by Dan Simmons
Discussed February 2007
by Brenda Krekeler
Fall of Hyperion
by Dan Simmons
M. Joseph Severn, his name for now, attended a great party on Tau Ceti Center at the Government House where CEO Gladstone wanted to see him later that evening. The Administration Complex’s lights were dimmed for the viewing to the Armada.
Diana Philomel introduced herself as the wife of the Sector Transport Administrator for Sol Draconi Septem. Joseph Severn accessed the datumplane and found out everything about who Diana really was. Joseph Severn is really a rebirth cybrid John Keats, the poet. Diane’s husband Hermund Philomel entered their conversation claiming the war was absolutely necessary. The one-hundred ship armada came into view and it was impressive. Everyone applauded and cheered. CEO Gladstone wanted to see M. Severn.
Gladstone introduced Severn as an artist to bring his perspective to the proceedings. Philomel said while observing the armada that it was the greatest concentration of space-force firepower ever. Severn replied, “The war on the Ousters to rescue Hyperion was stupid.” Everyone left except Leigh Hunt and Gladstone. As Severn was sketching Gladstone he answered her questions. He told her he had dreams and they were real-time events that happened to his original Keats persona that was now being carried by Brawne Lamia in a bio-shunt. Severn updated Gladstone on the condition of the seven pilgrims as he was aware when they entered the valley. Gladstone thanked Severn and invited him to stay at the Government House for a few days. He was to sketch her at 0800 hours in the War Room. Severn was told abruptly by Leigh Hunt they knew who and what he was and whom he represented. Severn replied, “That’s good because… I am quite sure that I do not know.”
The pilgrims have walked all day and are exhausted. They settle around a small fire. All of them are on edge. It is night time and they have not found the Shrike but all believe it is waiting for them.
Severn gathers the events of the pilgrims past day. They had explored the Time Tombs all day in fear of losing their life every minute. The Sphinx was the first Tomb. Next was the Jade Tomb. Then there was the Obelisk. Next up the path was the largest Tomb, the Crystal Monolith. The three Cave Tombs were next on the path. About a kilometer down the valley was the spiked Shrike Palace. Severn dreamed Lamia’s dreams about her lovemaking with Johnny. Johnny was Severn’s distant twin. Brawne wakes up startled and discovers Father Hoyt gone. She tells Kassad she is going to go look for Hoyt beyond the Sphinx. The sand is blowing hard and there is an electrical charge in the sand and the Tombs are glowing with it. Lamia left to find Hoyt.
Severn heard the assessment of the Ouster situation on Hyperion. The FORCE was preparing the initiation of the farcaster portal. It was almost ready. Gladstone was informed they did not expect an invasion on Hyperion but if there was one, the FORCE would be ready for them. If an attack ensued the FORCE would offer no evacuation plan for the three million Hyperion residents or the sixty thousand members of the Hegemony.
Severn, while watching a holo of Hyperion, thought the entire war, the fate of millions of people depended on the six people at the Time Tombs.
Leigh Hunt told M. Severn that Gladstone wanted to see him this afternoon at his convenience.
While Lewellyn Drake, the voice of the All Thing, gave a preliminary speech to Gladstone’s upcoming vital speech, Severn farcasted to a bar. He had two-double scotches and then someone was in his booth. It was Lady Philomel from the party. Severn was drunk. Lady Philomel asked him to come home with her to drink and sketch. Her chauffeur must have helped him into the EMV. He fell asleep.
Kassad follows Lamia and Hoyt. Hoyt enters the Jade Tomb. Lamia is behind Hoyt when the Shrike appears and slices Hoyt’s neck. He bleeds out and falls on his face. The Shrike is gone leaving Lamia with her father’s spent pistol.
Severn woke up and Diana Philomel had him truth-drugged by two Lusus thugs. She wanted to know who he was. He told her, “John Keats.” He said he dreamed Johnny’s perceptions in Lamia. Perhaps Lamia dreamed Johnny’s perceptions as well. And yes, he was a cybrid. He told her and Hermund Philomel the probability prediction of the war, the identities of the pilgrims, and The Consul’s betrayal to the Hegemony where he opened the Time Tombs, the emergence of the Shrike and the end of the human race as a result of the war. Diana and Hermund ordered Severn’s death. Leigh Hunt entered with Executive Security commandos and rescued Severn. Hunt got Severn dressed and back to the Government House to meet with CEO Gladstone.
Severn watched the space battle in the War Room with Gladstone. The military men told Gladstone forty-two hundred were killed on the Olympus Shadow. The battle was not going well.
Senator Kolchev, General Morpurgo and Admiral Singh were analyzing the battle. They stated unequivocally that the Ousters would not take the farcaster at Hyperion or the planet. Gladstone adjourned. Severn stayed and watched the wreckage.
Gladstone joined Severn and they walked in the garden. Gladstone said the Philomel’s, his kidnappers, were working for Emlem Harbrit. They discussed gods and the essence of cybrids. Gladstone referred to Jesus Christ. She commented that the Shrike was Jesus’ antimatter image, not Severn. They would talk again in the morning.
