A flock of sheep was walking slowly through the village, seeking the path of their shepherd. The white wool of the animals that were soon to be sheared glistened with dew as they lazily walked up the hill. The clacking sound of their hooves stepping upon rocks filled the air. On their path on one of the grassy hills stood Ma'el, admiring the view of the busy Celtic village. In the foggy beams of the morning sun his golden hooded cloak looked magical, almost out of this world, yet the shepherd greeted him with a mere bow of his head and his sheep slowly passed by, ignoring his presence.
Now I am a part of this land, he thought. Its inhabitants no longer consider me a stranger. My soul has grown roots into this soil and my heart flourishes in the sunlight. I have reached a deeper understanding of this planet and its people... It is time to change what is to come.
Ma'el's expression darkened as he considered all the alternatives. He had already recorded several reports in which he openly stated that Earth was ready to be colonized, yet there was still time to change them. His sea-blue eyes glimmered as he observed the white waves of wool, raising and falling as they flooded the hill. Earth is not yet doomed, Earth is not yet doomed - the sheep seemed to whisper, willfully hitting the sharp rocks with their hooves. The shepherd took out a wood-pipe and started playing a cheerful melody, unaware of the dark fate that Ma'el was obliged to choose for Earth.
There was something grim and terrifying at the same time in that beautiful morning. The melody of the wood-pipe seemed full of harmony at first only; for after a while the false notes sounded one by one. They scratched the soothing quiet with their claws; the sheep became restless and walked faster, carelessly hurting their legs on the sharp edges of the rocks. Ma'el stood silent. The awareness of what was to come struck him with the first gust of cold, northern wind. It was a single thought, not specified by words or expressed in a sentence. It was chaotic and grim.
That single thought made him realize that his brethren would not follow his suggestions even if he forbade them to come to Earth. He had power over humans, yes, his mind and his technology were superior to theirs. Yet what power did he have over his brethren? None. For them his reports were mere suggestions, which they could either choose to follow or reject. They could not see what he saw and could not feel what he felt.
That day the truth was so simple and so obvious: they would not understand.
The Earth is doomed, the Earth is doomed - the sheep seemed to whisper as if prophesying the upcoming apocalypse. The hooves hit the rocks to the music of the wood-pipe. Clack, clack, clack; Ma'el's gaze slowly wandered towards the village in the distance: a few fishermen emerged from their huts and headed towards the old oak tree forest, probably hoping to catch some cod in the river. He knew them well for every day they awoke early in the morning to start their work; he knew that they would be back before the sunset, much like the old shepherd and his sheep.
He wondered what it was that allowed him the understanding that for his brethren was unattainable. Was it something that could not be grasped? Perhaps there was something one could not specify with the words that the Taelon language offered; the sound of flowers, the figures of the fishermen, the whispering sheep...
... the taste of the northern wind.
Clack, clack, clack.
Ma'el's expression darkened again as he made his decision. Perhaps it was the northern wind that made him turn away from those who gave him life and taught him words of wisdom. He gazed at the woolen waves wondering about the cost of declining the will of his superiors. There was something tragic in being that single lonely ship among the waves of the agitated sea.
The ship would not sink. Yet the sea would never be calm again.
Ma'el sighed. The sheep walked by and were now barely visible in the distance. Their white wool reminded him of sea foam he once saw at the coast when a storm was approaching. The wood-pipe music ceased to play, and the quiet whistling of the wind filled the silence. All that was left was to make the next step on the path he had chosen. It was a path of darkness; a path of inflicting death upon his brethren; a path he would have never chosen, had he not been forced to it by their expectations.
Yes, he would be their destruction. A being of light who learned to love humanity, deceived by the taste of the wind. Or a mere fool.