My name is Sterling Sky, but most people just call me Gatekeeper. I came to Monria not long ago due to a teleporter mishap and it is now my home. This crazy, eerie and beautiful place called to me like no other I have ever seen. I know it is a dangerous place. Tobie has warned me many times, but I feel like I will never leave. I don't want to. But in the back of my mind I am not sure that I can. Sometimes it feels like there are tentacles of darkness wrapped around my soul. So I figured I would embrace it and see where the journey takes me. These are excerpts from my journal, pieces I am compelled to share. I am not sure why, but why fight it? Eventually we all return to the dust between the stars. Enjoy the time we have and embrace it, for the darkness is coming and there is no escaping it. Treasure Hunting Chapter One: I was cleaning out my shop and restocking for the day when one of my regulars came by. Necro is a good guy. He is honest and trustworthy, so when he shares strange or odd news I don't question it. While I was buying his salvage and finds from exploring the Moon he mentioned something that caught my attention. Someone had hidden something valuable on the Moon and was offering a reward for its return. Now I have always fancied myself something of a treasure hunter. I have even gone so far as to fly all the way to Arkadia, a planet famed for its hidden treasures. I had very little luck there. I of course returned with less P.E.D. than I started with when I left. I did, however, find a few vases and urns that I need to clean up before offering them in my store. But, something this close to home had me very excited. I could go out and still be back in time to check on the shop before closing. I agreed to meet Necro at one of the teleporter pads after I grabbed my gear. He was secretive and said he would tell me more once we were on the way, but one thing he did say. It was beyond The Dome, the energy shield that maintains atmosphere over the inhabited section of the Moon. I know better than to run off unprepared past those boundaries. I rushed to my apartment and grabbed my climbing gear, spare Modec and ammo. You can never be too safe on Monria. I was missing just one thing, and it was not on the nightstand next to the bed where I always left it. I walked through the living room looking for my lucky rabbit's foot. I glanced out of the giant windows that overlooked the main crater and forgot what I was doing. The beauty outside this glass never ceases to amaze me. The crater called to my wanderlust. I longed to go back out and find all the hidden secrets of this Moon. I could taste the crater dust that always finds its way into my mouth, no matter how hard I try to keep it out. I heard the rustle of the low scrub that grow in the craters as their grass-like, dry and brown blades rubbed together. I heard the crunch of the dust under foot and the distant light pops and clicks as loose scrabble broke free from the sides of the rock face to bounce down to the waiting sands of the crater. And, in the background, under it all, I could hear a soft heart beat. My eyes travel up the rocky face of the walls surrounding the crater to where they meet the energy shield rising above us. I moved up the sides to peer through the apex, to look at the stars. I was almost compelled to squint to see the specks of light on the other side. The longer I looked for them, the more I could see them. I could see all of them up there, those tiny pinpoints of light. The stars through The Dome were twinkling and dancing in a slow, blurry, and distorted step with the subtle beat in the back of my head. I could hear the hum of the powered shell towering above us. I could almost feel its energy cycling. It was like it was trying to pull more power into itself, yet through it I could still see the burning balls of light from so far away. There was a thrumming through my feet and the stars gracefully bowed their heads and changed their waltz slowly spinning around the pulsing shield. It was as if they were attuning themselves to its power. With dignity and great joy they danced through the cosmos. It was as if I could see them moving forward in time. I could watch them dance into the future. It was one of the most awe-inspiring things I have ever seen. And, I just watched enthralled. I was vaguely aware that I was holding my breath. How long? How long had I not been breathing? It didn't really matter... What was I doing? It wasn't important...The stars, the dance, the beat, these things were all encompassing. I could stay here forever. I could feel a subtle change creep over the stars. The outer edges, the dancers at the edge of my vision were going dark. Even as I strained my vision to find those points of light more slipped away. There, right at the encroaching edges I could see a darkness reaching out and snatching the stars away! What was I seeing? I was suddenly cold with fear. Was this happening? .. I felt a second beat at the base of my scull starting to intrude. It was forcing its way into my mind. It was disrupting the rhythm of the dance. As it rose to the forefront of my awareness I could feel it like a hammer blow to the chest. It was random, chaotic, it swelled in intensity at unexpected moments. Then it almost vanished again only to rise up and overwhelm everything else a few seconds later. It was attacking and destroying the order of things and had won. The stars were going out and they had stopped their dance. The heart beat I had felt was gone replaced by randomness and chaos. I could hear gibbering and mutterings from the Shoggoth that circled the apartment far below with their tentacles scraping along the crater floor. The chanting of the cultists I had heard once before echoed back into my mind to join the din of destruction. I tried to look away from the stars and couldn't... I tried to breathe and couldn't... I tried to scream and couldn't. I couldn't feel anything. I was floating in space smelling the scorched sands from the moon below. All I could do was listen to the gibbering and chanting as chaos came for me. My mind started to slip away as I watched the dark tentacles reach out and wrap themselves around more stars. I could see now, was forced to see, these titanic appendages of dark chaos pull entire start systems out of orbit and into a waiting maw . I was reeling, assaulted on all fronts. My mind felt like a sock being slowly turned inside out. I tried to pull in on myself. I tried to pull away. I wanted to hide myself in a tiny corner of my mind but could only scream with no voice. My mind shrieked into the darkness for what seemed like eternity, as I was forced to watch, to feel, more systems extinguished. All I could do was scream while I was locked in my mind. And that voiceless scream called the attention of something. Something heard me in the darkness of the void. From that blackness beyond the extinguished stars an awareness focused on me for a moment. From beyond those grappling tentacle and from behind that mouth in which stars were being crushed, something heard my mind begin to break. Something could taste my fear and smell my pain. For an eternal second something brushed my mind. Then from the darkness of the void and the space beyond the dead stars two massive lines emerged. They began to widen and lengthen, slowly they started to open. Oh great Gods, they were larger than the.. than.. are those... I don't...My mind couldn't.. I.. don't... Then there was nothing. I was alone in the darkness and in the quiet. I felt the solid floor under me. Through my closed eyelids I could see the artificial lights shine through as a light pink. I was also aware suddenly that I was not alone. There was a subtle shift in air current as someone very near me moved. I didn't know what to do. Where was I? This was the wrong type of light to be from my apartment. Had I been kidnapped? Was I abducted? Then suddenly through my closed eyelids everything blazed a bright white-blue. With the familiar humming of the teleporter I knew where I was. I opened my eyes to see Necro stepping off the teleporter pad. He walked over and looked down at me with a puzzled look. I pulled myself to my feet with all my gear clinking and just shook my head. What had just happened? What time was it? Was that all a dream? I was too afraid to speak at the moment fearing my voice would crack and shake. I turned to look at the revival terminal. I was at the teleporter pad 3 floors up from my apartment. I quickly busied myself checking all my gear to hide my confusion. After checking everything and looking up I nodded letting Necro know I was ready. As I stepped on the pad to start our adventure he looked at the ground and swiftly bent over to pick up something. Reaching his massive hand out to me he smiled and said, “ I think you dropped this.” Cradled in his large hand was my lucky rabbit's foot. As I reached out he placed it in my open hand. I didn't remember ever finding it when I was in the living room. I securely stowed it away in an inner pocket and said, “Well this is going to be an interesting adventure.” I reached out and triggered the teleporter and targeted cave 2. As I pushed the confirmation command and started to dissolve into light I laughed and said to Necro, “ What's the worse that can happen? I already died once today.” And off we went like fools to explore unknown areas of the caves in search for someone's hidden treasure. Why did I feel like this day was only going to get more interesting?