Lamia and Kassad carried Hoyt into the one remaining tent. The Consul called for his ship to put Hoyt in surgery. Hoyt was dead but the cruciforms glowed pink. Kassad saw something move beyond a dune. He left by himself to investigate. The group left to board the Consul’s ship but there was no ship waiting. The Consul checked him com-log and a message from Gladstone said, “The fate of worlds may rest with you.” She had denied permission for his ship to leave the largest city on Hyperion, Keats. They carried Kassad’s things and Father Hoyt and headed to the Sphinx for protection from the storm’s ice pellets.
Gladstone wanted to know why those specific people were chosen as the pilgrims. Severn knew they were ciphers that matched the ultimate enigma of the entire Hyperion equation chosen very carefully by the AI predictors. Gladstone asked Severn if he would accompany Leigh Hunt to Hyperion because she was very interested in his analysis. Her interest in him was because he was not affiliated with the Hegemony. Severn agreed to go. He would leave in twelve minutes.
Hunt and Severn farcasted to a battleship. Hunt asked Admiral Nashita if he could get him and Severn to the Hyperion surface. Arrangements were made.
The pilgrims settle in the small rooms of the Sphinx. They were asleep except for Sol who was standing watch when an explosion woke everyone.
When Hunt and Severn landed, they were greeted by Governor-General Theo Lane. Lane told them two years ago Keats had a population of two hundred thousand. Now it’s near three and a half million. There are fewer than five million on the planet. Port Romance and Endymion have the remaining population. Theo took them to Cicero’s for lunch. They were greeted by Stan Leweski. Hunt asked Theo for his priorities. Theo listed them. First is evacuation. Second is removal of the Ouster threat and third is help with the shrike scare.
Severn recognized Dr. Melio Arundez, Rachel’s old Hyperion teacher and lover. Severn excused himself and found Dr. Arundez. They discussed Sol and Rachel and Melio admitted, even though he had a wife and two children, he was still in love with Rachel.
Hunt and Severn returned to the Government House. They had been gone only ninety minutes. After Gladstone’s speech to the Senate, Hunt told Severn he was invited to a state dinner tonight. Severn will be in attendance.
Kassad identifies the shots are from the crystal Monolith and he fires upon it from the Jade Tomb. He destroys the Monolith. As he approaches the crystal Monolith he is hit by lasers. Finally he makes it inside the Monolith and sees someone up sixty meters. He climbs the staircase.
At the state dinner Severn finds three hundred Senators from the Web worlds and seventy representatives from Protectorate colonies. Severn saw M. Wingreen-Feif, Silenus’ editor. She told Severn her company was thinking about publishing Silenus’ Cantos.
The state dinner was held on God’s Grove where huge trees grew in the clean environment never spoiled by petrochemical emissions. Here there were no cities or highways. One could live in a room in the treetops with enough money.
At dinner Severn asked Councilor Albedo about the Core building a replica of Old Earth. Albedo created jokes about the rumor at Severn’s expense. Severn thought the dinner was excellent.
Back in the War Room Gladstone was apprized that the best they could hope for was a stalemate. Admiral Nashita requested two hundred additional ships. This would represent two thirds of the Hegemony’s FORCE to be placed at Hyperion. Gladstone granted the request and was assured the conflict would be concluded successfully in one standard week.
The pilgrims woke to find Kassad still missing. Lenar Hoyt’s dead body is now regenerated with the two cruciforms glowing pink on the chest of a now awake and coherent Father Paul Dure’. Everyone searched the remaining Tombs. They believed Kassad and the Shrike were in another time dimension. Father Dure’ listened to the Consul’s comlog and learned each of the pilgrims’ stories. Brawne and Silenus went back to the Keep for food paks.
Inside the Crystal Monolith twelve hours earlier, Kassad found the naked and beautiful Moneta. He tried to kill her but her ability to shift time prevented her death. They fought. She was very strong and they made love again. Then the Shrike appeared and wanted Kassad and Moneta to go through a portal. At the Shrike’s insistence and Kassad’s curiosity Kassad stepped through.
Gladstone farcasted to the pilgrim’s worlds because she couldn’t sleep. She knew she was going to betray the hundred and fifty billion humans. She believed by doing so she was going to save humanity.
She continued visiting the various planet homes of the pilgrims and ended her night’s travel on Earth’s moon. There Leigh Hunt joined her. He told her the Ousters were attacking at a dozen points. They’re invading the Web. Gladstone returned to a world that would now be forever changed.
Silenus and Brawne left for the Keep for food and water. Silenus grew too tired and decided to explore his old home the Poet’s City. Lamia went on for the food and water. She told him she would pick him up on her return trip in three hours.
The Consul told Sol and Dure’ the ones responsible for picking them for this pilgrimage was the AI Advisory group, the Hegemony Senate and the Shrike Church. Dure’ told them there was however only one guiding intelligence. The Core.
