by Brenda Krekeler
by Dan Simmons
A few ducks survived in the fens above Toschanhi Bay and Endymion guided the hunters. Izzy was Endymion’s lab who loved to hunt. Endymion had four hunters. Once he arrived at the edge of the fen, he loaded them into their floating blinds. He positioned each of the four hunters so they would shoot out over the pond and not at each other. Endymion told them not to shoot at the inlet as that is where he would be. Endymion set up the decoys. The hunters killed two of the three ducks. The third was heading directly toward Endymion and Lizzy’s position. M. Herrig used his energy gun and in the process sliced Lizzy’s head off. Endymion punched Herrig and held him underwater but he did not drown. Endymion ordered the three others to get Herrig and he returned them to the plantation. Once back at camp, Herrig got a gun (six thousand steel flechettes gun) and came after Endymion cursing. Endymion dropped and attacked Herrig and Herrig shot himself. Pax security arrived and arrested Endymion and took him to Port Romance. At the trial six days later, all four men testified that Endymion had attacked and brutalized Herrig. Herrig wore a cruciform and was therefore reanimated and substantiated the hunter’s stories.
The priest offered Endymion the cruciform but he refused and received the death wand.
Endymion woke up in a very old castle on Hyperion in the old city of Endymion. There he was given an errand by the Satyr. The Satyr told Endymion about Lamia and her daughter now known as Aenea. Aenea disappeared when she was twelve after Brawne Lamia, her mother, had died. Aenea went into the Sphinx Time Tomb seven days after her mother died. Martin Silenus asked Endymion to go after Aenea, protect her and bring her back to him because her uncle was dying. Martin told Endymion Aenea would walk out of the Sphinx in forty-two hours, sixteen minutes and the Pax security knew it. “They also know the future of the universe depends upon this.”
Now the Sphinx was guarded by thirty thousand Pax troops of which five thousand were the Vatican Swiss Guard. Martin told Endymion he was to take a ship to an old Hegemony world and go to the Sphinx a secret way. Endymion would have to travel the River Tethys. Endymion thought Martin was crazy but since he was the one who had secreted him away from his death sentence, he listened to the old poet.
The River Tethys was a single highway of water that floated from world to world. It had lost the connectivity when the WorldWeb farcaster network broke.
Martin let Endymion go rest and they were to meet at dinner. Raul introduced himself to the blue android, A. Bettik. Endymion decided to explore the city. As he was about to exit the building he remembered his Grandam’s story of the Cantos. A. Bettik was the name of the android who piloted the pilgrim’s barge up the Hoolie River to the Sea of Grass. Endymion decided to explore the University.
At this very moment Pax drop ships destroyed thousands of Ouster trees six thousand light-years away at a system known as NCG. All the Ousters died. The Pax warships are under the command of Father Captain de Soya. An Archangel class ship approaches which is the Vatican’s fastest vehicle. It has two curriers aboard which de Soya ordered to be resurrected.
Endymion was drawn to climb into a tower. After a dangerous entry into the tower, Endymion saw that the tower enclosed a spaceship. As he touched the ship it responded. Once inside, he was greeted by a human voice known as the “ship.” Endymion identified him as John or Johnny Keats. John told Endymion there was a traumatic event 200 years ago and that is when the Consul died. Keats and the ship returned to Hyperion and Martin placed the ship in this tower. John told Endymion he had arranged for Endymion to be rescued from his execution and brought to the university. John explained Hyperion did not have a datasphere but he could monitor all micro wave and satellite communications and every secure fiber optic ands. A. Bettik announced his presence and showed Endymion his way back to the tower and dinner with Martin.
Endymion told the ship it was nice talking to him.
De Soya was informed the couriers had been resurrected with only one successful so far. The couriers were from the Vatican, Father Gawronski and Father Vandrisse. Father Vandrisse was the survivor and a Legionaries of Christ which had replaced the more liberal Jesuits.
Vandrisse struggles and tells de Soya he must take the Archangel-Class Courier Vatican ship and leave immediately with no provisions by order of Pope Julius XIV. This was an Omega priority which supersedes Pax Military or SpaCom C-Fleet.
De Soya boards the courier ship immediately and in two minutes the ship accelerated to a destination unknown to de Soya. He died knowing however that he would die and have to be resurrected at his destination.
A. Bettik talked with Endymion after Endymion had dressed. A. Bettik told Endymion he had worked for Sad King Billy on Hyperion. He met Silenus two hundred and seventy four years ago and has been working for Martin of his own free will. A. Bettik told Endymion if Endymion decided to accept the proposal by Martin Silenus A. Bettik would like to go with Endymion.
