Today I fed on an [inferior, unclean, artificial / fabricated?? Check data on early fabrication. Fleet Veterinary Compendium, Abyl Darkoe’s Fyrste Gloryous Toure] human for the first time. It seemed as good a day as any to start a journal.
There are other reasons, I suppose. Better reasons. I’ll be damned if I let that dead-eyed maniac’s [scribblings, ravings, scrapbook? Sloane self-reference, check the darker interpretations, start with Sloane: Poet or Convict?] be the last example of the written word carried from the dying world [Earth? The form used is closer to platform or construct. Staging area? World-as-flat mythos??]. Not that I suppose this is much better.
I’ll be damned. Well, I probably will, at that.
We’re [two segments / months? Weeks?] out from [the world]. I waited as long as I could bear, too long to really be safe, because I thought the trip would be shorter. It is another three [months makes more sense here] to the [blue fire / blue star. Taras Talga? Closest inhabited system to Earth in the Ganan Gyran Agaa, and is a blue star], or so the [strong machine / vessel? Some kind of synth? Strong machine reads like a nickname, later context suggests person?] says. We stop every few [days / hour-clusters] because there is something wrong with the [probably stardrive, although this can also mean song, or breathing apparatus. Something wrong with ship systems?] or something else, something about the [strong machine]. She is communicating with someone – a [sister? Aki’Drednanth? If referring to vessel, comms with other ships? WATCH YOUR CONFIRMATION BIAS‼]? – and she cannot do it at [faster-than-real / outside-everything / probably reference to relative speed, which reinforces aki’Drednanth guess but also ship comms guess].
It was [two years / years of light, probably light-years but may still refer to time] to the [blue fire / blue star], which we should have been able to cover in a matter of [hours], but she says that this is a misunderstanding of [no idea about this part, best guess lensed space-time / standing wave / castle physics? Not sure what castle might refer to, maybe universal stellar structure? Dark matter??] across [The Face of the Deep, this is a direct symbol-lift from Book of Mygon, see if mum has a copy of the old unabridged, the only available copies are modernised]. The [grey building / grey and fearful, this is another nickname, may be the strong machine again but in different context] says it is [Mark of the Adversary, another direct symbol-lift, plus albedo for some reason]. The [strong machine] says it is a dangerous passage, full of turbulence and [storms? Seems to be storms], but this is the [black nothing / void, probably interstellar space], is it not? I don’t understand what she’s talking about most of the time, and she’s meant to be better than most of her kind at talking to [aliens / children / animals? Passengers? Leaning towards aliens, if this is an aki’Drednanth].
I think she is trying to decide what to do with us. Perhaps she was waiting for me to starve, or to see what I did when I fed.
We can’t see the [cursèd wheel, pretty sure, galactic disc / Core? / stars in general]. When we are at [faster-than-real?], there is only the [grey nothing / second realm? Probably soft-space in context] outside the [electrical blue / house or manor of ice / the hands that cup protectively. Probably the name of the ship? Misbegotten Creatures lore has a ‘bestiary’ of ships but no matching name]. When we stop, there is only the [black nothing / void]. No stars, not the way the [electrical blue / house of ice] is facing, not in this [The Face of the Deep] that we are in. We only have the [strong machine]’s word that we are stopping or moving, there are no windows, only the [this says windows again, or maybe eyes. Viewscreens??].
I haven’t rested. I’m as wakeful as the [silver toothed, this could be a Silver Bane reference but it might also be grey building by another context nickname from the connections]. I go [every day / with the flowers?] into my [sleeping place / final rest? In context it could be sepulchre but I think this means bed or cabin], but nothing happens. I stare at the [ceiling, bunk, lid], and nothing. When we stop, or return to the [grey nothing], there is a churning inside me but it passes quickly.
The [water, liquor, blood] hurt inside me. There was nothing wrong with it – it seemed [normal / sacred / symbol of blessing], nothing set it apart. I know [water … could this relate to the feeding above? Fabricated flesh? Condensed water?]. But it hurt. It burned. It was strange. I haven’t burned like this since the [princess, but framed like the sign for disease / biohazard] came to us. I think I can live on it. We will have to see. The [grey building / silver toothed] and the [strong machine] say they can alter the [cunning artifice, machinery. Fabricator?], change the recipe, it is intended for [medical?] use [implied holy, old usage, may be confusing religious sanctuary with hospital] and was not designed to make [full humans, true life, image-of-God … ables?? Fabrication technology doesn’t line up], and it doesn’t really – not real ones. Maybe I can learn to feed from an artificial [dispenser / fount]. Maybe that will dull the fire.
It makes three [months, pretty sure now] to the [blue star] seem a very long time. It makes [eternity? Xidh cora laar but with the ghåålic infinite frame] seem … unthinkable.
The [silver toothed, grey building / fearful?] is adding a final appendix, a closing chapter to the maniac’s ramblings. A final series of [events / adventures, lies] that he didn’t get a chance to write down, telling of the end of his long story. Closure, perhaps. I don’t know why she does it. Why does she consider it worth doing? The [grey building] is strange. But no stranger than the rest of us, I suppose.
I sometimes take out the [vessel? Cell, womb (artificial)? Ceremonial urn maybe, what was that book about old Earth funerary customs…?] that is all that remains of him. Is he the last human? The last [purebreed / wild strain / unaltered]? The [strong machine] says no, that there are many, that they thrive out here in the [black nothing]. I hope this is true, and at the same time I hope it is a lie. I wonder if [he / the maniac? Sloane’s remains? Check the Declivitorion catechism] is aware of where he is. I wonder if he hurts. Part of me hopes he does, part of me hopes he does not [re-check this part, if it’s a funerary urn then he can’t hurt / be alive? This may be poetic form]. The same parts, perhaps, as those that hope [humanity, but this is a non-sentient / cattle marking?] is no more, or hope that it survives and prospers. Those parts are different each [day / flowering with implied pain], sharing and relinquishing dominance within me.
I don’t understand how the [grey building, silver toothed] can write his final chapter when I [hold it in my hand?].
I wonder if he will [abstract future point] emerge. I wonder if I should empty the [urn] into the [black nothing], or throw it whole from the [electrical blue, in this context could be the airlock mechanism, maybe it has blue markings and is electrically operated?]. I don’t know which is the right course, and whether there is any difference. I only know that if we are taking the [dead flowers / last words / epitaph?] off the dying [world], and those [words] are going to belong to him, then they cannot be the only [words].
He can’t be all there is.
I am reading this, finally, sorry sorry! Life has been crazy, but I’m here now. And really enjoying it! This is really cool in particular, the translating/deciphering process.
So glad you’re enjoying it! This is extremely niche stuff, I know, but all those scribbles of Elan’s mean something and I figured you’d get a kick out of it. I have you to thank, once again, for spurring me in this direction with the anthologies.
Yeah I am so glad you are writing it, and I hope there’s enough nerds in the fanbase to have made it worth your while! Unless you enjoyed the writing of it enough already! And it was my pleasure to nudge you in this direction…I mean, obviously XD Having a lot of pleasure right now!