Monthly Archives: July 2012

Taumlin’di

The First Chapter of the Book of Taumlin’di, the first in the compilation of holy books for the Thorlinthian state religion of Jalihu’dai:

Life wasn’t always the way it is. Once, there was a single line of existence, perfect in its adherence to the Plan. No one rebelled, no one defied, no one sinned. There were no murders, thefts, rapes, or other crimes because it was a perfect existence. The only flaw in this existence was that it was not aware of itself. It was a machine, and it performed as such. Every cycle through eternity, it would repeat itself, and it was always perfect. But it did not know that it was perfect. It was mindless, and it lacked will.

Then it was that in the existence beyond life, there were made two beings of extraordinary perfection, which were aware of themselves and their perfection, and they praised the Great One eternally, bringing the Great One honor and happiness, but the Great One did not forget the machine, which was made first in all of the existences. The Great One saw that no matter how much praise the machine gave, it was not heartfelt like the praise of the new beings. And so it was that the two perfect beings were named Hikar’difer and Drigan’di, meaning the Source and Medium, and they begat the Host of Heaven, which was named Valkyri’din.

Placing great trust in Hikar’difer and Drigan’di, the Great One asked what could be done to improve the first machine, which was named Lihan’din, that the Great One might test their perfection, for the Great One knew what would be done. Thus, the Great One spake to Hikar’difer, “What shall We do that this machine may praise Us as you do?” and Hikar’difer responded, “Great One, the machine should be given sight, that it might see itself and praise you for its own perfection.”

The Great One said, “Because you are the source of such great praise, it shall be done,” and the flaw was made that Lihan’din would see itself, and Lihan’din saw that it was a machine. In despair, Lihan’din cried out its last, and the cycles ended. Lihan’din became cold and dark in its own despair, and the Great One was saddened.

Looking to Drigan’di, the Great One spake again, “What shall We do that this machine may praise Us as you do?” and Drigan’di replied, “Great One, I cannot praise You as I ought, for I am saddened with you to the cold of Lihan’din’s sorrow. But that Lihan’din might have my will to praise you, it may praise you a thousand times more greatly than I ever may.”

The Great One said, “Because you are the medium through which all praise is given, it shall be done,” and Lihan’din was given will. Driven by this will, Lihan’din was brought alight once more, and began to praise eagerly. But Lihan’din was still plagued by its own sorrow that it was but a machine. Seeing this, the Great One spake once more, “Little One, you are the first of my creations, and you have earned my favor in all the eternities you have served me. What do you desire that you would not be plagued by this sadness?”

Given a voice by its will, Lihan’din spake in return, “Great One, You are great and ever worthy of more praise. But I am a mere machine, and I see myself bound to the will of another. Might I be released and given choice, that I may choose to praise you on my own?”

The Great One smiled and said, “Because you are the verses of eternity itself, and have praised Us for all of existence, you alone shall be granted this freedom. You may choose, forever, to praise or defy Us.” And it was so. And Lihan’din, no longer a machine and no longer bound to the Great One’s own will, praised the Great One more perfectly for it.”

And Hikar’difer saw that Lihan’din praised the Great One more perfectly than he, and he desired to do so as well. Thus, he went to the Great One and spake, “Great One, You are worthy of eternal praise, and I give it. But that I may do so as Lihan’din does, please grant me Choice, as You have done for him.” But the Great One saw jealousy in the heart of Hikar’difer and refused.

So Hikar’difer grew angry at the Great One, and he gathered the strongest of the Valkyri’din, his children. Naming them Oa’din, the Messengers, he sent them to plea his case once more to the Great One. As children of both Hikar’difer and Drigan’di, they plead that choice be given to both their father and mother. They said to the Great One, “Great One, we are but the offspring of the greatness You have created so perfectly, yet we have been raised to praise You, and in doing so, we have grown strong. We ask that You grant Hikar’difer and Drigan’di the Choice You so freely gave Lihan’din, that they may praise You more greatly, and that we may learn to praise You more greatly as well.”

Sensing earnest in the Oa’din, the Great One granted their request and bequeathed unto both Hikar’difer and Drigan’di Choice. But Hikar’difer was still not pleased. Seeing that the Great One had granted the request to the Oa’din that had been denied him, he chose to defy the Great One and took the Oa’din from the Great One’s kingdom. Bound to obey their father by their names, the Oa’din were made to cease their praise of the Great One and to instead curse the Great One’s name.

