The Aspect Storm

Like the rest of you oily meatbags, I have a few mortal fears.

Thalassophobia and megalohydrothalassophobia render me unable to effectively mount deep sea expeditions. I have recurring nightmares about being an alien sleeper agent. And I do not appreciate the Arthropod phylum at all.

I also have fabricated fears, abstract horrors discovered in works of fiction. Courtesy of The Steel Remains, The Aspect Storm now ranks on that list. The storm is a curious concept, basically an extradimensional, transtemporal chaos entity described as a warp in the fabric of every possible outcome the universe will allow. Neat.

When an average human encounters the Aspect Storm, they experience a multitude of realities balanced on an axis of personal decision. They observe every what if of every critical choice they have ever made by interacting with the inhabitants of the alternative realities. Strangers react with haunting familiarity while closest friends are altered beyond all recognition. The end result is basic insanity for the observer, as one is so overwhelmed with alternatives they become lost in probable memories and are unable to discern their own timeline.

The real personal horror of the Aspect Storm is unfiltered, relentless introspection. Every fault, known or unknown, would be fully recognized and relived in detail. A thousand nights of laying awake, regretting every mistake, experienced in an instant.

And on the other hand, it comparatively makes those individual nights seem inconsequential. Ringil Eskiath's mantra becomes applicable to regular self-doubt: You don't do that shit, Gil. There are no alternatives. You live with what is. And you don't let your ghosts rent room in your head.

I still fucking hate the ocean though.