Whispers of the Starkin: Director Firoux’s Journal, Physical Entry 1

It is the year 3909, and I am writing on physical sheets of paper with a pen bought from a 1920s reenactor at the Martian Living History Expo yesterday.

I have no choice. SolFed’s own archives are breached. There’s no other explanation. Any digital recordings are compromised. My own mind is compromised. Paper is the only thing we might be able to trust.

I thought at first that Specialist Omar had only imagined the information was intact when he got to it; it would hardly be the first such delusion on this project. But today I opened the Federal Internet Archive Project and found that an entire page of the blog we’ve been examining has been corrupted retroactively, along with fifteen posts containing over 30,000 words, all wiped away.

And I cannot remember what its name was! Someone–something–doesn’t want us to find out more. Are they manipulating the Precursor influence somehow? It’s got to be the Fetaarans! Damn my hubris, I should never have had so many brought here. Is it possible that multiple psionics can join their abilities? Are they interfering with our memory selectively, using the innate difficulty of comprehending the Starkin to blot our minds in ways they couldn’t otherwise? Too many questions, too many questions!

But if it is the Fetaarans, why not delete more? How can they possibly be corrupting the data? Is it some kind of precursor-worshipping cult? It must be! That’s the only vaguely-possible explanation. Wait, no, that’s insane! What is happening to me? To us?

Hiding it from Rhetta so far. Keeping it in check. She mustn’t know. Rhetta, she’s the true madwoman! More she hears about the Precursor’s power, effects on us, more she wants it, needs it…

(The following section is smudged over with dried blood)

Losing my grip. Always thought I was strong, disciplined, poised. Proper son of France. Soldier’s soldier. Why are they only corrupting some of the data? Why not destroy the archives entirely? Is it possible…

They want us to know. Not the Fetaarans. Cult? Must be cult! Want us to know, want us to turn back. Wish we could. Rhetta giving no choice. God help us? Why would he, though? We abandoned him long ago. Thought we’d never meet anything humanity couldn’t batter down.

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