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The Official Eutopia: Dark Things Thread

Eutopia Dark Things paranormal slice of tomorrow futuristic realism unexplained failed civilization dystopia paratechnology artificial intelligence

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#1
Yuli Ban

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Here's a thread for another story that's part of the Eutopia series. This one is heavily based on my dream journal that I've been keeping for the past two and a half years, as well as many of my dreams in general. Thus, it's a bit more out there than, say, Astral FallsMother Meki, or Moville. The science is less important this time around, and I'm not intentionally parodying Tolkien-esque fantasy either. 

And while it's definitely ethereal, unlike Belle Grand-Mär (which you might recall as being the extremely dreamlike 16-bit psychedelia story that's basically Scott Pilgrim + Steven Universe + Star vs the Forces of Evil + FLCL + Kill la Kill, etc.), this one isn't whimsical. I mean, it's called 'The Dark Things', so you shouldn't expect anything other than that.

 

I believe I mentioned a set up very much like this in my 'Saga of Our Destruction' thread. The whole idea behind the mini-series is for it to be a mixture of 'slice of tomorrow' and 'pre-apocalyptic fiction' with a whole bunch of paranormal nonsense thrown on top. 

 

Right now, there are a few stories planned:

 

  • Where The Dark Things Are
  • Don't Fear The Dark Things
  • You've Seen The Dark Things

All of them centering around that whole uncanny atmosphere, that it feels like civilization is breaking apart but it's a catastrophe no one wants to directly reference or even acknowledge. The world feels like it's ending, and there's extreme anxiety over its end, but at the same time, no one seems to understand what's happening. Compounding that— there are genuinely things happening that no one can understand. This is where the paranormal and Fortean high-strangeness aspect comes into play. There's all these subtle things going on in the peripheral of your vision, dark things that defy logic. It's no fun if a demonic-looking ghost comes screaming at you in the form of a jumpscare— you have to go insane questioning yourself if there's even a ghost there at all. You know something's going to come out and scare you, but it doesn't and you just get more and more tense waiting for it to happen. Coincidentally, you feel the same way about civilization at large. It's no good being tense all the time, so you just try passing the time by putting in your ear buds and listening to a podcast, the hypersonic whining in your ears and the dread in your stomach goes away.

 

So it's basically a story where very little actually happens beyond the main characters reacting to events with increasing frustration and nervousness.

 

As to when the first draft of the first story will be around, as usual, I can't say, because this is just a concept. A stronger concept than most others since I already have a novel's worth of words as part of a dream journal, but a concept nonetheless.


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#2
masterwigglestin

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I would love to read it.

"Society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in."


#3
Yuli Ban

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So I've been thinking more about this story, among several others, and trying to figure out how it would go. I don't want to lose that sense of confusion from the dream journal, but there's no point of a directionless story. So it would be best for me to find a way to direct these old nightmares.

 

The best way? Have it be a short story collection. Sort of like Winesburg, Ohio or Olive Kitteridge, where the many stories are half-intertwined with each other.


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#4
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For example: right now, there are three very well defined shorts that I have yet to right-side up— “The Hands Resist Her”, "Don't Seek The Apocalypse", and "Cordless Minds".
 
All of this is set on Elon Isle.
 
The Hands Resist Her: Elizabeth Whittington is the main character, and she's slowly losing her mind. It started after a particularly rainy night when she lost her brand-new virtual reality headset in a sinkhole— she didn't feel too terrible since it was just a devkit, but it was still a bummer that set her back $300. What really got to her that night was when she looked an industrial park across a canal and felt a deep sense of dread, as if this particular storm was caused by humanity. Ever since, that dread hasn't gone away. While at school, she peeks into a janitor's closet and notices that there's an entirely unlisted hallway where she hears unfamiliar voices talking. She doesn't go down this hallway, and wracks her brain trying to figure out what was going on down there. Some part of her tries convincing her that something sinister was going on, but her rational side says that it was nothing— just teachers discussing whatever teachers talk about in a part of the school meant only for them. Yet on her way home, she feels as if someone's following her, stalking her.
 
Don't Seek The Apocalypse: Martin LaCarde is a student at Whittington's school who has been feeling that same dread for days, ever since he had a dream he would die in a plane crash over Moscow. He notices Whittington staring through that door— staring for half an hour, actually— but doesn't know why and doesn't approach her to ask even though he comes back to notice her still standing there several times during that half hour. While at home, he swears there was something in his room one night, but the house AI never registered anything. Instead, he returns to his melancholia. Later, out of nowhere, he nearly halves over in a cold sweat, blood rushing to his head, suffering a full-blown panic attack. The words 'nuclear war' flashed across his mind repeatedly, and he had a hallucination of Western civilization going up in smoke. He had no idea what that was all about, and when he checks the news, there's nothing saying that nuclear weapons had been launched or that cities had disappeared in million-degree flashes of light. When he wakes up the next morning, he recalls that panic attack with his mother, who says that, while horrifying, it's not strange considering geopolitical tensions as of late.
 
