Burning Memories
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The following document is a transcription of various hieroglyphic inscriptions recovered from within an immense cavernous system spanning the entirety of the Saharan Desert. The caverns are believed to have been inhabited 10,000 years ago.


Atmuth, High Priest of the Precepts of the Past:

Our Gods fled underground in the time before time. In our own time, we fled. We were shepherded and corralled at every turn by our Gods. Even as our people fell at the hands of the beasts, our Gods rose from their tombs to guide us by their own hands. Our acts of deference and servitude had blossomed into spiritual rewards - everlasting glory that would last beyond our own time.

What we leave to you is naught but a burning memory. Welcome us - long dead spirits of a world long since faded - into your homes and hearts. Read our words. Hear our stories. Revive our lives. Through these acts, we become as Gods.

And for that, we thank you.

Ifri, wife to Atra, mother to Kelif:

Today, I walked amongst the crowds as the great warriors of the tribes returned to the lake. Today would have been a day of great feasts. Our warriors would have whetted their spearheads on the corpses of the savannah beasts. The daughters and sons of the tribes would use the skins to create pelts. The women would then turn these pelts to carpets, covers, clothes, and more. The men would sit and talk - for what else do men do but talk? - as they cooked the meats and boiled the bones to broth.

There was an order to the feasts. Warriors who partook in the slaughter would feast first. They would taste the meat and broth and blood for it was they who had felled the creatures. A just reward for a just killing. Next, would come those unable to walk - the elderly and children who would drink the broth of bones. This would rejuvenate their body and spirit. The other men and women would feast next, followed by the children of those men and women. Finally, the meager scraps would be fed to the lake to appease the spirits and the animals within the waters.

On this day, there was no great feast. Atra, my husband, a great warrior and even greater man, had taken down a beast alone. In the tumult of the duel, the beast had impaled him through the heart. The other warriors said he did not suffer and that he did not die alone. Kelif, my son, was beside his father when he died. He was the one to return the body.

He wishes to offer his father to our Gods.

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

Kelif was quiet on that day. So very quiet. He had not partaken in the minor feast that had been held on the shore. I found him secluded and alone in a grove on the far-side of the lake. A place even the elder warriors feared to tread.

He did not raise his head to meet me as he spoke his first words since his father's death.

"Oulan, will they take him? Will they treasure and protect his memory as he died protecting theirs?"

My mouth was dry and I struggled to form a truthful response to his aching question. His own reply came quickly to my silence.

"They have not taken a body in years. Not since my father's mother. They have been silent to our pleas and pains. The remorselessness of the beasts rages ever more beyond the shores of this lake. We will break before our fire-cracked spears do. The Gods know my father did." Kelif uttered as he restlessly turned the blackened tip of his father's spear in his hands.

"I know this, Kelif."

"You should become a priest, Oulan. You already speak like them: I know this and I know that. And yet your words say nothing."

"Kelif, me and you, we shall go to their tombs. We shall descend into the caverns together with your father's body and spear. We shall place them before the Gods' withered forms and together, we shall do something that the priests never dreamt of, Kelif."

"What is that, Oulan?"

"We will demand of them."

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

I watched my brother and his spear-kin leave the shores of the lake. A swaddled form carried by a barrow swayed between the pair. Kelif and Oulan. The future of the tribes of the lake disappearing into the darkness together.

Kelif and Oulan. Spear-kin. A word that carried more meaning than it seemed. Kin bound not by womb but by the mutual sharing of blood. A bond formed while warring against the beasts of the savannah. A bond formed in death; a bond separated in death.

"Atmuth. They leave." I said as I returned to the High Priest. My hair was awash with salt and smoke and blood. The scent of burning meat and bones clinged to every strand of wet hair.

"I know this, Ketra."

"If you know this, why do you not seek to prevent it! They are the future of our tribes, you said, and now they seek to desecrate our sacred vows. The vows that Atra died preserving."

"Ketra, come and sit. Leave the basket aside and sit by the shores with me."

Atmuth was, as ever, sat by the shores alone. He was the only High Priest of our timeless Gods. Our priesthood consisted of a High Priest and a Priestess. Likely to become High Priestess and Priest by the end of the year, as Atmuth liked to jest. Unlikely. The stubborn man wasn't going to die anytime soon unless he drowned himself in the lake. No, that wouldn't happen either, I thought alone. Despite looking like a frail old man, he had the strength and stamina to rival Oulan.

