Far away, in a distant galaxy, the small blue watery planet called Thera revolved slowly around its sun, the white star Deios. Beneath the endless seas of Thera thrived an intelligent race of aquatic beings. They once lived above the waves, in the bright warm sunshine of Deios, but eventually moved deeper, for that was where the food was most plentiful.
Their lives were perilous, as the oceans were full of treacherous currents and vicious sea creatures lurking in the shadows. If they weren’t careful they could be sucked away in an instant, never to be seen again. It was said that these lost souls, if they were “lucky” enough to make it past the ravenous sea monsters, would end up in the crushing, frozen and lifeless deeps of Thera’s ocean trenches.
Some of these people discovered long ago that the currents closest to the ocean floor were much less fierce. They learned how to place heavy weights around their waists and shoulders so they could walk along the bottom of the shallower seas. Seeing this, the others soon followed them, gratefully making them their rulers and calling them the Stripes, which means “the ones who know”. The people called themselves the Gouliries, the “grounded ones”.
In the warm shallows, Deios’ watery light provided for an abundance of their primary food, called drabe. It grew in immense waving green beds along the floor of the sea. There was plenty to eat and the water was mild and warm, so the Gouliries prospered. Grateful for Thera’s bounty, they allowed themselves to be led by the Stripes in daily thanksgiving worship to Deios.
But as they prospered they also multiplied and it became more and more difficult to find drabe in the shallows. So the Stripes directed them to delve deeper. This meant adding more weight onto the Gouliries, so that they would stay firmly grounded to the seabed. The deeper they went, the darker and colder it became. As often as they could they would look upwards, hoping to catch a glimpse of Deios, glowing faintly through the murky deep. It became more and more difficult to communicate with each other, the world’s darkness and pressure had become so great. The Stripes took to carrying lamps so the Gouliries might be able to follow them in the gloom as well as to remind them of their beloved Deios.
For over 2,000 Theran years the Gouliries lived on the ocean floor, clumsily wandering about in their daily search for drabe. They were weary of carrying their heavy weights but dared not put them down, at the risk of being stolen away by the ocean currents. Even so, there were stories of those who did just that.
There were some who said they had witnessed these rare events and that it looked as if these unshackled ones had been pulled upwards, toward the luminescent surface. The Stripes told them that this was impossible. The lost were now consigned forever to the frigid black deep, where Deios never shined.
But…. this is not what really happened at all. The truth was that the unburdened Gouliries soon found that the ocean currents led them not to peril and bleak darkness, but up to the warm and bright water near the surface. At first they splashed and thrashed about frantically, alarmed that their newly buoyant bodies were taking them so far from the safety of the seabed. They quickly learned that this thrashing and splashing propelled them even closer to the surface, where Deios was shining so brightly they could barely open their eyes. Eventually, when they became adjusted to the brightness, they were astonished to see that there were other creatures among them.
They looked much like the Gouliries but they were swiftly darting to and fro, laughing and frolicking among the waves. Swimming with ease, they would at times dash to the surface, breaking through the watery boundary, leaping through the warm air, wet bodies glistening in the light of Deios. They called themselves the Devas, which meant ‘emerging from the deep’ and they were very friendly. They taught the the new arrivals how to swim, and how to live near the surface. There was plenty of food here, similar to drabe but much, much smaller. They called it creag. Unlike drabe, you didn’t have to work at finding it because creag was floating everywhere near the surface.
The Gouliries discovered that they could safely breath the sweet air above the surface. They were in awe of the blue skies, white clouds, warm breezes, spectacular sunsets and starry nights. Riding the waves, they basked in Deios warm rays, talking, laughing and at times crying with the Devas. Even though they were now free, thy were saddened because so many Gouliries were trapped at the bottom of the sea.
Some of the Gouliries (now calling themselves Devas) would swim back down to their friends on the sea floor and try to tell them of the bright, shining world full of creag and fresh air. But the Goularies ran and hid from them. They did not recognize them and called them monsters, for only sea monsters could swim freely against the currents. The Stripes warned the Gouliries to drive them away, saying that these swimmers were only trying to lead them to certain doom. It was the Gouliries’ nature to walk the ocean bottom and if they were ever exposed to the full force of Deios they would surely burn.
But every now and then, some of the Gouliries, seeing the way the smiling Devas moved so fearlessly and effortlessly through the water, chose not to listen to the Stripes. They took a risk and, letting go of their burdens, were swept upwards, to the light.