Soon after Aenea disappeared, Pax ships arrived and searched for the cruciforms.
The Bikura became retarded eunuchs. With Communion and if resurrected under the auspices of the Church, the resurrected won’t suffer the fate of the Bikura who were discovered by Father Dure’.
Martin wanted to know why Endymion did not accept eternal life through the Church with the cruciform. Endymion replied that he wants to keep his life his own.
Martin tells Endymion that Endymion wants to be a hero. Endymion denies it. Martin tells Endymion to find Aenea and go to Earth. Not Old Earth, Earth.
The Big Mistake of ‘o8 was when the TechnoCore allowed Earth to fall into a black hole of their making. It was rumored that the TechnoCore had moved Earth to a different location.
So Endymion was to find Aenea, find Earth and return it so Silenus can see it again, find out what the TechnoCore was up to, ask the Ousters for immortality for Silenus, destroy the Pax and topple the Church’s power and stop the Shrike from hurting Aenea or wiping out humanity.
Endymion agreed to the mission if A. Bettik would join him. It was agreed.
Father Captain Federico de Soya was resurrected and found himself on Pacem. He was in tears of joy from the rebirth experience and was to attend a papal mass. Pope Julius XIV is in his early sixties but has been Pope continuously for over two hundred and fifty years with eight rebirths. Dure’ served as Pope for some eight years. When he died Lenar Hoyt was resurrected from his cruciform which Dure’ had worn. Now Lenar Hoyt was Pope Julius XIV. De Soya was crying at accepting the Eucharist from his Holiness.
De Soya meets Cardinal Lourdusamy in the scented gardens with Pax soldiers. The Cardinal introduces Fleet Admiral Marusyn. De Soya is told by them they are pleased with him and that is why he has been chosen for this mission to serve the Church and Pax. They show de Soya a holo of Brawne Lamia’s and John Keats’s eleven-year old daughter. Aenea disappeared two hundred and sixty four years ago. They tell de Soya that the child is evil and when she appears from the Sphinx in one month she will have powers to persuade people to leave the Church. De Soya’s mission is to find the child and return here to the Vatican. De Soya was given the papal key which places all power at his availability. As de Soya left the meeting he saw the sad face of Pope Julius XIV.
Endymion toured the ship with a holo of Martin and A. Bettik. On a map displayed on the grand piano Martin showed Endymion the Pope’s troops ranged from Chronos Keep to the Valley of the Time Toms where the Swiss Guard was stationed. There are thirty thousand soldiers between Endymion and the Sphinx where Aenea will be tomorrow. The Ship identified all the Pax ships on Hyperion and the ones in orbit. The Ship also identified a small courier-sized ship that landed on Hyperion about three weeks ago. The Ship thought its profile to be “strange.” The Ship told Endymion he can easily out fly a Pax ship but it needed a fifteen-minute head start. It was clear there was no way Endymion could get through all the soldiers to Aenea. A. Bettik retrieved a cylinder and presented “the hawking mat” to Endymion. The Ship told Endymion the hawking mat had also been improved by the Ousters. Now the mat can hold a charge for a thousand hours and fly in excess of three hundred kilo-meters per hour. A. Bettik rode with Endymion on his first training flight on the mat. There is one more item that will assist Endymion to obtain Aenea.
De Soya is now on Hyperion with ground Commander Barnes-Avne. A bogey was shot down one hour and fifty-five minutes before Aenea was to appear. De Soya knows his task. He must administer the cruciform to the child and take her in the courier ship to Pacem.
The bogey was just another test of the Commander’s.
A dust storm is approaching the valley.
Endymion traveled on the hawking mat to an underground cavern. There it was absolutely black. Silenus had programmed the mat over two hundred years ago to fly at a great speed through an underground tunnel system.
De Soya waits at the Sphinx entrance. He is sick from the time tombs opening. De Soya saw the child and had the sedative and the cruciform ready then he became aware of a second figure. Then the screaming began.
Endymion had only flown for twenty minutes when he was overwhelmed by claustrophobia. After a brief stop to scream he resumed his flight.
The next thing de Soya was aware of was the helmeted-head of the doctor bounce past him. Next the medic lost his arm. When de Soya lunges for the girl he is pierced in six places through his combat armor. As de Soya falls to his knee, hearing screaming over his head set, the girl tells de Soya, “It will be all right.” De Soya feels joy at the child’s touch. Then the child was gone and the screams were louder.
