A castle with a secret turret and magical doorway...
A prison breakout of the electronic cy component...
Mermaids & Mermen, and the Key's people - the Jang'daurseran...
Underground caves and Holding Wells, and a magnificent underwater Pearl place...
An ancient, mystical underwater creature of pure goodness, the Mane, existing only in the waters of the Galapagos Rise, north of the Tropic of Capricorn...
The forging of the Rose Mane Arrows...
A trek into the Rain Forest...
The rescuing of a Whale...
A voyage through the secret labyrinth below the Atacama Desert...
Passage through the hidden Ice Portal into the world next to our world...
A battle against the seven headed Septiphasian ...and much much more!
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The Indie Oracle
The Indie Oracle
This is a story about a team of four people, three men, one woman, and their organic database, in the form of two androids, the female Ou, and male, Nee, who come from the world next to our world. They enter through an ice portal deep below the Atacama Desert, adjacent to the ocean’s Atacama Trench. They are a team of pollution surveyors. They have come to our world to obtain Rose Mane Arrows, which they will use to kill the seven headed Septiphasian, nearing its fourth, spawning, stage of development. The beast feeds on pollution from our world that leaks down to their world through the ocean floor.
The four members of the team, being separated soon after entering our world, have each lost their memory, forgetting the purpose for which they came here. One of them has become a businessman, one, the first-mate on a boat. The woman, appearing young when she was washed up on the beach, lives with a sculptor, Porter, who has looked after her like a younger sister. The third man has become an environmentalist.
They each receive a letter, the businessman, Gurk, is invited to view a mansion as a potential buyer. The young woman is told a member of her family has bequeathed for her, the mansion. The first-mate is told he has been left a mansion by a wealthy aunt. The third man is told he has a job offer, and must report to the mansion. They all meet up at the mansion where they come into contact with the ‘Key’, a woman from a race akin to mermaids. Slowly they each regain their memory.
Gurk goes with the Key to a Perl palace deep down in the ocean, in the Galapagos rise. He has to go in search of a mystical, shy creature call the Mane. Gurk must retrieve some of the hairs from the neck of the Mane, the substance in the follicles is of pure goodness, and used with the arrows, is enough to bring down the Septiphasian.
Meanwhile Ricx, the environmentalist, has gone to Japan to arrange fro the release of Whale. The young Woman, D’e’ep, and her guardian, Porter, and Swyutz, the first-mate, first must help Ou, the Cybernetic component of their organic database, OuNee, a cyborg, to break out of the mental institution, where it has been held since they all lost their memories. After reuniting Ou with Nee, they go to the Amazon to contact the Bufeo, freshwater, pink dolphins.
The dolphins will take the team far below the Atacama Desert, through a labyrinth, almost to the ice portal. The team have to find their way to the portal, pass through it out onto a bridge, and from there, go to the Septiphasian’s lair. They do battle with the beast, and attempt defeat it, and its spawn. Δ
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“Sir, we traced two of Whale’s family to the St Lawrence River waters of the eastern Canada landmass. There they encountered terrible difficulties, and became victim to toxic pollutants poured into those fresh waters by the men who occupy that land. This is the trail we found. Perhaps Nee?”
“Erh, no. I will put Ricx on this, yes. I’ll give it to Ricx, he’ll find her, Ou. Okay look, ah, this is the stairway, to the Holding Well?”
“Yes Sir, the turret conceals the way.”
“You say it’s all protected?”
“Yes Gurk. No one can pass through.”
“Okay. We can get down from here? We can get down inside the Well?”
“Yes, the Portal is operational. My Lady can take you.”
“Okay. Oviio, close it after me.”
“I will Gurk. I remain for you here.”
“I hope. I hope….”
Gurk knew exactly what the symbols on the door and frame meant. They afforded total protection to all those who stepped into the turret, beyond the door’s threshold. The symbol’s meanings are taken from the language of the Jang’daurseran, My Lady’s race of people. The Jang’daurseran are mystical beings. They are the oldest surviving race known to Gurk’s people. Throughout history they have been the guardians of the Portals and Bridges connecting other worlds of Earth. The upper world, our world, the next world, Gurk’s world, and the inner world, Oviio’s world, can all be accessed via a Portal and Bridge. Each world can be reached via ‘Bridges’ found in the deepest parts of our oceans’ floors. The Jang’daurseran are quite able to pass from world to world.
Gurk quickly spoke some words aloud. It seemed as though he was reading from the inscriptions on the door. As Gurk finished speaking, Oviio began uttering the sounds of the symbols from around the door frame.