"Do you remember what I said when I proclaimed that Oulan and Kelif would be our futures?"

"No, Atmuth. I had barely witnessed twelve moons."

"Ah. That is true. Sorry, the haze of the rituals makes spider-webs of my mind. For a moment, I thought you were-"

"Atra's mother." I finished for the High Priest. "The final memories to be reclaimed by our Gods."

"Indeed." His silence punctuated the air between us. His sullen and slight frame was shadowed beneath the dense mist surrounding him. He rose and the mists clung to his clothing like swaddling around a baby.

"How old are you, Atmuth?"

"I do not know anymore. I have witnessed more moons than anyone alive in the tribes. Possibly twice as many. Possibly thrice as many. So many different moons. Moons that swallow the sky in a light brighter than the sun. Red moons that pierced through a black fog. A moon with a halo of bright light as the world was swarmed in darkness and shadows. A black moon that howled and heralded the arrival of the beasts that prey upon our tribes to this day. My memories are more frayed than ever, even when I withdraw myself from the rituals. Yet, I remember what I said to that young mother and that bold warrior, made only bolder by the birth of his son."

"What did you tell them?"

Atmuth sank back into the mists, his shoulders sinking beneath an oppressive and invisible weight. His eyes, grey and fogged over with the curse of the unseeing eyes, turned to look at me.

"I told them that they would reawaken our Gods. In that moment, our future would be born."

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

Kelif led the way into the caverns. His father's body was carried between us with one hand to either side of the barrow. I carried my fire-burnt spear. He carried a torch aloft in his free hand with burning powder and spare oil-paper in a satchel at his left side.

"Oulan, what are these inscriptions on the walls? They are not the language of the tribes."

I turned to observe the writings, gesturing for Kelif to raise his torch. Countless writings swarmed over the cavern walls like an army of ants marching across the bare earth of the scorched wildlands. I could make out names in the writings but the symbols were entirely different to our own system of writing.

"I do not know, Kelif. These caverns existed before our tribes arrived at the lakes. They were the workings of our Gods, according to my sister. Nobody has entered the caverns since the last memories were entombed. Though with how few warriors remain, the place has been unguarded and our descent has been uncontested."

"Let us hope that continues, brother." Kelif continued to descend down spacious tunnel and I followed in tow.

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

My brother's path to the catacombs was visible to anybody that roamed the savannah. A path cut from the indent made by the barrow laden down with body and spear. They hadn't even tried to disguise it.

As I approached the catacombs, apprehension filled my body. The catacombs were older than the tribes. Older than the Gods according to Atmuth's ravings when he imbibed the mists of the ritual. This was hallowed ground that I walked. How many others had walked this path in the time before time?

Gesturing with my hand, a small ball of light formed ahead of me within the darkness. It moved like the bones of a spirit fallen from the night's sky. I remember smiling at that thought. It wasn't too far from the truth. The light slowly made its way into the caverns ahead of me. Pale light spilled into the ancient caverns and illuminated the writhing texts. Atmuth would have been able to read these words. These were the words that filled the ravings that stole restful sleep from him.

Names. Professions. Interactions. Events. Speeches. The words of our Gods.

As I emerged from the entrance tunnel, my light was swallowed by a thirsting darkness. I extinguished the dull embers that remained, shut my eyes tight, and whispered aloud.

"By the light of the darkness, I come to you in peace."

My first step into the darkness was a clumsy one and I tripped. A hand grasped at my hair and pulled me back upright tearing wet strands from my scalp. I blinked away the tears and the pain and continued walking as another hand leapt out from the darkness, grabbing hold of my leg. I tore my leg free and heard a growl of anger.

Again and again, I was assaulted by grasping fingers that ended in hard talons. Each hand grabbed at another part of my body. One at my back. One at my shoulder. One at my foot. And then one closed about my mouth.

I could taste salt and cinnabar on their fingers as they attempted to reach inside my mouth. I bit down hard and felt the finger snap in my mouth as dust poured onto my tongue. I spat it out and continued to speak.

"I come to you with memories of the light. Let those memories quench the darkness."

