The week was known as “Familiar Voices”. There’s a reason it’s called that, and I’ll show why in a bit, but let’s just say that it started out around lunch time.
You might remember that in “A New Light” a dock lake meter was mentioned. That dock meter, also known as Bob the Dalek to some explorers, was malfunctioning all the way through its one-month span of use. On the first day of “Familiar Voices”, Victor Laxman came to Ae’gura to remove the dock meter. It was a sad moment, but one many understood for technical reasons.
A short time after our Dock Dalek was removed, Nick White came down to Watcher’s,
He had some news. He’d gotten a girlfriend on the surface (good for him, thought some explorers), and Sharper had returned from Noloben and had been acting strange ever since.
Sharper had killed a Bahro. Shot it dead.
Questions immediately flew. Would we be targeted by the Bahro in retaliation? Were they impartial? These questions would be answered in due time, and some would even be answered the next month.
Some time later, Cate Alexander visited the Guild of Greeters Neighborhood. She was looking for Sharper. And so were a lot of people,
Eventually, someone must have found him and relayed the message, as he showed up in Watcher’s Sanctuary later in the day. He made a few offhand comments about how he’d studied the Bahro and verified that there were at least two sides.
One of those comments was along the lines of, “It’s not like they have red and blue eyes.” But regardless, Sharper insisted that he’d killed a bad Bahro. People panicked, “We’re doomed! Oh no! They’re going to kill us all!”
Before people went to bed that night, Laxman visited a Neighborhood somewhere. He announced that he had rigged the imagers to display people’s pellet scores for a bit of friendly competition between Neighborhoods.
Despite the excitement of this, it wasn’t enough to quench the worry from people’s minds…
Lunch time rolled around on day two, and Sharper and Nick were in Watcher’s Sanctuary again. Sharper talking about his Noloben trip when, suddenly…
“GET BACK!” Sharper yelled out.
Two Bahro linked in right on top of the imager. They had the corpse of the Bahro Sharper had killed with them.
There was panic, and lots of it. But some people were just curious.
“It has blue eyes!” One explorer commented, “You killed a good one!”
Now, due to Sharper’s “red eye blue eye” comment, some people had gotten it stuck in their heads that the two sides were identified by red and blue eyes.
However, it was true. It was a good one.
While we didn’t find it out immediately, this was the course of events:
Sharper had lined up his sights on a bad Bahro and fired, but this Bahro, a good one, had jumped into the line of fire.
Sharper was shocked that the Bahro had brought this body to the explorers, so much so that he and Nick had to link away,
“Don’t touch it,” was one of his last orders.
But the Bahro stayed behind crying, almost. Crying for their lost brother.
Now, you’ve got to understand, despite this shock, this was one of the few times anyone would ever get that close to a Bahro. Sure, we’ve all seen them in pictures, and occasionally on the volcano in the Cleft, but these two Bahro were right on the imager.
They were right in front of those lucky explorers. Someone tried to touch one, and it let out a warning scream and looked directly at him. The Bahro left Watcher’s Sanctuary, body and all, a few minutes later.
And then it started.
Bahro were everywhere. Neighborhoods, City locations, even Reltos. Nowhere was safe from them.
After all, would any place be safe from a creature that can link at will?
The DRC released a few KI-mails. One warned explorers not to touch or get near any Bahro. The other advertised Kirel.
Cate Alexander and Dr. Kodama were in Kirel when explorers first linked in, announcing that this was their first step in reviving the Guilds. Explorers could make their support known by choose a Guild shirt.
Day three arrived. Bahro were everywhere. They were in Reltos, Er’cana City Silos, Private ages, Public locations, anywhere you could imagine.
In Kirel a mischievous little Bahro decided to play a game of tag. The little guy appeared somewhere, and disappeared again, only to reappear somewhere else. We were all searching wildly to find the guy, and in the course of the chaos, I got shoved into a corner.
