The Hidden Star
The Soul Star was rumoured to exist deep in the vastness of the Corona Borealis Void. There, according to ancient legends, was the pinpoint centre of the cosmos. Given that space was continually expanding, and given that certain parts of it expanded faster than others, it was impossible to pinpoint exactly where this pinpoint was.
Narrowing it down to the Violet Hoop universe was itself a triumph — one claimed a thousand years ago by the wizard nerds of Scientium Maximus. Today, the wizard cosmographers would bet their finest lichen slippers that the Soul Star couldn’t be in the Microscopium Void or in the dense formations of the Hercules Supercluster, given that those lay too far outside their triangulations.
Narrowing down the Soul Star’s location to the Corona Borealis Void didn’t, however, make it easy to find. Especially since it was assumed that the Star was cloaked or shielded from the prying eyes of cosmographers — and from the ravaging fangs of the Black Pulse.
The Corona Borealis Void was about 150 million light years wide. Finding a needle in a haystack would be easier. Trying to find the Soul Star was like trying to find a submerged photon in the stratosphere. Cosmographers used every possible method of probing and scanning. Yet all they found was the odd meteorite, galaxy, and gas cloud.
The thing that most infuriated the cosmographers was that the only source of information about the Star’s whereabouts came from sources that were either so ancient or so vague that they raised as many questions as they answered. In the most scientific of these accounts, it appeared that a thin purple beam (or wave/field/particle of indeterminate properties) rose from about seven percent of dying bodies. Using the most sensitive spectrographs, they managed to identify where some of these beams were headed: the Corona Borealis Void. Yet because the beams were diffuse and unstable, and because they vanished in a second or two after appearing, the cosmographers could only speculate on their ultimate destination.
Early descriptions of the Soul Star were equally problematic. In one account, provided by the shape-shifters of The Translucent Hoop, the Soul Star changed its form depending on who was attempting to locate it. The poets of The Metaphoric Hoop told the epic tale of their journey into the Void and how they were forced out again. Apparently, they lacked a belief in the Star and therefore the Star refused to show itself to them. This only confirmed their belief that everything was ultimately metaphoric and nothing was real.
Some human artists suggested that the Star was in a place called Heaven. Others argued that Heaven was in the human soul, and that the soul rose from the body after death. It was then guided by a man called Jesus into the swirling streams of Heaven. Their account was very optimistic and appeared to be heavily coloured by their violet-tinted glasses and their violet-coloured brushes. They were, after all, inhabitants of the Violet Hoop. The exact co-ordinates of this Heaven were difficult to locate, but the cosmographers were obstinate. They tried everything that the human theologists suggested: they climbed the highest mountains and ran through the fields; they spoke with the tongue of angels and held the hand of a devil. They focused their finest high-powered lenses on the fleeing soul-beam, in an attempt to see see the colours bleed into one. But still the cosmographers couldn’t find what they were looking for.
The Void-dwellers of Ruumar argued that it would be a gross sacrilege for the Soul Star to take any form whatsoever. The Void itself must be the star. The Ataari took this concept further, arguing that the star could be as small as a pea or as large as the Void itself, but that in either case it danced and spun so quickly that it only seemed as if it wasn’t there. The Ataari spent considerable time and effort constructing a high-speed, large lens camera that they hoped would capture the Star visually in a fraction of a nanosecond. Their aim was to gaze at the wonders of what they called Infinity in Frozen Time.
Cosmographers were forced to admit that the Soul Star inspired different species to see It as a projection of their own ideas. Yet the cosmographers were true scientists. They weren’t going to let the misconceptions of others stop them from finding what may or may not be The Truth.
Next: Di Parma