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Ever since we found the mining machine (although my thoughts of it was much more...magnificent than what it actually is), it is now prepared for testing that will occur soon, and may get us wealthy off of some gems. Finally after all this trouble, this journey may be finally worth it in the end, and we may move on. However, my ears bring some strange rumors of a difference about me. Admittedly, the long walk of the desert with the Captain and the relics, which are prepared to be sold to potential clients, was exhausting. But to make sure, I got some rest and began doing my usual duties. However, the feeling of the ancient spirits of the sands are around...Nah, must be rubbish. There are no curses or magical things lurking around, that's for sure. The main prior is to test the machine, claim a good load of gems, and the crew fills their pockets with profit. Maybe even sell the machine to a massive mining company when our job is complete. Anyways, best be getting back to some archaeological research.
We finally got all of the sand cleaned out of the Machine. Seems like it took weeks, using q-tips to get the sand out of every nook and cranny, and clearing out all the tubes. It's still not clear to me what all these tubes are for--great swarms of chrome tubes flowing around the driver's seat. It's like a hot-rod motorcycle without the wheels--a great big seat and handlebars sitting in a nest of massive chrome pipes. I expected a great excavator, with steam shovels, or drills, not some sooped-up Harley ready for the moto-show. How is this thing supposed to work?
Even stranger, Dr. Funnybones has become almost an entirely new person. Their body movements, their attitude... even the way they talk, it's like it's being translated from a different language entirely. Is this still the same Dr. Alex we started the journey with? Has their well-worn persona been a facade this entire time? Have they become inhabited by some distant, alien intelligence? Or are they just messing with us?
In any case, it'll soon be time to fire up the Machine soon to see what it can do.
It has been a few days of what supposed to be my latest writings, but a lot of things occurred than expected to be. Me and the Captain successfully managed to return to the Atlas unscathed, and Mayfair appeared relieved of our return. The relics also gazed the crew's attention as well. The Captain then told them about the supposed mines underneath the city ruins. The mines underneath are gaping caverns flooding with sand, so traveling below is a sensitive task, yet is possible to do. For the time a cave expedition is about to be prepared, but small obstacles came to be as pestering Sandwurms pop from the sand, and even heard ominous whispers heard through the midnight winds. Yet it didn't stop the morale of the crew to prepare to retrieve the machine, the expedition still preparing at current date. Better prepare those rods for the soon expedition, or all this will be for nothing.
It has been some time since our arrival to Krystalris. The trip was long, silent, dull- and the only thing to make it better was to separate with the Captain. "What can possibly go wrong?" said the Captain. Anyways, the journey around the ruins was fascinating to calm my nerves, studying the dead language and collecting as much artifacts along the way, and the investigate more on the ancient machine.
Luckily I have found more information about the ancient machine. Obviously an ancient mining machine would be at the mines below the ruins, to which flooding with sand and dazzled with illuminating crystals. The Captain is impressed with the news, and is exhausted of carrying her share of the relics. We may have taken a wrong path into the desert, but we are able to successfully walk back to the nearby ruins by dawn. However no fire should be lit tonight, for rumored of attracting Sandwurms and the ghosts of Krystalris. I always wondered where did they disappear to? No matter, have to return by morning.
It's been a few days since we've seen the Captain and Dr. Marleybone. Did I shirk my responsibilities as a member of the crew to let them head off on their own? The Captain was clear that it wasn't a direct order, but now I feel my cowardice and superstition and hubris have put them in a bad spot. Not to mention forcing Persephone's hand to stay with me.
From the deck of the Atlas, moored safely at the edge of town, we watch over the ruins from the bridge of the ship. No sign of life, or light, or signal fire, in the ancient city. It's another cloudless desert night, the thin crescent moon setting in the west, and more stars than you've ever seen in your life stretching across the sky. There isn't another light--or soul--for a thousand miles in any direction. At least no mortal, human soul.
No one but us.
Krystalris is full of ghosts. Well, ok, I haven't actually seen any ghosts, but it sure is empty. Not even the jackals are interested in exploring it. Aside from the occasional desert breeze, nothing moves. Except us.
The ruins are obviously ancient, but in amazingly good shape. It's almost like everybody just picked up and left all at once. There are marketplaces, with worn tapestries and brassware, and dwellings with primitive cots you could still sleep on. But no one has been here for hundreds of years. Maybe thousands. It's so remote, in the middle of a trackless desert, it seems to have had no visitors for eons. Whether that's because it's off the maps or because of some legendary curse the good doctor forgot to tell us about, I have no idea.
We spend our days exploring, looking for an "ancient machine" the doctor thinks is here. But she doesn't seem to have a map, or a clue, as to where it might be. "Look for a temple. Or...a garage. Or a tunnel!" she says. "We should split up." Hasn't she ever SEEN a horror movie? There's no way I'm leaving Persephone's side. "We should camp out--we can cover more ground that way." Uh uh. When the sun goes down, I'm in my bunk, back in the Atlas, which we've moored at the edge of the city. She and the Captain can stay the night in this city of ghosts. I need to be up in the air.
Please forgive me as a member to report anything of my recent news, despite it not being my job to be. I gave my reports to the Captain, as last noted, and the Captain is still whether or not to follow with this plan. As for everyone else, I hope we can stick together and do our jobs greatly, and just know that if I am not heard from then I would be in my office handling more research.
Dr. Alex Marleybone
Well sorry to ruin the whole "play" for you, Ms. Mayfair, but I only focus on my work (this being the reason I chose not to attend the theater). However the time to act is somewhat a eureka for my part, as I have discovered the true meaning behind the mysterious glowing rods. According to my research these rods are referred to as Alcazar's Rods, with the purpose of activating an ancient machine in the ruins of Krystalris, a machine that can mine out valuable gems. And putting the rods together activates the machine. Imagine how much profit we can get out of this! I will give my research to the Captain and hope for the best, despite this being a transport ship not a treasure hunting party. Then again we can always sell the Rods to the Archeologist's Society for a pretty penny.
But until then I at least have the decency to not complain about my peers, Ms. Mayfair. So how is this for the time to act?
I'm not sure what got into Dr. Funnybone the other night, but do we really need to spend time rehearsing and putting on a play? The flyers she slapped up all around the ship said "IT'S TIME TO ACT!" and, since there are only four crew members, that means we all have at least one role we need to learn the lines for, as well as create costumes, and the set. And naturally the good Doctor gets to star and direct.
It's not like we don't have time on our hands during transport, but I feel like this kind of thing could be a serious distraction from the safe running of the ship. Not to mention the script. Ugh.
Well I do say, when I told the Captain about three glowing rods I initially referred it as a coincidence. Who knew it would be a reality?I was not aware of the job listings until recently reports mentioned by the Captain. When I carefully studied the cargo it was rather unusual, and the job assignment report was nothing short of vague (as Ms. Potts worded it best). For the message written I am unsure of its meaning. From what I at least received was the following: "ALEX THE TIME TO ALCT IS TONIGHT". If anyone understands the meaning of this or has any clue about the recent job assignment, please come see me. Until then I will be in my office doing some research on the matter.