Monday 1 February 2021

Intergalactic Bastionland - The Dark

The Dark would not exist without The Light.

You might assume this is the other way around. That darkness is some sort of neutral state of reality, and objects cast light into it as an exception to that resting nothingness. Maybe that's how it works over there, but not here among the Living Stars. 

Here, Darkness is a thing. It's a tangible, treacherous, terrible thing. 

Most Stars have accepted the presence of shadows within their light. Encroaching patches of darkness simultaneously oppose and, perhaps unknowingly, enforce the Star's philosophy, forming a strange cosmic symbiosis. 

But this is the raw stuff. Not just an opposition to the light of the stars, but an opposition to everything. 

There's a theory that Stars grow out of concepts. When we have an idea strong enough to give it a name, a Star is born. As the concept grows, so does the Star, sometimes splitting, sometimes merging, but burning out yet more light into a galaxy that's rapidly growing oversaturated with thoughts and colour and concepts. 

The same theory posits that this overabundance of stuff has pushed back what was once ordinary run-of-the-mill darkness and vacuum, condensing it into the capital-D Dark. 

So this is all very vague. What's actually in there?

Well, let's get the most confusing part out of the way first. There is light in there.

No, listen, this makes sense.

It's more like the dust of dead light. Barely luminous residue that hangs in the air, giving a dull, powdery view of things. It doesn't travel far. By the time your eyes capture it you might even start to lose sight of what you're looking at.

Oh yeah, and there's air in here. Remember, this isn't space, this is the Living Stars. As with the light, this is used-up old air. A billion last-breaths, barely exhaled, clinging to you like a cold shiver.

In fact, the deeper into the Dark you go, the more you might question the name. Others have called it the Fall, the Waste, or, more flatteringly, the Truth. 

But then others call it Hell, so take that with a pinch of salt.

So what's the point of the Dark? Well that's the core of it. The Dark doesn't have a point.

While Stars are all about ideas, concepts, philosophies, and agendas, the Dark sits as the other side of the disc. 

It is explicitly, aggressively about nothing. A lack of rules, lack of structure, and it whole-heartedly doesn't care about you

This sense of meaninglessness can repel some, but it does attract a certain sort. The sort that wants to live or die by their own hands. People that see any sort of rules or philosophy as stifling. Those that can accept an existence that could be wiped out by a crushing wave of anti-force at any moment. 

If you're thinking this would suit you then I'd encourage you to think again. Plenty of travellers have come crawling back to the Light after experiencing the true dread of a life within the Dark. It truly takes a specially warped sort of mind, and if this is even making you consider thinking twice, you're probably too wrapped up in the security of rules and structure to tough it out. 

An alternative theory is that the Dark is everything that has been forgotten. If the stars are fuelled by concepts, then they should die as frequently as they are born, as words are forgotten, poets die, and dreamers wake. Without this fuel for their fire, what's left coalesces into the Dark. The remains linger without purpose, the embers of its power lying dormant. Not much on its own, but over time these merge into a growing force without a direction. 

A force without an identity.

Except that it was something else. It clings on like an echo that won't fade to silence, gradually building towards a screaming feedback loop. All noise, no meaning. 

But that's just a theory. It probably won't come to that. 


  1. I love how you manage to create something that clearly isn't space but it still manages to feels cosmic. Very inspiring!

  2. Great stuff, reminds me of the Pale in Disco Elysium where overabundance of information is indistinguishable from absolute ignorance.

  3. Really reminds me of the Nothingness in Jenna Katerin Moran's Glitch.