Tupaq Inka was a man of lofty and ambitious ideas, and was not satisfied with the regions he had already conquered. So he determined to challenge a happy fortune, and see if it would favour him by sea. Yet he did not lightly believe the navigating merchants, for such men, being great talkers, ought not to be credited too readily. In order to obtain fuller information, and as it was not a business of which news could easily be got, he called a man, who accompanied him in his conquests, named Antarqui who, they all declare, was a great necromancer and could even fly through the air. Tupaq Inka asked him whether what the merchant mariners said was true. Antarqui answered, after having thought the matter well out, that what they said was true, and that he would go there first. They say that he accomplished this by his arts, traversed the route, saw the islands, their people and riches, and, returning, gave certain information of all to Tupaq Inka.
Pedro Sarmiento de Gamboa
The History of the Inkas
First contact, 15th Century CE
Rumipuqyu, Kingdom of Qosqo, Reign of Viracocha Inka
Six years before the Chanka War
The signs will become familiar to Ramram. The heat rising from his gut, the chills running along his spine, the burst of light in his skull, the sensation of cartwheeling in space and landing on his feet again. Then the boy Eff Ram, the stranger from another time, would be with him, sharing his self; his eyes, body, breath, even his emotions. It was, at first, unsettling.
The Inka Ramram, ten years old, felt the Aya, the vital spirit of Pachamama, Mother Earth and Time, snaking down the slope as he explored the mountainside where his father oversaw the construction of the Sapa Inka Viracocha’s qolqa storehouses. He had come searching for sources of that force in rocks, springs, even trees, when he picked up the vibrations from a boulder jutting out of a bluff a hundred rikras, each a long pace and a half, up the slope.
Curious, he climbed the hill and found the stone.It was the strongest ever. It pulsed at him in waves, quivering on the skin of his face, permeating his innards, the lichen-crusted rock vibrating in his vision. His arms rose reflexively to shield his face and chest, he doubled over. Curiosity won.
He found courage, squared off, put his hands on the rough surface. Something took him over from inside. It was another world. It was where he was, and it wasn’t. It was the buildings his dad was raising, but in ruins, overgrown. The air smelled different, the eyes he looked through were not his own.
It was another self, other senses, desires, questions, sucked into his nerves and his mind. He seemed to expand within to accommodate the visitor. From the energy, he recognized that it was a youth, like him. Strange, different, but a boy too.
That lasted for three breaths, then it changed. He was no longer looking through the other boy, the other boy was looking through him. He was back in his own world. He sensed the surprise and confusion of his uninvited visitor.
The boy was more bewildered than Ramram was himself. Ramram knew Aya. The stranger boy did not. The boy did not seem to mean harm.
Ramram turned, pushed his back against the stone, let the vibrations command him. Together they stood on the slope above the construction project his father was building for the old god-king. Ramram shared the boy’s awe.
The view dropped thousands of rikras in every direction across a landscape bewildering to any stranger but intimate to the Inka. He felt the surge of love and strength that always found him when he stood alone on the land within Pachamama.
The boy was staring through his eyes as if gaping out a window. “Who are you?” he asked aloud. “What is your name?” He got no answer; just the impact of the stranger’s shock. He exhaled, tried to pass his tranquility on to this strange companion.
Ramram had always been able to sense Aya in the living world. Sometimes a stone or a place of water would be intensely alive, and he would inform the village. It would become a waka, a sacred being to be named and revered with offerings.
For this he was different. He was looked at askance. He would not inherit his father's work. Still, the people valued what he, a mere boy, gave them.
He and the stranger gazed down on the welter of construction, then out across the valley. Thousands of workers wrestled stone, earth, water, and wood onto the mountain. Sounds of tools, shouted orders, laughing, floated up. The scent of past rain was in the air.
His father was looking uphill at him, interrupting his conference with a straw boss. He was pretending to be annoyed that Ramram had wandered off again, searching for Aya.
“My name is Ramram,” he said aloud. He thumped his chest. “Ramram.” He took a breath, relaxed, let whatever was happening to him happen. This was an unknown and unexpected gift. Pachamama knows what she is doing, he decided.
Does she? An awareness so vast that it is invisible to man turned toward a small, subversive, part of itself, saw a connection across time between two minuscule nodes of perception, Ramram and the strange boy, and asked, translated as a house fly would translate a page of equations in quantum physics upon which it briefly lands, as "What the hell is she doing?"