“Every sentient creature remembers the overwhelming fear and trauma they experienced when they were ripped from their universe and found themselves ported to Qn'Tahr: the heavy smell of charged ozone, the stale, electric chill that shivered through their body, and for most, seeing alien species for the first time.”
Size: 49.1 km*2 by 72.5 km
Average activity: 12 ports per 5 dall cycle.
Average port: 13 billion human-sized beings.
Governing faction: Kal'Aa'tharr'Ok
Depot system: Libis
Average Tarfon presence: 10
Kal'Aa'Tharr'Ok presence: Yes
Sim Shavo presence: Sporadic
Armada presence: No
Talon friendly: No
Considered the heart of the Combine, Kundalini was one of the four nexus gates responsible for transporting sentient beings into Qn'Tahr. Like the other gates, Kundalini resided within a strange, dimensional bubble encompassing the colossal platform. From its exterior, it resembled a fracture in space with warped visibility. However, one couldn't simply make physical contact with the gate from outside the quantum anomaly. Those who attempted to enter Kundalini from its exterior found themselves traveling through a region of refracting prisms unharmed without colliding with them.
Following the disappearance of the light shepherds, the Assiek's scientific houses pooled their collective knowledge to develop the Tarfon harbinger vessel to resume the recovery of efforts from Kundalini. Swarms of probes routed telemetry data from within the region and relayed the calculations to an orbiting Tarfon. Like a surgical tool, the ship pierced Kundalini's dimensional fissure and safely harbored new arrivals to a suitable planet for a peaceful transition into the Combine. The Kal'Aa'Tharr'Ok vigorously protected the region from Sim Shavo and rogue Talons and enforced a strict, 2-lightyear no-fly zone for ALL crafts other than Tarfons.
The untold masses recovered from Kundalini shared one common similarity: being abruptly taken from their universe during a date and time marred from confused. Individuals described the gate as having four immense, tower-like antennas that rose from the jagged peaks of a sinister mountain range, each evenly spaced and encompassing a massive, square basin. The columned, deco towers buzzed in unsettled rhythm with the celestial glow emanating from beneath the gate's polished surface. Unfamiliar symbols graffitied the paneled surfaces of each tower, and large, rifle-like radar devices crowned each spire. They pointed towards a crackling fissure kilometer in the sky that rained down spurts of electric discharge upon the confused thrall.
Kundalini regularly ported 6-12 waves of new arrivals every five dalls to Qn'Tahr. Although it was uncertain how the gate targeted the unsuspecting masses, two gilded rings encircled a golden spire that protruded from the underside of Kundalini's rocky layer would illuminate 28 alros before every port, allowing Tarfons to ready themselves into position for retrieval. In addition, the gate could adjust to the physical requirements of new arrivals and automatically configure its atmosphere and temperature to an adequate 'baseline' for their mutual survivability. Once a corresponding Tarfon recovered an individual, the ship would also automatically configure itself to meet the physical needs of whomever it recovered.
“It was a day like any other day, but every great adventure began on a day just like that day.”
“Personally, I cannot remember the specific date, time, or place of the occurrence. I couldn't tell you if I was at work, in the school yard, or elsewhere- it's very difficult to describe. What I do remember, however, was my perception of time coming to an abrupt standstill during an indiscernible point of my life. An intense buzzing sensation in my head led to cerebral visions of my life, past, present, and future, to wildly flash through my psyche. It felt like a strange compression of my memories and I immediately forgot the day and everything prior. A chilling numbness crept through my body and, like a short circuit, I was powerless to move. While I stood frozen in shock, there was this bizarre sensation akin to the stretching of reality as I exhaled my final breath- it was very strange.”
“What preceeded, I would best describe, was my soul escaping my body through a sharp pressure on my forehead. Now, I'll fully acknowledge that I sound like a loon for sharing this, but it felt like I got sucked into a cosmic implosion as the universe collapsed around me. I challenge anybody to find a more apt description. Suddenly, I was toppling through a kaleidoscope of vivid, transforming fractals and prisms that tunneled across an infinite maelstrom of color. I felt blind-sighted by the shell shock as a thunderous whoosh carried my flailing, ragdoll body through the calamitous cascade. It was quite a wild ride. I remember a curious twinkle briefly catching my eye, but it was consumed by the churning shards of color as I wizzed past. Though it felt like an eternity, the vibrant display subsided as quickly as it began, and the light receded into a horizon of icky midnight.”
