XIN: The Veiled Genocides HTML version
Accessing past memories....
Xin remembered her frustration. S he could skim over the surface of a star, melt through solid
rock, travel at incredible speeds, and even fold space. Yet, she had found herself stuck in the
mud, with no obvious options remaining, except one. She would simply turn herself off. She
didn’t like the idea. What if some intelligent beings found her? No, this planet had the greatest
variety of creatures she had ever seen in the known Galaxy, but there were no beings that could
disseminate and use her technologies. Although there were a number of intelligent species, there
were none with the ability to develop technolo gies at the present. The chance of this type of
occurrence was estimated at 1.176 million to one. However, that was assuming there was some
form of life in the first place, even if it was nothing more than bacteria.
Accessing past memories....
Yes, she felt confident this was the only way. She would power down everything. Her
energy cells would store the little remaining power for a few of this planet’s full orbital cycles,
but then she would experience the blackness when they were depleted. She knew the atmosphere
would eventually clear, and the planet’s surface would go through constant changes. She
couldn’t predict if she would be freed from her grave through erosion, or some cataclysmic
event. These were hoped for possibilities. But she knew, at some point, this star would use up its
fuel and go supernova. The blast would tear this world apart, and she would be freed. Yes, this
was the only solution.
So she had „slept’. A thousand years passed.... A million years passed.... Layer upon layer of
rock covered her – some layers were eroded by water and wind – more layers replaced them.
Fifty million years passed.... Above her, the incredibly diverse animal and plant life evo lved.
Some became extinct, new forms were added, and everything was constantly changing. An
earthquake. The layers she was in were pushed up forming a mountain, but she was still deeply
buried in the soft rock. More millions of years passed, followed by more erosion. The dawn of
man – the 1.176 million to one possibility was realized. A few more million years passed....
It was early morning, June 9th. A pronghorn antelope walks too close to the edge of a hill. It
dislodges a rock and starts a rock slide. A large rock knocks away a sizable portion of
sedimentary rock outcroppings. The first sunlight in 65 million years hits a small portion of
Xin’s surface. Power cells slowly absorb the energies, systems are powered on, and the long
blackness fades. Light! Glorious light! Extreme happiness!
Dave Van Bercham kept eagerly chipping away at the layers o f sedimentary rock. More than
half a metre of it was now visible. It was definitely curved, possibly sphere shaped, although he
wasn’t sure how much more was hidden within the rock. The Sun was high overhead; he felt its
blistering heat on the back of his neck. The Sun was now directly hitting the black, curved
object, and still no reflections. The sunlight just seemed to disappear into its blackness. He
cautiously touched its surface again. To his surprise, it was just as cold as when he first touched
it. What was this thing? It wasn’t like any rock he had ever encountered. Puzzled, and very
curious, he continued the excavation.
Xin’s warning subroutine program became active, the threat was evaluated, tactical measures
were taken, and all within a fraction of a millisecond.
There was a blinding, white light and everything went black. Dave was unconscious before
his limp body hit the dusty, baked earth, and slid slowly down the hill about ten metres.