Impulses to share the dreams washed over me and tested my resistance. Visions, one after another, bled into my mind.

The radiating collective melded in.

An open green field stretched out before me. The sky was low with thick morning fog.

Surrounding my vision were people of this world. Hunters wearing straps of leather at their waist, holding spears of a sharpened wood charred by licking flame.

Light blue and white skin of an amphibian, entirely hairless. Their legs were digitigrade, their feet more human. Hands long with three fingers and a thumb. Ears short and simple. Eyes all black, reflective of the blue green gray of the atmosphere. Teeth white and sharp.

A lonely creature stood at the end of the field. Deer like, but with no fur. Its face was smooth, with no obvious ears or eyes. A once perfectly connected head opened to reveal a mouth as the creature grazed. Thin turquoise tentacles clung to blades of grasses, lifting them up into its maw with graceful efficiency.

The hunters approached with caution. Their spears ready to throw.

The air became charged, and the creature at the end of the field froze with the sensation. Then, with impulsive speed, it dashed into the deep fog of the valley away from the hunters.

Needle thin, directed energy beams pierced through the haze and made holes in the hunters. Parts of a structure cloaked in the mist from which the beams arrived became visible as the air retreated from the backward vectors of the beams.

Each hunter had few precious moments of life left before the flesh of their bodies became smoldering corpses by the cascading energy planted inside of their bodies.

I snapped back into this body and attempted to guard its flesh from the waves.

More dreams, memories smothered me. A constant tide of physic gravity welled around in this place, pulling my mind back in.

I clenched my fists with every slip into the dream space. Even with all that I had become, my senses could not maintain focus on what was actually real. There were too many other minds in chorus smothering me. Far more than what the vessels contained.

<That feeling. Keep moving.>

It was bright. But colder the closer to the center.

As I neared the orange-red light, the style of the prisons changed. No longer were they stacked so close together. Many now shimmered under the rot of ancient frost, with precious metals and stones. From them, a sense of menacing eyes tracked me. I touched one and instead of a repeating mantra, there was a stream of unique chatter. Anger, contempt, indictment. These minds were not victims of the swelling hive. They had agency to think and act on their own.

I was close now. Through the frustrated hate, the poison and dread. I continued forward toward the light.

The center. An orb. Bed to perpetual a confluence of emanating might and mind. It floated within the air of this place, above a spiral of machines which cycled its radiation.

<Take the seed. Reach out. I will cherish.>

A million voices screamed at me in one stream to stop. To cease. To become still. To die.

I reached out for the orb. When I did, the light’s energy filled me with a sudden gift of insight.

<!̶̡͍̜̰̃̆͒̆̾̎͌̚̕͝!̶̧̡͇̯̙̻͖̖͈̺͆͊͝!̷͍̯̤̀̆̀>

Orb seed. Young god, not yet to bloom. Stuck in stillbirth. Stolen. Hidden. Squandered.

Light weapon. Herald.

Council. Those who lived in paradise. Within a dream. Thieves. Monsters.

War. Desperate worship upon distant powers. Treachery. Evil.

A victorious cult stripped the will to life from all, and in its covenant fed its own people in finality as offerings to the dark star.

A small part of a greater war between ancient gods. Fat, complacent. Indifferent. Departed.

A once great race bent to serve, cruelly stripped of dignity, and made to perish in meaningless annihilation. With only some escaping that fate through greed and chance. Only to become husks forced to relive sorrowful pain for thousands of years.

The orb’s icy crust shattered outward as shards of light burst off its surface and into me, flooding my outer mind with so much potential that my conscious will became pure white hot, an overload, too much at once, a kind of total inversion of a void.

In time, the light faded, and I came to my senses.

A growing sense of putrid death surrounded me. The vessels chattered and drained one after another as the orb went still and dim. No longer sustained, the vessels cracked, hissing the last gasps of the shared nightmare.

A promise of an afterlife for those near death. The prison any would go who had no sure future in mortal life. They did not know that it would strip them of the cycle of life. That their eternal souls would become stuck as everlasting batteries in perpetual service to a race of false gods who long ago sought to hide within this deep place in eternity.

I felt the power of the orb flow through me, but as it passed, I did not feel it in me. Taken into a pit of darkness deep within my core mind where the voice came from. The gift of insight evaporated around me as the true final vitality of a now extinct species faded.

An ocean had become a dry seabed. A colossal waste never to live or die again.

The Cosmic Eye Awakens!

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