Silenus was in the dining room of Sad King Billy’s palace. He was writing the best poetry ever in his life. He knew he would finally be able to finish his Cantos within another twelve hours. Then the Shrike appeared. Through Silenus’ own hand writing the Shrike told Martin it was time. Silenus cried in terror because he would not be able to finish his Cantos. The Shrike took Silenus to the Shrike’s giant tree and the screaming stopped.
Brawne had made it to the Keep, re-supplied and as she turned to leave she heard a shrill-piercing scream. Her priorities were to get herself and the supplies back to the Sphinx. She didn’t falter. At the bottom of the six hundred and fifty-step staircase an avalanche fell around and upon her. She landed between two boulders and at the end of the barrage she was hit in the temple with a remnant stone. She was unconscious for an hour. She gathered the supplies, water and pistol and headed back.
Silenus was not waiting for her. Brawne continued back to the Time Tombs. No one was home and the Mobius cube of Het Masteen was missing. Lamia went outside where the Shrike was waiting. Its fingers were like retractable scalpels and stood much taller than Brawne had imagined. She shot at him. The Shrike was gone. Brawne drank some water and the Shrike was beside her. Virtually instantaneously he pierced her head behind her ear with one of his daggers.
Kassad was with Moneta overlooking the city of Keats. It was burning. The Ousters were winning the battle. Kassad asked Moneta if this scene was present or future. She said it was five days from the time Kassad arrived in the valley. Moneta told Kassad in the future she saw the Shrike forged. She then became the Shrike’s companion and keeper. She told Kassad the only one who can control the Shrike is the one who beats him in personal combat. Millions have tried and all have died. Kassad remembered seeing Silenus impaled on the Shrike’s metal tree years before he met Silenus. Kassad told Moneta he would challenge the Shrike to a personal combat. They went through a portal.
Gladstone was apprised of the grave situation where two thirds of the FORCE had farcasted to Hyperion. Now many dozens of Web worlds were being attacked by the Ousters. She ordered troops to be sent to defend the web worlds and to evacuate Hyperion. She ordered Severn and Lee to her in twenty minutes.
Dure’ stayed with Het Masteen. Sol and the Consul went to check on Lamia. The time storm shifts had become severe. They left the Sphinx and took shelter in one of the Cave Tombs. When Sol and the Consul found Brawne she had a chrome cable attached to her shunt. Sol stayed with Brawne and the Consul followed the cable deep into the Sphinx. Crawling, climbing and scooting the Consul made his way through the narrow passages to find the cable disappearing into rock. He followed the cable back out of the Sphinx. The Consul brought the Hawking mat out of the Sphinx and he and Sol decided the Consul was to use the mat to fly back to Keats and try to free his ship. If all went well he would return in two standard days.
Brawne woke and felt the presence of Johnny and then she saw him. They were in the datumplane above Hyperion. Johnny convinced her that together they could solve the mysteries and penetrate depths in the megasphere where no human had ever gone.
Kassad and Moneta were on a future Hyperion where it was all desert and no atmosphere. Here he saw the Shrike tree that impaled tens of thousands of humans including Silenus. All were alive and in pain. Kassad then saw hundreds of Shrike emerge from the various Time Tombs. Kassad ran toward the Shrike tree and at the first Shrike he saw. He decided he was going to save all the humans on the tree or died trying.
The Consul took the hawking mat. He checked the City of Poets and found no sign of Silenus. He followed the railroad through the mountains, flew across the Sea of Grass and up the Hoolie River. He was going to stop at the river for water. He was twenty meters above the water when the mat stopped working and he fell into the water.
Sol and Dure’ continued to care for Het Masteen and Brawne Lamia. Masteen had a high fever and was hallucinating. Masteen cried out, “…I must guide the Tree of Pain during the time of atonement.” He died shortly afterwards. Dure’ and Sol buried him. Father Dure’ decided to go for a walk. He discovered a light in the third Cave Tomb and went in.
Dure’ did not return from his walk so Sol searched the Tombs for him calling his name. When Sol retuned to the Sphinx without Dure’ he found Brawne’s body and the umbilical gone. Only the blanket that covered her was on the floor inside the Sphinx.
Sol and Rachel fell asleep.
Sol had his dream where a voice told him to sacrifice his daughter to save humanity. Sol was finished with sacrifices. He wanted a cure for Merlin’s illness.
The Consul did not return that morning, or mid-afternoon. It was Rachel’s birthday and Sol knew he had precious few minutes to spend with her.
Sol walked the valley floor of the Time Tombs calling the names of the now missing members of the pilgrimage. A spaceship appeared for a few moments then it crashed into little pieces. Two more ships crashed. Sol knew it was the battle from space between the Ousters and the Hegemony. He still held hope for the Consul to return with his ship. Twenty-six years ago Rachel had experienced the time storm here at the Sphinx. And today she was about to meet her birth again in a few minutes at the Sphinx.
The Sphinx and all of the Time Tombs were radiating light brighter than ever before. Behind the Sphinx a huge steel thorned tree shimmered into existence. The thorns were impaling humans in great pain.
