The Ghosts of Eden
Robert says that in his opinion Jan-ganyr is speaking on behalf of a group of Myrrbs.
In the afternoon the crew of the Joyous Venture (sans Sangeev) arrive at a vaguely cultivated copse just below a set of cliffs. The cliffs are made from stratified rocks as are the caves within them. A few hundred yards from the cliffs the terrain gets broken up. The crew decide to proceed on foot. At Antonio's suggestion they make camp before proceeding since it is only an hour until sundown. They take lights, imagers and inertial tracking devices with them. Each individual has an ear piece, throat mike and camera - the hope is this material can be used to create a 3D reconstruction of the site at a later date.
A Jan-ganyr emerges to greet them. This is not the same Jan-ganyr as they met earlier. The Jan-ganyr appears to be aware of the crew's conversations with the previous one. Robert manages to take a DNA sample by offering the Jan-ganyr coffee.
The Jan-ganyr mentions that the cave gets very narrow near the end and that Antonio and Robert may find it difficult. The caves are all decorated with paintings at a more sophisticated level than cave paintings. It seems clear that the paintings are gradually shifted back into the caves, overwriting previous paintings. In this way the Eber historical record is continually edited and compressed. The story told shows how the Eber were hunter gatherers who were visited by the great old ones - the coming of the great old ones is represented by objects rising in columns of fire. Jan-ganyr explains that the great old ones had others with them who looked like great old ones but were to them as humans are to the crew of the Joyous Venture. At the cave entrance is depicted the arrival of the new great old ones. The Jan-ganyr explains that the pictures are mostly painted by Myrrb since it is rare for a person to possess both the talent for speaking and painting. The scenes show the landing of the colonists, the hunting of the Eber, attempts to make contact and then the arrival and return of Ruiz Sanchez. The Jan-ganyr explains that Ruiz listens rather than speaks.
Miho takes rock samples every 10 yards. There appear to have been attempts to work the rock but naturally flat areas are nevertheless reserved for important pictures. Where things are painted over the crew use UV and take further images in the hope of retrieving the underlying picture.
After about 100 yards the team reach a crawl space. All of the crew venture within except Antonio. The final area show the wars of the ancients. The ancients are depicted as predominantly, though not exclusively, human. The non-humanoid figures include a winged serpent and a Masonic style eye within a pyramid - both reminiscent of the Beekhu art work. Some of the figures depicted as great old ones have the two-jointed arms of Eber.
The pictures show the Myrrb acting as bricklayers and, next to them, smaller things with many legs - arthropods. Jan-ganyr says these are pets of the great old ones. Robert shows him pictures of a microbot and the scarab artifact from Beekhu. He recognises neither. He does think there is some similarity with the pictures from Felix Holstein's papers. The picture shows the arthropods crawling out of some sort of gap which tallies with descriptions in Felix's papers. The Jan-ganyr offers to show the crew one of the great old one pets. In exchange Robert says he will show her Clarence.
The crew proceed back to the copse and are shown a strange tree in the middle of the glade. It is older than the others and possibly diseased. It is six to eight feet high and has formed a large gall at this point. The gall appears to be about five metres in diameter.
Robert deduces there is something living in the gall. Jan-ganyr lets him take a sample leaf and explains that the pet speaks but doesn't talk. It is currently asleep, but when it is awake it talks to the Jan-ganyr. This is how they communicate and how this Jan-ganyr knew to be waiting near the cave.
The tree starts to move - a creaking motion. Its leaves change angle. Miho makes sure she is filming. Miho also scans various wave lengths - there is heightened activity but nothing specific. Komiko appears to watch all the individuals involved particularly closely rather than the tree. The Jan-ganyr becomes very distressed and explains that bad humans have kidnapped a Jan-ganyr and its mate. She indicates the direction in which the attack took place. The crew hastily depart on a recce.
It is dark and Antonio is wearing sunglasses. Nevertheless he manages to keep the truck upright. Most of the party sleep but Miho and Antonio remain awake, Antonio driving and Miho navigating. They arrive at the spot. They find evidence of something being loaded into a truck and tracks leading to the settlement of Neu-Anfangen. The crew give chase arriving at a large barn. Robert, Miho and Komiko wait in the truck while Andi and Antonio investigate. There is a firefight during which the kidnappers are killed and Antonio is injured with a dart gun. The Eber explain that four humans were involved and were selling Eber to Kurita. The Jan-ganyr says it will tell all Murrbii and Jan-ganyr to be more careful. Previous Session Next Session