(A LOVECRAFTIAN SCI-FI STORY)
It was the beginning of the boreal autumn of 2023, when after concluding basic studies on Optics I arrived to work at the Research Center in Alpha Crisium, on the Moon. I was to have the opportunity to be a part of the team under the command of Dr. F. Le Kratov, noted astrophysicist, author of many studies on luminic transportation. My plans for specialization included a continuance of my experiments on ultraviolet rays refraction.
As soon as I arrived to the urbstation, I proceeded to get settled in the living module that had been assigned to me at the Research Center. Without having had time to walk around the lunar city, the following day I was introduced to Le Kratov and some of the members of his research team at the lab. Right away I got busy, I began recognizing the team and carried on preparing my own experiments. It did not seem that my stay on the Moon would be any different from what the last years of my life on Earth had been like, immerse in the scientific routine.
But all of a sudden, everything changed.
With a personality regarded as withdrawn by colleagues and disciples, I was surprised that after only a few days of having swapped a few words on my studies and type of experiments I had in mind, Le Kratov would unexpectedly call me to his lab. When I found his message on my room’s monitor I thought he wanted to comment on some of my experiments. I quickly saved some files and reviewed the procedures that I had in my mind.
Some minutes later I arrived to his workstation. He was accompanied by a woman. We were immediately introduced to one another:
- Astroarcheologyst Ilnya Tarem. She arrived a few hours ago on the spatial cab. She is bringing a very important discovery. I have told her about you.
- “What could he have told her if he had just met me?” – I thought while I greeted her. Her face – almost inexpressive, nonetheless beautiful hazel eyes – evidenced the exhausting journey. She immediately addressed the subject that had brought her to the Moon.
- I was just explaining the professor that this is an archeological finding that I still consider provisional and part of an expedition that would bring it to a culmination. To make this possible, I shall be needing your help; I have no one else. The professor is someone I trust… in fact –she hesitated for a moment- the only one I know here. But let me start from the beginning. Surely you know about Ti’amat…- she addressed me.
- …She is the Sumerian Goddess of Chaos –I answered after recovering from the shock that my presence in the lab wasn’t related to my research. Then I added the first thing that came to my mind: according to millenary legends, the destruction of that primigenia deity was the first act that permitted the creation of the world.
- Good. I won’t have to go into further details: Nine weeks ago, amongst the remains of a ziggurat of what used to be the Sumerian city of Nippur, first landmark where human settlers made cuneiform signs on clay, an archeological expedition under the command of Dr. Streakey discovered fragments of some exceptional tablets, without a doubt, the most ancient known reference of the Goddess Ti’amat. The tablets describe her defeat in mortal combat with Enlil, Warrior God of the Wind and Tempest, under the service of Anu, Deity of Heaven, worshipped in the city of Uruk, proclaimed archenemy of the city of Nippur, where as I said, the tablets were found. The latter refer to the GoddessTi’amat’s burial in a big mountain, “where for centuries she will have to die until a far and unavoidable dream of the sun”– this phrase was spoken by the visitor as if it were a ritual invocation. In an interpretative line, that I consider quite basic – she continued explaining – Streakey’s research team back on Earth takes for granted that Ti’amat’s burial site is somewhere in the mountains to the north of the Mesopotamian half moon. They are mistaken… They will never find it there.
She interrupted herself for a few seconds and walked towards one of the windows of the room. From it one could see the planet on three quarts crescent phase. She showed about forty years of age, probably twenty less than Le Kratov and the same amount more than me. After making sure that we were waiting for her to continue, she added:
- I think that the prophetic part of the tablets does not refer to the mountain chains where the Euphrates waters are born… Nor to any orographic relief of the grand globe…- she declared while staring at the Earth.
- Excuse me? – I interrupted.
- I know I startle you – she answered immediately and with confidence- but with a slight margin for uncertainty, I dare state that the place where Ti’amat lies is here, on the Moon, far beyond the eastern rims of the Mare Marginus. The tablets presage of a full solar eclipse over Nippur alluding to a “far away dream of the sun”. According to my calculations it is the eclipse on the upcoming twenty-third…
- But I don’t see – Le Kratov interrupted – how it is possible to grant to the first inhabitants of Sumer, as advanced as their astronomical knowledge was on the four or three thousand before Christ, an ability for such a prediction. Without the knowledge of what the astronomical regularity that the Cycle of Saros means, for example, findings from just the eighth century of our era, it is impossible that in the dawning of civilization an eclipse could have been foreseen with an anticipation of thousands of years.
- I am not saying that Sumerians predicted the eclipse, not like so – she answered. The prophecy says that during a distant eclipse Ti’amat will awaken. But, at the moment, I ask you to not argue about specific details. I have come to these hypotheses after a meticulous examination of the archeological discovery in Nippur and formulating, with full rigor, an alternative version of the Sumerian Kramer translating system.
She pulled out a USB from her purse.
- Take a look at it professor. I would like to know your opinion. It is necessary to set up an expedition as soon as possible and I hope that you decide to be a part of it. Both of you.