“Aside from the ringing in my ears, for a brief moment, all was silent. My body violently shivered and the first sound I heard was that of my chattering teeth. I was completely paralyzed and I remember my first murmurs painfully constricted my chest. What the hell just happened? While I reeled from the disorientation, a wave of exhaustion made it impossible for me to move beyond a tremble. It felt as though my body’s energy had been completely drained. I assumed that, perhaps, my conscious awakened from a restless slumber and my body simply needed to catch up. Boy, was I wrong. Instead, an odd, staticky sensation began to slowly spread across my body. When I was finally able to wiggle my toes, it felt as though I was standing on a sleek surface that was icy to the touch.”
“Through my blurred vision, the haunting rhythm of a celestial glow pierced my squinted eyes like a heavenly billboard. I honestly thought I was dead; in hindsight, I wish I was. My breath was nothing more than labored gasps as my lungs struggled to adapt to the strange, new surroundings. The feeling of suffocation was becoming unbearable. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a monstrous baritone boomed from what sounded like the bowels of an immense chasm. It’s roaring intensity rattled my core with petrified horror. There was another bellowing burst, and a chilling swoosh of air struck me with an uncomfortably icy gust. My body instinctively seized the opportunity to take its first precious gasps of air as another rushing gale thickened the atmosphere. I mustered through a violent bout of mucusy coughing; it was similar to that tingling feeling one gets after swallowing too much pool water- but much, MUCH worse.”
“With every hacking wheeze, my lungs painfully adjusted. Suddenly, an odd, electric jolt struck the back of my neck that caused my hairs to stand at frightened attention. Before I could fully process the sensation, an unsettled shuffling began to stir around me. What was happening? Something resembling a muscular individual wearing a fur coat bumped into my right arm, that caused me to tumble slighly. I braced myself on my knees to gather my senses, and I could barely feel my fingers as I tried to rub my eyes into focus. Though my vision hadn't fully returned, I noticed my pants had become severely tattered before another ominous pulse further irritated my blindness.”
“Another rushing gust of wind carried with it the strong odor of electric vapors and pungent, wet hair. As I tried to pull myself together, a shove from an unseen perpitrator caused me to trip into what felt like somebody wearing a matted, wool sweater. I was immediately hit with the foul stink of a moist creature. After a long wince, my eyesight partially cleared, and I found myself braced upon the arm of a lanky beast with an unnatural resemblance to a sloth. It reciprocated my stunned gaze with five beaded eyes, and it released a guttural, chirping noise unlike anything I'd ever heard before. In a frightened panic, it threw me aside and scampered away into a thrall of escalating confusion. Hard to imagine a freakish sloth creature looking at you as if YOU'RE the weirdo, right?”
“By this point, I assumed I was dreaming; however, in the moment, I couldn't recall one that intense before. It was quite surreal. Still, I'm sure everybody's had a dream so vivid they jump at the first sight of a silhouetted pile of clothes shortly after awakening, right? I lost myself in deep ponderance, but a flailing green creature smacked the back of my head with its rubbery appendage. I collided into the scaled rump of a large, reptilian humanoid that barely flinched upon my impact. The pain felt surprisingly real, and though it wasn’t anything too severe, the more my senses awakened, adrenaline instinctively followed.”
“When my vision finally cleared, I found myself standing miles above a small, blue sun centered within a massive, golden basin. The cosmic scale brought me to a dumbfounded pause. It appeared as though I was floating in midair over the burning sphere and my fear of heights immediately made me tense. I lurched forward, and crackling pops of static burst from beneath the heels of my shuffled steps. Every footstep sent ripples of electricity shooting across a finely polished, glass surface with no discernible blemishes. It honestly tickled to the point of an uncomfortable itch, but my adrenaline prevented me from caring.”
