• Nobles of Null is a forum based roleplay site where sci-fi and magic collide. Here, Earth remains fractured and divided despite humanity reaching out to the stars. Worse still, the trans-human slaves of one major power have escaped, only to establish their own Empire, seething with resentment at abuses of the past. Even the discovery of aliens, though medieval in development, has failed to rally these squabbling children of Earth together with its far darker implications. Worse still, is the discovery of the impossible - magic. Practiced by the alien locals, nearly depleted and therefore rare, its reality warping abilities remains abstract and distant to the general populace. All the while, unseen in the darkness of space, forces from without threaten to press in. For those with eyes opened by insight, it is clear that an era is about to end, and that a new age will dawn.

Exclusion Zone: Black Box


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It felt deeper than it looked, as Elluin's hand disappeared into the blackness of the pit. Grasping for that faint image of a handle, awkwardly running against it, having to realign to grip it. The canister was shaped like a cylinder, with the black top that she grasped at having a straight, horizontal handle that went across the surface facing her, propped up by two juts of black connecting material. Despite the overall temperature of the room feeling just fine, despite the open doors, the handle itself was unnaturally cold, as if it could numb her fingers if grasped for too long. Still, it resisted her pull, and it became clear that the sides of the Black Box were not smooth. She had to repeatedly turn the handle she gripped as it slowly slid outward, fitting whatever outward beams stopped its ascent into a new line of vertical paths. Perhaps it was to keep it from sliding out in turbulence, or the connections were important in some way, but as seconds dragged on, and the damning silence grew thicker and harder to breathe, perhaps it felt like something else was in mind when designing it like she was using it incorrectly.

Still, as the cylinder was freed in the now silent flashes of red, Elluin could suddenly be sure of one thing. The only noise that cut through that thick silence was a low hum. She could not source its origin, but it had clearly grown in the dense seconds she had retrieved the device, the strange, forearm-length device being awkward and disproportionately weighted, revealing little of what it was in the red flashes that suddenly seemed too dim to truly make out anything. Even her footsteps offered nothing more than the jolt of nerves as she stepped, that low hum her world, growing louder by the minute.

Fight or flight twisted in the dark recesses of her mind and gave a simple message, running along the reptilian pathways of her nervous system, like a centipede crawling up her spine, injecting freezing venom with every awful step.

"Get. Out."

The hum only grew louder, and even in the passing red light of the room, she could look out into the hallway and see the lights of the ship rapidly fading. The dimness hid it for a moment, but in the flashes, she could suddenly see that darkness kept on the edges of her vision, no matter how close to the light she got, and her lungs seemed to scream that there wasn't enough oxygen.


The storm screamed[/i] at Comprendea, despite its distance. It was a great roaring beast intent on destroying his ears, at flooding his senses with an overwhelming cataclysm that he was not prepared for, that he could not prepare for. It would deafen him with its crashing volume that already was unbearable, then it would beat upon his face until his mask would smash inward to cave in his eyes, then fill his mouth with soot and snow until his lungs filled with-

He was panicking. Even through everything, he could feel the reaction burning, a cyclical loop of emotions feeding one another until any other input became too loud to bear. There were responses, that much anybody knew, but that did not help at the moment.

What became apparent, in that brief moment of clarity was that it felt like something pulled away from his head. Like something had been squeezing down on his mind, pushing in from all directions, and the moment he had fully noticed it, it had retreated back. The panic, the emotion, was being force-fed by something else, something he couldn't see. He couldn't even see if it was still on him, but at least it had seemed to relent once it had been noticed.

The storm continued. It did not slow. They were running out of time.


Fyleen pushed open the door, finding the dim hallways it opened into barren, flashing red lights on the corridors that sat like a waiting beartrap. With an audible snap, the tablet's speaker seemed to short-circuit into death, dropping her into silence once more as she peered into that waiting maw of the ship. Something seemed wrong about it, at first, as she stared down into the strange corridors with many doors and turning halls. She had been through this door before, on their own ship, and it led to the kitchen areas. There were not this many doors, this many hallways that immediately seemed to lead straight into parts of the ships that did not have hallways or doors.

It was for a brief moment, but as the red lights briefly illuminated a distant wall that turned into a corner that shouldn't exist, its destination not visible from where Fyleen stood, the wall breathed. It shifted, like the flank of a beast trying to remain still, and in the distance, she heard the dripping of water upon the metal flooring. As quickly as it started, it seemed to hold its breath.


"Warning: Return to the Ship." The suits blared to Flyeen and Comprendea, the world of Elluin too muted to hear a thing. "Storm approaching. Evacuation necessary."
Elluin stumbles out of the ship, disoriented to the point that she forgot to unmute her suit, and slowly walking around the ship, keeping one hand on the ship and the other holding the black box, trying to find another crew member.
Comprendea was, somewhat ironically, panicking harder now as he realized something had been touching him in a sense. He was breathing hard, panting, and out of pure instict is was punching into the air around him, swatting at the darkness of whatever was around. He stumbled over to Elluin, his face brightened with fear but delight that someone else was there. "Where's Fyleen's?" he stuttered, his gaze darting around in fear. "Something was on me, it was touching my head, it moved and I saw it and the storm is screaming at us!" He was hyperventilating, in a ready stance. "We need to go! We need to run! We can't stay here, we have to get back to the ship!"


