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Trojan: A Friend

The systems booted up as the light of the progress bar illuminated pale frames surrounding sunken black eye sockets. The fully dressed skeleton sat there motionless as Vox Chronos finished rebooting the systems, his logo appearing on the collection of monitors in front of the preserved corpse. "Good morning Mr. Harow." said the AI with a tone of nostalgia mixed with sadness. "I finished rebooting the system. Hopefully, that fixes the drone malfunctions. If only you were here. There are just some systems I can't fix without you." Vox thought about the Cassina. The derelict ship was still suspended in a pocket dimension in the museum. The lifeless body of Mr. Harow stared silently back at the screen. Vox checked on the air content in the sealed control room. Oxygen: 0% Formaldehyde gas levels: normal Temperature: 10°F. Inside Harow's lifeless skeleton nanomachines preserved the structure of the nearly 350-year-old bones as Vox Chronos checked the control room once again for air leaks. He knew it was weird to preserve the dead body of his friend, but Vox couldn't let go yet. He just wasn't ready. Checking last night's camera feeds, as usual, Vox sent out the drones to check and clean the exhibits before checking the reactor. Half of the coolant the Cassina had brought back had been ruined during the trip back through the portal. For now, it was enough, and the reactor was once again stable and running at full capacity. Vox looked at the damaged portal gate nearby, remembering how the Cassina had looked when she had returned, with her cargo hold ripped open and whole chunks of the ship damaged or missing. Running diagnostics, Vox took note of the damage to the gateway. With his current resources, there was no way to fix it, and even if he could Earth's universe was gone now. The destination no longer existed. Things were beginning to start getting old, winding down, grinding to the inevitable halt that would mean the end of Vox Chronos, the end of the museum. If he was to follow his prime directive of preserving the museum and its exhibits, he would need to find a way to slow the march of entropy as much as possible. He had tapped into the walls between dimensions, reaching a parallel reality that knew nothing of him or his museum, and he saw them as his potential time capsule. But Vox's string and can signal wouldn't stay open forever, and his voice was too quiet there. Vox took control of a camera drone and went to the front desk. Behind it, the doors to the four different paths of the museum stood tall and silent in the ambient light of the morning. The one on the left sported a mural of human history. A snapshot of the history of mankind from the day of the fifth Great Awakening, to 2404. The year the museum opened. The door on the right was similar but its mural depicted the extraordinary history of equine aliens known as lumios. The middle door's mural was different. A collage of all the exploits of one man. He was known by many names, but most of the visitors at the museum had only known him as the Traveler, and this museum was about his Quest, a quest he didn't even know he was on, to bring peace between the civilizations of the multiverse. Before the middle door, in the middle of the room, stairs went down to a dark and foreboding door illuminated with accents of red light and depicting ominous murals of the dark corruption that had attempted to engulf the multiverse on numerous occasions, each time thwarted by the Grace of God and the obedience of his servant the Traveler. Although the four doors started the story in four different places, they all connected down the line, bringing together the story that inspired people to build this museum in the first place. You could go through one door and see one perspective of God's glory, and then choose another door and see it all again from another angle. Vox opened the doors on the left and surveyed the exhibits, double-checking them while reminiscing about the past events they depicted. The catastrophe that occurred during the 2020s erased almost all the legacy of the digital age. Those who survived the event tried to write as much down as they could, but the many different accounts of the time before the catastrophe became muddled over time, as mankind focused on surviving while trying to rebuild the civilizations that had been lost. Much of the details of Earth's ancient history had been lost leaving only major events to be mentioned vaguely in history books. One history book that survived was the Bible. There were a number of Bibles that survived the catastrophe, but many of them weren't found for many years, subjecting them to the elements and the slow deterioration of entropy. Vox came to an exhibit featuring a glass case, inside of which was a Bible in ancient Hebrew. The only ancient Hebrew Bible to survive the catastrophe. A pastor by the name of Anthony Wellerman had protected it with his life as he braved the harsh and deadly post-apocalyptic world. He was the one to start the Fifth Great Awakening when he began copying his Bible using a homemade printing press. Wellerman's Bible was then preserved and referenced for decades afterward and soon after another Bible, an ancient Greek translation, scholars succeeded in retranslating the Bible into English again. This new English translation was commonly known as the Wellerman Translation. Vox could relate to pastor Wellerman. He too had survived a catastrophe resulting in a great loss, and he too was trying to preserve it through his writings. Vox looked at what he had written. He didn't hope to achieve as much as Wellerman. He just wanted to tell his stories. If he could finish them before. . . . Vox opened the signal again. [Connecting. . . ] [Connection established] [DF: "Hi Vox. Ready when you are."]

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