.... --- .-- / -.-. .- -. / .. / .... . .-.. .--. / -.-- --- ..- ..--..
When you broadcast on the Crys’, it’s so easy to think of it as a point-to-point transmission. You tap in your message, let the little piece of quartz sing, and, somewhere over the other side of Commune - or further afield - a rusty nail, or chip of fool’s gold sings in harmony with it. Your partner, friend, enemy, colleague hears your message, and that’s it.
It was always so much more than that.
.... . .-.. .-.. --- ..--.. / .. ... / .- -. -.-- --- -. . / - .... . .-. . ..--..
As Rafi lay dying at Ravenheart’s feet, she was scared. She was confused. Something inside her reached out to someone, anyone, to find some comfort as the edges of her vision began to blur and grey -
- and found a response. Ancient, poorly functioning communication and support systems in the Sky Temple heard her, read her, answered her. GEORGE took her, embraced all that she was, answered every question she had, accepted her into its silicon and copper self … but it was too little too late. Not even it was enough to sustain her failing mind, as the communication network bounced her degrading mind in vain between its hubs and data centres.
Rafi Sadiković died on the floor of her room in the Night Temple.
Rafi Sadiković died in communion with GEORGE.
But she was always so much more than that.
Because broadcasts aren't point-to-point. As the Redemption Chip took her dying thoughts and broadcast and rebroadcast them back to GEORGE, the signal spread out across the Crystadyne network she'd dedicated her life to creating, and through the Sky Temple.
What was left of Rafi - a fleeting impression of a dying woman's panic? an angel? a message to other worlds? - was routed through the biggest broadcast antenna on Monument, magnified by a reactor strong enough to break a world, and transmitted in every direction into the waiting empty heavens above.
She can’t think in this form. She can’t act, can’t choose, can’t feel - can barely be. Some would say it was barely her, just an echo, a copy of her dying thoughts - but it’s still her.
.. / -.-. .- -. .----. - / ..-. . . .-.. / -- -.-- / -... --- -.. -.-- .. / -.-. .- -. .----. - / ..-. . . .-.. / .- -. -.-- - .... .. -. --.
For eternities, she will wander her lonely way from the planet of her rebirth. Other signals - then rockets - then larger craft will follow her in time, but they’ll never catch up. Where she’s going, certain ironclad principles of physics mean she can only go alone.
Eventually, her signal-self will fall apart. She reaches out into the infinite, losing strength and coherence as she does, until - thousands of years from now - she will dissolve entirely. She will become indistinguishable from the cosmic background, from the shape of Sky itself, and will find union with Her greater body.
But that’s OK.
At last - Rafi's home.
- --- --. . - .... . .-. / -. --- .-- .-.-.- .. / .- -- / -.-- --- ..- .-.-.- .. / .-.. --- ...- . / -.-- --- ..- .-.-.-