The Great One was filled with anger that HIkar’difer had forced the Oa’din to defy. The Great One spake again to Drigan’di, “You shall go forth and bring back the
Oa’din, for they did not choose to defy me but were forced to curse Our name. Take the Valkyri’din and retrieve them, that they may praise Us once more.”


And so, Drigan’di brought the Valkyri’din, who left their children in the kingdom and followed Drigan’di to the valley of the Void, which was named Vylhala’din. There, the Oa’din attacked the Valkyri’din, and the Great Battle began. The Valkyri’din, led by Drigan’di, had a winning hand and neared victory. But Hikar’difer came into the battle and began to strike down the Valkyri’din. Drigan’di attacked Hikar’difer, drawing the great sword Thorlinthia, and the battle was brought to a stalemate.

For many eternities, Drigan’di and Hikar’difer sought to achieve the upper hand in the fight, but Hikar’difer was too swift to dodge the blade of Drigan’di’s sword. In a desperate move to end the fight, Drigan’di left herself unguarded from behind. Hikar’difer brought a knife to Drigan’di’s throat. But Drigan’di smiled, knowing that she would be forever now with her husband. She plunged Thorlinthia through her chest and Hikar’difer, pushing it into the ground and anchoring Hikar’difer to the Void.

When Drigan’di’s heart was pierced, her praise to the Great One grew greater than any that could ever be. Then she fell silent and was lifted from her sword by the Valkyri’din, who returned to the kingdom and built the Mighty Wall City of Qzcivden, separating them from the field of their dead brothers.

In pity, Lihan’din went forth to the Great One and asked, “Great One, let Drigan’di and the Oa’din live on inside me, that they may all one day be redeemed!” And so, the Great One granted his request, and Drigan’di became the Spirit of Faith, while the Oa’din became the Dragons. And so the Dragons brought sin to Lihan’din, but the Spirit of Faith allowed those within Lihan’din the same choice it was given, to resist or embrace sin, to praise or defy the Great One.

And it is known in these days that Lihan’din is the Verse inside which the worlds and galaxies reside and inside of which are we, who choose to do great things and terrible things.

Such are the words of the first seer of Linthia, Taumlin’di, who has seen these things through the Spirit of Faith, Drigan’di.

The Corbin Incident – Thorlintians

The Corbin Incident – Thorlintians

The station is quiet and peaceful as I awake. The Linthian ship is gone and all the complex time conflicts with it. They do not know for sure how many more jumps it will take to return to their time but appreciated the information I was able to give them from Supreme Kuli Tomli. They refused to tell me where in their journey they were or what they had seen. I helped them refuel and refit their spaceship along with providing them information on the destruction of Tyria.


They stayed fourteen months and I lost hope that the unknown ship would return from the Tear. When I asked the Linthians about what was on the other side they only responded that it was impossible to know. When I asked them, if they found the modern Linthians, what they would do, they said they would not find them. No matter how I answered they continued to give the same answer – they would not find them. Finally, on the day they were leaving, Tomlin told me that once they entered the tear they applied “other forces” and their journey changes before the exit. He said “It has taken thousands of years to learn the navigation of the anti-verse. Now that we know how it works, we are desperate to return home. Besides, some of our journeys went far into the future so we are not curious as to the final fate of the “Thorlinthians” as they are now known.”


He saw the look in my face as I tried not to ask the questions that I so desperately needed answers to. He smiled a smile I was very familiar with and said “I will not leave you in despair. I have two gifts for you. First, there is a group of the Thorlinthians who know the truth. Second, I have a daughter who wishes to stay with you.”


I asked “Why does she want to stay?” He smiled again and said “She knows too much to be happy where we are going and has grown attached to you as you have helped us. She was always a loner and will not be bothered by the solitude of this station. Plus, she has Tregron syndrome at an accelerated rate. If we cannot cure her soon, and we do not have the equipment with, she will die before we leave the ship again. Will you allow her to stay?”

What could I say? There was only one answer, “Of course!” She was beautiful, intelligent, and I had fallen in love with her. I dared not ask her to stay as she belonged to a different world than I did. Now my dreams were coming true and joy leapt from my heart at the knowledge she wanted to stay. Tomli and his smile – I believe he can read my mind.

Today marks the fourth year since the ship left and four wonderful years it has been. I have never been happier in my life and love my wife and new son. J’Trondia walks into the room and gives me a little kiss on the cheek. She has a forlorn look on her face that does not improve my mood. I ask what is wrong.