In three and one half hours Endymion saw light. As he flew over the valley he heard the Swiss troops’ screams and saw them run. Near Endymion was a Shrike, a giant. Endymion sees the child beating the Shrike with her fists.
De Soya is carried to a ship by Gregorius. Commander Barnes-Avre is dead. Gregorius describes the situation in marine terms as a cluster fuck. De Soya sees black.
Endymion found Aenea filthy from the sand storm. Finally she recognized the mat and climbed on. Two minutes remained for Endymion to reach Chronos Keep to meet with A. Bettik.
Endymion and Aenea flew through the sand storm almost smashing into a cliff and finally into the Consul’s ship where A. Bettik waited. As soon as they were inside the Ship took off and in moments was in space.
De Soya hears of the news on the verge of blacking out again from the pain of his leg injury. Over sixty percent of the Swiss Guard are dead and or injured. De Soya orders the St. Antony ship to follow the ship the girl travels in. He orders Gregorius to take himself and his two officers and de Soya to his ship the Raphael and go after the girl.
Endymion, Aenea and A. Bettik introduced themselves to each other. Endymion explained that the Church and Pax were now in control.
Aenea instructed the Ship to first go to Parvati then they will go to Renaissance Vector because it used to have a farcaster. Aenea announced she was going to take a shower. Just before she went up she thanked Endymion for risking his life for her. She told him one day they would take a shower together but right now he should shower on the lower level.
De Soya awakes from resurrection in Raphael his archangel ship. His leg and health have returned. He decided he and Gregorius and his two officers would formulate a plan. When Aenea arrived at Parvati in three months and three weeks, they would be ready to capture them. In the mean time they would spend the time in fugue sleep. For Aenea it would take a matter of days to travel to Parvati with the same time-debt as de Soya, three months and three weeks. It is just that de Soya’s archangel is the only ship in existence that transports at such an accelerated speed that by the time the occupants arrive they are liquefied and all must be resurrected at their flight’s end.
Endymion watched the transition to hawking drive from the Consul’s balcony. He saw space become a true void and everything went colorless. The Ship compensated using the Ouster’s improvements. Endymion’s nausea subsided.
The ship announced six days nine hours until arrival. Aenea told the Ship to be quiet unless it was vital. The Ship’s feelings were hurt.
Aenea explained that she had just walked into the Sphinx this morning. She had had a big day. She wanted to know about present time and she asked Endymion, “…How much is mine to keep?
Gregorius’s squad members were Corporal Bassin Kee and Lancer Ahranwhal Gaspa K.T. Rettig, aka AGKT Rettig.
The four men plan their strategy of capturing the girl when she arrives at P__________.
Aenea told Endymion she knows the TechnoCore still exists because she talked to her father’s persona and she had talked to the Core as recently as this morning.
The effects of the c-plus environment for Endymion, Aenea and A. Bettik included: emotional and balance changes, paranoia and strange dreams. They played zero-gravity games. Aenea was sobbing one night and expressed her fears about the Pax to Endymion and how much she missed her mom. For her, she lost her mom only two weeks ago.
Gregorius, de Soya, Kee and Rettig practice simulations of taking the girl from the Consul’s ship. They prepare for the real event to occur in eight hours.
An hour before transition Endymion asked Aenea if she had a plan. In a conversation with the Ship she learned the Ship could morph and with this information she developed a plan. She admitted it probably won’t work but none-the-less it was a plan.
Gregorius attached to the Consul’s ship. Just as he was ready to blast a hole in it, Aenea starts talking to de Soya. Aenea has the ship morph itself a Gregorius contact point. She tells de Soya she will open her entire ship and die before she allows the ship’s haul be breached. De Soya calls back his troops. He is informed they now are heading to Renaissance Vector. De Soya tells his soldiers when they reach Renaissance Vector they will have five months and a Pax army to help them capture the girl.
Aenea played around with the ship’s ability to isolate areas into zero-gravity. She had it create a pool for her to swim but it was very cold water. Endymion was the last to leave the pool and ordered the Ship to release the gravity hold and it spilled water all over the ship. Endymion thought the Ship had played a joke on Endymion. Endymion spent time with A. Bettik and learned he was very grateful for the opportunity to go on this adventure especially after he spent a hundred years maintaining this ship.
Endymion inventoried the weapons locker and discovered an old fatline communicator. The Ship told Endymion it would be useful if Endymion had to be away from the ship. The Ship could download information into the com set. Endymion selected a shot gun, plasma rifle, a flechette pistol and a .45. He wore the .45 and there was a supply of several hundred bullets. He tested it and it worked. It was at least 1000 years old.
