The Secrets of Sake: Part 6, ROKA (濾過)

Part 6


ROKA

(Part 1 is HERE)


Who are the Sakamai? Nothing quite like them exist. Once, they were residents of a quaint village, Tanbo. A community of like-minded homebodies, they craved routine and order and found joy in the peaceful monotony life offered. Until one late Autumn day, a higher power snatched them up, and for months subjected them to a cataclysmic series of forced metamorphoses. They were starved, infected, and drowned until they finally separated from their physical forms completely, becoming a combined consciousness, floating in dark tank of chemical reactions...

Nature, gravity, and whatever more mysterious forces were at play, began dragging the skeletal white remains of their former bodies into a murky sediment at the bottom of the tank. Just above that, the Sakamai could sense a similar, silty layer of Kin bodies. With their gnat-like lifespans, the Kin would rapidly multiple, grow old, and die, sinking carelessly to the bottom like grains of sand in an hourglass. Another level higher from those depths all the action took place within a foggy murk. The colony of gnomish Koji had leveled off and spread out, methodically finding what sweet bits of the Sakamai host bodies were still floating, and devoured them. In that wake the Kin would swarm over what tinier specks remained, leaving more sediment, Kin offspring, and fun, transparent shapes in their midst. Each part would begin to sink toward the bottom of the cloud, except for the shapes, which bobbed and bounced up like clear plastic beachballs at an outdoor concert. 

Concentrating on the fun shapes pleased the Sakamai because the shape was unique and complicated, yet almost imperceivable. Were it not for their newly heightened senses, the shapes would go unnoticed. "We wonder" mused the Sakaimai, "if even The Creators could notice something so minute and undetectable." For a moment they stewed in the mischief of their fancy. "But of course," they rebuked themselves silently. The Creators had demonstrated advanced knowledge and technology, and an ability to manipulate every aspect of their environment. "Whatever forces created this came from all the same suffering we survived. It must be both elegant and important, as we ourselves have become." 

As the weeks passed, the layers continued to separate, and the space the Sakamai inhabited became more clear. Their feeling of solemnity grew, as the hum of the Koji colony and swarms of Kin that flitted about, creating bubbles and more of the shape slowed to a quiet crawl. The once cloudy, sweet, viscous atmosphere within the liquid had been replaced with piles of Sakamai, Koji, and Kin carcasses below a hazy pool of clear shapes. This ocean of sugar now felt like a clean swimming pool full of invisible toys. 

Since the first encounter with The Creators, such tranquility always heralded another visit and change to their environment, and this was no exception. As the vaulted ceiling parted, light flooded in refracting off the shapes and other microscopic bits, creating a golden hue. "What change do you bring now?" The Sakamai asked themselves. In the past, torture and the fear of the unknown would have overwhelmed them, but now, with no physical form to torment, they genuinely looked forward to whatever adventure awaited. Their answer came as a few quick dips siphoned small samples away from the pool, and after some muffled sounds that must have been The Creators communicating in their alien tongue, heaps of ash began to rain into the pool. Soaking up the liquid and becoming puffed like snowflakes, they slowly sank to the bottom of the tank, leaving only the shapes and their consciousness behind. Now the golden hue was gone. The pool, as clear as air, began slowly receding, sinking lower and lower, and whisking them away through a small opening that appeared at the bottom, just above the dark layers of sediment. 

"I guess we're moving" sighed the Sakamai. Steeling their nerves, they braced for the unknown world that awaited them next...

(Part 5 was HERE)

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