July 26, 2014

The Journal of Markus Livingston

March 20, 1877

I do not know exactly how to put into words my current predicament. I suspect that this journal may never be read by a living soul and that indeed I may never have the chance to it’s survival nor my own.

I awoke today in a place that was not my own. It’s a place seemingly out of time and sense; like a dream that I cannot awaken from. I know that it cannot be a dream because I am terrified yet have not awoken. Perhaps I am dead and this is hell.

I do not know for sure what events have transpired. In fact, I do not know much of anything anymore besides the painfully obvious; I am utterly alone. Perhaps if I start at the beginning, seeing the words will provide some small clarity to me. I will attempt to do so now.

Yesterday, I awoke to the smell of bacon and eggs the same as every day I can recall. I ate, and then attended to the daily duties a farmer must attend to. The day was not remarkably unlike another… in fact it almost seemed to be more dreadfully plain than most. After I had finished the day’s chores, I attended supper with Amy and the kids. After supper, the kids washed themselves and were sent to bed, after which I layed down next to Amy. After reading a few chapters of a book, she presented me with a kiss and went to sleep.

It occurs to me now that I did not fall asleep immediately as I usually do. Upon further reflection I have a daunting memory of some sort of turmoil beyond my inability to sleep that night. There was a light. A flash of light. Blue like the night sky after sunset. I suspected lightning at first, so I approached the window to have a look-see. There was no lightning and no thunder… but the light persisted.

Then a voice, or perhaps a feeling called to me, beckoning me towards it. I was afraid at first, but intrigue got the better of me and I felt compelled to get closer. I opened the window and the light filled the room, wrapping me in its’ wispy, otherworldly tendrils. Then I felt myself begin to slip away into unconsciousness. When I awoke I found that the world I had been in before was now closed to me.

I found myself in a new place… whether a twisted version of the world I know or a new one entirely I cannot possibly say. I am alone, and there has been no sign of any other person here except for me. The initial shock of waking not in my bed, but in what I can only describe as some kind of forest took some time to come to terms with, but once that had passed and I realized that this was no dream world, I began to explore.

This place I am in, this “forest”... is unlike anything I have ever seen nor could ever imagine. It is defined by large, dark tree-like plants that extend into the sky for many dozens of yards. They would remind me of great Redwood trees, had they been black and diseased. Although they are entirely alien to me, it seems as though they should not be like this. As a farmer, I am familiar with several varieties of plants and know a healthy, thriving crop when I see one. This is not one such crop. Why they do not flourish in seemingly fertile soil is a mystery to me.

I can hear sounds from beyond my sight, the sounds of creatures stirring in these woods. I do not recognize any of the calls that they make, which adds further weight to my fear that I have stumbled into a place where I should not be. As the night set in I began to feel a sense of urgency tugging at me, prompting me to move and find some sort of shelter, water, and food.

As I stumbled through the woods, lost, scared and confused, to my utter disbelief I came across a small, ragged shelter, abused by the ravages of time. As I approached it, I could see a skeletal hand protruding from within. The thought of another person having been here before me gave me some small hope, so I entered the shelter, hoping to learn what I could from this unfortunate soul, my first companion in this strange place. But as I entered, my heart sank - for there were more than just a single skeleton inside. There were a dozen or so, all clad in clothing several centuries apart. An English merchant, a Spanish Conquistador, a Roman soldier, a Native American, an Ancient Egyptian, and one dressed in an animal pelt. All had died here, trapped like myself… and all had carved their names into the bark of the tree upon which the shelter rested which, at the bottom, read;


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.