Chapter 2: Archival Discoveries
As Hannibal and Selina dozed off, on the far side of the planet at Tiamat, Dan sat in the Library Archive at one of the computer monitors studying the most recent translations to come out of the electronium books of the Archive. It captivated him, causing him to lose track of time and of everything going on around him. “My god,” he muttered, completely blown away by what he was reading. “This can’t be right. It’s insane.”
“What’s insane?” Gerard asked as he walked up, hearing Dan’s comments.
“Don’t sneak up on me like that, Gerard,” Dan scolded, turning with a start when Gerard spoke.
“Sorry about that,” Gerard apologized, seeing Dan’s startled look. “I didn’t mean to startle you.”
“It’s all right,” Dan answered with a sigh, “Have you seen this yet? What I’ve read so far is crazy beyond comprehension.”
“What are you looking at?” Gerard queried, leaning down to see the screen. Upon seeing it, he grunted knowingly, saying, “Oh, you’re looking at the latest translations out of the history section of the archives. Yes, I skimmed it earlier, and the little bit I saw really rattled my monkey cage. I had a hard time believing it myself.”
“This can’t be right,” Dan stated in disbelief. “Have the translations been confirmed?”
“Yes,” Gerard stated bluntly. “The translations are accurate and have been checked seven times because of the completely bizarre information we saw in them. From what I saw, we must completely rethink our perceptions of history and our place in this universe. We’re definitely not alone, and obviously not the first intelligent species on this planet by any stretch of the imagination. That’s for sure.”
“I agree,” Dan stated, leaning back in his chair. “It’s now clear Tiamat is not of human manufacture, but of alien origins...Etherian origins to be exact. They came here to this planet 350,000,000 years ago and built Tiamat, along with four other machines like it.”
“Oh, man,” Gerard breathed. “I didn’t see that part. As I said, I just skimmed the information. Did it say anything about how they constructed Tiamat? From what we’ve seen so far in our explorations, some of it seems to be like the inside of a ship while other parts are obviously carved out of solid rock.”
“That’s true,” Dan answered. “It seems, according to what I’ve read here, that Tiamat was actually built somewhere else in the universe and placed here. Where it was built I haven’t seen so far, but it does make it plain that Tiamat was designed as both a probe and a planetary engine designed to harvest the energy of this planet. If what I’m seeing is true, then part of this complex is a mammoth boring machine designed to burrow deep into the earth until it found a stable energy supply in the form of magma deep underground. Once it tapped the magma energy source, it began generating power and expanding the machine into what we see now, transforming the surrounding rock and terrain into this vast complex.”
“Does it say how big Tiamat is?” Gerard asked.
“The records I’m seeing say the initial Tiamat probe was conical in shape fifteen miles in length and six miles across at the large end,” Dan reported in an awed tone. “First, the Etherians apparently scanned the planet from orbit, searching for highly volcanic regions nearly tectonic plate boundaries knowing it was the easiest place to access the earth’s interior. Once they found suitable sites where the volcanic energy signatures matched what they wanted, they sent the probes down. Upon impact, it would drill until it found the energy source, and then expand laterally to nearly ten miles in diameter, absorbing the rock and minerals it encountered and restructuring it into what we see now. In the process, it sank wells around the machine to tap the water supplies and other sources of energy to sustain the machine. Once the machine had expanded to its maximum extent, the Etherians then started mining operations to study and extract anything of use from the surrounding environment. The energy Tiamat generated was used to repower their fleet, to generate massive portals through which they could travel, even control the earth’s ecosystem. However, the main purpose for Tiamat was to work with five other sister machines to create their spatial bubble sanctuary.”
“Holy shit,” Gerard cursed. “If that’s right, then we haven’t even begun to touch the extent of this place. Wait, you mean there are other machines like this elsewhere on the planet?”
“Yes, at least three more like this one on this planet,” Dan answered bluntly, “The record said they planted these machines at the four corners of the planet,” Dan stated, “One in the east...this one, one in the west, one at each pole. I can only surmise where they may be now since the surface of this planet has shifted tremendously since the Mississippian Era when these machines were first introduced into the earth’s ecosystem. Who knows where they may be now. But there’s more. It says there’s another machine somewhere on the moon along with an artificial intelligence mechanism that links and controls all five machines hidden somewhere on this planet. The books say with these six machines, they tapped the energy of this planet to create their spatial bubble sanctuary. It seems only this planet had the right confluence of elements and energy to warp space/time enough to create their spatial bubble sanctuary they called the Nexus.”
