A wise man once told that the dead never truly leave us. They live on in the hearts and minds of those who knew them in life. The Marker reveals this as truth. But just as there is life and death, truth and lies, sorrow and joy; so too are there two sides to the Marker. This, is Altman's Folly.
Who I am is of no consequence. Unanimity is often the safest recourse for dissidents. The longer it takes to find the messenger, the more of their message they can relate to the masses before they are silenced. Also, they tend to live longer.
No doubt, the first question one must ask any dissident desiring anonymity is how can anything they say be taken as fact? Anonymous libel is nothing unusual in the modern extranet age. And I fully agree. However, to give my credentials would guarantee that no posts would follow this initial one, as I would surely be silenced. So instead I will give what is but a shadow of who I may be, with enough false flags thrown in to throw off the vast majority of projection identifier algorithms. Take from this what you will.
I was born and raised in a devout Unitology household. Baptized with the symbol of the Marker on my brow, taught to expect glorious Convergence, and expected to surrender my body to the church's care upon my death, I arose to a mid-level within the church's hierarchy. I even received a church scholarship to enter into higher education, where I graduated respectably and entered into a mid-level EarthGov position, based out of the Sol sector.
As I said, I do not wish to be discovered, so no more specific information about who I am shall be revealed intentionally. Now to the crux of the matter.
I have come to Know the Marker.
The Marker is among us. Or should I say, the Markers Are among us? Between my position in the church and my position in EarthGov, I have come to realize some shocking things both about what we have been told of historical events, and also of the origin of modern religion.
It all started with the "Terrorist Attack" upon the USG Ishimura. My Brother of the Cloth was stationed there. He left in the second wave, a member of Captain Mathius's Marker Extraction Crew. They were to be heroes, heralded in song as those who brought an actual Marker into our midst. We spoke regularly enough over the course of the weeks leading up to the Marker's extraction, discussing ideas and theories, watching vids and joking like old times. Until one day, silence. It was as though the ship and everyone on it had vanished at once. At first, news reports labeled it as an accident. After all, the USG Ishimura was the first Planet Cracker class vessel ever designed, and was on the verge of retirement. For a while the general concensus was that the popping of the cork had gone south and pulled the ship from orbit where it had crashed into the colony, killing everyone. We of the church who knew of the Marker found on the surface were trading ideas that either the devout on board had converged into a higher form of life, leaving the heretics stranded, or that they were somehow found wanting and were thusly smite.
Eventually, footage of Aegis VII appeared on the nets. The planet had grown unstable, the result of a detached cork colliding with the planet. The Ishimura was found lifeless. With the failure of the attempted planet stabilization, Aegis VII was blown to pieces, and it will be hundreds, or even thousands of years, before it even becomes possible to begin to rebuild the planet to its former state. If anything of the Marker there remained, it would not be found in many a lifetime.
EarthGov performed a preliminary examination of the USG Ishimura. They announced that all on board the USG Ishimura had been killed, and that taking Aegis VII out was the end game of the terrorists behind the attack. A demonstration of power, it was called. And against EarthGov, no less! To the devout, this was an unimaginable atrocity. These terrorists had not only killed over 1000 respected members of the church, but had destroyed the first known Marker since the Black one, the most holy relic of our entire religion! They wanted a demonstration of power? They got the wrath of the entire Church of Unitology. Some called the bloodshed against the remaining terrorist cells a new holy war. Others simply called it a massacre. Whatever you called it, the Campaign Against Terror ended the following year, when there was no one left to kill.
During this time, we regularly petitioned the government to have what remained of the bodies of the devout to be surrendered to us, to be kept safe until Convergence. As I held a position in EarthGov, I was effectively a liaison between my branch of the church and my office of the government during this time. Not a fun job. Especially because at work we were furiously working to sort out what had happened with the terrorist attack, not to mention the salvage operation with the damaged remains of the Ishimura. In the end, everything worked out. The office was able to retrieve the USG Ishimura from Aegis VII and take it back to dock at Titan station, for Convergence Recovery and Alloy Recycling. Or so we thought.
Upon arrival, the Ishimura was still under lock down. It was claimed that only those with a high level EarthGov clearance could enter the ship for processing and decontamination, before the bodies would become recoverable. By this point, any sane individual would become suspicious. Clearly something had happened that EarthGov did not want revealed. And we resolved to find out what it was.