Solidão

But at the centre of it all was a being. Not a monster, but a protector. It was only referred to as the 'Eljor. 'Eljor the Custodian. 'Eljor the Mystic. It was going to save them, and bring us all there, too.

Solidão
Author: Lt FlopsLt Flops
Published on 25 Mar 2018 02:11
/* source: http://ah-sandbox.wikidot.com/component:collapsible-sidebar-x1 */
 
#top-bar .open-menu a {
        position: fixed;
        top: 0.5em;
        left: 0.5em;
        z-index: 5;
        font-family: 'Nanum Gothic', san-serif;
        font-size: 30px;
        font-weight: 700;
        width: 30px;
        height: 30px;
        line-height: 0.9em;
        text-align: center;
        border: 0.2em solid #888;
        background-color: #fff;
        border-radius: 3em;
        color: #888;
}
 
@media (min-width: 768px) {
 
    #top-bar .mobile-top-bar {
        display: block;
    }
 
    #top-bar .mobile-top-bar li {
        display: none;
    }
 
    #main-content {
        max-width: 708px;
        margin: 0 auto;
        padding: 0;
        transition: max-width 0.2s ease-in-out;
    }
 
    #side-bar {
        display: block;
        position: fixed;
        top: 0;
        left: -20em;
        width: 17.75em;
        height: 100%;
        margin: 0;
        overflow-y: auto;
        z-index: 10;
        padding: 1em 1em 0 1em;
        background-color: rgba(0,0,0,0.1);
        transition: left 0.4s ease-in-out;
 
        scrollbar-width: thin;
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    #side-bar:target {
        left: 0;
    }
 
     #top-bar .close-menu {
        margin-left: 19.75em;
        opacity: 0;
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    #side-bar:target .close-menu {
        display: block;
        position: fixed;
        width: 100%;
        height: 100%;
        top: 0;
        left: 0;
        z-index: -1;
    }
 
    #top-bar .open-menu a:hover {
        text-decoration: none;
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}
 
@supports selector(:focus-within) {
 
@media (min-width: 768px) {
    #top-bar .open-menu a {
        pointer-events: none;
    }
    #side-bar:not(:target) .close-menu {
        display: block;
        pointer-events: none;
        user-select: none;
        z-index: -1;
    }
 
    /* This pseudo-element is meant to overlay the regular sidebar button
    so the fixed positioning (top, left, right and/or bottom) has to match */
 
    #side-bar .close-menu::before {
        content: "";
        position: fixed;
        z-index: 5;
        display: block;
 
        top: 0.5em;
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        border: 0.2em solid transparent;
        width: 30px;
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        pointer-events: all;
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    #side-bar:focus-within .close-menu::before {
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}
rating: +25+x

What this is

A bunch of miscellaneous CSS 'improvements' that I, CroquemboucheCroquembouche, use on a bunch of pages because I think it makes them easier to deal with.

The changes this component makes are bunch of really trivial modifications to ease the writing experience and to make documenting components/themes a bit easier (which I do a lot). It doesn't change anything about the page visually for the reader — the changes are for the writer.

I wouldn't expect translations of articles that use this component to also use this component, unless the translator likes it and would want to use it anyway.

This component probably won't conflict with other components or themes, and even if it does, it probably won't matter too much.

Usage

On any wiki:

[[include :scp-wiki:component:croqstyle]]

This component is designed to be used on other components. When using on another component, be sure to add this inside the component's [[iftags]] block, so that users of your component are not forced into also using Croqstyle.

Related components

Other personal styling components (which change just a couple things):

Personal styling themes (which are visual overhauls):

CSS changes

Reasonably-sized footnotes

Stops footnotes from being a million miles wide, so that you can actually read them.

.hovertip { max-width: 400px; }

Monospace edit/code

Makes the edit textbox monospace, and also changes all monospace text to Fira Code, the obviously superior monospace font.

@import url('https://fonts.googleapis.com/css2?family=Fira+Code:wght@400;700&display=swap');
 
:root { --mono-font: "Fira Code", Cousine, monospace; }
#edit-page-textarea, .code pre, .code p, .code, tt, .page-source { font-family: var(--mono-font); }
.code pre * { white-space: pre; }
.code *, .pre * { font-feature-settings: unset; }

Teletype backgrounds

Adds a light grey background to <tt> elements ({{text}}), so code snippets stand out more.

tt {
  background-color: var(--swatch-something-bhl-idk-will-fix-later, #f4f4f4);
  font-size: 85%;
  padding: 0.2em 0.4em;
  margin: 0;
  border-radius: 6px;
}

No more bigfaces

Stops big pictures from appearing when you hover over someone's avatar image, because they're stupid and really annoying and you can just click on them if you want to see the big version.

