Bite-sized Backstory 5: The Ancient Needle (Destiny)
After an exhilarating year exploring Fundament’s seas, the three brave exiled sisters found the most extraordinary thing adrift in the turbulent waters of the Shvubi Malestrom: A long, slender, gray colored ship that was obviously built by a species with skills and technology far beyond that of the Osmium Court.
Sathona's dead familiar whispers to her that it has been there since long before her people arrived on Fundament millions of years ago.
A small debate broke out among the sisters. Xi Ro, true to her nature, spoke up for immediate revenge. She wanted to tow the ship back to the multi-species trade center at Kaharn Atoll and use the money it would sell for to hire an army large enough to retake their homeland. Aurash disagreed. Ever the explorer, she wanted to open the ship up and see what was inside. Sathona, who of course already knew what was inside since her father’s dead familiar had told her, sided with Aurash.
With the votes two to one, the three sisters entered the alien ship.
Much of the needle ship's interior is left to our imaginations. The only real physical description of it we get is that it had glistening halls. One might imagine that it's interior was large, beautiful, and advanced. We do, however, learn some troubling things about the ship:
- This was not a starship, but was instead a ship meant to dive deep down through the gaseous and liquid layers of Fundament, all the way to the gas giant’s core.
- The ship had a room for growing flesh of some kind. We are told there are “flesh fans” so perhaps this was a series of vats stirring and cultivating some kind of biological growth? Regardless of what exactly this flesh growing room looked like, we also learn that it had gone unused for so long that the flesh had mummified.
- Finally, we learn of the ship’s birthing chamber. Somehow, either through studying logs and records, or perhaps through Sathona's familiar, the three sisters learned that the needle ship’s crew had gone deep into the center of Fundament and brought back some sort of chrysalis. And, with the birthing room’s advanced suite of surgical equipment, they had cut through and pealed back the layers of the thing they had recovered until it emerged… and killed them all! What was left of their corpses still sat on the birthing room’s floors!
For the next two years, Aurash, Xi Ro, and Sathona worked to repair the needle ship and to understand what it was meant for and how to operate it. They were five years old by the time they finally finished. Half of their short lifespans were already spent and by now they’d lived more of their lives in exile than they had as heirs to their father’s throne.
Once again, the three sisters had to decide what to do with the needle ship and what to do with the remainder of their lives. Retaking their home might still have been possible, but Aurash still could not shake free of the idea that their strange new ship might hold the key stopping the God-Wave that would soon destroy everything and everyone.
Xi Ro, who had done the bulk of the work to clear the needle ship’s birthing chamber of what remained of its crew, warned against the idea. Whatever had killed the crew had been found beneath Fundament’s inner metallic layers. Going there themselves would only serve to get them killed as well.
Sathona, who had again spent time alone listening to her familiar’s helpful whispers in secret, once again sided with Aurash. The only way they would be able to fulfill their oaths now, she argued, was to use the ship for its intended purpose and dive deep towards Fundament’s core.
And so, together, the three brave sisters dove their needle ship towards the innermost depths of Fundament…just as the things waiting for them in the dark, hot, crushing spaces below had planned…
V: Needle and Worm
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