Author : Sean Mulroy

Your home is now the Castle.

Feel free to wander and explore any hall, every garden, each room and all the towers. Eventually there’ll be no need to, for they’ll come to you; by that time an improvement will have taken place – your metamorphosis, which is when everything becomes part of a greater whole.

One question must be intriguing you more than others: Who made the Castle?

While familiarising yourself with this vast stronghold; the garrison, the drawbridge, the gatehouse, the impenetrable keep – you’ll see frescoes and age-stained murals of the original architects and inhabitants. Their stern eyes and thin framed bodies watch over newcomers. Pay close attention to gestures and postures in those paintings, for slim five-fingered hands point out important sites, such as glittering citadels and subterranean catacombs. Before long you’ll be drawn towards those dark catacombs and underground crypts beneath the old battlements where rusted machines of a vanquished race, which at first glance look as dead as their creators, intermittently make morbid sounds and flash strange lights. When the time is right you’ll feel an uncontrollable compulsion to stand before the great machines and touch one, but upon first attempt won’t, for its metallic surface will be much too hot – ultimately, though, you will.

Your next question is rather obvious: Who are we?

We were once like you. Yes we are of an entirely different species today; having two arms, two legs and only one head. Even so, when first arriving here we resembled you, being gelatinous life-forms with no skeletal-structure and multiple willowy-limbs with hairy-feelers. Other things have changed for us as well. No longer do we gaze eerily into the old frescoes, we don’t need to, and if we did we’d only mistake those portrayed for ourselves. Funny, the longer you stay, you too will realise the Castle is like a dirty mirror, wiping one part clean reveals its true nature and often, as in this case, ourselves. Like you we once flew in gigantic ships which sailed the sky and travelled through gulfs of seemingly endless space. Then, like you, we heard the signal and realised something was here on this ancient and resource-depleted planet. So excitedly, hesitantly, we came to find it.

Last question is always the same: What is the Castle?

The Castle is a fortified structure, a walled city, built originally for times of crisis but which has since been redesigned to keep occupants inside. The function of the Castle is to exist. To do that the Castle must have indigenous terrestrials inside, those who it was built for. Why so sad suddenly? There is no need to fret or be afraid. Do not think we serve the Castle, we don’t and neither will you. The Castle merely takes us for its own: like cells within an organism each DNA molecule carries hereditary information, and has but one purpose, to transfer genes – this Castle is the organism and represents those who came before. It is their enduring symbol, of which we are merely distorted shadows, reflections seen in that smeared mirror I spoke of earlier, but which one day will shine bright and reflect truer images than any frescoes or age-stained murals ever could.

So yes, the Castle needs vassals and must always be occupied. None can ever leave.

You are now home. Come in.



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