that though, she had caught up with the VW, which was being driven carefully on the dark winding road. She enjoyed having people in her waka, and was quite happy listening to the shallow breathing. The oldest man in her car obviously smoked, giving little coughs every now and then, but she was sure the rest were fine non smokers. The scenery on the side of the road had given way to darkness, the lights now on dip. Still she saw the steam being emitted at a very strong rate, and she was sure it had something to do with The Gathering. A fact that she thought all the people who were gathering at Little Waihi didn’t surpass her that what was going to transpire would be with the six in these two waka.
Megs drove with extreme care. She’d driven this road once before and had remembered how tight the corners were and how steep the climb up from the lake was. She also knew about the steaming cliffs, and to her horror they were steaming like she’d never seen them before. She was aware this too was slip country, so she drove a little slower than normal, just in case she had to avoid one. Hooky had been silent most of the trip north, only speaking when he saw things he wasn’t aware of. He saw the two volcanoes erupting, Ruapehu with a light ash eruption, and Ngauruahoe with lava shining in the night. They were small eruptions he guessed, but maybe a sign he thought. He wondered what the old kaumatua were thinking of a double eruption. He’d also heard on the radio (yes the VW was modern) that Whakaari was erupting steam too, in the Bay of Plenty. White Island was the most active volcano in Aotearoa, he knew from his school work, and his whanau knew about it too. Some of them gathered kaimoana from the sea around that area.
She saw the other car come up behind her, and it followed her to the top near the look out. They both pulled into the parking bay at the lookout, and everyone stepped out of their cars and had a look at Lake Taupo. It was dark, yet they could make out the outline of the large lake. There was a very light creamy green tinge to the surface of the water, and all thought about Tuwhenga and the stick figures. The time was closing on a quarter to midnight, and all were aware they had just over one hour to be at Little Waihi. So they lingered.
Shaun wondered if this was the last time he’d see his favoured New Zealand. Dwight just wondered if a good ole Jewish boy could handle what was coming. Hooky just looked at his right hand, and wondered. Mila did karakia for them all, and for herself. She wasn’t one for big adventures, but her travelling to far flung places in New Zealand had prepared her for this. Ta’ane just wanted the dreams to stop. Megs was more than happy to share this adventure. She knew in the bottom of her heart this was not an adventure she’d recommend to others, the impracticality of it all.
Right on midnight, they all hopped back into their respective waka, and continued the drive to Little Waihi. They turned off the road at the AA Road Sign and travelled down a steep road to the little village on the lake front. The whole village was dominated by the wharenui and the marae. This was a spiritual place, they all guessed, and one to be treated with reverence. Mila and Megs parked the cars in the designated carpark, and they all climbed out and walked around to look at the lake from lake level. The soft green sheen still permeated, and they were sure now they were the only ones seeing it as such.
They wouldn’t enter the marae without being invited, and so far there had been no sign of life. This was probably just as well, as what was about to happen to them shouldn’t be seen by unexpected eyes. Ta’ane moved back towards the marae, and stood and tried to decipher the poupou on the meeting house. He knew this was Ngati Tuwharetoa territory, as most of the central plateau was. He had thought from his limited knowledge they were the guardians of the volcanoes, which included Lake Taupo, the largest volcano in Aotearoa.
He couldn’t read them, and nor could young Hooky, who had joined him. He too knew about Tuwharetoa, and that they were revered in Maoridom for their duty. He also tried to decipher the poupou, and failed. But it did give him resolve to one day understand them. His right hand was itching, something that had never happened before, and he scratched it with his nimble and dextrous left hand. The itching wouldn’t go away.
Ta’ane felt his feet swelling in his Adidas running shoes, something he hadn’t felt since he’d jumped off that bridge. He remembered then he was wearing his favourite boat shoes, Forrest Hill’s they were, and they had done him good service in the Navy and at home, as casual wear. But his feet had swollen when they were smashed, and they had to cut the shoes off. He still had them, a poignant reminder of the dangers of dabbling in the supernatural. Yet, here he was again, about to jump off that bridge. The feet testified to that.
Mila felt her breasts swell. She thought she was hallucinating, and hidden from the view of the others, felt her breasts. They were tight in her bra, and uncomfortable. She shrugged her shoulder and laughed nervously, but she wasn’t afraid. She thought of Doris Day’s song then, Que sera sera, whistling it to herself and moved over towards where the others were gathered by the marae entrance.
Dwight felt a lump in his groin. It was swelling, and it was a little bit uncomfortable. He thought he was getting an erection, but had no idea why. He turned away from the others and rubbed the offending area, and feeling that all was normal. Still the pressure persisted and he put it to the back of his mind, he had things to do, he thought.
Shaun stood facing the lake. He’d felt the pain in his ankles when he’d got out of the Nissan. He thought it might have been pins and needles, his legs in tight in the rear seat. But this was like his knees pain, sharp and nasty, yet he had the feeling there wasn’t any actual pain. Just a foretaste.
Megs cried. Unabashedly. Her glasses were fogging up with the heat of the tears, yet she had had several moments of pitch blackness. She guessed it was a sign her sight would go fully, but she couldn’t. Not yet, she had to drive home. She was about to txt her husband, and then remembered the time, besides the dark patches were speeding up now and she felt she didn’t have long to wait for either dark, or creamy green.
What Toomai Ripia saw.
He stood in his whare located at the side of the meeting house at Little Waihi, looking at the strange figures. He’d heard the two cars arrive and park out front, but at this time of night they might be undesirables from Turangi, and he no longer had the energy to tackle vagabonds. There were six; he counted, though he couldn’t make out if they were female or male. He reached for the phone, ready to call the police should they start vandalising the place. He was spooked enough already, the steaming cliffs above the road was active, and his whanau at Waiouru had reported both Ruapehu and Ngauruahoe were erupting, though not major eruptions. He guessed the little Sister Taranaki might go too. Then his cousin Mihi had rung to say Whakaari was erupting steam.
He felt the chill in Tawhiri that evening, and knew something was afoot. The northwest wind never had a chill. He checked all his data and as far as he was aware, everything at this time of year was alright. He was however given to superstitions, and his wahine were starting to spin old wives tails. The Moai report from Rapa Nui was disturbing. How do totem move by themselves. A mystery for the scientists in the making there for sure.
He looked out the window again, the figures now all milling in the front of the marae, almost like they were waiting to be welcomed. He’d wait another three minutes, and if they still stood there, he’d be honourbound to welcome them. Then all of a sudden the Moon lit the landscape! Only thing is, he knew, there was no moon. It lasted about 10 seconds and then disappeared, behind the cloud he thought. He looked back at the strangers, and they had gone too, their waka no longer there. That’s odd he thought, he hadn’t heard the engines start up, especially that VW. Oh well, he thought, not my concern now, and at 12.15am, went back to his bed for a good long moi.
Jenny did a resurvey. She had a hunch something was amiss. And to her astonishment, the statues had returned to their normal position. She a quick look at 234 and 235 and the others that had got upright, and “walked” and they were now back in their original livery. She shook her head in amazement.
Hale o Keawe Heiau, Mahealani looks at the totems. Their eyes were now dry, and the sudden increase in volcanic activity had ceased. Everything was returning to normal. Maybe it had all been a bad dream.
He saw them jumping out of the water. Ariki was amazed at the sight, and welcomed it. His family would be fed. Still something had happened and he should know what it was, but for the life of him, he came up empty of ideas.
Yuendumu, Central Australia
Bullai felt the change. It was like a ten second burst of mad gravity interference, but it was minor. He suspected the magnetism had changed too, in that fleeting glimpse. He sensed rather than saw, the object over New Zealand and after the gravity changed back to normal, he returned home and settled in for the night. Tomorrow he’d watch the TV news.