”Honestly, I thought I had lost my mind or had been drugged. I did my best to shake off my crippling fear of heights and franticly scanned my surroundings. I found myself lost amongst an eclectic hoard of alien creatures, each of various sizes, shapes, and teeth. They moved with chaotic bewilderment and I tried my best to navigate around them to prevent myself from being trampled. Though I kept my wits about me, I instinctively froze when my brain failed to recognize a series of- what I would best describe as, distressed blooping noises and monster growls. A giant, 8-legged giraffe-thing startled me as it frantically galloped too close for my comfort. I thought I was trapped inside an escalating nightmare, albeit, a fantastic one.”
“Despite my best efforts, I couldn't free myself from the dream's clutches and plunged deeper into its madness. My mind instantly numbed amidst a flurry of confusion, so much so that I forgot my name. I tried shaking my head to reset my senses, but to my chagrin, doing so only fueled the delusion. When I reopened my eyes, I nearly fell backward, gawking at an immense spire, similar to a radio tower, whose monolithic size filled the entirety of my vision. That thing was easily over 30 miles tall! Despite its flawlessly machined contours, it loomed with ancient mystery. As I silently pondered the scale of engineering that went into its construction, I noticed strange symbols graffitied upon its metallic paneling. It resembled Arabic, but it contained many more squiggles and shapes than any familiar earthly language. I eyed its details toward its base, where it protruded from the peaks of a jagged mountain. Though not as tall as the foreboding tower, the range extended towards the structure's left and right to form a natural barrier. After I traced the mountains to my right, I discovered three additional towers of similar design, each evenly spaced on what I presumed to be a gigantic square platform. Neat, radar devices resembling laser rifles topped each tower and plumes of sparks showered from their glowing ventilations. Each were pointed upwards towards churning fissure hanging miles above us. It wafted plumes of purple energy as it floated in a sky of regracted twilight- it was quite the spectacular sight to behold.”
“The dizzying experience continued to overwhelm my senses. I still had no concept of time nor could I remember the current date. It was all a jumbled blur of memory. I entering a fugue daze, and as I struggled to collect my thoughts, a flood of names suddenly rushed through my mind. Unfortunately, to my frustration, I couldn't remember their significance or put faces to any of them. It was simply impossible for me under those unique set of circumstances and I began to hyperventilate as the waking madness continued.”
”I’m not sure where I found the strength or the courage, but I pressed on. It appeared as though I was the only human among an eclectic crowd of jellyfish monsters, giant lizards, and an assortment of insect-ish creatures. The Cacophonies of bizarre creature noises started to escalate. Now, even though I tried to dismiss the ordeal as a a crazed delusion, I instinctively put my arms up to protect my face while shoving through the commotion- just to be safe. I had no idea who I was looking for or if I should even be looking for anybody at all, but I continued my search for anything that looked remotely familiar. Seconds felt like hours, and after an eternity of searching, I happened upon three humans in a clearing amongst the alien thrall.”
“Although I didn't recognize them, seeing other humans gave me some solace. One of whom, a man in his late 40s, salt-and-pepper hair, very rugged, was doing his best to shield a half-nude elderly woman with the shredded remains of his coat. The other, a younger Asian man in his 20s, was attempting to maintain the small clearing by frantically waving his arms and yelling at anything that neared- standard bear tactic. I pushed my way through a group of rock-like, weasel monsters who were recoiling from the Asian man's eccentric flailing. After noticing me navigating through them, they responded with a series of piercing whistles and shrieks. I felt a sudden, sharp stinging in my ears, followed by another bout of deafening ringing. I instinctively covered my ears and buckled over into a standing fetal position- most painful dream ever.”
“The Asian man noticed my distress and quickly rushed to my aid. His face was pale with fright, and the tattered remains of his red shirt and denim jeans barely hung from his thin frame. He violently gestured his arms as he stomped towards the rock-weasels with cartoonishly inflated bravado. He shouted an assortment of familiar profanities that made the monsters take pause and exchange bewildered glances. After he lunged at them, they nearly trampled over a group of tiny, meatball monsters as they scurried away from his threatening advance. My hero.”
”We both stood breathless as we regarded each other. I honestly had no idea who he was, but how many faces do you recognize from your dreams? Although I appreciated his assistance, my consciousness considered him as nothing more than an NPC in this wildly unfolding nightmare. He narrowed his eyes, then his expression widened. I wasn’t sure if he knew me or was just happy to see another human, but he approached me with his arms extended as if I was a long regarded friend. Unfortunately, even if I did actually know him, my mind just simply didn’t have the capacity to put a name to his face at that moment.”