The Shrike came from the entrance of the Sphinx. Sol heard the eight-year old Rachel from his dream, “Say yes, Daddy.” The Shrike held out its bladed thorned arms and Sol handed it his few-second old dying daughter. Immediately the tree of thorns stopped shimmering and came into the focus of the now. The Time Tombs were opening.
Severn was angry with Gladstone because he believed she created the war. She told him there were two futures. One was war and millions killed or peace and total human elimination. Severn updated Gladstone on the current situation of the pilgrims. Gladstone asked Severn if he was aware that he was dreaming events beyond the range of the Keats persona’s experience. Gladstone told Severn the Core had sent him to be her liaison with the pilgrims. Gladstone gave him a universal authorization chip and told him to go see what was happening. Severn went to the nearest farcaster in the Government House and stepped through to find the end of the world. Severn walked on a half dozen worlds. When he returned he told Gladstone to expect panic. She told him to try and dream without sleeping.
Martin Silenus is in agony. A steel thorn impales him between his shoulder blades. Through his pain he focuses and screams out poetry. He sees Sad King Billy above him. It has been two centuries since the Shrike took Sad King Billy and Silenus screamed, “I’m sorry.” Sad King Billy asked for more poetry.
Gladstone wanted to defend all nine worlds with half her FORCE. Now the “new” Admiral William Ajunta Lee advised her to cut their losses, blow the singularity spheres in the nine systems and prepare to attack the second-wave Swarms before they reach inhabited star systems. Begrudgingly everyone agreed it could be done. Gladstone ordered it so.
Severn had just dreamed this event in Gladstone’s War Room. He wondered, “Who was I?”
On another world watching the panic of the people at the farcaster terminals, Severn noticed a crowd around a Shrike-cult priests dressed in red. The priest pointed at Severn and told the crowd he was one of the Hegemony who wanted the Shrike Avatar to make you pay for his sins. Severn then recognized one of the priests as Spenser Reynolds. Reynolds was at the dinner at the Treetops posing as an action artist. A riot started and they chased Severn for his life. He ran into an apartment building up to the roof and willed an ancient EVV to rise. It did and he crash landed safely ten clicks from the square where the mob was being insisted.
Severn found himself in a library where an archivist recognized him as Johnny and showed him to the Keats section. There he read some of his works and cried. Then he closed his eyes. He did not sleep but he did dream.
Brawne and Johnny are in the megasphere and it is indescribably overwhelming. Johnny says he is searching for his father. Brawne holds his hand and closes her eyes. They come into the presence of Ummon. Ummon is a great teacher, researcher, philosopher, and leader in the Core. If Ummon tells them who killed Brawne’s father, who sent forth the Shrike, who murders the Hegemony then they will lose their ignorance. If they lose their ignorance they will lose their shield. Johnny and Brawne want to know.
Ummon told them the Core’s Ultimate Intelligence of the future sent information back through time that there is another Ultimate Intelligence.
Now there is a war between the Core’s UI and the cosmic accident human’s UI. The human accidental UI is the gluon and the glue.
The accidental UI had no taste for the war with the Core’s UI and refused to fight until Empathy is restored. The accidental UI fled back in time and cloaked itself in human form.
The Time Tombs are artifacts sent back in time to carry the Shrike/Avatar/Lord of Pain/Angel of Retribution. This, the Shrike, are half-perceived perceptions of an all-too-real extension of the Core’s UI. Each pilgrim was chosen to help open the Tombs. The Shrike search for the hidden UI and they want to eliminate the Hyperion variable because the Core’s UI cannot rule where such a variable existed. The accidental UI, chose a human (Moneta) to travel with the Shrike and witness its efforts. Ummon says he has joined the part of the Core that is filled with uncertainty for both races. Ommon’s group told Gladstone human kind’s choice. Choice one was certain extermination. Choice two was entry down the black hole of the Hyperion Variable. This meant warfare, slaughter, disruption of all units, the passing of gods but it meant the end of stalemate. If the Empathy third of the triune can be found and returned to the war then there will be a victory for one side or the other. Then the Tree of Pain will call the human cloaked UI. The Shrike will take him. Ultimately, the true UI will destroy him. That is the end of Ummon’s story.
Brawne asked Ummon who killed her father. Elements of the Core. Her father had insisted on bringing Hyperion into the equation before it could be factored, and absorbed by the Core. Ummon told them he had Johnny’s cybrid killed because Johnny was so complicated they could not understand him so they removed him. Johnny insisted that he was alive, he was in existence. Ummon smashed him into mush and absorbed him. Johnny was gone. Brawne screamed and cried and thought at Ommon, “Our UI can beat your UI any day of the week!” Ommon tells her to go away and she is blown away into the megasphere. She sees a light and follows it home.
The archivist woke Severn. It was eight hours since he entered the library. He told Severn he didn’t want to go home and relayed a poem where a savior might appear. Johnny told him he may be right.