“Hold on a minute,” Gerard blurted out, suddenly realizing something profound. “That means Selina and Nathanael’s story about the Etherians and the Old Ones isn’t just a tall tale told across the galaxy. It’s true, and Earth is the planet they used to create their Nexus thingy.”
“That’s right,” Dan said bluntly. “The Etherians and Old Ones are officially no longer myth. They really did exist and created Tiamat eons long before the Lord put us humans here. And it gets even crazier. The Etherians didn’t just come here to set up the machines they needed to create the Nexus, they literally colonized this planet 350,000,000 years ago. They introduced several intelligent alien species here to operate and maintain their machines. These strange species lived in cities they built around these machines. I’m betting if we do some digging locally, we’d eventually find the remnants of the city around Tiamat here. But something happened, something catastrophic that wiped out these cities and imprisoned the Etherians and Old Ones inside their sanctuary approximately 65,000,000 years ago.”
“Whoa,” Gerard breathed, leaning on the desk beside Dan. “That’s the same time as the K-T event that wiped out the dinosaurs.”
“That’s true,” Dan agreed. “But the record is unclear as to what the catastrophe was, though the asteroid impacts that took place at the end of the Cretaceous era may have been part of that. There’s just too much iridium in the K-T boundary for it to have been just a single asteroid six miles across, or even a storm of smaller rocks. Something vast and incredibly destructive took place 65,000,000 years ago to have put down that much iridium and caused that mass extinction. Now it seems we may have a clue as to what happened.”
“Indeed,” Gerard replied. “But what could have been so destructive to have killed off the dinosaurs and wiped out the evidence of the Etherian colonization of Earth? Does it say what kind of creatures they brought here apart from the Old Ones?”
“I haven’t seen that information yet,” Dan stated, “But I’m sure it’s here somewhere. I suspect the creatures they used to colonize this planet were nothing but slaves for the Etherians. Furthermore, I suspect we have no concept of what those life forms would look like. They may be as alien to us as the Etherians and Old Ones are. Anyway, this is supremely important information. We must endeavor to piece together this story in order to understand this place and our place in the cosmos. I hope we haven’t stumbled into something we can’t deal with. From what I read, these Etherians are colossal tentacled beings of great evil who thrive on chaos and death. The stories Selina told us about the Etherians are not just stories. From what I’ve seen so far out of this set of records, these creatures harvested entire worlds and civilizations just like Selina and Nathanael told us, leaving dead worlds in their wake. We cannot let those things or the Old Ones out of their prison, ever, or they will decimate this universe.”
A cold chill raced down Gerard’s spine at Dan’s warning. “I must agree,” he concurred. “But they cannot be released without all the machines operating together, right?”
“That’s what the records say,” Dan stated. “As long as the other four machines remain lost, we have a chance.”
“What do you mean?” Gerard asked. “I thought you said there was six components to this thing.”
“I did,” Dan replied. “It takes all six machines working together to open the Nexus, according to the accounts. Gerard, these machines became known as the Four Winds when humans first encountered them. Tiamat is the East Wind. The North, South, and West Wind machines are presently unaccounted for on this planet. However, the fifth machine lies somewhere on the moon, most likely lost among the many asteroid impacts there.”
“But what about the sixth component,” Gerard asked bluntly. “Is it lost too?”
“Unfortunately, no,” Dan stated grimly. “It’s not lost. I know exactly where it is, thanks to the Lord and Gabriel.”
“Where is it?” Gerard demanded.
“The sixth component, the FATE AI, lies in the Mountains of Fornax in Amacia, imprisoned inside a temporal rip that happened eons ago,” Dan answered. “Inside that time bubble, time and space have collapsed and frozen into a single point inside the FATE computer complex. I saw it myself when Gabriel took Brother Paul and me on a little excursion to see Hannibal in Amacia the other day. Unfortunately, the Emperor you’ve read about in the Archive history is very real and alive down there, preparing to break out of Amacia and steamroll the entire planet. He’s penetrated and has been mining FATE for its technology to add it to his own. However, the Emperor’s actions are waking FATE’s AI. Fortunately for us, as long as it remains inside that time rip isolated from us, humanity will remain safe.”