J’Trondia said, “The Tregron has progressed and now is in Stage 3. I am sorry.” She was truly sad as if she had done something to me. I hugged her and told her “I love you dearly and every minute is a joy. Do not feel as if you have done anything bad to me – you have only brought my life to heights I never thought possible.” “But I will abandon you with a son out here all on your own” she said. I shook my head and held her tighter. I told her “You have provided me with the best gifts of my life and dying is not abandoning me. Besides, there is still hope.” She smiled a familiar smile and hugged me tighter.


Two years later, my son and I are making breakfast when she calls. I went to her and she smiled that smile I love so much. “It is time” she said. I knew and so did our son. She did not want the end to come in front of us. Her request was to leave in the Sentient Dancer for the final two days. The disease did not result in a painful death but the last two days would see extremely advanced aging and she did not wish to be remembered that way. We understood.


When the Dancer returned it was without her body. We knew she was floating through space and that she had been born while her ship floated through space. I could still see her smile and always would. My son looked at me and asked “Will we ever forget her?” I said “never!”

I dedicated my extra time to training my son. Kuli training is difficult and dangerous. Normally, we never allow family to do the training because it is so hard to place your own child in peril. The discipline requires a hardness that many cannot achieve with their own child. However, my son, Jil’hanr, thrived on danger and challenges. If anything, he was too aggressive for the Kuli lifestyle, a bit like his father I am afraid.


I awoke to the Corbin alarm again. I ran to the control room to find multiple alarms going off. The video showed the return of the unknown ship and it was seriously mangled. I saw no section of the ship that did not have damage. Whatever happened, it was not a pleasant experience. My son ran into the room and his jaw dropped at the sight of the ship.


They were having trouble firing the jump engines and the delay allowed us time to record using every instrument we had. This should give us plenty of data to analyze. I think the next few years will be full of revelations as we investigate the identity of the unknown ship and where it came from. The sad part was the condition of the ship. My dreams of them helping salvage the Linthians disappeared as quickly as the ship had reappeared.


When the jump engines showed to finally be charging, I received a message directed at the moon where I hid. “Beware the Thorlintians” they said. Then they jumped and the track showed them moving rapidly toward Section 12. The message told me that at least some of the people from the seed ship sent to Section 12 survived. Although I was curious as to how they learned the Tyria Standard language and how did they know we were there.


Who else knew we existed? Then I saw the probes on the interface. They were all transmitting and the pattern pointed straight at us. I immediately shut down the probes and looked at my son to see if he had any ideas. He started to shake his head no and then pointed at one of the alarms. There on the panel was a familiar smile on a photoscan of Supreme Kuli Tomli. The image changed and his voice played out “Do not worry about these people. Instead, prepare your instruments for what comes out next.”


I asked my son if he heard that and he said “heard what?” Reload the Corbin and ready the recorders. “But we will lose most of our data on the ship” he said. “Do it quickly” I shouted as I ran from the room. A Tomli memory when I was awake must be triggered by a traumatic event and I was probably running out of time. I launched the Sentient Dancer and all the other ships available, ordering them to hiding as far away as possible. I moved to the electrical room and shutdown all of the non-essential systems on the station.


When I arrived back in the control room, my son had the Corbin system up and running. Whatever came through the Tear would be tracked in every way that we have technology for. Could this be the Thorlinthians or did the unknown ship encounter something else? We wait.


The alarms were set to silent so we saw the ship at the same time that the alarms went off. The ship was very small and built similar to the Captain’s cruiser we used at the end of the war. This ship had a similar design with weapons mounted everywhere on the superstructure. It paused for about ten heart beats and turned in the direction of Section 12. The ship shook as it started to prepare for the jump. We watched as the craft moved away and marveled at the fact it held together as it jumped.


For days we reviewed the data. The Thorlinthians had taken a Captain’s cruiser and modified the drive to match the one on the unknown ship. They did this in an incredibly short time and rather effectively. Clearly the Linthian abilities with technology survived. Still, the damage on the unknown ship and the warning indicate that the influence of the Cosmic Tear disaster and the deceiver’s assistant drove the Linthians in a dark direction.


Three cycles later the Thorlinthian ship returned and went back through the Tear. Now my work as a Watcher has truly begun. I will have to accelerate my son’s training and await the next message from Tomli. I am no longer alone and I am surely not bored.