The public forecasters were closed so M Tynar took Severn to a private one at his residence where he lived with other catholic priests. Severn went to Pacem to visit Monsignor Edouard at St. Peter’s in the New Vatican. When Severn entered the Basilica he saw two men talking urgently. One was Monsignor Edouard and the other was Father Paul Dure’. Severn was overwhelmed by the site of Father Dure’. Severn updated them on the condition of the pilgrims. They discussed the presence of God’s and Ummon’s UI. Then Father Dure’ told Severn how he arrived on Pacem. Seeing the light in the third cave tomb, he went toward its source down hundreds of steps. There he discovered the source of the light. There were thousands of cruciforms. He continued down. He discovered a labyrinth filled with hundreds of thousands of emaciated humans. After hours of walking on a path through the carnage the Shrike appeared. The Shrike removed Dure’s cruciform. The Shrike gave Dure’ death without killing him. When Dure’ dies, Lenar Hoyt will regenerate not Dure’. The Shrike pushed Dure’ through a portal. He was in a FORCE spacecraft where everyone was dead. The Shrike put Dure’ through a farcaster portal in the ship and he fell into the Pope’s portal. Edward believed his story and now he had told it to Severn.
Severn asked, “If the third part of this human deity fled to our time, where and who do you think it is?” Father Dure’ asked Severn if he ever considered it might be himself. Dure’ said he wanted to talk to the Templar’s equivalent to the Pope on God’s Grove before he went with Severn to see Gladstone. But first he asked Severn to dream of his fellow pilgrims. Severn agreed.
Councilor Abedo of the Techno Core tells Gladstone the Core could transfer billions of humans to the labyrinth worlds and protect them against a death wand that would kill all the Ousters. Gladstone is interested.
The Consul has been captured by two ex-Hyperion defense men. Indigenous to Hyperion, they had beaten the Consul and were now taking him to some gold the Consul told them he had hidden on the boat Benares.
The two outlaws were about to cut-up and torture the Consul when Govenor-General Theo Lane’s skimmer showed. All three were stunned and Theo carried the Consul to his skimmer. As they approached Keats they saw an intense battle over the city. The skimmer was hit by a launcher and they were falling.
Father Dure’ left for God’s Grove. Leigh Hunt shows up at the New Vatican looking for Severn. Severn and Hunt farcasted to the Government House to tell Gladstone not to send all of humanity to the labyrinth worlds. When Hunt and Severn arrived they had been farcasted to old Earth by the Core. The Core is preventing Severn from talking to Gladstone.
Kassad fought the Shrike. It lanced and pierced him but he continued to fight. Cheers were coming from the Tree of Pain. Moneta fought the Shrike and was injured. Kassad placed himself between his love and the Shrike and fought.
Dure’ met the True Voice of the Worldtree, High Priest of the Muir, Spokesman of the Templar Brotherhood Sek Hardeen. With him was the Bishop of the Church of the Final Atonement, the high priest of the Shrike Cult. Dure’ wanted to know what Het Masteen’s story was; why was he on the pilgrimage? Sek Hardeen told Dure’ that Masteen was fulfilling a prophesy where he would sacrifice his ship and then the Shrike would give him a new one. The Bishop was extremely angry with the priest and wanted to become violent when Father Dure’ told them they were being manipulated by the Core. The Bishop left. When Father Dure’ wanted to leave Sek Hardeen would not let him. Father Dure; was told he was going to wait on God’s Grove with him and they would all be destroyed by the Ousters. It was the prophesy.
Gladstone ordered the elimination of all farcasters. She thought the Ousters would now negotiate. Instead they burned Heaven’s Gate to a crisp.
Theo Lane was injured in the crash. They saw Cicero’s three blocks away. The Consul carried and dragged Theo. At Cicero's Melio Arundez volunteered to help get Theo to the Consul’s ship and into the ship’s surgery. They got Theo into the nutrient tank and CEO Gladstone greeted the Consul in a holo telling him, beseeching him to act as a diplomat with the Ousters and try to save millions of lives. He deeply regretted not being able to return to the time Tombs. He set course for the Ouster Swarm with Melio Arundez and the recovered Theo Lane.
Severn is coughing up blood and in the last stages of tuberculosis. Hunt helps him. The find a small cart and horse and they travel toward Rome. When in Rome the cart stopped at a staircase they walked down and arrived at Number 26 Piazza di Spagna.
Sol saw a young woman staggering out of the third Cave Tomb. It was Brawne and she seemed ok.
The Templar told Dure’ the Ousters agreed to leave God’s Grove untouched. Nuclear mushrooms rose in the sky. The Templar was devastated. As a fire wall tsunami approached, the Templar pushed Dure’ through the farcaster he had initiated. Dure’ made it though. God’s Grove was decimated.
Gladstone told Councilor Albedo she wanted to speak to a real Power of the Core. She wanted to know where the hardware of the Techno Core was located.
Severn is now in the very bed and apartment he had when he died of TB and Joseph Severn had cared for John Keats.
