The Ghosts of Eden
Komiko goes to see Arg'gre Ing'shurr without Robert. A meeting from which she emerges tight-lipped.
Komiko speaks to Antonio about meeting the matriarch. She tells him that he can expect a grilling when he gets there. In the meantime none of the crew are allowed out of the palace.
The fight with Ng'ssaan Kah'glukh is not mentioned in the news beyond the fact that a famous historian has died. The death is reported as suicide the reason given being that she had staked her reputation on humans (? - possibly there is a missing not here) being the decietful monkey. The cult of the Deceitful monkey can be seen burning effigies of her. It becomes clear that there are divisions within the cult and not all of them want to eat the humans.
The visit to the holiest of holies starts. The crew take a small camera, sketch books, a measuring device, specimen bottles a small chemical analysis kit and the omniview. Andi also takes a gun and Robert takes Clarence. Robert thinks that churches and temples are never closed to the public so he's not sure how this will all be arranged. He recalls that they are sometimes shut for important ceremonies but he doesn't relay this information to the rest of teh crew.
At 6pm Arg'gre Ing'shurr and Arg'gran ko'harr turn up. The crew are to be in Arg'gre Ing'shurr's entourage. Antonio and Sangeev are both armed. They travel in a very posh vehicle though they note that it is sufficiently armoured to bounce an anti-tank missile. There are roughly a dozen people in the car. Through the smoked windows the crew can see the troops open the gates and rapidly lose the pursuit.
It takes about 20 minutes to get to the Dome. They go to the last junction before Ng'ssaan Kah'glukh's house and then turn right instead of left. The dome itself is green but the colour is darker and richer than copper oxide, Andi and Miho both think it is some sort of alloy of cooper. There follows some discussion of the basis of Beekhu crest colouring. Robert says that its mostly biological but there are certainly cultural differences and some Beekhu's crests are "colour-blind". The car doesn't approach the main gates but goes round the sides.
Robert looks for bits of Beekhu to add to his DNA collection and considers whether he should check the toilets.
The guards are dismissed, leaving just Antonio and Sangeev to guard the whole party including Arg'gre Ing'shurr and Arg'gran ko'harr. They enter, face a blank wall and go right. Komiko sidles up to Antonio, squeezes his hand and whispers in his ear. Robert thinks she says "remember deny anything." They turn left into a corridor between two high banks which opens into an ampitheatre with tiers of seating and standing. All the Beekhu are in green robes. The decor is magnificent in green and gold dominated by a rough hew rock in the middle. This appears to be a religious ceremony. Robert detects no bloodlust. The rock is 20 foot hight and stairs go up each side with a podium at the top. The rest of the ampitheatre curves upwards in a bowl shape. The ampitheatre is filled with hundreds of clerical Beekhu. The Matriarch is on the podium in front of a lecturn. Somewhere, as they enter the arena, some sort of deep base instruments start up. Miho switches in the omniview. Chanting and wind instruments start up. It doesn't sound like a tune: The Beekhu musicians work in two choruses one lot chanting in time with the horns and the other quoting from scripture. Robert thinks it is from someone's trial. Robert asks Komiko if she wants a translation to which she replies "yes, but quietly". One Beekhu flanking the the matriarch calls out in Va'atchi'ik for the "supplicants to approach the Matriarch in convocation". Arg'gre Ing'shurr and Arg'gran ko'harr split and genuflect towards the rock and usher the crew forward. Robert also genuflects and the rest copy him. The Matriarch lifts a hand and the chanting stops. The rhythm of the horns changes - the blasts get longer and quieter. Each clast follows a statement by the Matriarch. The Matriarch calls to Komiko and asks here to present her champion. The Matriarch says something Robert can't catch to the other Beekhu flanking her (the one who didn't ask the crew to approach). This Beekhu asks Antion to identify himself. He does so. There is a horn blast and then the Beekhu says "it is known that the duel in the G'Kah'ah which would won was not worn fairly. What did you do?". Antonio answers that he "just fought back". Robert translates this as "for the honour of his mistress he did whatever was required to win." The Matriarch appears disatisfied with this answer and asks "How did you cheat?" - Robert replies "we didn't cheat." All the Beekhu look confused. Robert says "we fought as we always fight" and suspects that they are expecting a repetition of the scripture and the crew is responding badly. For a third time the Matriarch asks "it has been cheated - tell us what you did". Antonio responds "I did nothing". The Beekhu seem to find this answer half expected and half unexpected. A murmur starts which goes into a chant quoting subsequent bits of scripture. The Matriarch raises her hands into her right is placed a bowl into which something is poured and into her left a large ladle she then flicks this in the direction of Antonio but most of it hits Robert. It is some sort of aromatic oil with an incensy smell. Once done she turns and descends the rock with her attendents carrying the bowl and the ladle. The convocation files out taking about 10 minutes.