Again Swyutz was on hand to open the door to the ‘Portal’, the turret. He let their Cabinet leader fall in, literally. The moment Swyutz shut the door tight into the frame, not only the door, the frame, the turret and the handmade reclaimed wooden staircase disappeared, but also the view from the outside, although undisturbed, changed, in that the turret was no longer visible.
Oviio, also a member of Gurk’s Cabinet, satisfied the doorway to the Portal had been closed, made invisible, went back down the stairs to some other part of the castle, to prepare the search by Ricx, for Ou, the electronic component of their organic knowledge database, and only remaining Cabinet member still unfound.
Gurk rapidly took the room in in his stride.
“Swyutz! Ricx! D’e’ep!”
Still wet and damp, he fell to his knees and held out his arms to the figure by the window. To a chorus of ‘Gurk’, spoken by three of the members of his Cabinet, he directed his plea;
“My Lady, forgive us?”
“There is still time Gurk.”
My Lady, the Key, turned towards Gurk. Ricx noticed, but wasn’t surprised, the tall figure of the woman in front of him wasn’t exactly a woman at all. He could see clearly underneath the fine chiffon scarf that covered her long neck. There was a column of gills down either side of her neck. Breathing apparatus. In addition to the array of gills on an exceptionally long, slender neck, the Key was entirely absent of any mouth. Her large oval, thin face was completely devoid of a mouth! What was in the place of a nose, if it was a nose at all, were two tiny little holes, each covered by a tiny cartilaginous flap of skin. There was a glossy sheen coating the surface of all the exposed parts of.. .of the Key’s skin, I guess you could call it. A kind of rainboid fluorescence, pretty like, in the light, very pretty. She had large eyes set in the usual place for humanoid classification. Very large eyes, dark as jet, and honest looking, rimmed with hairless eyelids, which doubtless served as shutters in the salty depths.
Having now almost regained full memory recall, none of the Cabinet found My Lady’s appearance untoward. Although Porter, remaining very quiet and very still, had begun to go into shock from the time he’d seen Deep’s.. ..D’e’ep’s, dull gidmai, glowing and shining. He found it extremely odd, not just that My Lady had no mouth, but that they each seemed to be able to hear her when she noiselessly spoke, and also, that her skin had an unusual fluorescent sheen and satin silk texture. This was all very shocking to Porter.
‘Mermaidian? Well that must be it, she’s obviously some type of mermaid.’ Porter could settle for that. As it happened, he was completely correct. The Jang’daurseran race is an ancient species of mer. Throughout time they have been grouped in the Galapagos Rise vicinity of the Eastern Pacific Ocean. They are the guardians of the Deeps. A series of five doorways, Portals, each found in the deepest parts of the ocean, miles below the surface. There are other Deeps in our oceans, however none of those contain Portals.
Each doorway leads to a ‘Bridge’, which can traverse the passenger to another world. The doorways, Portals, are sunken in ocean trenches, grand depressions in the ocean floor, leading further down to the unfathomable sea water Deeps. The doorways are completely protected from unwanted entities by three factors. Each Deep,in addition to being well set into the ocean trench’s tectonic subduction zone, has on one side, the landmass side, a volcanic arch which stretches the entire length of the Pacific Basin rim. Should there ever be the drastic need to seal a Portal, My Lady’s race would conspire with nature to ensure a lava flow streamed into, and plugged the Deep. Secondly the amplitudes of pressure working at those depths keep all but the most determined away. Lastly, the Jang’daurseran, as guardians of the five Deeps, from time immemorial, have permitted only genuine and rightful passengers to enter, and leave, our world, by way of the Bridges and Portals they guard.
True, My Lady appeared to have no mouth, nevertheless she spoke beautifully. She spoke through her mind. They could all hear her, or she could address them individually, separately. When she directed herself to Gurk, he was the only one who heard her words.
“Gurk, it is not possible at this time to traverse the Bridge to your world. Whale is lost to us, and due to the heavy deforestation of the Amazon fields, the Amazon River waters have become greatly polluted. The pink dolphins are now few in number, and continue to fall victim to this pollution. They will have great difficulty in ferrying you from Whale’s water, to the Ice Portal.”
“Key, Ricx will find Whale. First he must recover our missing database component, Ou. From then on, he will look and search for Whale. He will discover the whereabouts of Whale, I am confident. Swyutz and D’e’ep will despatch to the Amazons. They will survey the waters. They will locate the Inia, Bufeo.. ..the pink dolphin, and ensure the safety of our passage through the Atacama labyrinth, to the Richard’s Deep Ice Portal to the Bridge.
“Key, Oviio informed you of the condition of the Septiphasian?”
