Dro, First Rotation, 5099
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Chronicle of Ulak the Drifter

Annotated by Shahrazad Keret

Dro,1 First Rotation, 50992

I am finally back on Idhai, and my it is truly a sight for sore eyes. Countless marble spires pierce the skies, as if pointed towards an invisible enemy. Colossal sculpted pillars hold massive domes and crystal ceilings. Huge towers, containing millions of luxurious living quarters, bristle with life and activity, as a swarm of flying vehicles speeds between them. Enormous parks, artificial lakes and forests peek every now and then amongst the sprawling urban landscape. Even the streets, despite being heavily transited by beings from every corner of the Universe, are clean and gleam as if they were newly built. The whole planet seems to have been designed and built by craftsmen worthy of Olympus. Therefore, the planet-spanning city is also known as the White City and the Pearl of the Empire. Truly, this is a capital fit for the Emperor.

My cruiser arrived at a busy spaceport near the center of Idhai this morning. My last adventure ended with me visiting Vultahv, a planet in the process of being integrated into the Empire.3 I considered it a great opportunity to observe how a planetary population reacted to being assimilated by a pangalactic superpower, and thus rushed to action. As I have pointed out in previous entries, I spent about a year4 on the planet, interacting with the most significant ethnic and cultural groups. This proved to be an enlightening experience, though the constant travel and efforts to prevent the Imperial bureaucrats from discovering my presence made it twice as hard to engage in most local customs without arising suspicion. Thus, at the end of my travel I decided I needed to rest and bought a ticket for the first flight to Idhai I found.

As I have done every other occasion since I first visited the capital, I will check in at Tamerlane's Palace, a hotel near the Great Triangle.5 I am exhausted. At this moment, a warm bath and a good meal are the main ideas in my head. As I write these words, I cannot help wondering at the Empire's ability to integrate billions upon billions of different species and cultures and preserve a near-perfect harmony. All around me, citizens from every corner of the three galaxies that comprised the Empire go about their day, greet their neighbors, shop for groceries and participate in cultural and recreational activities. This is truly utopia, at long last.

Tomorrow I shall once again visit the Sacred Library, for it is long overdue that I consult Atlas of Midgard, by Hiram Ibn Muhammad.6 Hopefully, it will show me a destination worthy of my attention. After visiting almost every point of interest in the Immortal Empire, I have started to feel more like a tourist than an adventurer. If I am to find adventure and peril, it will not be in this paradise of a civilization. As wonderful as the Empire is, a spirit like mine is not fit for comfort. The Empire has shown me all that it can, and I am ready to move on. Tonight, I shall rest, but tomorrow I will embark on a new quest, one that will hopefully give me enough material to finish this volume of my Chronicle before I return home.

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