17 Aug 327: We have made a most auspicious discovery: a circle of shimmering light against the backdrop of the forest. The surface looked glasslike, except it did not reflect back any image. The surface was cold to the touch, rippling outwards where my fingers pressed into it. While others shied away from this anomaly, I was too enthralled to ignore it. It took a few hours to convince the others to let me pass through the circle, but I am glad that they did. It was like passing through a spider’s web, matter clinging to my body as I passed through into another world, very different from here. It was filled with all manner of beings unlike any we have ever seen. I spent only an hour within this other place before forcing myself to return. When I went to return, however, my clothing and possessions remained behind and I came back to the others, naked and ashamed. Despite that unforeseen complication, this ‘portal’ deserves further study.
23 Sep 327: Our knowledge of what exists is expanding at an exponential rate, with new discoveries happening every minute, it seems. I spend more and more time on the other side of the portal, in that strange world, mainly because whatever I take there must remain, including this journal and all of my notes. We have been testing if any objects are allowed to return to our original home, but nothing has passed back through yet.
4 Dec 328: A new opening appeared in what we have come to call The Shrine, that place we travel to, between worlds, the first activity we have experienced in quite some time. I spend most of my days here now, rarely going back to my home. We have not sent anyone through the new hole yet. We are worried about what lies on the other side.
6 Dec 328: An odd being walked through the opening today, dressed in strange clothing and carrying weird tools. It did not speak our language, and yet, when we heard it speak, we could comprehend what it was saying. Our small team was very concerned with this new development and returned through our portal to discuss with the Shogun what to do next.
14 Jun 329: Seven more portals have opened and more creatures have made their way through. The Shogun was adamant that we retain our presence in The Shrine, as we were its first founders, but I am having more and more trouble convincing others to return with me or to stay for any amount of time. And so I get to know the strange people who come through these portals by myself.
19 Sep 330: I’ve started to lose count of how many portals have opened. The first nine of us who arrived began to meet several months ago, to create a new society for this place. After much deliberation, we decided to name our new world ‘The Bridge’ as it seems to connect many civilizations from many different times and places.
We hope to build a peaceful society amongst the various peoples who have chosen to reside here. Tomorrow, we will hold a celebration in honor of the official creation of our Council of the Nine Pillars, which will serve as a governing body for those who decide to remain in The Bridge and the acceptance of a set of codes that we have created in order to maintain order in our new home.
Seiko closed the weathered tome, meditating on his favorite passages from his grandfather’s old journal. He imagined what it would have been like to be one of the first to come to where the Hashi District now lay, to explore this world when it was wild and untamed. Before they had started to create the city and before the place had been civilized. Seiko often dreamt of joining the Exploratory Core and go out to discover what new portals he might find, what people he’d meet, what strange and amazing new artifacts that the youth might uncover.
The alarm in his room went off, signaling that breakfast was ready and it was almost time for him to head to work. The young man had been up for a couple of hours already, training with his blade and reading from his most prized possession: the journal. Grabbing the weapon and pulling on his uniform, the dark-haired youth rushed from his room to join his family for a meal.
Garret, a second-generation inhabitant of the Brucke district stood with muscled arms folded as he waited for his partner, Seiko, to arrive. Late again, he thought, sighing despite himself as he turned his graying head towards the young third-generation running up to meet him.
“S-sorry, sorry. I got caught up in the Deck,” Seiko panted out, bowing sloppily to the older man.
The older man simply grunted at the boy, turning to walk into the complex that housed the cities northern portal. It was connected to some world he couldn’t pronounce. He braced himself for the tirade of inane gibbering he expected to flow from the young Hashian’s mouth. The kid was always chattering on about Exploratory Core-this and Exploratory Core-that. It was enough to drive a man to drink. He had mentioned several times in the past that the kid should simply apply for the Core and be done with it, but Seiko seemed more interested in talking about joining than actually doing anything about it.
“Are any of the teams due back today?” his partner asked excitedly as he fell in step with the must larger man. “It’s always so cool to see what they bring back and to hear all the amazing stories of what they found out there.”
“One, I think,” the man growled, hoping that it would stop the questioning and knowing that it wouldn’t. As they approached a pair of tired-looking guards standing to either side of a sliding metal door, Garret adjusted the firearm strapped to his side, making sure it was within easy reach. The kid was obsessed with swordplay, especially using the new Vibro-blades that had been part of one of the most recent excursions, but the large man had always preferred the feel of a pistol.
“Seiko Onimura, reporting for duty,” the kid said excitedly, snapping a quick salute to the guards they were replacing, eliciting a low groan from the woman stationed on the right.
“Garret Schmidt, here to take over,” the bigger man growled, piquing an eyebrow at the young woman who’s groan seemed to have escaped his partner’s notice. “Anything to report?”
The man standing to the left shook his head, “Quiet night here. Glad to get some replacements. Currently only one traveler today, sometime around noon.”
Garret dismissed the two and took up his position beside the door, settling in to listen to the kid's ramblings for several hours.
An older woman approached the two guards, having just passed through a security checkpoint before finding herself staring at an older man and his young, overly-exuberant junior.
“Isabelle Suiremont,” she said with a strongly accented tone, “Senior Researcher at the Caeryton National Institute, traveling to retrieve supplies and tools for the Pont District University, where I work.” The woman pushed some papers at the larger man, presuming that he was the one in charge. He took the papers and gave them to the younger man, who perused them for a few moments, then passed them back.
“Everything seems to be in order,” he said cheerfully. “Have a good journey!” The youth bowed to her in a strange style and opened the door.
Isabelle walked through, coming into the antechamber for the portal. Here, she would go through a process of disrobing and running through a gamut of sterilization procedures to ensure that she carried nothing from The Bridge back to her homeworld of Caeryton. On the other side would be fresh robes for her to put on.
As she began to undress, she could see a strange flickering coming from the next room. She pulled open the door to check on the gate. Within, the portal started to change shape, elongating as if someone was pulling it from both sides. She shouted at the two guards outside, pulling on what clothing she had taken off. The two men came rushing in, hands on their weapons, but stopped short as they caught sight of the anomaly.
“What in the world is going on!” the older man exclaimed as the gate stretched until it was only a foot across, extending from one end of the room to the other. “Seiko, quick, go and inform the Council.” He moved to put himself between Isabelle and the portal as the younger man blinked a few times, then rushed out the door, dashing down the hall.
Isabelle took a few steps backward, watching in horror as the opening stretched further until the opposite sides touched and the entire thing winked out of existence, a wave of energy emanating outwards and knocking herself and the larger man off their feet. Her head hit the wall and she crumpled to the ground, the world around her fading to black.
Fifteen minutes passed since "the incident" when a loud, long claxon call rang out through the city, signaling that the Council would be meeting shortly. The town quickly became abuzz with residents chatting with each other, many speculating about what was the cause of the general alarm. But whatever was the reason, it was drastic enough that the Nine were meeting out of their session to address it and that in and of itself was worrisome to many.
< Message edited by superjars -- 3/14/2020 23:08:22 >