July 28, 2012

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. "Crossfire": Coming To YOU 2012!

S.T.A.L.K.E.R. "Crossfire": Coming To YOU 2012!: S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Crossfire was originally conceptualised as a work of fan-fiction with an illustrated / graphic novel feel to it. Since then...

June 4, 2012

Weekend Workshop: Out of Oblivion

Crashnexus presents, with art by Cyrus Crashtest and story by Psynexus,

Out of Oblivion

Art by Cyrus Crashtest

This will be my final entry before I enter the hibernation pods with the rest of the crew. With Earth weeks behind us, we leave with the best wishes at a time of turmoil and fear for our species. I’ll never forget how I felt as the familiar blue sphere grew smaller and smaller in the display and we bade our home farewell. It’s shocking to think now that the beautiful little gem in space that bore such beauty now drifts broken through the void, a crimson red.

Our ship, The Exodus, is a cradle for the remnants of humanity – a symbol for a new beginning somewhere beyond the star that spawned and nurtured us from children to adults. It glides through interstellar dust and solar winds, carrying us along like baby Moses drifting down the Nile to escape certain death. That’s who I am – who we all are. We are nothing more than helpless children, being pushed through space at the whim of the cosmos. The deadly currents that lay mere inches from our outer hull act as a guardian, holding us captive as it aids us along our journey.

Our destination is an earth-like planet known as Kepler-22b, some 600 light-years from Earth. Our journey will take thousands of years to complete, and Earth as we know it will no doubt be unrecognizable by the time we get there… if it still exists at all. The planet is smack-dab in the middle of the habitable zone –the range of conditions in which humans can survive – and is just over twice the size of Earth. For all intents and purposes it is paradise… much like Earth used to be in our infancy before we grew up and began to devour it like a plague of locusts.

I remember first seeing the Exodus from a docking port back on Earth before the bombs fell; it’s large, round hull strapped to enormous boosters reminiscent of an egg, carrying child. It looked like a tiny new world escaping the confines of an older, dying world… and that’s exactly what it is. The Exodus is a colony ship – but more than that, it is our last hope. The warnings went unheeded as our natural resources dwindled away into nothingness and our planet became a barren wasteland; a mere shell of the once lush and fertile habitat that once sustained us.

In the final days, an emergency summit of world leaders was convened and all remaining resources were committed to Project Exodus in hope that humanity could start over again. The decision was met with anger, confusion, and fear;sacrificing billions to save thousands seemed ludicrous. In a cruel twist of irony, the world united in a final fight for survival, committing every resource to the destruction of Exodus in order to claim the last resources for themselves. Words like “inhuman” and “cowards” pelted our hull along with small arms and IEDs. Humanity had made its last mistake in our long history of mistakes on planet Earth, and one last time we would learn that you never appreciate what you have until it’s gone. That’s when the bombs fell.

As we ascended towards the heavens, light like the fire of a thousand suns erupted beneath us, blotting out the skies. Nuclear explosions sent ripples through the air decimating clouds and pulverizing the skeletal remains of our cities, erasing the aftermath of our mistakes but not their memory. I sometimes dream that life continues to survive and thrive, unhindered by the virus once known as “humans” and it brings me hope, but every time I think aboutthat shriveled, burning ball of death I realize that such thoughts are nothing more than the fantasy of a madman. 

Despite the bleakness we leave behind and the blackness before us, there remains small shimmers of light that guide us along our journey. The blue-green light of nebulae and newborn stars glowing faintly in their nurseries dance across the bulkheads, beckoning us further into the unknown.No one knows what the future holds, but when I look back towards Earth and see our sun winking back at us, I know that there is hope. This is the feeling that I choose to hold on to as I enter my thousand-year slumber, and will hold on to until my eyes open again under the light of a new star, a new sky, and a new place to call home.

October 2, 2011

The City in the Mist

Image by Cyrus Crashtest

They say that on a late autumn or spring day, the city in the mist awaits. It graces the tops of the mountains, kissed by clouds and the angels who guard its gates. Is it real or just a dream cooked up in some old fools head? All who return do so as fools, their eyes speaking of splendor untold. The legend of its towering spires and golden gates drive men mad with lust for adventure; to enter its gates and uncover treasures beyond their wildest dreams. Perhaps more invigorating than the discovery itself is the journey; long and wrought with obstacles. It has broken all who seek it, promising eternal reward in exchange for their very lives. Yet still its call is loud and true; one would need to sever their ears to ignore it. At last I can take it no more…

Northbound, your path awaits
Through the putrid swamp of testing fate
Eastward now, through the scorching dunes
Forward still, towards certain doom.
Through the echoing caverns of nevermore
Demons wait to settle their scores
Cross the perilous river, your journey goes
Down to the hells, from whence it flows

The city waits there, at the end of this road. Its splendor is nothing mere men could know. Perhaps it’s just a dream of a longing fool, tired of this world and all its downfalls. Maybe it’s just a trap meant for the unprepared. Nonetheless, I embark upon this journey knowing the danger, for no matter how it ends, it will be the last journey I ever take.

Back from the hells, you ascend upwards now
Into the heavens, don’t look down
The city can be found on the second cloud
At the seat of the world, it stands watch – tall and proud

The empty promise of reward is what drives me; it’s all I need. I care not whether it exists or not, I tread on just to say I did. Sometimes the reward is in the journey itself, not the destination. To say that you continued onward when others refused because they were too afraid is the biggest reward you could ever ask for. But the reward is useless if the destination means your end. What lesson is there to be taught if you cannot share your success? Perhaps that is why I believe mindless fools; their eyes never lie. They saw the top of the mountain and lived to tell the tale.

Enter ye weary traveler and lay yourself to sleep
Eternity waits just a dream away, a promise I vow to keep
Now ends your suffering, agony, and strife
In the city where daylight shines and drives away the night

I’ve come so far and walked so long. It’s a one-way journey now – I no longer have the luxury of being wrong. I’ve traversed the stinking swamps and scorching dunes, entered the caverns and crossed the river. As I feel my body go weary and insanity seep in I know this is the hell I was promised. The world is a cruel and unforgiving place and we take so much for granted. I look behind me now and remember my past life that seems ages ago as I continue along this path of life lost to the elements. I might have done things differently… I might have stayed, but the only way back now is forward.  There will never truly be a return trip, even if I somehow do make it back to the place I once called home. Things and people change, and I have been lost too long in this place. I must continue forward to heaven, or be lost forever in the hells.

As I emerge from the pit of despair, a stone path appears before me. I step into the daylight and am greeted by the green grass and shade of paradise. I fall to the ground and begin to weep. I’ve made it out alive, changed. I had forgotten the beauty of the world, lost in the darkness of days past. The path zigzags into misty mountains that mark the end of my journey. Nothing else matters now… I have made it through the journey alive, scarred, but stronger. As I drink from a nearby pool I gaze at my reflection. It smiles back in a way I have not seen in years, telling a story of pain and happiness. I believe and know it to be true because the eyes never lie.

The path guides me along to glory I’ve never known. The air is fresh and golden… all breaths I have taken before this were a lie. I forget the pain in my limbs and the cuts and bruises from the journey behind me and continue on, renewed.  Suddenly the sun bursts from the roof of the world, blinding me with warmth. I can feel the angels flutter around me, their wings blowing my hair back and lifting me off the ground.  I peek just long enough to watch as the world I once knew vanishes in a flash of light and my trivial worries of my past life flee from my sight forever.

Enter now and cast off your sins
For now is the time for new life to begin