The Fourth Dome of Souls Novel
Earth's controlled environment is failing, and humanity's last hope lies with New Earth, the planet the Keepers of Jeronimo and their followers fled to a thousand years ago. One ship of the 81 that were sent, the Red Angel 42, finds New Earth and sends the happy message home once reaching orbit. Humanity's survival is ensured, or so they think. Captain Sumari's crew will have two years to prepare what they can for the arrival of colonists. Once planetside, Captain Sumari and his crew make contact with the descendants of the Jeronimo loyals only to discover they have no machines, no metal, and no memory of their ancestors... or Earth.
The only one not surprised to see them is a young woman named Nimo. She sees millions of people in the Dome of Souls - an entity bestowing revelations both personal and powerful to a chosen few - and so is quite open to the strangers' arrival. Nimo quickly finds herself torn between her people and the Earthlings, and becomes entangled in the fight for survival Sumari and his crew face against the hazards of the new planet and Nimo's superstitious people.
Out of breath, Nimo reached the gray thing and stared at it, trembling. There were three windows at its thinner nose. A large one, and left and right of it interrupted by a piece of wall, two smaller ones. She couldn’t look inside, the windows were a bit shiny like a mirror, if non-reflective.
Nothing happened, the gray thing was quiet. Its four legs were longer and thicker than she was tall and wide. She approached one of the legs and knocked at metal. From afar the gray thing looked new and sparkly, but from up close there were dark smudges on it, like on a badly maintained cooking pot.
Nimo shrieked as the side of the thing moved. A door and a ramp came down as if by magic. She ran to the ramp and stared up.READ MORE
A man and a woman stood in the opening into the gray thing and smiled at her. Nimo gulped air. They both wore the same kind of black pants and a white shirt with black open jackets over it. The jacket of the woman had one silver-colored lining down both arms, the man’s had four. The woman was young, she looked as if she were only a few years older than Nimo and she was well built and trained, white skin, short blond hair. The man looked like he was in his forties, some Asian influence somewhere and his short hair was black. Both looked attractive but awfully pale, as if they hadn’t seen the sun in quite a while.
“Hello there,” the man said.
“Do you live in the village?” he asked and pointed towards New Jissa.
“Yes. Where do you come from? The southern continent?”
Nimo beamed happily at them. Her dreams of exploring would come true! They’d take her to the southern continent on board their flying house. A flying house! Incredible!
“No, we are from Earth,” the man said.
“Earth? Um, where’s that?”
They spoke the same language and yet the man’s pronounciation was funny. His “r” was so soft. The New Jissa people rolled it more.
The man seemed baffled by her question.
“One Counter-Space year away,” he said.
“Huh? What’s a Counter-Space year?”
After a short silence, during which the man and the woman looked questioningly at each other, the man turned back to her.
“What’s your name? I’m Sumari, and this is Ryan.”
“Nice to meet you, I’m Nimo.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Nimo. Why don’t you come on board?”
Nimo backed away from the ramp. “Uh, I’m not so sure yet about you and your flying house. Why don’t you come down the ramp?”
“Sure, we can do that,” Sumari said and walked down the ramp.
Ryan came down behind him with her hand on a device sticking in a belt wrapped around her hip. Sumari wore no such device. Ryan looked anxiously left and right.
“Why do you call it a flying house?” Ryan asked. She looked female, but her voice was pretty deep.
“What do you call it?” Nimo asked back.
“A shuttle,” Ryan said.
They stood before her at the foot of the ramp. Sumari was half a head taller than her, but Ryan was about Nimo’s height.
“Nimo,” Sumari started, “we are very surprised to find no signs of industry here. We couldn’t even detect means of transport. Why have the Jeronimo people abandoned everything? I’m not sure what I expected, but surely not that the Jeronimo loyals would be ‘back to nature’ types.”
Nimo stared baffled at him. “I have not the slightest clue what you’re talking about. Say, where you come from, wherever that is, how many people are there?”
“We’re a hundred million back on Earth,” Sumari said, “that’s another thing, we thought to find many more people here, scanners showed that there are only ten thousand people or so. How is it...”
Sumari trailed off in response to the expression on Nimo’s face.
“A hundred million?” she whispered. He nodded.
“A hundred million!” she shouted.
Sumari and Ryan backed away.
“I knew it! I knew it! I am one in a million! We are all ones in millions! But a hundred million? I thought maybe five million or ten at most, but a hundred? Where are you all? What’s this Earth you’re talking about? And why do I see you all, why does nobody else see you?”
