The Grasping Star

Written by Timepool

Captain, I cannot— as you keep screaming— put our engines at full speed. We already are at full speed, something is pulling us in, and we are at its mercy.
— An engineer
  The Grasping Star is a neutron star neighboring the system which contains Gaias— and humanity. The star contains an abnormally strong gravitational pull— even for a neutron star— so much so, that anything that enters within 4 light years of its body is pulled into its orbit— or directly into its surface.  

The Guardian

During the early days of humanity's inhabitance within the Heliox galaxy, their exploration attempts in the Grasping Star's direction were thwarted— leaving a veritable graveyard of ships in its orbit. Many have attempted to search for the secrets they believed must have been hidden within— only to find themselves unable to escape. So strong is its gravitational pull, that it even bends light nearer to its surface. In a sense, it can be regarded as a black hole— yet it is not quite that powerful, and still remains, visibly, a star.
Alternative Name(s)
Gravitational Guardian, The Holder

It Whispers

Those who sleep within the star's orbit report dreams of darkness, and strange, unintelligible whispers.   These whispers are not in any known language— not even that of the Ferajx.  
I don't know nothin' about it— just that I want to get the hell out of here.
— A frightened scrapper

An experiment

Eventually, a particularly headstrong explorer was able to find a pinprick in the star's orbit where its gravitational pull was nullified— just enough to fit an exploration vessel. What she found upon the star's surface would come as a great surprise to Gaias. A megalithic tower stood upon its surface, surrounded by lazily drifting metal rings. A Ferajx ruin, one unlike any seen before. Many believe the tower to be the source of the star's strange properties— and generations of researchers have attempted to discover exactly how.   Some believe that the tower was built to limit the star's strength— and protest against those who disturb the quiet of its halls, fearing that the star may endanger Gaias.


In recent years, the Grasping Star has served as a strategic defense for humanity's home system— one that has won wars in the past. Most famously, when an entire Vulin fleet was lost to the star's grasp after a double agent reported it to them as an undefended shortcut to Gaias. Schisms have been fought along the edges of the star's influence, as well, with fighters playing a game of chicken among the floating wreckage that orbits it. This wreckage, too, has served as a veritable gold mine for scrappers— as modern coil drives allow ships to escape more of the star's pull.


Author's Notes

Feedback is very much welcome! Whether on the content, or the formatting! Please, point out typos if you spot any!

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5 Jul, 2020 01:12

A rather cool idea! Good work!

Author of the Wyrd West Chronicles and the Toy Soldier Saga Eater of pickles, Friend of nerds, First of her name
5 Jul, 2020 01:21

Thank you!

Grandmaster Rynn19
Wendy Vlemings (Rynn19)
5 Jul, 2020 15:10

I agree with Sable. What a cool idea. I enjoyed the read. :)

6 Jul, 2020 19:42


6 Jul, 2020 18:07

Ooooooooo, interesting! This article did not go in the direction I expected it to. I enjoyed thinking about what a star would be like if it was massive enough for an event horizon to exist right outside its surface.   Then the twist with the gravity nullifying pinprick, and seeing a surface on the star complete with a tower? COOOOOOOOL!

Cathedris, the world of God-Husks and New Magic, welcomes you.
6 Jul, 2020 19:44

That's the interesting thing about neutron stars— they're collapsed stars, tiny, yet extraordinarily dense!   Thanks!

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
14 Jul, 2020 19:37

Again, the quotes in this world seem so... idk how to describe it, but they are brilliant. Maybe its how I'm reading them but everyone seems so self aware of their position as far as genre and theme goes. That opening quote takes me back to original star trek with Scotty or mccoy being snarky to Kirk in the face of danger lol and you do it gracefully without being cliche or too heavy handed. Excellent.     So as I was reading and the talk of black holes but being visible got introduced, I was like wait... there is something spooky going on huh? And then the it whispers sections came. Eldritch stars are the best stars! Love it.     Your second quote says, a frightened scrapped. I'm wondering if that's a world term or if you meant scrapper.     I like how you position it as both a burden and a boon. It's not something you really want but pulling an enemy fleet and rendering them useless in war is definitely a plus.   Loved this as well. The tower is a nice touch, as is the discussion on whether its a good idea or not to venture further in studying it. Well done.

Check out my work | The Web | Expedition Demeter
14 Jul, 2020 21:41

Thanks! Hitting the tone for quotes has been interesting for me, as I don't write in this space (ha) too often— but I am fairly familiar with media that does!   Yes, typo, meant to be "scrapper" fixed now! Thanks!   Yeah I didn't imagine something like this couldn't have its upsides. Don't know if it's explicitly eldritch or not yet— still finding the ceiling so to speak for Heliox.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
14 Jul, 2020 22:03

Well whatever it ends up being, it shall be awesome.

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