“As he neared, a blinding spotlight shined down on us from the broken sky. The mysterious illumination gave pause masses, but an instant bout of nausea immediately overtook me. As I buckled over to dry heave, there was this unusual feeling of weightlessness that swept me off my feet. I remember hearing the horrific creature noises becoming more distressed. Guess we're all in this together? It felt like an unseen force was pulling me upwards from my abdomen, causing my limbs and neck to droop limp at my sides like a poorly stuffed plush toy. I began to levitate off the ground.”
”Although I tried to wiggle free, it didn't take long for me to realize the futility of my actions, and I relented to its grasp. I unfortunately lost sight of the three other humans; however, I caught one final glimpse of the platform as I continued my ascension. It was quite a wondrous. After a throbbing sensation on my forehead, a sudden acceleration thrust me faster toward the light. In a desperate act of defiance, I extended my middle fingers to the sky and challenged whatever awaited me on the other side before all went dark.”
“In hindsight, I suppose this counts as my personal abduction story, and I will do my best to recount the events as accurately as possible. Unfortunately, I don't recall how long I was unconscious. The only thing I remember was envisioning myself hiding under my bed sheets like a frightened child, doing everything I could to awaken from what I thought was a hypnopompic night terror. A strobing flash startled me otherwise, and instead of a familiar setting, I found myself trapped inside the poorly lit confines of deco encloser no bigger than my closet. Rows of flickering blue lights ran along columns of vertical piping, and a sterile, metallic odor permeated the still air. I couldn't decern any windows or doors- it was very alien.”
“My head felt unnaturally heavy, and my eyes throbbed in rhythm with what I assumed was my heartbeat. The dampness of fresh spittle uncomfortably moistened my chin, and amidst my dizziness and confusion, I still couldn't recall the date or my name. I didn't even remember how old I was. My rapid, shallow breaths were beyond my control while I struggled to process my surroundings. Suddenly, a surge of electricity made me contort, and my body numbed. To my mounting fright, as I fell limp, the enclosure illuminated like an operating theater from a surreal nightmare. I remember thinking that I had lost myself inside my own insanity. As I squinted from the light's intensity, I remember this being the moment I truly started to panic.”
“Now, although I felt nothing, the sounds of visceral hissing, clicking, and the snipping flesh filled my tiny confinement. I couldn't tell what was happening, but my eyelids twitched with uncontrolled reflexes; however, I remember appreciating that I felt no pain during this part of the experience. In fact, my brain laughably seized the opportunity as further validatation that I was, indeed, trapped inside a dream. Was I wrong to assume the rational explanation? A part of my psyche actually encouraged my surrender to the unfolding insanity to explore its depths. Maybe my inner conscious was simply trying to, albeit in a colorful way, remind me of some mundane task I’d been procrastinating? That seemed pretty on brand, right? Honestly though, I couldn't tell you what made sense at that moment.”
“A loud, machine-like clank disillusioned my thoughts and returned my attention to my precarious confinement. The virticle lighting began to flicker with excitement and an array of green and blue lasers shot out from their inlays. They twirled around me for a bit, then collided to form a hexagon grid. From my head down, it traced my body with invasive precision. After several awkward moments, the beams coalesced directly into my eyes. In hindsight, this part of my experience was easily the worst. No matter how hard I tried to divert myself, they remained uncomfortably fixed on my pupils. Its intensity was absolutely excrusiating. The only scream I mustered was a breathless groan amidst the cacophony of terrifying surgical noises. Despite my best efforts, I was powerless to wake from my nightmare and I feared the longer I remained inside the psychosis, things would begin to feel more real. In hindsight, that was a fair assumption, but not one worth boasting.”
“Like a mad scientist throwing a switch, proceeding another alarming clank, the chamber went silent, and returned to its dimly blue lighting. Surprisingly, my vision was perfectly focused and the awful strain I had just experienced instantly subsided. I began to feel a warm, soothing sensation inside my chest slowly course through my veins that awakened my body to the room's pleasantly temperate air. After a subtle, clicking hiss, I felt the shallowness of my breathing and the pounding heart. My first gasp of air contorted my body and sent me frantically spinning in weightless atmosphere. While I helplessly toppled within the chamber, I realized I was floating inches above a rounded floor resembling the inside of a speaker- completely naked! I continued to awkwardly flail around for a little bit longer. Every time I came close to touching one of the perfectly machined walls, however, the room seamlessly adjusted to allow my body to continue its frantic rotation. Not gonna lie: it was kinda fun, but I could definitely envision somebody suffering from claustrophobia taking issue.”
