A Future History
“Do you know about the Hindu concept of the Avatar?”
“A little, tell me more.”
“Well, every five to seven hundred years some self-realized being comes along to kick humankind up to the next spiritual level. A new religion usually grows up around each succeeding Avatar. Their vision replaces the old values. The new sect spreads, matures, undergoes transformations, until the former True Religion is replaced by the new. Then it too grows old, atrophies and becomes less and less relevant as humanity evolves - until the appearance of the next Avatar.
Krishna, the Buddha, perhaps Confucius, certainly the Christ, and maybe Mohammed are all separated by the magic five to seven hundred year cycle. We seem to be missing an Avatar for the 15th century. Was it Leonardo or St. Francis? We are due for another one just about now.
Only this time, perhaps for the first time, the ‘Avatara’ is a woman, maybe more than one. This is their story…
Imagine a world in which ‘progress’ is more about choice than an irresistible force. China, Brazil and Africa have moved to center stage, making many Americans regret that their time of power was not a time of more enduring glory. What a shame that their leadership during those heady years as the world’s most mighty nation was not used to lay down a set of rules ensuring justice for all and a sustainable future free from dependence on ever decreasing resources and increasingly precious oil. Now, the world’s last standing superpower finds the playing field has tipped!
Once upon a time… there was an American President with a soft spot in his heart for the Hawaiian Islands. During his last days in office, he signed an Executive Order recognizing the Indigenous Hawaiian People as the 574th Tribal Nation within the Territorial United States. The Hawaii State Legislature named large portions of Maui, all of Kauai and Niihau, and part of Oahu with the Iolani palace as their ‘Reservation’ on the promise that the ‘natives’ would consider gambling. They considered it; didn’t like it, and restricted it to cruise ships. This did help tourism to the islands as air travel became environmentally unsupportable and prohibitively expensive in the continuous economic contraction of the 21st century.
They elected their own Queens, Kings, Chiefs and councils whose first and principal task was to sift through their legends and histories for the best qualities inherent in the Hawaiian people; and decide whether and how to preserve these characteristics. How could they maintain the indomitable warrior spirit that inspired the greatest voyages in human history without war and avoid the over exploitation of limited resources that led to starvation and cannibalism? And to select from the modern world those things worth keeping – from direct democracy in local matters, to keeping food cold without electricity.
Evolution is not only the slow, seemingly random combination of genes and adaptations, there is Cultural Evolution as well. Every race gets what it deserves from preceding generations. Leadership is a direct result of their society’s values. The Islanders’ search for their past was aided by Kaiulani, a Royal, whose prodigious memory was enhanced by genetic recall of the women in her line going back a thousand years.
She joins an Island-sponsored sail training and research vessel, the TUSITALA II, to learn about the flooding world, and to rediscover traditional Island Navigation that helped her ancestors populate the Pacific – a variation of which provides their power guiding the commercial shipping in a modern world suffering from energy shortages, hunger and political unrest. The entire planet is convulsed by cataclysmic weather affecting celestial navigation. A ‘small nuclear accident’ wipes out nearly all the satellites significantly altering communications and trade.
Aboard the TUSITALA II, Kai forms a special relationship with Franci, a minor chief’s daughter from the worldlier island Kingdom of Tonga. Together with Kai’s childhood companion Esperanza al Noor, they discover that they have the power to influence the weather, to make rain and rainbows. Other, less benign forces work out their secret and want to control it.
This is their story from just a little way into the future. This future is not so far away…In fact, it starts now!