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As the eons passed, the tilt and rotation of the planet once known as Spherus Magna shifted enough to allow some of the distant sun's radiance to filter into a small, deep chasm at midday, a chasm that had otherwise remained perpetually dark. The rocks at the bottom of the chasm had eroded as well, ground down under wind and acid rain, just enough to open a passage into a cavern that was deeper still. The sunlight lanced downward through the thick shadow that filled the space until it struck upon a reflective surface. 


The air was deadly cold, despite the enclosed space, for the planet's core had always been cold and dead--even when it had contained the power of universes. The warmth that the light brought down from the surface had not visited that place in a very long time, and its coming was like a loud shout breaking the stillness.


Except there was no sound. Not at first. There was only the spear of light standing straight in the shivering air, and the slow passage of time. 


The stasis chamber cracked suddenly, and for the first time in so long that it no longer mattered, the mind inside truly awakened. It had been a long night, clinging to the fragile edge of half-consciousness, slowly losing coherence in the limbo of psionic energy that permeated the minds of the planet's inhabitants, feeling their lives, their joys...their terrors, their deaths. A long night indeed, and a long, interminable war against non-existence. No one had ever been meant to slumber so long.


A shape appeared behind the fogged crystal of the chamber and pressed limply outward. The crack spread in short bursts until it bisected the panel. There was a pause...and then everything gave way. 


Gas shrieked out along the fissure and the frame of the chamber and froze instantly in the air. The sudden pressure-difference caused the glass to rupture inward, fracturing into a thousand shards. The shock of depressurization jarred the round chamber from its original position in the rubble, and it tumbled to the side, spilling its contents outward.


Something skeletal lay scattered across the stony floor, and for a while the cavern returned to silence. The ray of light slanted with the course of the sun and traced a path up the opposite side of the cave. At length, there came another sound. Something rattled in the dimness, clattered on the stones. The skeletal shape seemed to settle more loosely on the uneven floor...


And then another ray of light pierced the space of the chamber. A heartlight shone out, followed by two eyes like tiny pinpoints. Limbs bereft of organics whirred painfully and shunted the upper torso from its prone position. The wizened head hung to the side until neck-joints reestablished, raising it slowly. Hip- and knee-sockets aligned and connected, and a dismembered hand crawled itself closer to link with a wrist. The eyes roved until they found what they sought. 


An arm slithered weakly over to where the Kanohi lay, and felt the small cracks along its edge. It would have to work for now. Soon the mask had been retrieved and was shakily raised to cover the figure's face. The heartlight finally began to flash with a regular rhythm. The eyes flared brighter now, then they flicked upward to the gap where the sunlight was already retreating as the day wore on.


Toa Varian raised herself to her feet and tottered for a moment before gaining her balance. Her organics would be slow to recover after so much damage and the lack of moisture, but she could move for now. She breathed in, smelled the lingering traces of psionic energy somewhere in the distance. Even now, her mind had not quite retreated into the confines of her skull. Perhaps it never would...but for now, she needed sustenance. Her memories coalesced. Yes, there were still minds on this world, though not so many as in the past. Over the ages, and despite her half-conscious state, she had managed to sustain herself on the incremental conversion of psionic energy. She had started with her own, and when that dwindled and she risked total dissipation, she had turned to other minds, which she could touch from a distance. It was the only way, she had told herself. She just had to hang on. Someday, she would awaken and return...


Those memories were still there, but they felt like the memories of a different person, buried under the accumulated weight of time and decay and desperation, as she had struggled against the onslaught of foreign thoughts and experiences that always threatened to crowd her out, and the need for survival that eventually pushed all else aside. Those hopes were far from her now, like a fading dream. Now, there was only one thing.


Telekinetic energy quivered in the air as Varian left the chamber of her eons-long slumber and emerged onto the surface of a world she had never seen with her true eyes nor touched with her real hands. The sun was lowering toward the horizon now. She could smell minds in that direction. She would walk for a while, acquainting herself once more with her body and senses, until the time came for her to travel more quickly. There would be no stopping to rest or sleep. She would never sleep again, she thought. There was no more need. Now there was only to follow the scent...the maddening scent...and taste directly what she had only sampled previously. Hunger was all that remained.


For, in her newly-wakeful state, she realized that of all the minds that she had allowed to remain sane and healthy on this forsaken world...


...she had saved the best for last.



^click for art topic^

Edited by Tolkien
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I think we have our next Greg Farshety (literary head of original Bionicle story). All in favor, say 'Aye'!


My eyes weep with hunger as they succumbed to starvation as soon as they laid their sights upon that last period.  I. Need. More.




...Now dangit.

Edited by Sir Iaredios
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A RUDE AWAKENING - A Spherus Magna redo | Tzais-Kuluu  |  Pushing Back The Tide  |  Last Words  |  Black Coronation  | Blue Man Bound | Visions of Thasos   ن

We are all but grey specks in a dark complex before a single white light

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  • 3 weeks later...

Kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed. I've added a bit of related art at the bottom of the post (which has its own art topic, btw, if you also want to look at it over there, for some reason).



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This is good. Very good. Quite sublime, in fact. At times the danger of the prose overtaking the narrative comes into play, but the grip of the story aligns itself with the beauty of the prose and we get a first-rate tale.

My favourite sentence is:


Gas shrieked out along the fissure and the frame of the chamber and froze instantly in the air.


Man, you've got some real talent. You should change your username to Gene Wolfe, because your prose is amazing. But, the question is, what happens next?

Edited by Erasmus Graves
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"Mutiny, Booty and Entropy"  - The Three Vices of the Frostelus


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Hot dang, that was terrific! I love your prose, the way you describe everything...it's very tangible, but also streamlined. Oftentimes when I'm reading a story I have to kind of nudge myself onward, but with this, it would have taken quite an effort to tear myself away.

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"Baby, in the final analyses, love is power. That's where the power's at."






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