If you have been following this blog, you may have seen the rest of chapter one excerpted here and there. This is the piece of writing that spawned Cyan.
“Something you said bothers me. You said that we would be here as long as we survive. What exactly did you mean by that?”
Jan did not answer at once. His restless eyes never stopped their circuit. “Jase, do you know what the mortality rate is for Scouts on a new planet? Trained men whose whole life is dedicated to survival?”
“Ten percent for each new planet.” Jason greeted that with stunned silence.
“Jase, the first planet I explored, three of my twenty companions died; nor was it an exceptionally dangerous planet. On my second planet two of my friends were cut down before my eyes by an innocuous-looking flying mammal whose poison was deadly to humans.
“I came through my third planet with no particular difficulty, but on the last one I tangled with a large, horned herbivore during my first day planetside and left in a coma. I spent a total of two hours on her surface.
“Those were planets which had been properly scanned from orbit. I was working with trained and experienced Scouts and the latest of equipment. Here . . . ”
Jan broke off as something caught his attention. What it was, Jason could not tell, but it apparently posed no danger because the Scout relaxed again and continued, hardly aware of the interruption.
“Here, I’d give odds that there won’t be a human alive inside ten years.”
Computer printout found folded and
placed in the log of Jan Andrax
Monists. Full title, Universal Monists. A religious group founded by Louis Dumezil in S.Y. 767. The premise of this group is that all religions were founded by the same spirit (deity?) and that a true religion can be found by collating the elements common to all religions while rigorously discarding those elements confined to particular religions or families of religions. The text containing this distillate was published S.Y. 767, hence the founding date, and was called the Monomythos. Dumezil further refined his text through eleven revisions culminating in the Grand Monomythos in S. Y. 801. After his death, further revisions led to the splitting of the Universal Monists into denominations based on increasingly fine points of doctrine. Each sect publishes its own subtly different Monomythos. As of S.Y. 872 four hundred distinct Universal Monist sects were known. Several ecclesiastical wars have been fought among them, the most violent being on Hallam in S.Y. 851-859.
The story of where I got the idea of Universal Monists was told last week over in A Writing Life, in 118. Jandrax redux.