Two days prior to entering Renaissance Vector, A. Bettik and Endymion told Aenea what they knew about the planet and its system. Renaissance Vector was a rural planet used to farm and feed the five billion people on RV. They were Pax and had the cruciforms so the population was stable. Renaissance Vector is a transshipment point for the Pax war against the Ousters.
Aenea wants to go to RV to see the River Tethys. When the Web was active before the Fall one could ride a boat from world to world on the River Tethys. Aenea explained one of the buildings of the architect she was to study under is near the River Tethys. Endymion wanted to know the plan and Aenea said there was no plan other than she thought they would let her land on RV. Then they will take it from there.
De Soya remains with the papal disk key in charge of capturing the child. He has hundreds of thousands of troops and hundreds of space and land vehicles at his disposal. He believes he is ready for her arrival at Renaissance Vector.
When the Consul’s ship transitioned they found seventy-nine spaceships waiting and they were being hailed by de Soya. Aenea tells de Soya she will land at Da Vinci Airfield but instead she hovers above it. Then the Consul’s ship starts to drift and finally she sees the River Tethys and a farcaster arch over the River. She heads for the arch and is submerged in the River. De Soya orders beams from space to destroy the arch and surrounding area. Everyone is stunned at the de Soya’s command. The girl was supposed to be taken alive.
De Soya had a Board Review and he told them he blew up the portal because at the last minute he realized where she was going and the only way to stop her was by destroying the portal. The Farcaster portal however was not damaged. The Board of Review found de Soya had acted according to his mission and legally. He was to keep his papal disk key. De Soya informed the Board he, Gregorius, Kee and Rettig will search for her on all two hundred worlds of the former Web. With two hundred deaths and two hundred resurrections, he believes he can accomplish this in two years.
The Ship went through the Farcaster and plowed through the River Tethys into a red-sandy beach. Once they gathered basic weapon gear, they climbed out to discover a jungle on either side of the river. Aenea explained she had just thought the portal would recognize her. The ship estimates it can repair itself in six standard months. A. Bettik had a book about River Tethys and he described the portals as being activated as one moves downstream. Also, the portal would open on to one of two hundred worlds. The order of which was random so they could never know which world they would find themselves.
Aenea and Endymion took the hawking mat to find the next portal on the river. Along the way they saw a large edifice and flew around it. They decided to go down the river a bit and they discovered a waterfall and they saw a giant river fish. A. Bettik called and told Aenea and Endymion they had a visitor. A Shrike.
Upon arrival back at the ship, the Shrike was gone. They decided to make camp on the beach and build a raft in the morning as all of the fly-bikes had been damaged. Endymion spent the night consumed by paranoid threats from high water and jungle beasts. He did get some sleep but the night was short compared to the eighteen hours of daylight. Endymion felt that this night he realized what it felt like to have the great responsibility of a parent.
That morning A. Bettik ferried supplies to below the falls where they would build their raft. Everyone said good bye to the ship. It promised to repair itself and hid in the river bottom until their return, even if it would be years.
Endymion flew with his flying belt and Aenea and A. Bettik took the mat. Once they arrived on a beach below the falls they discussed the discrepancy of the presence of waterfalls on the River Tethys. A. Bettik also sold Endymion he had flown about one hundred kilometers high and saw the river was straight with no barriers or waterfalls. He thinks he saw another arch a hundred and thirty kilometers down river.
All three of them worked hard building the raft. Aenea showed Endymion more efficient and sturdier techniques to build it. They had completed the raft at sundown. Everyone wanted to leave and the first hour was magical. Then a storm appeared with large, white-capped waves, lightning and an unprecedented amount of rain.
Their raft was tossed around like a toy and they just huddled together. After hours of enduring the storm they all fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
Aenea fixed breakfast for everyone and soon the arch was visible. Endymion knew it was a dud but as they passed under it he tingled and the next thing he knew they were floating on an ocean. It was night and the sky was filled with millions of stars and three planet-sized moons.
A. Bettik thinks he recognizes the sky and identifies the planet as Mare Infinitus. Actually Mare Infinitus is another moon for a sub-Jovian planet. The air was thin and the breeze had a chill. After traveling more than twice the recorded distance to the next portal, Endymion and Aenea took the mat up to look around. The flying-belt had permanently malfunctioned.