Moneta took Kassad to one of humankind’s futures. There a giant of a man, a doctor healed Kassad. They returned to the Time Tombs. Kassad saw a Shrike approaching Sol and Brawne.
Severn can’t sleep but contemplates the pain of the pilgrims and the now dead worlds.
Theo Lane woke up to the Consul playing his piano. He soon discovered it was a concert for the Ousters. They were in the Swarm. Hundreds of Ousters relaxed on a green field of grass. Theo saw all kinds of humans. Some had wings. Some had fur. Some were giants. Some were very frail and some were perfectly proportioned miniatures. But all were human. The Consul, Arundez and Theo were to meet the Ousters for negotiation.
Gladstone in Page 398 informed Dure’ he was now Pope. Severn promised Leigh he would try to send a message to Gladstone.
Kassad fought the Shrike. It took him through time and to different place. As Kassad was slashed by the blades his skin suit would suture and surpress the wounds.
Brawne had seen a connection between the Shrike Palace and the Tree of Pain. She left Sol to find out if the connection could help her rescue Silenus. Sol returned to the Sphinx to wait for Rachel.
Severn makes good on his promise and enters the megasphere. There he finds Ommon. Severn learns that Ommon is struggling to survive. If the UI is born it will feed on Ommon’s data and energy until Ommon no longer exists. Severn has discovered the Core exists between the farcaster portals and while humans are in the portals the Core uses their intelligence and energy. Omman tells Severn that the AI’s UI and the human deity sent the Shrike back in time to find the Empathy part of the human UI. When Severn asked Ummon who was the vessel of the Empathy, Ummon told him he was and this was his third and last chance. Severn woke up gurgling blood and Hunt was helping him. Severn knew he had precious little time left. He also knew he was not the vessel of the triune Empathy.
Kassad had traveled to the future. He found Moneta but she didn’t recognize him. He saw thousands of humans behind her and thousands of Shrike on the other side of the valley. She said you are the warrior I have prophesized about. He kissed her and told her he loved her. Kassad raised his rifle above his head and yelled, “For Liberty!” The humans all yelled, “For Liberty!” Kassad attacked the Shrike and died in the battle. The people wrapped him and placed him in the Crystal Palace. All of the Toms began to glow.
Brawne fought the sand storm trying to reach Silenus when she saw the light in the Crystal Monolith. She found Kassad dead with many weapons at his feet. Brawne continued to the Tree of Pain.
Consul, Theo Lane and Melio Arundez met with the Eligible Citizens of the Freeman Clan of Ghenga. Their spokesman Freeman Ghenga told the Consul they were aware of his betrayal.
As the Clan addressed Gladstone’s five points, the Ousters told the Consul they were not the ones who attached Heaven’s Gate and God’s Grove. The Sister Swarms were where the Hegemony thought they were all along. The Ousters only want to control Hyperion and now they have control of Keats and the Spaceport. The TechnoCore is who is responsible for the deaths of millions of humans not the Ousters. The Ousters will not travel in the Farcaster but they agreed to meet with Gladstone if she comes to the Hyperion system. They kept the Hyperion farcaster operational for just that purpose. Theo and Melio were sent back to the Consul’s ship to communicate this to Gladstone. The Consul was detained because the Ousters had not yet decided his fate.
Sol sat at the great paws of the Sphinx waiting for Rachel. He could not enter the Sphinx due to the intense light it was omitting and the harsh time tides. All he wants is his daughter.
Gladstone listened to the Core’s representative regarding the death wand. She told all thirty eight people in the War Room to warn Hyperion. They were going to activate the bomb on Hyperion. Everyone was to evacuate or take cover in the labyrinths. They had three hours before the bombs demonstration for the Ousters.
Severn told Hunt he was not the Empathy. He made Hunt write down poems and Hunt wrote furiously to keep up. Severn suffered. He told Hunt that after he died the Shrike would not harm Hunt. Severn died a painful death.
Brawne entered the Shrike palace. The interior was huge. Inside were tiers of bodies all with shunts. The people looked like they were sleeping. She found Sad King Billy and Silenus. A Shrike watched her as she walked among the bodies. Brawne used her palm edge of her hand and struck at the umbilical cord attached to Silenus. She hit it so hard she broke some bones in her hand. She knew the Shrike was close. She used her entire body and hit the cord and broke it. Martin Silenus opened his eyes and told her, “…the fucking Shrike is standing right behind you.”
Gladstone and Morpurgo farcasted to an uninhabited planet. There she played a fatline from Theo Lane. He told her the Ousters were not the attackers. The Core was. She also showed Morpurgo the squirt from Admiral Lee where the Ouster body self-destructed. Gladstone said her plan was to set the bomb off somewhere it wouldn’t hurt anyone but she needed to sleep before she shared the details of her plan. They farcasted back to the Government House.