Cordless Minds: Dylan Patel is dating Dashanique Sanders, and they're hanging out at Patel's uncle's car shop talking about movies. Sanders mentions how she didn't "get" a recent sci-fi action flick, 'Cordless Minds' (which is about transhumanists fighting through their brains), but she knows a guy who's into that sorta stuff. White boy, ginger hair, wears glasses and always sitting by himself— Martin LaCarde. Elizabeth Whittington drives up to the shop and greets Sanders, but she's currently lost in thought. Patel disparages the transhumanist movie trend, but admits that he wouldn't mind getting some augments himself. He's never been big into sci-fi, but what sci-fi he did like was always the space marine genre. He's more into historical stuff. Like Caligula or 300. He likes watching movies about dead civilizations. Sanders thinks that's weird, but everyone's got a foolish side. Sanders gossips about how Luna (Johansson) played in a historical movie, actually. It flopped, big time. Patel never knew that, but no wonder. Was she a good actor? Sanders doesn't know, she never saw the movie. It sounded boring— it was about some rich people back in the 1800s or something before World War 1. She was saying about how the nobles saw war coming but pretended to not notice by distracting themselves. Whittington overhears that and thinks 'Sorta like today.' Exactly like today. Same shit, different era.

 

 

Basic story summaries already fully fledged, with several others also in the works to further tie these things in. Martin LaCarde's the maypole character, since he also acts as a partial author avatar, but the main character is best described as being the Dark Things themselves.


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Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
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#5
Yuli Ban

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What Lies Beyond The Dark Horizon...
 
Also, here's some music that I've been listening to, getting me in the mood as well as uncannily capturing the atmosphere I was going for with the story.


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#6
Yuli Ban

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There's also the matter of ultratechnology. Technology beyond our current mode, in other words. Things that are being tested by alphaDyne and the military, usually away from public eyes. Sometimes right in front of them, just to gauge our reactions and engage in a fun little bout of psy-ops.
 
Vyver's Diamonds: ultratech floating diamond-shaped craft, created by a top secret artificial intelligence system known as 'SUPERIOR'. They're responsible for various UFO sightings in and around Elon Isle, though to be fair, their actual purpose is unknown.
Here's one captured on camera from a distance.
NTV1tw5.jpg
 
Close up:
s0uzDWX.gif
 
 
Here's another Vyver Diamond, this one outfitted with some sort of iridescent autoluminescence.
otckxap.jpg

Most Vyver's Diamonds, however, resemble the first two images— completely black, with fitted lights on the tips; white at the top ends; red, blue, yellow, and green on the side ends.
Their size is completely variable. Some are as tiny as flies, while others— affectionately known as 'Tytans'— are the size of three-story buildings. Most, however, seem to be a model that's roughly a foot in length.
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Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#7
BasilBerylium

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Now that you talk about dreams, I remember a nightmare where I was watching a field until I saw a figure approaching



#8
Yuli Ban

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Infrasound: The Fear Frequency

On Infrasound

The Creepy Scientific Explanation Behind Ghost Sightings


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Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#9
Yuli Ban

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Is nuclear war about to erupt? If it does, what does that mean for society? Well for one, it means that everything we've ever done is about to go up in fire and smoke. Everything we've ever wanted to be— forever nothing. 

What really gets people is that we're still so worried about nuclear war. Didn't that era end in 1991? Apparently not. It really says less about the Cold War than it does the present situation. The US and USSR opposed each other for ideological reasons, as well as for the pursuit of power and hegemony over the planet. The US and Russia today don't really have opposing ideologies, but they're still vying for power. The problem being that they're not alone in the realm of global power anymore, because China usurped the US's status as #1 nation. Atlanticism vs Eurasianism may be the new Capitalism vs Communism, but both are not the problem of the world's new king. And being ignored is one of the worst insults humans can face. So the idea of a three-way nuclear war is always on our minds.

 

It used to be that China was conservative on nuclear weapons. As late as the 2010s, they never had more than 250 at any one time. But in recent years, they've rapidly increased their stockpile. It's still not as high as the US or Russia— China possesses around 1,700 nuclear weapons. But in the end, it's generally accepted that having 1,000+ nuclear weapons is a human extinction gambit. 100+ nukes is a civilization crasher; an order of magnitude above that will simply kill too many people and cause firestorms so large that too much oxygen will get wasted. Two orders of magnitude is overkill. And yet we have 10,000 nukes ready to launch at a moment's notice. 