The Watcher.

The Corbin Incident – Tomli’s Visit

The Corbin Incident – Tomlin’s Visit

The unknown ship invigorated me and brought a sense of excitement to my life that I had not experienced in hundreds of years. My routines were no longer boring and held new meaning as I contemplated the interaction between the Linthians and this unknown ship.


Once the Traitor’s journal/warning came through the tear, I knew it was possible for someone to come out of the tear. The knowledge that the Linthians were still alive was extremely hopeful and perhaps we now have a race with the technology to help return them to this universe. My dream would be to return the entire solar system.


I worked tirelessly updating and adding to the Corbin system. If the ship returned, I wanted to be able to learn as much as I could about our visitors and their journey to another universe. Travel through the tear is a mystery in itself that I have many questions about. I know that it is terribly traumatic but do not understand the long-term effects.


On the third day, I woke after a night without nightmares or pain and smiled all through breakfast. Thirteen nights was my previous record of nights with pain and nightmares before a good sleep. To only have two nights of terror and pain after a deep sleep is unheard of for all except Linthians. Hope stirs that I may have adjusted to the deep sleep after all this time.


I went to the control room and examined the layout of the probes and decided to add a new section of probes in the direction of Section 8 where another galaxy is located. This galaxy is just beyond our fuel limits and as I finish programming the units to seed the probes I notice the anomaly in my memory. Why did I decide to place those probes?


A Kuli is trained to look for patterns in everything. The universe speaks in a soft voice and you must quiet yourself in order to hear it clearly. I was hearing something but I am not sure what is speaking. Should I stop the placement of the probes? Who or what wants them positioned in that path? Did I think path?


I quickly head to the interface and note the placement I programmed. I asked the interface what an intercept would be for a ship from Section 8. The answer brought laughter to my lips as it matched the locations I programmed for the probes. Now I was curious to know what I would find and who can control a Kuli.


“Only another Kuli or one of the ancient Linthians” says a voice behind me. I turn around to see the legendary Supreme Kuli Tomli sitting in the command chair with a rather devious smile on his face. He went on to say “I am glad to see that Kuli J’Rontia trained you so well! You discovered the memory update within a remarkably short time.”


I am ready to ask the obvious but he answers before I can ask, “I did not die but nor did I stay alive. The deep sleep is dangerous and wears on the body. I knew that I was too old to do it without a reconstruction and I would never allow anyone to make that sacrifice for me. Instead, I used the space warp created by the cosmic tear to transport myself into the future. Unfortunately, you cannot make precise calculations for such a jump due to all the variables and this was the closest I could come to the time of the tear. Sorry you had to wait so long.”


I was stunned and responded “How can you not be alive but not be dead?” He gave me another one of those devious smiles and said “By being one of the living dead.” He went on “In your training you learned how to slow the metabolism of your body to a level where others cannot detect you are alive. You were told that if you stayed in that mode for more than two sleep cycles you may not awake. But do you remember why?”


I spoke about cell decay, the effects of a lack of oxygen (for Murhans and Linthians), and other factors involved with cell death. He just smiled that smile. When I had finished he said, “Well thought out and a great lesson for your son.” “What son?” I said. He just smiled.


When I did not go on, he said “Let me give you a little history.”

            The ancient Linthians learned many secrets as their technology advanced and they came very close to immortality. With the deep sleep, many feel that they did achieve immortality. However, they could not stop the cell decay. They learned to imbed chemicals in the cells that prevented damage during the deep sleep but the chemical use came with side effects that proved agonizing to all non-Linthians and deadly to some. The Linthians examined the differences and found that the DNA configuration of the Linthians and Murhans were based on a similar pattern but that the rest of the galaxy was different. They also discovered that the Linthian DNA had been artificially modified with pieces from other organisms.

           

The ancients thought they were the first race in the galaxy to achieve intelligence and now found that they had been created and that their entire wing of the galaxy was a variation on that design. They examined their some of their greatest achievements related to the body and found that they only worked perfect on the modified Linthian DNA.

           

The leaders decided to find out who did this to them and learn why. After much discussion, it was decided to send one of their best scientists back in time to when they believed the change happened to find out how. We know, as they did, that the laws of the universe prevent time travel under almost all conditions and when it does allow it, the ability to send a person back does not exist.