Endymion explained the Core to Aenea on their mat ride. The Stables wanted to keep being parasites on human brains as they farcasted on the Web. The Volatiles wanted to eliminate humans. The Ultimates just wanted to work on creating their good the UI (ultimate intelligence). The “Void Which Binds” is where the Core was supposed to be hidden and was thought killed when Gladstone bombed the farcasters. Aenea quoted the Canto about the last message sent on the web. “…ACCESS WILL BE RESTORED WHN YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS FOR.”
Endymion and Aenea returned that evening and after the two suns went down they saw lights on the horizon. There was a tall multi-level building with many boats docked around it. A. Bettik spotted the arch in the vicinity of the building.
Endymion took the hawking mat to the platform and set plastic explosives in several locations on the rig. On the way back to the mat he bumped into two Pax officers who escorted him back inside to a group Endymion had identified that the belonged.
After sixty-three days, Father de Soya and his body guards have suffered eight deaths, eight resurrections and eight star systems. De Soya has started to lose his concentration and prays constantly. His first planet was Tau Ceti Center home to Gladstone’s Government House. Billions have died on this planet after the Fall and subsequently of starvation. De Soya has to spend eight days here being resurrected and fulfilling his religious and political duties. Finally he arranged a twenty-nine hour guard on the portal.
The second planet was Heaven’s Gate now with no atmosphere and boiling temperatures. De Soya believes the Ousters had bombed Heaven’s Gate. De Soya noted they were getting closer to Old Earth’s system.
De Soya spent eight days here. There was no population on the ruined planet but there was a Pax satellite station. De Soya mounts a Pax expedition to the farcaster’s site and finds them buried with mud. He orders the Pax to excavate them and place them in an atmospheric dome and install a permanent guard.
Their next Web planet, NGC had only a few thousand humans who lived in the wild jungles along with many large predatory animals. Consequently, the human population was small. There de Soya found a six-thousand-kilometer river. Additionally they discovered two more rivers totaling twenty-thousand kilometers. They selected the longest river to search because it was the one with the jungle and most scenic. After five days they located the two portals which were about two hundred kilometers apart.
With no Pax support here de Soya was not convinced they did not land here. He thought the ship might be damaged. At this point the girl had been gone three standard weeks. They inspected the river and surrounding jungle at the portal. Gregorius finds all the hatches open and many skeletons inside the ship. They concluded this boat/cruiser on the Tethys was stranded here at the Fall and the people decided to end their lives here.
Next stop, Barnard’s World. This was the closest de Soya would ever be to old earth. Barnard’s World experienced a civil war between the Catholics and The Free Believers. In 212 after the Fall they converted. The once thriving colleges that populated the planet are now seminaries. Here the River Tethys is only three klicks long. The local Pax agree to guard the arches.
Now on Inevitable Grace heading away from the Old Earth system, de Soya is hampered by its environment. He finds the River in a tunnel which has since decayed and filled with methane-ammonia gas. De soya is suffering emotional confusion, depression and doubt.
At the next planet Omicron-Epsilon, Kee and Rettig are hospitalized because of problems with the automated resurrection crèche. It takes three days to repair the ship. De Soya is told his emotion confusion and other side effects will disappear.
Their next location was Mare Infinitus, a water world. De Soya got a thopter pilot out of the large floating city of St. Therese to take him to the farcasters. He learned the portals are so far apart now because the floating farcasters move due to oceanic volcanic activity. De Soya notices damage to the platform of the thopter port near one of the portals. They then learned that a poacher had blown up the platform. The funny thing about this guy was that he tried to get away on a flying carpet. They told de Soya that the poacher was killed. De Soya demanded to go back to the platform. There he interviewed the eye witnesses and found the director had lied about the hawking mat. Gregorious found the mat in the director’s locker. De Soya is excited for the first time in months. He now has a real lead.
Endymion fought to get off the platform. He found the mat and then saw a Pax officer under attack by the giant sharks. Endymion pulled him onto the mat only to be rewarded by a severe knifing. Endymion dove into the water, set off the explosives and saw the officer shot to pieces by the other Pax. Endymion decided to swim north and keep to the river in the ocean. He could not see the raft. He battled the sharks and struggled to stay afloat. Then he saw the girl’s face and she was pulling him to the raft. On the raft they tended to his wounds. The wounds were so bad he was going into shock so Aenea knocked him out.
