By: Chase Padilla
I’ve done it, the assembly was finally complete. My life’s work, finished; a telescope that could see further out into space than any before or ever after. One that could make out even the furthest of stars with absolute clarity. Through countless trials and tribulations over even more countless years, memorizing charts and stars and complex equations, calibrating its many delicate lenses and fragile machinery, its construction was finished. Now, it’s time for a test run.
I angled the device at Sirius, the brightest and easiest star to view through current means. This would be my control test, to test my creation’s clarity to even that of the Hubble telescope. I peered through the eyepiece and I couldn’t believe the marvel that I was gazing upon. I could see every little detail of the glowing white orb that was hanging in the sky. It looked almost as if I was looking at a computer rendering of the star on a screen, but it was all from the device I created. I could make out convulsing streams of plasma bubbling to the surface of the star and expelling outward. I could see the star waving at me with its fiery tails, and I was ecstatic that my invention was working at such a level that I hadn’t even predicted. But this was the easiest star I could use as a test, then came the real challenge.
I recalibrated and moved the telescope’s view to face MACS J1149, or Icarus as it is more commonly known. Again, I put my eye up to the lense and I couldn’t believe it. The farthest star from Earth was still just as visible as the easiest star to see. The blue magnificence of the floating orb was breathtaking. I was able to view what was previously thought impossible by most scientists. This device could help tremendously in the pursuit of not only astronomy but space exploration, astrophysics, it could even advance humanity to the point of interstellar travel. And it was all thanks to my genius.
Just then, a thought came to mind. If I could view the furthest star with absolute clarity, then what’s stopping me from viewing what’s beyond that star. It was a brilliant idea, not only could I use my technology to advance humanity, but I could make a discovery or two myself. Just thinking about a distant star or galaxy or nebula being named after me formed butterflies in my stomach. I adjusted the settings of my telescope to the maximum amount they could achieve. I would be able to see countless light-years away so that discovery was as good as mine.
One last time, I looked through the eyepiece. I stared in awe at the visage that lay before me, not in amazement, but in horror. What appeared to be a writhing wall of constantly moving appendages lay in my vision. This…This can’t be right, I must be seeing things. I slightly readjusted the positioning and it was still there; another adjustment and there still lay that wall. Adjustment after adjustment it never ended, was this a wall that encompassed the edge of space? Impossible, the universe was infinite, but if that was the case, then how was this seemingly never-ending barrier there? I peeled my eye away from the image, but my curiosity grew exponentially the more I spent away from it. Maybe if I studied it further I could come up with an answer.
I was apprehensive to look back but eventually, after a few seconds of reprieve to calm myself, I did. What I saw next was even more horrifying than I could ever imagine. The wall now had what appeared to be eyes. The sclera was blackened to the point that it matched the surrounding space, and what I assume to be the irides were burning stars that blinded me. They were all staring at me. Not staring in my general direction, but at me, at my very being. And that’s when I noticed something else. It wasn’t a singular wall I was looking at, but countless gargantuan beasts made of undulating tentacles and orbs previously intertwined with one another, now separated and heading closer into my view. It was the most disgusting sight I had ever and will ever witness, the pulsating masses of organic tissue made the bile in my stomach bubble up and out through the gaping orifice that was my mouth. I couldn’t stand the sight any longer. I don’t think I moved so fast to look away from something so putrid in my entire life.
They were heading for Earth, now that they noticed me, and they knew since I was here, there must be more. Even though these things existed countless light-years away in the void of space, where no sound could travel, I still heard them let out a scream. It didn’t sound like any noise that any creature could make, more so an indescribable clanging. I could hear the sound coming from all around me, coming from the walls and the many monitors and my telescope all at once. Coming from inside me and ringing outwards only to bounce back in and vibrate all the organs in my body. Soon after that deafening noise started to radiate, I fell limply to the floor, eyes rolling to the back of my skull; I passed out.
When I awoke, my device had been destroyed. It had been pulverized into scrap metal and glass shards. By my feet were the shattered remnants of the eyepiece, over by the monitors lay the crushed and twisted remnants of the optical tube, the objective lens was turned into such tiny fragments that it almost looked like crystal powder. I guess the frequency was too much for the telescope to withstand from falling apart. I couldn’t tell anyone, no, they wouldn’t believe that some no-name scientist with a telescope that broke apart on its first use witnessed eldritch horrors heading towards earth. I refuse to rebuild it as well, for fear that I could see those abominations again every time I look up to the grand cosmos I once loved. And besides, no one else would be able to see those things anyway, I knew that they wanted me and only me to see them. They wanted the man who awoke them from their eternal slumber to know of the imminent doom he had brought upon his people. So all that was left to do then was wait; wait for the disaster that I had summoned.