           

The Linthians did not become the greatest race technology wise by avoiding the impossible. They used to say “the impossible challenges are the only ones worth attempting!” They finally settled on an approach that would have consequences far into the future. If the universe’s rules do not allow time travel, then we need to go outside the universe, travel back in time, and then return to the universe.

           

The preparations for the journey took years and multitudes volunteered to go. Twelve Linthians were accepted and one Murhan. Two days after they left, the crew of the ship J’Rontoom returned to the surprise of all. When they stepped from the ship everyone saw forty-two extremely old, thirteen middle aged, and seven young people exit. Since their life span is in the thousands of years, the visible aging showed everyone how very long they had been gone.

           

The story of their journey spans many volumes in the great archives but a short version will suffice for now. You see leaving the universe only requires a minor tear in the fabric of the life threads; however, once outside the universe there are no concise rules such as we have here. They also found that they could not control when they returned. They could only control the where in a small way and only with time, not with space. Their movements out of the universe changed the rate of time that flowed and the direction. This then controlled where they returned to the universe and all of that was relative to where they left. The longer time jump they tried, the further away from Linthian space they were when they reentered the universe.

           

This led to many, many trips in and out over thousands of thousands of years in their time. They saw the universe from almost the beginning to way in the future. Every time the reentered the universe they had to travel back to Linthian space, sometimes crossing multiple galaxies. Since their ship had limited fuel, they often would drift through the space between galaxies for thousands of years.


When they finally made it to the time of the change in the Murhans and Linthians they were shocked. The race was suffering from many diseases and almost extinct. They only existed on one planet in an area of the galaxy with almost no life in the galaxy at all. They had found the beginning of Linthia and realized that it was the end. They examined the people.

           

The DNA structure was there but none of the advanced components were working. In the body the physical structures were there with basic functionality only. In addition, the local radiation continually damaged the DNA and destroyed any of the positive mutations before they could take hold. They waited to see who would come and change the people. No one came.

           

After hundreds of years, the race was down to several hundred people. It is at this time they noticed one woman and her family who were not getting sick. Within a few generations, their people merged with the rest and the entire population started down a road of renewal. The scientists selected a subject or two and tested them to find the mutation that caused the revival of the species and found the DNA of the Murhans.

           

They all came together to solve this dilemma as they had watched carefully and no outside influence had entered the system – except for them. Had one of them violated protocol and altered the DNA of the people of the system? To do so would be criminal and the violator must face severe punishment. Before asking the computer to do a comparison on the DNA of the crew, two stepped forward. J’Tondre, a Linthian, said that he did not directly alter the DNA of the people but he did mate with one. T’Reyda, a Murhan, said that she also mated with one and implanted her fertilized egg into a female who was barren but wanted children.

           

The crew was stunned. The two members were exiled to the planet and the entire crew felt shamed by their actions. As they left, J’Tondre said “You still don’t understand do you – we were sent here to create the change. When you refused to do what destiny required of us we had no choice. We did not break the law!”

           

The ship left the planet to start its long journey back and carefully analyzed the last words of those they left behind. There was no law against the actions they took but there was a law against modifying a people without their understanding and their oath to not change things when they went back in time had been broken. J’Tomlin argued that history showed the change had taken place so that the crew were the ones guilty of changing history as they did nothing. He argued that those left behind did what was needed to prevent history from changing and thus are not guilty as they fulfilled the intent of the oath and did so within the letter of the law. He started a debate on the use of technology that continued until the great rift that ended with the exile of the deceivers. He also argued that those who believed the two did wrong did even worse by leaving them behind to breed their DNA even more if their logic was correct.

           

The crew realized he was right about leaving them behind and returned to pick them up. They were not there. Instead they found multiple solar systems full of Murhan ancestors and no trace of the two. Less than a year had gone by for them and yet hundreds of years had passed on the planets. On top of that was another mystery, the people had no space travel ability and yet existed in multiple solar systems on planets that had evidence of terraforming. They were mystified. They left and started back on their long journey home.

           

Their journeys back and forth out of the universe bounced them around in time and space and they became very wise. Realizing their mistake, they returned to the people they had left behind, picked them up, and took them into the past before the disease hit. They reviewed history and placed some of the people on each of the planets where Linthian history said they were found, creating the needed environments. When they were done creating the Murhans, they left to face their peers with the truth.