.avatar-hover { display: none !important; }

Breaky breaky

Any text inside a div with class nobreak has line-wrapping happen between every letter.

.nobreak { word-break: break-all; }

Code colours

Add my terminal's code colours as variables. Maybe I'll change this to a more common terminal theme like Monokai or something at some point, but for now it's just my personal theme, which is derived from Tomorrow Night Eighties.

Also, adding the .terminal class to a fake code block as [[div class="code terminal"]] gives it a sort of pseudo-terminal look with a dark background. Doesn't work with [[code]], because Wikidot inserts a bunch of syntax highlighting that you can't change yourself without a bunch of CSS. Use it for non-[[code]] code snippets only.

Quick tool to colourise a 'standard' Wikidot component usage example with the above vars: link

:root {
  --c-bg: #393939;
  --c-syntax: #e0e0e0;
  --c-comment: #999999;
  --c-error: #f2777a;
  --c-value: #f99157;
  --c-symbol: #ffcc66;
  --c-string: #99cc99;
  --c-operator: #66cccc;
  --c-builtin: #70a7df;
  --c-keyword: #cc99cc;
}
 
.terminal, .terminal > .code {
  color: var(--c-syntax);
  background: var(--c-bg);
  border: 0.4rem solid var(--c-comment);
  border-radius: 1rem;
}

Debug mode

Draw lines around anything inside .debug-mode. The colour of the lines is red but defers to CSS variable --debug-colour.

You can also add div.debug-info.over and div.debug-info.under inside an element to annotate the debug boxes — though you'll need to make sure to leave enough vertical space that the annotation doesn't overlap the thing above or below it.

…like this!

.debug-mode, .debug-mode *, .debug-mode *::before, .debug-mode *::after {
  outline: 1px solid var(--debug-colour, red);
  position: relative;
}
.debug-info {
  position: absolute;
  left: 50%;
  transform: translateX(-50%);
  font-family: 'Fira Code', monospace;
  font-size: 1rem;
  white-space: nowrap;
}
.debug-info.over { top: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info.under { bottom: -2.5rem; }
.debug-info p { margin: 0; }
/* Classic SCP Foundation Theme
 * [2020 Wikidot Theme]
 * Created by Lt Flops
**/
 
/* ---- PAGE WRAP ---- */
 div#container-wrap{
     background-image: url('https://scp-wiki.wdfiles.com/local--files/theme%3Aclassic/classic_body_bg.png');
     background-repeat: repeat-x;
}
 
/* ---- HEADERS ---- */
 span, a{
     word-break: unset;
}
 h1{
     font-size: 190%;
}
 h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6{
     font-family: "Trebuchet MS", "Trebuchet", "Verdana", "Arial", "Helvetica", sans-serif;
}
 #header h1,
 #header h2{
     margin-left: -.16em;
}
 #header h1{
     max-height: 105px;
     margin: 0;
}
 #header h2{
     margin: 0;
}
 
/* ---- SITE HEADER ---- */
 #header h1 a,
 #header h2 span{
     color: transparent;
     text-shadow: none;
}
 #header h1 a{
     font-family: "Trebuchet MS", "Trebuchet", "Verdana", "Arial", "Helvetica", sans-serif;
     letter-spacing: 0;
}
 #header h1 a::before,
 #header h2 span::before{
     text-shadow: none;
}
 #header h1 a::before{
     content: "The SCP Foundation";
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 93%);
}
 #header h2 span::before{
     content: "To Secure, Contain, and Protect";
     color: hsl(353, 100%, 30%);
}
 
/* ---- TOP MENU ---- */
 #login-status ul a{
    background: hsl(0, 0%, 93%);
}
 #header{
     background: none;
}
 #top-bar ul li,
 #top-bar ul li ul{
     box-shadow: none;
}
 #top-bar ul li ul{
     border-color: hsl(0, 0%, 27%);
     border-style: solid;
     border-width: 0 1px 1px;
}
 #top-bar ul li a{
     border-color: hsl(0, 0%, 27%);
     border-style: solid;
     border-width: 0 0 0 1px;
}
 #top-bar ul li a::before{
     content: "[";
}
 #top-bar ul li a::after{
     content: "]";
     position: relative;
 