Helplessly, Ryan and Sumari looked at each other again. Ryan shrugged.
“Yes, there are a hundred million people on Earth,” Sumari said slowly.
“What is this Earth? What are you talking about?”
“Nimo, do you know who Jeronimo is?” Sumari asked.
“No, never heard of that. Is that a person?”
“Where are your people from? Where did they originate?”
“Well, from here.” She gesticulated wildly around herself.
“Before your people came here, where were they before that?”
“Nowhere, there was no before here. What do you mean?”
“How long is your recorded history?”
“About nine hundred years, why?”
Sumari drew in his breath and Ryan made a step backwards, finally taking her hand off the device around her hip.
“How many people, as in human beings, do your people believe there are?” Sumari asked.
“Why did you say you knew that there were more, millions perhaps.”
The guy was smart and listened well, she had to give him that.
She threw her chest out. “Because I see this place every night since I was ten years old, a huge white hall and there are many more people in there than ten thousand.”
“You see the Dome of Souls!” Ryan said.
Sumari smiled. “You can’t fool the Dome, can you.”
“What?” Nimo was starting to get angry.
“Say Nimo, do some of your people have the gift of empathy or of mental energy?”
“Yes, my mother is an empath and Donovan, that’s our servant, he has mental energy.”
“There is a third gift, the rarest of them all and that is to see the Dome of Souls, the white hall that you speak of.”
“Seeing the Hall is a gift?”
“What does the gift do?”
“Some people who see the Dome receive revelations about the future, sort of. It’s more complicated than that, but you get the idea.”
“Wow... Dome of Souls. That’s a nice name for it.”
“Nimo, I know this will be hard for you to accept, but your people, or rather your ancestors, they left Earth about a thousand years ago and came here to this planet.”
“What’s a planet?”
“A celestial body that revolves around the sun.” Sumari pointed into the direction of the sun. “Your people left our home planet, planet Earth, and came here. The people left behind on Earth didn’t know where this planet was and we lost contact, but now we’ve found you again.”
Nimo stared bluntly at Sumari. Her head was spinning. “You come from the sun? I’m not sure I understand.”
“Yes, it’s quite a lot, for us as well. You see, we didn’t expect you guys here to forget about where you came from. By the way, even though we have different accents, we speak the same language, don’t we? That’s another sign that we come from the same place, isn’t it?”
Nimo nodded, her mind racing. “Yes, but... I think I want to go home now. I’m a bit scared. This is too much... Why don’t you come for dinner? I’m sure my father would love to talk to you. He’s the mayor of New Jissa.”
Sumari’s expression lit up. “New Jissa? There is a town on Earth called Jissa, Nimo.”
“Really? Where are you from?”
“A town called Jordan.”
“We have no New Jordan here.”
“I’m not surprised, only one person from Jordan went with those who left Earth a thousand years ago.”
Nimo’s head spun worse by the second. A hundred million people and seeing the Hall was a gift? But, hell, she had just invited total strangers for dinner. Maybe that had not been a very good idea. Too late, she couldn’t uninvite them. She took a deep breath.
“So, you walk towards town, then you cross the bridge over the river, cross the market square and walk up the main street. The mayor’s house is on the left side of the street, the biggest house up the hill, you can’t miss it.”
“Thank you for the invitation, Nimo. How many people can we bring?”
“How many of you are here?”
“We are thirty on board the shuttle.” Sumari pointed behind him.
“So many! Um, that’s too many, I’m afraid, sorry, we’re not prepared for that, four or five maybe?”
“Of course. We’ll come with five if that’s okay and you don’t have to cook dinner for us, we will bring our own food.”
“I don’t think Donovan will approve of that.”
“When is dinner time?”
“We’ll be there, Nimo, thank you very much for the invitation.”
“Okay... see you then.”
She smiled awkwardly at the two strangers and turned around. After a few meters she looked over her shoulder and the two were still standing at the foot of the ramp, waving at her, she waved back and walked further. When she looked the next time, the two were walking up the ramp. When she looked a third time, the ramp had disappeared into the wall of the flying house as if it had never existed.
Nimo verified several times that the flying house was still there on her way back to the watershed. The flying house stayed.
This was incredible. She was shocked, yes, but how much more shocked would the townsfolk be? None of them saw millions of people inside the Hall. They all firmly believed that humankind consisted of ten thousand people, a thousand each in ten villages. A deep sitting fear seized her. In the depths of her guts she knew that the flying house would change everything. And many of her people wouldn’t like that.