The Consul was found guilty by the Ousters and sentenced to life. The Consul was expecting death as payment for killing the four Ousters. Instead they gave him tasks to perform. His first task is to rejoin his friends on Hyperion and face the Shrike. Secondly, he is to work with the humans to re-build a common society and see through this new age of chaos. Hopefully, humanity will survive this test. They transported the Consul back to Hyperion.
John Keats found Father Dure’ in Father Dure’s dream. There he told Father Dure’ he must go to Pacem immediately otherwise it would be too late. As soon as Father Dure’ woke up he wrapped himself in a blanket and searched for a farcaster.
Hunt carried John Keats’s body to a waiting horse and cart. The horse knew the way to the cemetery. The Shrike followed them. The grave was dug. Hunt filled in the soil and used a laser pen left for him and inscribed the headstone with the words Keats had dictated.
Hunt searched for a farcaster and found one in the center of the Coliseum. It would not accept him. He returned to the apartment collected his notebook of Severn’s last poems and again searched for a portal. He could not find one anywhere. He returned to the farcaster at the Coliseum and he saw people coming out of the portal.
Gladstone took Morpurgo and Admiral Singh through a farcaster to Kastrop-Raurel to talk where the Core might not hear them. She told them the Core no longer needs humans and they want to destroy them except for a few saved in the labyrinth of Hyperion. These saved humans will supply all the neurons needed by the Core. They have found a way to keep the people alive with the cruciforms. The people become retarded and listless. Gladstone received all this information in a dream from Severn the cybrid. Admiral Singh pulled a pistol on Gladstone telling her she was quite mad. General Morpurgo used the death wand on him. Morpurgo said he would issue deployment orders and he would take most of the fleet. Gladstone bemoaned the fact that her decision was based on a dream. Morpurgo replied, “Sometimes, dreams are all that separate us from the machines.
Gladstone gave a speech sent out to everyone everywhere and announced the Core as the enemy and how they existed in the farcaste portals. She announced the portals would now be destroyed.
Two hundred and sixty-three singularity containment spheres connecting more than seventy-three million farcaster portals were destroyed.
Thousands of people died while farcasting or lost limbs. Hundreds of FORCE spacecraft were stranded by weeks or months from anywhere with years of time-debt. As the H.S. Stephen Hawking farcast to Hyperion, it detonated the death wand in the nanosecond while between the two portals. General Murpurgo, his son and three others disappeared within the portals. The effect of this explosion was never known.
The effect on the citizens of the Web was devastating. Hundreds of thousands of citizens went insane due to the sudden withdrawal of data.
Millions died as their homes which were only accessible by farcaster became a deathtrap.
People who had farcasted to work that day would not return to their children for eleven years if they could find a spaceship with Hawking Drive.
On various worlds there were celebrations, riots and virus outbreaks. On Pacem the Catholic Church was entering a new era headed by Pope Dure’.
The Core ships were now empty and the invasion was stopped.
Treeships left God’s Grove to begin reseeding.
On Tau Ceti Center the survivors searched for someone to blame. Gladstone surrendered herself to the mob and died in doing so.
The Consul, Theo Lane and Melio Arundez were on their way back to Hyperion in the Consul’s ship. They learned that the farcasters were destroyed and the fatline was no longer available. The Consul referred to the old Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”
John Keats saw the datasphere eat itself, collapse upon itself. He just made it to Hyperion. He viewed the collapse of the Core as black vortexes. Now he sees the glowing Time Tombs as bright-white beacons.
Sol understood now why Abraham had sacrificed his son Isaac. It was not obedience or putting the love of God above the love for his son. Abraham was testing God. By God denying the sacrifice God had earned the right in Abraham’s eyes, to become the God of Abraham. The machine UI would never understand that empathy and love were inseparable and inexplicable. Sol wondered if love would explain the anthropic principle that scientists had found so perplexing for more than seven centuries. Could love explain the infinite string of coincidences? Sol was coming to believe that love was, “as hardwired into the structure of the universe as gravity and matter/antimatter. There was room for some sort of God… in the very warp and woof of things.”
Sol saw the Consul’s spacecraft and the three men approached. He saw Brawne carrying Silenus up the valley. But all Sol did was to continue to look into the brilliant light emanating from the Sphinx. He waited for Rachel.
John Keats sees a blazing light and recognizes it as the One Who Will Be. The sphinx that has opened and is moving forward in time is second only in brilliance to the One Who Will Be. John sees the Shrike take Rachel from Sol. John knows it is time for him to act, to do something. John saw that with each step the Shrike took, hours passed for Sol. Blood was on Rachel from where the Shrike had cut her.
John saw the Templar’s Mobius cube which held an erg. The erg had the ability to control more powerful force fields than were known to humankind. Masteen had brought the erg to fly the Shrike’s thorn tree. Once Masteen saw the Tree of Pain he would not help the Shrike. That is why the Shrike killed him.
John freed the erg. The Templar’s communicate with the erg through empathy. The erg expands and becomes part of John. He now has substance and form. John grabs Rachel as the Shrike disappears into the future. John cannot carry Rachel so he just waits.