/* NOTE: The Top Bar Menu has spaces after each bullet, which is why this is done: */
     left: -.3em;
}
 #top-bar ul li ul li a::before{
     content: unset;
}
 #top-bar ul li ul li a::after{
     content: unset;
}
 .mobile-top-bar{
     bottom: -.5px;
}
 
/* ---- SEARCH BOX ---- */
 #search-top-box input.empty{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 45%);
}
 #search-top-box-input{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);
     border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 47%);
     border-radius: 0;
     box-shadow: none;
}
 #search-top-box-input:hover,
 #search-top-box-input:focus{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);
     border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 47%);
     box-shadow: none;
}
 #search-top-box-form input[type="submit"]{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background: hsl(0, 0%, 96%);
     border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 67%);
     border-radius: 0;
     box-shadow: none;
     font-size: 100%;
     font-weight: normal;
}
 #search-top-box-form input[type="submit"]:hover,
 #search-top-box-form input[type="submit"]:focus{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background: hsl(0, 0%, 87%);
     border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 67%);
     box-shadow: none;
}
 
/* ---- SIDE MENU ---- */
 #side-bar{
     clear: both;
     padding: .78em;
     padding-bottom: 0;
     border: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 87%);
     border-radius: 0;
     box-shadow: none;
}
 #side-bar .side-block{
     margin-bottom: .78em;
     background: white;
     border: none;
     border-radius: 0;
     box-shadow: none;
}
 #side-bar .heading{
     padding-left: 0;
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     border-bottom: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 67%);
}
 
/* ---- INFO BAR ---- */
 body{
     --barColour: hsl(0, 0%, 28%);
}
 
/* ---- INFO PANE ---- */
.creditRate{
     margin-right: 0 !important;
     border: none !important;
}
 .rate-box-with-credit-button{
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 40%) !important;
     border: none !important;
     border-radius: 0 !important;
     box-shadow: none !important;
}
 .creditButton p a{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 95%);
     border-left: none !important;
}
 .rate-box-with-credit-button .fa-info:hover{
     color: hsl(112, 100%, 77%);
}
 .modalbox{
     max-height: unset !important;
     border-radius: 0 !important;
     box-shadow: none !important;
}
 
/* ---- PAGE RATING ---- */
.page-rate-widget-box{
     margin-right: 0;
     border-radius: 0;
     box-shadow: none;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .rate-points{
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 40%) !important;
     border: none;
     border-radius: 0;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .rateup,
 .page-rate-widget-box .ratedown{
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 87%);
     border: none;
     font-weight: normal;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .rateup a,
 .page-rate-widget-box .ratedown a{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .rateup a:hover,
 .page-rate-widget-box .ratedown a:hover{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background: hsl(0, 0%, 93%);
     text-decoration: underline;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .cancel{
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 87%);
     border: none;
     border-radius: 0;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .cancel a{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     text-transform: lowercase;
}
 .page-rate-widget-box .cancel a:hover{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     background: hsl(0, 0%, 93%);
     text-decoration: underline;
}
 
/* ----- GENERAL ----- */
 body{
     color: hsl(0, 0%, 5%);
     word-break: unset;
}
 hr{
     height: 0;
     margin: 1em 0;
     background-color: transparent;
     border-top: 1px solid hsl(0, 0%, 67%);
}
 table.wiki-content-table td{
     background-color: white;
}
 
/* ---- IMAGE BLOCK ---- */
 .scp-image-block.block-right{
     margin: 0 0 1em 2em;
     box-shadow: none;
}
 
/* ---- CLASSIC IMAGE BLOCK DIV ---- */
 .classic-image-block{
     float: right;
     width: 300px;
     margin: 0 0 1em 2em;
     text-align: center;
}
 