They are asked if they would like to examine the rock. Both Miho and Andi realise the rock is ? (can't read my own handwriting). On one side is a bronze door with a big lock which most Beekhu would have to stoop to enter. Miho measures the door. Arg'gran Ko'harr produces a key and leads the way down.
The walls are plastered and covered with pictures and murals embedded in the plaster. Miho and Robert recognised protrayals from scripture of the coming of the gods, the gods teaching the Beekhu how to behave, the thefts (the first being fire), the gods are called away to sleep on the holy mountain where the sun is portrayed as blazing brightly. The gods are represented as huge Beekhu. Arg'gran Ko'harr says the plaster is there to protect the real pictures which are underneath.
The analyser says that the plaster is more ceramic than a modern plaster - no reading can be gained on what is underneath. The pigments are bright and a couple flouresce. The earlist picture was probably created about 1000 years ago. Arg'gran Ko'harr says some debate that it may be older. There are more pictures in a second chamber and another door. All in all there is a series of 3 rooms. The second two being entirely about Beekhu heroes. At the end of the 3rd room is a small door about 5'6" hight. It is fitted with 3 modern locks.
Only two people are allowed in the room at a time. Andi and Miho go in. The walls are made of a dark bluey grey substance. Miho starts making sketches. The pictures here are carvings and paintings covering many epochs the oldest being at the back. The pictures show mainly godly events. The gods here are not Beekhu. There is a picture of the first Beekhu hero picking the pocket of a god. All the gods look different. One looks like the decietful monkey. Arg'gran Ko'harr says the Hau are popular because of the decietful monkey.
The picture at the back shows the gods departing. The Beekhu are begging them not to fo. Smaller gods are a mishmash of many races including humans who appear in context to be the deceitful monkey. The other races include a beholder, Dragon or winged serpant, a Cycopian humanoid arthropod, a Kaferlike human though more like a human than a Kafer, a satyr, a hideous Anglefish, a fat bloated bat with big ears, tusks and trunk like the Cthulhoid Ganesh, a tree with tentacles and eyes. The mountain is a triangle containing the eye (apparently nothing like the masonic symbol) the eye has a third eyelid which is orthogonal to a human's eyelid. This is represented as half closed. This symbol resembles Felix Holsten's description.
Miho takes a picture and is asked what she's done. She falls back on "I did nothing" which obviously excites and pleases Arg'gran Ko'harr. Arg'kre ing'shrr says she may be able to get access to some Silicon Carbide objects but that she will be leaving the next day.
Miho asks about the differing depictions of the gods and is told that the priestesses remade the gods in the Beekhu's image so they had easily understood qualities. The eyes in particular are very important. The pictures are over 2,000 years old but their precise age is open to debate: some make them as old as 40 - 50,000 years though the majority reckon they are between 10 and 12,000 years old. The possible ancient visit to Earth was possibly about 40,000 years ago.
The next day the Beekhu artefacts are brought for inspection and include a beetle-like silicon carbide creature which matches Holsten's description of the creatures that secreted teh silicon carbide. Miho makes sketches and takes measurements and runs a discrete analysis trotting out the old "I did nothing" excuse to the pleasure of the priestess. It's density is right and its roughly 50/50 silicon carbide with and organic chitin like substance within.
It is now november 13th.
Robert also endeavours to get a model steam canal boat for Miho.