Friday, 24 October 2014

Empty Skies

Everything you regard with affection can be lost in a moment. Even an entire planet, a macrocosm of life, energy, geology, history and destiny can be rendered void. I know this first-hand, for my own world was destroyed in less than one day. My planet, and every other within the Beiyan system.

On my world, the star was known as B'ei and in the language of the Oathacans, it simply means 'The Soul'. B'ei shone like the face of god, a beacon of life for the planets that encircled it. It's distance from Earth is so great, we could not even glimpse a twinkle of its luminescence, but to the citizens of Oathaca, its warmth and light gave and took away life in the great desert.
Until it was snatched from us, by that foul, wretched monster of a thing . . .
In deepest space, it looked like a minuscule speck appearing by B'ei; infinitesimally small in comparison to the heavenly body, however the Nembrian cargo ship was 100 metres long and with engines that took up half of its mass. It orbited on the perimeter of the sun's coronal range at high speed. After a few minutes of orbit, the ship shot a projectile towards the star. Because of its size it was impossible to see the small canister filled with scarlet particles as it flew towards the sun, but nonetheless they penetrated the surface and then ignited.
In absolute silence, the cargo ship left orbit, and entered hyperspace, sealing our fate.

It takes approximately 8.13 minutes for light to travel the distance from B'ei to our planet. Conversely, darkness travels at the same speed. For it took just as long for light to stop travelling to the surface of our planet. Initially, a shadow fell over the landmass, and to those who looked in the sky it looked like a small, black spot in the centre of the star. But the black spot expanded, as did the darkness, until day turned into night; it consumed the sun, but the corona was caught around the edges of what we later learned to be the event horizon, so to us it looked as though the sun was permanently caught in a state of eclipse. However, the reality was that that our sun was gone, The Soul was taken from us and we were left orbiting a black hole, ringed with the trapped light of our dying star; a black hole sun.

The people began to panic. It took less than three hours for the once-scalding deserts to cool; then grow cold and freeze. The darkness terrified everyone. After a lifetime of bright daylight, the open sky being swallowed by darkness had all of the people yelling and screaming. But more than the cold, morseo even than the darkness, what truly terrified everyone was the loneliness. Many of these peoples had a spiritual connection with the sun, and even those that didn't knew that, without the sun, we would die, and we knew that no one could come and save us.

Our only respite was escape. We were not a space-faring people, none of our spaceships had the capability to travel the distance to another planet we could inhabit. However, we did have our portal generator; so, we sent as many people as we could to the Oathacan capital to step through the portal. People fled for their lives, and we managed to save several hundred people. But then, the portal collapsed. Our generator was part of a network which relies upon the alignment of the stars, and as our world shifted, so too did our position in the network. Our portal was useless. Once the portal failed, we realized that we were falling into the black hole.
Some of the smaller planets that had once orbited B'ei began to fall into the black hole, and as their mass was absorbed, the black hole grew in size. People watched in horror as it consumed our neighbouring planets, and even our natural satellites.

From beyond our world, we would fall slower and slower into eternity because of the temporal distortion, but from our perspective, we were falling faster and faster. The black hole sun grew larger in our sky, the darkness spreading. It was chaos.
People were going mad, killing one another for clothing, heat and food; praying to gods they didn't believe in; choosing to die, to avoid the horror of a cold, dark and slow demise. A small group of scientists managed to collect a large mass of antimatter, and they launched it into the black hole, believing the resulting reaction would destroy it. They were hopeful, believing they were doing good; but before I could stop it, the mass collided with the matter of the black hole and there was an enormous nuclear explosion. To us, this appeared as a spark on the ergosphere of the black hole. What these scientists didn't understand, however, is that Black Holes absorb everything; light, sound, heat, matter & energy. Rather than destroy it, the explosion made the black hole slightly bigger. You couldn't even perceive the expansion of its surface, yet this is when the people truly lost hope.

As the sky was filling with the black hole, from horizon to horizon it was pitch black. Gravity was beginning to tear people from the ground, and distortions in the accretion disk caused time to warp and slow all over the world. But then, finally, their hero stepped forth, he was their leader and their saviour; or at least, he had been, once. He stepped into the Capitol, and availed the legitimacy of his prestige. From the spire of the Capitol, a beam of blue light shot into the sky. It encompassed the black hole, and then the darkness diminished. Peeling away from the sky, and shrinking back into a spot before disappearing entirely, the black hole seemed to melt away and was replaced with the night sky.
At first, the people celebrated huddling close for warmth, and lighting bonfires. But their leader mourned. Their star was gone and their planet was adrift; their world was becoming like ice and the people were stuck there with no hope of escape.

He told them that he would help them, he said that he would fix this. He promised them that it would be the way it was before, all they had to do was wait. But then their leader, walked away from his people, stepped into his ship and warped away. In another place - in another time - his people would live. But in this broken reality, the entire population on the surface of the planet died a slow, cold, painful death, and yet I turned my back on them and walked away. I, the Duke of Rathea.
"Every world I set foot on crumbles to dust. Every country burns; every town bleeds & every person I've met has died in agony. Even if I try my best to save them, it all just seems to burn into ashes and slip through my fingers . . ."

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feel free to make suggestions, ask questions & comment . . .
I would love to read your words.