A place that was long ago named the Salem-Technoplex was now a thriving settlement known as an Oasis; Home to the Corinthian Chapter House.
When the collapse happened there were some clinging to the idea that things could return to normalcy, but those who knew and felt that the tide of the ages had indeed come, and now was the time of creating a new path, and a new legacy.
A group of visiting monks – all with degrees in various sciences were visiting a research facility. They were there to undergo several exams to test their reaction time and minds for various reasons. Their leader, Master Si Ling was a man of about 50, and having spent his entire life in religious pursuits, was also very down to earth. It was part of what made him a great teacher. He suspected they were testing to see if his monks could detect the presence of the genetically altered creatures being developed at the Salem-Works facility, based on the exams – enshrouding the entire thing in scientific buzzwords in an attempt to mask the psionics aspect of it. ((These beings were the first test pilots of the Enders of this facility?))
Meanwhile Dr. Hanis Alfein along with others in a very high level corporate research team codenamed Corinth – welcomed them that day. About 12 monks showed up , all ready to do tests and work with the scientists; both groups were mutually delighted with the exchange. The Scientists found the monks to be socially and spiritually advanced, as well as knowledgeable about their own work to the point of astonishment. The Monks also found the scientist far less worldly than they had imagined, some were indeed spiritual and more similar to them than the rest of the world. The day of the attack they all became family.
After the barrage of explosions great fissures opened up changing the terrain drastically. A few moments turned this vast city into a mass grave. One of the groups that survived was Alfein and Si-Ling’s group. Though it took years they were finally able to get themselves back to the surface..
Having lost much of their tech save hydroponics and life support, they formed a society and a religion based on a wealth of knowledge and tradition that was to be a distillation of the Western and Eastern worlds. Much of that is still lost in time and mystery as the Chapter house in existence today, is much larger but just as spiritual, but secluded and sectarian. They believe they best have a grip on humanity’s folly and decline as part of a larger cycle you can perceive when your mind is in a meditative state. At one point there were books written called the “Literal” and the “Metaphoric”. These hold the doctrine as well as flowery wisdom handed down from the ages. ___
The camera sinks down looking at a cross section of the earth as it descends. Rocks boulders are seen as it pans as well as an ominous skeleton before a large layer of futuristic techno debris. It continues for some time down and then light.
Briefly you see quick flashes of people living in great hollowed out caverns but the camera mercilessly pans down past that, as well.
Then several more layers down you see embedded in the rock plasteel-looking substance and a slowly blinking light.
“Re-Initiate dormant mode after the scan…I doubt we’ll sense any compatible DNA here encrusted as we are”. The tortured AI sleeps again…
Mud slid slowly down marcus’s souped up recovery mech. The tin can was powerful but more fragile than you would expect looking at it’s bulky grey metallic frame. The rain let up and he ventured out – the lightning stopped and lately lightning was more dangerous than the Plains Cannibals. This was the third day in a row he felt it; the call. It happened after the last big rumble when the crack appeared. The Crack. The prophecy..Hmph.
He went down again into the solitary and yet inviting depths and eventually found it…….