St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Susan sensed he was gone. Sure, he hadn’t talked to her for ages, but she had known he was busy. This time she had a Creole feeling he just wasn’t here anymore. No, not dead, just – Gone!
World Volcano Watch 11th October 2008 UTC
The activity ceased as quick as it had started. The scientists were at odds to explain what the event was, but they surmised it was cosmic rather than Earth orientated.
They’d all been standing outside the Marae at Little Waihi, when the flash of creamy white light hit them and lifted them I a micro millisecond into suspended animation over Lake Taupo. They could sense they were in an Orb of some substantial size, but none could discern the actual size, and their best guesses would have failed them. Only Ta’ane guessed that what they were in was in fact many times bigger than Earth and that for reasons only known to Tuwhenga, they were smaller. The light emitted from the orb was an incandescent pale green, and it acted like a night vision goggle in that it lit up the whole country beneath them.
Shaun could see all the townships and camping grounds, Megs saw State Highways 1 and 41 wending their ways north east and north west, and the remainder of State Highway one heading due south. She could see the cars and trucks, at this time of night, passing beneath. Dwight looked at the volcanoes, Tongariro, Ngauruahoe, and Ruapehu, and was amazed to see that all volcanic activity had stopped. He guessed their short eruption period was now a welcome to Tuwhenga (a sort of a welcome home). Mila was looking at the lake, and she was amazed, as thousand of Trout were being sucked up into the Orb. She looked under her and saw the fish swimming in nothing on a lower level. It was then she noticed her Nissan and the other lady’s VW parked on a lower level. So they were now officially missing.
Hooky just looked at all the Pa and Marae that made up Tuwharetoa domain. And he had a vision opened to him, his own whanau Pa at Taupiri mainly, and around the Waikato and King Country. Megs looked south, the way she had come, and she could see the South Island, the waka o Maui, and she knew she’d be home one day.
Only Ta’ane looked up. He’d seen this before, and he mouthed to Tuwhenga “Thread the Needle” to which, through the cloud, a vision of Cirrus Major was shown to him. A green pounamu finger pointed to various stars in the constellation, but Ta’ane just said again, “thread the needle”. Going for the middle was fraught with danger, possible black hole, but the former navigator’s intuition said the centre of the constellation was the desired way. Of course, Tuwhenga knew this, knew the way, and had been doing it for billions of Earth years, in fact since Earth was a new planet ready for colonisation.
But for now that was between Ta’ane and Tuwhenga. The rest of the cadre were still looking gobsmacked at what they could se, and it was starting to dawn on them that they were standing on thin air. Though none panicked, all were aware off where they were and were starting to marvel at the green orb. In their visions, it had been a light creamy green colour, but now inside the thing, they realised it was dark pounamu, yet there was no solidity to it. They just discerned the colour and love what they saw. That’s when all heard the voice in their head a low rumbling “thank you”. That was also the point that their native tongue was used. They heard the deep Maarii (he let them know), the English translation, and their native tongue. Megs heard the Maarii voice, and her native Norwegian (only different – Vikings he said), and Shaun heard it in Celt. Hooky was listening to Maori and Ta’ane was listening to only one voice, his own.
“Welcome to your future” said the disembodied voice ”and I hope you enjoy all of what you are about to receive. You’ll have noticed we have all your bags and automobiles” whereby all looked beneath, hovering well above the swimming trout. They also noticed the ground was slowly dissipating beneath them and soon they were going through the clouds, only the clouds were also going through them. Then Tawhiri bade welcome to Tuwhenga and wished him well.
Soon they hovered over the clouds, then Tuwhenga turned them to face the West and what each saw next made their skins crawl, with the exception of Ta’ane, who had seen them before. Standing in the middle of the Tasman Sea were three figures, all over five hundred miles tall, as the commentary continued. The one eyed figure was introduced as Cyclops, of Greek mythology, and the lady and man in tartans were Magog and Gog, beasts of Celt mythology. All three were workers for the planet, as most mythological figures were, but Cyclops was special. He alone was Tuwhenga’s eye through the cosmos, to keep an eye out (short pun) for the safety of Earth, and its conditioning. It was Ta’ane, through calling Cyclops back in 2005 during the quickening, to send for help. According to Ta’ane the planet was straining at the bits and in dire need of assistance.
He’d also been informed by all the old spirits that had come to him, Earth Spirits, that man was destroying the Ark of the Covenant. And Tuwhenga had listened.
“I’m here eight hundred years before I was due” he said and he indicated to all that his cycle for replenishing visits was two thousand years or thereabouts. Then with the blink of an eye, the stranded figures were now looking over New Zealand at night, the lights of all the cities and towns lighting up their own atmospheres. But what was memorable, the whole country was bathed in a creamy green light, all the gathering could make out forest and trees, lakes and rivers, harbours and bays, everything. And if they lingered on any specific place, they could zoom it in. ‘This was better than Google and YouTube combined,’ thought Megs. Tuwhenga laughed. Oh he could read thoughts – of course.
They saw Gog and Magog position themselves at either end of the country, and suddenly they held brooms, commensurate to their massive size. Cyclops took out a toothpick, and wedged his eyelid open, then stood stock still.
Tuwhenga entered their conscience again.
“I am now going to hand over the reins to Ta’ane, your saviour. What he is about to show you only few know, and none in this lifetime bar Ta’ane. No writings were ever made and for good reason. We travel in secret, so peace and harmony exist, as we can be coerced by specifics. I give you Ta’anes Dream.’
The Maakarii appeared from nowhere and took their place behind the six humans. They telepathed their respective human that they were here to serve them, but first they, the Maakarii, must take the shape of an easy chair, for the showing about to happen. Their human counterparts were made aware these creatures were what they had seen in a previous vision, and were ‘men’ from the birthing planet Maarii, in the Wanaga system. They indicated they could do anything their host asked them, so all then created seats and asked their humans to sit down, which they all did. They introduced themselves as Waranga, Wiranga, Weranga, Woranga, and Wuranga. Ta’ane’s simply called himself Ki, the Doorman. He was the one all saw in the vision, and was literally the Ki to the Door, the door being hyperspace.
Ki, started to morph and pretty soon Ta’ane saw his queen sized bed from a previous life, and more importantly the one he’d used for his astral travels in Moray Place in early 2005. He suddenly knew this would be an enjoyable period of time and he would be ready to share his mana.
They all sensed that Tuwhenga had been silent, and with that thought, Tuwhenga suddenly urged them all to watch the big screen in front of them. They all discerned a shimmering opaque green curtain, stretching from their seat level, to the ceiling high above (if there was a ceiling?). They were reassured, in every way, this experience would be terrestrial and they would always feel bonded to Earth (as Tuwhenga enlightened them - Arkiri – the Truth in Maarii)
Ta’ane climbed on his bed and noted the four pillows were still there. Also there was his mantra, the note he had made at the insistence of Tuwhenga, when his travail had started:
I Want My Life
I Want My Wife
I Want My Children
I Want My House
I Want My Money
I Want My Sanity
Tuwhenga said that the mantra had served Ta’ane well, and that on the 2nd April 2005, he went Aladdin Sane, in that he went mad twice and nullified his mental illness. Even though he was terrestrially still mentally ill on outer appearances, his mind would never slip out of gear again, and that his memory would become his sword.
