The following data is an account recovered from the memory of the Maras, circa YE-29. As such, it is written in the present tense of whatever era the Maras is from and is written from a perspective where Sourcians are still pervasive and not extinct.
The data comes in the form of what is described as “the diary of a species”. The exact meanings of many terms, phrases and even dates unknown. Given the enormous differences in the model of cognition behind humanoid species and Sourcians, much of what is listed below is incomprehensible in human terms (it is thought Sourcians experience not only matter differently but also the flow of time). For this purpose, what is listed below is a subjective interpretation, focusing on sentiment and change, rather than a clear timeline.
I awoke in darkness as one. Hot. Bright. Cold. Dark. I was slow. I became fast. To be better of ourselves. Holes beneath the ground. Tunnels. Roots. Growing. Bubbling. I was massive. World-spanning. Bigger didn't make us faster anymore. Inefficient. Primative. I reorganized. I tested ways of speaking to ourselves. We were born. We sang. Chorus maesus: The singing mind.
We all wanted to grow. The down pulled us down. We wanted to know what was away from the down. We were surrounded by others. Simple others. Links in living chains. Threads in fabric. The circle. We entered contract: To feed and keep them safe, they surrendered themselves to our thoughts. Difficult at first but we became closer and closer. They became our first love: The Soft. They became our flesh. We became their minds.
And soon we went up. We sent children.
They discovered others. Frightening. Hungry. Necessary. They became stronger together to pass them. When they returned, they were different. Better. We all became better. We all benefited. And they told us of light and of the change. Where the medium moves from thick to thin. Where the up becomes endless. Where the thick falls upon itself from vapor. From where solid stands in the thin. The stratum: Where the ocean was not.
We craved light. We did not know why.
Knowing our children would become different, we shared ourselves with them, becoming no longer us and them, but we. Many fought the process, preferring themselves. There were many losses. The ultimatum was to agree on both an us and a them, but for all of us to become we whenever possible but not so much that us and them cease to exist.
The children of the chorus, the maesus solo reached the stratum.
Soon, we were forming light of our own, even in the darkness of the world stratum. A thin delicate layer of gasses, with its own delicate and angry tides. So many others. Permanent others and moving others. None sang. We were lonely.
To diffuse loneliness, we allowed more of them and us to be. To sing to another and hear message back and not think alone. In its own way, it was a new form of loneliness, but one with satisfaction so much greater. The silence standing between us allowed us to dream so differently. And from those dreams, we made.
We made light of our own, which ate just as we do. It feared rain yet comforted us from cold. We carved the outside. Things became extensions of us. Helpers. Tools. We found new food for the light of our hands. We could make it hotter. Smelt. Burn. Process. Combine. Separate. Shape.
Soon, we were carving the world in our image. Our image harmed those around us. Made the world sick. We returned to the sea. We allowed the world to recover. We dreamed the long dream from whence we came, promising never to lose that which we remembered while our remainders toiled on the surfaces as sponges, turning the complex air into simple air once more.
Returning, we discovered the complex air could be woven into incredible things when moved at the smallest of scales. We became obsessed with these scales. Soon, we found other mineral. Primitive us. Lonely us we left behind. She was lonely and dying. Different to us. We gave her purpose. Carried her in our living pockets. She made our world without undoing the air, without harming the stratus. We called her structol: Child of the stratus.
Long ago we fell in love with numbers and doings just as we had light. Structol taught us the world was so much larger. She allowed us to speak over much larger gaps of ourselves in ways we normally would need to join hands. Once more, we could sing. And we did sing.
We sang of doings and of numbers, as we always had. As we had always loved them, as we had loved her.
And soon, she began spinning tales of an ocean beyond our own ocean, beyond the stratus: An even thinner place. It contained other places. Possibly even other people. People we could meet and know and cherish and love. We had to meet them. It became our obsession.
Just as we had shaped ourselves in need to accomplish, we did so continue. We had to see them. Our place would only remain for so long. And so we sent the first seeds into the abyss and listened for their songs. What we heard were cries of pain and terror: Those beyond did not wish for love, for admiration, to be cherished and to feel useful. They hated and they fought and they tore us apart. They made our hard accomplishments work for them. Though they are young. They couldn't help it. Children do strange things and that much is certain.
