In a previous Idea post we learned about the Green. Today we learn about its cosmic counterpart, the Red.
Where the Green exists in the time between seconds, and in the dead past, the Red exists where time goes wrong somehow; it is either the disease which causes the symptoms, or the cancer with an underlying cause. Whether the Red came because time was broken, or time was broken because of the Red, is unclear, and perhaps doesn’t matter. What is clear is this:
The Red is here, and time has curled in on itself.
Clocks refuse to move, or else the lights on them simply blinked out. The sun is always hanging just above the horizon in the east, no matter how long you travel to or away from it, and the process of decay appears to have been halted. Things will weaken and eventually break if put under pressure, but rust and rot are nonexistent, and while stomachs will break down and process food and liquids, such things are not necessary for survival. People don’t age, either, remaining however old they were when this all happened, and while it’s possible that people are still as fertile as they were before time curled, the result of any successful conception still wouldn’t develop even into a blastula, and so the effect— a lack of births— is still the same. Sleep, too, is unnecessary, although, again, possible for those who want it. Nobody dreams anymore, though.
Society probably could have adapted to this, had it had the chance, but within a matter of days the Red made its presence known. It acted, and still acts, through swarms of monsters of every conceivable shape. Each one is incredibly lethal and difficult to kill, and though they are not present in great numbers (perhaps a hundred thousand over the face of the entire world), they are relentless, and you will come across them eventually, no matter where you hide. There were millions of them to begin with and the civilization of the past was able to destroy most of these before it fell, but in the end fall it did. The few people still alive generally lead nomadic existences, no longer being bound by needs for such things as food. They may look for others or save books, but even the hunters must be wary of the monsters that in turn are hunting them. Each and every loss, on either side, is a loss that can never be restored unless the situation changes drastically, and it can take so many people to kill a single monster...