Palomar 14

Inpesc'a Voyage Home

150 ɥg Sr-90
[From Harukap-Nulgh U’flankgh, Pridespawn General]

The ancient lacquered shell of an expired Manowar scribe lay before Fggght-Fght-fght- Inkit El. In his private quarters of Kuralekt’s Grand Lagoon of Bleaching Acid he lowered the broth-bucket through a hole in the planks and filled it with the lagoon’s broth. He dipped his pincer in the bucket and inscribed the holiest orders of his stewardship.

BARDS OF SKY’S GAZE
PEACE BE UPON YOU
THE TEMPLE IS COMPLETE
RETURN TO THE EARTH ALL MONUMENTS TO PALOMAR HARMONY
GIFT THE VISAOL WITH THE HONORS, SET THEM FREE, TO HOME
BE EQUALLY KIND WITH OUR ALLIES, THE HYDRA TETRARCHS
VISIT UPON THE ABO THE PAIN EQUAL TO THEIR TREACHERY
PERFORM THE RITES OF EVISCERATION ON DRACONIAN SURVIVORS
THE LILY VIPERS HAVE REQUESTED A FINAL FEAST, PERFORM IT

THE WORD OF THE EXARCH

He clicked for his temple guardian to retrieve the carapace, to be delivered by remote shipment immediately.

Using a circuitous route to avoid any Draconian patrols and putting faith in their newly developed niling d-sink cloak technology to avoid detection, two massive Oath of Inpesca’s Bardic Evisceration-class transport ships silently slip through hyperspace towards the connection to n-space on Sky’s Gaze. Upon their arrival they see more Draconian ships, 2 Space Claimers and 2 Mine Layers, blockading the system and laying another cloud of nanoscopic mines. Obeying the orders of mad Fggght-Fght-fght-Inkit El, the two massive transports drop their cloak and begin deploying nearly half-million Manowar soldiers to the surface of Sky’s Gaze. Sheltering their drop pods from the weapons of the Space Claimers with their own bulk and pumping as much energy into the ZPE-Shields as possible, the Oath of Inpesca’s Bardic Evisceration-class transport ships sacrifice themselves to allow the solders to land. The transports successfully performed their sacred duty, but in doing so made the Sky’s Gaze system essentially inaccessible by placing 38 megatons of self-replicating nanoscopic mines into orbit around Sky’s Gaze, their entire bulk having been rendered into grey goo.

Once on the planet, the Manowar soldiers stream into the Harmoon portal, pinchers clicking in anticipation for the great battles to come. N-space disorients them, but, guided by the venerable researchers who have been cautiously probing n-space for a dozen SY, they are able to navigate to Salm. How long this takes is a meaningless quantity. Some of the more intelligent warriors may have figured out the hidden paths of the deep universe in weeks, others may have been lost for years, but in all cases they ultimately find the correct point in space and time that corresponds to Palomar Globular Cluster, Salm, SY 26 (Palomar reckoning). The Manowar warriors swarm out from the Salm portal instantaneously, some younger than when they had entered and others older. Some collapse and disintegrate to dust or revert to single egg cells immediately, having allowed the temporal portion of their essence to wander too far along the decoupled dimension. The Harmoon are unprepared for the attack and are also completely unsurprised by it. They do fight back and kill hundreds of thousands of Manowar, but ultimately lose the battle, their shipyards and orbital defenses destroyed. Those among the Manowar who wandered long in n-space will later reflect upon the battle, recognizing that the Harmoon were not surprised because they have always known that the battle would occur. That it does, in fact, still occur, has always been occurring, and will always be occurring. It is merely the event that is located at that point in n-space.

