The air’s getting colder. It’s like we’re jumping right over fall and plummeting headfirst into a dark winter.
I know the missing stars were however-many-billion-miles away, and the warmth of their rays negligible. But I can still feel that missing light. Like how you might sense the electricity of a coming storm in the stillness of the air.
It’ll be our star gone soon. Everyone knows it — just no one says it outloud.
Don’t suppose you got a light?
It’s alright. I should quit anyway.
So thirteen found a jackal, huh. Hell of a story. Wonder if any of it’s true?
And if it is, if it was a statue of a jackal, what does it mean? That creatures that feast on the dead evolved independently on multiple worlds? Or did something place them on different planets?
Don’t know which idea scares me more.
Don’t bother disguising my voice. There’s no point now.
There’s a rumor going around and it’s got the momentum of a rockslide. You hear it and it just about crushes you.
It’s that we’ve been living in a simulation and the servers are finally shutting down. Stars out. Time for bed.
You hear this simulation idea for the first time and you look up at the night sky. You look right up at the holes in space that should be filled with light, and you let out a long breath and say: yep, we’re fucked.
There are already cults dedicated to the programmers of the simulation. Isn’t that something? People here waiting joyfully, thankfully, for the end of days. As if their lives were so gray, so lacking in meaning, that finding out they’re simulated is a good thing.
Personally, I think it’s an excuse. Those people can look at all their mistakes, look at where they are in life, and go: well it wasn’t my fault, I was programmed to fail. And then they point at the people who did something with their lives and say: they’re not better than me, they were created to succeed.
I don’t believe it anyway. The simulation idea. It doesn’t make sense: why would the stars blink out so damned slowly? Why not all at once? One moment everything exists, the next, poof. Gone.
That’s what happens when you pull out a plug, right?
I think Vesna was telling the truth. I think Thirteen activated something. Woke something up. That planet had been waiting for someone to land, and now…
I’ve got you a meeting with an Elder.
Don’t thank me, I didn’t mean to.
I’d been asking questions on your behalf and I guess someone wanted to know why I was poking around.
You could say I failed. I wasn’t trying to draw attention to myself. But it was my failure that got you this meeting.
Such is life, right?
To be honest, I think the Elders have been watching you for a while. Following your progress. They seem to know a lot about you.
In my opinion there’s only one reason they’d want to talk to you instead of, say, having you taken out of the picture.
They’re going to tell you what happened to Warp Squad.