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Fyleen stood frozen in fear, staring down the corridor to what she could only make hollow guesses at what was at the end of it. The only thing she could assume was it was alive and it seemed to be trying to hide that fact. She struggled, trying to get her legs to move forwards. If someone is here it must be a survivor, She tried to convince herself yet something in her being wouldn’t let her body act on this thought.

She slowly began inching her way towards the movement she saw down the hall she would call out to it had she the will power to. Her advances had made little progress before she was stopped in her tracks by a blaring sound. It was a warning from her suit of the increased danger of the weather condition. “Shit” She muttered under her breathe. She was out of time and needed to evacuate back to the ship, she began making her way back through the door she came before stopping at the door way. She desperately wanted any excuse to get out of there, however she knew she couldn’t just leave that person here if they were a survivor.

She returned to the corridor and began making her way towards the thing she saw believing it was a survivor, assuming it was a survivor…hoping it was a survivor.


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”Return to the ship.” The suits continued to blare apathetically, starting a rhythm of shouting these commands. ”Hazardous weather patterns prevent the continuation of this mission. Return to the ship.” It continued as if saying it again would further impress upon them the importance of their compliance. The approaching storm would do that on its own, but still, only Comprendea and Elluin had exited, Fyleen nowhere in sight.

Thankfully for the two outside the ship, the choice was clear and without obstacle. Their ship remained where they left it, just a short sprint away. The only trouble was the missing piece, the missing member.

Where was Fyleen?


Fyleen’s suit screamed at her as it did the others, but something was clearly wrong. It garbled and mangled as if something were pressing uneven hands against the speakers to try and mute it. The voice continued to stretch and mangle itself, letters melting together into nonsense as the machine rambled in her ear with words that didn’t exist and sounds that it shouldn’t make. It drowned out the sounds around her, save for the strange drips of some liquid that seemed to just barely make it into her conscious awareness.

Something deep in her head would scream at her, instinctive recognition of something being wrong. Some primal understanding that any given step would active a bear trap, or that some predator would close in on her should she continue moving forward.

The wall twitched again, and this time there was no mistaking it. It flexed, like skin-drawn taut over a flat and hard surface, wrinkling and shifting like the flank of a beast did when a fly landed on it, biting into its hide. The dripping stopped once more. The wall seemed to approach faster than she was walking, by just a barely noticeable amount.

If she looked behind herself, she’d see it plainly before it all stopped in recognition of her movement. The floor was moving, shuffling her closer to that wall and further from the door she entered. By whatever mechanism it was doing it wasn’t clear, but it was doing it nonetheless, pausing in some hope that its prey did not notice.​
“Comprendea, do you know where Fyleen is?” Elluin asks, while almost dragging her crew mate back to their ship. “The storm is picking up, and we’ve got to get going. I’d hate to be leaving someone behind.”
"Damnit!" He sighed, panting heavily. "I don't know! Probably still in the ship!" He tore himself away from the one dragging him away, too crazed and panicked to be thinking straight as he leaned into the crashed ship and yelled. "Fyleen! We need to leave, everything is bad, I hate this place, please be alive!"


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Fyleen stopped in her tracks, She had been fighting her body to move forwards but she could only deny her instincts for so long before they took control. She began taking small slow steps backwards as she tried to beckon to what she thought was ahead of her. “Th-There’s a nasty snow storm coming…” she struggled to shout out these words towards the end of the hall. Her pace backwards slowly picking up as she unconsciously noticed that even though she was moving it didn’t feel like she was. “If you can move haul ass to my ship through the cargo bay, if not th-then we’ll come and get you once it dies down again!” Her pace steady but slow enough as to allow time to wait for a reply before she would turn around to head back through the door she came.


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Fyleen's path seemed unnatural as she turned and move back, the hallway froze as she turned and shifted as if trying to convince her, and itself, that nothing was wrong with it at all. What became obvious as she turned out of the doorway was that the perspective of... Everything was strangely off. Like an optical illusion painted across the hallway that was disturbed as she moved away from it. The sound of trickling water grew louder, the sound once more coming through as she left the strange auditory dead zone.

Sirens and warnings replaced the lack of sound. Her seat blared different warnings, exposure to unknown energy, electromagnetic interference, storm approaching, words that blended together and made little sense. What was clear was that she had to leave, and if anything followed, it did not make itself known as she burst outward into the open air where her two companions waited for her.

The storm wall neared, no longer tracked by distant markings that one had to concentrate on to notice movement, but quite visibly. The land began to vanish in front of it, swirling and mixing, and for brief, incalculable moments, seemed to hold still in bizarre and intricate patterns. Always shifting, never repeating, never long enough to be certain, but they all would see it, the mixing of swirling vortexes and sharp-angled squares, intermingling and connected as if it were the natural state of the storm.

It approached. Time was running out.