The Secrets of Sake: Part 3, SHUBO

Part 3

SHUBO



(Part 1 is HERE)
An alien race had descended upon the sleepy land of Tanbo. Abducting every last villager, uprooting their verdant homeland in the process and tearing it to shreds. The people, known as Sakamai, were subjected to all manner of torture by their insouciant captors. Starved in the cold, and then worked over mercilessly. In a sudden 180, they were reunited with their brethren and plumped up, only to be separated once more. Finally, they found themselves subjected to some bizarre biological experimentation at the enormous hands of the towering aliens. Latched onto by hundreds and hundreds of previously harmless house pests they recognized from Tanbo, slowly the Sakamai began to link telepathically with these simple creatures, who they came to learn had their own thoughts, and a name:

"We are Koji. Soon we will become one..."

True to their word, the Koji were not shy as they latched directly onto each and every Sakamai, adhering like leaches, they pulsated and fed, but they did not cause any pain. Over the following days, the Koji would occasionally swell bulbously, until a seam appeared. Sinking ever deeper into their Sakamai hosts, the seam would split and slowly pull away from itself, until a second, and a forth Koji, and eventually, even eight, sixteen, and so on, would now exist, sharing the same increasingly less visible Sakamai. As this happened, their voice became stronger, always addressing the villagers silently and yet, in the unison of their hive mind. At some point that passed unnoticed, the Sakamai's voice became one as well. Communicating back and forth with Koji, desperate for answers:

"Why have the aliens destroyed our home?" they cried.

"Kurabito - the ones you call aliens - do not destroy, they create." The Koji responded.

"Clearly you have never been to Tanbo" the Sakamai thought bitterly. "Where did they find you?"

On another planet, a microcosm, the Tané-Koji still thrive
"We have no memory of our First Home. We know only of a paradise made for us by the Kurabito,
called Tané. As our consciousness combines with yours though, we can see the place you speak of. Our own history is a story, passed down for generations. Your Tanbo was but one of many. The Kurabito make them every year. What you call destruction, was always a part of their plan. They allow us all to thrive separately so the joining will succeed."

"What is this joining?" asked the Sakamai fearfully. "What will you do once you have devoured us completely?"

The Koji responded calmly, plainly, "We do not devour. We must multiply because this is our nature." The Kurabito have prepared you for the joining so that our lives may continue with yours as one."

"Yes, okay..." the Sakamai struggled to accept this insane concept in order to get answers: "But why? What will happen?"

"Because it pleases them" Koji answered matter-of-factly. "The Tane-Koji have thrived for a thousand generations, thanks to the Kurabito. Every year, some of us are sent away for the joining just as you are brought here for the same. Pleasing the Kurabito allows our home to continue to thrive. It is a privilege, just as your sacrifice will provide space for the Kurabito to create a new Tanbo full of more Sakamai."

The Sakamai - no, no longer Sakamai, but Koji-Mai swooned. Could such an insane tale be true? And yet, as they truly became one, it made a certain sense. Perhaps it was the psychic nature of their bond, but the Koji-Mai could tell that - at the very least - Koji believed they were telling the truth. It also explained why life in Tanbo had been so easy. Had they ever lacked for anything? While comforting to know they had an ally in the Koji and a broader perspective of the aliens -no, Kurabito. It seemed the Koji's story ended there, and a far more daunting question loomed:

What happens next?

(Click HERE to find out)

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