Starting Point: Crystal Gods

Here’s the first in our new series of story starting points. How would you continue this story?
Alex_Pascenko

Jayvin approached the crystalline plant structure with curious eyes.

It was old. Centuries old. And it had grown to enormous proportions. Little wonder the villagers revered it so deeply; it must have been here for countless generations, and the way it glowed was… Jayvin wanted to think of it as magical. He tried to see it through the villagers’ eyes, he really did, but to him it was actually kind of eerie.

At the base of the crystal, the villagers had carved a series of shallow stone steps, and a deep fissure cut right to its glowing heart. This must be what the villagers called ‘the alter’. Jayvin could believe that their offerings affected the crystal in some way – or rather the lifeforms living inside it. Perhaps it – or they – could even be reliant on them in some way. But the miraculous powers Yin’Hal had described… No, that was impossible.

“Hey, Jayvin. Come look at this.”

How would you continue the story?

Edit: Since we published this starting point, this has been turned into a short story by Thaddeus Howze. Read it here.

Artwork by Alex Pascenko.

  • John Charles Scott

    Doing it now!!!!! 🙂

    • Ryan Holloway

      Same here, looking forward to reading what you got.

      • John Charles Scott

        And you mate!

  • John Charles Scott

    Where can I post it when I finish? Assuming anyone else wants to read it?

    • Ryan Holloway

      I am posting it here.

      • John Charles Scott

        We can submit to the site? Cool.

  • Ryan Holloway

    Has Jayvin came around the corner where Alexis called for him, he stopped in his tracks. The alter was alive of iridescence, the colors dancing around the room amazed him. He couldn’t but help but feel that it was non threating towards him and his partner, and any feelings of doubt and misgivings were gone. Then has soon has it started, the colors faded until it settled on aquamarine, providing gentle light in the room.
    Free from the trance, he started to breath, never realizing he held his breath. “Did Yin’Hal describe that?” Alexis asked.
    “No, no he didn’t.” he replied.
    “Should we go get him? I mean he is the priest and all.” She responded.
    Looking into her eyes, he spoke, “Are you not the lest bit curious to what this is?”
    Her reply was terse, “Yes, but we could be committing a sacrilegious crime. We should get Yin’hal’s permission.”
    “You have my permission, even though you never needed it.” A voice replied, startling them out of their fight before it began.
    Both looked at the wizened face of Yin’Hal has he continued. “In fact I am curious to what the god wants. But if your worried that you will be hurt, there is no need.”
    With the permission that they weren’t committing a sacrilegious crime, and they would safe. They stepped into the room. The colors returned, washing over them, giving them warmth, putting them at ease. “Welcome travelers from the stars.” A voice of compassion spoke not in a vocal communication, but directly in their mind.

    “Are you a god?” Alexis asked
    “No, even though I am worshiped like one. I come from the stars like your self.” was the reply.
    “Your a living being.” Jayvin said unsure that his comment was correct.
    “No, not in sense that you are. But I am aware, always thinking, always following my morals. Even though I might have overstepped my morals a few times, has all living things are allowed to make mistakes. Now that you arrived, my morals is ending, and thus it is my turn to end.” The voice divulged.
    “Jayvin, this crystal god is a sentient computer!” Alexis almost screamed with excitement.
    “Thank you Alexis.” Jayvin said calmly, then returned his attention to the crystal god. “What do you mean that your moral is ending?”
    “My moral is to keep the memory of my creators alive. Then when others come from the stars to give them this message. But the key to opening this memory is to peacefully coexist with the people and teach them.” the Crystal god explained.
    With that the lights faded, leaving the aquamarine color lighting the room. Jayvin, and Alexis turned to face the priest Yin’Hal, a smile across his face. Then before either one can speak, he spoke. “Gods are meant to die, it was something we were looking forward to. We are ready to move on.”
    Has the three them left the alter, the lights faded off.

    • John Charles Scott

      Wow, I love it!

      • John Charles Scott

        Mine’s taking a bit longer…

        • Ryan Holloway

          What did you like about it? What did you dislike? How can I improve my story. The reason I ask is because I kind of want to try to become a published author. Now looking back at I can see points where I can expand and edit. But I won’t, because I think this exercise is good for just getting the juices flowing for me. But I am happy with it overall, consider the last attempt I had at creative writing was almost twenty years ago.

          • John Charles Scott

            I loved the whole thing. The idea was great, and it was pretty well written. Incredible if this is your first attempt in 20 years!

    • Ooh, interesting!

  • John Charles Scott

    I went the science route by accident….
    Jayvin approached the crystalline plant structure with curious eyes.
    It was old.
    Centuries old.
    And it had grown to enormous proportions. Little wonder the villagers revered it so deeply; it must have been here for countless generations, and the way it glowed was… Jayvin wanted to think of it as magical. He tried to see it through
    the villagers’ eyes, he really did, but to him it was actually kind of eerie.

    At the base of the crystal, the villagers had carved a series of shallow stone steps, and a deep fissure cut right to its glowing heart. This must be what the villagers called ‘the alter’. Jayvin could believe that their offerings affected the crystal in some way – or rather the life forms living inside it. Perhaps it – or they – could even be reliant on them in some way. But the miraculous powers Yin’Hal had described… No, that was impossible.

    “Hey, Jayvin. Come look at
    this.”

    Jayvin removed his helmet and strode over to the pilot, who was crouched down underneath the central crystalline plant that towered over them all.
    There were little votives around the base and the steps where it had
    sprouted from the rock, left by the villagers.
    The strange trees around them twisted and turned around it, taking on the
    shapes of monsters of old. Smaller
    crystals were buried in the moss, itself a glittering emerald green.

