Starting Point: Cold Star

This week’s story starting point was sent to us by Logan Testa.


Humanity has mastered interstellar travel. Finally, the pinnacle of all of mankind’s scientific knowledge, the aggregate of our entire history of technological prowess has been unlocked.

But the first star encountered was worse than anyone could have ever feared. We had no idea it was even there, because it didn’t show up on any of our telescopes. IR, radio, UV, Gamma, even X-ray. Nothing could see this thing. Even our gravitational calculations showed nothing in the way. But then we saw it. Then the anarchy started. The Cold Star. A massive ball of light, floating in the sky. And that’s it. No heat, no radiation, no gravity. It has mass, probably, but nothing else. In fact, it seems to exude cold, it burns and emits light, but curiously absorbs heat and all other forms of radiation. It repels matter, and has positive mass but seems to have negative gravity.

Experts are baffled. Everything we had ever known about physics, astronomy, and cosmology are unraveled by this singular object. And we discovered just how insignificant we were. How little we knew. How stupid we were. Thousands of years of humanity, and here this one object defied all of it. The news devastated both the public and the scientific community. The Cold Star seems to endlessly generate light and remove heat, radiation, and gravity. Some went crazy. Terrorist attacks at various scientific companies became common. Some astronomers committed suicide, their life’s work suddenly meaningless.

What do you think? What is the Cold Star? What is it for? Was it put there? Or is our knowledge of the universe hilariously incomplete? What was the reaction of the public? How will we proceed?

Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.

Written by Logan Testa.

Artwork by Chris Cold.

  • Why would people get this upset about it?

    • Logan Testa

      Imagine that everything you ever learned about science was wrong. Everything you know is suddenly irrelevant.

      • If I found out there was a star I’ve never heard of, I wouldn’t go crazy and kill people.

        • Logan Testa

          A person is smart. People are dumb. The mob mentality would drive people out of control

        • I agree, Jack. If anything I’d be super excited to find out more about it. I think most scientists would react that way too.

          • Yes, exactly! I’d be interested and intrigued, not angry and anxious.

    • Kirov

      I could see such a revelation potentially throwing humanity back into another dark ages. People loose their faith in scientific thought and revert to religious zeal. But perhaps the star is some sort of Dyson sphere large enough to contain a galaxy and compressed inside a hyperspace bubble, giving it strange physical properties to outside observers. An expedition of the last remaining skilled scientists and adventurers escapes the turmoil of humanity by finding a way to venture inside.

  • Leonardo Faria

    So this class of objects is not just a theory. The quahoaxers are real…

    • The CakeFoxMC

      theoretically real.

  • Paulo R. Mendes

    Humm… I need organize my thoughts (and translate my text to English!) before start to write a story based in this excellent Starting Point.

    • Logan Testa

      Why, thank you!

      • Paulo R. Mendes

        You are welcome.

  • Damien G.

    Some astronomers committed suicide, their life’s work suddenly meaningless.

    It’s only a single star, there is a million other stars that didn’t defy reason meaning this star is something to be studied not to commit suicide over.