Jimmy had arrived to the edge of reality. Eh… Could be better.
It was full of jelly. And vines, but mostly jelly.
No, really, it was rather hilarious.
Jimmy jumped up and down, and the ground, the seemingly stable dirt and rocks, bounced him back up like a bouncy castle.
This was how matter behaved at the edge of reality. As discoveries went, it was underwhelming. Jimm hoped to find some kind of whiteness, or void, or some sort of hole that you could see kaleidoscopic things inside it.
Not a fucking bouncy world.
He jumped up and down a couple more times. Okay, it sure was fun. He had to admit that. He jumped once more.
And what was with the vines?
They were everywhere, and they made no sense. Oh, let us backtrack a bit here. This wasn’t a planet, Jimm was begrudgingly stepping on. No, it was a literal straight walk at the edge of the universe. No, of course it doesn’t make sense. Jim wasn’t walking around a planet. This forest wasn’t enveloping a sphere, or a toroid, or any other shape. This was where you ended up when you reached the edge of reality.
Well, there it was.
Jim kept on walking deeper into the forest that didn’t make sense. Everything was tinted pinkish. That was easy to explain, his visor had a metamaterial on it that filtered the minute infrared light that was here so he could actually see. Otherwise, he’d be walking blind in the woods.
In those creepy, viny, endlessly straight woods.
Ji had to abandon his spaceship, that was what pissed him off the most. It didn’t fit through the trees and the vines because it was a frickin’ spaceship! You know, spaceship-sized. They didn’t exactly make them for going into the woods.
But he didn’t wanna go back, scrap the mission, beg for more resources and an off-road buggy or whatever. No, the space agency would take years to go through the data he had already collected and the samples, and it would be at least fifteen years before they sent someone back.
That meant, it wouldn’t be him they’d be sending. You don’t send middle-aged men to explore the cosmos, you send stupid young people.
Anyway, he wasn’t going back, that much was set in his mind. He wasn’t gonna leave this place before figuring out what it was.
He slapped a vine away from his helmet. Damn! Were they getting thicker or something? It seemed like it. He kept on walking for what felt like hours. He had a digital clock, but it was useless. Time was pretty much jelly too at the edge of reality, what did he expect? Proper time-keeping?
He started making scenarios in his mind. He imagined going back home to find that millions of years had passed, and that there was no one there but a little yellow robot that made towers of garbage-blocks. No, that was a movie or something. So, it couldn’t come true, everybody knew that nothing in a sci-fi flick could really come true.
Nah, he shook his head. This place was messing with his mind, making it jell-o too. Dammit, damn this place! He kicked a rock, it squished on his boot, it was like kicking a squid, and it bounced of a tree and changed trajectory.
Damn this weird place. You know, you lived through life, it was shitty, it was hard, but at least you could rely on some solid, dependable rules of physics. You knew that rocks didn’t squish when you kicked them, dammit! You knew the ground wasn’t bouncy, dammit! The reality around you might be frickin’ hard, but it behaved a certain way.
The last thing you needed was to worry about laws of physics changing their minds all of a sudden.
Ji kept on walking on the endless plane of pink trees and hanging vines. There was some ambient infrared right even after hours of walking. He couldn’t tell where it was coming from, as it sure as hell wasn’t coming from a nearby sun.
Ah, yeah. It must be bioluminescence or something.
He slapped a heavy vine that struck him on the shoulder like a piece of heavy rope. He was absent-minded and walked right into it. Fuck you, vine. Fuck you, edge of reality. And fuck this goddamn pink hue!
It was driving him mad.
J stopped to catch his breath. He was in perfect shape, but this was a trek through rough and goddamn bouncy terrain with a full spacesuit on. The gravity was pretty much 1 g, but the ground was like jelly and hampered his advance.
J was certain he hadn’t been walking in circles, he was trained for this sort of navigation. He had been lining up one tree after another all the way here, going on for hours. He was absolutely certain that he had made a straight path from the spaceship.
If the path was even straight to begin with, that was.
J had given up trying to mark the trees with his multitool, the bark was simply jelly, it squished away, making it impossible to cut. And the rocks, too. Sure, he could have been putting rocks in a straight line more or less, but he decided against that, the constant leaning down to pick up rocks would make him tired much quicker. Especially with all the gear.
Anyway, it was final now, he had decided against it, and now it was too late. He had no telemetry data, no incoming ping from the spaceship, no stars to navigate from, no sun to see the shadows moving, nothing.
J had nothing.
Then it hit him.
He was nothing.
What was his name again?