As I finished speaking, I opened my eyes again and could see once more. I was not alone any longer. Oulan and Kelif were looking at me with horror in their eyes. I knew what they had witnessed in the thirsty darkness.

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

I stared at my elder sister. Her hair was knotted and clumps had been torn free from her scalp, exposing the bleeding skin beneath. Her arms were wracked with raw impressions of taloned fingers and the back of her clothing was torn. A slash of red blood was welling from the wounds on her back. Yet she had escaped them. Whatever they had been.

"I will not speak of it, sister. Do not dare ask either of us."

"You are the brave warriors, are you not? Oh, your bravery is all too clear to me now." Ketra said, her face twisted into a grimace as she tore a piece of pelt from her clothing and wrapped a tourniquet around her arm.

Kelif said nothing and continued down into the caverns with his father's body. The passage was now illuminated as if we were all on the surface of the savannah.

"Thank you, sister." Humbling myself before my sister would do little to lighten my soul but it may lighten hers.

"You'd be dead without me, Oulan, and I'm not talking about down here. You would have died a long, long time ago."

"We should have told you and Atmuth. We should have told either of you."

"Atmuth knew, Oulan. He's known for countless moons. I think he's seen everything that has transpired today."

"In a ritual, sister?" I asked. Fear dripped from my tongue and my sister could taste it, even then. Her silence only confirmed it.

"What were they, sister?"

"Memories, Oulan. Nothing but burnt and dead memories."

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

Kelif's descent into the catacombs was relentless. At times, he stumbled on the desiccated streets of the city's corpse. There was not a single person belonging to the tribes that had witnessed a city. Maybe Atmuth had witnessed one in a ritual, perhaps this very same one, but he was certainly not old enough to have seen a living, breathing city.

They had gone extinct shortly after the arrival of the beasts according to our own oral history. Destroyed in great conflagrations of fire. Drowned in oceans of sickly blood. Broken apart as the ground split apart.

This city, the catacombs that we now walked, had not died in such a violent manner. I doubt many cities died in a violent manner such as our own. Most just died quietly. Forgotten beneath the earth and eroded by the sands. I wonder now which death is more tragic?

Oulan was just as quiet as Kelif. Neither spoke but simply nodded towards one another. The language of women among the tribes. A hidden language of gestures. Men would affirm their loyalties and ties in words and deeds while women would simply act. Perhaps there is not much difference between men and women after all.

We descended together into a single room. It was a long-hall with a ceiling as tall as the skies themselves. Either side of the room were stone coffins that jutted out from the wall. However, my attention was drawn to the throne at the end of the hallway. Upon it was sat a desiccated corpse.

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

My sister approached the throne. Kelif had drawn his father's burnt spear as I readied my own. My sister turned back towards us and was the first to speak.

"Kelif. Come forward, please. She won't speak to any of us."

"She?" I asked as I approached the raised dais that the corpse's throne sat upon, leaning my own spear against one of the stone coffins.

"Yes. This is Atra's mother. The last memories to be offered to the Gods. She has spoken her tale."

Suddenly, Kelif spoke.

"Ketra. She hasn't said a single word. She is a corpse. She died before I was born - died before any of us were born. The only person who witnessed her burial was Atmuth."

"No, Kelif. She's been speaking this entire time. Look at the walls. Those words. They're not just the words of our Gods. They're our words too. Oulan, you can read them, can't you?" Ketra responded, her tone rising towards the end as she turned to look at me.

"I can read some of the words, yes. Names, here and there."

"What names, brother?" Kelif and Ketra responded in unison.

"Your parents, Kelif. Atra and Ifri. Atmuth's name is written here and there too."

"Memories, Kelif. The memories of the tribes. The beasts can kill every last one of us. They can hunt us to the ends of the savannah and out into the scorched plains. They can herd us like cattle to the frozen north and feed upon our lifeless carcasses. Yet our memories, our legacies will persevere. Our people will survive. We will live on beyond death. It will be a haven for our people and a monument dedicated to their memories. Atmuth will bring what remains of the tribes here."

"Why? We can win against the beasts! They have died at our hands for generations. My father died protecting us and now you're saying that we'll hide in these caves. And for what? To become nothing more than some writing on some wall!" Kelif yelled, his father's spear held taut between his hands as his face contorted into rage.