Gerard’s eyes grew wide with astonishment. “You mean you’ve actually seen this alien AI?” he asked.
“Yes, but only at a distance from outside the rip,” Dan answered grimly. “It’s real, and sentient, just as Selina and Nathanael said. When Gabriel took us to see it, I felt like it was trying to suck my soul right out of my body. It may have done it had we not been under the protection of Gabriel.”
“Holy shit,” Gerard answered. “This is very bad. I’ve read quite extensively about the FATE AI from the recent records and know it’s very bad news. From the moment it went sentient, it wanted to replace every living thing with its own creations, including the Etherians themselves. Wait a second, are you telling me Gabriel took you and Brother Paul to see Hannibal in Amacia?”
“Yep,” Dan stated. “He did; and before you ask, Hannibal, Selina, Harry, and Nathanael are still very much alive, but they’re in a very bad position. The Emperor is after them with a vengeance. We need to keep them in our prayers at all time.”
“Wow,” Gerard said, briefly touching his head with his hand. “So, they’re all right, but in deep trouble because of this Emperor. Who is this Emperor? What is he and what does he want? All I’ve read is that he deposed Amacia’s rightful rulers in a coup back in the 1st Age. Are you saying he is still alive? How can he still be alive?”
“Unfortunately, yes,” Dan stated. “Not only is he alive, but Amacia is teeming with people and creatures both good and bad. Hannibal is with the people who are fighting against the Emperor. The Emperor has made it his goal to erase Hannibal permanently and then break out of Amacia to conquer the rest of the planet. As for what the Emperor is, I’m not at all sure what he is. I don’t know whether he’s human, alien, demon, or something else. But I know for a certainty, and Hannibal confirmed this when I saw him, the Emperor is possessed of the Black Prince...a demon lord that’s presently second only to Lucifer himself. This Black Prince makes Dezarcus who possessed Hannibal when he was a dark wizard look like a saint. The darkness and evil the Black Prince emanates is toxic and smothering. I saw that monster once the first time Gabriel took me to see Hannibal. That was right after the Emperor caught him and Selina. I hope I never see that beast again.”
“Oh, boy,” Gerard murmured, shuddering. “That’s even worse than what you said about the AI and the Etherians. Wait, I seem to remember you saying something to us about that incident some time back. So Hannibal actually got away from that monster? ”
“Yeah,” Dan stated. “But they’re far from danger. That’s why we must continually pray for them. By the way, why did you come down here? Did you guys find something important I need to look at?”
“Oh, right,” Gerard stated, standing up straight. “We found the missing piece to the celestial models in the astrophysics section right where you said it would be. When we plugged in the missing variables concerning the plasmatic nature of the electric universe into the model, it spit out the day and time of the alignment down to the minute. Dan, our time is running out. The alignment is going to take place in seven days at 11:13AM our time and last eleven hours and twenty minutes. I’m not going to even pretend to know what’s going to happen at that time. All I know is that during that period of the alignment, the earth is going to be subjected to forces never seen before in human history...cosmic forces of unimaginable magnitude and violence that could potentially destroy the planet. We need to get the word out that this cataclysm is coming, like right now.”
“Oh, man,” Dan moaned in dismay. “This is really bad. When did you find this out?”
“Not twenty minutes ago,” Gerard stated. “As soon as we confirmed the day and time, I came looking for you.”
“How many times did you run the model?” Dan asked urgently.
“We ran it seven times, and each time it spit out the same day and time,” Gerard answered. “It’s not like it was before when the model spit out differing times within a three week period each time we ran it. This time, it’s exact down to the minute. I think the Lord wants us to know when this is going to happen now.”
Dan stood up and patted Gerard on the shoulder, saying, “I believe you’re right,” he replied. “My gut is agreeing with what you’re telling me. Come on, let’s go find Brother Paul and tell him to spread the word about the alignment while we have time. Gabriel did say that once we found the right day and time for the alignment, to shout it from the housetops. It’s time we did just that. This alignment is going to rearrange a good chunk of the planet. I know it. Let’s go.”
“I hope we get the warning out in time,” Gerard stated.
“Don’t worry,” Dan reassured. “The world is not going to be blindsided by this. They’ll be warned. Whether they repent and turn to the Lord, I cannot say, but they will be warned, which means their blood won’t be on our hands.” With that, the pair headed out of the Library in search of Brother Paul.