Friday, 28 December 2012
These are from the dawn of life itself, when RNA bounced around centreless cells like tapedecks in the 80's, recording and exchanging.
The Archea are an ancient Phylum, exiting the common path before even fungi and plants separated. These cells bet their lives on strange transformations in impossible environments and lifespans in the aeons. Slow, sombre molecular clocks ticking with the speed of funeral bells. They feed on things nothing else can feed on, in places nothing else can live.
They haunt volcanic rims and know the terrors of the Igneous Wrath and see the hunts of Pyroclastic Ghouls. Albino crabs that bathe in sulphur fumes from deep-sea vents might startle at the touch of pale metallic fingers, climbing precisely and blindly up out of the boiling smog and into the abyssal sea. In pressure-liquid lakes a mile beneath sub-arctic frozen seas a ferrous-copper eye might blink. On xenolith interior moons. In mines. Between rocks and within them. Without light. Without heat. Without time. They feast on radiation, blackness, and great silence.
A kind of elaborate rare-metal corsetry, like bones designed in dreams or armour made ablative to the eye. Within: a kind of bubbling gas/plasma hybrid thickening impossibly at room temperature like mercury reversed, a gas that flows and holds its form. A stained-glass window burned with copper-gold, the pigments not quite mixed, melted in a snake that drips from vacant frames and almost cool, slowing almost imperceptibly. Colours in the hundreds. A face and flame-like top, an oil-slick halo of metallic fumes. This is the form of the Archean.
They are not elemental, magical, alien or divine. They are simply a slow product of time and life, evolutions children just as you.
We know very little about the Archeans. They are old, indifferent, and need little from us. They are, for the most part, outside the cycle of organic life. We know they tend the Atomic Bees and seek the deadly honey. They can speak the language of the rust-monster, or perhaps of the symbiotic bacterial stacks that ride them. They know the Ooze.
They are slow but stabbing an Archean is like assaulting a lion with a pork chop. Weapons don't last long. Photon-blind, the caves are blurred to them. Tachyons and cosmic rays don’t interact with rock too much. The ultra high-energy low-frequency particles they sense makes their sight more like hearing in definition and sharpness. But their sensitivity to the deep radiations of creation means their sense of cosmology is very advanced. They can see the still expanding primal fires of the universe very well.
Archean Lithomomers use different strata of rock to lens cosmic rays, this lets them see things close-to and make shadow inferences about the nature of surface cultures on their own world. The better the Lithonomer, the closer they can see. Some even claim they can see the shadows of people, moving around up there. Radical Archeans are amazed and impressed at the rapid-burn super-fast turnover and micro-lifespans of light dwelling organic beings. They have questions about they kind of culture that can survive when its constituent members die every 80 years.
They may seek to speak to you, but they don't really understand that you are a whole thing. They think of you as something between a hive member and a meme-transmitter.
Likely questions of the Archean radicals.
1- Have you spoken to the sun?
2- Why identical forms for many*1 but constant changes*2, why not individual forms for all and less change?
3- Where do the cities go? Are you a cancer of the cities, did they make you?
4- Is 'food' something you are or something you do. This is unclear.
5 – What is your understanding of 'land' during its mid-magmatic state. I.e after being magma, before becoming magma again? Is there 'ownership' of this 'land'?
6- What is 'weather'? Why do the mountains die? Why is there a limit to lens-size? Can this 'weather' be stopped? Can you stop it?
*1 They mean species. They don't really fully understand what a species is.