/* ---- YUI TABS ---- */
 .yui-navset .yui-nav a,
 .yui-navset .yui-navset-top .yui-nav a{
    /* ---- Tab Background Colour | [UNSELECTED] ---- */
     background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);
    /* -------- */
     background-image: none;
}
 .yui-navset .yui-nav a:hover,
 .yui-navset .yui-nav a:focus{
    /* ---- Tab Background Colour | [HOVER] ---- */
     background-color: hsl(0, 49%, 91%);
    /* -------- */
     background-image: none;
}
 .yui-navset .yui-nav .selected a,
 .yui-navset .yui-nav .selected a:focus,
 .yui-navset .yui-nav .selected a:hover{
    /* ---- Tab Background Colour | [SELECTED] ---- */
     background-color: hsl(0, 70%, 35%);
    /* -------- */
     background-image: none;
}
 
/* --- INTERWIKI --- */
 iframe.scpnet-interwiki-frame{
     position: relative;
     width: 17em;
     margin-left: .313em;
     background-color: transparent;
}
 
/* --- SELECTION --- */
 ::selection{
     background: hsl(0, 0%, 83%);
}
 
/* ---- MOBILE MEDIA QUERIES ---- */
 @media (max-width: 767px){
       #side-bar .side-block{
          background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);
     }
      #side-bar:after{
          background-color: hsla(0, 0%, 30%, .2);
     }
}
 @media (max-width: 479px),
 @media (min-width: 480px) and (max-width: 580px),
 @media (min-width: 581px) and (max-width: 767px){
      #side-bar .side-block{
          background-color: hsl(0, 0%, 100%);
     }
      #side-bar:after{
          background-color: hsla(0, 0%, 30%, .2);
     }
      #header, .mobile-top-bar{
          max-width: 95%;
     }
      .mobile-top-bar{
          left: 0;
     }
}
rating: +25+x

Document 2641-Solidão

On 6 September 1976, agents of Brazil's Fundação Nacional do Índio1 (or FUNAI) filed a report on territorial disputes between two Indigenous peoples: One known population and one isolated.

On 10 September, FUNAI confirmed the existence of the isolated Indigenous people after a routine flyby of the Javari Valley region. Within the month, at a site ~15 km northwest of the nearest research camp, FUNAI established first contact. The group identified itself as the “Emparelhada”, whereas the Foundation assigned the designation GOI-2641.

Select information on GOI-2641 (“The Emparelhada”) is as follows.

  • Past FUNAI census data recorded a population of ~1 500 members. Current estimates project that the group sits at over 2 000 members. No other group in the region has supported a population in that size range.
  • The group imposes their beliefs and ways of life on outsiders, often to harsh degrees. Because of this and their remote location, FUNAI vaccination efforts have historically proved difficult.
  • The group exercises the ritual impalement of undesirable individuals.
javari-valley-maloca.png
A maloca2 of GOI-2641 construction.

In 2003, Foundation sleeper agents within FUNAI found select information about a powerful anomaly in the Amazon Rainforest — one associated with the Emparelhada directly. COMMAND placed both the group and anomaly (designated URA-2641) on high alert for monitoring and future containment.

Shortly thereafter, the Foundation discovered that all data within the FUNAI database that pertains to GOI-2641 had been destroyed. A hasty cover-up was suspected. Regional Foundation operatives could not, however, glean much accommodating evidence. Digital sweeps undertaken by Artificially Intelligent Conscript AIC.CAPYBARA uncovered only corrupted, irretrievable data.

Several days later, one new document emerged: A series of findings compiled in the journal of FUNAI operative [DATA LOST].3 Though the journal was charred almost in its entirety, it contained several pages without any damage. No further data has been gleaned.

All extant pages in the journal of [DATA LOST] are as follows. (Translated from Portuguese).

Date: April 24th, 2003
48 hours ago, a flyby of the region found a maloca about four clicks north of HQ. The navigator suggests it must be the Emparelhada. Now, I'm not at liberty to guess. Based on the picture taken by in-flight surveillance, however, I'm inclined to believe it.

There's one thing to keep in mind: We've been out of contact with the Emparelhada for over twelve years. I'm not about to throw accusations; it's just that the group dropped off the face of the Earth without warning. They abandoned their village, and the neighbouring tribes were as confused as us.

To lose contact with a tribe for so long, Cátia? If the Brazilian government found that FUNAI had gotten so negligent, our already run-dry budget would slice in two.

It's too soon to determine why they moved (as I'm not about to actually claim they vanished). The only way to find out is to get in there and search the hard way. And so, I've assembled four men to root out the cause. We leave tomorrow morning.