When Endymion woke up he knew he was on a different planet. Aenea identified the planet as Hebron. They were in an aqueduct. Endymion’s med pack was flashing amber and that was not good. He needed medical attention fast. They found New Jerusalem and a car. There were no people here. They remembered Sol Weintraub called Hebron home. They found a medical building. Electricity was working and Aenea and A. Bettik put Endymion in a long cylinder. The autosurgeon gave Endymion eight invasive surgeries and twelve therapy treatments. The infection turned out to be a fungus invading his organs.
While recovering, Aenea fed him green jello. Endymion told her the objectives he was supposed to meet for the old Poet. Endymion said, “Protect you, get you home, find Old Earth, and bring it back so he could see it again before he died. Along the way I was supposed to talk to the Ousters, destroy the Pax, overthrow the Church, and find out what the fuck the TechnoCore is up to and stop it. He also wanted me to keep the Shrike from hurting you or destroying humanity.”
After a short recovery period they continued their journey. Once through the arch they found themselves in an ice cave with no exit. They agreed that they must be on the planet Sol Draconi Septem.
De Soya, through extensive research, unimaginable expense, and truth drugs, found evidence of corruption on Mare Infinitus. He also matched blood and partial finger prints to those of Endymion and he found the gun Endymion had dropped in the ocean. Everyone believed Endymion dead except de Soya. He decided to devise a new plan.
In the black ice cave Endymion decided he would swim under the ice berg out to the other side and blast the ice to make an outlet for them. The current was strong and the water was below zero but it was so salty it remained liquid. Aenea talked about a special power she had to maybe get herself out but not the other two.
De Soya keeps talking about Ouster pillaged worlds such as Svoboda. De Soya’s plan was to go to the closest Ouster World which is Hebron. De Soya doesn’t know Hebron is void of humans.
However, de Soya wakes up on Pacem with Father Baggio giving him broth. De Soya is confused as to how he got to Pacem.
Father Farrell arrives that afternoon. Sergeant Gregorius and Corporal Kee are recovering. Lancer Rettig is dead. Farrell explains there was a resurrection problem on their return from the Hebron system.
Farrell told de Soya the Raphael found no opposition at Hebron so it went into orbit around Hebron. Apparently the four were almost completely resurrected when Raphel had to flee the system.
They searched for the Raphael and found it in System Seventy Ophiuchi while decelerating toward Mare Infinitus.
De Soya has been dead thirty-two days. Farrell announces Cardinal Secretary Lourdusamy wants to meet with de Soya tomorrow morning.
Pope Julius XIV has reigned two hundred and sixty years.
Endymion, with rope attached, swam under the ice to the next ice cave. He set the charges and A. Bettik pulled him back. Endymion could not get warm so Aenea and A. Bettik helped warm him under their thermal blanket. The Med pack indicated no permanent frost bite. A. Bettik exploded the charges and once the waves settled they picked their way through the ice to the next ice cave. It also was totally enclosed on the river but they found a narrow crevice and Endymion investigated. They tied up their raft, maybe never to be seen again, and gathered their gear. It took hours of climbing, crawling and pulling until A. Bettik heard footsteps.
De Soya was taken to Pacem and was questioned by the Pope’s first assistant, the Cardinal. Here it was revealed all of the efforts de Soya had placed into finding Aenea. De Soya was also threatened with excommunication as a result of him reading the forbidden Cantos. De Soya is to await the Inquisitors response.
The Chitchatuk first appeared as arctic wraiths. They wore the wraith’s fur, head and arms. Everything they wore and used came from the wraith.
The Chitchatuk gave the party wraith clothes, bedding and food. The Chitchatuk and the wraith were the only species alive on this ice planet.
Endymion, A. Bettik and Aenea spent three weeks with the Chitchatuk. They were indeed on Sol Draconi Septem. They spent their three week recovery time exploring the ice tunnels and hunting or being hunted by the arctic wraiths.
They were generous people and after three days of traveling the ice tunnels they returned to the raft with Endymion leading them. Then it was decided they would all go to the ice-buried city to meet the priest.
De Soya experienced the tribunal of the Holy Office yesterday. Today he meets with Cardinal Lourdusamy. Lourdusamy tells de Soya he has been exonerated. Lourdusamy wants to tell de Soya why the church wants to capture this girl. De Soya waits.
Father Glaucus was located in a high rise building that has glaciers pushing against it. He tells Endymion there are no children here because they are wraith food. The few children are kept in the south where it is warmer. Cuchiat’s group (of prime numbers only) were a hunting group to gather wraith food.
