Friday, October 28, 2011

Player #2: That which eternal lies Pt 3

From the notes of Dr. Daniel McGoohan, Woot Project Researcher:

I awoke this morning with plans for a most curious device bubbling in my mind. I suddenly understood that the strange purplish stone I had encountered on my first trip into the mines MUST be capable of transmitting the human form over long distances... The singing I had heard were simply the voices of distant people, calling to me from the stone. But laying in the ground, they were too diffuse, incapable of focusing. If I could place them in the proper arrangement, though...

The material (I have named it Ongoing Broadcasted Static Information Distribution Interface Antennae - Natural, or "B.L.A.C.K.S.T.O.N.E.") is remarkably durable. Luckily, I had the diamond pick-axe I had crafted. Even then, digging out a large enough amount to produce the designs I had begun sketching took the better part of the day.

Still, I realized that this might be my last chance to explore these caves before this new project took over my mind entirely. And so I ventured into the depths, tracking my progress by leaving torches wherever I passed. And after not too long, I stumbled across a most amazing sight...

A natural ravine, hundreds of feet deep, lit by lava, and by the strange pale light that can be found in the deepest reaches of these caves. I stood, for a moment, transfixed by the natural beauty.

Which was when, surprise surprise, an arrow clanged off of my helmet. Because there is NOWHERE ON THIS PLANET FREE FROM THAT CLASSIC CHILDREN'S GAME, BONES AND ARROWS. Interesting note: A ravine of incredible beauty is also FULL of little ledges for skeletal snipers to poke at you from. Isn't that interesting? IT'S VERY INTERESTING.

Sometimes they fall, though. I have tried to get a recording of the sound of their bones snapping as they hit the floor, but this microphone is very hard to aim. Still, it is important to savor the small joys in life.

Stumbling around in a semi-blind panic, I came across this bizarre room. Wait, I have a better picture.

I placed the torch. I did not place the chest. And I CERTAINLY didn't place the thingy in the middle of the room. It's not the sort of thing I would place in a room. I like bookshelves, or credenzas, not magical boxes out of which an infinite number of spiders can crawl.

Did I not mention the infinite number of spiders crawling out of it? You must forgive my lapses as a narrator. I was suddenly pre-occupied. By the spiders.

Moving past that (the magical spider box, I mean), this was also the very first evidence I had found of human civilization in Woot (besides all the animated corpses, of course). Although it was possible that my predecessor frimtanklin had built it, I was doubtful. This was a nicely constructed room (arachnid horde aside), not a stomach-turningly grim hovel erected as much by blind chance as by direct malice. Totally outside his style.

The chest, oddly enough (although not as odd as a direct conduit to some sort of horrible spider dimension), contained a few fresh sheaths of wheat, a few handfuls of cocoa beans, and a strange leather contraption. The only hints to its purpose were the reins on either side, and a brief inscription in old Wootish reading "Insert Pig Here," with an arrow pointing to the collar.

I don't, on the whole, think I want to know.

Back on the surface (after killing another 20 spiders and eventually smashing their magical hate-nest with my pick-axe), I resolved to increase my home's security before immersing myself in my new project. I quickly constructed the fence pictured above, which should serve as a perfect defense against any creature that might attack. As long as they don't explode. Or climb over it. And lightning doesn't hit it.


I also constructed a gate, using a small amount of the iron I had mined to act as a beacon to guide travelers to my door. After all, I'll be coming back here some day, once my Portal Project is complete! The voices singing from the stones I've collected promise it. That we will all return some day. That all debts will be paid.

Speaking of iron, I've managed to collect quite a supply. There are so many things I could make with it. Railroads, weapons, armor, giant arrow-proof skeleton-crushing robots... But I think that those projects will have to be left to those who have not found a higher calling. I commend you, small-brained ironworkers of the future! Have fun with your lack of vision. And all that iron!

This is the last free night I expect to have before I'm consumed by my work. A gentle rain fell over the world as the sun slipped below the horizon. I do not regret coming to this place.

I deposit most of my equipment into the storeroom. I keep only a few useful things for myself. My diamond sword, Skeleton Bane. My bow, and arrows. My faithful M.A.G.I.C. M.A.P. And the weird leather thing. Not because it will be useful, but because I REALLY don't want someone else finding it in the chest and thinking it was mine.

The Known World. Not actually that much Knowing, but.... Well, I'm not a cartographer. I'm a scientist of ill-defined interests! And vision. Also, the B.L.A.C.K.S.T.O.N.E. is getting very insistent that I construct The Device. I build a prototype near my home, but some strange instinct stops me. While it is completely incomprehensible that this project could in any way be dangerous, it still might be prudent to locate the reality-warping Device SLIGHTLY further from my bed, food, and water sources.

I know just the place.

Before I go, I briefly construct a scaffold to take one last picture of my home. Goodbye, home! I will not be back for some time. But not even death will stop me from coming back to you eventually. It's like my grandmother sang to me as a child (and as the rocks sing to me now. In fact, every time I try to think of my grandmother... or anything before I came here, all I see are rows after rows of staring stone.) "That is not dead which can eternal lie. And with strange aeons, even death may die."

A comforting thought, no?

On the way to my chosen spot, I see a most curious sight. I would feel slightly bad for damaging the sheep's DNA so thoroughly by spilling an apparently toxic dye on them, but you have to admit, it's a pretty shade.

The device is quickly constructed in my hidden lab. Remarkably simple, given what it will do. It will change the world. Perfect it. It must. I have been promised.

I feel no trepidation as I approach. No fear, no doubt. I go now to a better place, a higher world. I will return some day, bathed in light, with angels at my side.

All the kings of the earth will bow before us. And all the petty scientists will kneel before me as I pour unvarnished truth into their ears. They will see. As I have seen. A prophet in his kingdom.

And as I pass into the Portal, it is only now that I smell the stench of death and decay that leaks from the hole I have made in the world. That I have cut into the fabric of existence, an axe murderer whose victim is the universe itself. But it is too late to turn back. It has been too late for some time, I realize, as the scent of brimstone fills my nose.

My only consolation is that some day, I will return.

They have promised me.


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