And so it began. Ta’ane dropped off into a manic trance and his memory was opened for all to see. And what they saw amazed them, even Tuwhenga and the Maakarii were equally impressed, the most a mere mortal has ever depicted. Even Socrates and Jesus weren’t this good. Tuwhenga reminded them that everything they were about to see was past, present, and future all rolled into one, and it was up to themselves to determine which was what, but he reassured them, they’d been selected due to their open mindedness and impartiality, true Maarii if he had ever seen them.
Megs, Shaun, Mila, Hooky, and Dwight were all amazed, and they hadn’t even got to the start of the show. They all suddenly became aware each could telepath thoughts, and they were all of a sudden a whole conscience, defying race, creed or colour. Something Earth had been trying to achieve for millennia. They all looked at the same time of the sleeping Ta’ane, noting his four pillows, the two he slept on, him and his wife, and one pillow each side of him, his two tamariki. Then the show began.
They were now looking from Cyclops eye at Aotearoa, the lights at night shining from cities and towns, the light shimmer across rivers and lakes as Tawhiri dusted the ground with spirit water sent from Tangaroa. They could see creatures (Inangaraki) come alive out of the depths of the oceans, from the Marianas, Kermedec, and Tongan trenches, to name a few. Tangaroa was seen riding all the creatures as they found Islands, countries and continents to swim around at horrific speed. Their action whipped up spirit water and Tangaroa with a flick of his taniwha tail, would beat the spirit water in tsunamis across all the lands, doubly aided by his brother Tawhiri, and equally caught and passed underground to Papatuanuku by Tane and his whanau. Suddenly the lands shone, as the early morning action unfolded. By the morning, a fresh outlook on life would appear for civilisation. For now, most slept, and even if awake and working, were none the wiser to what had happened.
Magog and Gog started sweeping their respective islands, working the spirit water into the land, assisting Tawhiri and Tangaroa. They were both seen to be walking resolutely in a boustrophedon manner, up and down the islands. The mind travellers were then shown snippets of the same thing happening the world over. A major replenishment was taking place. As a complete conscience, they all saw the trout, and realised that they too would be a part of the replenishment phase of Arkiri.
The scene suddenly changed. There were no cities or towns, and Aotearoa was covered from head to tail in trees, the coast was dotted with small fires. They realised then, they were going back in time and what they saw now were the original Maori cooking and eating, and harvesting Kumara, and searching for kaimoana. Rangi and Tangaroa and Papatuanuku’s bountiful supply was keenly honoured and worshipped. Then they saw the Great Migration, exactly 764AD, from Tahiti and Rarotonga/Aitutaki. They saw the six canoes sailing under a balmy sky, the wind driving them to their future home. They too saw the Moriori on Maui’s waka, and knew the tale would never end.
Then the islands went dark, just trees, birds and reptiles, but this wasn’t recent, this was at the time of the Taupo eruption. Then they saw it, the huge mountain where now sits Lake Taupo, with a tall conifer growing out the top, and atop the conifer, a six eyed Phoenix. The subsequent eruption blow over all Tane’s whanau in Aotearoa, and covered Rangi for decades to follow. The Phoenix, a spirit called Duplicitor, was jettisoned into space, as was the spirit conifer Kahikatea. Her seeds were rattled off her as she fled, covering the whole of the North Island.
Then they were going further back, watching Dinosaurs roaming the land in small numbers, then that was gone, no animal life, just trees, and then a time of volcanoes, three of which had a spirit conifer on top standing fifty miles high over Aotearoa. Atop each tree, a spirit Eagle stood, on Rangitoto stood Hikioiai, on Mount Tangimoana, a spirit volcano over the place of the same name, stood Hikioiua, and on the top of a tree growing out of Akaroa Harbour was Hikioieo. All three, they were told, were the spirit guardians of the planet, as were the trees. All originated from Maakuri, the second home planet for Tuwhenga and the Maakarii.
They were then informed of a break, to soak in the scene, and to refresh themselves. Each ordered their own style of drink and it was produced in front of them. They were told that these had been gleaned in anticipation, that Tuwhenga and the Maakarii neither ate nor drank. Ta’ane was seen to be softly snoring, his record continuing, and with that collective thought, the screen came to life with the Earth devoid of water and ice, a desert planet floating in space. They then saw a huge Eel fly through space and place Tangaroa and Tawhiri on the planet.
What followed was the story of life. They made the seas and oceans, and they made the ice. They also called through a seedling called Tane Mahuta, the seed of all life on land. Out of the ground now that water could provide mobility, came the amoeba, Inangahaka, the story of life. Tuwhenga interjected that all the names they hear are Maarii names, that the Maori were in fact former Maarii citizens and had transported down during the time of Mohammed, landing at a place called Lake Titikaka, a Maarii space port.
At this stage, as if prompted, Ta’anes thoughts shifted focus from Aotearoa to what he called the “other escape waka”. He explained that several places around Papatuanuku had been set up during the creation to act as escape pods from Earth should it be needed – “The Arks” was a term he used seriously. They were then shown places and names they could understand. Firstly Japan (Nihon) waka of the Yellow Ones; Madagascar, the waka of the Black Ones; Great Britain, the waka of the Pale Ones; Norway and Sweden, the waka of the Blond Ones; Greenland, the First Peoples, and Cyprus the waka of the Keepers of Knowledge: and lastly Aotearoa, the Brown Ones. They were shown how the spirit populace of all waka would row the spirit waka with its associated storage trailers, into the ether.
The screen changed and they were all flying at fifty thousand feet, and they could see out both left and right, as if in a Bird. The Maakarii congratulated them and they were then shown from the side, a Great Eagle, a spirit Eagle no less, and the name Hikioioi was whispered, Ta’anes own spirit eagle. The bird looked huge; yet again their vision was drawn elsewhere. The eagle was seen flying next to a Jumbo Jet 747, dwarfed by the bird’s wingspan. They could see it was an Air New Zealand plane, homeward bound from Los Angeles. They were made aware that Hikioioi’s glide was stirring spirit winds and blowing through the plane, giving some of the passengers a chill. They all (the passengers) looked out the left side windows and saw a light pale creamy green glow in the sky, but didn’t feel alarmed. As soon as they saw it, it was gone.
Then Hikioioi and Ta’ane conspired to tell the next tale, taking the occupants of their seats back into history. They flew over what would become the USA, and the first people were living off the land. Cochise broke in and thanked Ta’ane for the hope he gave, and then dissipated as the buffalo were seen to roam in great herds. They flew over Canada and the Northern Ice Lands, then down over Europe and this time it was the time of the dinosaurs and Hehaw – awa, a pterodactyl and the spirit king of all dinosaur birds and reptiles, welcomed them to his domain, showing the asteroid that would be the death of them all. Then back again where spirit trees roamed the land, and spirit volcanoes and soul volcanoes were fighting to merge, and lastly over Mount Kilimanjaro, Mentat Volcano of the Older Ancient Ones. It was he that provided the seed to Papatuanuku to give birth to new volcanoes, and the union was usually pre-empted by Papatuanuku shaking the dust off trees.
And then they were in space, Hikioioi now far behind, and they watched the birth of the planets. The Sun was a female sun, requiring input to create output. And the DogStars, space wanderers, and male, were sucked into a young Sun and exited without power or life, as a planet, and sent out into the solar system. Mother Sun had given birth to twelve planets, the biggest Jupiter. That had been a warrior DogStar, and Jupiter was ever after the sentinel for her system. But the most important planet of all was the little Arkiri, the Maarii name for Earth. Hidden in her bowels, was the seed for growth and development. But it would lay long dormant as she attempted to fire Akiri’s inner core, to start the birthing process of the volcanoes.
