Author : Julian Miles, Staff Writer

Chandra Fourteen is an archaeological mystery. Not regarding its lost civilisation, nor the history of that civilisation. What everyone who encounters it becomes desperate to answer is why they did what they did.

Imagine a society at a pinnacle only dreamt of by man. Disease all-but banished, global peace established, a society turning itself toward furtherance of the physical, philosophical and spiritual sciences. A bright, beautiful world, geologically stabilised by a marvellous series of vents and pressor systems – that we still don’t understand – around their equivalents of the ‘Ring of Fire’.

That society has over ten thousand years of recorded history, showing parellels with humanity that cease when they nearly destroyed themselves in a global biowarfare holocaust. From that point it was as if they had gained something from the event that man has yet to realise. If the records found are complete, they never made war after that near-apocalypse.

Take time to mentally voyage across a world resembling the finest of climes that Earth has to offer, from sub tropical to frozen poles. See the artificial volcanoes that stabilise the world and allow a measure of weather control.

Now turn your gaze eastward, looking out across a gigantic ocean, seeing the peaks of the volcanoes like fenceposts stretching for hundreds of miles, then pause as you see that one of the ‘fenceposts’ has grown.

Impossibly tall, the vent installation at the centre of their greatest ocean stretches into orbit, a feat of engineering that has human engineers scanning it with a mix of glee, awe and despair.

How long it took to accomplish that feat is unknown. What followed took a lot longer, was far more difficult and infinitely more puzzling. This enlightened, advanced civilisation channelled it’s energies into putting the magma from the planet’s core into orbit.

It is insane to see this hollow sphere of barely ten-kilometre thick pumice, wrapped about a framework of a ceramic/metallic alloy that is still deemed impossible by our science. That sphere encases a dead planet, dead in a way never before encountered. They shut out the sun and, as far as can be ascertained, waited for one of the various lingering deaths to claim them. A monstrous, planetary suicide.

Professors Eppes and Rhodensteen have only one tenuous explanation, which is causing an uproar that looks to increase before it settles. It is based upon the one inscription on the atmosphere-piercing spire. At the top, plainly etched after the insane pyrospire ceased belching magma, is and inscription that translates as ‘We have become polluted/unclean’. From that, the learned Professors have drawn a conclusion: the society fell foul of mass delusion prompted by religious dogma.

When everyone has stopped screaming at each other, maybe we can return to looking for the truth – be it heretofore unexpected reason, or sad proof.

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