I was, however, always going to do this one last. Grabbing it out of order now, because this will be the first auction to end, in two hours.)
The last artifact is warm in my hands - two ropes of shimmering stones twisting together, with one larger stone in the center. I cup the stone in one hand and press the fingers of the other against it. The heat suffuses my hands, moves up my arms, and I try to pull away, but cannot. The artifact gives me nothing of itself, just reflections in its sparkly depths, reflections of the readings I've already done. The Oracle. The dancer in the desert. Time after time tonight I've had bleedthrough, had my readings cut short or been pulled in.
The heat flashes through me, through my whole body. I can't drop the artifact; can't move.
Behind me, the sun is rising. Its rays catch the artifact, and the artifact seems to blaze; the heat quickens in me, and I cry out. I cannot move. I cannot set it down.
But I can see everything.
The whole history of this planet, and all of its people. I see the moments that made history, and the moments that were quiet and full of easy grace. I see cruelty. I see wonder. I see love. I see everything, and I see it all at once -
Oh, these wonderful, terrible, beautiful humans! These poor creatures, and their poor planet! And the end - not a nuclear strike, not at all, not at the last - oh, my -
Record ends here. Survey team found no trace of Surveyor Kessanda Tarqillan, but since her link was wired to her brain and has gone offline, and that the artifact described was found in a pile of dust or sand of unknown origin, we must presume the worst. Sol 3 has been quarantined pending investigation.
"Firebird's Child" necklace by azhure, of Sorscha Azhure - two twining strands of sunstone chips with a central large sunstone pendant set in a swirl of silver, sixteen inches long.
This was the second artifact received (the first was upstart_crow's memory-cube necklace, handed to me with a smile at WisCon.), and it set the anticipated end of Kess's record - and possible end of Kess - up immediately.
I wish I hadn't set her up to be psychometric, as that led to more mundane stuff than bizarre stuff; I was originally planning for more misinterpretations along the lines of the Venutian dominatrix and the Elder Gods on the baseball diamond. But my brain set itself up with "she sees what really happened", and since it was pretty much automatic, autopilot writing, the stuff that came out was more along the lines of knitting baby booties than it was the deathgirls, the witch trapping a heart, et cetera.
I am dissecting what I did wrong/where I failed, to do better next time.
Anyway. Auctions start ending in two hours! I am sad that certain items are out of my financial reach; this would make me very happy, but fortunately for BARCC, it's selling out of my range (though still less expensive that it would be in sihaya09's store, so if you like her work, go check that out). One of the frustrating things about this is that I have all of these beautiful things, necklaces and paintings and little boxes, and I have to let them all go!
Reminder: Every penny goes to the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center!
As for handling the rest of the writing, I don't know - suggestions? I want to post pics so you can see the shinies, but not to flood your friendspage. Will be writing all day, so whether or not stories get posted, the winner of each artifact still gets a story card in their package, which will be mailed Wednesday.
Must post this so I can walk Miss Kid to the bus stop. But go, please check out the auctions. Ending soon and not written about: Roma necklace by parrish_relics, Labradorite neclace by sihaya09, flower and butterfly necklaces by thisdaydreamer, "Sparkle and Shine" necklace by never1eighty, and Chimera Fancies pendant donated by phenom_woman. Go! Do your $WINTERHOLIDAY shopping!