Part 1. Prehistory
Once upon a time, there was a prosperous farm in one beautiful land somewhere on Earth. Then the drought came there and the half of the harvest withered and died. Annie’s father had to dismiss most of his workers because he couldn’t pay them. Annie’s father was a very hardworking and stubborn man, he believed in this place and in this land, although summers became only hotter and hotter. He refused to leave the farm and move somewhere else – the way all the neighbors did.
When Annie was a little girl, her father told her about the strange vision that had come to him on this farm many years before, when he had been a young man – as if he had found himself on a wonderful island, where his farming talents and perseverance had helped to save the whole World from hunger. He would repeat, again and again: we are not alone on this earth, the Creators watch us, and we can get to other worlds, other dimensions from here. He said that one day the Creators of those strange Worlds would come back and ask for our help. At first, Annie thought that it was just a fairy tale, but after a few years of drought, she started to think that it was just an excuse not to leave the farm. Annie loved her father and his funny stories and, when she didn’t have studies, she always helped him with household work until late at night.It couldn’t go on like this forever, though. After some time, Annie’s father fell ill and Annie had to abandon her studies and spend all her time working on the farm and taking care of her father. However, her father got worse and worse. He started to talk deliriously in his sleep saying something about the Creators’ duty and calling himself a Keeper.
One day, when Annie was working hard – like her father had always done – and was digging earth for a new orchard, her spade stopped at something and bright azure light broke out from the hole. It turned out to be going from an old elaborately decorated jewel box with an imprint of cat’s paw on the lid. The moment the girl opened it, a huge azure crystal flew out and cast bright blue light on everything around.
The earth trembled and Annie started to fall, but didn’t reach the ground because her body lifted up into the air towards a big black whirlpool. The second before she disappeared in the black emptiness Annie had seen a few buildings from her old farm following her.
Darkness and soundless emptiness surrounded Annie – she lost consciousness and couldn’t feel her body fly out of the whirlpool into the bright warm sunlight and go down softly onto a hay pile next to her own shed.
Annie gained consciousness hearing a pleasant woman’s voice:
“Hey, how are you? Get up! Are you okay?”
“Ah, what? Where am I? Looks like I’ve died and gone to heaven. Are you an angel?”
“Come on! You’re safe and sound. It isn’t heaven, it’s the Creators’ island.”
“The Creators’ island?! Dear me, is it the island my father was talking about so often?”
“Probably yes, because people don’t get here by chance! The Creators leave a jewel box with a key – that crystal – only for those who want to change their lives and help others. One day I also got here with the help of a crystal from a jewel box”.
“So Keepers’ islands and other Worlds exist and my father isn’t crazy! Was he indeed a Keeper, who saved the whole world from hunger and came back home?! And now am I chosen to be a Keeper, too?!” exclaimed Annie.
“You are right. Maybe your world is going to get under the threat. The Creators have foreseen it and chosen you as a new Keeper. There are very many Keepers, all of them take care of their own worlds. I am a Keeper, too. My name is Eve, what is yours?
“Annie! Glad to meet you!”
“Glad to meet you too. We have to hurry; I must help you to become a good Keeper so let’s start and have a look at your island. As you probably have guessed, time moves differently in this dimension – that’s why everything grows much more quickly here. Besides, time is controlled by the Creators’ Pantheon. You can accelerate time if you make a special offering to them. I think you will understand how to do it.
“Wait, I don’t get it! What is the Creators’ Pantheon?”
“Well, we commonly call that three-headed cat’s monument a Pantheon. These monuments are located on all Keepers’ islands. The Pantheon is the heart of the island; these monuments symbolize Creators’ earthly incarnations, although nobody has ever seen them and very few have contacted. They are more than gods here; everybody respects them and some people are even afraid of them. And we are Keepers – assistants and personifications of Creators’ wisdom and power.
“I see. So you say there are other islands and other Keepers? And where is your island? How did you get here?”
“Right you are. We are on your island, somewhere amidst the Ocean of Eternity, but at the same time, we are nowhere. There are many strange, unusual Worlds and islands in the Ocean of Eternity, but Keepers’ islands are truly unique and magical creations! Besides time regulation, there is another amazing capability: thanks to Pantheons and Cat’s nature, these islands can exist in 9 dimensions simultaneously. But as far as human’s brain cannot perceive this stream of information, we can see and hear only one World at one moment – it will be shown in front of you.
“Everything’s just so complicated! I guess I won’t cope with that!” said Annie sulkily.
“Yes, you will! Just don’t think about it and do what you can do best of all: build your farm and cultivate plants. I will help you with other things.” Eve reassured her. “By the way, there is a lack of usual earthly plants like wheat, corn, tomato, so be careful enough not to use them up. You should always keep a little quantity of seeds for every next harvest! But if you run out of seeds suddenly, don’t worry: Keepers are one big family and somebody will be glad to share products or harvest with you. All Keepers’ islands are connected to each other, so you can always visit your friends Keepers the way I visited you!”
“Okay, I think I should start building my farm. The creators have invited me here because something terrible is going to happen and people are going to need a lot of food in order to survive amidst the lifeless Ocean.”
“You are absolutely right! I suggest to start with something simple: put in some wheat and build a hen house so that you will always have fresh eggs. Later you will have an opportunity to grow cows, fish and even crocodiles. Everything is possible on Keepers’ islands!”