At this stage, the scene change, medieval Arkiri, the years 1108 to 1123AD. The land is in flux, the people are in despair, the animals and the trees and the reptiles, and all organisms are fighting for survival. Volcanoes are rogue and spewing lava and ash willy nilly. It’s a time of the pagan Gods, and to this effect, someone had called Gog and Magog, to sweep and revitalise the lands, But Thor and his trusty Warhammer had also been called, perhaps from space, to fight Ragnorok, the Asteroid wars. He, with the help of Cyclops powerful eye, fought off the attack of the rogue space junk for fifteen years, his mighty Axe never failing as it rent asunder each huge rock with consummate ease. The Vikings were aware this was going on, as they saw the lights in the northern sky as meteors, or Warhammer’s debris, safely fertilising the oceans.
Then there was dark, the visions of Magog and Go sweeping every piece of land on Arkiri lost in the vacant lot of dark pounamu. The snoring on the bed became louder, not unbearable, but noticeably louder. For the first time in five years, Ta’ane slept without dreams. Though one vision did pop up on the screen briefly, Te Huia te Heu Heu. All were pleased.
Sons for the Return Home
Their minds were teleported outside of Tuwhenga, and from many light years away. They saw an eel, stretching from beyond the Sun, to just outside Saturn’s rings. It was huge. It was then that they realised that the globe or orb was indeed the giant eel’s eye and brain, then it was all transported on some monstrous cosmic wind. They saw the tail flicking through the Sun, no doubt building energy for the next phase of the journey. Of them all, Hooky was the most astounded. This was the biggest taniwha he’d ever heard of, and Tuwhenga reassured him there were bigger, and that yes, in essence, he was a Taniwha, but of the highest order. The Maarii word for Tuwhenga was Te Whe Nga a Roa, and the Arkiri version was plain taniwha, as there was no mythology about the cosmos as such. Which, he explained was odd, as the Maarii had become the Maori and they’d forgotten their origins, through cross cultural diversity and the poor diet they endured in their first meeting with the Indians of Lake Titikaka could have helped.
Tuwhenga then showed Hooky the road to the future, so he could understand his heritage. He showed him the Maarii mating with the First Peoples of Papatuanuku (who themselves had arrived by sky waka at Greenland and had migrated this far south), and that several hundred Maari had then transited down the coast to where Santiago would one day stand. They had then felled tall trees and taught themselves how to make ocean going waka, based on their meagre efforts on Lake Titikaka, all the while remembering they were not sea people, but had been space people. Their first trips took them nowhere until they could learn to study the stars and the sea, and the life of the sea. Tangaroa had laughed at their feeble attempts, but soon helped guide them to Raapa Nuie, or Easter Island as it became, Rapa Nui in today’s tongue. They stayed there for a time, but the soil didn’t aid the growing of crops, including the preferred Kumera (brought from Maakarii).
They built long canoes from few trees that dotted the island, left 1/3 of their people behind, and sailed west, pushed by the trade winds, and eventually found Tahiti (Hawaiki). The rest is recorded history, but what wasn’t known was that on Tahiti they learnt to carve the lore, and they sent a canoe back with a High Chief to Rapa Nui, to erect the watchers, The Sons for the Return Home, also known as the Moai. By the time the European discovered Rapa Nui, most of the inhabitants had died off, the return journey never completed as the wood from the sea waka was used to help “walk” the Moai into place on their Ahu.
Thread the Needle
Each member of the entourage was then shown their own tribal ancestry, while Tuwhenga heated his tale, ready for threading the needle. He knew the way back to Maarii, but was surprised that Ta’ane still remembered. Human memory was fickle, but this one’s memory was superb. He finished the ancestry telling, tales each person would remember for their lore, and for the amazement of their own whanau. Ta’ane still slept, but needed to be awake for then next part of the journey so Ki was instructed to make a chair shape and provide refreshment, which happened as the instruction was given. Ta’ane awoke, rubbed his baggy eyes, and went to stand up, when a drink (his favourite Creaming Soda) was placed in his hands.
All were now aware they were in the eye of the eel, and the whole Tuwhenga was now ready to jump space. He reassured them they would not get space sick, as he replicated Earths gravity and magnetism in his eye, and also reassured them they’d miss a lot of what was about to happen, too fast for the human eye, he said.
With one final swish of the tail through the Sun, Tuwhenga swam. Soon they were through the eye of the needle, a Black Hole, and jumping space at an alarming rate. They each had their own vision of what they saw, but mostly they were seeing solar systems and galaxy’s disappearing behind them at a rate Tuwhenga estimated to be five hundred mega parsals per second, in Maarii terms. Earth simply didn’t have a similar speed gauge. They’d jumped two universes, Black Holing their way across the unknown world, until in what seemed like five minutes, they were in the Au Te Tiki system, home galaxy of Maarii and the other life giving planets. Tuwhenga was busy pointing out each planet to each relevant member of the group, but all were focused on Maarii, and the soon to be meeting with the lady of their dream.
As a whole, they all stood up and stretched their legs, ready for what Tuwhenga had for them. They noticed the trout were still swimming in their deep green pool that wasn’t a pool, and the two cars were still parked side by side as they had been at Little Waihi. What they had not seen, and not until directed, was a small planet the size of a Zorb. It was covered in a green gas, and was soon seen to be manoeuvred by the Maakarii onto a cruiser and taken to a planet called Saurian for cross pollination, to eventually become a God Star, a veritable Warrior Planet roaming the systems at will, putting down insurrections and the likes. Their minds were being treated to unbelievable goings on
A space in time, a time in space.
Ta’ane had not looked ahead, as the others were. He felt he needed to see where he would have to return, as he felt Tuwhenga would not be a part of the return plan, for him anyway. He couldn’t discern any beacons so mind mapped the stars as they flew by at horrific speed. He became aware of an old friend from the quickening days, Quango, beating his chest calling out a hearty Gorilla welcome. Then it occurred to him Quango had always been there, since Aladdin Sane. And not just Quango, a myriad of Time Lords and War Lords.
Wu Chung and Wu Tang both bade their welcomes as they flashed past a spinning galaxy, and he saw their homeland, and perhaps his final destination. His mind slipped back to the Quickening again, seeing both Chinese War Lords dancing their dragons (taniwha) up both the Yellow and Yangtze rivers, fertilising the land and the minds of The Yellow Ones, who’d originally entered Ariki through the Gobi Desert. He was aware Wu Tang was both a Time Lord and War Lord, and was another like Tuwhenga, except not as powerful or as big. And besides, he thought, Tuwhenga was a peaceful useful taniwha.
So here he was, flashing past the place he needed to be, conversing with the beings that spoke through him at any hour of the day. He laughed then, as they had been the only things to keep his mind in mirth. Sure, his mental illness had meant he heard voices, but these voices were different. When they spoke, his lips moved and his voice box vocalised the language. And not just one dialect, there were many, and the instant English translation was always filled with mirth. He knew he could be the first Arkiri Man to accept a chair on their councils, as many shared both roles. He, however, knew he had to wait out his time. In the dreams he’d seen he’d returned to his home planet, but he hadn’t been sure how. Now he had a better understanding. Yes, it would still be Tuwhenga; he had an obligation. But he’d also be in some form of space cruiser. At that point he burst into laughter, shaking the reverie of his fellow space cadets, the realisation then that he had dreamed of a United Space Ship, the USS Fairland, stuck to the roof of Earth, unable to enter Earth’s atmosphere. The future had met the now in one horrific piece of driving planets in VR. Then he remembered it was a ghost ship, and stuck to a ghost planet. The future was yet to happen.
