Ananda's Journal, Entry 33

August 12th, 2260 – Night

Apparently we lost a week to a space-time anomaly while in the Site. I wonder if these eddies in the river of existence will get stronger as we venture deeper in. It would be awkward if we were to return at some time after NWSEC decides to stop pouring money into Saint Mary. Or, considering that Circe appears to be alive in the universe we’ve emerged into, one in which Site 17 was never discovered at all.

Everyone I know around here appears to be indistinguishable from the versions I left, except for a week and some worry. Samantha told me that the Rituals group was going to give it another ten days, and then start mourning Rites. I’ll have to talk with them about that. Now that we know the Site has access to other places (very likely other universes, or at least physically real “pocket” universes budded off of our own) with food and water, the amount of provisions carried with us is no longer an effective timer on our survival. Hopefully, whatever other-selves are getting shuffled around with me will do the same.

…Now that I think of it, depending on how many timelines are involved, it could be a game of musical universes. The odd ‘me’(s) out land in one where the native Ananda has already died (and may wink out of existence, if they encounter the local corpse). Any worlds in which I didn’t return will of course lack any of the preparations that I and sensible other-selves will set up. It should be pretty easy to spot those, if I do arrive in one. “We thought you were dead!” is a simple indicator.

Had two more flashbacks today, atypically close together. The first was in the room of evidence lockers – that one behaved normally. The second was while looking at the cryofrozen Wielder who gave off sparks in his sleep. That went as usual except for the sparks, which grew a wave of misplaced stars that turned supernova when the corresponding spark faded out. Curious if that was random or caused by something about him, I went and asked ‘What are you?’ to his substance rather than his sleeping mind. I got an answer, sort of, even though my Wielding shattered the moment it took effect. Instead, my awareness was pulled into the starscape.

I fell in towards the center of a young galaxy at a rate that must have far exceeded c. Nearing the central black hole, matter screamed light all around me as it was torn apart. I crossed the event horizon with a shock, like passing through a standing wave. There may have been other things to see, but what must have been the singularity drew my attention. It was dark, almost oily-looking, and radiant. Watching it, desire arose – to open the universe like a gutted animal and spill its contents into the Beyond where they would be unable to exist. I knew that it wasn’t mine, but felt it like my own. The sheer intensity blotted out my sense of time, though at some point it passed and I found myself returned to my body – shaken but not quite shaking.

Of all the things to happen in this week-long day, that one lingers. I have to admit, if only to myself, that it has the same kind of draw that’s guided my career choices so far. Danger like that challenges me to dance with it. To see how close I can get and still emerge alive.

Ananda's Journal, Entry 33

Site 17 Kassil Jssra