Continued from Omanon and Lir – 1 of 2
So Lir descended, his long form slipping into the water. Omanon watched him and he glowed. When he dove she thought on dolphins and flying fish, and then he smiled and walked from the water onto the land, just as she wished. The droplets streamed from him and he laid down in the sunlight, growing dry and warm and crusted in sand. She thought on reptiles basking, and seals covering the beaches. Then he walked over silt and rocks, and over solid earth, letting her see hills and mountains before he returned to the sea.
Creatures and plants that she had seen when he walked the land sprang up in his footsteps, and when he slid into the water again there were fishes and corals and whales. They nosed the depths and found the currents while Omanon watched them and watched Lir, who floated on his back unseen and unfelt by the growing planet.
Whether the planet grew more out of her imagination – her spectral memories – or out of the computer, she did not know.
The light came and went. Lir drifted in the ocean of Omanon’s thoughts, his body a patchwork in the ripples made by water and light. And though he soon found land and stretched out, content in sun or in water as she had envisaged, still he asked.
“What next, Omanon?”
“More trees, low foliage, and green things. More creatures to live from region to region.”
“It is already being done, Omanon.”
Omanon looked around herself and looked upward. When she thought of vapours coalescing up in the sky, clouds moved with the wind. Omanon came down where the sea met the sand, grains reflecting the shapes and colours picked out in her mind. Though the computer’s processing banks, never seen, were somewhere up, up and behind her, she could still feel their steady drone.
Omanon tested the feelings of soil, of leaves and branches on her skin. Even though Lir had done this all before, Omanon explored a small part of her planet, and he followed her.
She stopped where young trees stood with gnarled giants, and Lir chose to stand by a sapling.
“Why do you not make me, Omanon?”
Lir smiled at her, he of the figure thinner than air, and his hands among the sapling’s tender branches were soft as a breeze. Omanon saw the eagles in his eyes, the spread of mountains across his shoulders, the stag and the dance of grasses in his legs.
In his feet were stones and roots, and all his skin was a matrix that shone.
“I do not know how I would make you, Lir.”
“You might make me as I appear,” he said, the words rich. “Like yourself.”
Omanon tried, but could not see him only as he appeared. The creases of his hands, the curve of his lips held more of her thoughts, more information, than she could fathom. While the dappled shadows played over her flesh they merely floated in and out of him.
Omanon shook her head. She could not see him like herself.
Lir looked up, up and behind to the processing banks. “What next, Omanon?”
She sat beneath a gnarled tree and felt the bark pressing into her shoulder. “There is earth and water, greenery and creatures. I have made a planet and I could make many others.”
Whatever she thought would come to be. But still Omanon sat silently.
“There could be more,” Lir told her. He tilted his head, and down his neck, trailing onto his chest, she could see all the continents of this planet held up by the matrix. “There could be more, Omanon. On this world one could build many things. Perhaps you cannot yet imagine it – so why do you not make me?”
Omanon’s fingers made a small hole in the ground, and they plucked moss and filled it. This was not building. Although creatures ran and swam and flew, she had only a grand, indistinct idea of what could be built.
“I do not make you because I cannot imagine you. And I cannot imagine it.”
“But I can, Omanon.”
She met his clear eyes, and in her ears the processing banks whirred and sighed longingly.
“If you can… If you can, Lir, then you should do so.”
Wind picked up her hair, leaving behind the smell of spring. Lir came to stand before her, and bending, he filled his palms with the earth where her fingers had worked. He raised his cupped hands and smiled at her.
Thanks for reading! I thought I would clarify here that Omanon and Lir is by no means a re-write of the Christian creation story, but is about dependence on computers, virtual worlds, and the way we create such worlds. A philospher (whom I currently can’t recall) said that humans cannot imagine anything truly original, but that we take bits of memory, sensory inputs, and ideas, in order to imagine things.