Recalling the Past
On Past Incarnations:
Remembering the past, for Champions, this is done through a lens of the current incarnation. Many recall happy memories of loved ones and great sacrifices for the betterment of the Nation they serve. One must remember that it is the vat technicians that manipulate these memories. Children and the embrace of a lover – tools to fight the clarity of a Champion, to muddle their minds and ensnare them in works of a particular social group rather than the betterment of all humanity or even the Maker himself. Memories of sacrifice set the groundwork for a nationalistic pride and a precedent for setting the needs of the State above the individual and even the greater world. I do not have such memories. Many of my memories are of dreams as a drone serving the Maker and communing with the thrum of the Core. Years quietly working as a servant in the Reaches who saw tasks and accomplished them free of distraction. As a tunnel-folk woman, cowering forgotten, deemed inhuman by civilized folk. This showed me that the actions of man are selfish and unworthy of the servitude of the Enlightened.
First Entry: ZNI-243 (Drone), DA 4123
Even in life, if one is released from service to the Maker, the memories are hazy and fleeting. Most drones that lose the song and move back into the metropolises are filled with a profound sense of loss, few live longer than a few years more. It’s even harder to grasp those memories all these centuries later, only the most sweeping details remain personally, but Lord Ku has opened his archives and helped greatly in re-obtaining these lost moments of bliss. Within the vast stores of knowledge that Lord Ku has cataloged from events in the Reaches and Far Reaches – I was designated Drone ZNI-243. From my skill set, it seems I was once a member of the Meticulous Surgeons, for nearly three centuries I drifted in and out of service directly to Lord Ku. Traveling the Outer Reaches and the Pole of Smoke tending to the maintenance of filtration systems and power surge containment nodes and tasks my mind can no longer grasp. This was when my soul first came to the attention of Lord Ku. Sometimes when my suffering is greatest or when the thrum of the Maker’s being swallows my attentions – I can hear the barest whisper of that song in my memories. Lord Ku believes it is one of the most important safe guards in maintaining control over my empathy.
Second Entry: Threbin (Vat Technician in Service to Ku), DA 3746
Through my multitude of lives, I have served Lord Ku once before, as a Vat Technician within one of his Adamant Citadels. Even the archives of Lord Ku have forgotten my family name from that time; few retain such artificial identity in the metropolises of the Core. What I do recall is this:
Alarms are ringing in the complex, we have three angels on the slab undergoing retrofit, it seems one has come down with the affliction. We caught it early, this time; I see the nascent veins of darkness within her crystal frame now. I can feel the sadness grip me, another friend and Champion that will have to be sacrificed. In the last twenty cycles, this is the third Champion to be lost to the blight of Gremlin Syndrome. All have been young Angels, thirty cycles or less in service, the records report that 95% of all Angels lost since their inception have served fifty cycles or less before contracting this fatal affliction. Like all the others, she will have to give her farewells and embrace ritual purification at the hands of her brothers and sisters. It will be long after my death before her soul might be considered purified and ready to be awoken again to service – the material of her body is certainly unsalvageable. It’s time to wake her, time to tell her good bye…
Lord Ku tells me that this memory is important as well. It reminds me of the pain of loss – reminds me that even after ones death the pain and sadness affects others in epidemic fashion. Hundreds of mortals felt the pain of that Champion’s death, this suffering changed the resonance of their prayer, and this in turn caused the Maker sadness and suffering. It has also shown me that a situation that once seemed hopeless to so many, as in the case of managing the S.E.S. (Superior Empathy State), or more commonly known as Gremlin Syndrome, can improve with time. While the Maker’s condition may seem hopeless now, just as the Angel of my memory, there is hope.
Third Entry: Ayfer (Tunnel Folk, Demir Clan in the Reaches around Nurad), DA 2921
My oldest memories extend back approximately two thousand years. It was a different world then. The blights had not begun to form within the Maker, his health was maintained by his processes. The Great Cities were still few, some nations containing only one such holy site. This is as far back as I can look back into my memories as well – for the Ministers themselves had only just begun to use Elder Angels as their citadels. Lord Ku’s first citadel, Netzach-Yesod, was founded in DA 2736. It was about two centuries before the vast data recording municipal charms were installed. Thus, these are both my earliest memories and a glimpse into one of the great mistakes of humanity. When the cities of the Champions began to spring up across the Markers flesh – so too did the blight bloom in the Reaches. I believe this might be due to the cities themselves, drawing the life essence of the Maker in such vast amounts. It was akin to a man spending too long in the frigid rooms where the data stores are kept, his fingers and toes and ears growing cold – then numb – then blackened with death. So too did the Maker circum to the chill of the Blight – the blindness of man seeing no ill as they sat within the warmth of our god’s belly.
It’s so dark, the nerves of the Maker we once tapped to light our small village… they’ve grown still. The Elders have sent runners along their length and it seems the gifts of the Maker have been diverted to a bright silver blaze in the far north. We’ve sent envoys to beseech them – to let these people from the village of light know that they now hold the thrum of the Maker, that we sit in the darkness now. Only one man returned, with a message. Of the other twenty-seven sent, all have been imprisoned and enslaved. Our returned envoy reports that the Maker has singularly blessed the people of the bright city and that we may come to them and kneel as slaves with a promise of a better life after we die or we may stay freemen in the Reaches but damn our souls. Another, from the city of light, came with him. A slender being made of the same silver metal with whirring gears and sparking dynamos beating within his flesh. Many of the villagers prostrated themselves before this thing, they believed it an avatar of Autochthon. It denied that it was such a god – stating that it was but a humble servant to the people of the city of silver light. It told us that without a gem set into our skulls – a terrible and dark place waited for us when we died. Everyone in the village is deciding now. Many wish to travel farther into the Reaches to find a new home – a place singularly blessed by the Maker. Many others seek the promise of a greater life after this one – a life as one within the city of silver light. I’ve decided to go to the city of light as well. Not for the promises of a life after this one – but to learn more of what this place is and how the Maker has showered his blessings upon it. What the bright people have done to so please our god.
This memory shows me how fickle time and fate can be. Had I turned from the words of that Priest-Champion then, I would not be here today. My soul would have been lost in the Reaches and I would never have experienced all of these millenia. I would no longer be here to serve my Maker in his time of need. At the same time this memory shows me that others will use and abuse you when they can. The people of the “Bright City” could have shown us the secrets of the soulgem then and allowed us to decide if we would remain separate or serve them. It benefits the Maker that all Souls be tied into the cycle of service. Yet, they chose to hold it over us as a bartering chip – to press us into a generation of slavery to earn what was already our right and the will of our Maker.
This memory is important because it shows me the false idols of nationalism and greed. That many men will subvert the Maker and put themselves above him – would endanger humanity and the world itself for their personal gain. These urges I feel, to cause pain and destruction. They are no different than men’s lusts – but I know them for what they are. The Makers needs will ever be above my own self-indulgence.