Haunted Houses. Empty Sewers. Abandoned amusement parks. These are the Low Reality Zones. Away from human influence, they warp and bend and grow carnivorous. The further you get from human culture, the more strange you become. Your body and your mind slowly expands and mutates and fractures in on itself.
ENTITY 08: THE EXISTENTIAL THREAT
The ideal conditions for human life are between 30% and 60% reality. Below that, shapes become unconstant. You become larger and smaller based on your mood and feelings. You hands distort. Space and time bends.
Earth is in the "Goldilocks Zone", with truth levels that are perfect for human life. Any higher and humans would never have been able to become sentient. Any lower and human life would never be able to become organised into human shape - we would exist as scattered shapes and strange resonances.
So you can see why the space program was a failure.
We sent them out there to destroy The Existential Threat. But the further the astronauts got, the stranger they became. Some of them returned to earth. They lurk in the dark places, scuttling massive things that ooze and writhe through the oceans or abandoned farm houses where they crash landed. Some of them stayed out there. Some of them went further and further. Massive things lurk in the dark depths of space.
What is The Existential Threat? Outer Gods? Or only ourselves, twisted by extreme culture deprivation?
Cultural artifacts have a shocking effect on these creatures. Objects with critical symbolic value to the dominant culture of the area. These objects can protect you from the effects of culture deprivation. Creatures may pause at the sight of them or even begin to revert to their old forms. This is why a crucifix can repel a vampire.
Astronauts now go into space in bubbles of culture protection. Space shuttles lined with bibles. But there are some that look at the Outer Gods and whisper... is their way not better?
The dominant cultural hegemony surrounds you like the crushing pressure of the ocean, ten thousand fathoms deep, forcing your body and mind into the shapes it requires. Why not take a breath in the deep chaos and freedom of the outer planes? Why not experience those true, mad, beautiful shapes for yourself?
There are stories of astronauts breaking through the cultural protection seal, and stepping out of the airlock on their own. To what fate, none can say.
Inspired by Heaven Will Be Mine.