He started vocalising in Deep Maori to himself, and realised Atiamuri, the Teacher Time Lord, was speaking to him, and he knew he was also speaking in his native tongue, Maarii. Ta’ane heard all three translations, translating to English as he went. He spoke back in Maarii and wished him well and postulated he would see him soon. Hooky too, heard the conversation, and knew Atiamuri as a place in the south Waikato, Ngati a Muri country, and had a vague recollection it was either the name of one of the Arawa chiefs “turning back” or a rough assimilation of the tribal name. But what he gleaned from Ta’ane was a powerful Time Lord of the Maarii descent, and one of the key figures in the journey of the Maarii and other tribes to Ariki. He was aware that Atiamuri was to play a greater part in their journey, but not yet.
Both Ta’ane and Hooky grunted a short farewell “tennar cartoa koutou” and continued with their own journeys. Ta’ane could see the image of Te Huia in his mind again, as they all did, and suddenly Maakarii appeared in their space vision, a planet three times the size of Earth, and covered in many land masses interspersed with pounamu green pools, each with a water maiden in it. They were aware this planet was a birthing planet, and in the blink of an eye, all the trout were spread amongst the pools evenly, and then returned just as quick. They seemed to be larger, and swam faster. Tuwhenga intimated they were all pregnant with new life forms to help support human life, that when released unto Tangaroa’s care, they would assimilate with other fish of the deep oceans and rapidly replenish fish stocks, for human consumption.
The cars were next, landing on a patch of land, where separate taniwha, would attack each vehicle and strip and rebuild them both. Mila was concerned, as was Megs, but they had a feeling their cars were never to be the same. In fact they were made to understand that the changes would affect all cars, to stop the emissions of poisonous gases into the atmosphere. They were also repainted with a coat of light creamy lime green. Both number plates were changed; Megs was Ariki 1 and Mila’s was Ariki 2. Both ladies were impressed with the changes and the cars returned to the next level down (or were it they thought?)
Dwight couldn’t stand it anymore. This all was an insult to his religion, everything happening was a bad dream. Tuwhenga was aware and offered him a solution by showing him the arrival of Kaitā Ihu, The Big Noses, in the space port of Sea of Galilee, and spreading out throughout the Middle East and east Asia, up into China and Mongolia and assimilating with the Yellow Ones, only to return as the Mongol Hordes.
He showed him also, the Island of Cypress, the escape waka of the Mediterranean peoples, and Dwight found an inner peace. He’d been disturbed by the news about The Nazarene, but realised everything had a time and place.
Shaun was in utter awe. Since the start of Ta’anes story, and then the space journey, he’d thought he was on a drug induced high. The imagery and real time aspects had utterly floored him. Yeah, he had seen the interjections Tuwhenga had put in Ta’anes story, his Norse background, his First Peoples ancestry, his realisation that Lake Erie was the space port for their heritage, and Greenland was not only the escape waka for his peoples, but also all the animals of the northern continent. The Central escape waka was Cuba, and the southern American continent’s escape pod, for the people Lake Titikaka, for the animals, the Amazon River.
Te Huia te Heu Heu
Tuwhenga called their attention, and they were then teleported down to a piece of land about five miles wide. The land was a dusty ochre colour, with reeds growing out of it. The reeds, they discerned, were used to make capes for all the princesses, as there were many on Maarii. They walked a short distance through the reeds, on a path the Maakarii made to tend the maidens. Pretty soon, they all sensed, rather than saw, the lady of the Pounamu Lake. Ta’ane hung back, letting Hooky dictate the pace, as this lady was his ancestor. They all came upon the pool but no one was there so each stood with their own thoughts, with no interference from Gods or Taniwha, or anything. It was like being on Earth waiting to see your favourite star, the anticipation aching.
Then slowly, she appeared, her hooded cape covering her face and body, yet her movement’s plain to see. She swam eel like, yet they knew she was a whole person, just different. They could see her face now, and the beauty discerned in the dreams became a stark reality. She was smiling, and as she spread her arms, she telepathically welcomed them all to Maarii, and importantly, to her part of the planet, Ranga Nuie, the life entry portal. Her arms spread wide, and her smile winning them over, she motioned (and spoke in Maarii, which they all now understood) them to stand next to the wai tapu, the lake of her people and creatures. They were all then motioned to look into the still surface, and like Tuwhenga, there was no depth or structure to the liquid, if indeed it was liquid. Ta’ane stood back. He had an idea what was going to be said next, and to his dismay, Te Huia vocalised for them all to enter, and be cured.
Mila was in love. This Polynesian princess was her as a child, beautiful, well shaped, and calming. In fact now, she, MILA, was only older and things drooped where things used to stand. She heard the request, to enter the waters. She felt then, the pain in her breasts, and the ache in her liver. The Princess intimated that should she enter the water, she’d be reborn. Yes her life would extend and she’d die a mere mortal, but more time with family and friends, and time to write her memoirs.
Dwight felt the ache in his groin again, but this time wasn’t embarrassed by it. He’d always known he was impotent, and had issues with the size his manhood, putting him off girls, knowing them more as friends. here and now, he was being offered an opportunity to have it all restored to normalcy. He looked at the smiling Te Huia and marvelled at her beauty. He tried to guess her age, as all of them were. The smile she bore echoed the laugh from Tuwhenga, and the Maakarii. He was the first to step into the liquid, more rock than water. He found himself shoulder deep, and looking down, he could see nothing but the reflection of his head. He felt like he was in fact very big and very tall, his feet still on solid ground.
Shaun felt awkward standing watching both Mila and Dwight entering the water. His joints all over his body had flared up, and the pain in his ankles and knees were excruciating. He found himself falling in love with Te Huia; her features chiselled beauty, her demeanour very regal. He heard her say Tu Tangata, and knew now that she was the birthing mother of the Maori tribes, and Polynesian off shoots. He remembered Lake Titikaka in the Telling, and suddenly understood that this lady had been around for centuries, probably millennia. He was soon following Mila and Dwight, the pain in his joints dissipating the deeper he went.
Megs was shivering, not from cold, as there was none, but because her vision was going very rapidly. Even through the new glasses she couldn’t see Te Huia, but she had been sharing the minds of the others and knew how gorgeously wonderful she looked. She took off her glasses, and noted how blurry things were. This journey had taken a lot out of her, and now she had started to worry about ever recording her journey. She shuffled forward into the quagmire of doubt, her heart trying it’s best to trust this action, and this journey.
Hone, as he now deemed himself, stood just in front of Ta’ane, and suddenly wondered why the old man was called such. Then he remembered the Shady Rest tale, and the haka. He’d been given that name as a token of thank you from his two Maori colleagues. He noted that Ta’ane shuffled from foot to foot, never standing still for too long. It was a similar action he himself did with his right hand, moving it behind and in front involuntarily as if to hide the deformity. He’d also been privy to the goings on with those in the water, and knew that miracles were about to happen.
He’d been associated with his claw since birth, and could handle himself very well without the use of both hands. Sure he couldn’t grip, couldn’t type, and couldn’t do two handed tasks with ease, but was he prepared to forgo a miracle for pride? He knew he would write about his travels, and having two hands would be a bonus. He then shuffled forward, towards the entry point into the water, and lingered, the last doubts erasing from his mind as he saw the smiles on the faces of his fellow travellers as the water started taking effect.
‘He’d tried to kill him once’ thought Ta’ane, ‘Tuwhenga had’. Ok, he thought, it wasn’t Tuwhenga that had tried to kill him back in Foxton; it was his own inability to cope with reality and unreality, not to mention spirituality. He now knew why they had all been picked. He thought of the others and saw how much they had to offer to their own societies, if made whole again. But what of his dilemma? He was over fifty now, had a mental illness under control, worked, studied, and wrote poetry. He knew his life with his daughters was a minimalistic thing, he’d wished it was more, but Foxton stuffed that up.