    Jayvin had seen the
    pictures, but being here…. It was inspiring.
    He could stare at it for hours and not feel tired. He felt refreshed around them. The canyon they were in was part of a
    network, almost like veins on the world.
    The village nearby acted, quite rightly, as caretakers of this place.

    ‘Crystal Gods’ was what
    they called these things.

    “This entire region is
    incredible,” Jayvin called out.

    “And it all seems to spread
    from this structure,” said Yin’Hal. He
    wore, as was his wont, the dark overalls of his trade, and a pack on his back.

    “Remind me again how you
    found this?”

    Yin’Hal recounted the
    story, despite having told Jayvin several times. The others of the team, a small group from
    the Terran Science Council, were unshipping their limited equipment. The villagers had been quite specific: only
    bring what you can carry.

    Jayvin didn’t understand
    why, but it was a welcome challenge.

    “My fighter was part of a
    patrol off the HMS Temmington; when we dropped down towards the
    atmosphere, my Rhino was hit by some sort of energy stream. I couldn’t see it, but my systems shut down, and I was caught in the gravity well before the ship or my squadron could
    assist.” He stood up, his legs cramping,
    rubbing the thighs where his injuries were.
    “My fighter crashed on the lip of the canyon up there.” He pointed to a point far above them where
    the edge of the canyon was dented and burned.
    There were even pieces of metal visible, sunlight glinting off it.

    “The villagers found me,”
    he said, carrying on, his alien features glowing in the light of the
    crystals. “They carried me down here,
    and put me down in front of the alter.”

    Jayvin frowned at Yin’hal’s
    use of the word alter.

    “Alter? Not an altar?”

    Yin’hal shook his
    head. “No, the villagers were quite
    specific.”

    “Doctor Jayvin?” one of the
    others called. “Flight Lieutenant Yin’hal? We’ve found something.”

    They joined the others, who
    were crouched by the base, where Yin’hal had indicated he had been left by the
    villagers.

    “We’re getting some strange
    readings, Doctor. A twin-pulse of
    something not unlike chronaton particles, but it’s irradiating from the crystal
    itself, like…”

    “Like what?” Jayvin asked.

    The scientist looked
    hesitant to say.

    “Out with it, we’re way
    past weird.”

    “It’s like a heartbeat.”

    Jayvin looked up at the
    crystals.

    “How old are these things?”

    “According to our carbon
    dating scans, around the twenty-thousand-year mark.”

    Jayvin gave a loud whistle.

    “What?” Yin’Hal was a fighter pilot, not a scientist.

    “Evolution,” Jayvin
    replied. “Twenty thousand years is a
    long time to be sat here growing, especially if it already has some sort of
    primitive life-form living inside it.”

    “It’s sentient,” nodded the
    other scientist.

    “What did the villagers
    refer to it as besides the alter?”

    “Crystal gods,” answered
    Yin’Hal, looking at the chief scientist.
    “You’re not serious.”

    Jayvin looked up at the
    entire crystalline structure with wonder in his face and in his heart. “Maybe.
    Not all life is humanoid-based.
    Just because we’ve never encountered a species like this, doesn’t mean
    it’s not impossible. Explains a lot
    about how they healed you, Lieutenant.”

    “Sentient crystalline.”

    Yin’Hal shook his head,
    looking up at the villagers that were gathered by the lakeside, watching the
    Terrans worriedly. He nodded.

    “Crystal gods indeed.”

    • Excellent, John! I really enjoyed reading it.

      It got me thinking, wouldn’t it be interesting if the crystal had some property in common with the villagers, indicating that they might share an evolutionary ancestor. That would add even more significance to the title ‘gods’.

      • John Charles Scott

        Yeah that could be quite cool. There’s no mention of what the villagers look like, so their biology/physiology would be up for grabs, so to speak…

  • Ryan Holloway and John Scott, I read and enjoyed both your stories. Thanks so much for sharing them!
    It’s fascinating too see two completely different extrapolations of the same basic premise. I can see I’m going to enjoy running this feature very much!

    • John Charles Scott

      Definitely going to keep joining in! Hopefully! Love this website!

    • Ryan Holloway

      Mark, has long has you post starting ideas I will contribute, the reason being is to get me into the habit of writing. John Scott, your story is great I hope to read many more stories from you. Thank you both for the words of encouragement, I hope others well participate and post.

      • John Charles Scott

        And thankyou as well!

  • Here’s a thought that might be fun to explore in a much longer story (or perhaps even a novel). What if there’s something missing from the alter? That could spark conflict between the villagers and the scientists/explorers, or perhaps serve as the starting point for a ‘Temple of Doom’ style quest to restore the sacred artifact

  • Christmas Snow

    Given I see another structure that looks pretty much the same, I would assume this is a silicon-based or orther exotic life form.
    Being sessile, I would assume it photosynthesizes. The glow may hint the “plant” actually stores energy in a particular way which enables the villagers to tap solar energy out of this thig.
    You can merge the idea with the ones proposed, assuming the creature is either sentient, or an alien computer has been added to control it and its energy. In the second option, they actually talk to the computer, not the creature. The scientists like the idea, and try to take a sample or find whatever “seed” this thing has and try to grow it at home.

  • Thaddeus Howze has sent me a link to his full short story that he wrote based around this starting point. Here it is: https://medium.com/p/68888d2d6cb8

  • Vanessa Ravencroft
  • You know there is actually an “Impossible Man” (Marvel Universe)

    marvel.wikia.com/Impossible_Man

  • Daud Jobe

    That sounds kinda interesting. I had a similiar idea like this myself; also the artwork looks absolutely great.