Solidão
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Document 2641-Solidão

On September 6, 1976, agents of the National Indian Foundation of Brazil (or FUNAI) filed a report on territorial disputes between two indigenous groups — one known population and one isolated. A routine flyby of the Javari Valley on September 10 confirmed the existence of the isolated indigenous group, ~15 km NW of the FUNAI base camp.

Upon formal contact, the tribe referred to themselves as the Emparelhada. In 2003, Foundation sleeper agents within FUNAI discovered an anomaly associated with the Emparelhada tribe. After further investigation, agents designated the anomaly URA-2641 and the tribe GoI-2641.

The following information further pertains to GoI-2641 ("The Emparelhada tribe"):

  • The group often imposes their beliefs and ways of life on outsiders. Because of this, FUNAI vaccination efforts prove difficult.
  • Past FUNAI census data confirmed that the group was composed of ~1,500 members. Current estimates place the tribe's size at over 2,000. No other group in the region has maintained a population in this size range.
  • The group participates in the ritual impalement of undesirable individuals.1

FUNAI operative [DATA LOST]2 completed the latest documented study of GoI-2641 before Foundation intervention, which he detailed in his personal journal. No other documents related to [DATA LOST] or his studies have been located.

The following are excerpts from the transcribed version of [DATA LOST]'s journal, translated from Portuguese. Extraneous entries omitted.

javari-valley-maloca.png

A picture of the maloca,3 captured during a routine flyby on April 22, 2003 (hover to enlarge).

1


Date: April 24th, 2003
48 hours ago, a flyby of the region discovered a maloca about four clicks north of HQ. The helicopter's navigator suggests that it must be the Emparelhada tribe. Now, we're not at liberty to make guesses here. However, based on the picture taken by in-flight surveillance, I'm inclined to believe it.

There's one thing to keep in mind: We've been out of contact with the tribe in question for more than twelve years. I'm not about to put the blame on anyone; it's just that the group dropped off the face of the Earth without warning. They abandoned their village, and neighbouring tribes were just as confused as we were.

To be out of contact with a tribe for that long? If the Brazilian government found out that FUNAI had gotten so negligent, our already run-dry budget would be sliced in half. Of course, I'm overreacting, but the strange nature of this situation is not something to take lightly. We need to monitor the indigenous populations in this region — not just for armchair anthropology, but because they rely on us for protection. And if we aren't around, then what's stopping outside forces from coming in and tearing down all our hard work?

It's too soon to determine what the reason for their movement was (as I'm not about to actually claim that they vanished). The only way to find out is to make contact, and I've assembled four men to assist me in finding the root cause of this. We should be leaving tomorrow morning.

2


Date: April 25th
We've decided to set up camp for the night next to a river. This river actually intersects with three different indigenous populations if one were to travel downstream. I reckon it should still be another couple of days' travel before we reach their village, if all goes well. Nobody wants to get in trouble in the heart of the Amazon.

This tribe is special to me. I'm more connected to this group of Indians than any in the region. I was actually a part of the initial discovery party when I first joined FUNAI! It's been 30 long years since, hasn't it? Fabian keeps floating over my shoulder, joking about how old I am. And only Joaquin laughs, but am I really surprised?

Speaking of Joaquin: We spent an hour discussing the most terrible things. I entertained the idea of Amazonian wandering spiders taking over the world. Joaquin made a joke of the fact that I remained married to my wife after all these years. I'll admit that even I laughed, if only a little.

3


Date: April 27th
I went for a walk. It was too dark to be safe, and I suppose I should have been more careful, but maybe it's time I lightened up like Fabian and Joaquin. I used to be like them when I joined up. I spent a while last night gazing up at the stars through the foliage, just to let my imagination flow. I don't get to do that too often these days. It makes me wonder what I've missed all these years. My dear Cátia.

4


Date: April 28th
In the early evening, we happened upon the outpost spotted last week. Nothing too extravagant: A one-room maloca, dilapidated and abandoned for who knows how long. We must be close.

