New Year party turns into an orgy which draws attention from the Crimson Hand. Siria plugs herself into an unimpressive pocket assistant, only to encounter an overpowering entity within. An improvised disabler field is identified. Discussions, doubts and plots stir.
Extracts from a Nuntian diary of one Siria Liam, Elder of Ordo Voluptas from the Most Esteemed Order of Techmancers
The 550th year of our Lord Aerus, January 2nd
In the light of the recent events I've taken into recording a Nuntian diary whenever I have the time. Unfortunately my memory of the recent events is shady at best, do excuse me if some details slip my mind. I must admit to being somewhat rattled by what we may have uncovered here. Therefore, I've made certain precautions and should my earthly stay come to an untimely end, my insights should be automatically passed unto Keinon. Hopefully they will bring some solace in the times to come.
After what happened in Horatio's room a few nights past I've had trouble trusting Valefarion. I fear the unruly nature of his Mekanima has taken a turn for the worse. It saddens me that not everyone has as close a relationship with their inner guiding voice of the Godmachine as I do, but that is no excuse for the things that happened. Add in the mix the fierce nature of the vessel known as Valefarion and you have the makings of a disaster. Thank the Godmachine that I was able to mitigate the damage done to our already dodgy reputation here, even if Valefarion did his utmost to sabotage anything I tried. *Sigh & an audible sip from a wineglass* And yet, I better try to regain his trust and push this event past me, especially if what Keinon suggests is true...
Speaking of Keinon, we've become surprisingly close in such a short period of time. He still has his flaws and seems to struggle with his Mekanima like Valefarion, but at least he has the common decency to keep his problems to himself. However, his roommate Lumen, as he likes to call her, remains a mystery but alas, that is a task for a more opportune time. But while our relationship blooms, I fear that our little entourage as whole is splitting into two, but for now it might actually be for the better. Let the cups have their fun and they might actually stumble into something useful and while they provide a distraction, me and Keinon can focus on the more important things. Some chaos might actually prove useful and speed things up and time is a luxury we may not have, if the thing truly already contaminates us. Oh give me strength Godmachine, if I've ever needed you, it is now.
Why do I ramble like this... *Yelling* Martha, get me more wine! This might take longer than I anticipated. Right, back to the story once more:
Despite everything, I was in a relatively good mood on the eve of the new year. I would finally be in my own element and maybe some questions would finally be answered. Alas, I was wrong; all I got was more questions. Hopefully the connections I made will at least prove useful at a later date. Nevertheless, all in all the night proved out not to be a total waste. With all the stress of the situation we've found ourselves in, we may have overdone the use of alcohol. And sure enough things degenerated into something you only see at a good Voluptas party. To anyone but a fellow Voluptas the following might sound crazy, but I actually felt the athmosphere, at the loss of a better word, homely. In the spur of the moment I shed my clothing and led Gustav on a joyride lasting all throughout the night. I've never known Gustav as someone to reject such an invitation, but that night he nearly did. He claimed to be worried about my recent moody behavior and I guess that is rather adorable. *A hearty chuckle* I guess he is not beyond redemption after all. But on a more serious note, I must be more alert with my actions: whatever the thing did to Valefarion, it might do to me and I might not even notice it.
The next day I woke up determined to get to the root of this whole charade. In retrospective, I acted rashly and there is no excuses for what I did. My frustration and pride led me on a path that could have endangered our mission here once and for all. In that aspect I am no different from Valefarion, but I think it is better that he never learns of my doubts. I need to stand behind my choices, that is the only way to get him to respect me. Us women, even though superior in every aspect, need to maintain our facade at all costs or be cast aside by the ignorant men. And whereas men never learn from their mistakes, us women, we adapt and soon enough our time will come.
Anyways, when the others had their hands full with some minor lead, I dug up an intriquing pocket assistant we had confiscated from Horatio. Our initial analysis had shown that an advanced Mekanima resided within it and that it was of an ancient origin. How Horatio had gotten his hands on the contraption remains unknown but my woman's intuition insisted that it would hold the keys to the mystery we face. After making sure I wouldn't be disturbed, I made the plunge.
The sight that greeted me was unlike anything I had ever seen before. The overflow of data hit me like a wet towel and for a moment I was lost in the colossal matrix of information. How such a device could hold so much information, I have not the slightest of ideas, but as it turned out, it was only the beginning. After a while I grew accustomed to my new surroundings and begun my journey towards the core of the neural network of the Mekanima through a myriad of indexes, folders and obscure menus. I was barely prepared for what I encountered at the heart of the colossus. In the center of a zone void of any information a gargantuan sphere of darkness was floating ominously, uncaring of space and time. I felt its pull and was struck by an uncharasteristic spell of hesitation. Malign intent oozed from the orb, but I sent a prayer for the Godmachine, steeled my nerves and lunged forward.
What I encountered can only be understood by those touched by the Godmachine in the sacred Ritual of the Conduit. The instant I entered the sphere a hostile force, with a power nearly in rival to that of the Godmachine's, attacked my mind and soul and started bending me to its will. Without the intervention from the One Who's Voice Echoes in the Galaxy, I would surely have perished. In that moment my mind briefly became one with that of the Godmachine's and I caught a glimpse of his eternal design.
The Godmachine is awake once more, woe to those who dare to stand on his path!