- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part One
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Two
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Three
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Four
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Five
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Six
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Eight
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Seven
- Richard Redmond – Revelation Part Nine
SUBJECT – Richard Redmond
FILED BY – Gerry – Danaerean Observer
As is customary, this Observation will be delivered in narrative form to accommodate members who are not visually equipped.
At the point this Observation begins, its subject, Richard Redmond, is not yet aware of the pivotal role he will play in the development of the System I Observe. For members who have not, as requested, reviewed the previously filed Danaerean Prologue, you may find it expedient to Diverge a portion of Awareness so that you can review that Observation concurrent with this. Definitions, references, and cultural context can be accessed in the Universal Repository using the primary search terms Danaerea, Yannoneth, or Humanity.
The few lights strung around the central chamber of the temple were powered by an electrical cable snaking along the passageway and out to the generator in the jungle camp. The illumination they provided was dim and they flickered frequently. The flashlight that Richard had with him would probably have done a better job of lighting the room but he had turned it off an hour ago. He was just standing, trying to get a better sense of how the room would have looked to the ancient Mayans who built it.
“Communing with the spirits” was how he half-jokingly described the process to his students when he was lecturing at the university. Truth was… he wasn’t exactly sure what it was that he did. He just knew that, if he spent enough time immersing himself in the atmosphere of a ruin like this, he often came away with insights that others missed.
“Oh, please,” a woman’s voice came faintly, dripping sarcasm.
Richard whirled around, startled. He thought that Jaimie, his dig boss, must have followed him into the temple. She was the only woman on the expedition. He waited, peering back up the passageway, but no one appeared. Probably just an echo from someone talking near the entrance, Richard thought. Sound did funny things in a place like this.
He returned his attention to the relief carvings and murals on the chamber walls. Three thousand years of accumulated dirt and cobwebs couldn’t obscure the central focus of the place. A single object appeared in every scene. It had a central, basketball-shaped body of gold crowned by a red gemstone and supported by three wooden legs equidistantly spaced to form a tripod. Not that Richard had to depend on the murals for a description. They had the artefact itself. Until yesterday, when he’d had it removed to the camp, it had rested on the altar he was leaning against right now.
“Too bad you hadn’t left it where it was, bright boy.” Richard jumped at this second whisper, grabbing his flashlight and shining it into the corner of the chamber where it seemed the comment had come from.
“Professor Redmond? Are you okay?” Richard spun around toward the entrance to find Jaimie staring at him, a concerned look on her face.
“Were you talking to someone just now?” Richard asked.
“No one, Professor. I’m alone.” When Richard didn’t say anything more, she went on. “I thought you’d want to know the results of my tests on the artefact.”
Richard shrugged off the strange incident. Hearing things. Better be careful, he thought to himself. Next thing you know, I’ll be believing that the poor bastards who were likely sacrificed here are haunting the place. Getting creeped-out was a hazard of the profession. Aloud, he simply said “Good. Thanks. Yeah. What did you find out?”
“Well, the red crystal on the top is exactly what you thought it was – the biggest ruby I’ve ever seen. But the design on the setting doesn’t match anything in the Mayan database. At least not the limited database we have in the laptops. I still can’t get the satellite phone working so I haven’t been able to access the university’s computers. Ted’s still working on the uplink.”
Richard frowned. The glitch in the satellite phones seriously curtailed the amount of analysis they could do onsite. Not to mention it meant that he couldn’t talk to Nadine. Today of all days. Trying to put the disappointment out of his mind, he said, “Well, the carvings make it pretty clear that it was central to some sort of sacred ceremony. It was probably part of a funeral ritual.”
“Or birth,” suggested Jaimie. “There seem to be depictions of both.”
“Yeah,” muttered Richard, looking from one carving to another. He waited; he knew his assistant well enough to know when she was holding back. When Jaimie continued to hesitate, he prompted her. “And …?”
Jaimie looked unhappy. “I’m sorry, Professor. I must have contaminated the sample somehow. The analysis of the gold globe is screwy. It came back only ten percent gold. The rest is steel – an alloy of some kind – the field equipment we have here couldn’t even identify some of the elements. I don’t know what happened. I’m rerunning the test right now.”
