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What Was To Come


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The white, ephemeral mist spiralled around your arms like tendrils. Each finger reached out to tug at your loose-fitting, lily robe, living only long enough to make a connection before vanishing from sight. The feeling was as good as you remembered it; this was the place where you always found solace. In this hall, you would wind yourself into the strands of myriad realities and watch as they birthed and died, taking comfort in your own eternity. And then you saw it.

Long ago, your people took great pains to ensure their continued survival. Their tenure of multiple dimensions was assured by the deployment of spheres, each designed to transform local space into an area habitable by your species. When networked, these spheres could alter vast regions, their domain surrounded by a thermobaric cloud that protected it from sight and from incursion. To the explorer's eye, it would appear to be a spatial anomaly. It was intended also as a deterrent, as the area influenced by the spheres was as harmful to monodimensional beings as their space was to you. For aeons it worked; none but the bravest of explorers dared venture within the confines of the cloud. That was until your people became greedy.

Talk of racial supremacy began as a whisper and built into a roar. It was difficult to turn a deaf ear to it as it swept through to permeate every molecule of the essence of your culture. Opinions changed from day to day; at first the idea of a regime based on superiority was opposed but, eventually, more and more began to march to the beat of its power hungry drum. Traditions of science, history, observation and documentation were abandoned as multigalactic conquest became your society's driving force. All fell to the temptation of a realm ruled by the 'sphere builders', as you had come to be known, the beacon of hope for your race's very existence now a symbol of your intent to crush reality itself beneath your heel.

Amongst the mounting insanity, only a few of you remembered the old ways, clinging to them like the vapours from the Chambers of Observation linger on a scryer's robe. You were one of them. It was difficult at first not to bow to the unstoppable tide but, having seen from the cultures whom you had observed that the lust for power resulted only in destruction, your resolve held strong. Your race's progression to be able to manipulate multidimensional space to observe myriad potential timelines had been regarded initially as an educational boon. With some sadness, you realised that the knowledge that had been drawn from it had been squandered. And then, as more and more spheres were built, as more and more territory was conquered, something pierced the arrogance of your people's veil of assured supremacy. Panic. This time, there was no gradual gathering of momentum. No, hysteria spread like a cancer, fuelling your people's jingoistic cause with new perceptions of a battle against extinction. You were to meet opposition, they said. Monodimensional life forms who lacked in technological development but were determined enough to band together to destroy the spheres once and for all. This would not just happen in one reality. It would happen in all of them.

That notion seemed ridiculous at first. The spheres were a symbol of hope! You refused to believe that the foundations on which your society was built could fall so easily. How could monodimensional life survive under their influence? That they might find a way seemed unlikely but you could not ignore it as a possibility. After all, had your own people not ascended to their multidimensional existence as the conclusion of their own evolution? The more you thought along these lines, the more they seemed plausible, even logical. Was not the survival instinct strong in all species, including animals? Was it not the reason behind evolution itself? As an accomplished scryer, there was an easy way to find out, to see with your own eyes whether or not rumours of opposition and annihiliation were true. The key to the secrets of the web of reality itself lay in your grasp but you did not dare use it. Until today.

How could a feeling so familiar suddenly be so terrifying? How could the mesmeric reverse echo of each breath now carry with it the weight of crushing fate? The sensation of becoming one with the mist, usually a panacea, was now an intolerable irritant. Where you had succumbed to the embrace of the conflux of time and possibility, you now recoiled from it. It was as though you knew the answer already but you would not allow your eyes to see it; if the multiverse had once been a trusted ally, it had now become a hated enemy. Because there it was, right before your eyes, playing out in infinite stereo, in innumerable permutations.

There was no escaping what was to come.

Fleet Captain Diego Herrera

Commanding Officer

USS Vigilant


Deputy Commandant: UFOP: SB118 Academy

Edited by Diego Herrera
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