Varchan Yaldack

Varchan Yaldack
Image from Steve Bowers

"Varchan Yaldack" was the pseudonym of Rachel Quinn (83 - 136 a.t), a prankster who gained some notoriety during the late Information Age. Quinn was first brought to public attention in 124 a.t after appearing in several internet chatrooms under the screen name "Varchan_Yaldack", claiming to be a time traveller from the future, or as Quinn herself put it, a "chrononaut". Quinn claimed to have been sent more than three hundred years into the past with the mission of preventing humanity from succumbing to a hostile extraterrestrial civilisation in the coming centuries. Although skeptics were quick to point out that there was absolutely no evidence to back up these claims, it was not possible to disprove them, as Quinn had made sure that any internet forum accounts she used could not be traced back to her.

Even though her claims were outlandish, thousands of people interpreted Quinn’s story as factual, and were convinced that "Varchan Yaldack" was humanity's only hope of preventing a nightmarish future. The Varchan Yaldack made a number of mentions and appearances in mass media of the time, which helped to attract more attention to Quinn’s claims.

In 128 a.t, Quinn self-published a book, entitled The Future Is Coming: The Varchan Yaldack Story. Several copies of this book are known to have survived the Technocalypse, and are presently available for download on the Known Net. Quinn's book made numerous predictions about the progress of humanity over the next three centuries, several of which have been documented below:

• By 2400 c.e. (431 a.t), humanity will have colonised much of the Solar System - Venus and Mars will have been terraformed for human habitation, and thousands of domed habitats have been constructed in the asteroid belt, and on the outer moons. The various inhabited bodies of the Solar System are united under a single polity, known as the Solar Alliance.

• In 2401 c.e. (432 a.t), Jan Kernaff, an astronomer from Brunt (a domed habitat on Neptune's largest moon, Triton), will discover a small wormhole orbiting the sun at a distance of 100 AU, which will come to be known as the Kernaff Gate. This discovery will cause great excitement in the astronomical community, and plans will be put underway for an exploratory mission to the Kernaff Gate, in order to determine whether or not it is stable enough to facilitate two-way travel.

• Shortly after the wormhole's discovery, the spacecraft known as the Albert Einstein (named after a physicist from the Atomic Age) will be deployed to intercept the Kernaff Gate. Shortly after its arrival, however, the Albert Einstein will be destroyed by an unidentified vessel that emerges from the wormhole. This vessel will be commandeered by a group of intelligent extraterrestrial beings, belonging to a species known as the Gornazians. Quinn describes the Gornazians as hairless humanoid entities standing three to four meters in height, and possessing thick orange skin, as well as a third eye in the center of their foreheads. The Gornazians are also described as being "ectovores", a class of organism that Quinn defines as "any creature that feeds on the life essences, or souls, of other living beings".

• In the following months, the Gornazians will go on to destroy the thousands of habitats humanity has established across the Solar System. As the Gornazians possess extremely advanced weaponry, humanity will be entirely defenseless against their invasion. The few humans that survive the attacks will be transported to orbital farms, where they will be forced to breed, and eventually slaughtered for their souls. The few human survivors that manage to go unnoticed by the Gornazians will take refuge in the ruins of Los Angeles (a densely populated metropolis on Old Earth at the time the book was published).

• In 2410 c.e. (441 a.t.), after almost a decade of research, the survivors will successfully construct a working time machine, based on a prototype built by the late Dr. Arckell Barnovan. Before his death, Barnovan proposed to send one person three centuries into the past in order to warn humanity about the oncoming invasion, in the hope that mankind will be able to destroy the Kernaff Gate before the Gornazians can make it through. Varchan Yaldack, an escaped prisoner from a soul farm orbiting Saturn, will be the person selected to fulfill this mission.

Shortly after Quinn's book was published, NASA (a prominent space development organization of the time) began receiving hundreds of requests from the public, asking that the organisation do more to explore the outer reaches of the Solar System, and to do more research into possible methods of destroying wormholes (which had not been proven to exist at that time).

In 132 a.t, four years prior to her death, Rachel Quinn finally admitted that the entire Varchan Yaldack story was nothing more than an elaborate hoax. Quinn claimed to have taken the name "Varchan Yaldack" from a science fiction story she had written as a teenager. Needless to say, those who had been following the Varchan Yaldack story for the past eight years did not find Quinn's prank to be particularly amusing. In fact, shortly after admitting to the hoax, Quinn received numerous death threats from those who were angered by this revelation.

Although Rachel Quinn was not the first person to claim to have travelled backwards in time (and as the coming millenia would reveal, she would not be the last), her story stands out as one of the more notable time travel-related hoaxes of that era.

The effects of the Varchan Yaldack story can still be felt in the Current Era - after biosculpting technology became readily available, a number of science fiction fans augmented themselves so as to resemble various alien species depicted in Interplanetary Age science fiction. A small number of fans of the Varchan Yaldack story gengineered themselves so as to physically resemble the Gornazian aliens mentioned in Quinn's claims. These individuals have since gone on to become one of the billions of acknowledged clades in the galaxy. Today, members of Clade Gornazian can generally be found in space habs, although large numbers also exist on low-gravity worlds more suited to the Gornazians’ bodyplan.

Varchan Yaldack is also the adopted name of one of the oldest walking cities on the planet Hardy, an avid fan of Information Age/Interplanetary Age science fiction, who named eirself after the character.

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Development Notes
Text by James Rogers
Initially published on 25 July 2015.

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