5


Date: April 30th
It took us until mid-day yesterday to come to the village. Three boys found us — couldn't have been much older than ten or twelve. Based on the patterns painted on their foreheads, they were definitely members of the Emparelhada tribe. They flanked us with spears. I made sure to be wary of my distance and mannerisms, hut there was no preventing what happened.

When they approached us, Joaquin flashed a gesture of peace used by the Indians in the region, and a word of greeting in the local dialect. What he got was a spear to the thigh. And if that wasn't bad enough, well, I don't know what in God's name they used, but I've never seen that kind of damage. At the point of contact, his flesh exploded, gutting his leg. It defied logic. He fell to the ground, and Fabian vomited, but I couldn't take my eyes off it.

We couldn't move Joaquin without causing incredible pain. But if he wasn't medically evacuated, those boys would have picked him apart. Devon, the largest of our group, threw Joaquin over his shoulder and ran. He was screaming, but alive.

Luckily, the boys didn't follow us; I think their plan was to scare us off — to protect the village from us, or us from the village. Our fallback plan was that maloca. From there, we could call for a medical evacuation, and get him home. I was going to call for reinforcements; anything to ensure the safety of my men.

6


Date: May 1st
Vincent, our physician, was the most concerned. The spear ruptured Joaquin's femoral artery, and the impact crushed his pelvis. We bound up his thigh and administered some morphine, but Vincent claimed he wouldn't last long in this condition– That he needed evac hours ago.

I called HQ, and they caught our flare in the early morning. They airlifted Joaquin and told us he'd be hospitalized in the Immediate Care ward, and in the Lord's name, I pray he'll be all right. They're sending reinforcements tomorrow. I told them that I wouldn't allow anyone to be armed, but HQ insisted.

I don't want any lives to be lost, and I don't want to lose you, Cátia. But we have to get to that village. As far as I'm concerned, it's our duty.

7


My dear Cátia,

I may never see you again. The damage is done. I hope they manage to retrieve this letter so that you might understand– So that you might forgive me. Never forget me. I love you.

Date:
They dispatched Team 04-D a few days ago: Four soldiers, M16s, and Kevlar vests for us all. We entered the village from the south but it seemed vacant. We sat in the bush for an hour waiting for someone, something.

Eventually, we marked a point of interest in the centre of the village, at a shrine of sorts. Going there was a mistake.

When reinforcements first arrived, the soldiers told us the reports they'd gotten. Notices of strange behaviour displayed by the Indians. As far as 50 clicks away, ten local Indian tribes had somehow gotten a hold of the same occult beliefs. To have so many independent groups practice the same beliefs, the same rituals, and at the same time? It was unheard of. But that shrine explained it all.

The building had a certain air to it. I can't describe it objectively, but it was euphoric. Lingering, but distant. Tainted by time and emotions. I liken it to reminiscing about something from your childhood, for instance. I couldn't frame in my mind what there was to be joyful about, but it was, and it is.

Then we saw the paintings.

8


Lord, the paintings. A stack of murals sat in the centre of the shrine. There must have been hundreds. I couldn't count; there were too many. But they were beautiful: Vibrant colour composition and calculated levels level of subtlety.

It was at that point we realized our true mission. We were to collect the paintings and bring them back to HQ for study. This was a discovery FUNAI hadn't yet seen. It was at first clear that moving the artifacts was impossible, as there were just too many and it would take too many trips. So we just sat there, immersing ourselves.

They told a grand, disconnected narrative. Some fragments showed us endless war, in the distant past and future to come, between vast, incomprehensible factions using arcane tricks. But at the centre of it all was a being. Not a monster, but a protector. It was only referred to as the 'Eljor. 'Eljor the Custodian. 'Eljor the Mystic. It was going to save them, and it was going to bring us all there.