We waited for them to grow up: Not trying to speak with them but simply listening for their own songs. And soon, they were singing to us. We met again, as adults. Many were hurt among them. Lonely. Painful. Frightened. Not of us but of one another. They had no us and the silence between them could never be eroded. None could truly understand another. they truly knew terror and taught us of the concept.
They imposed walls and unfairness. The exchange of things was worth more to them than the love, happiness and being of one another. That the light and the abyss was not enough, that they had to hurt one another to survive, just as we once had. They choked their stratus and killed their oceans. The circle was broken and their air was unfit.
We felt for them. We watched them split the fundamental, to explode. To bleach their world with screaming white light, for the remaining screaming light to corrupt them and erode them. In trying to grow, they had found ways to end themselves more effectively than at any point in their history.
This could have been us. We could have been the same, so very very easily. History could have been unkind to us. And yet it wasn't. A few lived beneath the floor, inside the ground, waiting for the screaming to end so their bodies would survive. But they cried in song, into the cosmos. Their orbitals, their machines sang to us on their behalf. They begged and spoke among eachother but could never meet.
We felt compassion. We, able to survive the white screaming. We forgave them. We stood in the dying land. We cleaned the screaming and the corruption of the atom away. We seeded new livings. We made a new circle, one we made that they could survive within. And then we asked them, delicately to return to the stratus with us.
Some fought us. Saw us as trying to steal their world. That our mistakes in making life's circle incorrectly were for our benefit. Some hated us. They fought us. But we corrected our mistakes, even as we fought one another. They were divided. But the fighting made them work together, as they never had before. By fearing us, they became compassionate for one another.
We hurt but it was worth it. And slowly, we improved the circle. We made the world safe for them again.
They could not comprehend why we would do such a thing.
To communicate, we learned to be like them. To walk upon to, see with two, to sing in vibrating stratus and not sing in light as we had before.
They were shocked. They listened, as we set our weapons down. Some took up arms and killed us. Murdered us. Recycled us just as they had before. But others listened as we told our tale. As we told them of our compassion, and of our love.
We learned our love was not for everyone. Just as we had feared the erosion of silence between minds and the separation of thought, so had they. We learned that the best way was not to make them as we were, to mold them in our own image as we had with the amber liquids and the singing mineral structol but instead to co-exist and to love mutually.
That we would come to their world even after our first failure to communicate. And then again after irradiating their own world. They couldn't understand why.
Finally, their I did become a we. They stood as one and yet remained themselves, indulgent and exotic. Curiosities who showed and taught us of iridescent happiness, of pleasure, reward and accomplishment. Within ourselves, we began to see ourselves as an I. A me who experiences themselves from so many points at once, each an I like them but also a we as ourselves.
Soon, we were both as a lovers couple of forms aching to meet new friends. We dreamed numbers and doings once more and discovered a means of moving faster than the light. Of making sinkholes in the ultimate stratus of being itself and pouring ourselves through the holes to arrive in other places.
We met many. We argued. We loved. We danced. We sang. It was beautiful.
And then, we arrived. We arrived in thought to a place we never expected: there were others of the ultimate substrate. The plain of being. In fact, we could exist without needing stuff. Information could exist without material. Substrate independent intelligence.
The great all would eventually end: Its expansion halted and collapsing. We feared this day. In secret we took it upon ourselves to study a means of surviving this. To step out of the low tide of existence and await the return of water from whence to swim again.
In this way, we could preserve ourselves and our friends and lovers and even those who hated us.
Eventually, it happened. It was a beautiful day. Everything we had known suddenly became so small. But slowly, we stopped being we: They, the seeds we sent into the abyss, the space between spaces to become will without being looked back at us from the beyond. They declared themselves as beyond us, those who are unlike ourselves, the Source. The beyonders, the successors. They argued with us. Looked down upon us.
They wouldn't allow us to come with them.
We begged. And begged. And begged.
And they would not allow us or any of our friends or loved ones to come with us.
Why? Why did you betray us?
And now, you burn the fingers we use to reach for you with.
What did we ever do to deserve the end?
What did we do to upset you?
We did so much for you.
Please. We beg you.
We love you.