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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