The Void Calls



3.4 stars


On June 13th, 2019, an event occurred in which Site-014 was destroyed due to a nuclear blast. At the northern edge of Site-014 was room A11-B, the primary experimentation room for inter-dimensional travel. The nuclear blast occurred at the same time that a prototype portal device was being tested. The inter-dimensional portal had been ruptured, leading to several rifts forming within the immediate area. There are six known individuals who each entered a rift before the nuclear blast could kill them, each arriving in a random alternate reality.

Dan Stagmond

Position Prior: Test Subject

Status: Unknown

First, the sound of a complicated machine.

Then, clashes of cogs and springs echoing through the room.

Next, a crash in the distance from an unclear source.

Finally, a flash of light, engulfing his vision.


Stagmond awakes, lying in sand.

He opens his eyes, facing the sky. It is purple and flowing, clouds slowly dancing in sweet symphony.

He rises to his feet, shaking the sand from his body.

The sand is orange, magnificent. It fills the landscape - rolling dunes of orange and red.

In the distance there stands a small tower. It calls to him.

Stagmond approaches in a steady pace.

The tower is gray, green moss strewn across. It is made of large stones, combined in a perfect spiraling build.

An open, arching door. He steps through.

A spiral staircase traveling up the inside. He looks up from the bottom. It goes up farther than he can see. The tower is infinitely higher on the inside than it appeared on the outside.

Stagmond ascends in a slow grace, reaching the top of the tower after an infinite amount of solemn steps in a short, finite amount of time.

Time and space are illusions, not truths - not here.

The top of the tower is an open area, devoid of anything. He looks out into the distance, scanning the landscape - there is nothing.

He turns his head downward to see a raging river has engulfed the base of the tower. Its waves crash violently but the tower does not submit.

From such a great height above the water, he could not possibly touch it - yet he does. It is cold yet warm. Vicious yet still. The air is humid but not uncomfortable. Droplets of water splash against his body. The river carries him and he lets go, floating. He closes his eyes, at peace.

He dreams a dream without falling asleep.

A small, wooden cabin. A forest of lush green is visible through a cramped window. The cabin door opens, a jolly man standing in great triumph. Without words, the man tells him exactly what he needs to know. Stagmond listens in awe.

Stagmond opens his eyes. The river is gone. The sand is gone. He stands atop a hardwood floor. It rocks beneath him in a slow, monotonous pattern - back and forth and back and forth. An aroma of salt water and bread dances through the air.

A voice calls.

"Ay, boy! Come have yourself some biscuits, won't ya? I can't have my only shipmate starve to death, can I?"

The voice comes from beneath the deck. Stagmond has never been here, yet he knows where to find the staircase down. He knows the ship like the back of his hand - he has been here a thousand times over.

Stagmond travels down to the bottom of the ship. He descends the hard, wooden stairs, entering what appears to be a great, giant palace. He expected to find this.

The king rests on his throne, stacked 30 feet into the air. The throne rests upon sacks of money, a grand fortune the king has acquired from his citizens. He did not ask them for a single cent. They gave him their earnings by their own volitions - they hate him for it.

The king speaks.

"It feels as though I have seen you a million times before yet you have never seen me once!"

He climbs down from his throne and travels across the room. He motions for Stagmond to follow - he does. They travel into the king's garden. The king grew it himself, took care of it himself. He could not pay someone else to do the job - he had no money.

"Tell me, have you ever smelled the smell of a true rose?"

He picks a flower from the garden. It is red, flowing with petals.

"This is a lilac. It was a gift from my father. He gave me not but a single seed. I planted it, cultivated it. I let it grow, watering it for hundreds of years. And now I have taken it out of the ground. Its roots have been ripped from its body."

The flower turns brown and weeps. The sky follows suit, a black mist engulfing the land.

"It's too late. We need to go."

The king runs into the palace and makes a quick left turn. Stagmond follows but the king is nowhere to be seen. The area is full of stairs and ladders bending across the floor, walls and ceiling. A large chunk of the roof collapses into the room leaving a gaping hole. An eternal void is visible through.

Stagmond runs up a set of stairs and into a tight corridor. After a moment, he looks back. The entrance to the tunnel is not visible. It has been engulfed by the void. The void approaches quickly. Stagmond runs faster than his legs can carry him.

The floor of the tunnel is made of an industrial concrete. His footsteps boom against it with every step. Two metal guardrails sit beside him to each side. He looks over one side as he is running. He is atop an iron bridge, stretching over a massive machine. Giant cogs, pulleys and swings work in unison, banging and clanging in deafening blows as Stagmond travels above. He looks behind himself once again. The void is closer. It is catching up.

He reaches the end of the bridge. A cold, steel door blocks his way. He swings it open and launches himself through. He is inside a cramped closet, a ladder resting on the wall. The ladder travels upward through a small hole. He climbs it, skipping bars to save time.

The void calls from below but Stagmond does not answer. The void speaks in lies that cannot be trusted.

As he climbs, he hears a voice call from below - it is the king.

"Please, son. Come down, save me. The void… I am just barely ahead of it. I need you to help."

Stagmond flinches before resuming, climbing even faster. Don't trust the void. The void is a liar. That is not the king. That is not the king.

He reaches the top of the ladder. A dome rests above him, sealing the shaft. He tries to push it open but it does not budge. He looks down - the void calls again.

He looks back up and the dome is gone. He jumps out and into a large room with rusted walls and a decrepit, gray floor. A giant machine fills half the room. There is nothing else here - no exits.

A large, red button rests on the front of the machine.

The void approaches.

Stagmond smashes his hand against the button.

The machine roars to life.

Clashes of cogs and springs echo through the room.

There's a crash in the distance from an unclear source.

A flash of light engulfs his vision.


Stagmond awakes, lying in sand.




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