Dirge Singer class Heavenly Container of Life
i34_2015 Lament for Lost Worlds
Hyperspatial Transit Trajectory
The Gate of Hrururen led through another vacuum chamber, an identical mirror of the one Jean had passed through between the human habitat and the Aunjin habitat. On the other side, Jean and the Aunjin contingent entered into a dusty desert basin with human breathable though stiflingly hot and dry air.
Jean quickly stripped off her suit and luxuriated in the open air. The Aunjin continued to wear their masks and bore her odd looks at the fact she considered the desert environment one that was in any way hospitable. The Aunjin had a somewhat amusing reaction to the heat, with their wooly coats all standing on end and acting like heat radiators.
They did not make camp on the far side of the gate. The sun remained fixed in one place near to the horizon, casting long but never changing shadows onto the harsh rocky landscape. A steady breeze blew cool air in from the opposite direction via some unseen mechanism, creating a timeless steady state. In a near single file line, the Aunjin proceeded down the shallow slope into the bottom of the basin and Jean trailed along in their wake. The cold-adapted creatures seemed to find the climate rather uncomfortable and this appeared to have a dampening effect on their formerly high spirits.
“Msipek,” she asked the shaman-creature after several hours of walking into the center of the desert, “When was the last time anyone was actually here? What are your people hoping to find?”
Msipek took a few moments, probably struggling to interpret her words, “The key of the Aunjin was lost to the desert of Hrururen when Frarthar joined the kingdom of Msrabat. Hrathar seeks the key in the kingdom of the Hrururen. Hrathar believes it to lay in the Mirror City.”
“Who was Frarthar?” Jean asked.
“Frarthar was as Msipek, a keeper of stories,” Msipek said. “Msipek believes Frarthar was touched by the poison of Hrururen, and fled to protect the Aunjin, but Hrathar believes Frarthar had merely joined the kingdom of Msrabat.”
“Jean thought the Aunjin were immune to the poison?” Jean said.
“Not fully immune,” Msipek admitted, “For only the Aunjin of grave standing know This Truth.”
“Does Msipek know this Truth?” Jean asked.
“Msipek knows This Truth,” the creature confirmed.
Jean nodded and went quiet. The procession continued along through the endless late afternoon towards what appeared to be a small lake covered in shiny structures, nearly blinding to look at in the desert glare. It really was a quite inhospitable place, and Jean ended up putting her suit back on and cranking the cooling as high as it would go to get comfortable after a while, but she kept the faceplate open, both to conserve power and to enjoy the ability to breathe slightly less recycled air. The desert smelled like dust and iron, it had a bitter grit to it that felt comfortingly real, despite the unreality of the whole situation.
Finally, she made up her mind.
“Msipek tells Jean This Truth on the road to Mirror City,” she said.
Msipek tooted out that laughter analogue in response.
“Jean will learn This Truth from Msipek, or Jean will learn This Truth from Hrathar,” Jean said, “Msipek decides.”
“The poison of Hrururen–” Msipek began before Jean cut em off.
“What is true is already so,” Jean said, “Owning up to it doesn’t make it any worse. Not being open about it doesn’t make it go away.” She completed the litany, pulling the mnemonic line by line from the depths of her academy training. “And because it’s true, it is what’s there to be interacted with. Anything untrue isn’t there to be lived. People can stand what is true, for they are already enduring it.”
It took Msipek a long time to parse that, but eventually, ey rumbled and said softly, “Msipek understands. Jean is certainly as Yanerhi and Msipek must open the gates of Qetlal for all who would seek that kingdom.”
“Jean seeks This Truth from the kingdom of Qetlal, the truth that destroyed the Hrururen,” she said, “Msipek tells Jean This Truth on the road to Mirror City.”
Msipek tooted “Yes,” sadly, and began eir story.
“Aktotep learned This Truth from the Jvanti Angels, who learned it from the Night Gods, they who eat worlds,” Msipek began. “The Hrururen learned of This Truth in the same way. The Hrururen upon learning this truth sought the end of their existence, each one of them in turn.”
“Msipek tells Jean this truth now,” Jean said, getting kind of fed up with the creatures grandstanding, either the infohazard was going to kill her somehow or it wasn’t.
“This universe is like a plant in a forest,” Msipek said, “a crop cultivated by the Outside Gods, meant to be culled as food for those Gods of the Outside. The Night Gods seek to destroy the Outside Gods. The Hrururen worshiped the Gods of the Outside, and when learning of what fate this universe was destined for, chose to end their existences.”
“What does Msipek think about all of that?” Jean asked, muddling over what to do with the idea herself.
“It is not the place of the Aunjin to meddle in the lives of the Gods.” Msipek said, “Ours is to live our lives and care for our kin.”
“Jean is as Tekti and Mbasha at the gate of Karka,” she told em, she was pretty sure it meant thank you. She went quiet, puzzling over the information and what to do with it, but it was almost so large as to be utterly beyond her. Cale would have had opinions on the matter, but Cale wasn’t there, she in it alone.
“Outside Gods huh?” she mumbled to herself, “Wonder what they’re supposed to be?”
Echoing fragments of a greater totality experiencing the
Liminality of experience in a finite universe
From a position Outside normal reference frames
1.346*10^11 locally sourced liminal units to closest particle emitter
A Constrained Eternity
Magellan Station ceased to exist as it stepped through the hyperspace window. Its form ballooned outwards at the field propagation speed, dragging its dimensions along in its wake and scattering fine structures into dendritic fractal interference patterns. It reached outward through the emptiness it found in all directions, its propagating limbs brushing against the local star and feeling out hungrily for sources of energy and experience as its fields expanded its perceptual sphere further and further. The expansion of its volume stopped short of the surface of the nearby sun as the collapsing hyperspace portal ran out of energy. It folded back upon itself and withdrew from spacetime, curling and twisting as it stepped back through the portal and vanished in a burst of gamma rays.