He noticed Hone enter the lake, and secretly smiled. That boy was so much like himself that age, tough, and ready for anything. Every moment of life was an adventure. He felt his feet being moved towards the lake. He knew his feet, ankles and lower right leg were bungled repair jobs from his Leap of Faith (thank you God) and needed to be righted, and he thought then he’d be able to wear his favourite boat shoes again. He sensed the awe in the water now, as eyes repaired, cancer was eaten, manhood and libido restored, arthritis demolished, and a hand returned to its owner. He was now at the edge, and he looked at Te Huia. Her smile seemed forced, as if she was carrying a huge burden. Then, and only then, did he realise she was taking on Akiri’s wasted burden, ache, pain, deformity and death. He knew then she would spread it around to all the Princesses of Maarii, and across the other birthing planets of the system. He stepped back. He knew the bones will mend in the water, but he didn’t want his mind to mend. He’d be bored without it, and with that he bowed to the princess, and stepped back even further from the edge, to let the others survive and revive.
“ka Ra” spoke the voice that floated, “ the sun welcomes you all.” With that, she stepped from the lake, and her supine form settled lightly on the ground. She had no feet as such, more like dolphin fins that moved with exquisite ease and poise. She reached Ta’ane, who flinched, and held her hands out to his head, motioning to rub his temples. He leaned forward a little and she spoke again.
“Your mind will always be the same, what won’t be the same is your memory. We Maarii are used to people with good memories, but someone that can call the Old Ones, The Ancient Old Ones, and the Ones Before Time is an enigma in our dealings and we need to explore the makeup of your brain to see where things have developed. We’re pretty sure it’s because you went Aladdin Sane but we have to be certain. And yes, Aladdin was insane once and double ended his mortality by going mad whilst mad, and thus sane. But he didn’t call the one I have mentioned, no planetary system has done that, and we need to know where it came from.”
With that, Te Huia passed her hands across Ta’anes temples and up over the top of the head, scanning memory, mapping abnormalities. With a flick of her cape, she returned to the lake, and held hands out in a supplication manner. The arrival of the Maakarii was unannounced, but seven stood on the lake shore around, processing direct from the hands of the lady. All seven piped up in Maarii – liano oa, which Ta’ane managed to translated as Lithium and Fluoride. It confirmed his original studies on the internet after the Leap of Faith, and his ability to choose not to use fluoride products ever again, though this decision was somewhat circumvented by the happenings in 2005 and 2006.
The Maarii moon, Tona, rose in the northern skies, illuminating the land below with a pale iridescent glow. Te Huia seemed to turn from her classic bronze hue, to a more golden hue, and all the travellers were shown the other birthing mothers all changing colour. They could see, as they numbered off in military fashion, every race, creed and colour that inhabited their Earth, and then some. There were thousands and all gave life to a huge number of systems – Ta’ane numbered one hundred and sixty three, after the ghost planets, all life planets.
It was then he remembered The Grey Lurker, the interstellar life form that tried to destroy that which had been done. He was blind to the originator planets of this system, but he wasn’t blind to the rest of the systems. Ta’ane remembered in his dream that the Lurker was a vicious system eater, stars, planets, and space junk, anything to fuel his destructive intent. He, Ta’ane, then recalled the reason Virtual Reality was so important, it was devised long after the Lurker was captured by Tuwhenga and two other Cosmic Winds, Tuawrenga, and Gutenspigel, and locked down in Prison Universe 2. But he either was about to escape, or had indeed done so.
Ta’ane then turned his attention back to Te Huia. He thought then she’d make a fine wife, but realised on this planet, she was already a wife, self replicating at that. Her golden glow was excruciatingly beautiful. He then almost rued her assistance.
He watched the others make their way out of the Pounamu Lake. His first thoughts were ‘lucky people’, but he overrode that by walking up to each and clasping their hand. They all smiled, numbed by what they had received. Hone was last out of the water, and Ta’ane saved a special handshake for him, the Maori or “street” shake, first a normal handshake, then hooking thumbs, then clasping fingers, and finally gripping forearms.
Hone’s mind slip
He knew when it was time. She’d turned golden bronze, and he felt the hand loosen, the fingers bend and straighten, the nerves tingling as blood flowed into it. He secretly, beneath the lake surface, tapped each finger on his thigh, the movement strained, but utterly real. He made a karakia to Tane Mahuta, his god, and also one in English to The One God. He even thanked the Lord Jesus for giving him hope. But his biggest thank you was for the man that had brought them all there. He knew when he exited the lake, he’d wait for the others to pass him, and then give him a huge hug. Heck, he’d even hongi the pakeha madman.
His mind was still processing the unbelievable, when he remembered to pay deep homage to Tuwhenga. It took as long as the thought, a reply in Maori and Maarii only – ka pai. He was satisfied with that, and climbed the bank, as the others had said their thanks to Ta’ane and had passed him by, milling around a table that had been placed there with food and drinks, after all they were mere humans. He then approached Ta’ane, and the old man reached out with his right hand and demanded by the gesture, they shake hands. And the old bastard did the Street Shake, all four positions, and then dragged Hone into a huge bear hug. That’s when he cried, and the whole experience hit him. Any other fifteen year old would have broken down, but this kid was made tough. And tough men cry.
Mila’s mind slip
She looked hard at Te Huia. She’d noticed the colour of her skin now, and she sensed rather than saw her body changing too. Then she realised the lady was giving birth, something that happened when Tona circled overhead in the heavens. Yes, she thought, self replicating. But what? She’d been in the lake not long, but soon realised that her aches and pains were dissipating, and the cancer seemed to be eaten out of her, rather than being changed from within. She saw what Te Huia had done to Ta’ane (sweet name she thought) and felt her own cleansing and was having trouble accepting the issue. What would her God say?
She thought then that at no time during this adventure had she made karakia to God, nor asked his permission to venture thus. The more she thought about it the less she started to believe in him, this happening, so far, bearing greater weight. Then Tuwhenga piped in, reassuring her, yes pray to God, he does exist. This in her mind utterly blew her away, and she started to say a prayer for them all, and one for Te Huia. She smiled at that thought.
When she felt one hundred percent with herself, and her recovery, she noticed the others heading for the shore. She too made her way to the land, and as she past Ta’ane she swore she heard him say talofa lava in a sweet quietened voice. She’d sensed he knew she had cancer, but couldn’t place why. One day, she knew, they would korero.
Dwight’s mind slip
He was embarrassed, afterall here he was in the presence of a startlingly beautiful maiden, and here he was having his sexual life returned to normal. He could see no one could look under water, (if it was water, he thought) and was still embarrassed to go through with what was happening. Te Huia flashed him the picture of an Olive One, all dressed up for nothing but love. His mind played tricks then, he hadn’t been sure of himself in the past, now he felt for the first time in control. He decidedly turned down Te Huias bequest, instead, keeping an eye out for his friend Maree Leadbetter, in Wellington. Now he felt the most confident in his whole life. For the first time since Little Waihi, he looked at his watch. It was 2.30am NZDT and they had been out in space for over two hours. He was sure it had actually been longer, but he also knew that Ta’ane had more for them to soak in, and that Tuwhenga’s own tale would follow.
He felt, rather than saw, the others moving out of the lake. He followed Shaun, who seemed to be walking with consummate ease. Shaun staggered as he walked past Ta’ane, a joke that was greeted by both with laughter. He himself smiled at the old man and wondered what was going to happen for the rest of the trip. His mind was already overburdened with knowledge and the strange happenings that had gone on. He saw the table, with fresh fruit and drinks on it (their own choice of beverage) and made his way over. A diet coke stood next to a banana and he ate and drank heartedly.
