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We’ve protected them. The black shadows of Oblivion are awaiting, but they will stay with us, so that they may be remembered forever. And when the Sun sets upon the coast, and the night extends its reach over the living, we will tell their history. Like a lullaby, sung by thousands of voices no longer here, to the children who did not grow to catch a glimpse the fall of their people…

It was the fourth morning for Valdés on Tierra del Fuego.

His work as Site-038’s Project Manager wasn’t as peaceful as he had thought. He had strongly desired to visit South America, with its culture, landscapes, and adventures, but in reality his transfer had been more of a displacement. He needed to be inside the Site almost all day, redacting reports, reading forms and making log after log about the projects there. No time to get to know the rainy yet beautiful region.

It was a fertile place, full of life, radiant in front of eyes used to watching the gray shadows of urbanity. Too much concrete, he thought. He was the only one who seemed to appreciate the true works of Mother Nature, despite being in charge of a hundred and fifteen tons of labs and eighty people talking of numbers, results, and technology. Wouldn’t it be great to have all the time in the world to explore nature? Everything would be amazing, if it wasn’t for the reason he was here: To search for and contain anomalies. A person as important as him wouldn’t be allowed to leave the Site no matter what, which is why he could only entertain himself with the sound of the rain before going to sleep.

And there they were, him and his three sons, carrying with them giant harpoons. Making them wasn’t as complicated if you had a good jagged bone you could take advantage of. What mattered, he’d say, was its length. Twice the size of a man to make sure it had good reach. He would observe his neighbors attach pointed and jagged bones, in one or both ends of the long sticks. Many harpoons would get lost or break, and it was always necessary to make more. Something similar would occur with arrows. First they would use stones, but then they discovered it was easier to work with glass. It wasn’t something wild, as they had been making arrows this way for almost two centuries now. They take their harpoons and would walk towards the Sea. He would provide sustenance…

The rain wouldn’t stop. On a cold autumn day, Valdés walks to get breakfast. He had had another one of those strange dreams. Vivid and lucid, the kind that made him think of an old documentary he used to watch. He told Hernández about it, his second-in-command, while they shared donuts with coffee. His coworker told him that he wasn’t the only one, as he too had woken up remembering those images, and that he had heard several researchers and agents talking about having them too.

What was up with that? The answers avoided him, but this wasn’t a matter that worried him. He had plans he needed to stick to, and those documents wouldn’t revise themselves. Another long day awaited him, always behind thick, white walls, stopping his desire to be beyond them. There were many exotic things to explore, but they weren’t as appealing as what was outside. His desire was so strong that he would open a window to feel some of the breeze. The view was impressive. What had life been like for the first colonists, or the natives that lived here? The sun departed once more from the shoreline, its orange tint painting the firmament.

There was little else more important to them than a canoe. It wasn’t for no reason that they were a formidable piece of craftsmanship, maintained and protected as much as possible. The bark of trees was extracted and sewed together, to then be put over frames constructed out of wooden sticks. Then, dirt was arranged, and a fire was lit. This procedure was delicate, but the yaganes were able to control it. It was their way of life, that which allowed them to fish at sea. Generally, it was the women who rowed, but the men would row as well, if needed. Despite looking fragile, a canoe could remain stable for up to a year. They were built during spring and summer, when it was easier to remove the bark from the trees…

“Who were they?”, would ask Valdés, before the start of his day. Never before had he heard of the Yagán culture, but that couldn’t be fully true. How else could he recreate in his dreams such details about them? When he went to talk to Hernández about it, he told him that they were the indigenous people of the place they had settled in, but that he didn’t know much past that. Quickly that day, Valdés went to the Site’s library, and search for them through the history section. When he found something, he was shocked..

Everything he had dreamed was true. Even the illustrations were extremely similar to the images he could remember. He put emphasis in their customs and geographical distribution, but his reaction was strong when he saw the following three words: Near extinct culture. There were almost no yaganes alive today, and efforts were going into preserving as much of their culture as possible. This didn’t fully explain why he had recurrent dreams about them, however. What if this was an anomalous reaction? He was used to hearing about incorporeal entities that refused to die, but never about entire cultures manifesting. He would have to research.

All people are together in a cavern not far from their homes. One of their brothers had died. The burial ceremony was common for the yagan people. A shaman, o Yekamush, as they were called in their tongue, proceeded to pay respects to the recently departed. Upon death, the bodies are wrapped in leather, from head to toe, and with them are placed all their belongings. Now, the body is covered with branches and dirt. This cave will be their tomb. Usually, the yaganes never come visit the places where one of their own have been buried.

Valdés went to get a psychological checkup that morning. Normal. Everything was normal. No strange cognitive phenomena, hive mind development or memetic anomalies on his brain. His dreams were completely harmless, but it was impossible to exclusively dream about the Yagan culture for two weeks straight, and that, on top of it, the whole Site was going through the same deal. What was this? Where did it come from? If it was an anomaly, it wasn’t at all detrimental; Valdés enjoyed those dreams, because they would put him closer to the outside, but he couldn’t stop worrying. If it was anomalous, nothing could ensure it would continue being harmless.

That day, he sent all Site personnel to have a checkup. One by one, their brains were looked at while searching for some answer, but nothing would come to light. They were all sane, and there was nothing anomalous to blame. Valdés informed the Council of this. Maybe they would know what to do.

When the stars would begin to show themselves, Valdés took to his room complex equipment that would, colloquially speaking, “record the dreams” of the user. If he saw things with his own eyes, maybe he could figure something out.

Watauinewa was the name of the main deity of the Yagan pantheon. It’s a kind being, omnipresent and ethereal, who lives in the sky. Certain traits could be compared with the abrahamic God, with the only exception that they’re not considered the master of everything that exists. They are the one who gifts life, but they also give death. Their will is divine decree, meaning that every event in the world occurs because they wish them to occur, and if they feel like it, they can stop everything. The yaganes also call them Hitapuen, “my Father”, o Abailakin, approximately translated as “the Powerful.

The incessant noise of the machine surprised Valdés as he woke up. He didn’t wait to see what results would be thrown his way, even if it wasn’t even morning yet. He took the equipment to the lab, and analyzed its readings. The night shift connected the equipment, and the powerful software would spit out what he wanted.

Valdés inputted the data on the computer one, twice, ten times over. All results were the same: normal. Electroencephalographic patterns looked normal, without alteration. As strong as a stab, Valdés felt the cold touch of disappointment. The lack of answers distressed him on the inside, the truth escaping through that window, the same window that brought him the breeze, and took away his case’s resolution.

Without anything else to do, Valdés walked to the library, and went to pick up his book. He read several pages, diving into the yaganes’ history, while remembering his dreams. The lack of sleep slowly chipped at him, his eyes meandering away, his breath slowing down. Finally, sleep triumphed, as his head rested upon the open book, on a chapter that spoke of deities.

Inside dreams, there is no death or oblivion. We are here to keep alive the collective desires of the world. We are those who make sure history is not erased, we are those who back up those aborted ideas, those lost customs, those lost thoughts, those civilizations buried under the earth…

We cannot intervene in what is real, but you, all of the world’s dreamers, will be our link, so that culture never dies, so that our ancestors aren’t lost in a world that is voracious and dizzying. Come here and help us, so that the world knows what once existed, and so they know their legacies. Here, with your friends, in the Oneiroi Collective.

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