Member No.: 3
Joined: 26-September 07
Energy crackled through the air as the massive form of the Illustro faced the oncoming wave. As large as the energy construct was, the wave was larger, and growing larger still. But the construct was not yet complete. As the wave approached, hundreds of motes of light swarmed around the Illustro, each melding with the greater brilliance as it approached. And as they did, the construct seemed to glow a little brighter, and stand a little taller. But even when all the motes of light were gone, joined into the great construct that was their last hope, the wave still towered above.
The construct raised its arms, pointing them towards the onrushing water. Blinding brilliance seemed to pour out of the construct, forming a transparent barrier between the land and the sea for as far as could be seen. Just as it seemed to complete, the wave smashed into it. The barrier rippled, but it held the water back. Some splashed over the edge, devastating a few of the communities near the beach, but it was a far cry from the destruction that would have been wrought had no action been taken.
Exhausted, the construct seemed to shrink. It held less than half of its brilliance now, and seemed to be a transparent, blue grey cloud of half-heartedly crackling energy. It lost its form, as if it no longer had the energy to do anything other than maintain the barrier. But though it dimmed, the barrier never wavered, and eventually the waves receded. As they did, more of the small, brilliant motes of light began to swarm around the construct, having just arrived from the more inland communities that would have nevertheless been devastated by the tidal wave. These did not join the construct, as the danger was passed, and there was no longer any need for it. Instead, they waited for the individual motes to become distinct once more, to separate from the group consciousness of the construct. But none did.
The Illustro had been too badly drained by the effort used to maintain the barrier. They could no longer survive individually, instead depending on the group to maintain themselves. Then, after a while, when they had recovered enough energy to survive independently, it no longer mattered. Their minds and bodies had fused irrevocably as one. Too much time had passed to effectively separate the minds within.
As the motes that danced around the construct realized this, an air of mourning began to circulate. The entire population of the region nearest to the water had gathered with startling rapidity, and enacted the emergency measure of joining into the mega construct that had protected them from the waves. The inlanders had responded as well, but they had been slower, having farther to travel in order to assemble. If it hadn’t been for the shore dwellers, the millions of lives could have been lost. Unfortunately, they had had to sacrifice themselves to do it. No other joining of that magnitude had been attempted before. The risks were unknown. And yet the people had done it anyway, in order to protect their kin.
As the surrounding Illustro began to mourn their lost heroes, the dimmed construct sat, swirling in confusion as hundreds of thousands of conflicting thoughts and minds fought within it, melting together and being swept away in equal measure. Eventually, its mind began to settle, into one, unified whole. The sum of the experiences of an entire people. Outside, the Illustro mourned, unaware that while they had lost an entire people, they had gained a God.
In the period after the Ascension, as the Illustro came to call the events immediately following the tidal wave, much change was wrought. The Construct, in addition to its raw power, exhibited a substantial amount of control over its lesser Illustro brethren. While it caused no overt changes, it often hijacked the Illustro’s bodies for its own tasks, using a form of telepathy that seemed limitless and inescapable. Many Illustro resented this, and the Construct attempted to refrain from controlling those who did, but there were still many who did not wish to have a god among them. Still, there was little they could do.
The Construct first instilled a sense of curiosity and exploration in the Illustro, and what had previously been a stagnant culture with almost no technological development began to evolve almost overnight. While the Illustro’s unusual nature made traditional technological improvement difficult at best, the Illustro began to research their own capabilities, and discovered that they had barely scratched the surface of what they were capable of. New abilities were explored and taken to the limit, such as the ability to meld with other Illustro and project destructive energies and shields. With the additional power of melding, which had been so rare before, came the increased ability of flight, and the Illustro began to spread across their planet, traversing seas that had been impassable to them before.
The Construct’s first duty, the one for which it had originally been created, was to protect people, and this thought had been a constant across the thousands of minds that had created it, and it remained constant still. Thus, the Construct made it its mission to protect the Illustro, and guide them. Its first actions were to investigate the cause of the tidal wave that had warranted its creation. After several deep sea explorations, it concluded that an asteroid of some kind had struck the sea, sending out shock waves in every direction. Further investigation revealed odd wreckage strewn across the sea bottom near the predicted point of impact. After it was retrieved, a startling discovery was made. The wreckage was artificially created, and by means unknown to the Illustro. The implications were staggering. Another form of life, capable of feats that the Illustro had yet to dream of.
And so, the Construct’s gaze turned to the sky. Explorers were sent throughout the solar system, and information was gathered. Eventually, enough was learned about science and the Illustro themselves to begin interstellar jumps. And so, the Construct sent out its feelers into the universe, connected to them always through some mysterious bond, searching for anything that may pose a danger to the Illustro so that it would have forewarning in the event that protection was necessary.