Megs mind slip
She realised she couldn’t see. She could make out the outline of the princess or birthing mother, but she couldn’t see her clearly. She took her glasses off, and realised that they were misted up, probably from the tears she was emitting. She rubbed her eyes, trying to still the tears, trying to come to terms with what was happening. She could feel little sparks of energy in the back of her eyes, and leading up the optic nerve. With each passing second, the sight got better, and after what seemed like ages, she opened her eyes after seeing a red light in the back of her eyelids, and found she was staring at Te Huia in utter amazement. Boy, could she see, the blue moon, the brown reeds, the others in the lake, now getting out. She followed Dwight out, and in so doing, passed the hunched figure of Ta’ane. He smiled at her, his tobacco stained teeth showing a generous smile.
She sensed that all were aware of each other’s frailties and failings, the collective conscience would have made it easy. None talked about their new standing in life, but all could see each other in a new light.
Shaun’s mind slip
When he’d waded into the lake, and felt the pain, he’d wanted to join the old man on the bank, instead of going through reformation. But since being in the water, he’d felt what seemed like fish swimming between and around his legs. And the more they swam, the better he felt. But the real pain, in his mind, wouldn’t go. He knew this might be a permanent fix, but there would always be in the back of his mind, the big What If? He moved around, probably as directed, and kept his arms under the surface, they too being nibbled and sharp jolts of energy pulsing through his skin and into the joints. Tuwhenga told him “have Faith” and the process continued until he felt he was standing much taller, and with ease at that.
He looked down, but only saw the Blue Green reflection in the lake. He espied Te Huia then, smiling, and realised that all the hurt they had brought to this planet was being disseminated around the birthing planets to help provide a cure to impurities for all systems. He also realised that when the last human had seen Tuwhenga, the planet was still in the dark ages. Except for the Muslim converts! He had wondered about Mecca.
He made his way out of the lake, smiled as he passed Ta’ane, and received a pat on the back. There was no pain in the gesture, and he made his way to the L&P can on the table, with a Moro Bar next to it.
He knew he would be cured. All the while as the others bathed, he stood motionless weighing up his future. His continuing deliberations with the Time Lords and War Lords had ceased when he’d arrived on Maarii, and now he sorely needed their guidance and humour. But Tuwhenga and Te Huia both stated he was on his own with the decision, though Brunhilde, a Blonde Ones maiden, said if he sat in her pool, she’d only cure the Bipolar and Schizophrenia, the feet were the domain of Te Huia’s pool. He declined all offers, as he felt he had more work ahead of him and his impurities would stand to enhance his thinking.
He turned and joined the others at the table, a Moro Bar and a can of Creaming Soda awaited him. The others were in buoyant moods and the collective conscience let everyone know how happy the group were. Yes they acknowledged they had all cheated reality, but they all, every one of them, knew there was work ahead. Ta’ane thanked them then for having the guts to go on this journey, as did Tuwhenga, who made it exquisitely possible. Te Huia smiled in her pool, busy processing the ills of Earth, and passing the results on to all the maidens for further experimentalisation. Ta’ane and Tuwhenga only were privy to the process.
Ta’ane then heard Tuwhenga and the Maakarii conversing about the time factor, and then they all let their human cargo know it was time to go, as Tuwhenga had a deadline for them. This was greeted with dismay and shock; so far no mention of time had been mentioned, except Dwight looking at his watch. They finished their refreshments, and each walked back to Te Huia and offered her their greatest thanks. Some suggested she was a God, to which Te Huia flashed a picture of The Nazarene. And left it at that.
Soon they all found themselves in the Orb again, and this time when Tuwhenga asked Ta’ane which direction, and he was uncertain. He scratched his mind and tried to visualise the Time Lords and the Warlords. He could only see three, Quango - Time Lord, Wu Tang - Time Lord, and Wu Chang – War Lord and Time Lord. He knew they had passed their system on the way to Maarii, but he had no idea where exactly. He tried reaching through space to find them and chat with them, but to no avail.
Tuwhenga then interceded, saying they would repeat the journey in reverse and when he felt comfortable with his target location, he’d come to a stop and vector. He then informed them all that the Time Lords and War Lords looked after their own and that they neither travelled nor communicated with the outside world – as such. They were known for threading space with mind waves, in an action to regulate time to star solar systems, and the war lords were in fact peace policeman, often interceding in systems affairs by telepathy, making a mere mortal of any life form a super being for the right cause – peace in space. He also explained if the Grey Lurker ever found their system, space would collapse.
At the mention of the Grey Lurker, Ta’ane beat his chest like a Highland Gorilla, and soon a signal was received by both Ta’ane and Tuwhenga. The Maakarii made chairs for them all, but Ta’ane refused as he needed a table to lean on, to map the systems as they went past, and to be better prepared to zone in on the system again. He had a sudden flash in his mind, the sight of a very large coin-shaped star spinning on it’s axis in sublime random manner, and on each side, the beings he sought. Tuwhenga zoned on the signal, and they found themselves rocketing through space, hitting black holes to jump universes, and after five jumps, came to a sudden stop, the beacon now strong.
Ta’ane then slipped into Time Lord mode and started pacing the floor (or whatever it was he stood on). He saw the cars then and realised new technology was in store for their owners, true Air Eaters. And the beacon zoned, Wu Tang talking through him in Mandarin, the language totally foreign to all onboard except Tuwhenga, the Maakarii and Ta’ane, who’s version was translated as he spoke it to English.
Wu Tang then welcomed them all to the Coyne System and joked, “no money required”, to which they all laughed. But they would need their wits about them, especially Ta’ane as he had no idea what they looked like, and more importantly, what they behaved like. But Ta’ane, from his previous encounters, was acutely aware that he’d be leaving RestarQual One with sore cheeks and a hearty belly laugh. Tuwhenga, in a flash of his might tale, manoeuvred at a coin like star, emitting grey light into a very small system, made up of three planets, if these were indeed planets, more like coins in space, though many million times bigger. On each coyne planet, on one side, the Time Lords, on the other, War Lords, and around the rim, the venerated ones, both Time Lord and Warlord.
He heard the laughter when he telepathed his own thoughts, and knew this time would also be as hard as the Birthing Lake. Already they were telepathing him, and the votes were coming in, election time in RestarQual One, and the first vote was for Ta’ane to be Time Lord, and the second vote would be War Lord. Ta’ane was being made aware his fellow human beings were also being made honorary Lords of the Realm, space cadets of the highest order, but all that towered into significance as they all realised that the old man was being made both a Time Lord and a War Lord, and invited to a block on the side of Coyne 1, to join Wu Tang and the other three hundred and sixty six duplicators.
His decision was being made for him; he could take it or leave it, and still be counted as a full life member. They were aware he had his daughters to think of, his poetry to continue (Lords don’t do Poetry – Time or War). The vote was a unanimous welcome, to which he declined reverently and with great mirth, laughing at the fact he said no. But he did accept a tour of Coyne 1, and asked the others in his party to beam down on the Orb, to the planets surface. What faced them reminded them all of the mighty Kaaba in Mecca, a planet dotted with huge stone blocks, on which all sides were a pair of lips and a pair of ears, one above the other.
These were aligned such that they could telepathically converse across not only systems but universes. These beings were the watch dog of all the universes, galaxies and solar systems, and not only kept time and stars in concert, but also helped avoid violence throughout the whole existence of Life. Except on Earth. Earth was supposedly a zoo planet, but in since the time of Mohammed, things had changed and no one in space was the wiser. War had proliferated, fighting was a familiar affair and worse, and the population, despite religious efforts, had swollen.