Before we could realize what was happening, we noticed something off with Vincent. He was the most interested in the murals, and the most distant. I don't know how it happened, and I don't know why, but he felt off. He said the paintings spoke to him– A presence pleading for its true salvation. He asked what we should do, and the answer was clear. We told him to listen, and I'm so Goddamn sorry.

There was a struggle, something unseen, and seconds later, the building collapsed. Vincent did it. I didn't understand how or why.

9


The roof caved in, crushing one of the soldiers. We didn't help him. We fled, and then the villagers appeared by the hundreds. They came out of nowhere and they were all staring. They saw us. They knew. And Vincent stared back.

They grabbed one of the soldiers, dragging him screaming into the crowd. Shots rang out, the first couple connecting as tribesmen crumpled to the ground. But then the gun was different. It had to be the gun. It shot out of his hands, tossing him aside, and he scrambled back into a wall. Fabian ran and tripped over some of the debris. The tribesmen closed in. The next second, he was screaming, ripping his clothes to shreds, writhing in pain, his strength so great that even Kevlar tattered. As if he was trying to pull one of his sick fucking pranks. But he wasn't laughing. Nobody was.

Then the tribesmen swarmed the shrine, or whatever was left, reclaiming the paintings and shoving them wherever they could fit. Some scrambled to get one final glance, exposing themselves to as many as they could. Some cried in agony. Others were shaking on the floor, panting, vomiting, and bleeding. I saw opposites. The paintings were doing this, and I knew, and so did they.

I don't know how I escaped. I ran into the jungle, nearly into a tree, and my lungs collapsed under the weight of unseen toxins. I went back, and my feet were in flames, but my legs kept pumping on primal instinct. Villagers crumpled on the ground beside me. Some were injured, some dead, and some had gone mad. I saw, and it was on my men, and I knew it was on me too, but there was no escape. I didn't care. I needed to set things right.

10


I had a few rations, but no comms. There was no time to whimper, only to act, and I crouched into the nearest settlement. I hid in the wall. There were ants, and it was cramped, hot, and sticky, but that's where I hid. It was safer inside. They didn't see, but they knew I was there.

I ate little, only enough to survive. I was there for days. There were unending hours of unrest, of torment and screaming. Someone needed my help. There had to be a way, but I never saw it.

The rations emptied and so did the water. I waited another full day before emerging. The struggle hadn't ended yet, but I needed to get out. I needed to save someone, anyone, at least a single soul. I need to save you, Cátia. I stumbled out of my hole. Dwellings dismantled, foreign objects scattered about, strange things, bodies mangled and torn, twisted, off-colour, most smelling, muscles spasming and foam pouring from slackened jaws. The paintings had done this, but it was different. Evolved. Advancing. I knew they were opposites, but now I could see them.

They found me. I bolted at the shrine and never looked back. For my team, the tribe, and my dear Cátia, I needed to fix this. Lord, forgive me. Please, Cátia, forgive me. I found a stack of paintings and shuffled through them, glimpsing at random details and crushing others. I needed to see how this ended.

There were paintings of my family and me. They knew about you. Why didn't they tell me about your pain?

1 1


I saw myself burning in the embers of my work. I saw you confused and alone as your mother and I fought. You couldn't deal with the grief of not seeing me. We talked every few months via letter, but I spared not a single picture, and you never even heard my voice. You grew up alone because my heart was with my work.

The paintings showed darker truths. You were alone, and then I was there. I never laid a hand on you, but the Goddamn paintings say otherwise, and Lord help me, I don't remember what the truth was. They changed it. Please be okay, Cátia. I miss you. Forgive me.

Then it showed recent events: The outpost, and the things they did there. How was I so blind to it? They sacrificed their own people to that thing! I don't even think they knew what they were doing. They built that place to keep it at bay, to save us all, but we interfered. Our only survival lies in its destruction. 'Eljor will cease to be, and so will I.

Cátia, I want you to see. You already know. But now you must see. Then we can be together. For our sake.


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