“He did. It is most unfortunate. It has almost reached stage four. After which time it will have the strength to spread throughout your world, and on to the most vulnerable world after yours, Oviio’s world.
“It is a very grave situation Gurk! Though we have little time, we have some time. And we must expend it with great efficiency!”
“I myself and Oviio too, we will journey with you in pursuance of the Rose Mane. The one essence the Septiphasian has no defence against. If we can retrieve the Rose Mane, and then return to my world with it, we have a chance to survive. Though from your words My Lady, that survival will only be temporary if the pollution from this world continues to build and seep and leak into the extra environments, into the other worlds, then once again we will fall victims to the rising of the Septiphasian.”
“Sir, Gurk, even for this temporary measure, with Whale’s disappearance, there is a danger that the Ice Portal can not easily be reached. We must act in great haste.”
“We must My Lady. We must do that. I will speak with the Cabinet.”
“Yes Gurk, you must instruct us all.”
“I thought I came here for work. For a job.”
“Swyutz you did. You are already employed, you have a job. We are all here for only one job. Our essential task in this upper world, in the world of the surface of the Earth, is to retrieve the Rose Mane and return to the Septiphasian’s lair.
“Ricx, you will first trace Ou, and then you must discover the whereabouts of Whale. We need Whale and his species, without them we can not return with the Inia to the labyrinth of fresh Amazon waters, far below the Atacama Desert.”
“As you ask Gurk! Nee is with Ou?”
“No, Nee is with me. I only discovered today Nee has been with me from the time we arrived. He retained some memory, but without Ou, it is only half sensible, perhaps much less.”
“Of course. Without the electronic component of our cybernetic organic database catalogue OuNee, Nee cannot function. One half of the unit cannot properly operate without the other half.”
“Precisely. And therefore he attempted to furnish me with only half of the information he contained, and that half was put forth in a jumbled, garbled nonsense, that I was unable to identify, having also lost my mind. We must overcome an extreme great delay. The Septiphasian is soon to move into the fourth condition.
“Swyutz, D’e’ep, you must go to the Amazon. When Ricx recovers Ou, OuNee will provide you with all the details, co-ordinates, everything you need to know. You must go there. Our friends, the Inia, the pink Amazon dolphin are in trouble. They have fallen victim to the pollution from man’s industrial works, his commerce! The waters are becoming greatly polluted. The rare Inia, Bufeo species, are in extreme danger of extinction, should they become so, we will not be able to return to the secret Ice Portal of the Richard’s Deep fresh water entrance to the Bridge. We will be stranded in this world. Unable to offer any assistance to our own world, and the world after ours, Oviio’s world, as they become wasted and devastated by the rise of the Septiphasians.”
“We will go Sir. We will first go with Ricx and assist him in recovery of our electronics database component. We must also collect Nee, he will need to be with us so we can join him with Ou, whereby we can gain access to all the knowledge of this world.”
“Sir, Gurk, this man of the upper world, he has been my guardian since I arrived on the landmass shore from the cold waters of their North Sea. He has protected me and ensured my survival.”
“Well said Deep. Well said. No look here Mr Gurk, just like Deep said….”
“Quite. Exactly like she said, I’m her guardian! She’s like my younger sister. If any one of you and your, erh, un.. ..unusual friends, lay one finger on her, if anybody tries to harm her in any way, they’ll answer to me. I’d just like to make that very, very clear.”
Gurk smiled at D’e’ep. My Lady whispered to Gurk.
“He is a good one Gurk. We have watched them closely. He has taken good care of her. More so than we could hope. He has looked after her as if he was a member of our Cabinet.”
“I can see that My Lady. I like him. He is good for her. We will keep him.”
Gurk nodded to Swyutz. Whatever was meant by the nod, he understood it all right. He walked over to Porter and smiled past him at D’e’ep.
“We’ll take him with us. Gurk we should move.”
“We should. Go with Ricx.”
“Oviio remains. He is outside this Portal, turret, waiting, and watching.”
“Okay. Ricx shall we?”
“We shall Swyutz. Gurk, you need Oviio?”
“He should accompany the Key and I. As soon as he reports to you, send him to me. He will give you my lodging details in this upper world, this is also where you can find Nee. A number of hours motoring from here. It is a very safe place. Make a base from there.”
“Very well Sir. We will go.”
“Gurk, this is so good.”
“I know D’e’ep. The Cabinet is almost regrouped. We are together. We are safe, and we have a chance to return to the lair with the Rose Mane. It is very good.”
“Hey, just a minute?”
“Porter, before we left to come here, you told me there was nothing to keep you at the warehouse in London?”
“Yes I did say that, but….”