They all stopped at a very deep grey Time Lord, and Ta’ane recognised the ancient Earth Mountain Gorilla, Quango. They hailed each other with laughter and chest beating (if lips could beat a non-existent chest) but they were shown a picture of Quango saving Earth 2 (Akirii ai) from a huge piece of space junk, with help from other time wands and a figure that looked like a rampaging Viking in space (imaged to the group as Odin). All the Time and War Lords had done special service to their systems and each offered a place in time.
Next to Quango, an image like a Kalahari Bushmen, known both on Earth and other planets as the keepers of the plains and animals, and this one sat silent, clicking away, which all understood as they mimicked his clicks. “ Welcome to Hell” was all he said, but the laughter this set off across the three planets was greeted with mirth from the group. Quango then beat his lips and a resounding boom went around the near vicinity, “yes welcome to Hell, which means here, Heck, Everyone Likes Laughing, and with that all the lords rattled near space with their booming laughter. Even Tuwhenga and the Maakarii were to be heard chortling.
He looked at the remainder of the group and noted how happy they were. He was then singularly transported (his Ki taking shape as a small mobile life support system) to Wu Tang, were he had a special thank you to give in person. He stood in front of a pale green square Obelisk, both lipped and eared on all faces, and bowed down to the great Lord of Time and War. He especially thanked him telepathically for putting the monks in contact with him, that that action galvanised him toward becoming Aladdin Sane. He also thanked him deeply for Madame Butterfly, who through her grace, he learnt to save the children, by role playing magic tricks in front of them and making them smile.
Wu Tang then spoke in Deep Mandarin, through Ta’anes own lips and they broke into instant laughter. Yes he was honoured to be with them, and they did know there was no way Ta’ane wouldn’t return to Earth, and yes after he died, dependant on what The One God decided, he might end up on the Rim with the other duplicators; they’d be honoured to have him with them. In return, Ta’ane was shown the Mentats he himself had used to help bring order back to a rampant system, the real spirit Kalahari Bushman on Earth, Mount Kilimanjaro, the spirit Mentat volcano, the Lion with no mane and no name, Chomolungma the spirit Mentat Mountain (known widely on Earth as Mount Everest), and then two special Mentats, a 2001 Britten V1000 Motorcycle, and a 2005 F1 McLaren sportscar, both New Zealand inspired machines at the top of their field.
Ta’ane made a mention to thank them for their memories as his was scratchy, but he started to discuss the future of the systems and was fearful the Grey Lurker was still around and that as they were aware, he’d dreamed it, and so far everything he had dreamed was turning real. The Lords all then went silent, and Tuwhenga was then heard to say he’ll check with the other cosmic winds (space police if you like) and check his status in the prison system.
Within a short space of time, when everyone in the Coyne system, even human, listened out for a message. Tuwhenga then reported Odin was checking the systems as he spoke, and that as far as he could see, the cell galaxy the Lurker was imprisoned on was secure, though another shake of an eels tail would confirm continued capture. Tuwhenga and the Lords all smiled, the result, nothing to fear. Plans were in place as they spoke to set up even more monitoring systems to warn of any breakout.
Ta’ane had a feeling he’d pass away long before the Lurker roamed again, but also knew he was one of the monitoring devices, as he’d seen the Lurker in his visions, and not many in space had, although some of the older residents in Coyne could recall his presence millennia ago. Ta’ane then bade his farewell to Wu Tang, and rejoined his companions at Quango’s realm, ready for the remainder of the trip. He said farewell to all and felt Ki disassemble himself and ready for the return to the Orb.
He stood next to a Gorilla. He knew he was a gorilla, he told him so. In fact he felt himself beating his lips in a booming way as he and Quango chatted. In fact Quango was chatting with everyone, except Ta’ane, who had disappeared. But to Dwight this was bordering on madness. Was he sharing someone else’s nightmare. Then Quango asked about his heritage, and what planet did he think his people had come from? This floored Dwight a bit, but then he was reminded that Genesis started and before Cain and Able were out of nappies, Babylon was already alive and venerated.
Now Dwight knew he was in a nightmare. To think that differing tribes, as foretold in Ta’anes journey, were from various systems made him uncomfortable all of a sudden. He knew his heritage and couldn’t argue the possibility, especially in light of what happened to him on Maarii. He was then shown a star cruiser landing on the entry portal for his people, on the Sea of Galilee and settling into life as a people of the Middle East, from which all modern religions emanate. This appeased Dwight’s doubts, and he suddenly felt why he knew all races were special and none should be at war.
Mila’s Moon Thoughts
She stood watching the lips move and the ears flap. There was comedy in the action, and all around her were laughing, as well as herself, despite her thoughts. Quango, as she was shown, was a great creature, as were all the Time and War lords. She was perplexed why someone as nondescript Ta’ane should have such friends. Yes she knew the tale, but still he was a pitiable human of no great standing. Heck, the group now knew he was a hero, but no society would admit as such, except the Lords of Time and War.
She was shown something none of the others would see. During the phase when Ta’ane was resurrecting the spirit structures , The Great Wall of China amongst many, to their right place of standing, he was showing her that also helping right the right was a figure in New York, Tina Tuna, and one in the United Kingdom, R Graeme Waters, and both were Sky Pilots in the world spirit scene. She was also shown Kilimanjaro guiding spirit forces to help rectify the situation that had been created by a maddened world of spirits, the effect lasting and not good for human affairs.
She was also shown Mount Erebus, a live volcano in Antarctica, writing the annals of Ta’ane in the ice glaciers of the Iced Continent. She thought to herself this was mad, but from her experiences to date, she had been impressed with where she has been, and in how this revered figure, Ta’ane has affected all their lives. She looked at her slimline Timex for the first time in ages, and noted it was 3.16am Earth Time, and it felt to her they’d been in space for longer.
Megs Chews Tobacco
Her head ached with the sound of the booming laughter. She was happy, the happiest she had been in ages. She was being shown an F1 McLaren, and she knew this to be the culmination of a great mans effort. She’d thought that maybe he was a Time Lord, but there had been no reply from him if he was, instead most of the Lords or Time and War had indicated that he (McLaren) was probably well taken care of in spirit in a realm of technology advancements,
This appeased Megs, but her serious zone was timing in, and she needed to know what was she going to end up doing. They all, as One, boomed they don’t know the future, we just make it happen if we have to. She felt better about that, but needed to be reassured. Her Maakarii formed a survival pod around her, and took her to another Coyne planet where the salient figure of Ghi Quok San, Time Lord and keeper of the Realm of Timelessness. She looked at her watch then, and realised time was going back for her, but only 30 minutes, and she realised they had been on Coyne 1 for that same amount of time. She also suddenly felt alone, and found it hard to visualise the other travellers. Out of nowhere, a plug of chewing tobacco appears and she’s motioned to chew it. She shuddered, being a rampant non smoker, but felt she would gain from the action.
Megs placed the tobacco in her reticent mouth, but suddenly came alive the second the distasteful stuff touched her saliva. She felt elevated, and suddenly was motioned to lean against the lips wall on the obelisk. She felt her heart race, and felt a flush appear. Ghi was turning her into a raving nymphette and in a space of a few seconds; she was left to stand, having spat the tobacco out. She knew, in the depths of her mind, this gift would be lasting.
The Folklore, Hooky’s tale
The Folklore, Dwight’s tale
The Folklore, Mila’s tale
The Folklore, Madman’s tale
The Folklore, Meg’s tale.
The Folklore, Tane’s tale