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The Rider of Styracosauruses extracts a nice read from the looter's library

NotesEdit

Picked this up from an Phoebus trade fleet. Don't tell them. Put some reference notes in, feel free to do the same. Thoughts? - E
Gave it a look over. Seems interesting. We'll keep it in storage for the time being, sector 322a. Don't let Seff get inside this time, OK? - P

An Account and a Warning (1 of 2)Edit

OneEdit

I don't know where or how you got my journal from. It doesn't matter to me. What matters is that you have it in your hands/phalanges/appendages or otherwise[1] at this time, and that you are reading these words.

Who am I, you're asking? I can easily predict what you ask, maybe even hear your question directly (depending on when you manage to find this)[2]. My name is Akbar Hlamman. I am a respectable Gonyord hailing from our home planet of Jaya. I'm pleased to make your acquaintance, however posthomously it will likely be.

The reason I write is because we are almost gone. As far as I know, I am the last Gonyord left living.[3] The Daemons (it pains me to think that they and the Veiled Ones are one and the same), with their newfound power, have exterminated us, the Julth, and who knows who else into near oblivion.

I fear our secrets may soon be lost. And that is why I write.

If you're reading these words, it means I've succeeded. The multiverse might just find out what we really were. And what is really out there.[4]

TwoEdit

Nobody will probably remember what Jaya was like in all its glory. The Daemons managed to get through (don't ask me how - I think they opened a Rift and then used it to scurry away when the damage was done[5]) and raze its surface. Wreakers managed to take care of the rest a week or so later. The stupid things were probably drawn there by the destruction.

In any case, Jaya was lovely. It was all lovely and tropical - riparian jungle here, monsoon forest there. Glowing brackish seas[6] that spanned as far as the eye could see. And amidst the patches of jungle, there were our towers, our houses, the hub of our civilization. All clad in rubies, sapphires, and sheets of pure gold. Beautiful.

I still remember my childhood home, 500 years on.[7] Many an afternoon I would be found high up in the trees, clambering on the branches and reaching the canopy high above the ground. The view was magnificent. I always thought, back then when I was young and foolish and didn't know anything about the universe, that if I looked hard enough, all the way past the trees and on the distant horizon, I might see the back of my own head. I love to imagine looking around the whole wide world.

But I digress.

I'm not young and foolish anymore. I'm broken. Half a year ago I got hit with a Daemon blaster while they were attempting to raid a Shellious fleet. They were both trying to kill the remaining Gonyords and gather all the exotic riches they could muster up. Only my built-in life support saved me, but the rest of the mechanics are failing slowly. One little piece after the other is exhausting itself and shutting off. I expect to release my journal, and then persh within a day. It's possible I might still hold on for a month or more, but I doubt that. By that time, this journal will be gone, and you might even find it.

But again, that I doubt. The year is 0.501(.308) post-Emenatan Merge[8], in case anyone is interested. For you, it's probably the distant past by now. But you can always hope.

ThreeEdit

That's all you need to know about the Gonyords, really. There were many, many other sapient races that existed - though I won't talk about them now.[9] There are more important things to discuss.

Take, for example, what seems to be impossible. I like to call them the Prime Movers.[10] Once I was with the fleet and I happened to look out the window. What did I see? Planets. But these were no ordinary planets. They were moving. Moving across space. And there were a lot of them, moving in all the same direction, like a migration, and like they were all alive.[11]

Don't ask me how it happened. All I can say is that I know what I saw. I've never seen anything like it before and I've never seen anything like it again. And nowhere very exotic - just right here in Paradise.

I asked an old shaman about it at one point. He claimed that not only did the planets moved, but they talked as well.[12] I'll have you know that he wasn't screwed in very well, but even that claim is amazingly weird and at the same time, terrifying.

FourEdit

There were others, too. Some little and some powerful, and some that worked beyond our understanding. They're everywhere if you look hard enough.

And then there were the Perpetual Guardians. I can't tell you too much about them - they specifically said that. No, no yet. They said that they are waiting for the right time.[13] Time, in fact, is what they are all about.

Their land is beautiful. Cibola is a world of gracefulness and light. All of their seven cities shine with the brightest gold and rise up into the stratosphere, towards the heavens.[14] I went there once, and that image will be in my eyes the moment that I die. Which won't be very long now, I imagine. Less time to think about, more time I actually get to see it.

That glitter in the sun is one of the reasons, I think, our universe is called Paradise. There is nothing else like that glitter in the entire multiverse and probably beyond.[15] The Guardians know that. All they wish to do is protect. They don't actually guard anything - or anything they can understand, at least. They admit that, and that's why they guard it.

Nobody really stops and thinks what a beautiful world we really live in.[16] There is beauty all around us but we refuse to see it, or maybe don't notice it. It's a shame really. We forget why we are alive to see these things, and that life is a privilege, not a right. We forget that the chance of intelligent life to evolve is surprisingly slim, even though it's all around us. I never liked their additudes, which was why I liked to be alone.

I still want to be alone now, even at the end. I'm starting to think I like this. No more dealing with the sorry additudes of the greedy and ignorant. If you ask me, the multiverse is going downhill, but that decision will be left up to you ultimately. It feels good to get away. Death is a blessing.

FiveEdit

For example, I once told my captain about the Prime Movers for his opinion. After I gave my description, he looked up at me and stared.