“Now there is something to keep you here. Come, we must go with Swyutz and Ricx. We’re safe now Porter.”
“Sure. Okay Deep, D’e’ep. Let’s go.”
The Rose Mane. The Mane belongs to an ancient creature. Though originally not of this world, it is one of the oldest on the planet. One whose existence began long, long before the dinosaurs ever came, and went. They are sub-aquatic, and are now found in only one area of the upper world's oceans. In the depths of the Galapagos Rise. The Galapagos archipelago, north of the Rise, and at sea level, is one of the few places in Earth’s upper world to still remain relatively uninjured by man’s pollutants. This tiny group of volcanic islands and rocks, does however fall prey to regular poaching by greedy businessmen, stealing near extinct breeds, and then peddling them to ignorant, greedy, selfish, fools with more money and arrogant pride than good conscience.
The fact that conservation efforts strive to minimise pollution in the Galapagos waters, may be a strongly influencing factor of the Mane owner’s choice of location, that, and the rich fact that they’d fallen under the protection of the Jang’daurseran. In the archipelago, on and around the landmass north of the Rise, in the UNESCO designated region, are quite a number of unique marine and land species, found nowhere else on the planet's surface, still in their original, less evolved forms, dating back millions, and in some cases millions of millions of years.
The waters of the Galapagos Rise, just south of the equator, are a good place for the owners of the Mane to thrive and flourish. The Mane is to be found on the hides of these sub-aquatic creatures. They are a little similar in shape to giant marine turtles, and a little similar in shape to land iguanas and probably more than a little similar to some kind of dinosaur which swam in these parts back in the day. Essentially turtle shaped, they can span up to three metres wide, four metres lengthways. Technically, the Mane are the fine bristles found on the back of the necks of these creatures. The Rose Mane can only be found on the exceptionally rarely occurring pregnant female. The creatures themselves are simply called ‘the Mane’. Their true name is not even known to the Jang’daurseran. It is only in the remotest parts of the Rise, the realm of the Key’s people, that these creatures have lived as far back as the Jang’daurseran can recall.
Why can these ancient, harmless, shy, mystical creatures.. ..why can their Mane, defeat one of the worst plagues, a devastator of worlds? Why can their Mane defeat such cruel proliferators of evil? It’s quite simple really. The Mane is of pure goodness. Every hundred thousand years or so, the Mane can contain a highly deadly super concentrated toxin. How come? Read on. Every hundred thousand or so years the Mane breed. It is at this time, when the female of the species is in the pregnant state, a particular enzyme is produced. This enzyme, along with other nourishment, is fed into the embryo, and in turn, an enzymic by-product is streamed back into the female’s system. This by-product is filtered out by the Mane, which then becomes an attractive rose colour, and it is at this exact time, that the Mane becomes dangerously toxic, and more than capable of felling any and all of the largest mammals in any and all of the existing worlds.
Only a minute quantity of the Rose Mane’s toxic ink is required to defeat the Septiphasian. However, if the Septiphasian reaches its fourth stage of evolution, its spawning stage, then defeating the plague becomes extremely complicated, and a great deal of the exceptionally rare, and unavailable, Rose Mane could be required. Although thriving and flourishing, the Mane’s number is extraordinarily few, and to find a female at the required stage of pregnancy is a near impossible task, but nevertheless a task Gurk and his Cabinet must undertake, and succeed, if they are to stand any chance at all of saving their worlds.
My Lady began reciting some words as she walked towards Gurk. He spoke these words out aloud. They are words and syllables derived from the Key’s language. He stopped speaking and stood aside, as Oviio opened the door. My Lady passed through, as did Oviio. Gurk again began to speak more words. This time he was reading from the symbols around the door frame. He then stopped reading, stepped through and closed the door to the turret behind him. Oviio was there on the top step, but the Key was not, she was nowhere to be seen. The handmade, reclaimed wood staircase had gone, and was replaced by a narrow stone stairwell. It curved round as it descended, and descended, and descended.
“Gurk, how long?”
“I do not know Oviio.”
“I can not hear My Lady, she must be far gone ahead by now.”
“My Lady? Key?”
“I am here Gurk.”
“How long must we go down?”
“You must follow me. You must follow me for.. ..at your quick pace.. ..you must follow me for up to three hours. Up to three of these upper world hours. Keep coming down Gurk. The walls will be lit. I shall wait, we shall wait for you in the Holding Well. I shall be there all of the time it takes for you to arrive. Good journey Gurk. Oviio, land well.”
“Thank you My Lady.”
“Key, we will be with you soon. Oviio, is there news of the Rose Mane?”