Guess what kept me from breaking my nose against the rock? Yes, that little Bahro was right there. I backed off immediately, as soon a I realized that I was staring right into its eyes. But I was amazed. I’d run right into a Bahro. Sheer, impossible luck.
In any case, it resumed linking around causing chaos. It was fun, to say the least. Regardless, the Bahro had us running like rats in a maze. It was playing with us. Probably only a kid, just playing around with whomever it could find.
Once we all organized ourselves, managed to form a semicircle, and got everyone sitting, it must have gotten bored, because it left not long after that.
Fun as it was, there was still more going on.
Sharper had announced that he was returning to Noloben. Marie came by Kirel again. Even a new Relto page was found. But there was nothing, really, like the thrill of meeting a Bahro.
In any case, the day was topped off by the June sparkly vanishing from existence.
It couldn’t be found anywhere. The sparklies back then were monthly, unlike today where they’re all on at once.
Day four was August 2. Jalak Dador was released.
And there in Jalak was the eighth sparkly.
Unlike the other ages, Jalak was devoid of any rewards other than the sparkly. People were confused. Where was the puzzle? Well, despite all that, we still managed to find some fun in Jalak.
In any case, Sharper showed up in Watcher’s Sanctuary that day, wearing a Yeesha T-shirt and announcing that he was not going to Noloben again.
The day was topped off with Cate announcing Reteltee as the DRC’s Guild advisor. It was all just boring Guild stuff.
On the final day of Familiar Voices…
You remember the memorial imager in Kahlo Pub, right? Well, one name on it is important. Because he is not dead.
I mean, really, one can’t get more alive than standing on top of a building rooftop surrounded by Bahro.
You see, in 2004, Phil “phend” Henderson was in a collapse and a wall fell on him. Everyone thought he was dead, which was why he was on the memorial imager.
But he was alive.
He had been saved by a Bahro when the wall collapsed, and had spent his time with them. Unfortunately, his mental state was a bit worse compared to before. Any questions directed at him were replied to with riddles.
When asked about the Bahro, he said, “Here too?” He told us they were everywhere, free to do whatever they wanted. And the skies in some Ages, even Releeshan, the new D’ni home Age, were blackened by their wings.
And then Sharper showed up. “Phil! It’s true! You’re alive!?”
It was now that Sharper let out his conscience, first apologizing for taking Phil’s Relto book, and then asking about the Bahro, and why one had killed Wheely.
“This is only the beginning,” Phil said. A war had been started when the Bahro had been freed, and it was escalating.
“I was afraid of that,” Sharper said it best for all of us. He then mentioned the Bahro that had jumped in front of his gun.
Phil replied, “They protected us all from you making a mistake.”
The side Sharper with which had almost ignited a war had chosen evil. And Sharper confessed that the reason he wasn’t going to Noloben was that he was concerned that the Bahro were coming here. To D’ni.
Phil gave some warnings about preparing, and one very, very cryptic message: “He is coming. HE will return.”
Who was “he”? Did we do this by moving the Journey pillars? And would the Bahro kill us all?
Those three questions were on all of our minds, but the first more so than anything.
Surely, you remember a dream of Yeesha. She mentions, “They come,” and, “He comes.”
This had us concerned.
The “they” was obviously the Bahro, but who was the “he”?
We wouldn’t know until later.
This was a warning, a capstone of the weird and bizarre. A storm, titan in mass, was coming. Death and destruction were coming via the hands of the darkened, twisted side of the Bahro.
Who was “he”? The Great King who was sealed in his tomb? The very one that Phil had mentioned before his “death”? Or was it the strange D’ni man from Noloben that Cyan Worlds had based Esher off of for the Myst V game?
Or perhaps… Was it someone else entirely?
Strangely, though, due to that strange dream, many of us knew that Yeesha herself would come as well. It was a comfort to some, but until she and he and they arrived, we would never know.
Written By Calum, Edited by Malfhok