05. Blackholes and souls | The Mark of Orion

December 16, 2020 Sujay Sarma

The Founders – that was the common only simple-dimensional name and sound that was possible to call the species that set up all of this. One of the first courses that I absolutely HAD to take was the true history of the universe. One as that was witnessed by the Founders. This was essential because…

The Founders – that was the common only simple-dimensional name and sound that was possible to call the species that set up all of this. One of the first courses that I absolutely HAD to take was the true history of the universe. One as that was witnessed by the Founders. This was essential because every species that had come later had understood their environs as they could observe it using their each limited technology. The Founders were the only ones that had been there when it had all began.

It was clear to me that unlike the Creationist philosophy of Earth scientists that believed in a Big Bang and Big Crunch life cycle of the universe, the Founders had determined a continuous universe. In fact, they had determined that it was not a “uni” verse at all. There were hundreds of billions of them and they could travel between the various instances too — using blackholes.

They had long found out the true nature of blackholes and were not terrified of them like we were on Earth. The crushing gravity of massive imploding stars caused a rip in Space-Time. True, they devoured matter around them, but the Founders had found orbits and pathways into monsters that not just kept them safe from the destructive abilities of the blackhole but provided passageways for inter-universe travels. Through this they had discovered an infinite array of “dimensions” and possibilities. Knowledge and technology that they brought back with them into “our” universe and used it to advance the collective existence.

When matter, energy and other things are evolving along side yourself, you have the greatest opportunity in the entire… “creation”… to observe, learn and make use of all of that.

The Impressum Gallery of the cosmology instructor had a collection of really strange blackholes. A few of them were thought to be sentient!

“This one is weaponized.” She said one day, lifting a small glowing disc from the anti-gravity mount it was housed in. “Can you tell me where you’ve seen it before ?”

I had been staring at it. I had seen it before, I was sure. But unable to place where that might have been. A past life?

I took it in my hands and turned it around.

“What ever you do, my boy, don’t fling it.” The wizened old lady winked.

I stared at it. Then my eyes widened.

“THAT was a BLACKHOLE?” I cried.

She reached into a receptacle at the bottom of the stand the artifact had been sitting on and pulled out a moving hologram — these worked like mini videos that showed some action. It showed the picture of a dark-colored towering entity, an artifact similar to the miniature blackhole I held in my hand adoring the entity’s forefinger. The Chakra.

“You can use these as weapons?”

“My boy,” She replaced the artifact in its container and put a tentacle on my shoulder and led me away from there. “There are things here that…”

It was true, whereever you went in the Ta’arboujan, there were things that amazed you. Things you thought were something and turned out to be completely something else.

“Today, we are going to learn about a very important concept.” The instructor announced one morning. “Core to the existence and intelligence of all of us is something we commonly call a ‘soul’.”

A collective sigh went up from everyone in class.

“Touchy subject” sniffled Crouch, a sentient calcium phosphate entity from a world called ‘Hak’.

“Why?” I asked him.

“On Hak, we believe that ‘souls’ are a form of predator.” She said. “We offer prayers, in fact, to that there are none of them left on our world.”

“Am curious,” I replied. “Let’s talk after class.”

“So what do you think a ‘Soul’ is?” The instructor asked the class.

Several hands went up. Answers ranged from the mystic to the chemical, to the magical to a bag of smoke. Many of course, opined that there was no such thing, because on their worlds, they did not believe in such a concept or their scientists had been unable to prove that it existed.

“You are all wrong.” The instructor teased. “The real ‘soul’ exists. It is the reason we are all sentient, no matter our chemical makeup and no matter whether we are made from matter or energy or something else.”

A gasp went up. Silence.

Personally, I did not believe in the concept of a soul. I was an atheist.

“Let me ask you this,” The instructor challenged us. “What makes those of us here ‘sentient’ or ‘intelligent’ compared to those around us and even back on our home worlds that look like all of us, but we don’t consider them sentient or intelligent?”


“Ability to think”

“Aspiring to something”


The answers continued.

When the instructor was satisfied that everyone had said something, she declared: “Emotion. Non-sentients do not have emotion.”

Silence. Everyone was trying hard to think of something that had no emotion of any sort and was considered to be sentient. Silence.

“Today, after lunch, we are going to visit the Soul Factory. It will be a very disturbing experience, let me assure you. But it is necessary.”

“Soul factory?” Someone asked. “Do you make souls here?”

