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THE UNITY SERIES | "The Lonely Astronomer" (Pre-Cutscene story for "Prospect")

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“...nothing.”

 

The lonely astronomer sighs, looking away from his telescope, the one solitary item that lay with him upon his lonesome hill. It was this place, this singular spot, that he had come to for many years, to look upon the stars and see their purity and glory. Yet, as of late, his glee-filled demeanor towards the universe above him had turned cold, and he began to find nothing of light, nothing new. In a way, no stars had given him hope as they used to.

 

Looking down below him, he sees an empty field at the bottom of the hill. The whole range itself used to be a very lively area… kind of like the sky is now. But… it was all silent.

 

The astronomer scratches his chin, the stubble of his beard brisk in the cold night’s breeze. As he begins to look towards putting his telescope away, a voice speaks behind him.

 

“Quite a night, isn’t it?”

 

The astronomer turned to find a taller man close behind him. If not for the dog tags hanging down from his neck, he would have assumed him to be a normal individual. Strange as it was, his body was almost brighter, around the darkness of the night. He could almost make sense of each detail in the darkened night. The astronomer, taking a quick glance, noticed the top portion of a mark on his chest, slightly red, but mostly looking to be healed.

 

The man before him waves, before walking closer to the astronomer. “The stars. They look beautiful tonight.”

 

The astronomer looks forward. “...sure, kid. Though, wouldn’t be the first time anyone’s believed that.”

 

The man, slightly perplexed, kneels down beside the astronomer. “Y’know, they say that every star in the sky was a gift. Every atom and molecule, given to us by some higher force. To light the universe, pave a path for all star-faring civilizations. I’m not big with religions, but… they certainly are something to marvel at.”

 

The astronomer stands up, his expression growing stern and aggravated. “Yeah… don’t believe that shit. I’ve looked up to the stars for decades, trying to find answers. Believe me, kid… they’re all the same. They don’t ever move. They don’t change. They’re just there. Not a lot I can seem to see that’s marvelous abou-”

 

The astronomer stops, hearing the man chuckle. “What?”

 

The man notices the astronomer looking to him, and stops. “Oh, just… I don’t believe that. That they don’t ‘change’. Or are there just to be there. I think they each individually have a purpose, somewhere out there.”

 

The man then points to a portion of the sky. “Have you ever looked close, out that direction?”

 

The astronomer scoffs, as he begins to set his telescope to the direction the man pointed towards. “Yeah… that’s around the ways of the Pillars, right? Not a lot t-”

 

The astronomer stops, as he begins to zoom in, and notices a change to the Pillars themselves… a flurry of stars around them have seemingly disappeared, if not overnight. To that, he sees a slight… figure, placed in the middle of the sea of stars around it. It looked like… an asteroid, almost… it seemed to have a shape, almost like a temple… and in the center… a burning, bright mass. Just looking at it sent a chill down his spine.

 

Suddenly, to that, the astronomer begins to grow dizzy, falling over after a moment passes.

 

The man begins to pulsate ever so slightly, a pair of wings now resting behind him, their feathers only slightly fluttering from the night’s breeze.

 

Through the haze, the astronomer can hear the man speak. “Believe me when I say… there’s a lot more out there. Hell… I’ve seen most of it up close.”

 

The astronomer, still trying to stay conscious, asks the man ahead a question, as he’s walking away. “...what… who… are you?”

 

The man stops, as he turns around. “Well… so far, it would seem I was just the man who showed you what you were missing. I’m a man who’s seen the stars, myself. I’m a man who’s going to make sure that all of them stay alight, in the coming trials. If you remember any of this night, just remember… the Angel that came to protect it.”

 

The man turns back around, then turns his face, a slight grin growing. “Hey, do keep an eye on the Pillars for me, would ya?”

 

The man then flies up, disappearing into thin air before the astronomer faints.

 

 

The astronomer then awoke, his head in a haze, the memories of the experiences before slightly fragmented, but not all gone. It was still night - the stars were still in the same place. Except, below him, a crowd had begun to celebrate, music roaring across the scene, loud enough to wake up a bustling city. At seeing this, the astronomer took one quick look into his telescope, before rushing down to join the group, in celebration of something that… truly, none were aware of exactly what.

 

//

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