As Ozymandias has ended, my patrons’ hunger for my TLA content knows no bounds and they’ve voted for more of Siren’s Song, wherein a young human on a space station filled with alien pirates tries to survive his co-workers, leadership… and being marked for death by an unknown horror that kills everyone who sees it or tries to find it.
You might think being on a space station over a billion kilometers away from this entity’s last known position would make you safe. If you did, you’d be wrong. To see how Liam Redfeather is getting along with the celestial and all-too-real equivalent of the Black Spot, check out the link above.
For a glance into his attempts to understand what the Ghost of Semtillian is and why it intends to kill him, check out the snippet below.
Liam spent his lunch break hunched over his personal ‘pad, a half-eaten “ham” sandwich on the bench next to him. There was centuries worth of information here, meticulously organized and categorized. Much of it was still rumour and gossip, tales spun by spacers, grainy augur images and unclear scope returns. Few people wanted to talk about the Ghost. Emp’ta had spent a small fortune on bribes to get people to share what they knew, but there were still large gaps in her knowledge.
As she’d said earlier, the Ghost was neither ‘laconic nor ignorant’. It knew when you were trying to find it and it seemed like it could go anywhere it wanted… but it always stayed close to Semtillian. He wished he could see whatever it was that the Compact had sealed away when they recovered that first long-missing survey ship’s logs, but even Emp’ta hadn’t been able to barter or bribe her way into those records. He wondered what it had seen.
Maybe it saw the silver and gold, too.
“Silver and gold,” he muttered to himself as he re-read a nonsense poem. It had been written almost five hundred years ago by Leader Hussaral, a man many claimed had been driven to madness by the Ghost. In point of fact, he been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia long before his ill-fated journey to this sector. Emp’ta had shown Liam centuries-old medical files, presumably to dissuade him from letting his imagination run wild. During Hussaral’s charting expedition, he’d either been unable or unwilling to maintain his medication and as the situation for his ship and crew grew more dire, the Prolocutor’s mental health had deteriorated. After his vessel returned to known space with more than half of its crew missing, he’d been committed.
A sad note in a galaxy filled with tragedies, made noticeable only because of the late leader’s mental condition. Prior to his treatment for his disorder, he fixated on coded messages hidden in molecules. Afterwards, he was obsessed with all things silver and gold, believing not only that those elements were inherently evil, but that anything with those hues was watching him. His medical file referenced violent outbursts and panic attacks when he encountered those colours.
During his mission, Hussaral’s precise records had devolved into incoherent ranting about the crew plotting against him, malfunctions that he claimed were sabotage and a manifesto where he somehow connected his earlier obsession with hidden messages in molecules to the intrinsic maleficence of the elements of silver and gold. It made no sense whatsoever to Liam, and he wondered why Emp’ta wanted him to see any of this.
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