A Malevolent Apparatus
Echogenesis Zones are closed spaces found all across Kiru that sprang into existence during The Arrival. These zones emit an unsettling glow and the surrounding areas appear frozen in time. Above these glowing zones are flames unmoving, remnants of The Arrival, birds hang in mid-flight, the animals that were fleeing, eyes wide in terror, held in place forever like statues. Whatever was close to the expanding zones at the halt of the Reformation of Kiru is stuck in time.
None have entered an Echogenesis Zone. A means to entry has not been discovered and so far none have found a way to peer inside the zones, so what is on the inside is unknown. There is speculation of what lies inside, of course, largely stemming from the varying, yet similar, accounts of The Thousands recounting of The Authority’s message to Kiru. It is a new world unlimited by current existence, one which all possibility is free from the limitations of reality and perspective. A few theorize that the zones themselves are not obscured at all, but that unlimited possibility is incomprehensible and unrecognizable — in short, everything within the zones is in plain sight, but those who currently form an existence in reality lack the ability to register it.
Repeating Strands of Conversation
The term Echogenesis Zone was coined by the eladrin philosopher Berian Heidegger for the streams of conversation emitted from the glowing regions of re-genesis. These streams of conversation are inaudible and transmitted psychically. Psychic transmission of the streams was discovered early in the research when deaf assistants were brought in to conduct physical research of the areas surrounding the zones. It was hoped that they would be able to conduct their visual observation, collect samples, etc., without distraction, but they experienced the overwhelming chatter as clear as those who could hear.
Much of the streams of conversation is gibberish and incomprehensible. Many strands of conversation, the vast majority, are spoken in non-existent languages, at least non-existent on Kiru. Given the account of The Thousand that within the zones is the bundled possibilities of a new world, some posit that they are hearing a language that might come into existence should Kiru be reformed or perhaps languages that could have evolved had evolution and events selected a different course of history for Kiru. Existing languages also form a significant number of strands in the streams of conversation. Linguists are currently studying the strands of conversation that employ existing languages in order to determine the influence of dialect and whether these are affected by the location of the zone from continent to continent. That research hopes to determine whether the zones share a single possibility set or are competing sets of possibility.
There is confirmation that at least half a dozen of the strands of conversation which have been isolated from the stream are looping strands of speech. Goblin Strand #1, named the Splug Monologue, is about a forty-five second rant from a goblin complaining about his new masters not being much nicer than his old ones. The Splug Monologue repeats once every fourteen days. Common Strand #3, The Laughing Man is about an hour long, which at best guess is a storytelling performance that recurs once a year. Most strands have not been cataloged, and weren’t cataloged until the recursion of speech was discovered.
Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on one’s perspective, there are competing theorists and organizations observing, studying, and positing on the Echogenesis Zones. Many of these groups have conflicting motives and desires on what to do with whatever the truth of these zones may be, just as there are differences of opinion and desire on how to interact with The Authority and the Regenesis of Kiru. There is sharing of information, as most scholars understand and agree that the task is too massive for even one far reaching organization to execute. What one does with the truth more important than the truth itself.
Dangers of the Echogenesis Zones
Around Echogenesis Zones hangs the stench of death. Animals that come into contact with the zone turn comatose, eventually dying and rotting. Contact with the zones is dangerous.
It would seem easy enough to avoid contact with the zones, but there appears to be a phenomena where individuals feel called to the zones. Most of these individuals are young people of all races. People that come into contact with the zones often succumb to the same fate as the small animals falling to a comatose state, though a few manage to walk away as damaged individuals afflicted with Echoes. Once afflicted with Echoes, these individuals often return to their homes or wander the streets of large cities. Observers note that they don’t stay near the zones once they’ve contracted Echoes.
Survivors of contact with the zones are barely functional husks, gaunt, and wide-eyed. It is part of the affliction that they’ve contracted called Echoes. Those with Echoes repeat everything that is said to them and when nothing is said to them they laugh or mumble quietly. People afflicted with Echoes are incapable of sleep and often wander around a limited area, almost like a ghost haunting their regrets.
People afflicted with Echoes are shunned. Even if a caretaker had the patience to deal with the laughing and the repetition of speech, Echoes often form a temporary psychic link with those nearby, though many would describe the psychic link as more of a psychic invasion. During these psychic links, Echoes recurse memories within the subject’s mind; however, the recursion of memory is from a perspective different from the subject’s memory. Memory recursion is an unsettling experience. It threatens the psyche of the subject by injecting a foreign reality filter (the individual psyche of another entity) into the subject’s being. Subjects exposed to memory recursion do not contract Echoes, but the brief injection of a foreign identity filter into their own often has negative consequences to their own sense of being. Suicide or some other form of self-destructive act is fairly common after memory recursion. Those with the Echoes affliction are often murdered by those whose memories have been recursed.
Size and Scope of The Echogenesis Zones
The largest of Echogenesis Zones span the size of several kingdoms (see Atlas). Across the four continents there are twenty zones of this size. The kingdoms, regions, and nations that occupied the spaces now occupied by the zones no longer exist. The people who lived there no longer exist. One can’t even say those who were “over-written” had been destroyed or killed. What happened to them when the zones appeared is at a deeper structural level than life/death. In addition to these twenty region sized zones, there likely are hundreds of smaller zones in the less traveled parts of the world. Zones the size of crumbs have been documented. For example, in a guest room of a wealthy merchant’s estate is a zone of echogenesis the size of a glass bead. The room has been sealed off by arcane and physical means to prevent those at the estate from coming into contact with it and contracting Echoes. Additionally, there might be zones under the sea that are undiscovered.
The auras and the selective temporal stasis surrounding the zones vary in size and in the intensity of streams of conversation, which are often proportional to the size of the zones themselves. A mite-sized Echogenesis Zone may only have a stasis field the width the breadth of a hair, whereas a region sized zone may have a stasis field and a stream of conversation that can be heard for a mile or more. Streams of conversation can only be heard within areas of stasis and thus are most likely related phenomena. The relation may simply be spatial or it could be something more.