The Gara Legend

[1] Childhood Games:
In the dying days of the Orokin, with forums and promenades still blood-wet from Tenno betrayal, a colossal Sentient descended upon ancient Er, falling from distant stars to deliver upon the Orokin a terrible and final ruin. Tower upon Tower fell to its weapons, but one withstood: the Tower of the Unum. The Tenno scattered, but one remained. Gara. She and the Unum – inseparable. The Unum: lodestone of our people, and subject of a hundred stories herself.

The Sentient was a deformed creature, twisted and massive, sent from some dark fold of distant space, a warped thing wounded by daylight. By night it was a terror, felling Tower after Tower. Citadel after Citadel. By day it hid, blinded and pained. It was during the day that Gara roamed, yearning to strike it from creation while it cowered, weakened and blind, to safeguard her beloved Unum. But never could Gara find it.

[2] Friendship:
By night the Sentient was abroad, its titanic mass casting a terrible shadow across the land, the mass of it railing against the walls of the Tower, yet kept at bay by the exertion of the Unum's colossal will and the sacrifice of her faithful. But such exertions could not be maintained forever. Gara yearned to strike out, to lash and tear at the monstrosity that threatened her love, but the Unum forbade it.

At night the Sentient was at the height of its power, and Gara's light would make her the most tempting of targets to a creature of such profound darkness. Gara's death would be certain. No. A different strategy was required.

[3] The Glass Warrior:
The Sentient prowled and pressed and failed, never risking too much – for the Sentient could not reproduce. What it lost, it lost forever. It had killed many cities before, felled many Towers, but this little one prevailed. Why, it pondered in many voices, was that?

The Unum knew she could not defend forever, nor could her faithful throw their bodies against the Sentient in perpetuity. So she gave her followers some of her blood – her refined Temple Kuva – and they in turn gave it to the animals of the land, and the animals became and extension of her, and she became an extension of them. And the animals roamed, and searched. And they found where the Sentient chose to hide itself.

[4] Night in Cetus:
The Sentient sensed this subterfuge, and, capturing one of the Unum's animals, opened it up for examination. And what little of the Unum was present there… lit the Sentient's mind like the dark star from which it had fallen. The Sentient, you see, could not procreate. But in the Temple Kuva it tasted healing. Completeness. A future. It devoured each and every last Unum-animal, but it was not enough.

The Sentient turned its hundreds of eyes toward the Tower with new understanding: it would not destroy the Tower. It would become the Tower. It would kill the Unum, take her place, and, one with that healing palace, give birth to a race of itself. Gara and Unum knew where the Sentient was. The Sentient knew the Tower was the future of its race. The Sentient threw itself at the Tower, no longer cautious, taking great losses and knowing the prize was worthy of it. Should it succeed, all losses would be replaced a thousand-fold.

This is when, across the Plains, the great pylons ignited for the first time. Sheets of energy sprung up between them, powered by the will of the Unum at their epicentre, trapping the monstrosity within. Loyal Gara, unwilling to heed inaction any longer, broke from the side of the Unum and flew out at night, her eyes on the Sentient mind.

[5] Ostron Cuisine:
The Sentient, torn between its coveted prize and a mortal threat, broke from the Tower and turned back on itself from noble Gara. But Gara's eyes were not for the Sentient, but for the glittering, man-sized device resting just beyond the gates. It had not been there before, but it was there now. It swatted Gara from the sky, drew it to herself, meaning to end her life there and then. The battle was terrible. Gara sustained injuries she would not survive. But! In her final moments, brave Gara seized upon the device her beloved Unum had crafted, seized it to her breast, and allowed the Sentient to draw her in one final time. Toward its core. Toward the seat of its intelligence. From within, the Sentient unfurled myriad feelers, probes, tendrils – viciously toothed and made for killing. They swept towards Gara, violently, and the Glass Warrior made no defence. Her defence was her final attack. The device detonated, and the Unum cried out as night lit as day.

The battle – the terror – was ended. The Tower walls shook. The Sentient's body shuddered, wracked by a cacophonous energy. Forests fell as piece after piece, giant body after giant body crashed to the Plains and marshes and flatlands. Animals fled in spreading waves from pounding sky-high walls of dust, angered and whipped to fury by the death of a god. The last of Gara's energy arced from body to body, machine to machine, piece to piece, a horizon-wide applause of light beautiful and terrible.

And then… silence. All was still. The Unum's adherents wandered throughout the haze, calling for one another, lost in a miasma. Husbands seizing onto wives, children onto parents. It was over. Gara was never seen again. The Sentients, then, became as they are now: senseless, wandering, yearning for a unity they sense more than they remember. And the Unum. The Unum survived, alone, for centuries. Until today. When you stand here, reading this.

This is Onkko, Cetus Archivist, with my translation of the Gara legend.

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