"And?" he said to me in a dubious voice.

"That's what they are," I replied back.

The captain told me to go take a lie down and granted me a week's worth of sick leave if I so desired. I politely declined the sick leave.

A few days later, I tried to convince him that they were genuine. Of course, I had no proof, no images, and no video, so it was a bit difficult.

After I finished my argument, the captain sat straight up. "Akbar, my good man, such an occurence is rather impossible to exist. If they have been seen in Paradise space, we would have known about them. And planets are not living things. They don't 'migrate', as you say these 'Prime Movers' do. For the Gonyords, there is nothing left to find. We have found it all already. It's just your imagination, I'm afraid. Now, about the recent ring planes..."[17]

Protesting was useless, so I gave up after that. It's just so srakking annoying that he assumes we know all there is to know. It's a cheap additude, and never well thought out. When I remember those days I can only sigh to myself and move on.

SixEdit

The most profound "encounter" I had (one that I believe you should know about) is the most peculiar and hardest to describe.

A few years back, I got lost.

Think about that for a moment. A Gonyord. In Paradise. Our home universe. Lost.

I don't know how I managed it myself. All I can remember during that time was just peace. A sleepiness, perhaps. Simply being happy and content. Then I looked outside, and I was lost.

Naturally, I was confused, but not as frightened as I probably should have been. I am a brave soul, but you don't expect to get lost in your own territory. But yet. Peace.

I was rather certain that no Gonyord had ever set eyes on this part of space before. I found that hard to believe, but it was true. If you look at the geographical pattern of our civilization, we are expansive, and care not for obstacles. And yet there was an area we avoided. Maybe I should have been excited. But there was only peace.

I travelled for hours more, not worrying, not checking the ship's speed, just wondering vaguely where I was heading. I never had such a feeling before or since.

Then I realized why we had never come this far.

Up ahead, it slowly appeared, a pinprick shimmering out of the waves of black sea. It was all colors but no colors, and all of it at once. As I drew closer I could see its full majesty. Really, I'm doing a hideously terrible job of describing it. I'm just afraid there are no words to describe it in the Gonyord language.

It was larger than anything I had ever seen, much larger, by an order of trillions and trillions of colossal magnitudes, but so simple. Simple, encircled, doing nothing in particular. And in the center, a shining, a glow like the heart of a star -

The next thing I remember, I was standing in the ship's cockpit, floating above the superstations and the diamond barracks that orbited Jaya. I did not fall asleep, or lose consciousness. For one, I was standing up. And I just knew...[18]

SevenEdit

Ever since then, I devoted my life to searching for answers. Not many people believed me, so for the most part I was on my own. We thought we knew all there was to know but we didn't...

That's actually half the reason I write. I already told you about the Gonyords and what they were really like so you would never, ever forget them. But all that was sort of a preamble to the main event. I'm going to tell you about the journey I undertook. What happened. And what the war was really like.

You know exactly what I mean by "the war." What else would it be? I've been dropping references left and right. If, for some reason, you do not know, close this up and hand this journal to a professor or a wise man you may know. I write only for those who can think, and understand.

But this is where I went to find answers. How I managed it, dodging the crossfire and harsh words of Julth and even Veiled Ones. They were once my friends, and occasionally I still think of them as such. But they were growing hostile, and then turned themselves into monsters.

And do you know what? I was searching for answers, and I found them.

EightEdit

My first target was an old Veiled One acquaintance. I wasn't able to talk with her long - tension between the Veiled Ones and the Julth was starting to rise, and she needed to depart for some "business."[19]

FootnotesEdit

  1. This may hint at the wide variety of races that the Gonyords encountered throughout their history. - L
  2. Psychic abilities? - R
    Don't be ridiculous. Cybernetics, not psychics - P
  3. Important historical documents!! - E
  4. I've never imagined Gonyords to be conspiracy theorists - M
  5. This indicate that the Daemons made Rift-harnessing tech? Don't remember that from the records - C
    Wouldn't doubt it. VOs had some pretty sick tech themselves. - A
    Seconded. - P
  6. Due to bioluminescent bacteria? - E(z)
  7. The cybernetics and biotech seem to last a long time - W
    Well, they were XII - Q
  8. Seems they used a different name than we do. Cultural differences in speech and words is an often overlooked subject. Needs more study - P
  9. Reasons? Seems suspicious - D
    Not enough information yet - P
  10. Satire? - U
  11. A physical impossibility, all of it. I don't know what he saw, or what he was thinking. Or what he was drinking - Q
  12. All the credibility that this journal may have had in the past is now gone - F
    Come on, Ferrus, live a little. - P
  13. Right time for what?? - D
  14. Is this possible? - B
  15. Am I correct in assuming that Akbar is referring to other multiverses - L
    Well, I've seen worse - P
  16. He's getting a bit philosophical now. - R
    From what we know, Gonyords did tend to blather on given the chance - A
  17. What the krag are ring planes? Never heard of them - Q
    Probably either spacecraft or some multidimensional jargon. If they matched the VOs, Sii etc. in cultural/technological advancement, who knows what they came up with. - A
  18. Yeah, OK, I'm lost. - G
    Congrats though, everybody usually quits reading when they get to the Prime Movers and the philosophical banter - P
  19. Maybe this refers to some of the meetings that the VOs were supposed to have had in the earlier days of the war? Always a possibility - A

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