We tried to send more data pings and waited.

Automated signals.

Nothing else.

The other man was quiet.

I had nothing to say.

The reality of our situation weighed on us.

We moved to a chamber which looked more reinforced and sat on opposite sides. We agreed to take turns resting.

The other man took a dose of chems which would put him to sleep.

I sat in the quiet of that dusty, ancient place. There were shards of broken pottery here and there. Some with painted designs. The color of which had faded with wear and grime, but still showed through when I rubbed their surface of dirt and sand.

The green cube was still in my hand. I had not let it go.

[It’s… getting warmer…]

It was at that point when I realized the cube was not an anchor, but a lure, and it was too late to escape its pull.

I felt myself slip into it as I left that body behind. The mind of that body came too. He had already melded too much into me, and the draw carried him with me.

We squeezed through an infinity of pinhole space. Through galaxies and to a distant place still outside of understanding.

As we neared the end, I had a familiar feeling. I knew this place from my time within the singularity. Void space. The aether.

We arrived there in an instant of time, leaving that body behind. Before us was a dark star of colossal size. Its shadowy green surface swarmed with icy death. Behind us was the pinhole, and all around the dark star were countless other pinholes of dim green light. Each was another lure. How they were made, how they were spread out, how long they had all existed, could never be known.

The panic of the other me was radiant. He clung to me, having been separated from his body, and now an immaterial being within a space without meaning. He looked at me with some realization that a part of me was what saved him before. That part of me was now demanding my departure from this place.

The star’s gaze shifted toward us. A green slit of evil light within its core. It spoke to us in a tongue of heavy gravity waves. If we had still been material and brought to this place, the mere voice of this elder thing would have obliterated us.

I did could not understand its words. But I caught its intent.

It spoke an abyssal prayer before an offering.

Gravity increased, and my second mind reached out to cling to the pinhole we had come from. I was lost in the moment, wondering what would happen. The passenger that had been brought with me screamed out in terror as he lost his grip. In a moment he was there next to me, in the next his grip had slipped. His immaterial essence had been pulled away from me and was plunging into the maw of the dark star. Then he was gone.

Realization hit me. I should have merged him into me instead of allowing the loss, but my awe of this terrible thing paralyzed me.

I clung on to the pinhole not to be devoured.

The dark star and I matched sight. Then came its growing rage. A heat of hate in the denial of what we had offered to it.

My second self struggled to break through the pinhole against the increasing pressure of the elder being’s proximity.

The rage and heat grew. Its pull was irresistible. Every moment drained me. This thing was beyond me, I had no chance against it even with what stolen might I now held.

But then my second self managed entry, and I was through, having left the passenger to doom. Again I was squeezed through the pinhole at speeds faster than light, between galaxies, and then back to that place where the body waited.

Some time had passed. The body felt stiff, but still living, being sustained by the suit’s systems.

The cube was still in the grip of my hand. I had a moment of curiosity as it grew in heat, more and more turning from green to hot white. It scorched the skin of this body through its suit with a terrible energy, and, before the thing within its coil could reach me, I threw the cube away, hoping it would break into pieces, but it stayed whole. I knew I could not summon the powerful vestiges which had saved this body before. I reached for my piece, and shot round after round into the cube. Finally it cracked, and exploded into a thousand shards, embedding its pieces into the cold stone of that dead place. The fragments sparked and melted as the cosmic link was obstructed.

<What is this? I can feel.>

The original mind of this body was now lost forever. I had nearly been taken too. Pulled into a true end. It had tried to send an assassin to claim me.

<Strange. Am I in control of this vessel?>

The other man was no longer there in that space. I was alone.

<Ah, I’m crying.>

My light was depleted. I could not return to my living body now. I would have to survive for some time in this mortal flesh before I could depart back to my living body.

The Cosmic Eye Awakens!

Never miss a chapter release. Join the Tarot.io + Subsoap Newsletter for free.