In that moment, I wished that I had said something to soothe his anger. Anything at all to let him know that his father had not died for nothing. His father had died protecting his son. In doing so, he had allowed him precious time to learn the truth. Yet it was not his spear-kin that would speak for him, but my sister.

"Kelif, there are only ten blooded warriors left aside from you and Oulan. Place your father within a coffin. Make his memories eternal. That is why you came here."

Kelif looked over at me and I could see such confusion in his eyes. Anguish and rage twisting inside of him. I helped him inter his father within the stone coffin and stood aside as the lid was closed shut over his father's corpse.

Ifri, wife to Atra, mother to Kefri.

I remember this memory well. Atmuth striding towards me with a sad smile plastered across his face.

"Ifri. It is time. We must make for the catacombs. The elderly will go first. What warriors remain from the last hunt shall make up the rear."

"Ten men, Atmuth."

"Hasan. Oket. Mardat. Hasshut. Lamun. Atriti. Teneri. Sahar. Ibero. Mechta. Their names will not be forgotten, Ifri. I shall remember them. They shall live on."

Atmuth departed as abruptly as he had arrived. The tribes were already beginning to march as one. The elderly were at the front, followed by the women, followed by the children. Those that could not walk were in the arms of the women. The eldest men and women were carried in wicker barrows between the strongest that could walk.

The night's quiet was ruptured by a distant inhuman howling. More howls rang out in response, echoing on the wind. We would have to be fast.

Atmuth, High Priest of the Precepts of the Past.

I walked back to the shores of the lake. The ten warriors stood around me. I knew all of their names. I knew their fathers' and mothers' names. I sunk into the shoreline and gathered the mists about me, drawing the music of the ritual close.

Children cheering happily. Men cried in unison around a fire that burned with the heavy smell of human flesh. A lone woman yelled out in pain as new life was birthed into the world. I cherished these sounds. The sounds of the ritual. For each sound was a story and each story was a sound. Together, they could be woven into one.

Echoing in the distance, I heard the warriors. First, the sounds of fighting. The clash of fire-hardened spears on talons and bone. The grunting of men as the beasts cried out in anger. Talons raking against flesh and tearing through sinew and muscle. Then, the sounds of screaming and yelling. Both men and beast. Then, the sounds of the dying. The final gasps for air as life left the lungs. The faint splattering of organs against wet and salty mud. The chewing of flesh and the gnawing of bones.

And finally, silence.

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

I was quiet for a long time. I had felt him die. I had heard his final moments. A quiet and peaceful silence. He deserved better.

"He's dead. Atmuth is dead."

"The tribes. They'll be defenseless." Oulan whispered as he sunk down beside an empty coffin. His spear clattered to the floor and rolled to the other side - where Kelif snatched the spear up.

"Oulan. With me. Now." He said. He held out Oulan's spear with one hand. In the other, he clutched his father's spear close to his chest. Oulan accepted his spear back.

"Where are we going, Kelif?"

"To the mouth of the caverns. It's a tight hallway but we should be able to swing the lengths of our spears. We'll hold that cavern by ourselves as the tribes make their way here."

"Kelif. You'll both die! Atmuth and the last warriors sacrificed themselves to make time for us and the remainder of the tribes. You don't need to die in some stupid act of glory. You'll be throwing your lives away." Ketra yelled.

"Better to die out there than in here. Oulan, will you stand beside me as spear-kin one last time?"

I watched with tears in my eyes, knowing that it was the last time that I would see them alive.

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

Kelif was sprinting through the caverns as his torch illuminated the chaotic shifting writing that covered every surface in the ancient city. As we reached the mouth of the caves, I saw the tribes running towards us. A howl rang out in the distance. The first of the beasts was roughly seventy five paces from us.

I watched as Kelif's mother, Ifri looked her son in the eyes and continued down into the caverns, a young girl clutched tightly in her arms. The last of the women descended into the catacombs and there was nothing but silence that awaited us.

A howl rang out and the first beast emerged from the darkness. It stood at twice the height of a fully grown man. Its hide was dark and mottled with patches of human skin that had been sown onto the creature's body as grisly trophies. I was slightly relived to see that Kelif had not wavered. During our hunts, he had the tendency to bolt out from his advantageous position and strike the first beast he saw. He had learned the consequences of such actions just the other day.