Brawne battles another Shrike. With the palm of her hand on its chest it turned to glass. Inside its chest a black moth appeared to be beating its wings. Brawne pushed the Shrike and it broke into thousands of shards. Brawne carried Silenus on her shoulders. Silenus saw Sol at the entrance to the Sphinx with his arms raised. Someone was exiting the Tomb.
It was his twenty-six year old daughter Rachel and she was carrying baby Rachel.
The woman Rachel said she only had a minute or two and much to tell them. Rachel was Moneta. Sol cried for her not to leave. Rachel told him he could have only one and the baby needed him more. Rachel told everyone that she was chosen to be raised in a future where the final war raged between the Core-spawned UI and the human spirit. Sol asked Rachel how he joins her up there. She indicated the portal door of the Sphinx. She warned him, “It will mean raising me all over again.” She explained she was continuing to go back in time. Sol and baby Rachel will go to the future where he will have wonderful people around and Rachel will grow up. She told him to wait awhile before stepping through as once he goes through he cannot return. Rachel had to go. She called out, “See you later, alligator!” Sol responded “After a while… crocodile.” Rachel was gone and the baby cried.
Sol had a tender farewell with everyone and he and baby Rachel went through the portal into the future.
The Consul played Father Hoyt’s balalaika and everyone sang Over the Rainbow as they walked to the Consul’s ship.
Five and one-half months later Brawne saw the Consul. She was seven months pregnant. She went to the Poet’s City for the Consul’s farewell party. As she left Jacktown, the largest city on Hyperion, she saw a now common sight of Ousters shopping and drinking at Cicero’s
Martin Silenus and the Consul greeted Brawne early in the morning after her 20-hour dirigible flight. The Consul, most of the FORCE fleet and many Ousters were leaving.
Silenus was now mayor of Poet’s City’s one thousand residents.
At the banquet Theo seemed to be the choice for the next mayor of Jacktown.
The Consul invited Brawne, Martin and Theo up to his ship and entertained them on his piano. They discussed Father Dure’ as the new Pope. They wondered if the extra cruciform Father Dure’ wore as Lenar Hoyt would allow Hoyt to live when Dure’ died. Would Hoyt then become Pope?
They also discussed the Time Tombs. The Sphinx was a one-way portal to the future. They Toasted Sol. The Jade Tomb was a portal to giant gas worlds to be further explored by the Ousters. The Obelisk glowed with no door and its presence is still a mystery. They toasted the True Voice of the Tree Het Masteen. Colonel Fedmahn Kassad’s tomb was the sealed Crystal Monolith. They toasted Kassad, Paul Dure’ and Lenar Hoyt. People who entered the Shrike Palace disappeared and never returned.
Brawne and Silenus left the Consul’s ship and returned to Silenus’s palace. Brawne decided to take a walk in the gardens where she saw Johnny. Actually it was Johnny’s twin, the other Keats. This Keats had saved the baby Rachel. Keats told Brawne that her baby was the “One Who Teaches.” She “…will change the universe and set ideas into motion that will be vital ten thousand years from now.” Keats told her since the Web was destroyed that he soon would disappear as well. Brawne had another suggestion.
The next morning everyone met at the spaceport and they said their final goodbye to The Consul. The Consul was irritated because his computer was spouting verse. Keats took Brawne’s suggestion and placed his metaphysical self into The Consul’s computer.
Brawne waved and cried as the Consul’s ship rose into space.
Paul Dure’ – priest who now carries the cruciform of Farth Lenar Hoyt
Moneta – Kassad’s lover, the Shrike’s companion and the 26-year-old daughter of Sol Weintraub, Rachel.
Sad King Billy – friend of Martin Silenus
Johnny(John Keats) – cybrid, Brawne's lover and Joseph Severn’s datasphere twin
Melina Gladstone – Senator and CEO of the Hegemony
Leigh Hunt – Melina Gladstone’s first assistant
TechnoCore - the government for the artificially intelligent beings
Councilor Abedo – TecnoCore’s representative to Gladstone
Core’s Ultimate Intelligence (UI), Ummon – leader of the Core who lives in the datasphere
Human’s UI, created by cosmic accident, refused to fight unless empathy was restored so the human UI went back in time and is now cloaked as a human.
Melio Arundez – Rachel’s old teacher and lover on Hyperion.
Theo Lane – Governor-General of Hyperion and a friend of the Consul’s.
The Ousters – The Swarm that was blamed for the decimation of two planets. The Core painted them to be the evil presence.
God’s Grove and Heaven’s Gate – Both are religious planets that becomes the object of war
Tau Ceti Center – A planet where the Hegemony is based. Gladstone operated out of the Government House here.
Hyperion – is the planet that The TechnoCore, the Hegemony, and the Ousters want to occupy. It is singularly unique in that it possesses Time Tombs.
Time Tombs in the valley: 1) the Sphinx, 2) Jade Tomb, 3) Obelisk 4) Crystal Monolith (the largest) 5) three Cave Tombs, and the last one in the valley 6) the spiked Shrike Palace.