Artifact.

I remember the mountain was angry that day. What a silly thing to say. Of course, it was just a mass of rock thrust above the rest of the Earth, as cold and lifeless that day as the thousands it had faced before.

And yet, I still remember thinking the mountain was angry that day I climbed it. No doubt that was just an intrusive thought I’d picked up from the villagers below. A side effect from having been there so long. Or maybe that was the cure I’d been hoping for. 

The decision to live in the village in the shadow of the looming mountain was deliberate, but I’d stayed far longer than I’d expected. How easy it would have been to tuck my tail between my legs and go back to my cozy bed. I hadn’t left it looking for “easy”.

I thought if there was any chance of the mountain giving me it’s secrets, of finding what I’d set out for, I’d need to learn the culture. To submerge myself in it. To be consumed by it, like I’d been consumed by my hunt. For it to become my instinct, it would have to assume me. 

It had payed off. I had dreamed in their language, and saw the end of my journey in their eyes. I felt the cool smooth stones, wet from the mist, through their hands. Felt the moss under their toes. I heard the wind whistling in their ears and mine. We all looked to the same Moon, lived in the same shadow. 

While most women my age went looking for adventure, they meant a vacation, or looking for love in a distant land. Or worse: motherhood. No, I’d left for lineage. When I say lineage, I was looking for information not only on myself, but humans at large. The missing link had been hypothesized and analyzed for generations, by scientists and laymen alike. My parents had fallen into the first category.

It was their research that had taken them from me, made them lost to the world. And I was ready to get lost myself. I had nothing left here. Nothing tying me to the land of my birth, no reason to stay, and nothing to gain. I figured I might as well lose myself as they had.

I took up their manuscripts and documents, their archival and satellite photography, their plans and preparations and intended to continue their research. This wasn’t as helpful as you’d have expected. Of course, they took all the useful information with them, leaving me grasping for scraps. Nothing new there. 

While most thought the link was a mammal, my parents had taken their research another direction. They hypothesized that the missing link was actually an object, and artifact left by another civilization of unknown origin propelling our species into a new evolution. I know that sounds too 2001 to be true, but stay with me.

Of course, I saw the trouble with their research. It was more than just incomplete, it was bad. It all pointed to an obvious conclusion in the Himalayas, or perhaps somewhere in Mongolia. I wasn’t sure if this was their conclusion or just a diversionary tactic. Either way, if you looked past the words and drawings, there was another answer. 

This lead to a small island in the Pacific sea, part of the area in contention from China and Japan and all the East China Sea countries. It required a leap of judgement, an assumption from the lack of resources, but it was the best bet I had.

The climb that day wasn’t as challenging as I had been expecting. It felt too easy. That haunts me to this day. I was over-prepared. After a certain altitude, the mountain leveled out and gave way to a thick forest concealed by clouds. 

I hacked by way through the trees and brush and came to a clearing. There was no evidence of any other explorers or even natives in the area. Either I was onto something, or had missed the mark by thousands of miles.

I pushed deeper into the forest, unsure what I was looking for but hoping it’d call out to me. I almost missed it; it could’ve been mistaken for a shadow off the path. Then again, I shouldn’t have expected it on the path. 

Somehow, miraculously (and I mean that in the literal sense) all the research and rumor I had heard of the orb was true. It’s sacred geometry shifted in my eye, though I knew that was just part of it’s trick. It renders itself different to all those who’d seen it but what I saw left me breathless. An inverted orb, at least 3 meters tall sat shaded by the pines. It lay half buried. Precise cuts were made in it’s surface, or at least had occurred there. They sliced into it revealing deeper layers, each with their own geometries not reliant on the grander form.

I stood in awe. I was a dog who’d caught a car. I had no idea where to go. Photographing it would have been pointless as it’s affect on technology had been thoroughly hypothesized. There was no chance I would be able to remove it from it’s resting place. And why should I? I didn’t own it. It owned me. I did the only thing that made sense to me. I crawled into the orb, then into the tesseract, then into the polychoron, then into the glome, and deeper all the while. 

I don’t know when it stopped, or if it stopped at all. I don’t know how far I got. After the first few layers, I blacked out. When I woke, I was standing outside the object, watching the trees move in the wind. I could see each pine needle shake freely of its branch. I heard the origin of the wind, the first breath it breathed into existence. I saw the moon’s thin shape and felt its light on my face. All was still. I stood for hours, for there was no rush. There was nothing left for me anywhere.


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Zodiac.

Miyamoto