By Paul J. McAuley
On a synthetic international created and seeded with 10000 bloodlines by means of the long-vanished Preservers, younger Yama's ancestry is exclusive, for he seems to be the final ultimate scion of the developers, closest of all races to the worshipped architects of Confluence. And on an afternoon close to the top of the realm, Yama needs to eventually recognize the facility he neither expected nor wishes.
In the airborne dirt and dust of many crumbling bureaucracies, Yama searches for an identification and a history-awed and frightened of his ever-growing skill to rouse the bad machines of destruction that his world's absent gods left napping. To the typical folk-the unshaped and aboriginal-he is the success of age-old prophecies. To the functionaries of the dep. of Indigenous Affairs, he's a weapon to be molded and utilized in the bloody civil struggle raging on the planet's midpoint-a possible never-ending conflict that pits those that revere the Preservers' legislation opposed to the harmful Heretics who could obliterate all antiquated values and codes of behavior.
But there are nonetheless others who've taken realize of Yama as he pursues the hidden secrets and techniques of his previous. clever powers older than the Builders-as outdated, might be, because the Preservers themselves -are pursuing Yama in flip. and they're going to cease at not anything to regulate his present-and, for that reason, the way forward for every little thing that lives-in anticipation of the last word triumph of the Ancients of Days.
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Extra resources for Ancients of Days: The Second Book of Confluence
Perhaps it was written by one of the Builders. Eliphas and I were enthusiastic hunters of obscure texts when we were as young as you, Yama. I gave up the carefree life of searching for lost knowledge many years ago, when I became a novice clerk, but now, do you know, I feel quite young again. " Yama said, "Then we should start at once! " He had been given passes for the library, the refectory and one of the dormitories of the Strangers' Lodge. His name, age, and birthplace (Yama had given it as Aeolis) had been written down on a pentad of differently colored pieces of paper.
It followed me down to the library. There is no reason why it cannot follow me in the reverse direction. " "And my head aches. " Eliphas slowly clambered to his feet, unfolding his lanky body in stages. He said, "I'm sure we can spare a few minutes before we go on. " As Yama and Eliphas approached the ornate fountain in the center of the lawn, two deer ran from it, white scuts bobbing as they disappeared into the darkness. Eliphas thrust his head into a spout of water that gushed from the gaping mouth of a fish; Yama drank from a basin shaped like an oyster shell and splashed cold water on the back of his neck.
I fear that I have a talent for drawing enemies to myself. There! " The tiny point of blue light had appeared at the foot of the dark wall of the library. Now it began to ascend the stairway. Eliphas knocked out his pipe on the railing of the stairs. His fingers were trembling as he put it away. "We must go on. " Chapter Seven THE GAMBLER YAMA AND ELIPHAS reached the long lawn and its fountain just as dawn began to define the mountain ranges at the edge of the city's wide plain. The library was far below, its towers ablaze with lights, but there was no sign of the hell-hound.