What matter of object is this? It’s evident that it fell from above based on the trajectory of the displaced drit around it, but the pattern created by the impact would have me believe it dropped straight down, like releasing a stone from a tower. How did it come to be here?
In studying the numenera my entire adult life and then some, I have never seen anything so strange as this object. I’m inclined to call it a craft, except it resembles a bizarre structure more than it resembles anything capable of locomotion. The surface of it appears to be constructed of some type of metal, but it’s none that I recognize. Strangely, as the slight desert breeze shifts direction, the hue of the metal shifts accordingly. The color change does not respond to my touch however, and it is smooth and cold as any other metal I have felt.
We spend over an hour circumnavigating the object, which by my guess must be 40 meters in length and easily 25 meters tall at its highest point. Meesk calls out that she has found a way in. We join up with her near the swollen end of the structure and she runs her hand along the metal surface. At one point the metal seems to give with the pressure of her fingers, then she allows them to slip through its surface. She gives us a clever smile as her arm follows her hand through the illusion of the hard exterior. I marvel at how these delves throw caution to the wind and venture headlong into unknown places. As a researcher my mode is always one of caution. Had I maintained that approach in my use of the teleportation device I would still be safely in my laboratory in Qi. Enthusiasm and ambition got the best of me, so here I am.
Of course, Meesk slips completely through the permeable hull and into the structure. The rest of us wait outside and allow her time to investigate rather than follow her in. After ten or fifteen minutes Meesk slips herself halfway out the entrance and proclaims it safe to enter, beckoning us in. We each pass through the secret membrane and enter the structure.
Employing our glowglobes is necessary for us to find our way around inside the space. What the light exposes to us is quite strange, not what I would have expected to see inside a vessel, or really any structure for that matter. There are no consoles, no furniture, nothing I could determine as being functional to humans or humanoid visitants. Instead various columns extend from the floor, the ceiling, and the walls. The columns are of varying heights and widths, never wider than a human’s thigh,with each widening at the top as if a platform were set upon them. In fact, it looks as if the columns were grown from the inside surface rather than having been attached to it after construction.
The surfaces of the tops of each column have small round pocks in them set in very deliberate but indiscernible patterns. In between the pocked divots are fine downy fibers, like soft hair. Meesk tries playing with the surface holes but no apparent effect results from her doing so. We continue further into the space, making our way into the narrowing section that requires us to stoop while walking through it. It opens into a low chamber that curves away from us on either side; this must be the toroidal section we saw from the outside.
There are even more of the strange columns in this part of the structure but smaller and lower. As we search the area we come upon something that causes us all to stop dead in our tracks. Three beings, clearly deceased, which I believe to be visitants as they are unlike anything I’ve ever seen. When standing, I would imagine each one would have measured a height slightly above a meter. From what we can tell they appear to have three legs which supports a U shaped body, with strange tentacle-like fronds atop either end. The light exposes completely transparent fur that appears more like synth or glass, and reflects the light back in tiny fractals. The “fur”, if one can call it that, ceases at the base of each tapered trunk of the U shape, giving way to black skin with fine cobalt blue lines running the length. While I am a bit curious about them and Orton wants to examine the alien corpses more in depth, the rest of the team argues about their lack of potential value, preferring to proceed forward to continue looking for more valuable items.
As we make our way through the incline of the curving space we come to realize we have been walking up these walls and are likely upside-down relative to the outside of the vessel. Somehow our feet are always held to the interior surface of the structure, no matter our orientation. I am thankful at this point there is no window or means of viewing the outside as I’m sure it would be rather disorienting. We eventually find our way into a larger chamber that each curve of the toroid opens up into. A few things are in this space; a strange reddish-purple gel that moves on its own, perhaps an amoebic life form of some sort; a couple of the same type of columns that appear all throughout the ship; an open container half a meter tall containing small soft translucent spheres each about 2 centimeters in diameter; a couple of oddly shaped items I can’t very well describe other than to say they appear to be made of a material akin to stronglass, and a somewhat cube shaped object almost a meter and a half per side in the center of the space. The cube appears to have slightly convex sides rather than being flat, and it is constructed of a metal that seems similar to that of the structure’s surface.
Meesk investigates the object and in short order finds a mechanism that allows the surface of the cube to become permeable, much like the way in which we entered this structure. The delve eagerly passes her head through the surface and remains there for several long moments. Chalra eventually taps her on the shoulder to see if she’s okay, but Meesk holds up her hand, indicating for us to wait. Another few moments later she withdraws her head and turns to us with eyes wide with wonder, proclaiming that it’s safe and that we absolutely must see it for ourselves.
We all gather around the sides of the cube and tentatively slip our faces and heads inside. What I see before me is simply astonishing. Where I believed I would be looking at some bizarre contents within the box I instead gaze upon a great city, easily a kilometer in the distance. Magnificent and wondrous structures rise up from the city, numerous buildings stand at varying heights, with metal and stone and synth construction reflecting the bright yet sunless light of the space. This city looks as if it could hold a population close to that of the City of Bridges, easily tens of thousands of people. Several people can be seen moving about, though from this distance it is difficult to tell whether they are human, visitant, or otherwise. A strange greenish-gray haze of swirling energy surrounds the perimeter of the land, creating an infinite wall several kilometers in diameter. It is this wall of haze through which we’re passing that seems to separate this pocket dimension from our own.
At Meesk’s behest and with a group consensus, we decide to proceed forward and pass into the pocket dimension, to make our way toward this unlikely city.