FAMINE | FEAST
by: C.M. Dumoulin
/ Archeological Research Entry 219.7
/ From: Research Team Theta
/ Location: The City of Suns, Quetzal System
/ Personal Log: Xolo Gutierrez, M, 17 yrs std
/ Log Date: The 7419th day of the Locust Calendar
/ 21 days prior to the beginning of the phage
/ Begin Audio Transcription:
There’s a place, up near the hub, that I don’t think anybody knows about. I don’t think it officially exists. I looked for it in the city schematics. It just says, “vacuum storage” on that whole section. But I’ve been there and it’s not in vacuum. It’s got full atmo. And it had full grav too, weirdly enough. I can’t even wrap my brain around how there’s grav that close to the hub.
The storage part is right, though. There’s… something stored there, for sure. Something that I don’t think officially exists, either. I’m not even sure it’s supposed to be there.
I’m going to go back again tomorrow.
So, I went back to that place near the hub again today while everyone else was celebrating The Day of Bears in the city center. It’s kind of a goofy holiday so I didn’t mind missing it, though I did snag a honeycake when I got back. Those things are awesome.
Anyway, I went back.
It’s basically a large, open room with weird, rounded, melty-looking walls and this THING sitting right in the middle. There’s no lights in the walls or ceiling but it’s not dark in there. Like, I can see just fine once I let my eyes adjust. Just another thing that’s weird about the place, I guess.
I was going to try to figure out what the thing in the middle of the room was, but it honestly creeps me out. I spent the time examining the walls instead. That sounds stupid but the walls are actually really interesting. The walls aren’t smooth and straight like you’d expect. At first, I thought they looked like they were melted but that’s not exactly right. There are places where the wall seems to flow. There are ripples and bulges in the walls like water that got frozen in place. But there are also places where the walls look like they’re crystallized. Like, hard facets and sharp edges all jumbled together.
Did I mention that the whole room is curved? There aren’t any flat surfaces or corners or sharp edges of any kind. The walls and ceiling flow together to make a dome and the floor slopes gently down towards the center. The whole place feels like the inside of some weird, squashed egg.
I was going to spend more time in there today but I got this weird feeling like something was in the room with me. You know that itchy, back-of-the-head, “someone’s watching me” feeling? Yeah, like that. I kept thinking that I saw something moving out of the corner of my eyes but, when I turned, there was nothing. Just thing in the middle… which hadn’t moved.
I know that it hadn’t moved. It hasn’t moved in a long time, actually. I know it hasn’t moved because there’s dust everywhere, and the only thing that’s disturbed the dust is my own footprints. Nothing has moved in that room in a long time. Except for me, I guess.
It was creeping me out, though. So I left.
Man, school has been brutal this past week. So much homework. Next week is the Feast of Crows and we all have to do this big presentation on the meaning of the holiday or whatever. We have to give the presentation in costume. Which I, of course, have to make. It’s taking me so long to get the feathers grown.
Anyway, the point is that it’s been five days since I went to the room up in the hub. But I went back this morning. Everything was just as I’d left it. Five days and my footprints are still as clear as the day I made them. Must not be much airflow in there.
I had psyched myself up to get a good look at the thing in the middle of the room this time. I examined it from every angle and I gotta say, I have no idea what it is. I don’t even know where to start. The best description I can come up with is that it looks kind of like someone threw a big blanket over a piece of heavy machinery. But that’s not quite right either. I mean, the whole thing is made out of some sort of solid metal. I think. It’s hard like metal, at least.
Yeah, I touched it. It took me like fifteen minutes to work up the courage, but I eventually put my hand on it. It wasn’t cold like you expect metal to be and, when I pounded on it, it didn’t sound hollow. It didn’t sound like much, in fact. The whole thing is smooth. There’s no writing on it or anything except for this one odd symbol that seems stamped into it. A bird of some sort, I think. No idea what that’s supposed to mean.
So yeah, all that buildup and I still have no idea what The Thing is, why it’s there, and why the schematics don’t think it exists.
It’s gotten bigger. I don’t know how it’s possible for a big hunk of metal to get bigger, but I swear it has.
I went back this afternoon and something felt off. I walked around the room for about ten minutes until I noticed my footprints. The footprints from where I stood until I worked up the guts to touch The Thing? They were sticking out from under it. That shouldn’t be possible unless it moved or grew. I went to the other side and the dust was undisturbed right up to the edge of The Thing.
So yeah, it’s gotten bigger.
I haven’t gone back to the room in four days. I told myself it was because of schoolwork, but that’s a bunch of crap. My Feast of Crows feathers are just about grown in and I haven’t really had all that much homework.
The truth is, I’m scared.
I told Jami about the room. I told him all of it: the weird walls, the sunken floor, the Thing… and that I think it’s getting bigger…
He wanted me to show him but I said NO WAY. He kept pushing and I eventually told him, if he wanted to see it so bad, he could go himself.
And then I told him how to get there.
I haven’t seen Jami at school for two days. I think he went up to the room. What if he got hurt? I think I have to go back up there to make sure he’s ok. I’m going to take my recorder and my freaking pasárutakua stick this time
to be continued…
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