Natura Humana Quest


Authors
hitodama
Published
1 year, 5 months ago
Stats
2266

Song's and Nessie's adventures during the Natura Humana event.

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The world under the waves might seem eerily quiet and depressingly dark to some, but for those who call it their home it is anything but. Both Song of the Abyss and Xilladenanessfeali spent the vast majority of their time swimming through oceans and seas all around the world and they enjoyed every new corner they came across, no matter how murky or lonely it was. This time, however, they encountered something rather unexpected.

"Oh? Hey, Nessie, look over there! There's someone at the bottom", said Song who noticed the unusual sight first. The two Esk changed their course to take a closer look at the stranger who sat silently in front of some crumbling ruins. What was so odd about the sight was that their body didn't seem to be affected by the surrounding water at all: their fur didn't float along the waves and their pose looked like it belonged to someone sitting above the shoreline, not under it.

"Is this place familiar to you?" the stranger asked as soon as the duo got any closer. Their peculiar cacophonic voice made Nessie jerk their head back in surprise, and through wordless telepathy they communicated to Song that they had just recognized the Esk in front of them.

"We were here to see it being built. Oh, it was magnificent!" the dark, mysterious figure continued while Nessie quickly noted to Song that this was one of the Wanderers - just in a very different form than when Nessie had last seen them some millions of years ago.

"You should've seen it… You still could, if you want. It’s just a step back in time" the one nowadays known as X then told. Such an idea immediately grabbed Song's attention.

"For real? That's something we can do?" the smallest Esk chirped. They only got a noncommittal shrug from Nessie as an answer before X already continued.

"But maybe you'd rather not look behind you. You wouldn't be the only one to prefer focusing on the things ahead, eager for new discoveries, new inventions, new wonders - though there are some who do still appreciate their roots, their ancestors' long journey to greatness." During the last sentence X seemed to focus their gaze towards Xilladenanessfeali. It likely meant that they had recognized the ancient Esk as someone who had been around for a long, long time.

"There are treasures remaining here still, if it interests you. It's such a shame for everything to be lost, the remarkable discoveries and knowledge that will fade beneath dust and years… But like the lives of humans, some parts of our biome are fleeting also", was the final thing the Wanderer said before they stood up and teleported away, likely to a place where the energy of their own biome was flowing stronger than in these forgotten ruins.


"So... Treasures? Stepping back in time?" Song said after a short, respectful silence. They were clearly really curious but also a little bit shy about their eagerness; after all, Nessie had likely already seen everything this place had to offer literally a thousand times over. But despite that the older Esk only sent happy, accepting thoughts to their companion and started to paddle slowly towards the ruins.

"Oh boy, this will be an adventure!" Song chimed and sped after Nessie.


---


Song and Nessie spent a good long while shuffling though the sunken ruins. It was mainly Song who swam from one relic to another, continuously pondering what each of them were used for back in the day or who had made them or why one item had been shattered to pieces and another one had endured the waves of time completely intact. Nessie didn't really have a need to ponder such things; after all did it really matter why or how a forest had been burned or a lake had been dried? The results were the same either way. But even if Nessie did see their surroundings through a different lens than their companion, they did enjoy sparing a little bit of their time to admire them.


Finally the duo spotted something that caught the attention of both of them.

"What's that light shining at?" Song asked as they already swam towards a spot that seemed to attract an unnatural amount of sunlight towards it. First the smaller Esk though that the light was pointing at a huge sphinx statue that lied regally at the bottom, but when they reached it, they soon realized their error. The true treasure was behind the statue, almost like it had been guarded by it for thousands of years.

"Huh... Nessie, do you know what this is?" When Xilladenanessfeali reached the spot and took a good look at the item, they recognized it immediately and sent an image of their answer to Song's mind.

"What? No no, I know it's a stone! But it's also something else. Normal stones don't have pictures on them", Song quickly clarified.

"It almost looks like a comic. But if it is that, it's not a very clearly made one. Aside from the biggest pictures, all I can tell it that is has a lot of birds and eyes in it..."


---


In the end Song, try as they might, couldn't make heads or tails of the pictures on the stone slab. They let out a deep sight and were just going to give up when they suddenly recalled X's words about stepping back in time.

"Oh! Oh, oh now I know! We could go back to see how this thing was made!" the small Esk chirped in excitement, "I'm not quite sure how you do it, but maybe we could figure it out together, right?" Nessie wasn't quite as eager to meddle with such forces, but looking at Song's pleading eyes made them groan in resignment and swim to the bottom, nearly touching the artefact. Song followed, and after just a tiny bit of hesitation they slapped one of their tiny paws to the surface of the stone and another one to Nessie's side.

"Okay... It must be somewhat like teleportation, but instead of going to another place, we need to go to another time..." Song closed their eyes and concentrated as hard as they could. Surprisingly soon both Esk started to feel like the environment around them was blurring and their own bodies were vibrating almost violently, nearly tearing themselves apart. The experience was scary but fortunately also short, as in a matter of seconds everything stabilized once again.


When the Esk duo recovered from the initial dizziness, they realized immediately that their environment had turned into something completely different than before.