Richard smiled sympathetically. “Happens sometimes, Jaimie. Don’t beat yourself up about it,” Suddenly though, he felt absolutely certain that there was nothing wrong with the sample. Or the results. He dismissed the feeling as ridiculous, remarking instead, “I’m more disappointed that the satellite phone is still down. I’d hoped to talk to Nadine today.”
Richard idly traced the outline of the artefact in the altar’s dust with his finger, not quite touching the marks so as not to disturb anything. “She’s being honoured for her latest work tomorrow. Black tie affair, rubber chicken and all. I was supposed to be there.”
Jaimie looked as though she wished something would come out of the shadows and drag her away. Richard and Nadine Redmond’s devotion to each other was one of the classic love stories on campus. “Professor, I’m so sorry; you’re only here because of me. I shouldn’t have asked you to come early. This could have waited.”
Richard shook his head. “No, you did the right thing. This is an absolutely incredible find, Jaimie. As soon as I saw the pictures I knew I had to come. This chamber, and that artefact, whatever it is, don’t fit into any of our accepted theories about the Mayan Pre-Classic period.” He looked at the altar again. Something was tickling the back of his mind.
“He he, that’s me,” came the whisper a third time.
Redmond looked sharply at Jaimie. “What?”
“I said, ‘I’m going to go back and take another crack at that analyzer.’ And I’ll talk to Ted. We’ll find a way to make that phone work if we have to run two tin cans and a string across the entire continent.” When Richard just nodded absently, Jaimie turned back to the entrance and left.
After she was gone, Richard turned again to the spot where the artefact had rested. Why was he so certain that Jaimie’s analysis wasn’t contaminated? The ancient Maya couldn’t make steel; that was ridiculous. Of course there was an error in the results. The simplest explanation was usually the right one. Still… His finger continued to trace the pattern in the dust; a pattern that, even though he’d never seen it before, seemed totally familiar. This was way beyond the hunches and feelings he’d had in the past. In fact, he realized he’d had the damnedest sense of déjà vu ever since he’d arrived.
“Well, duh.” No longer a whisper, the voice was clearly coming from somewhere in the chamber.
Richard whirled around, grabbed the flashlight and shone it into the dark corners of the room. “All right, that’s it. Who’s there? Show yourself.” Richard drew the revolver he was wearing, pointed it vaguely into the gloom.
The woman’s voice sounded irritated. “We don’t have time for this. I told you we should have acted when we first realized what they’d found. Now we’re in a hell of a mess.” She spoke with an accent that Richard couldn’t quite place.
He started moving cautiously around the room, looking for the woman’s hiding place. “Damn it, I said show yourself.”
A second voice, male and equally unseen, responded, speaking dispassionately, “Richard, this is not the way in which things were intended to be revealed to you. Unfortunately, your removal of the d’na’nish from its shielded vault has precipitated something of a crisis. You must trust us and allow explanations to be deferred until later. Otherwise, the probability is high that you are going to die in the next few minutes.” This dire pronouncement was delivered in a tone so devoid of emotion that the speaker seemed as though he might be commenting on the weather or some inconsequential bit of trivia.
“Is that some kind of threat?” Richard demanded. “Because if it is…” Richard stopped speaking as he heard the sounds of a skirmish, including weapons fire, coming down the passageway from the camp. The string of lights suddenly went out. He immediately started to run back up to the entrance, shining the flashlight ahead of him. When he got close to the end of the passage, caution returned. He turned off the light and ducked low to use some fallen stones as cover. What he saw when he peered cautiously around the debris sickened him. The camp was a shambles. The neat piles of supplies had been knocked over; the tents were collapsed. One was burning, probably from a lantern overturned inside. He could see at least one person on the ground, unmoving, although he couldn’t tell for sure if they were dead or alive.
Then someone called him by name. It wasn’t one of the voices he had heard in the temple. Nor was it disembodied. Quite the opposite; he could see clearly who it belonged to. The man was standing in the middle of the destroyed camp, beside the table with the artefact which, surprisingly, had not been overturned. Something in the way the man moved cautiously around the thing gave Richard the feeling that he held it in great reverence. Or maybe fear.
“Come on out and join our little party, Richard. Don’t be shy. It is, after all, thanks to you that we’re all here.”
OBSERVATION PAUSED BY REQUEST
Enquiry Response: Regarding the Member’s comment on death. At the time of this Observation humanity is experiencing a period of shortened lifespan. As Members will be aware, this is done to facilitate rapid evolutionary development and will be maintained until Awakening is achieved.