Vertical pupils regarded Kelif and then turned to look at me. They were red and raw eyes. The beast blinked each eye individually as it turned back to face Kelif. It had decided. Kelif roared a challenge toward the beast as he lowered his father's spear to match the creature.

It charged at inhuman speeds towards Kelif and stabbed forwards with its taloned fist. Kelif ducked into a crouch and raised his spear in both hands, pressing his shoulder into the lunge to match the beast's ferocity. The spear found its target and impaled the creature beneath its shoulder, tearing through hide and forcing its way through a dense web of muscle.

I sprinted forward and lunged high, aiming at the beast's collarbone but it brought its arm out in response. It caught my spearhead in its fist and I felt the spear pare through the middle finger and into the wrist. Bone splintered and cracked as the beast roared in pain. Kelif brought his spear up high and impaled the beast in the throat, spilling boiling blood down onto the shaft. His skin bubbled and blistered from the heat but his grip only tightened as he slammed the spear up and through the throat.

The beast dropped to the ground with a tame gurgle. Blood rushed from its throat and poured onto the cobbled entrance to the catacombs. Kelif stepped back and wiped his spearhead and then readied himself once more.

"Oulan. We killed it. Together."

"Kelif, you need to treat your burns. If the blood seeps into your bloodstream…" My words trailed off as Kelif bit down onto his wounded hand.

"If the poison rots my blood, I will die. If another beast appears whilst I am dressing my wound, I will die. No matter what we do tonight, brother. We shall die."

His sullen expression forced me to catch my tongue. I simply nodded and returned my attention to the grasslands as more howls punctuated the night.

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

I watched as Ifri herded the last of my people into the great hall. In their shock, not one of them noticed the corpse that was sat upon a throne. None but Ifri. She spoke after a long silence.

"She was also called Ketra, did you know that?" Ifri said, a sad and distant look in her eyes.

"Yes, I knew. At-" I choked on my words. His death was too fresh; too raw a memory in my mind.

"He would be proud of you, Ketra. As would she. As would your parents. Our Gods might have believed that Oulan and Kelif would be our future but it was you that forged that path for them. You were born to do great things."

Ifri sat down beside her husband's coffin. She was exhausted and a young child clung to her hide-shirt.

"They wear us so we started wearing them. Atra died fighting them. Now my son and your brother will die just the same. We're just like them in that sense."

"Ifri, what are they?" I asked as I sat down beside her. I remember the sadness on her face and the blissful ignorance on the face of the young girl.

"Nobody knows. The stories that Atra's mother would tell us spoke of them as coming from the sky. She said that the Gods had fought them and perished much the same as we will. They destroyed their cities and slaughtered the people. All but one city."

"This one. A city beneath the savannah."

"Not then it wasn't. It was a city beneath the sands. During the time before time, this world was not dominated by lakes and grasslands but by great deserts that spanned from one side of the earth to the other. "

She gestured over to Ketra's enthroned corpse as tears streamed from her face. "She told us that our Gods would protect us once the final memories were buried. Once her son perished at the hands of the beasts from the skies. Once the tribes were gathered within the corpse of a city abandoned by time."

I nodded and turned away from Ifri's tears. Tears for her husband and son. They were not my tears to cry. And yet, I remember crying as I drowned in an unending silence.

Oulan, spear-kin to Kelif:

Kelif's breath was ragged. His veins pulsated as a purple poison writhed about in his heart and turned his blood to ash. His spear was snapped at the haft and yet he fought on as he used the blunt length as a club. In his other hand, he held the spearhead like a carving knife. His left eye had been impaled by a talon, leaving the remnants to dangle from his eye socket.

I turned to face the savannah as yet more beasts emerged from the darkness. I could no longer make out the hides of the beasts. Only the gleam of their teeth and the red eyes betrayed their presence.

"Kelif. We must retreat. Perhaps we might collapse the cavern?"

"Collapse the passageway with what, Oulan? No. Even if we retreat, the blood will work its way into me and I will become a savage possessed by the fever. We must fight until we have nothing left." He coughed and spat a large globule of purple blood onto the nearest corpse.

