W'rkncacnter

"The sun burned them, but they swam on its surface"


On "Six Thousand Feet Under" we are introduced to the W'rkncacnter in a S'pht history terminal.

In primordial space, timeless creatures
made waves. These waves created us and the
others. Waves were the battles, and the
battles were waves.

Fleeing all W'rkncacnter, Yrro and Pthia
settled upon Lh'owon. They brought the
S'pht, servants who began to shape the
deserts of Lh'owon into marsh and sea,
rivers and forests. They made sisters for
Lh'owon to protect and maintain the paradise.

When the W'rkncacnter came, Pthia was
killed, and Yrro in anger, flung the
W'rkncacnter into the sun. The sun burned
them, but they swam on its surface.

<Six Thousand Feet Under (Terminal 4)>

The W'rkncacnter only appear in this single terminal in Marathon 2 but from this small piece of text it is possible to gather a few facts.

The W'rkncacnter appear again in a number of terminals in Marathon Infinity but only in the singular:

The S'pht'Kr will arrive momentarily, with
all of their vengeance, and the Pfhor will
soon be pressed to use the trih xeem.
S'bhuth knows only legends about the
W'rkncacnter, imprisoned in Lh'owon's sun.
If the Pfhor are allowed to use the trih
xeem
, the W'rkncacnter will escape from its
gravity prison.

According to the legends of a thousand worlds
only a few of which are still habitable, the
W'rkncacnter are those things that live in
chaos, creating it around them. At the
beginning of the universe, they were
unmistakable in their entities, but as time
has gone by, their existence has become
difficult to detect among the chaotic
elements of the universe, hidden in stars,
trapped in storms, forever looking along the
event horizons of black holes. Setting one
free in ordered space is difficult and insane.

Of course the Pfhor are oblivious to what
they're about to do, even Tfear would be
loath to release something so destructive
that its mythos has survived throughout the
galaxy for over sixty million years.

To stop the Pfhor from their folly and our
demise, you must activate the ancient station
that Yrro used eons ago to trap the
W'rkncacnter. If we can activate it in time,
it will crush the Pfhor fleet before we're
all destroyed.

<You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! (Terminal 1)>

Although this terminal only mentions one W'rkncacnter trapped in Lh'owon's sun it does provide a plausible explanation for the events described in the S'pht history terminal on "Six Thousand Feet Under". Yrro trapped the W'rkncacnter in Lh'owon's sun using a gravity field generated by the Jjaro space station. We also learn later that the space station was originally used to terraform Lh'owon.

This station was built by the progenitors of
the S'pht and used to make Lh'owon into a
paradise. It is capable of generating
multiple gravitational fields, and if focused
properly, we should be able to create a
singularity capable of swallowing the nova
before the W'rcacnter is able to break free.
^4u235hriamgw
^wrealn030-34

<Aye Mak Sicur (Terminal 1: 1st Message)>

For some reason on the level "Aye Mak Sicur" the name W'rkncacnter is spelt W'rcacnter. The 'kn' is dropped. This may simply be a spelling inconsistency.





Both Scott Jaeger <pepino@indy.net> and Brandon Seifert <looney@thepentagon.com> point out that the descriptions of the W'rkncacnter are very similar to Dreaming God in Pathways Into Darkness. They note the following similarities:

Similar origins.

According to the legends of a thousand worlds
only a few of which are still habitable, the
W'rkncacnter are those things that live in
chaos, creating it around them. At the
beginning of the universe, they were
unmistakable in their entities, but as time
has gone by, their existence has become
difficult to detect among the chaotic
elements of the universe, hidden in stars,
trapped in storms, forever looking along the
event horizons of black holes.

<You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! (Terminal 1)>

It was a member of a race whose history began when the Milky Way was still a formless collection of dust and gas-- a powerful race of immortals which had quickly grown bored of their tiny universe and nearly exterminated themselves in war.

(Pathways Into Darkness manual page 1)

They both appear to have existed around the same time.