1


Date: April 25th
We've set up camp beside a river for the night. This river would intersect with three distinct Indigenous populations if one were to travel downstream. I reckon it should still be another couple of days' travels before we reach their village, if all goes well? Nobody wants to find trouble in the heart of the Amazon. That, you know.

I'm more connected to this group of Indians than any in the region, Cátia. I was with the first-contact party 30 years ago when I first joined FUNAI! Fabian keeps floating over my shoulder, calling me an old man. And only Joaquin laughs, but am I really surprised?

Speaking of Joaquin: We spent an hour discussing the most terrible things. I entertained the idea of Amazonian wandering spiders taking over the world. Joaquin made a crack about the fact that I remained married to my wife — your mother — after all these years. I'll admit that even I laughed, if only a little.

2


Date: April 27th
I went for a walk. Too dark for safety, should have been more careful. But maybe it's time I loosened up like Fabian and Joaquin.

I was like them when I joined. Not anymore.

I spent a while last night, gazing up at the stars through the foliage. I don't get that luxury too often these days. Makes me wonder what I've lacked all these years.

Cátia, do you see the same night sky as I?

3


Date: April 28th
In the early evening, we happened on the outpost. Nothing too extravagant: A one-room maloca, dilapidated and abandoned for who knows how long.

We're close, Cátia. I just know it.

4


Date: April 30th
It took us until mid-day yesterday to come to the village. Three boys found us. They couldn't have been much older than ten or twelve. Based on each boy's spiral-painted forehead, I knew they were of the Emparelhada. They flanked us with spears.

When they approached, Joaquin flashed a gesture of peace used by Indians in the region, and a greeting in the local dialect. What he got was a spear to the thigh. And if that wasn't bad enough, Cátia, I don't know what in God's name they used, but I've never seen that kind of damage. At the point of contact, his flesh exploded, gutting his leg and defying logic. He fell to the ground, and Fabian vomited, but I couldn't shift my gaze.

We couldn't move Joaquin without causing incredible pain. But if he weren't medically evacuated, those boys would have picked him apart. Our largest (and, like the old cliché, quietest) man, Devon, hurled Joaquin over his shoulder and bolted. He was screaming, but alive.

Mercifully, the boys didn't follow; I think they planned to scare us off — to protect the village from us, or us from the village. Our fallback was that maloca. From there, we could call for medical evacuation and get him home. I could go home, too, but I'm seeing this out to the end.

5


Date: May 5th
Vincent, our medic, was most concerned. The spear ruptured Joaquin's femoral artery, and the impact crushed his pelvis. We bound his thigh and administered morphine, but Vincent claimed he wouldn't last long– That he needed evac hours ago.

I called HQ, and they caught our flare in the early morning. They airlifted Joaquin and told us he'd be hospitalised in the Immediate Care Ward, and in the Lord's name, I pray he'll be all right. They're sending reinforcements tomorrow. I told them I wouldn't allow anyone that was armed, but HQ insisted. You know the bureaucrats.

I don't want to lose any lives. I can't bear losing you, Cátia. But I must get to that village. As far as I'm concerned, it's my duty.

6


My dear Cátia,

I may never see you again. The damage is done. I hope they manage to retrieve this letter so that you might understand– So that you might forgive me. Never forget me. I love you.

Date:
They dispatched Team 04-D some days ago: Four soldiers, M16s, and Kevlar vests for us all. We entered the village from the south, but it seemed vacant. We sat waiting in the bush for an hour.

At long last, we marked a point of interest in the centre of the village, at a shrine of sorts. Going there was a mistake.

When reinforcements arrived, the soldiers relayed us the reports they'd gotten. The Indians, as far as 50 clicks away, displayed unusual behaviour. Ten local Indian tribes had somehow gotten ahold of the same occult beliefs. To have so many independent groups, practising the same beliefs, the same rituals, and at the same time? It was unheard of. But that shrine explained it all.

The building had a certain air to it. I can't describe it objectively, but it was euphoric. Lingering, but distant. Tainted by time and emotions. I liken it to reminiscing about something from your childhood, for instance. I couldn't frame in my mind what there was to be joyful

7

about, but it was, and it is.

Then we saw the paintings.

Lord, the paintings. A stack of murals sat in the centre of the shrine. There must have been hundreds. I couldn't count; there were too many. But they were elegant: Vibrant colour composition and calculated subtlety.

