Author Topic: What I've Been up To  (Read 691 times)

Xathan

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What I've Been up To
« on: May 12, 2017, 08:18:16 PM »
So the past few weeks I've been horribly stuck on most of my projects - including a group game I'm running, a one on one I'm running, and another I'm playing in. And settings.

So I went to Reddit and started writing using writing prompts. And..I didn't stop. Some of those things are older stories I've thrown up on there, but that is a subreddit I made full of my writing, I thought I'd share with you guys. Something about the really constrained nature of a prompt makes it easy for me to force it out, even when stuck on other things.

But in the interest in sharing, here's my personal favorite of the complete stories on there. I'll probably copy more over later so it can be here as well as there.

Better to Light a Candle...

Lux, we had called it. The Tear had been discovered in 2071 just beneath the surface of Mars Probes had been sent through, and reported a world - one utterly devoid of light, but rich in oxygen and surprisingly warm.

The idea of a dark world hidden beneath a dead world in a tear in space enthralled the scientific community - and the world. Colonies on Mars were tasked with finding ways to learn more about the Tear, and a team was assembled. The decision was made that, to best study the world, Commander Paul Robertson would take his team through and an outpost would be built - Lux, a beacon in the void.

God we were arrogant.

Lux was established without much incident, initially. Built largely by dones, there was not a great need for light during its construction. The atmosphere on the other side of the Tear was stable, so Lux was built as a tower - so that future incursions, deeper into the Tear, would have a light to find their way back. Commander Robertson and his team went through in 2073, and Lux was shining.

Like the initial Martian colonies in the 2030s, everything that happened in Lux was livestreamed. People stared in wonder at the mundane lives of these explorers, gasped as they uncovered rocks that, when held aloft and dropped, would stay floating in the air - and property they retained when brought back through the Tear, ruling out the possibility of strange physics of a new dimension.

Then the biggest discovery in human history happened. A rock was brought back to Lux covered in a strange, grey fuzz that, when analyzed, was inarguably life of non-terrestrial origin.

We were not alone in the universe.

Suddenly, watching The Beacon was the global pastime. The strange properties of this life were observed - how it seemed to be carbon based but the cells contained structures unlike any we had encountered. The genetic code of the life form, as discovered by Pamela Ross the chief Xenobiologist (and, as she liked to joke, the first person in history to really earn that term) was based on arsenic, similar to some extremophiles discovered on Earth.

Why didn’t we ever think about where we found the Tear?

But while most of the human race watched what was going on within Lux, a few developed a new hobby. Calling themselves Void Watchers, they stared for hours at the cameras that ringed the beacon and stared out into the empty blackness beyond. They formed an almost religious view of the void, claiming that staring into it was a meditative technique, that they found it calming. Real-D vision meant it was like they were actually there, so maybe they did, or maybe they were just a bunch of nutjobs. Most of society thought the latter, so when they started claiming the blackness moved, it was dismissed as a transparent attempt to draw attention to their movement.

March 12, 2079, was a landmark day. First, it was discovered the combination of elements of life in the Grey Moss found in the Tear wasn’t native to there - in fact, it seemed most likely it had originated on Mars. This prompted a whole new round of speculation and wonder that was abruptly was cut short when Han Lee ventured outside the ring of light, the first attempt by a non-drone to venture past the area the beacon covered, and every camera caught it as he was dragged into the darkness, screaming in terror.

Two hours later, all feeds from Lux went dark.

We should have left it well enough alone. It wasn’t a cave we found it in - it was a structure, built by people so long extinct that their buildings had been worn into looking like natural environments, and everyone assumed that it was just more Martian dirt, so what could be interesting about *that*? But we had broken the seal, and we had shone a light into the darkness - and the darkness had seen it.

It had been meant to keep Them out, the darkness. By shining the light, a light of discovery meant to aid in exploration, we had *shown them the exit.*

No one’s heard from the Martian colonies in months. We can see them, though - see the torn down walls, splashed with pale red dust and dark red blood. We can see the creatures from beyond the Tear, at times, in brief glimpses - always moving too fast to really get a good look at, but we can see what they’re doing, what they’re building.

Based on their current progress, they’ll have a functioning spaceship in just another six months, from parts stolen from the colonies. We won’t be able to get a launch together in time to meet them their - they’re coming. They have stolen telescopes, all trained on Earth, so they must be coming.

We had thought we’d found an entire new world to explore, and instead given them back their world - and pointed them straight at ours.

We were the natives the colonial powers were staring at hungrily, and these horrible shadows that move too fast to be pictured...they were going to come for us.

They used to say it’s better to light a candle than curse the darkness. But oh God, why couldn’t we have just sworn and left it well enough alone?

Everything we learned about Them is attached, sent to every possibly habitable star system we can get a probe pointed towards - and set to launch if humanity stops transmitting. These are the gravestones of our species, a gravestone that carries a warning:

Stay away from the Sol system. Stay away from what we unleashed. Stay away, and pray to whatever Gods you might possess that They don’t notice you, that They don’t come for you.

And if you think they might, than for the love of whatever you hold holy, put out the lights.

AnIndex of My Work

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sparkletwist

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Re: What I've Been up To
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2017, 01:45:51 PM »
I liked the story. I got kind of a Pitch Black feel from it, in a good way. :D

LoA

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Re: What I've Been up To
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2017, 02:07:23 PM »
Shayamalan twist: They bring us darkness cookies.