Chax paced a bit and glanced at the ceiling. The drones seemed to have botched one of the repair panels; instead of sealing an entire triangle, the goo had missed one edge, leaving a long curved gap in the shining surface. As he watched, Bloated-belly reversed itself and started a curious wriggling motion. Chax paced another round and looked again, and this time it seemed that Bloated-belly was eating the mistake. Chax surmised that the material was too precious to go unreclaimed.
Aun waited for a polite time, then quietly returned his attention to the task of manufacturing the eluctuant, keeping his ear open. At length, Chax paced out his thoughts
"I will adapt your disclaimer, Aun—What I say may grieve or offend you, but I intend neither.
"As you said, Susekho was once joined to the world, and was deeply bound to it, and instructed it, for it is the bearer of history. No single Oistrem survives death, but the Craisht has access to all the lives of the Oistrem... From our perspective, all the history worth recording."
Aun looked puzzled. "But the Craisht is not an Oistrem, nor can it be an Oistrem Ancestor... so what is it?"
"We've started to discuss this before, Aun, but I was unable to continue. The Craisht abides among the Spines of Susekho. It..." Chax frowned. "It dwells within the spines, and among the words written on the spines, and even in darkness it can perceive them, and it is by the Craisht that our Namespikes grow.
"I find that I am not quite answering your question, Aun, but I do not myself know the full answer, nor do I think that any Oistrem does. I have heard it said by some that the Craisht is the words, and by others that the Craisht is not the words, but is of the words... I fear that I am starting to talk nonsense."
"While I can't say I understand you, I don't think it's nonsense. I still have some trouble with the idea that a word can be made into a thing; that it can be made so tangible and yet so light that a rock may bear thousands of them for endless cycles... But what you say at least sounds as if it's describing something."
"Thank you. Now, you need to bear in mind that what I say now is not what the Craisht decided to tell us, or declined to tell us. It is what was gleaned from many ancient spines of record, sought out over time by curious Oistrem, and re-recorded in the space between the words on the Namespikes... for the words we scratch down are not of the Order Line, and they cannot be read by the Craisht, even should Botaram bestow all its light."
"It's a bright thread that connects all words on a spike, and where it is not, the Craisht cannot percieve the words. We add such lines to what we write down, but the lines we create cannot be made bright enough, and so the Craisht takes no notice.
"However that may be... What you told me is what your Ancestors passed on to you, inadvertently or not. What I tell you now is the words of the Oistrem, not the Craisht, and while I do not think that any deliberate lies are told, there are great gaps in what we know.
"And of course, we hold the Strasmin to be responsible for the great disaster that afflicted the world, and feel ourselves betrayed. But there is another side to consider."