 

Martin LaCarde is too scared of the possibility of humanity going up in smoke. That's one reason why he even starts a virtual union of technists later in life— to get AI ready to sweep up the ashes of human civilization and start all over should that black day ever come. He has an AI on his computer, an AI he's fond of. He's just one guy living out in the sticks; it seems impossible to fathom that he could ever create a powerful-enough virtual union to act as a save game for humanity. 

He expects the inevitable to arrive within his youth, which is one reason why he's always so low energy. Tensions between the Atlantic and Eurasia are simply too high, while the US and China just always seem to be raring to go. It's just going to take a spark to start the third world war.

True, we've been in situations where all it took was a spark to cause a hellstorm and that spark never came or it came in a place where it couldn't start a fire— the Cuban Missile Crisis, for example. There were about ten sparks during the crisis, including one that was clearly an act of war between US and USSR military units, but all of them were in low-oxygen environments meaning that the hellstorm could never explode. Then again, there was less of a volatile environment back in 1914 but it only took a single spark in the right place to send the world to hell. 

That's what he fears the most. One well-placed spark that ends us all.

 

In this high-tension environment, it makes sense that we start seeing strange things out of the corners of our eyes; unexplainable phenomena that defy logic. These events lie somewhere between coping and madness. 

 

So let's up the stakes and introduce Tasha. She's an expy of Dota (you know, that creepy gynoid I keep mentioning I wanna shag and marry) who lives over in Elon City. She is spending her time learning how to live, not understanding all the ways of biological life. She's been taken down into the Elon entertainment night life district to be one with the cybedelic moddies, but while her mate is a carefree eccentric, she worries about the increasingly fragile state of human civilization. There's definitely the possibility of nuclear war, but our careless sadism towards our environment is leading to increasingly extreme and bizarre weather patterns. Things are happening in our world that defy expanation. While some of these things are paranormal, others are very much normal— we just refuse to understand them because we're the reason they're happening.


Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!

#10
Yuli Ban

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Kevin MacLeod - Sunset at Glengorm

Sad-Eyed Stanley's theme. But there are really several tracks I could use to describe Stanley.

 

In fact, Sad-Eyed Stanley got his name from 

Eminem - Stan

 

Much of the atmosphere also came from

Alice in Chains - Rotten Apple

and

Johnny Cash - Hurt

and

Sledge - The Killer's Thoughts

 

Very somber, very morose.

Half of this came from my own depression back in 2013; the other half came from, as I mentioned in the OP, a couple dreams.

So who is Sad-Eyed Stanley? Very tragic character, really. Very, very tragic. 

 

Sad-Eyed Stanley is about this boy who lives with his grandmother. But his grandmother is super strict and hateful and critical. They live out in the sticks, and his grandmother didn't really raise him well. He was raised so poorly that he wound up being virtually unable to function in society. He's also a cross-dressing hermaphrodite, wearing all black and having this emo fringe over his eye. He looks so girly, though, that you'd be forgiven for thinking he is a she. He's really, really sad. He had big aspirations in life, but life screwed him over so hard. It's very cloudy, and the whole atmosphere's this weird blue-green color. It's often raining at a very sickly temperature. He wants so badly to kill himself, but can never bring himself to do it. He's suffering ultra-depression, and he eventually loses all hope in things getting better. His grandmother is always exploding at him for the most minor of things. Sometimes contradictory things. She tells him to do something a particular way, and not a week later she chastises him for doing it that way. Is it really her fault, though? Or is it just that she was never really all there herself?
He's bullied at his school for looking like a girl, and he's always off by himself. He feels he's special in some way; that he is the only one in his grade that cares about current events.
They pretty much live in poverty, though the grandmother did spend money on him to get him game consoles back in the day. He always knew that his grandmother really did love him; she just had a hard time showing it since they felt so estranged from each other. And that's another reason why he could never take his life— he didn't want to hurt his grandmother that badly. But he did often think about death. 
He was always trolling online as well.
 
There was just this intense suicidal atmosphere to the dream, as if this poor kid was really doomed. 
 
He doesn't really know any of the others like Martin, but he's seen them from time to time. He doesn't care much for living in "The Future" if it's not going to help him in any way.

Nobody's gonna take my drone, I'm gonna fly miles far too high!
Nobody gonna beat my drone, it's gonna shoot into the sky!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Eutopia, Dark Things, paranormal, slice of tomorrow, futuristic realism, unexplained, failed civilization, dystopia, paratechnology, artificial intelligence

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