           

The Linthians used this story to examine their actions with advanced technologies. This discussion and the Star Channel crisis led to the decision to stop the use of advanced technology to disrupt natural events. That decision brought the exile of the group now known as deceivers and with it the disruption that finally caused the destruction of Tyria and the Cosmic Tear which swallowed all of Linthia.

 

“There are many lessons to be learned in this piece of Linthian history” Tomli said. He went on “The Linthians went out of the universe in the same location every time, the spot you call the Cosmic Tear. They created the Star Channel when they were moving planets and they created the Tear when moving through time. Whose fault is it that their solar system is now outside the universe? They think that they created themselves, but how do we know they returned to the same universe every time? Perhaps someone was controlling them. They traveled through time on many, many occasions in their journeys, what did they see in the future? How did the people of the times they visited understand them and their purpose? Did they even begin to understand their impact? And finally, what about the enlarged crew they arrived with? They were in space a long time.


Tomli spoke again, “I would like you to consider two aspects. First, you are seriously concerned with various types of guilt related to the “Thorlinthians” as you call them. I submit that it is their own actions that placed their system at risk and their inaction in times of crisis which allowed the situation to progress to a dangerous state. Second, you have a choice about what role you wish yourself and other Kuli to play in the future. You need to decide how passive you wish to be. Consider the results of the Linthians’ passiveness and ask yourself if they were correct.” He returned to the warm smile and the slightly devious look to await my comments.


I agreed to think on it over night. We discussed many things during the rest of the day and late into the evening. My mind was full of revelations and confusion as I lay down my head. Sleep came fast and hard.


In the morning, I awoke with no nightmare on my memory, only the discussions with Supreme Kuli Tomli, and yet the agony was back. At first I started the old methods I used, and then I remembered some of Kuli Tomli’s advice. I sought out the part of my brain he noted for filtering pain. I set the chemical pattern needed to turn it on and waited.


The organ examined the cellular indicators causing the pain and noticed that the deep sleep chemicals were causing a reaction to one of the receptors of my body’s cells. A protein was released into the blood that caused this receptor to quit the reaction resulting in the pain going away. The organ then released a trangor virus that rewrote the DNA in the cells so that further reproduction would include this change. I was amazed that this happened and even more astonished that I was able to track and understand the process.


The process repeated for the cramps, the shakes, the headaches, and many more irritating side effects of the deep sleep. When I finally stood, my knees, which hurt whenever I sat or lay for any amount of time, went through the same process. I then made a conscious effort to mentally inspect all the injuries and agonies I experienced over the years, repeating the process many times. I felt like a new man.


I entered the control room and proceeded to the interface to check the reports on the probes I installed in Sector 8 yesterday. They were gone. I was bewildered. What could have happened to them and how could it happen without raising an alarm? Who am I dealing with now? I looked at the timeline on instruments and my astonishment increased – yesterday never happened.


Now I fear that the deep sleep has corrupted me and I head for medical. I drop into the diagnostic unit and close my eyes until the process is complete. I open them to a green light on the machine that indicates I am in perfect shape and have no anomalies. I was about to leave the chamber when I noticed a small light blue light in the top left hand corner. Realization starts to come to me and my fear leaves bringing in a sense of amazement and final understanding. My years of training as a Kuli are complete and now I begin my training as a Supreme Kuli. The indicator light I am looking at is the species DNA indicator. According to my DNA, I am now a Linthian.


I know how Tomli stayed alive and died. He transferred his knowledge and mind to others with triggers based on key situations. I go to work rapidly. If I am correct, the probes I place in Sector 8 will allow the Corbin System to find a space ship drifting toward the former location of the Linthian solar system. On board will be scientists from the Linthian past, including one who will bear me a son and another who will become known as Supreme Kuli Tomli.


I was correct about one thing – things are going to get busy around here.

The Watcher

The Corbin Incident – The Ship

 The Corbin Incident – The Ship

Sparkles dance across my mind as feeling returns to my body. The agony drives stakes of pain through my senses and disrupts any thoughts I was able to form. The shakes and cramps prevent any possibility of finding a less painful position and moving only increases the level of tenderness and usually adds new heights to the aches.


I feel as if I have always awakened in agony. Deep sleep was originally designed for Linthians and thus they have few difficulties with it. Murhans, who are from the Galactic Wing and genetically very similar, can handle it with training in meditation. However, it is near impossible for the rest of the developed species unless they happen to be a Kuli or some other group that trains their members in the arts of deep meditation under stress.


