But…what is the Bulwark?

The Chickasaw knew that, when the rock began to crumble, the hunting in the area would turn bad and any crops planted or food gathered would be of poor quality. The settlers who ejected them from their own lands found that cattle would die when the Bulwark was weak, babies would fail to thrive, and people had a way of disappearing. Reinforcing the Bulwark, even until little of the original igneous rock remained, seemed to put an end to this.

Its current caretakers believe the Bulwark is a place where another set of rules, physical rules, intersects with our own. Without raw matter to hold it back, they think, totally different and alien laws of physics begin to take hold–laws which have a negative effect on anything around them. But they are terrified that, despite their best efforts, the Bulwark is decaying with increasing speed.

Perhaps one could regard whatever is beneath those many layers as exerting pressure, either through natural processes or directed be a malign will. What once held for centuries, even millennia, with minimal human involvement now requires it. But what would happen if the Bulwark were to fail, wholly and catastrophically? What if the “pressure” behind it were to release?

It might allow the physics of an alien space to overwrite those of our own.

  • Like what you see? Purchase a print or ebook version!