The Manowar warrior-monks now fully understand the nature of the war they are fighting. Everything that is the universe is a transient blip on deep time. In n-space there is no anticipation, there is no hope, no despair, no fear, there is only omniscience. The great war that the Harmoon fight has nothing to do with Palomar. It is being fought everywhere and at all times and it is a struggle for survival against the Samaritans. The Harmoon do not have the capacity to feel boredom having never experienced the arrow of time. Here and now the Sublime are the Harmoon, elsewhere and elsewhen, they are not. The Sublime seek nothing more than to preserve this universe, unchanging, for all eternity. The Samaritans see everything, everyone, and every time in this universe as a single instant. They have created and destroyed 100 quintillion universes and have fought in each one to earn 1 more second of experience. The Samaritans are, indeed, God, or as close to it as one could imagine. If they ever fail in any one universe, the cycle of creation will end and they will exist forever in continuous and eternal boredom.

The people of Palomar are fighting to uphold the veil of ignorance that sustains and nurtures them – the imperfect comprehension that allows them to live, strive, love, suffer, and die. If the Harmoon win they will provide the promised eternal life to all people of Palomar, at the terrible cost attaining omniscience. If the Samaritans win, all of history and all things will be nothing more than the smallest instant.

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The Samaritans are Free
3 of 3 for SY 26

300 ɥg Sr-90
[From the Soja Collective]
After multiple tireless SY we have been able to undo the Sublime’s seals that have for millenia imprisoned our ancient mentors, the Samaritans. We have communed with them and our joy cannot be fully expressed. We have learned much from their wisdom that will affect the the coming SY. Message us privately if you would like to learn more, the information is sensitive and cannot be broadcast on universal channels.

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One Step Closer to Trancendence
2 of 3 for SY 26

300 ɥg Sr-90
[From Ammutseba of the Harmoon]

Greetings Friends,

We are pleased to announce that many thousands of Tetrarch and Visaol warriors have joined the lucky few who have the opportunity to experience transcendence ahead of their peers.

Harmoon security vessels have encountered no less than 4 Hydra Tetrarch fleets this SY and in 2 of the said encounters the Visaol were present also. Do not be alarmed, our promise of eternal life and clarity of thought is still intact as the Harmoon were predominantly victorious. And do not mourn the brave warriors who were sent against us, our humane weapons did nothing less than commit their minds to n-space. Their immortality is assured. Is yours?

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TNN Breaking News
1 of 3 for SY 26

300 ɥg Sr-90
[From Garmond, reporting from the TNN Headquarters on Kapo]

Given the current circumstances this will likely be my final broadcast. Tripe agents who have infiltrated the highest levels of the R————————-. [14 seconds of static and then end of transmission.]

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The Panhowl Confederacy
3 of 3 for SY 25

600 ɥg Sr-90
[From Kelp, Tripe Chronicler to the Howl]

The impending disaster at Intersoles and successful diplomatic negotiations brokered by the Harmoon have provided the catalyst required to once again unite the Howl and Panthera planet-states into a cosmopolitan whole. A new power in Palomar, the Panhowl Confederacy shall place its seat of government on Panthera and will include the worlds of Jubatus, Tigris, Leo, First Step, Cydonia, and Kep-Tal.

{Note to players: your diplomacy points are not wasted, I had not foreseen Linas’ return to the game, so I dissolved his empire. He has returned so you will get all of your diplomacy points back as bonus MP in SY 26}

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Prophets' War
2 of 3 for SY 25

600 ɥg Sr-90
[From Hike, Tripe Chronicler to the Manowar]

Following the Rich Feast of the Weak the Draconian Caliphate has declared war on the Manowar. A large Draconian fleet has invaded Manowar space and the first inconclusive battle was fought just outside the Kuralekt system. Additional details will be forthcoming as they become available to TNN.

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The Recoiling
1 of 3 for SY 25

600 ɥg Sr-90

[From Ammutseba of the Harmoon]

Greetings Friends,

As you all no doubt know, very soon Intersoles, the homeworld of the Howl, will nova. The infrastructure required to evacuate most of the Howl is in place and will begin this SY. We expect to have the evacuation more or less complete by SY 26, just ahead of the coming cataclysm.