Of course the Pfhor are oblivious to what
they're about to do, even Tfear would be
loath to release something so destructive
that its mythos has survived throughout the
galaxy for over sixty million years.

<You Think You're Big Time? You're Gonna Die Big Time! (Terminal 1)>

Sixty-four million years ago, a large extra-terrestrial object struck the Earth in what would later be called the Yucatan Peninsula, in southeastern Mexico.

(Pathways Into Darkness manual page 1)

Try pronouncing "W'rkncacnter" correctly. According to the Pathways Into Darkness manual it is not possibe for the human throat to pronounce the name of the Dreaming God!

This particular being, whose name no human throat will ever learn to pronounce, was part of the cataclysmic battle that formed Magellanic Clouds, billions of years ago. It died there, or it came as close to dying as these things can, and drifted aimlessly for millions of light years before striking the Earth.

(Pathways Into Darkness manual page 1)


A possible connection between the W'rkncacnter in Marathon, the Dreaming God in Pathways Into Darkness and the Cthulhu Mythos has already been mentioned by Brandon Seifert <looney@thepentagon.com> in the The Cthulhu Mythos in Marathon section.




Did the W'rkncacnter actually exist?

At the end of "Aye Mac Sicur" we learn:

You've done it.

The jjarro station is online, and we're
wrapping the nova in its containment fields.
The creature, or creatures S'bhuth fears are
either dormant or a myth--we've seen nothing
to account for his terror.

Could the W'rkncacnter have been a simple myth perpetrated by the S'pht or indeed their elusive progenitors?

Charles Srstka <csrstka@earthlink.net> writes:

True, we never saw whether the W'rkncacnter was real or not in the game, but from the manual text it seems pretty obvious that it does exist.

Yes the Manual text relates the destruction of the Pfhor fleet by an unknown force following the nova event. Durandal describes it simply as the "horror" which seemingly has the potential to destroy the galaxy.

These events appear to be re-enacted on the Prologue level "Ne Cede Malis" though in this case a nearby Pfhor ship (believed to be commanded by Tycho) seems to be still intact. Durandal describes his demise at the hands of a "chaos".

Many people have conjectured that it is this "chaos" that causes us to shift in time, finding ourselves starting back, in an attempt to find a new (more successful) path.

Thus the events described at the beginning (or end) of Infinity would support the existence of an unknown chaotic force inside Lh'owon's sun.

We also find that in one of the "failed" timelines ending on "Aie Mak Sicur" we again meet Tfear who describes the destruction of his ship. Though this time he would appear to be observing events from the Jjaro space station.

The trih xeem broke against my dying vessel
and smashed a fine patina across the mystery
shields of this station.

The station however provides no safe sanctuary from the "abomination".

But the trackless whisper chattering through
the hollow space in these cursed walls buzzes
and threatens madness. The abomination
cracked the shells of my crew and sucked the
husks, tossing them unseen and shattering the
spindle like a dried creche.

The shields are gone, not down, but gone, and
so are the engineers. It's coming back, I'm
sure: and my last mercy is immolation.

Great Mother crouched behind the Throne, I
make this wrong right.

Powerful stuff.




W'rkncacnter visualization... Locucious <locucious@mac.com> writes in a Story forum post:

We're never exactly shown, but I've always wondered what a W'rkncacnter might look like. I'm curious as to each person's own interpretation of a 2 km long being of pure chaos. Should be interesting; let's hear your thoughts!

The link below is to a picture of what I thought they might look like (it's close, but not quite perfect). Interesting to note, the picture was by none other than Craig Mullins himself.

http://www.goodbrush.com/hirez_pgs/concept/concept2/creature.htm




A name no human throat will ever learn to pronounce? Michael Austin <entropy2016@yahoo.com> writes:

Behold, the proper way to pronounce "W'rkncacnter" has been discovered!

Go to http://www.naturalvoices.att.com/demos/ and type it in.


Other attempts to pronounce W'rkncacnter can be found here, here and here. Indeed, the subject comes up every year... just like clockwork. ;-)



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