There is a star one million lightyears away, revolved around by one planet.
That planet had been lucky enough to interrupt the paths of the several other large bodies that had been forming in the inner orbit of the star. It had smashed them to bits.
Surrounding that planet there was a ring. It was built out of the metals mined from the remains of those smashed up worlds, whether out in the asteroid field or from the crater left by the most recent collision about a billion years ago. It was powered by the massive movement of the planet below it. Vassilian was the planet’s name.
The ring is where the people who used to live on the planet lived now. They’d started building it when they realised that Vassilian was inching closer to the star at a rate that was going to kill them.
It was a decision made by the people, after they’d executed the leaders who told them to grin and bear it, and who had enforced the harsh rule of law when they refused. Of course, there were some people who thought trying to stop the destruction of all life was taking it a bit too far 😛
On that ring was liveable habitat, resource production capacity, and batteries, meaning the eventual capacity for sections to break off and act as ships to a new world. The greatest modular engineering project of all time. Wow.
Inside the ship people made these things called games, they were basically playful entertainment and the easiest was to just imagine something was real and react to it, art where you interact in some way vital to changing its state, it was lots of stuff. Since the people were self-sufficient and didn’t need money they didn’t see the point of selling stuff like art, it was for everyone who wanted it. When the games pointed to a bigger shift in societal mood, which happened near to take off and around the fear of the modular separation, it was spoken about, maybe at the dinner table, by people who cared about that kind of thing. People who didn’t care would smile and nod.
Kids, who were the best at games, would be more direct, playing stuff like “Friendship End”, where two kids would go to opposite ends of a module and not talk to each other for a day. For fun.
It was all very different. Sometimes they played “The Child”, where one kid would be locked in a basement for a day and not let out because if they did the world would end. It was a goof. Some of these games were on computers, and were by adults who took themselves pretty seriously. But they weren’t really much different from the games the kids played.
Oh right, yeah, this was all real, I said so. I saw it in a dream. I saw it in the window of the car door as I closed it and said goodbye to someone for the last time. I saw it tomorrow and the day after, and I never stopped seeing it. I was consumed by it and it ate my flesh and it was the worms and it was the mould and it was the moss I became. The story, the words followed every atom I experienced, on all lower levels of existence, and really and truly it is the only thing I know.
I cannot unknow the one truth about the kids who played the game of “Time to Leave this all Behind.”