The Abyss Will Gaze Back — Chapter II.
This is the latest edition of the OmniLore story-building initiative. If you’re not familiar with the details of this experiment, please refer to the first chapter.
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It is said when The Great Mind brought the world from chaos it set into place two primordial forces. These were the forces of Lus and Lib, the energies that have allowed life to thrive. From the motion and interaction of these two energies, many other complex forces arose. It was the weaving of the seven, however, that brought into being sentient life. The seven generative forces of life can be understood as Discipline, Spirit, Grace, Humility, Joy, Purity, and Wisdom. Each intelligent being embodies the seven, but not in equal parts. For humanity, their dominant traits become etched into the lines of their face by the light touch of time. For the omnimorphs the composition of the mask manifests as the energies they have chosen to embody. The Ancients have studied these forces since time immemorial, and have gazed upon the primordial energies in an age before the universe was obscured by complexity. Their masks are a pure representation of the force they embody in perfect balance with the primordial energies.
Epochs have come and gone since The Ancients last convened. All but the first Ancient of Wisdom had left Nul Khronos and disappeared alone into the void. Their activities were a mystery, even to the other omnimorphs. Perhaps they were tending to distant civilizations or seeding life on barren planets, all was speculation. The only certainty was the infrequency with which they returned. Though similar in appearance their consciousness was as different from the other omnimorphs as an omnimorph was from a human. Whether by fate or fortune it is believed they made contact with the first sentient beings to evolve in our universe. This early interaction gifted them sentience tens if not hundreds of millions of years before the next omnimorphs, So, though they share a common point of creation with their kin, their minds are far more ancient. To all but each other, they are unknowable.
For this reason, they are held in high regard by the omnimorphs. Now as they inform Nul Khronos of the force they have sensed influencing our realm, the omnimorphs listen with consternation, uncertain what could possibly worry such fathomless beings. The Ancients beckon the gathering of omnimorphs to focus their minds on the Pillar of Euraphaessa, so that they may finally see what lay beyond the cosmic horizon. As they synced with the ephemeral obelisk a faint glow began to emanate from the masks of the omnimorphs and pulsed in sync with the towering structure. Images of distant star systems and foreign nebulas began to flash through their unified consciousness, each one flashing through their mind at an increasing pace until it was just a blur, then suddenly — stillness. They had pierced through the veil at our world’s edge and stepped out into the exoverse. Each omnimorph felt as though they had become incorporeal, now standing and looking out over an infinite abyss. Within this great abyss towered before them the object they had sensed, closer than they could have imagined. Nearly touching the edge of our own universe. It was a vast and decaying cosmic structure, the desiccated remains of an ancient universe extinguished before ours was a thought in the ethersphere.
Somehow, against all odds this relic had not succumbed to entropy, it should have fallen into nothingness eons ago. Perhaps… something was keeping it together. As the omnimorphs peered into the darkness they began to see the faint glow of objects within its mass, like the dim glow of fading stars. Except, there could be no stars here. Whatever, the strange light emanated from, was not natural. Although the omnimorphs were not there in form they hesitate, just for a moment, before peering farthing into the inky hollow.
The objects they now saw were certainly unnatural. Like massive artificial stars, they burned, each one a dim furnace tethered to the others through thin strands of energy that spanned lightyears. Whatever they were the omnimorphs had never seen technology like this before, but the field of influence they were generating, appeared to be holding the remnants of this universe together. Moving still closer, they now saw strange concentric rings around each superstructure. But the surface of the rings themselves seemed to … move. A strange writhing and shifting that suddenly stopped as the omnimorphs noticed it. As they looked on, an unfamiliar sense began to fill their minds, a sense that emanated from the rings themselves. It was a feeling like a low growl, something akin to hunger. Something insatiable and unquenchable. Something that could sense the light of their consciousness and wanted to consume it. All at once, the rings filled with glassy vacant eyes as an uncountable number of creatures gazed up at them. Without knowing how they knew they were in danger.
The Ancients withdrew from the Pillar of Euraphaessa, severing the connection, but a moment too late. To their horror, several of the omnimorphs began to emanate the same shrill noise they had heard from the creatures as they collapsed. The rest watched as the few unfortunate souls had their essence pulled from their form and through the pillar, leaving behind a fading husk-like falling ash.
For the Ancients, it was something only they had sensed, something in the peripheries that concerned them. It was the vigilant gaze of a strange intelligence that had been watching from afar. One that felt eerily familiar…
As oblivion stands at our gates, we must decide on a course of action.
Branch #1 — Ensnare.
After seeing the horrors that await our universe the omnimorphs decide that they must learn more about the creatures that threaten our world. They cannot wait idly for them to enter our star systems. Though it required advancing their current technology, the omnimorphs were not far from achieving limited exoverse travel capabilities. Using a prototype vessel a small group of omnimorphs travel into the necromorph’s realm at incredible risk to themselves. Doubting they can spend much time unnoticed their options are limited. They intend to retrieve a necromorph specimen for further study and, if possible, obtain more information about the strange superstructure that keeps their world intact. Much could go wrong.
Branch #2 — Commune.
Within the deeper recesses of Nul Khronos lies a small chamber. Strange runes adorn its walls, each one seeming to glow with power. At its center sits a strange relic that has never left the boundaries of the city. Here is where the omnimorphs commune with The Great Mind, a being that has been all but silent. The Ancients convene here, hoping that the great being will respond to them in their time of need.
Branch #3 — Prepare.
There are many civilizations in our universe that remain undiscovered, and the initial contact between the two universes will leave these defenseless. When the necromorphs make contact those planets closest to them will suffer first. The omnimorphs decide to put their resources into seeking out and finding the many worlds that lay at the point of contact. If they can set up totems on these worlds, perhaps these civilizations stand a chance.
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