“Alas Gurk, there is nothing. My Lady’s people have been searching, still nothing. They have found Mane, but not the Mane we seek. They are hopeful. They are extremely hopeful, and I believe some of the Key’s people are tracking a Mane owner in the hope that they will eventually be brought to an appropriate female. We remain hopeful.”
“Is there any chance Oviio?”
“With the Key, Gurk, yes Sir there is a chance, though I fear we have little time with which to contain the threat. Once the next stage is reached, once the Septiphasian spawns, we will suffer much difficulty. So much difficulty is involved in containing the spread of spawn.”
“Yes, there will be great difficulty containing the spread once the beast releases its spawn! If it reaches the world after ours, your world Oviio, there will be untold devastation before we can completely eliminate the threat from the Septiphasian, and of course, we will deploy the Rose Mane!
“Oviio, you understand the problem regarding our journey back to the Septiphasian’s lair?”
“Yes Sir I understand it very well!”
“We must return to the lair as soon as we achieve retrieval of the Rose Mane. Will we be able to return?”
“Our passage to the Ice Portal, as you know, is dependent on two factors. A marine journey with Whale, and passage through the secret underground, fresh-water Atacama labyrinth.”
“Gurk, the problem is that Whale has been lost to us for some time now. His species has become victim to the pollution of the upper world man’s processes. Pollution flows heavily into all their waters, their rivers and oceans are choking with toxins. These poisons kill wildlife, and intoxicate and kill many of the bio systems dependent for survival upon these very same waters.”
“So the man of this world poisons his own waters? For what reason? Is he also not dependent upon these very same waters for his own survival?”
“Yes Gurk, the man here is the most dependent creature of all upon the waters.”
“So why pollute the waters if not to destroy themselves? Is this the wish of these peoples? Because in destroying themselves they also doom our worlds, and some of the other worlds. There are doorways, Portals and Bridges to all the worlds accessed from this one. Anything that seeps through from this world without being incinerated in the lava beds and mantles, will bleed through as toxins to other worlds as strongly and as poisonously as it exists in this world.
“Oviio, you know Ricx will find Whale and find his species?”
“Yes Sir. But then he is our Cabinet’s official tracker.”
“The problem of the Atacama labyrinth? The hidden waterways under the Atacama desert, under the Andean mountain ranges?”
“The backflow. Trickling off away from the Amazon source and away from the normal flow to the ocean. Streaming underground, west across the raised plate and down as far as the fresh water access to the ocean’s Richard’s Deep Ice Portal, our doorway to the Bridge. These unknown waterways that flow beneath the Andean plateau, this water too suffers the pollution of upper world man. They insist on removing this world’s oxygen giver, the tree, from the ecosystem belonging to the Amazonian fields. This activity causes threefold pollution.”
“And the Inia?”
“Sir the Inia, the rare Amazon pink dolphins. Since we last had reports, the peoples of this region, they have hunted, and polluted, this dolphin almost to extinction. In the strange belief that these dolphins have mystical powers.”
“Why would they believe that? They are water animals. There is no mystery. They swim. Why would these people murder such an animal? An intelligent animal. Harmless.”
“Because of their belief.”
“But their belief is founded on a complete lack of truth. They seem to lack intelligence and knowledge. These people fall foul to a total misunderstanding of an ordinary situation.”
“So Oviio, you explained to me both that the people of this region are trying to murder the Inia, Bufeo, until there are none left, and the species becomes forever absent from this world.
“Also, this upper world man manufactures pollution by removing the tree, the thing that produces oxygen in the upper world, and he then converts it with fire or chemicals into the thing that removes oxygen from this upper world. This world is extremely poor, and it is clear that these upper world inhabitants wish to annihilate this world. They place us all in grave danger!
“We cannot allow them to deprive us of the possibility of returning to the Septiphasian’s lair. We cannot allow them to destroy our chance of survival. We cannot allow them to spread their devastation to the surrounding worlds.”
“Gurk, there is little time, and we have no weapons, no defence, against the peoples of this world.”
“You spoke of education. Perhaps this is the weapon with which we can combat their actions. Good use of such a weapon could prevent them from causing further destruction to all around them.”
“Sir, the Key, My Lady’s race also has the same opinion. The weapon with which to force the survival of this upper world could be the weapon of intelligence and education.”
“And compassion and understanding too. If this world can be taught to use this weapon effectively, we will all survive. There is little time Oviio. We must make much haste.”
“Yes we must Sir.”
And haste they did make. A very hasty descent. The walls were rock. Solid rock all the way down. The steps were well made. Cut out from the rock. Wet and shiny looking, as comes from hundreds and hundreds of centuries’ worth of use.