I turned back to face the entrance as three beasts descended onto us. The first one jabbed at Kelif but he brought his blunt haft down onto the arm. Splinters of bone broke free from the arm and the beast retreated. He lunged forward with the spearhead and pierced the creature's leg, driving the implement deep into the thigh. I followed after him, lunging forward and taking half of the beast's face off with a single strike of the spear.

Spinning about, I brought the spear back up to my midriff to guard my chest. A moment later, it was splintered in half by the strike of a beast's tail. The tail continued through the spear and I was flung into the caverns. I felt a surge of pain flow through my body as my leg twisted on impact. My ankle took the brunt of the force and snapped like driftwood.

Kelif was still fighting back the three beasts. He was driven to one leg and stabbed out wildly. One stab caught a beast in the face. Another vicious strike impaled one in the stomach but the spearhead struck firmly inside of it. Kelif clubbed at the ravaged remains of the beast's face. It was the one I had struck moments before being flung into the air. I rose up from my stunted crouch, pulling one arm behind my back, and throwing the broken haft of the spear with my shoulder. The spear sailed through the air and impacted into the beast's torso. A defiant roar rang out through the caverns. To this day, I still do not know who it came from.

The impaled beast raised Kelif aloft and pierced him upon its taloned fist. Brutally, it swung Kelif to the floor and slammed its tail down onto him, over and over again. His mangled body was flung behind the beast. Before it could land on the floor, it was snatched into the jaws of another creature and they relentlessly tore into his flesh and bones.

I watched in helpless silence as my brother, my spear-kin, was torn to pieces by the ceaseless hunger of the beasts. I shut my eyes tight and felt my heart beating against my chest. In my cowardice, I was utterly unwilling to watch Kelif be torn into trophies to adorn the beasts.

Silence was my only companion in my final memories even as calloused fingers closed in around my body.

Ketra, sister to Oulan, Priestess of the Precepts of the Past:

I floated listlessly for years. I could hear everything at once. I could see everything at once. I could smell and feel everything. The countless memories of the tribes.

I watched the great city of Atraketra burn in a maelstrom of blue fire. The citizens were dressed in peculiar robes, yet they felt so familiar. They came from the sky as she had said. The invaders descended in droves but were armed with spears, swords, and other weapons of war. They did not consume or defile the dead but cut them down like a scythe mowing down wheat.

Wheat. It has been a long time since wheat was grown by the tribes.

The earth split open and the city was consumed by the earth. It sunk beneath the sand as the invaders marched out of the city gates and into the desert. An army of the tribes were mounted upon the hill. Rows of archers upon rows of archers that were flanked on either side by horse warriors.

When had the tribes had horses? I had never seen a horse before now.

A great wall of fire grew out from in front of the human army. It ebbed and flowed like the tides of the lake and crashed down upon the armed beasts. Where once stood an army, now there was nothing but bones. I was knee deep in ash and bones.

The tribes had won. They had defeated the invaders. The beasts had perished at the hands of sorcery that I could barely imagine.

"Not quite, Ketra. They will return. Not long from now, far to the east, Kefriltran will be consumed by the blue flame as well. This war will rage for ten-and-a-half years. Some cities will burn. Others will drown in oceans of biting, burning water. Each time a city burns, the people you call the tribes will mobilise their armies, but there will be no great victory as there was tonight. The beasts of the savannah will be swift and merciless in their hunts. They will not engage your armies."

I turned to the source of the voice. A young woman dressed in silk robes. I'd never seen silk before. A tiara was perched atop the woman's head. She moved across from me, unimpeded by the mountain of ashes and bones.

"Your people will be scattered to the winds in the final battle. They will hunt the remaining invaders down in retribution for a war long since forgotten by both sides. Both the invader and the invaded will become nomads. Your people will lose once again. Nobody would dare mock your tenacity or resilience but your stories will be forgotten for so long. Ironically, the invaders that remained on the planet to hunt you down will themselves go extinct. Nobody will ever remember them except for your own people."

I stared at the woman and only when she had finished did I dare to open my mouth.

"You're me."

"In a way, yes." The woman smiled. "Ketra, one day you will become immortalised. Your people will flourish once again and you will be remembered in great tomes of literature. You will meet many people wandering these long dead memories you and your people now inhabit. I only ask one thing of you."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Do not become a burning memory. Become a memory worth remembering in the eyes of the wanderer."

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