“Actually not.” She replied. “It is just an unfortunate name that stuck. It is actually a place where scientific research is performed on souls. With that, let’s break for lunch.”

I will never ever forget my experience at the Soul Factory.

“Welcome to the Soul Factory” greeted our cheerful tour guide. “But be warned, you will not be able to sleep many nights when you are through with this tour.” After a pause, he added looking distantly at the false ceiling: “Some of us have not slept in hundreds of millenia.”

The first area he took us to was called the “Gallerium”. A sort of a gallery where different forms of souls were kept as ‘showpieces’.

“Now, bear in mind that souls do not die and souls cannot be killed,” He said. “All of them are ‘alive’.”

Behind what appeared to be glass, held within life-size boxes were shimmering, dancing entities. They were of different colors, hues and shades. Some I could not see — they were beyond my human range of visual frequencies.

“Each color, hue and size you see is a different emotion.” The guide said. “Some of them are a single, pure emotion.” He indicated some others with a flourish, “Others are a mix of emotions.”

“Are all the emotions linked to a soul? Even dark ones?” A classmate asked.

“Of course.” The guide nodded. “Negative emotions result in what we call ‘Dark souls’. We do not keep them here. We keep them in a different place.”

“Are they dangerous?” I asked him. “The negative souls.”

He looked at me determining how best to explain. “Let me show you with an example.” He decided. “Come here.”

He beckoned me to stand closer to one of the boxes. “Close your eyes, clear your mind and heart, do not feel anything.”

I took a deep breath and blanked my mind.

“Now, allow your heart to feel again. What do you feel ?”

Unknown to me, the soul I was standing in front of shimmered and twitched.

“I feel regret.” I said finally.

“What type of regret? Consider it.”

“Okay, it is actually longing, I think. Like an ‘I wish I had stayed there more.'” I said slowly.

“Open your eyes and join the others.” The guide said. “See how a soul can affect you? You can feel what another soul feels. This is in spite of the fact that you have a soul and that soul is feeling something entirely different.”

He saw that most of our faces were blank. I was still recovering from the shock of what I had just felt. Another soul’s emotion.

“This is why we have empaths — empathetic entities – those that can feel someone’s emotion. Souls have a mechanism to transfer their feelings to someone else. Now if those emotions are negative: murderous, violent, malevolent, what happens?”

He let the thought sink in as he led us up a sweeping staircase of shimmer to another level of the building. “Here we keep fragments.”


“Souls can break. They are strong, but incredibly fragile.”

“How does a soul break?”

The guide was silent and then added, “That stuff, I will show you later. It is one of the things that will destroy your peace of mind for ever.”

The room he opened next was full of strange patterns. Unlike the entities we had seen in containers below, these were moving around freely.

“Students.” He said with a smile. “These are soul fragments. They are pieces of what were once whole souls. Now they are mere pieces of them.”

“Memories?” I asked.

“No.” He said sadly. “When a soul breaks up, depending on the original composition and what caused it to shard, you get some of these.”

He told us about whole souls, fragments, shards, wisps and other strange fractions and combinations of souls.

As we got back into the bus to take us back to the our primary area, the group was silent. We were still in shock by our experience of souls being torn apart, forcefully. They were not artificial souls, these were real souls, that had powered real entities like us at some point.

I sat morose at dinner time.

“Soul Factory tour, eh?” Sneha asked, sliding her plate onto the table and sitting close to me. “I remember my first tour there. It was horrible.” She shuddered.

“First tour?” I asked, surprised. “You go back there again?”

“Well, not like that, but I did do a course in the Soul Sciences.” She admitted, biting her lip. “I learnt things…”

“Teach me?” I asked her.

“NEVER!” she cried with such defensive ferocity that people turned to look.

I put an calming arm around her. “Calm down my century and a half older girlfriend.” and knocked her head with mine.

“Don’t piss me off more.” She smiled.

That night as we lay back in bed, staring at our absent ceiling, “If I die before you, don’t ever let my soul go into that place.” I told her.

She turned into my shoulder and smiled wickedly. “Oh no. I plan to rip it to shreds myself, for leaving me behind.”

About the author:

Sujay Sarma is an IT industry veteran, about 43 years of age. He has spent 25 years in the IT industry and has done it all, and seen it all. Now, his passion is writing [blogs, stories, novels] and music. He has his own YouTube channel called "Sujay Sarma's Musical Adventures" where he posts his covers and originals, and a Podcast named "Interesting People Interesting Stories".