Ship’s log, November 17, 2108, ship’s time 01:09 hours, Commander Reese recording:
The alien we knew as Eesh-nek is dead. He hanged himself with his braided belt as soon as the crew and I was unconscious. His final living act was to implant the memories of The People into us, making us, at least mentally, part of his race. He also implanted in us an explanation of the legend of The Nameless Dark. Eesh-nek knew that the plague that had exterminated his race was still active, still alive and deadly, and he knew we were already infected with it. He had mentally felt the symptoms — the chills, heat flashes, queasy stomachs — passing through the crew, and knew that the Plague was already at work in us all.
Eesh-nek explained why he had survived the Plague when his race did not. He was spared because of the dying curse of the man his people called The Nameless Dark. That curse stipulated that someday all the world would know that man really was innocent — that the charges against him, for which he was sentenced to the ultimate punishment his race could impose — were misdirected. Eesh-nek was actually the guilty one, the one that had committed the atrocities attributed to The Nameless Dark. He stayed silent while an innocent was executed for crimes he, himself, had committed.
Then, when the Plague struck his people, wiping out his race, Eesh-nek alone knew the truth — that he was truly the one who should be called The Nameless Dark. Because of that knowledge — that hideous, horrid knowledge, the curse would not let the Plague, nor old age, nor injury, nor illness, claim him! All the world, in the person of one lone survivor — Eesh-nek — would finally, dreadfully, know that the man condemned to oblivion was innocent.
Now, Eesh-nek is dead by his own hand. He strangled himself quickly, rather than wait for the Plague to work its way through him and kill him slowly, painfully. But before he died he passed the truth about The Nameless Dark on to the men of the Bon Chance, turned us into his escape hatch so that he could find peace. Now we alone know that dreadful truth.
We cannot leave El Dorado. We must not take the Plague off-world, to the Argent, to a starbase…to Earth. I have ordered the star-drive destroyed, stranding the Bon Chance here forever, and then we will wait. Will we all live, the last survivors on this world, the last remnants of The People to know the truth about Eesh-nek and The Nameless Dark? Or will we die, one by one, until only one of us lives — one man with the knowledge of what truly happened here? We wait and wonder. Recording ends.
Thank you for reading, And All The World Will Know by Stephen Thorn