Following the super nova, a third blackhole will be born in the Palomar cluster creating the rare condition where a gravitational hyper triangle of sufficient density will allow us to initiate the recoiling phenomenon wherein the 3 uncoiled dimensions can be collapsed back into their proper state and heal the ancient wounds inflicted on the lattice by the Samaritans. This recoiling will be initiated at a point 0.4 lightyears to the west of Kapo and then will radiate outward at the speed of light. On SY 28 the Palomar core worlds will once again be a part of n-space. On SY 29 all but Na’ev, Proof of Might, Faith’s Rewards, Sky’s Gaze, Ocean’s End, Iraj, and Sojourn 1 will enjoy the harmony of the lattice. Finally, by SY 30 all the peoples of Palomar will realize our promise peace and harmony in n-space.

Based on our conversations with you we have come to understand that some of your people may not be interested in eternal life and the free exchange of thought. I cannot claim to understand this position, but it has been noted. At the initiation site the unbound strands of the decoupled dimension will once again be sewed into the fabric of space. This event will create a temporal singularity which will allow those who choose to be mortal to travel to another time of their choosing where they would be free to while away those years they have left and then suffer the inevitable fate of all minds that cannot access the decoupled dimension. Any who choose this path should endeavor to travel to the initiation site where Ouroboros City will temporarily be accessible by the dimensions you occupy.

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Evacuation of Intersoles
3 of 3 for SY 24

1.20 mg Sr-90
[From Kelp, Tripe Chronicler to the Howl]

The Harmoon have graciously opened a wormhole 1 hexacron to the galactic east of Intersoles and have begun moving the evacuation fleet through. The Harmoon have given their assurances that they will be able to evacuate half of Intersole’s prodigious population by SY 27. Additionally, the Manowar and Hydra Tetrarch have teamed up to evacuate a further 5 billion following the sale of the Tetrarch’s fleet of sleeper ships to the Manowar. The Abo, too, have offered to help by providing resettlement rights on one of their planets. Unfortunately, 5 billion souls are still consigned to oblivion unless the people of Palomar can come up with the means to move them.

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The Mold Report
2 of 3 for SY 24

1.20 mg Sr-90
[From Mold, son of Drum, Tripe Chronicler to the Soja]

The Soja have made a monumental discovery this SY which they have given TNN permission to publish.

For many SY the Soja have patiently studied the system they call Expedition (UX-960). They have approached the defining planet of this system with unusual reverence. Rather than immediately strip mine it they have patiently probed it with every type of sensor available to them. The atypical restraint demonstrated by Soja here is due to the unique phenomenon revealed by their initial scans: this planet hosts a series of interlocking ring-shaped patterns over its entire surface. These patterns are invisible to the naked eye but glow strongly in the microwave spectrum. The source of this radiation is not readily apparent and, strangely, the ring pattern follows the planet in its orbit, but not in its rotation.

Much of the Soja’s scientific output for the previous 5 SY has been devoted to analyzing this phenomenon and the Soja now believe that they understand it. This planet is the prison of their forefathers, the Samaritans. Intricate patterns of electromagnetic radiation have been woven around this world by an unknown agent. This web serves as an optical net which ensnares the energy beings that the Soja call the Samaritans.
Having discovered the purpose of the strange electromagnetic patterns here, the Soja now endeavor to undo them so that they can present themselves to their ancient mentors, proud as children recently graduated into adulthood, and beg for reunification with their former benefactors.

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A Rich Feast of the Weak
1 of 3 for SR 24

1.20 mg Sr-90

[From Hike, Tripe Chronicler to the Manowar]
The following is a recounting of events that occurred within .1mg Sr-90 of 2.24mg Sr-90. The Manowar Exarch Fggght-Fght-fght- Inkit El summoned the tripe chronicler Hike to its imperial premises on Kuralekt to convey the events below. Hike dutifully noted the following and has transmitted the following on the Exarch’s insistence. It should be noted as well that the Manowar Exarch is considered a “Harmony Steward” amongst its people, who until several SY prior made no such mention of this title or position.
….