Cardinal Lourdusamy told de Soya Aenea was the “instrument of the Machine God.” The AI Core had worked for centuries to produce the Ultimate Intelligence. It would be a cybernetic deity. It could spread its power back through time and dominate the universe. The Cantos poem said empathy was the key to human spiritual evolution. Lourdusamy says that through revelation the Pope “…knows where the cybrid spawn and her dupes are at this very moment.” De Soya is told she is on the ice planet and seeks allies to destroy Pax and the Church. If Aenea escapes she will grow to maturity and full power of the Evil One. The Ousters will allow the Shrike to come and go through the farcasters and slaughter Christians. Billions will die as the cruciforms are torn from them.
Today, the Pope is announcing a Crusade against the Ouster menace. Lourdusamy describes the Pope’s plan where each Pax planet creates a giant archangel ship. In ten years they will be able to destroy the Ousters.
Now de Soya must take a warrior with him on his search for Aenea. The warrior is to kill the virus Aenea.
Rhadamanth Nemes is the female warrior to kill Aenea. They will go to Sol Draconi System this afternoon.
Father Glaucus was one of the last Teilhardian Orders of the Church and he was exiled here. There are only a few of the Chitchatuks still alive today.
Endymion found high-energy fuel pellets stored in the city. The wraiths do not like light. Father Glaucus has four floors of furniture that his light. He has books in these rooms but otherwise the city was frozen and dead.
Teilhard believed it is consciousness which God has created to accelerate the universe’s self awareness as a means to understanding His will. Evolution brings humans and humanity has evolved creating empathy. All thinking sentient beings are looked upon by God. Everyone ate dinner.
Nemes exits the ship while de Soya is still juice. She finds the high rise and Glaucus. She forces him to tell here where Aenea and the others are.
Androids were biofactured with five to a family. They reached adulthood at eight years of age. A. Bettik hopes to find one of his siblings even though the chance is miniscule.
In the Cantos, Sol sees that the Core’s Ultimate Intelligence will never be capable of understanding that empathy is inseparable from love.
The physics of love was the true force. Sol understood that concept.
The Chitchatuk agreed to take Endymion, Aenea and A. Bettik to the next farcaster but it required a trek of twenty five kilometers on the top of the ice. There the giant mature wraith lived. They lived approximately thirty years, were fifteen meters long and they bored the tunnels through the ice.
The Chitchatuk’s left. They went directly to the raft with two sleep periods and three treks. Immediately they began to take the raft apart. Each carried pieces of the wooden raft. Endymion left the ax, the hearth and other olds and ends for the Chitchatuks. They were very grateful. The group headed uphill toward the surface where they would find a vacuum, storm and the wraiths.
Nemes got information about Aenea from Father Glaucus then killed him. She returned to the ship and there killed three young wraiths. Each wraith had a five-chambered heart and wore a human skull necklace.
Nemes flies to the farcaster, and finds an ice tunnel down to the arch. Nemes waits for them and the Chitchatuk are startled by her appearance. They tell Nemes that Endymion, Aenea and A. Bettik have left through the arch. Nemes kills all twenty three of the Chitchatuk. Using here neural probe Nemes sees Aenea passing under the arch.
Nemes touches the farcaster and learns there aren’t thousands of farcasters but only one. It is everywhere.
Nemes learns Aenea has farcasted to Qom-Ryadk. Nemes sees their next portal jump to God’s Grove and Aenea’s final destination. Old Earth.
Nemes decides to intercept them on the river on God’s Grove.
On their trek they slept in a wraith den lined with human skulls and bone. They built their raft and goodbyes were said.
On Qom-Riyadh, Aenea took ill. The city was empty like Hebron. The found a med center and Aenea was attended and rested. Endymion surveyed the vacant city and upon returning saw someone on their raft.
De Soya had orders to go to God’s Grove. He, Gregorious and Kee talked with Nemes. They were all suspicious of her background. Gregorious told de Soya his friend saw that Rettig survived. De Soya is now paranoid of the Pax and the Church. Why did they lie to him? De Soya found errors in the ships data code and realized Nemes had caused problems and was a plant for the church.
Aenea told Endymion, Father Paul Dura’ was murdered by the Vatican. Lenar Hoyt was resurrected by the Core who developed the technology to be resurrected without the side effects experienced by the Bikura tribe on Hyperion.
The Core created the cruciforms, went back in time and introduced the technology to the church and its new Pope Lenar Hoyt. The Core is after Aenea, not just the Church. Endymion told Aenea about the three elements of the TechnoCore that were written in the Cantos. “Ummon told the Keats persona . . . your father . . . that the Volatiles wanted to destroy humanity. The Stables . . . his group . . . wanted to save it. They faked the black-hole destruction of Old Earth and spirited it away to either the Magellanic Clouds or the Hercules Cluster. The Ultimates, the third group, didn’t give a damn what happened to Old Earth or humanity as long as their Ultimate Intelligent project came to fruition.”
