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The Keepers: Cleaning the Residue


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(( A Guided Fall Within The Center ))
:: There were 56 of them. 56 was ideal. Many would remain Shadowed and some would be Seen. Large ones would be Seen. The Wayward learned truths more quickly when the larger Keepers approached them. This had been learned, over many cycles. They moved through The Center, with silvery swiftness. The Song had changed, with new tones - the Keepers had come upon the Wayward who had dared to break the seals, and they had taken them into The Center, and guided them through a Fold to the hearth and the Ascension of Rest. The Wayward would want to see the Ascension of Rest; the one who guided them had seemed most interested to find it. This was a truly golden moment; the Wayward would only find their way to the True through Rest. Through Rest and the Folds.
56 Keepers moved onwards, and the Song moved with them.
These Wayward were farther away from the golden notes. They walked beneath the Ward, in the light of the True, and brought with them fire and dust and gray thoughts, heavy as stones. They brought rage, red as the Shorewalker shells. The Eyes that watched them and the crystals that listened to their notes saw only distrust and heard only dissonance. There had been a flow of the song, and the Keepers, and the Shorewalkers, and the Highwatchers, and the Shining Sleepers arrived at a truth; these Wayward risked becoming too red, too gray. They must be brought to The Center. So the Shining Sleepers had fed subtle harmonies to the shell that lay above The Center, and let the ground buckle and welcome the Wayward and their ruined vessel to the Center - and for a few blessed moments, had ceased their endless gray tumble of red words.
56 Keepers moved on, some in Shadow, some Seen, and the Song moved with them.
They moved into the Rounding where the Shining Sleepers had neatly weakened the shell to let the Wayward fall after the one in the carapace had set off her dissonant chemicals. The Wayward were gathered here, already rising. They were resilient. This was ideal; it was one reason the True found them so suitable for Rest. The Keepers had brought two with voices with them. Curiously, the Wayward seemed more comfortable with voices than the hisses of welcome. So voices they would have. One was sung to be the speaker, with another ready if the Wayward needed more voices, needed more endless words. It was not the Song. It was clumsy. But it made the Wayward think silvery thoughts, to have words given to them. So it would be. 
They moved from the Fold, into the Rounding, their mandibles wide and legs raised in the embrace of greeting. The Song called for soothing, for assertion of security, for a guiding away from the gray. The Song also called for the one with the carapace to be kept in harmony, and so she was enfolded with four of the largest Keepers, and they had the Thread ready to snare her if she became red. So the words came in the awkward heaps of "Standard" as the smaller Keeper addressed the Wayward. Even as one of them spoke.
Sevo: Stay calm, *untranslatable: All Those Present*. They don’t seem to be *untranslatable: Those Without Singing* *untranslatable: Those Who Serve The Shining Sleepers On The Shell*.
:: The Wayward were so very hard to understand sometimes. ::
Keeper2826: Happy *campers* are so glad to *smell* you, *lost*! You will cease all *gray* and remove your *harms* and come to *Home*, to *hearth*. This is a *silver* function. Do not have *sauce*. 
Sevo: Th...they *untranslatable: Sing Truly*? *untranslatable: Gathering Of The Lost* Standard no less? 
:: The Keepers shifted in the dance to keep the Wayward in view. Some kept their lights in the rose hue of welcome. Some shifted to the blue of The Center, preparing to map the Folds. ::
sh'Idrani: response
Millis: Hi.
:: One the shade of the Shining Sleepers in full blossom held his hands out, in a somewhat innocent attempt at the embrace of welcome. Just as their "Standard" was clumsy, so too was their organic design, but the gesture was appreciated. The voice-given Keeper raised his arms in greater welcome in return. ::
MacFarlane: Sir? Are ye sure tha’ is a good idea. Some o’ them are quite big.
:: The Song urged calm, motivated an embrace. There must be a harmony, a unity. There must above all be clarity. ::
Keeper: Welcome! You are *lost* but now you are safe in *Home*. There is no *gray*, no *red*. Only *silver* functions and *lights* with the *lost*.
Sevo: I don’t think they mean us any harm.
Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response
Sevo: Who are you? What is this place?
Keeper2826: We are *campers*. We are of the *Home*. We are the ones who hold the *lights*. This is *Home*. Home of *others*, open to *lost*. Come. Your *lost* await. There is *hearth*. You may *lights* with those present.
Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response
:: Questions, questions. The Song wavered with the impatience of a crystal flower in shade seeking the light of the True. The Song flowed between them, and more Keepers emerged from the Shadow, surrounding the Wayward. They began to shift forward, gently herding, urging, guiding. The Wayward must be guided; this was the most utterly golden note of the Song the True had left for them here in The Center; the Wayward MUST be guided. Guided to where they needed to be. ::
Keeper2826: Come. *Home* awaits just beyond the *Wrinkle*. Come. We will remove your *residue*.
:: The Keepers moved, gentle but inevitable, to slowly and harmoniously try to guide the Wayward to the Fold - they would not know the Fold as more than a chill, more than a darkness that would seem as no more than the shadows and damp of a cave. But the Folds were how the True had built The Center here, under the shell, beneath the Ward and the light. From anywhere, to anywhere within The Center, there was a Fold. The Keepers sought to guide the Wayward to one that would take them to just outside the great dome of the Ascension of Rest. ::
Sevo/Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response
:: There may have been some curiosity. The Wayward always had curiosity. It was in their nature. Some of them seemed to have heavy thoughts about their smoldering wreckage, brought low by the Ward. The Ward disabled the Wayward's curious toys. That was in its nature. Keepers began to clamber over the primitive craft, and work at it with bright plasmic lights, to break it apart into useful components. ::
Keeper2826: The *residue* must be removed. It is useful to *Home*, but not as it is. It must be *cleaned*. *Campers* are fine for making things *clean*. *Lost* must not be so *gray*. It is a *silver* function to keep things *clean*. There will be no *blue* damage.
Sevo/Millis/Freeman/sh’Idrani: response
:: The Song flowed, and brought with it a closed fist, a warning of the need for sternness, to keep the Wayward moving. More of them enfolded closer, to try to guide them into the tunnels towards the Fold. ::
Keeper2826: Do not have *sauce*.
:: They could not be clearer than that. ::
56 Keepers (The ideal number)
The Center
as simmed by
Ensign Connan MacMorna
USS Gorkon
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