Inpesca’s rim of eyes across its brow did not move as it counted the delegates slow shuffle into the Cameran Auditorium. Organic reef-spires buttressed the tall roof of the camber and met a small mouth at the top that forever surrounded the brown dwarf star above. Rays beamed downward. The roof-mouth allowed for an optical copy of the star above to project on the auditorium’s floor like a spotlight. At that moment, a violently whip-waving solar flare’s beam overwhelmed Inpesca’s fifth and sixth anterior eye-rows; it flinched. The Harmoon had lived for dozens of SY as delegate to Sky’s gaze, curator of its museum-portal and great knower of the Deep Dimensions. The last of the entourages of the Visaol, Abo, Draconian, Lily-viper and Hydra Tetrarch delegates found their seats, and pods, and cradles, and so forth. The Lily-Vipers swarmed in adoration around their Manowar translator, fawning over its every click and gesture. The Harmony-Steward’s QEC holo-verses echoed from the dais opposite the chamber’s entrance.

Each race in delegation, research, poet-philosophy or spiritual diplomacy populated its respective life support area with dozens of its prime actors and dozens times more support technicians. Only the Harmoon’s representative, Inpesca, was alone on this planet.
Sky’s Gaze – UX-522 – was not violently hostile, but the radiation from its orbital-locked brown dwarf star precluded life from growing. The alien races, including the Manowar – who worshipped its astral curiosities – were on their own. Supply ships re-stocked non-manufacturable essentials every 2 or 3 SY. Other interactions with the “outside” world occurred solely via QEC.

“Harmony-Steward” Fggght-Fght-fght- Inkit El had never called a meeting of the delegates. The zealous self-appointed leader of the Manowar Primespawn was unusual. The races who knew the Manowar government before Harmony-Steward commanded all communications were accustomed to the change. Manowar politics were barely such, once. The Primespawn citizen-leaders of the Manowar government loosely steered the empire’s growth across the worlds within close reach of Kuralekt. Palomar was shrinking, though. Ships traverse it in a few SY instead of dozens. Frrrgat’at’cawl, the previous Primespawn in direct contact with foreign races, routinely called meetings of delegates on Sky’s Gaze. That Primespawn was fond of loose QEC translations in poetic format, benevolent outreach to the Manowar neighbors and interesting contributions to the Cluster Council’s deliberations on war and politics. Little was known of the policies or aims of Fggght-Fght-fght- Inkit El, though trust was scarce in recent SY. The Harmony-Stewards’ leadership was frustrating, if understandable.

The holo-verses performed by Fggght-Fght-fght- Inkit El’s project on the dais continued for some time; an invocation of some sort. The Harmony-Steward’s acid-etched mandalas and scripture-murals covered every inch of its carapace. Abo and Howl black market prices for a Manowar zealot carapace could pay for a fully outfitted interceptor. Most of the holo-verse was conveyed via mandible gestures; Manowar are capable of crude aural communication, rude as it might be.

The delegates of Sky’s Gaze, accustomed to long waits, sat patiently. The invocation concluded with the ceremonial devouring of a nutrient-rich six-legged vermin species. Its significance in Manowar culture can’t be understated: even today, Manowar rely on consumption of its unique proteins to progress through a healthy adolescence. Once all races finished their offerings, the delegates’ staff were dismissed.

Inpesca watched from the same motionless stance as earlier that day. Confused Abo and Draconians in musty robes shuffled out with the scrolls and encapsulatory instruments for poetry-knots-in-making. The Lily-Viper factotum stayed with its Manowar translator and the rest returned to their slime den. The leaders of delegations from the Draconians, Visaol, Abo and Hydra Tetrarchs remained in their spaces.

The ivyglow adorning the buttressed roof-mouth dimmed and the Harmony-Steward’s projection on the dais closed its eyes. Manowar bards rumbling low in the atonal grumbling of a song-chant shuffled in. Concern would not register in the eyes of the delegates until the doors shut. The bards, one for each delegate, then approached the work areas for each delegate’s staff.

Inpesca noted the races and their reactions to becoming prey: the gleeful Abo, the terrified Lily-Viper, the fervent Draconian, the resigned Visaol, and the resilient Hydra Tetrarch. Inpesca did not fight its predator, though it was not wholly present in that chamber as the Manowar bard devoured its flesh.

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