"We did it!" Song celebrated. Even Nessie was pretty impressed and turned their head from one direction to another in order to observe the new place. What previously - or later, to be precise - had been a murky underwater scenery was now a sunny human settlement. Not quite everything had changed, though.

"Oh, hey, look! That's the statue we saw before! And now there are so many of them", Song noticed and, despite losing part of their powers along the marine environment, flew to one of the many sphinx statues that lined a road to a huge temple. The building was certainly impressive and from its open doorway one could see a lot of people moving inside, but instead of that Nessie nudged Song to pay attention to another direction. Behind the statues there was a single human working on a stone slab as tall as himself.

"Could that be... Our stone?" Song asked for both of them. There was only one way to find out, so slowly but surely Nessie crawled and Song flew onwards to take a better look at the slab. As nature spirits they were invisible to humans, so the worker continued his job undisturbed despite the peculiar creatures that settled themselves behind him to follow his doings.

"It is! I recognize the big picture there! The human is carving it to the stone", Song affirmed. The small Esk bounced around to watch the man's work from every possible and a few impossible angles until they settled back to Nessie's side.

"It think I understand now. They are not just pictures, they are also writing at the same time. The human is telling something with this stone, but I'm not sure what because it's still unfinished..." But before either of them could continue, they felt once again how first everything started to blur and then vibrate when time ripped itself back to its natural tracks.


---


After being whisked back to their original time both of the Esk felt rather exhausted. After all neither of them had done time traveling before, so it was no wonder it had drained their powers significantly.

"That was incredible", Song sighted wistfully when the duo settled to lay down on the seabed around the ruins, "but even so we didn't find out what the writing on the stone actually was about. Or what was the purpose of carving it there." The smaller Esk was clearly a little bit disappointed by the inconclusive end of their journey, but Nessie on the other hand wasn't bothered by it the slightest bit. They just closed their nictitating membranes and sent Song some thoughts about the importance of the journey instead of the destination.

"I know, you are right. But... Do you think someone in our time could know something about it? Maybe we should still check some more things out?" Song suggested, but they didn't get much of a response from Nessie. They had clearly had enough adventuring for one day and seemed to be quickly drifting to sleep. Song was just as tired as their older companion, but they felt like they couldn't rest as long as the mystery remained unsolved.

"I'll be right back, Nessie", the tiny marine Esk promised and swam back to the ancient relic.


Once again Song slapped their paws to the surface of the cold stone, but this time they concentrated on a location instead of a time period. Soon enough they felt a pull towards something, but weirdly enough it seemed to be in a place the Esk had never visited before, and such places were usually unreachable by teleportation.

"Can you guide me, stone? Please?" Song quietly pleaded and gave it a try. Teleportation was truly an instantaneous form of transportation, so after just a blink of an eye the Esk found themselves from a modern human apartment. The person who lived there seemed to be present, but still as invisible as ever Song started to investigate the place. At first they thought there was nothing resembling the carved stone in the apartment, but when they finally directed their attention towards a computer screen, they noticed something very familiar.

"Ah, that's the place from the past!" the Esk chirped in awe. They jumped to the computer table and started to follow a video documentary about the ancient city they had just visited. It explained in detail how a similar stone slab as the one still resting in the bottom of the ocean had helped scientists to learn about the city it had resided in. The city had been forgotten for several millennia, but the stone's writing had single-handedly brought the city's name, location and history back to the general consciousness of humankind.

"So... In a way the stone is like this video machine: it stores and shares information. Wow", Song finally realized.


---


After the documentary ended Song teleported back to the world under the waves. There everything was in the same state as when they had left: Nessie slept in the middle of the ancient ruins and the stone slab laid motionless on the seabed. The small Esk caressed the surface of the stone for a little while, examining all of the small cracks on the artefact. It had existed here for a couple thousand years, but who knew how many more it would endure? Nature was clearly trying its best to reclaim it and turn it back to markingless pieces of gravel.

"Don't worry, I will sing about your story. It won't be forgotten", Song quietly promised as they left the stone to return back to the side of their companion. But before they could reach their destination something shining in the middle of the ruins caught their attention. Song hadn't noticed anything like that when they had been investigating the area, so curious to see what it could be they swam to examine the sight a bit closer.

"Seems like... Glass. Huh", the Esk surmised. In the darkness of the ocean it was hard to say anything more precise, so carefully Song picked the tiny item up and lifted it in front of their eyes. Soon their face was warped into an expression full of surprise and excitement.

"It's just like me! But how? Who could've made and then left it here?" Even before they had finished their sentence they already knew the answer: it couldn't have been anyone other than the mysterious dark Wanderer. Thinking they might still be somewhere nearby Song quickly scanned the area with their sight and even though they didn't find anyone, they decided it was still best to be polite.

"Thank you! I will treasure it dearly!" the Esk chirped to the abyss. Then they turned to once again swim towards their sleeping friend while pressing their precious new trinket against their chest.

"Nessie! Oh Xilladenanessfeali, you are not going to believe the things I have seen and heard and found!"