“A gentle caress of energy down my spine halted my spin and positioned me- comparatively, to Vitruvian Man. At this point, I recalled thinking that I had finally broken through to my unruly subconsciousness and, through some lucid act, regained control of my sanity. Preceding another clicking hiss, my muscles relaxed, and my arms slowly lowered to my sides. Even though I my mind was a still a quagmire of confusion, I felt shockingly calm, and my entire body felt wonderful- like a new car or a shiny penny! I honestly felt terrific!”
“As I floated motionless within my containment, my rational mind tried convincing itself that the experience was near its end. Though I tried REALLY hard, I struggled to pinpoint a familiar setting I wished to return to after awakening- my memories were still a jumbled mess. The more I thought about it, the more difficult it became for me to remember much of anything. Was I walking the dog before being thrust into this bizarre world? Did I even have a dog, because I swore that there were at least three dogs? There was also something about raccoons? I couldn’t form any coherent thoughts, but I didn’t care anymore, I just wanted it to end. To my self-aware chagrin, my insanity flexed its poisonous grip and plunged me deeper into its treacherous depths.”
”A device resembling a dentist's light slowly lowered from the ceiling and positioned itself inches from my forehead. It moved as silently as a spider creeping up on its prey. Several of its streamlined parts twisted and adjusted, and it began to vibrate with a low-frequency hum. A weird tickle in my brain made me instantly go cross-eyed. It felt weird and I remember thinking it was going to pop my head. I was absolutely terrified. The room’s lights began to flicker an ominous pink, and the vibration intensified. In what I assumed was my dying thought, I remember I had convinced myself that I needed to take the bird to the 6th grade musical recital. I was wrong.”
“A blue strobe brought me to an immediate ease and the hum silenced. I felt okay, but dazed. As the device remained fixed in place, the wall released another series of lasers. They zipped around for a bit before coalescing into the image of a strange, reptilian creature- similar to the one I bumped into prior. It was projected about a foot away my forehead and honestly startled me when it snapped into focus. Before I could fully examine its detail, the room erupted with a deafening caucophany of growls and hisses. My body winced from the discomfort and further paralyzed my mind. I specifically remember this moment- THIS moment, where my mental fortitude finally shattered, and where I lost my sanity to the high-def hologram of an alien space lizard. Go me!”
“I marveled at my malevolent capture. Though I was naked and completely helpless, I tried to maintain some semblance of vigilance while in its presence. Every growl seemed like a menacing threat and its demeanor was poised. I examined its every detail. Maybe that was the shock setting in? Or, perhaps, my insanity tightening its squeeze in my mind.”
”To the best of my description: the creature was a robust, reptilian humanoid adorned in an ornately-laced, hooded gown. Its silky embroideries hugged the beast’s muscular contours and resembled a human female- sort of. Although its eyes were shrouded by its hood, every snarl flashed rows of nail-like teeth from beneath its snub, alligator-like muzzle. The definition and clarity of the image was absolutely incredible.”
”The creature gestured with its arms as it growled its insidious demands. Its unfamiliar flourishes revealed two thick, three-fingered claw from beneath the gown’s glittery cuffs. After several terrifying minutes, I noticed a repeat in the projection’s movements and vocalizations. The device near my forehead emitted another blast that felt like a trillion synapses fired all at once. I remember getting the sudden taste of something metallic as my body spasmed in reaction. When the sensation subsided, it felt as though I had regained my ability to speak.”
**”Now, what happened next felt extremely weird, but assuredly, there was no pain. It verged on it felt like somebody was tuning a radio dial inside my head. I felt my brain instinctively react to familiar
I couldn’t tell you how long I was trapped inside that closet-like enclosure. I remember slipping in and out of consciousness, every time I opened my eyes,
There were times my eyes would
other times, less than desirable places, but every time,