25 | 02 | 2017

Downloaded a cool bit of software called Sculptris and this terrifying fellow is what happened on my first play.

22 | 02 | 2017

Prologue

The ship cut silently through the darkness of space. Its body was like a squashed cylinder, tapering to a point at the prow. Bulbous protrusions at the rear hinted at the powerful engines hidden inside. The way it seemed to absorb the weak light of distant stars meant that it was visible only as a dark stain in the sky; only the lack of stars signified its presence. Accelerating to roughly one half the speed of light its planet of origin, a bleak, sulphurous ball of red rock called Locke, was soon nothing more than another speck in the blackness and its destination began to take shape ahead.

The warp gate was the size of a small planet or large moon but took the shape of a cylinder rather than a sphere. In contrast to the sleek lines of the ship it was an ugly, brutal thing; inside the cylinder was a smooth tunnel but outside was a misshapen expanse of towers and cables, pockmarked by the impacts of decades worth of space debris. It was located in the centre of a triangle of stars and tendrils snaked out from the gate towards each one. As the ship neared, lights around the perimeter of the gate flickered into life and the inner surface began to glow with a blue light. The tendrils shuddered and shook as they leeched the power needed to stage a warp jump from the nearby suns.

The ship steered with perfect precision into the very centre of the cylinder. As it entered there was a brief flash of light and the ship disappeared. The blue glow faded and the lights on the perimeter winked one by one into darkness.

***

Light years away, in a distant arm of the galaxy, there was a planet orbiting an old, dying star. Its surface was covered in arid deserts, with what little water there was stored in pockets deep underground and hanging suspended in the thinning atmosphere. The ageing sun cast a deep red light over the sand dunes making them look like old skin, once supple but now baggy and creased. Little life survived in such a harsh environment beyond the tough, coarse moss that covered the many rocks strewn across the desert and any number of tiny microbial creatures, eking out enough moisture for survival from the air. Small lizards flitted from shadow to shade, scratting at the moss and thin, skeletal birds with leathery wings wheeled in the sky seeking near invisible prey.

Across this hostile planet crawled a massive mobile city, carried by many sets of huge, creaking tracks. Almost two miles in length, its body arched and bent like a caterpillar to match the contours of the undulating dunes. Weathered over countless years its surface was a patina of sand and rust with recently repairs distinct in their brighter, cleaner shades. On its roof miles of solar panels drew power from the beating sun and thousands of arms jutted out at all angles, tirelessly filtering what little water they could from the air.

Inside the metal leviathan, built and grown over generations huge engines worked tirelessly to keep it moving and to provide the inhabitants with light and oxygen.

***

Somewhere in the depths of space, far beyond the reaches of human colonisation, something stirred. A crackle of static rippled across the sky and suddenly all of the stars in a large section of sky disappeared in a swathe of inky blackness.