We had learned, during “Scars Week” the month before, that the Reziksehv predator was, in fact, a large group of Bahro. One of them appeared to have been responsible for the death of Wheely Engberg, which had resulted in her father leaving the DRC and disappearing.
Sharper had discovered that the Bahro were in the middle of a civil war. We had heard nothing from Sharper, Nick, or the DRC in a month.
Explorers were nervous, but fortunately there had been no more incidents of Bahro attacks–that we know of, anyway.
On the first day of the week, the DRC happily made two announcements.
The first announcement was that Laxman had managed to restore certain functionality to the KI. In addition to collecting Markers for the Great Zero, which we had already been able to do, explorers would now be able to create their own Marker Missions, if they had progressed far enough in the Great Zero missions.
I imagine most of us were so distracted putting Markers everywhere that day that we weren’t even thinking about the Bahro.
The second announcement was that the next day, Laxman would fully activate the Great Zero. This would mean it would be fully calibrated and functional as it had been in the time of the D’ni.
Later that day, the DRC released the first new area of the week: The Watcher’s Pub.
This area was originally known as the Watcher’s Sanctuary, and had been a part of Yeesha’s Path of the Shell, before the Great Scream altered everything. So for some of us, this area was not new–although some changes had been made. Among other things, the door on the top level was locked, and still is. Also, the translations of the Watcher’s Prophecies were placed here. These had played a significant role in the old Path of the Shell as well. They contain prophecies of the future, dealing with the coming of the Grower–a person whom we now believe to be Yeesha.
During the next few days, the DRC would often visit us here, in the Watcher’s Pub, and it would play a significant role in later events as well.
Over the next few days we had several visits from the DRC, both here and elsewhere in the city.
Kodama spoke briefly with explorers and confirmed that the DRC believed the Bahro to be responsible for Wheely’s death, and presented his own opinion that even the fateful cave-in had been caused by them–which would make them, in essence, Rosette’s killers as well.
Laxman told us, among other things, that the DRC had visited Noloben, the Age referred to by the murderous Bahro. The DRC, at one point, had discovered a D’ni survivor on Noloben, whose description fit with Myst V’s villain, Esher. According to the DRC, though, he was no longer there at the time of these events.
Probably the most important visit that week was Cate Alexander’s. She came to the Watcher’s Sanctuary and announced that Engberg was still missing, and had not been seen since his disappearance. As a result, the DRC was going to act under the assumption that he would not be returning soon, and was replacing Engberg with Cate herself.
Needless to say, many saw this as a conflict of interest, since Cate was the main financer for the Restoration. Personally, I don’t see that it made much difference–by that time she was pretty much running the show anyway.
Marie Sutherland felt rather strongly about it, though, and on the third day the two aired their dirty laundry in front of a large group of explorers. It was rather unprofessional, actually, them arguing over Cate’s position, and over the possibility of advertising in the cavern. Thankfully, they eventually moved their discussion to a more private place.
Of only slightly less importance was Sharper’s visit. He came on the third day to visit the Uru Obsession Neighborhood.
Sharper told the explorers there that he had made up his mind. The Bahro had killed Wheely, and so he was going to kill a Bahro.
Needless to say, this caused a near-riot among explorers. A few were in favor of Sharper’s plan, but most believed it was unwise.
At any rate, Sharper insisted that the Bahro needed to learn that they could not slaughter humans without consequence. But as I said, most people feared this would incite a deeper conflict between us and the Bahro.
An eye for an eye makes the world blind, it’s been said.
The fourth day, we were given something else to think about. The Book stands in Watcher’s Sanctuary were empty when the DRC released the area. But on the fourth day, Cate placed the Er’cana Book on the pedestal.
Many of us had actually been there before, as Yeesha had once included it in her Path of the Shell. We found, however, that some changes had been made.
There used to be a carving of a star fissure, for example. The ovens had now been better calibrated to cook pellets for lighting the D’ni lake. And there were far more Shell Cloths than before–such that completing Er’cana now felt much like it feels to complete the original Yeesha Journey.
We were told that the DRC intended to “light” the lake–by which I mean, restore it to its former glow.
They encouraged us to find healthy recipes for pellets and drop as many into the lake as we could.
Later that day, Marie Sutherland came to the city and gave us one last item: the Memorial.
Sutherland had ensured that not only would Wheely’s name be on it, but so would the names of other explorers who had been part of our community who had died. And there’s one name in particular I want to point out, because it will become important later.
On that memorial is the name Phil “phend” Henderson. Phil had been one of the DRC’s employees during the First Restoration. He had taken Yeesha’s Journey and seemed to have somehow become somewhat unhinged mentally.
At one point, Sharper had stolen Phil’s Relto Book in order to spy on the DRC. The unfortunate result of this was that when a wall collapsed on top of Phil, he had no way to escape.
No body was found, though, just the smashed KI. But though Phil’s body was never retrieved, it was obvious that no one could have survived the collapse.
And so, years later, when Marie erected this Memorial to Wheely and others who had died, Phil’s name was there also.
Later that day, one more important event happened.
An explorer had registered his KI under the name Reteltee, which means “The Guilds” in the D’ni language.
Reteltee was interested in restoring the D’ni Guilds, and as it happened, the DRC was interested in the same thing.
Marie and Cate located Reteltee and invited him to meet with them privately to discuss how the D’ni Guild structure could be implemented among explorers.
Many of you are familiar with the modern-day Guilds of Writers, Greeters, Messengers, Maintainers and Cartographers. It was in a large part due to the DRC putting their heads together with Reteltee, who was later appointed their official Guild representative, that those Guilds exist today.
But this was only the preliminary stage. We did not know yet which Guilds would be restored or in what manner.
Finally, the fifth and final day rolled around.
Laxman came to the city docks, where he set up a strange device that acted as a kind of lake light meter. Don’t bother looking for this device today–it was later removed due to malfunctions.
And finally, Sharper made one final visit to the Neighborhood, and to the Watcher’s Sanctuary.
This time, explorers were more urgent and aggressive in their protests against his plans. Nevertheless, Sharper was insistent that he would go to Noloben. He would study the Bahro, get to know their ways, and when he could be certain which faction was responsible for Wheely’s death, he would return. With a Bahro head.
And that was the last time we saw him–until the following month, when we finally began to experience what was really going on with the Bahro.
The truth is, that week was more about new areas and activities than it was about anything exciting happening or any mysteries being solved.
Written by Carl Palmner, Edited by Malfhok