home / chapter 1

~ #story

I felt like writing a short story based in the same narrative universe as a novel I have started writing but haven’t spent much time on recently. I’m hoping this will spur me into wanting to write more of it.

I also want to try out writing in the first-person just to see how it feels.

The Sola people believe that controlling nature is the only way to watch it succeed. They spend so much of their energy directing and correcting the course of so many worlds for a goal that they think is justified. To let these worlds exist and travel along a trajectory in isolation would bring them a deep anxiety.

The reason for this is fairly simple although they tell themselves otherwise - they have lived for so long and gained so much power that there is nothing new left for them. They are bored. Moreover, they are a jealous people wanting only to control and dominate those civilisations and species that they consider less than them.

What they tell themselves is different. They claim to “nurture” this universe such that it remains “stable”. Without them, they claim, this universe would become imbalanced.

But what they fail to understand is that their very existence runs counter to the very laws they follow. How did they prosper to such an extent without their own guidance? If a universe without their intervention is an unstable one then how exactly did they come to possess control of the universe itself?

These questions have haunted me for a long time. I used to live the Sola way. I used to interfere and “correct” the course of worlds of civilisations that strayed from their path to “success”, whatever that is.

But to question the Sola way is to not be Sola, and so here I am, exiled from a people that I used to call my family and why? Well, I woke up in a way. I understood the true reality of the Sola people, which is ironic really because they’re all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful beings. Only their knowledge was still, well, theirs and ultimately they failed to question what they thought to be “good” and “right”. And now all I have is myself and a small life on one of trillions of worlds controlled by the invisible tendrils of the Sola Council.

And believe me, it could have been a better one. It could have been a planet with a functioning society but oh no. It had to be here. In this ancient junkyard of a rock, circling a dying star. Every day is bathed in visceral red light until dusk, where the sky turns a deep murky orange and finally darkness falls and burning heat becomes intense cold. They knew what they were doing sending me here of all places. They wanted to send a clear message to the other dissidents of Sola: “Question our laws? Rot in hell!” It makes sense really when you think about it. A race hell-bent on “stability” is bound to crush anyone willing to rock the boat a little, or heaven-forbid, try to understand why the boat is constantly trying to constrain and manipulate all the other boats in this bizarre ocean of boat-based societal metaphors. Anyway, I’m ranting again, sorry about that. I’m here now. On this destitute dust pile.

You know, the civilisation that once thrived here was unfortunately wiped out by something of an unfortunately placed asteroid by another Sola gone mad. You can’t really blame them, what with the whole “spending eternity alone” thing. An all powerful race couldn’t be expected to not have a few individuals go completely nuts with the power every once in a while. He couldn’t take it, set an asteroid on a collision course with this once beautiful, incredible place and tore down thousands of years of work in an instant. And some of that was down to him. He built it up and knocked it down, like some astrological-scale play thing.

The locals called this place “Home”. I’ve translated that from the ancient scriptures they left behind, it’s not literally “Home”, that would be weird. But of all the words they could have chose, they chose “Home” and I quite like that. It’s not just a rock or a planet or a material or a resource or a place to exist, it’s a home. If ancient Sola history is to be believed, it was quite an early understanding that the concept of “home” is actually a deeply emotional one. “Home is a feeling”. A warm, comfortable, relaxing feeling. And you can feel it anywhere, but I don’t feel it here, that’s just me.

Anyway, it’s getting a bit orange-y out there so I better go and drag the storage heaters inside for the night. I’ve got a feeling the ice winds are going to be extra strong tonight.

Signing off for now. Console, stop recording.