=========================Turn 7 Part IIb ======================== Cragspider continues her tale . . . Men theorized that life was transported across the galaxy by a race called the Ancients. There was evidence on many worlds of a great war, and men believed that the Ancients destroyed themselves. Even more incredible, there seemed to be living members of the Ancient race, but these Droyne were pitiful farmers who had little interest in expanding outside of their small enclaves. These were interesting questions, but when man entered our sector, my ancestors felt an obligation to stop some of their most disruptive tests. That is when disaster struck on a galactic level. Within a few Earth years two things happened which my ancestors recorded in their journals. First, man's empire dissolved into a great war. Second, my ancestors pocket universes began to be attacked one by one by incredibly powerful forces. A few of these forces were intercepted and captured, and an amazing discovery was made! The creatures attacking our pocket universes were Droyne androids of incredibly complex construction! The word came out from our high council to abandon our pocket universes, but we left them highly trapped as well! Some of them were left as huge pools of energy, and when the unsuspecting usurper entered them, not only would the force attacking be vaporized, the link between the worlds would transmit back the energy and the origin of the force would be destroyed as well. Some of the universes were made into black holes, and there begins my life. My twin brother and I were born just after we began to vacate the pocket universes and leave our traps. Mankind at large was working on his third Imperium as the Terrans called it. My brother and I were a promising pair, and we were called upon to work on the most glorious project which my people had ever devised. We called it Project Taron in honor of man's birthplace, Terra, and our current homeworld which we called Centurion. Our project was designed to find a way of converting thoughts directly into physical action and reality. (Branham snickers aloud at this notion and says `impossible!' Cragspider shoots him a scowl and continues.) We achieved more sucess than you can know. We showed it was theoretically possible to create these pocket universes through thought alone. We had to contend with the marauding Droyne robots of destruction though. That is when something else unexpected occured. My brother and I routinely created and destroyed very small, less than a league in circumference, universes for test purposes, and more than occasionally we visited them. We trapped some of our creations before deserting them. While on one such trapping expedition, we were accousted by Ossirri, Grandfather Mortal! He approached us openly and said to us in our own language ``you have destroyed most of my offensive capability, and you could destroy me now. We are worthy opponents, but we would make better allies. You have suceeded in an area I long tried to master, but I have achieved a goal that was the cause of my immortality.'' My brother and I urged him to continue and his tale was an incredible one indeed! Ossirri's tale follows. Ossirri said ``I was a mutant and motivated by different passions than the rest of my people. When I was born hundreds of millenia ago, my people were at what you would call a late stone age level of development. There had not been progress in tens of thousands of years. I quickly became an outcast and had to use my wits to keep me alive! Apparently my efforts did not go unnoticed though. ``I was making my way out of a town where I had directed the construction of a flour mill. I knew it would last not because people understood and accepted the technology, but rather, I knew they lacked the motivation to destroy it. Suddenly the air was filled with light and an incredibly strange being appeared before me.'' The creature Ossirri described was a Darrian, a member of the Gebnik Empire which later collapsed and millenia later became the Psalmean Empire. In simplest terms, the creature was an elf. The creature used some type of matter transmission to appear before Ossirri. Given Ossirri's level of technological experience at the time, it is a testiment to his constitution he simply did not fall dead from fright! Ossirri had more to say to us though! Ossirri said ``He took me up to his spaceship which observed our world. He was a Darrian. He told me that long his people had waited for my birth! Certainly I was further amazed! I was abducted really without my knowledge to the far side of the galaxy to an iced over asteroid orbiting a black hole at an impossible distance. There I met someone the Darrians worshipped called the Watcher. I never saw the Watcher but he spoke to me in my mind. The Watcher claimed to have been alive since the universe was formed billions of years earlier! He said that the secret of the entire universe and creation lay inside the confines of the black hole which his asteroid orbited about. ``I asked him if he was the creator, and in my mind I fancied I heard laughter! The Watcher said that he admired my courage! The Watcher said that he was not the creator, but he knew the creator. The Watcher said the secret to meeting the creator lay inside that black hole. ``The Watcher went further. He said that if I promised to apply my efforts to finding a way to retrieve the item from inside that black hole, he would make me immortal. I thirsted for knowledge the way a black hole hungers for mass. I agreed, and the Watcher was good to his word. ``I was taken back to my homeworld. Now that I had seen space technology, I hungered for it myself. I brought my entire race from the pasture to the stars in just under five hundred years. ``I genetically engineered companions from my species. At first they were worthy research helpers and companions. We accomplished many things. We were responsible for some of the wonders on your old Earth. We seeded intelligent races across the stars. ``Soon I realized that the other intelligent agents and my companions were nuisances at best and threats at worst. The Darrians were my first victims. I had to destroy anyone who knew of the watcher, and I leveled their civilizations. Then, I began attacking my companions. At first my chemicals and biological agents caught them unaware, but soon they banded together against me! The fools! I felt alive after millenia and finished them off. ``I fled to a pocket universe where I toiled on problems of my own devising having figured that the Watcher could no longer influence me. Perhaps I was right on that account except that fate intervened.'' My brother and I asked the obvious question of why was he telling us that he had murdered his own offspring and killed multitudes of sentient lifeforms? Ossirri laughed and said ``mankind has done far worse and is capable of worse still! I am about to make you an