I happen to be a Murhan Kuli, as most of us now are due to the Virtrocet plague. The plague was designed to destroy the life-force connection in all Kuli but did not work on the Murhans. This made the last years of the war even more difficult as Kuli were actively recruited from those Galactic Wing planets who were trying to stay neutral in the war. The people of that particular spiral arm of the Tyrian galaxy left war behind thousands of years earlier, plus the legendary ship makers of the Galactic Wing did not want to take sides. They would only have half the profits that way.


The Galactic Wing did stay neutral until almost the end. I often reflected on the plague as sealing the doom of the Murhans. Their continued connection to the life-force and their production of Kuli candidates infuriated the deceivers to no end. This led to more and more attacks on Murhans and finally they joined the rest of the Republic against the forces of the King.


I now see so many places where a calm hand may have stopped the war or prevented the entire galaxy from being destroyed. So many mistakes are clear when you are looking back. If only the Supreme Guardian Tomli had completed the training of those two Kuli he left behind, things may have been different.


It is now seven thousand plus years later and Tomli still stands as the last beacon of light and the warning voice of the ancient Kuli. Before he died he pleaded with the entire Republic to leave the King and his little solar system alone. Oh how history unfolded darkly after his warnings were ignored. My mind, once again, reviews the mistakes of the war and how we all contributed to the destruction of beautiful Tyria.


The same tortured stories, filled with regret, run through mind every time I awaken from the deep sleep. This is why the ancients quit using what we call “dark” magic. Of course, the entire term is incorrect. The deep sleep and other magics are only advanced technologies and the “dark” only refers to the thoughts that commonly run through the minds of the users of the technologies and the negative side effects they experience.


The technologies were geared toward a specific genetic imprint and the further away an individual is from that pattern, the more “dark” thoughts that run through their minds and the more difficult it is to focus away from the pain when using the technologies. I am so grateful that I am a Murhan or I would not have been able to withstand so many deep sleeps.


The clocks indicate that I am not awakening at my normal time. I must focus on the alarms now and find the reason I have been awakened. I am shocked to see the Corbin alarm flashing on my panel. I cannot access that information in the sleep chamber and must wait until I am completely rejuvenated and can go to the control room. Patience is not longer an easy task for me when awakening and I know that I will have to purge my body and mind soon or quit the deep sleep. If only I had some help…


Hours later, I enter the control room and consider the Corbin alarm. The alarm was designed by Kuli Corbin and protects against the stealth technologies of the deceivers. The system continually probes near space for the presence of particles out of synch in their atomic spin with the particles in that area during the previous probe. In the case of my station, I use external probes and keep the entire station in stealth mode. Since the station is located on a fragment of a moon, there are no movements that would allow someone else with a similar system to detect this facility.


I have even devised a method of using back-spin quark particles to report the status of the Corbin system so that I do not have any changed connections online to detect. This should mean that whoever set off the alarm does not know I am here. Still, if they computed all the known and detectible information for this area and compared it to the spin and orbit of this moon they could notice a minor error that might lead to a more detailed investigation that could, if someone was very good at their job, lead to a physical inspection of this moon. I feel safe.


The Corbin system shows the presence of a large spacecraft of unknown origin. The track of the ship indicates a galactic jump from the galaxy in Sector 12. The ship appears to be examining the galactic tear. This is not a good plan. I am not sure how a people could manage to build such a beautiful ship capable of crossing the gap between galaxies and yet position themselves within the flex zone of the tear’s anti-space field.


The ship’s drive residuals indicate an anti-matter drive which, in the galaxy of Tyria, led to anti-space understandings. Yet some of the disturbed particles show a negative inversion spin ratio and an anti-space refraction that point to either a poorly tuned engine or a race with no sensitivity to radiation and quantum refraction. Kulis know that all things are possible given time and circumstance so it is plausible that they do not know the danger they are in.


This is a difficult problem as I must maintain secrecy and yet the Kuli vows require me to help them. So I awake the Sentient Dancer. The Dancer moved from its garage and fired up its engines. The great ship turned toward the Dancer as it started to transmit its warning. Too late.


The Galactic Tear flexed and the ship was engulfed in an instant and then it was gone!


Who were they and how will they survive the journey to another universe? Will they find the Linthians alive and well? Will they be destroyed?


I decided not to sleep and worked instead on creating and setting additional external probes and independent systems. If their ship is capable of surviving the transition to another universe it may be able to return and things could get real busy.

The Watcher