Enlightening the Void



A single, humanoid sillhouette sailed throughout the cosmos, emanating a soft glow of light. There was nothing but the silence, and the light. At least, in this corner of the universe.

Nemphis did not know why it was so dark here. He pondered his choice of dress on this day. Day? Night? Was there ever such constructs within the cosmos? Nemphis wasn't sure, but he knew a well-tailored suit of his own design, coupled with shoes polished to a shine, and a top hat for good measure, were absolutely perfect for any occasion.

He just knew that within this void, light existed somewhere. And he was going to be the one to find it.

He sailed further and further. He paused, wondering if he should have come alone. What if he loses his way? He looked back at a track of floating, glowing orbs he had left in his quest into the abyss. What if they are put out? No, that's not possible. Light is forever. Light cannot be destroyed.

He proceeded on his directory. In reality, a directive is not utilized during exploration. The exploration's entire purpose is to chart the directive. And yet, there was a certain direction in which Nemphis decided to go.

He didn't know what drew him there, or why. Maybe it was destiny. Maybe he had been tasked to find it by some unforseen power. Maybe it was God, like some of the humans had claimed.

Or maybe it was something worse than a light. Maybe it was a darkness darker than any pitch black he had ever encountered. Maybe he needed to turn it to his side, the side of the common good.

Nemphis' thoughts were interrupted when he sharply came to a halt as he approached a strange anomaly within the darkness. It seemed to be tearing at reality itself. The fabric of the universe being both sustained, yet… broken. Nemphis observed as it sat there, destroying and creating matter before him. He hadn't observed reality fractures before, but he had heard tell from the cosmic powers that be. He had heard of that the other side was rarely reached, but it was possible in some situations. Since light could not be destroyed, he decided the risk was non-existent, and reached out towards the twisting cataclysm.

Suddenly, the void illuminated, and he had found himself in a seperate location. He looked above him, where the almost identical rip in existential fabric hovered in the air. Reassured that he had a way out, he turned to the landscape, and was taken aback. This environment was very familiar to him. It was reminiscent of another planet… What had it been called?

"Earth," he whispered aloud.

The infrustructure was industrial, the grass blew in a soft breeze, but… the sky was void of blue. The clouds, instead of being tastefully peppered along the sky, were instead flooded into it, a booming thunder echoing through the landscape. Nemphis turned his attention back to the buildings, observing the cracks in their architecture. They were not created this way.

He began to move forward, treading softly, the dry grass crunching beneath his heels. He tried to understand this drab and sinister place.

However, soon enough, he realized that all he needed was to see and to hear. A sharp, mechanical resonance boomed from the distance. It shocked him to hear such an unpleasant, ugly sound. How could a creature with tools of sound creation at their fingertips create such an evil noise? He scanned the horizon, in search of a source. And he had found it.

Towering above many more broken, bashed and beaten buildings loomed a monstrosity that rocked Nemphis to his core. Skeletal in design, with eyes illuminating miles beyond it, the structure moved through the buildings, as if searching for something. Nemphis turned his attention to find that another resided further away on the horizon. And another. And another. He counted all of them in view, from single to double digits.

"19," he murmurred.

He decided he did not like this place. He turned to return from where he had came, but stopped. A figure stood in front of the torn fabric, back to Nemphis, observing the miracle for itself.

"Alluring, isn't it?" the figure spoke, his words coated with a thick, Russian accent, giving the voice an undeniable weight despite its naisly presentation. "A transport to another world. A way to see what could have been, had not a different god taken the reigns."

"It is… quite alluring," Nemphis responded. "I personally saw no harm in coming to observe what another collective had achieved, in another time. Another place. Are you part of a collective?"

The figure turned to Nemphis. He wore a heavy bear fur coat and ushanka, with a gas mask enveloping his entire head, linked to a large cylinder on his back. The rest of his body was equally reserved, not a single glimpse of organic matter evident.

"No, I wouldn't say 'part of', moreso… above," the figure responded. "And what of you? Are you a leader?"

"Not yet," admitted Nemphis. "I hope to lead the collective in terms of our goals, for I have recently discovered something that makes me question them. I have been searching for something similar to that discovery, and I find myself… here."

"Fascinating," replied the figure. A resonance rang out again. Both Nemphis and the figure turned their attention to them.

"What are those things?" Nemphis asked.

"My creations," replied the figure. Nemphis turned to him.

"Yours?" he said.

"Yes," the figure replied. "Mine. I created them. All of them. They are… Not the most attractive of creations, yet they are effective."

Nemphis reflected upon this new discovery. "But… Why make them so… Ugly?"

The figure's head cracked into a tilt, the sharp snap of bones cracking making Nemphis shudder.

"Because ugliness instills fear," he said.

"But why instill fear?"

"To keep opposers in check."

"And why would you face opposition?"

"You ask many questions."

"Only because I wonder why you would make such horrific monsters for any reason."

"Why, for domination of course."

Nemphis fell silent.

"What is it?" inquired the figure.

"No being should ever control power of such a cruel manner," Nemphis replied.

"And who are you to distribute power?" the figure asked. "You impose into my world a visitor, then immediately attempt to present yourself as some sort of moral authority?"

"It is the basic moral compass of right and wrong," Nemphis replied. "How many have you killed?"

"Billions," the figure said, disregarding any interest in the number. It was not impressive, nor unimpressive to him. It was merely a number. "And perhaps many billions more, should I reach beyond the stars. Who knows? Maybe I can dabble in the works of other universes."

"But why?" asked Nemphis, pathetically. "Why would you do such a thing?"

"I cannot rebuild a universe that is already populated, can I?" the figure answered. "The element I discovered… It allows endless opportunities for creation, but I cannot utilise it if many who do not agree with me still exist to oppose me. Hence, I created them. The Ossas. My overseers. Because I am too busy creating, I need something else to do the work for me. Something much more… Amoral."

The figure stepped to the side.

"Well, I've enjoyed this chat. I would implore you return back home now. It would be a shame to have to bury you in foreign soil."

Nemphis looked towards the tear, then back to the figure. He slowly stepped forward. He turned back to the creatures on the horizon. Then he turned to the figure.

"What happens here is not my business," he said. "But I implore you to think upon this; creativity is cherished universally. I suggest you captilise on your opportunity. You have a resource granting you unlimited creative potential, just as I do. Impress the masses. Do not snuff out criticism, because you may learn something you were too short sighted to see. just as I did."

The figure listened intently.

"I'll reflect on that," he replied. "Now, off you go."

Nemphis shook his head sadly. He stepped towards the tear, and in a flash, he was back in the abyss.

He felt much heavier. Much sadder.

You could have saved those lives, you idiot, he thought to himself.

"No," he sighed, addressing himself. "It is not your place."

And with that, he began to drift away from the tear, less than content with his decision.

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