Glitualism: A Sci-Fi Glitch Art Odyssey


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Intro


I want to give a little context to what exactly this post is. I started experimenting with art after @richardfyates made me. It was all his fault. If anyone is looking for someone to blame other than Shane, you can blame Pixel Rich. On a serious note though, I started experimenting with many different styles and I haven't really found my "niche" yet, but I have been enjoying making pixel art, glitch, and a few collages. This work is something a bit above and beyond my typical self proclaimed "toddler finger painting with feces" style.

This is a glitch art/sci-fi short story in four parts. Each part has a piece of glitch art inspired by the narrative that I wanted to tell and I wrote a short story to accompany the pieces. Fair warning, this is going to be a long post, but I want to share it in its entirety and I'll link the NFTs so you can view the art and for anyone that wants to own a piece of the story or art that accompanies it. The art is all in mp4 video format, so I can't exactly upload them to the post, but I'll link them so you can check them out as the story progresses. This is an experiment and other than some humorous poetry, this will be my first foray into fiction on the chain. Hope you enjoy and much love.


ATUO3


The Ultra's lightship has entered near orbit of what appears to be a rogue planet while on a long-range mission to explore Boötes void for signs of previous galactic warfare. The captain, being a prudent fellow and always on the lookout for easily accessible raw materials to refill the mass reservoirs of the ship, has launched a probe into the intriguingly thin atmosphere of the rogue planet. It would appear that whatever this thing is, it's not a planet, or at least not a naturally occurring one. It appears to be... organic?


The Nexus


Upon closer examination of ATUO3's surface, the crew of spacefaring Ultras has discovered a relic of presumably alien origin. The captain has determined that the prospect of attempting to excavate the object to sell to one of the research factions in a nearby star system poses too great a risk to his ship, however sending a recruit or two down to examine the thing up close would only cost at most a couple of vacuum suits which are easy enough to replace.


Contact


The young recruit barely had enough time to pressurize her vacuum suit before being ejected from the airlock and slammed with the sudden sense of weightlessness and freefall outside of the forward thrust of the ship. Details were sketchy at best, but it appeared the captain had another one of those little 'opportunities' he loved to bless the recruits with that would be hazardous to decline. Never mind the fact that a recruit wasn't exactly a voluntary position in the spacefaring crew of the Ultramarines and more akin to the type of slavery which ensnared the gladiators of ancient Earth times.

The choice was essentially to become a recruit or die, but as experience had made abundantly clear at this point, the recruit knew all too well that this gift was likely a stay of execution until one of these glorious chances to prove herself to the captain ended up with her body crushed, lungs frozen by space vacuum, or any of the myriad other unpleasant ways to exit reality that one could find in the service of a lunatic with a god complex.

Slowly the gravity of ATUO3 began to pull her towards the surface of what appeared to be a strange planetoid object. The auto-thrusters on her suit took over navigation duties and managed the speed and direction of the descent. An auto-mapping algorithm began to overlay basic terrain information on to the blast shield of her helmet and indicated that the object she was meant to explore should be visible within minutes.

As the object came into her field of vision, the suit began to decelerate while she looked on in aww. The recruit had seen plenty of artifacts from extinct alien civilizations before, but not only was this thing intact, it appeared to be a functioning piece of alien architecture. Of all of the unfathomable things she had seen and experienced over the last several decades of servitude while exploring the deepest reaches of space, never had she felt anything that inspired the overwhelming sense of terror and absolute isolation this mission had.

She was ripped suddenly from her reverie as the suit began moving her closer to the object. Panicking she tried to override the autonomous navigation and assume control of her own movements, but all she heard over the coms was the captain's sickening chuckle as he commanded her suit to move directly into the radiating energetic field of the device. In the throws of absolute panic, with her heart pounding so strongly it felt like a battering ram against the inside of her ribcage, the energetic field consumed the suit, shredding the very fabric of the universe itself. Then, she wasn't alone


The Captain


As the recruit made contact panic set in immediately. It was one thing to explore uncharted worlds and encounter the occasional piece of antiquated alien technology, architecture, or even a random fossil, but coming face to face with something so anatomically foreign from even the most modified Ultramarines or cybernetically altered humans was something else entirely.

In all of the solar systems visited and planets explored never had there been any indication that humans were anything other than utterly alone in the universe. The environment inside the object was as strange as the entity currently observing her. With a concerted effort, the recruit managed to slow her breathing enough to start thinking straight and attempted to engage a diagnostic scan of her suit. Nothing. No indication that the suit was even being powered, which meant that life support systems were offline, but raised even more questions when realizing that she was hovering in place inside the vortex without thrust.

The entity drew close enough that it's face was nearly pressed against the flash visor of the suit's helmet. As it's eyes started to glow, the recruit felt a pressure building inside of her head and suddenly images started flooding her consciousness of stars being ripped apart and planets shredded while the fragments were hurled out of their systems into interstellar space.

Star maps flashed quickly burning themselves into the crevices of her mind. The recruit started to convulse and felt her limbs twitching against the inside of the unmoving walls of her suit. One last image was burned into her mind of machines weaving streams of raw matter from the destroyed celestial bodies, refining the materials into their base elements before reorganizing them into an unfathomably large structure in the middle of empty vacuum so remote that no stars were visible in any direction.

Existence itself seemed to bend and warp around the monolithic creation as if the sheer gravity of it could not be contained on a three dimensional plane, but somehow it wasn't collapsing under it's own weight. As quickly as it had begun, the recruit felt herself expelled from the structure and could no longer see the entity contained within it.

The word 'nexus' seemed to come to mind when looking at the device, but she was unsure why or how she knew that. The safeguards on the suit kicked in and restarted life support functions. While still trying to process what had just happened and determine whether the experience was real or if she had been knocked unconscious and summoned up some sort of twisted apparition in a semi lucid state, a direct com link from the ship overrode the visual field of the flash visor. The captain himself was staring at her impatiently.


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