Shapes in a Beautiful Golden Darkness

It came to us as a dream, but it was a nightmare. One we couldn’t resist.

Appearing in orbit first in a spaceship that dwarfed anything humanity had seen.

Our astronauts that were sent up reported advanced technology, mysterious shapes resembling art and then.. then all we heard was their ecstatic mumbles, then speeches of lyrical potency that we’d never heard before. Poems so achingly beautiful that you’d begin to cry at the first sentence. One of them sang a song that crippled most of our science team for hours. We were huddled in fetal positions, laughing, crying, loving, orgasming in how incredible it was.

Then we heard the screams, but we were so far into our own infatuation that we didn’t pay it any mind. When we came to several hours later on the second day, we got up and assessed the status of the astronauts. Readouts confirmed they were all dead.

We wanted to suppress it. Steeling ourselves, we all fought the almost pathological need to share the beauty that we’d heard. When the pictures of the mind-numbingly beautiful golden and black interior came back, we all felt compelled to go up there. But we recognized it for what it was, death in disguise. Almost all of us made it, until one couldn’t take it and repeated to himself the phrases that were all reverberating in our souls in front of the inquisitive media.

The governments all went rabid. They had to send more people and in the process, several fights broke out in orbit. After some deliberation, they all sensibly (foolishly) agreed they would enter in order of arrival.

Of course, all of us were debriefed and put on sick leave, which was ironic because there wasn’t anything wrong with any of us. If anything, the problem was that there was something right with us, something too right, too harmonious, too…

Too perfect.

* * * * *

It’s been two weeks since I wrote the above sentence. It sparked a remembrance of how things were and caused me to go into some sort of feedback loop where… I can’t speak of it. It’s too much, I’m sorry.

But yes. They all went in, and they sent back hundreds, thousands of pictures of what we think was art, paintings maybe, murals? Where do you draw the line between anything? There were poems, there were texts, stories, songs, entire rooms created just to take your breath away.

I heard descriptions of a room that was mostly dark except for the stars shining through big windows. In the center of the room was an intricate crystal that was apparently so beautiful that most people who passed by the room went inside and just ended up sitting there in silence until they died. They didn’t want anything else than to keep experiencing that beauty until they no longer could.

It’s very difficult to write about the specifics of any of this, because the moment I start recollecting my own memories and how it felt and how I felt and how I was, I start becoming like that too.

I’ve always had a terrible memory for details and fortunately, now, that’s helping me out for once.

* * * * *

It’s been six months now since the arrival of the ship. All governments have agreed to jam all of the signals coming from it and instituted blockades. I’m attached to a project where we’re using a selective kind of cocktail of drugs and neural modifiers to render a person “blank” which is to say that they will respond and follow orders, but at the same time, they won’t feel or associate or think creatively. I don’t understand the actual medical science behind it, but as I was one of the first team members to experience the phenomenon, I’m acting as a consultant.

I feel like I’m betraying something bigger than humanity, bigger than god, bigger than consciousness while trying to eradicate this from the world. But we must do something because our society is falling apart because of this. It doesn’t matter what we do towards the ship, it seems like it’s here to stay. Firing our biggest, most destructive weapons at it did nothing. Pleading with it didn’t work. It just fucking SITS there in orbit. WHY? WHY?!

* * * * *

I’m crying as I’m trying to type this. I feel such… I don’t know what I’m feeling. Sadness? Rejection? Happiness? Relief? Hatred? I have this big thing in my mind and I can’t get it out. But I’m crying.

It’s over. The ship was there one moment and gone the next. At first, we thought it had somehow become invisible because of how instantaneous it was. But no, it did leave something behind.

We sent our blanks up into orbit to retrieve all the bodies. All in all, we lost close to 600 people to that ship. No, not the ship itself really, I can’t tell you because I’ve trained myself not to go into those lines of thought that trigger another episode.

We burnt the bodies and sealed away all the items they had on them. Maybe one day humanity will be able to deal with something like this again.

But for now, we’ll all choose to forget.

The box has been opened though.

They want to turn all of us into blanks now.