Aenea knows someone stole Old Earth and even the Core is afraid of it.
Aenea knew Father Glaucus was dead because it is a certain memory from the future.
She knew Nemes from the Core would be waiting for her tomorrow on God’s Grove.
Nemes indeed set traps on the river not only to catch Aenea but she also had a shrike trap in waiting.
That morning Aenea and her troupe left with an additional member on their raft. A Shrike. This was to be their last day.
Aenea explained that Hebron and Qom-Riyadh were empty of all living beings not because of the Ousters but because the Church was dependent on the Core for the cruciforms. These two worlds did not believe in the cruciforms and were accordingly decimated.
The found the next farcaster.
Nemes went to God’s Grove and found a hiding place along the river. De Soya discovered Nemes had destroyed all of the suits when he wanted to follow her. He knew he had been set up. He took the archangel ship dangerously close to God’s Grove’s atmosphere.
When Aenea, Endymion and A. Bettik came through the portal, the Shrike was gone. They saw a black shield volcano and A. Bettik said it was the remains of the Worldtree. They stopped to repair the raft and reposition the gear in case they ran into white water.
As they entered some easy white water their lamp was sliced to pieces, the raft spun and Endymion’s instinct took over. He knew they were under attack.
Endymion and Aenea rolled into the water. The monofilaments that had sliced the lamp also sliced the raft as it spun around in the water. A. Bettik lost his left arm below the elbow.
The monofilaments did not melt and was strung at various placed above the water along the river.
Endymion grabbed A. Bettik, came back for Aenea and struggled up stream. He knew the attack would be at the lower beach. Ten meters above them the Shrike exploded out of the water, cut the filaments and was gone.
Nemes walked toward the group. Endymion had applied the med pack to A. Bettik. Aenea made a fist and was fearless at the sight of this abomination.
Nemes thinks the Core believes the Shrike was created by an early iteration of the U.I. Now the Shrike would only be a source of amusement to her.
Nemes sees the Void Which Binds shimmer around the girl like static electricity.
Nemes goes to fast time and attacks Aenea to kill her.
De Soya sees what is happening and orders his ship to enter God’s Grove’s atmosphere. Kee and de Soya say a prayer.
Endymion pulled Aenea away from the heat source. There were six arms, four legs and flailing blades moving in a blur.
Endymion covered Aenea with his body and got close to A. Bettik.
Then the explosions in the woods began. De Soya also saw them.
The Shrike and Nemes have the ultimate steel against steel battle.
As Endymion and Aenea gave CPR to A. Bettik, the Shrike continued to protect Aenea from Nemes.
They heard an implosion and only Nemes remained.
Nemes recalls her kill two hundred years ago of the Hegemony Consul. She recalls this as she slips the Sphinx card onto a spike of the Shrike’s neck.
Nemes is then held in a force field that emitted heat hot enough to boil the rock she stood on. After minutes she melted into the rock as well. The Shrike reappeared as Nemes had only sent him five minutes into the future.
Burned, but not seriously, Aenea and Endymion saw A. Bettik became consciousness. He required serious medical help.
Endymion heard instructions from his com. De Soya and Kee talked to Endymion. They tell Endymion that Nemes is a monster and if she is from his Church then the Church has become a Monster. De Soya told Endymion where to find the drop ship for a medical unit.
Two hours later Endymion had A. Bettik inside the medical surgeon. A. Bettik seemed to be doing ok. Aenea asked de Soya to join them but de Soya said there was no way to reach her because Nemes had damaged their suits. Also de Soya had a commitment to the Church and hoped Nemes was just a bad mistake.
Endymion didn’t know how to fly the complicated drop ship. His com link said it could fly the ship and Aenea directed the ship to “the next farcaster. The last farcaster.”
They arrived on Old Earth in Pennsylvania at the house of the architect of which Aenea had dreamed.
The ship com got a message to fly three thousand kilometers. They flew to Taliesin West and Aenea studied for eight years.
Endymion is in a Schrodinger cat box writing about Aenea the child because he hopes Aenea, the messiah is alive.
Aenea came to him one night and touched his face. She told him he would be leaving soon. As soon as he had told his entire story and he understood it.
He then found a love poem she had written on his tablet. It was a poem her father had given her mother.
Aenea loved Endymion in the past, present and future.