offer. You see, many of my creations were trapped in those black holes you left for me. It is my own fault for underestimating mankinds ability to destroy things, but it did prompt me to do additional research into black holes . . .'' I said ``so now you are not only the mighty master of genocide, you are also the undisputed master of the universe!'' Ossirri laughed anew and said ``well, not quite. I went back to the place where the Watcher was to vaporize the asteroid he rested in, but the asteroid and Watcher were long gone (almost as if he *knew* I was coming)! I used my considerable resources to wrest the secret from the black hole. It was not what I expected, but I learned long ago not to judge things by expectations. The Watcher was fiendishly clever though. He did something to me so that I am unable to use the secret. In fact, my immortality ended when I retrieved it from the black hole! Your experiments give me a method of further prolonging my lifespan. I offer the secret of creation in exchange for my continued immortality.'' We all agreed to meet again within a short time. We told no one about our discussions with Ossirri. Of course, we agreed to Ossirri's terms, and my brother left with him in Ossirri's strange ship. My brother returned a short time later, but somehow he seemed changed. My brother and I worked feverishly in complete solitude, but at last we accomplished an amazing thing! We created a universe where we were gods! It was not just a pocket universe which was essentially a discontinuity and extension of the one we found ourselves in. It was a whole *new* cosmos with different physical laws, relations and history. My brother had done most of the work while I set up the interfaces and fed in the power. At last it was time for us to enter our domain. My brother and I made an announcement that all those Centaurians who wished to join us were welcome to follow. Well, most of them were! We had several failsafes. First, we did not know what would happened when we opened the gateway to that new universe. So, we set up a field to put the entire sector in a pocket universe if certain conditions were met. Second, my twin and I agreed to go into the universe first and prepare it for our people. The next in was to be our father. We thought about a theme, and it was father who suggested a mythical-fairy tale genre. Also, each of the travellers received two books when they entered the realm. One was a combination travel guide and access card. The other was a list of key phrases and code words-thoughts to be used to activate key aspects of the grand experiment. Not all visitors were created equally, and only my twin and I were entrusted with the codes which could cause major changes to the system. My brother and I activated the device we had created. At its center was a flawless crystal sphere my brother claimed was the ``dimensional key.'' The rest you have seen in some level of detail earlier. The Dragon Emporer is my father. The different types of objects I referred to are the classes of sentients. Class one are those who have an existence outside of our private universe such as myself and Branham. Class two are those items created by our device/the new universe which are totally dependent on its laws for their motivations and actions. This whole universe was created as a playground for the Centaurians. We soon discovered though that some of the entrants become too engrossed in the new universe to leave. These were labelled type one-alpha. Ossirri did enter the system as he promised, but he brought new codes and phrases that I was not aware even existed. My brother seemed to anticipate this. Whether they were there dormant in the system all along or new, I do not know. My brother was able to neutralize Ossirri and hid his body in the most inaccessible part of the universe we could find, but the damage had essentially been done. Soon our creations began doing things we did not ask to have done and showing a will of their own! Before we could react fully, the Old Ones entered. My brother awakened Ossirri who attempted to flee. It was impossible to go back to Centauri without revealing its location to the Old Ones. So, we were left with some hard choices. We could end the Universe, destroying not only our own creations, who might very well be sentient, but destroying our people as well, most of whom had entered after us. We could have attempted to extract all our people and allowed the Old Ones into Centauri, or . . . well, what we did. We quickly determined that the source of the Old Ones' power was the thought-operancy connection itself. My brother sabotaged it sufficiently to allow us to neutralize the Old Ones. He had to fend off all the Old Ones directly to do this. The effort nearly killed him and unhinged his mind. I hid his body on a small satellite, the blue moon, where his spirit and body remained all these ages to the best of my knowledge. I searched for many years to find a way to destroy the Old Ones, but there were none obvious. There were parts of the World Machine I simply did not understand. The Dragon Emporer - father - is correct; there is more going on here than I ever knew. Once Acheron opened the outer planes, other species entered this cosmos. Miriya's ancestors were amongst them. Most entered through the circles of stones found around the world or through the Nexus. At times the World Machine seemed to heal itself, and eventually I resolved to work through the World's own channels. But, things still went wrong. Occasionally some fool would summon up an Old One or open a gate to some place hideous. If that was not bad enough then the Necromancer actually went through to the Centauri universe!!! The defenses we had emplaced long ago went into effect, and the whole sector was placed in a pocket universe. So, the trouble could never have spread too far. Still I was shaken to the core! At last I came to the only conclusion I could. With the world's creator dead or insane and the odd things going on, it just seemed safest to destroy it all. With this admission, Cragspider stops speaking. The party members are all silent. The Lord of Hell breaks the silence saying ``well, I don't want things to end myself! You can do what you will with these silly mortals, but I'm having too much fun to stop now!'' Lord Eldar says to the Invisble God ``when first I enticed Lichtadon to summon the Old Ones, you told me to flee to the outermost planes and that the only price you demanded was that when the time came I would pay the debt for my action. Have you summoned me forth then just to be aware of my own demise?'' The Invisible God says ``No Lord Eldar, I have a price for you to pay. The time has certainly come for you to pay. Cragspider, I have something to tell you as well.'' Cragspider looks up and says ``Yes, brother, Lord, Master of Creation?'' The Invisible God says ``I am *NOT* your brother.'' -THE END- till next turn!