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The Ghosts of Earth by Paul Dore

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The Ghosts of Earth by Paul Dore
Ebook Synopsis

This book follows the adventures of two beings as they travel from the skies of an ancient planet to the realm of the gods, and then onwards to the freezing landscape of a new world, before finally encountering the subterranean regions of the Gaki. These creatures are a strange race indeed, inexorably driven by an insatiable hunger towards madness, to an insanity that holds within itself the key to the next stage of their path towards ultimate knowledge.

Welcome all, to the realms of the Truthfarers! We bid you rejoice - and perchance join - in their struggle to find that lost treasure of all sentient life; the Truth that Lies Within.


Excerpt:

No time or place. Nothing and then – fullness; a soft, even, pure and translucent glow, a constant whiteness, a limitless beauty in silver-cold light that invaded everything. It penetrated all, and filled the void with its near perfection. A minutia of the preternatural emptiness shivered across its surface and the unity was broken. And then eternity and infinity shattered and fragmented, and from that terrible whiteness uncountable fragments exploded into an infernal heat that swept outwards, dimensions swirling into being in its awful wake.

And so time and space were born, and once again the terrible cycle of life and death was set into motion. Blazing light and heat boiled maniacally, devouring all and spewing out the remainder in incandescent dust; and chaos was brought under the tyranny of dimension. The measured process ticked away, nanosecond by nanosecond, as the alpha accident exploded in wave upon wave, a primal fire raging through space.

Time passed, and passed on. Great gas clouds cooled and coalesced, forming particulates that collided and combined. Stars were born and died as the nebulae swirled and exploded, floating like great hulks upon an ocean of flame, their dead elemental forms basking in its luminosity. Throughout the newly born cosmos the embers lurched in a drunken dance, great arches of dust twisting and gyrating sinuously, breaking and then reforming in a mindless ballet of accidental death, purposeless and meaningless; space born upon space, with all racing from all into the blackness of eternal night.

The aeons pass and that dread fury has now slowed and dispersed. Great suns blaze across space, circling ponderously about each other, some to die quietly, others to implode and then explode, sending their debris soaring outwards in search of new homes. Thus the process of birth and death, expressing itself in unthinking and unfeeling matter, metres on, measuring moment by moment its senseless path.

Epochs upon epochs speed by. Suns are born and suns die, and around them the dust gathers and coils, gravity bound. Then, too, the planets make their entrance, exemplars of that most elegant of forms, the sphere. And they join the majestic chorus, ploughing their stately orbits, adding each one their measure to the cosmic dance. Some would fly far from their mother star, and her light and heat would barely dance upon their surface. Others would draw too close to their parent, and would fall back into that deadly embrace, to be swallowed whole by their progenitor. Element bound to element, born from the solar furnaces, matter endlessly seeking new expression; but all still dead - so dead.

But from that flaw, embedded in the matrix of primordial matter, a new expression lay in wait; an accident yet to be born - and the ages stream by. The skies were much darker now, for that vast, embryonic array of jewels, those burnished suns that had filled the great spaces, they had reeled away now, moving into the deeps, receding ever further from their kin. Some were solitary children, blazing their light out into the cold dark reaches until their nuclear fires were exhausted. Others cast their warmth upon attendant planets, bound like servants to their estate. On a very few of these captives an ancient play was about to be presented; that same dark flaw, the sole witness to this universe’s conception, was about to perform its latest role, its purpose finally to be fulfilled. Form played upon form, combinations and permutations endlessly experimenting; fault upon fault, with no discernible pattern but a random chaos, a madness spinning out anarchy - and all about lay cosmic death. But within this vast nexus of interplaying forces a surprise conceals its face. Yet still there was no spectator to this crucible, this forcing medium. No eye or ear, no physical sense or consciousness to prostrate itself in terrified worship before the insensate whirl. The mystery that was to be awaited its time and place, and the unfolding of its esoteric purpose. The primal flaw had struck at the heart of the universe, born within the first cosmic fires, the progeny of a force indestructible and perfect, though within it own nature fundamentally divided. This was the first paradox of the many, which would echo yet through the void. A perplexity and a puzzle so profound that the whole cosmos itself would in its deepest being unravel the solution; both the analysis and the synthesis, beautiful in its conception, but still a pregnant enigma ready to spill its seed, its creatures eager to vitalise the dead forms that surrounded it. It lay poised, a deadly precursor, creator of life and death, and holding all within its compass; this miasma incoherent, seductive, cardinal, immortal, but mortally incarnate. It flowed through time and space, immediate in its power, creating forms, yet in these insufficiencies seeking always its completion.

Finally, on a dead husk of rock, it emerged within matter, whilst the harsh light of a nearby star played upon that impervious surface; and thus it remained for millennia. Nothing happened; changeless; no transformation, immutable; and the universe ground on its dead way. This lifeless world turned mechanically about its axis, in mindless, echoing repetition. The nearby star beat its sterile surface with a raw, harsh radiation. Thousands upon thousands of years slipped by, the universe and the planet older but by a fraction in cosmic terms. And then: Awakening! Life! There was not a movement, no hint even of this subtle change; it was so nevertheless, but of a fragility that even the slightest shift in all those variables that had conspired to bring about this miracle would have extinguished its incipience forthwith; thus it clung to the very edge of existence.

And the universe continued on its course in an insensible and constant pursuit of its limits. Up until now all was an impotent play of light and darkness, of change and purposeless transformation, and the essence of futility; but here the imperceptible seed was about to bear fruit. Upon that tiny sphere of rock, which twirled endlessly within darkness into light and into darkness, time seemed frozen. This monotone, punctuated only by the burning light of the nearby sun, merely accentuated the sense of stasis. It could have been that this unique experiment, this limitless possibility, might never have occurred, but for the intervention of another transformational event. From far away, coursing through the depths of space, a rogue meteor struck the surface of this empty bauble, scoring out a vast chunk of rock, and dismissing the wounded splinter into the void, as it accelerated away irreversibly from its mother sun….

Millennia passed. The small asteroid hurtled ever onwards, ploughing through the emptiness and dust, bearing constantly its hidden load. Eventually it sank into the gravitational embrace of a minor sun, which lay in an isolated corner of a dark galaxy, and began its spiralling course downwards towards a fiery conclusion. As it arrowed towards the grave, the fragment passed across the orbit of a small planet that circled about this star, and was drawn into its more benevolent influence. Thus, as to a rescuing parent, it hastened like a wayward child into that adoptive embrace, and drew closer to its new haven. By this series of coincidences the orphan now found itself within reach of a new home. Throughout its extensive wanderings it had acquired a protective mantle of dust, seared onto its surface by the fires of numerous suns, and this further sealed by the multiple impacts of smaller meteorites. This shroud burned away fiercely as the wanderer reached into the atmosphere of the planet, until finally, unable to withstand the stresses, it exploded, showering the lands below with chunks of superheated rock.