It was at that point we realised our true mission. We were to collect the paintings and bring them back to HQ for study. This was a discovery FUNAI hadn't yet seen. But the impossibility of moving the artifacts was clear: There were too many. So, we sat there, immersing ourselves.

They told a grand, disconnected narrative. Some fragments showed eternal war, in the distant past and future to come, among vast, incomprehensible factions casting arcane tricks. But at the centre of it all was a being. Not a monster, but a protector. It was only referred to as the 'Eljor. 'Eljor the Custodian. 'Eljor the Mystic. It was going to save them, and bring us all there, too.

Before we could realise what was happening, we noticed Vincent. He was the most interested in the murals, yet the most distant. I don't know why, but he felt off. He said the paintings spoke to him– A

8

presence pleading for its true salvation. He asked what we should do, and the answer was clear. We told him to listen, and I'm so Goddamn sorry.

There was a struggle, something unseen, and seconds later the building collapsed. Vincent did it. I didn't understand.

The roof caved in, crushing one of the soldiers. We didn't help. We fled, and then the villagers appeared by the hundreds. They came out of nowhere and they were all staring. They saw. They knew. And Vincent stared back.

They grabbed a soldier, hauled him screaming into the crowd. Shots rang out, the first couple connecting as tribe members crumpled to the ground. But then the gun was different. It shot out of his hands, flung him aside, and he cowered back into a wall. Fabian ran and tripped on debris. They closed in. Next, he was screaming, ripping his clothes to shreds, writhing in pain, his strength so great that even Kevlar tattered. As if he was pulling one of his sick fucking pranks. But he wasn't laughing. Nobody was.

They swarmed the shrine — whatever remained — reclaimed the paintings and thrust them where they fit. Some scrambled to get one final glance, exposing themselves to as much as they could. Some cried in agony. Others were shaking on the floor, panting, vomiting,

9

and bleeding. I grasped the opposites. The paintings were doing this, and I knew, and so did they.

I can't grasp how I escaped. I ran to the jungle, into a tree, and my lungs collapsed under the weight of unseen toxins. I went back, and my feet were in flames, but my legs kept pumping on primal instinct. Villagers crumpled on the ground beside me. Some were injured, some dead, and some had gone mad. I saw, and it was on my men, and I knew it was on me too, but there was no escape. I didn't care. I needed to set things right.

I had some rations, but no comms. There was no time to whimper — only act — so I crouched into the next settlement. I hid in the wall. There were ants, and it was cramped, hot, and sticky, but that's where I hid. It was safer inside. They didn't see, but they knew I was there.

I ate little, only enough to survive. I was there for days. There were hours of unrest, of torment and screaming. Someone needed my help. There had to be a way, but I never risked it.

The water depleted. Next were the rations. I waited another day before emerging. The struggle hadn't ended yet, but I needed to get out. I needed to save at least a single soul. I need to save you, Cátia. I stumbled out of my hole. Dwellings dismantled, foreign objects

10

scattered about, odd things, bodies mangled and torn, twisted, off-colour, most smelling, muscles spasming and foam pouring from slackened jaws. The paintings had… Done this, but it was different. Evolved. Advancing. I knew they were opposites, but now I could see them.

They found me. I shot at the shrine and never looked back. For my team, the tribe, and my dear Cátia, I needed to fix this. Lord, forgive me. Please, Cátia, forgive me. I found a stack of paintings and shuffled through them, glimpsing at random details, and crushing others. I needed to see how this ended.

There were paintings of our family. They knew about you. Why didn't they tell me about your pain?

I saw myself burning in the embers of my work. I saw you confused and alone as your mother and I fought. You couldn't deal with the grief of not seeing me. We talked every few months via letters, but I spared not a single picture, and you never heard my voice. You grew up isolated, like them, because my heart was with my work.

The paintings showed deeper truths. You were alone. And I was there. I never laid a hand on you, but the Goddamn paintings show otherwise, and Lord help me, I can't remember what the truth was. They changed it.

1 1

Please be okay, Cátia. I miss you. Forgive me.

Next it showed recent events: The outpost and what they did there. How was I so blind to it? They sacrificed their people to that thing! And they knew what they were doing — they built that place to keep it at bay, to save us all, but we interfered! Our only survival lies in its destruction. 'Eljor will cease to be, and so will I.

Cátia, I want you to see. You already know. But now you must see. Then we can be together. For our sake.

1 2


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