There are billions of stars, millions of planets, but there is only one man, Terrance McDoogal. Welcome to LIU Atlas.
About this creation
LIU Atlas - Tenebrae
The Ludgonian Industrial Union’s galaxy contains billions of stars and planets. Unfortunately, most residents of the LIU could only name a handful of these worlds. In order to improve astronomy grades across the LIU, TV2 has started a new program called LIU Atlas. Follow our host, Terrance McDoogal, as he takes you on a tour across the LIU and some of its more obscure worlds.
Note: This episode is presented in full screen. The corresponding dialogue is underneath each photo.
Doog: “Welcome to another episode of LIU Atlas. I’m your host, Terrance “Doog” McDoogal. Today, we’re visiting the planet Tenebrae, located near the center of the dark nebula Pulvis. Tenebrae is a rogue planet, which is just a fancy way of saying that it has no star. Tenebrae was formed around a star in this very nebula, but the young, bright star flung Tenebrae out of orbit and deeper into the nebula. Tenebrae has since stabilized and now directly orbits the galactic center. With no star, and the dark nebula obscuring any starlight, Tenebrae is one of the darkest worlds in the LIU Galaxy.”
Doog: “No need to adjust your TV sets folks. This is actual footage from the surface of Tenebrae. There is literally no visible light here. It doesn’t make for very interesting TV. Luckily, Cam has made some adjustments to the Hover Cam to allow it to shoot in an infrared slash night-visiony sort of thing. I don’t know, I wasn’t listening. Cam, go ahead and switch us over.”
Doog: “Ah, that’s better. Now, you may be surprised that I’m still going sleeveless on a planet with no sun. Most would assume such a place would be freezing cold, but in actuality, it’s quite warm. Tenebrae is constantly pulling in materials from the surrounding nebula giving it a thick, hazy atmosphere. This atmosphere holds in Tenebrae’s internal geothermal heat which is of course created by residual core radioisotope decay. Just in case you‘re wondering, I just read that last bit off a cue card, so don’t ask me what it means.
My host is part of an ancient race that originated outside the LIU Galaxy. This species’ true name cannot be spoken in Basic, nor any other alien tongue. Instead, we refer them as the Dark Harvesters.”
Doog: “Ah, here he is now. Uh, hello there. I’m Doog. And you are?”
DH: “Your cacology is such that any attempt at an utterance of my name would be execrable blathering. Your “Basic” tongue is just that: basic. You might have more luck putting to diction the smell of the seasons. Your speech would be given to prolix before even hinting upon the first syllable of my name.”
Doog: “Uh yeah. How about I just call you DH, short for Dark Harvester?”
DH: “Such is the extremity of your race’s velleity. So be it…”
DH: “The denizens and masters of this world--that is to say, my people--migrated here from afar. Uniquely evolutionary, we thrive in the dark side of existence. These opaque worlds are rare, and we have been scattered across the universe. A fungus that coevolved with my species remains the only sustenance that bears our continuity. And this fungi‘s avaricious pull to the Black has forced our symbiotic habitation.”
Doog: “The last time I had a symbiotic relationship with a fungus, I was banned from the brothel for two weeks. So where are we going? ”
DH: “Your trite, jejune humor makes me question whether or not your fungus spread to your brain. Try to keep up both mentally and physically; we journey to one of our sacred fungal grounds.”
Doog: “Wow, what is this light coming from the fungi?”
DH: “All the fungal species we transplanted here on Tenebrae are bioluminescent.”
Doog: “Cool, but I believe the light is distorting the infrared filter. Cam, perhaps we can switch back to normal mode for a minute, let the viewers see what I’m seeing?”
Doog: “There we go. As you can see folks, the fungi gives off a faint green light. So, DH, what‘s with the glowing fungus?”
DH: “When we abandoned our home planet, we transported the essential means to our victuals. The various components of the surrounding nebula breed rich soils that facilitate the thriving of said fungi. Our crop gorges upon the nutrient rich soil in seemingly fallow fields deprived of sunlight. Truth be told, solar rays trammel the prosperity of our harvest.”
DH: “In praxis, our yield yields ubiquitous corollaries-- nourishment, medicine, and illumination to name a few. The most vital of these species is the triangular-shaped fungi, a foodstuff. Its exquisite taste nourishes both palate and mind; its very aroma pervades through the soul; its redolent beauty, its sustenance, the means in which it sates all that is epitomized by renaissance learn-ed elite insists its import within our very…”
Doog: “Wait?! You eat glowing fungus?!”
DH: “No, we drink it. Poisonous in its current state, patience is our credo. In order to safely imbibe, we must allow proper fermentation and distillation. Lo, the winery hall awaits.”
DH: “Due to the capricious nature of our nutrient rain, the fungal beds form organically--and sporadically. The winery hall in which we venture is central, but, alas, too far to peregrinate. Hence our vessel for this journey: a troika of Anguis. The Anguis are the only non-fungal species to be salvaged from our home world. They act as our ‘beasts of burden’, so to speak.”
DH: “Come, let us make haste.”
Doog: “Cool building. Is this winery hall?”
DH: “Yes. Few structures exist here on Tenebrae. My species needs not sleep, nor shelter from the elements. These edifices' primary function are to repel the nebula dust, a semi-permeable portcullis fortifying from all unwanted elements. Tenebrae Wine shan’t be sullied .”
Doog: “All this wine talk is getting me thirsty. Shall we head inside?”
DH: “The Hall houses countless racks of Tenebrae Wine. The liquid must age for several years to ferment and safely dissipate its poison. This is vital; my species relies solely upon its nutrients.”
Doog: “Sounds complicated. Can I try some? I could use something to take the edge off.”
DH: “Absolutely not. Tenebrae wine is poisonous to most species. ‘Wine’ is simply a colloquialism for your ‘basic’ benefit. It contains no trace of alcohol. Instead, it renders a euphoria spurred on by its taste and life sustaining nutrients, not because of some chemical induced mind alteration like alcohol.”
Doog: “Dang. I could have looked past the poisonous part if it had alcohol, but yeah, I’ll pass. So what’s next? I mean, you have to be doing something useful for the LIU to tolerate your presence in their territory. We’re not running a charity here.”
DH: “We have our uses. Follow me to the basement.”
Doog: “What’s this? It looks like a laboratory.”
DH: “Another species of our fungi begets a powerful antibiotic. Once used as a demulcent for my species, it is now produced in surfeit to trade to the LIU. Its medicinal proclivity has proved invaluable to all.”
Doog: “Cool stuff. Anything else to add?”
DH: “Darkness acts as allegory. You see shadow and infer the form. But the superfluous meaning--the true grit of existence, the moxie that drives all impetus of life--exists un-illuminated like a shadow within your shadow as you clutch what is coveted close to your chest, shielded from the light behind, only to be lost in your own black silhouette--that which can be seen on the ground but never trampled. And you step lively, carefully, beckoned by some ineffable yearning that you protect from the light. Yet it remains unseen due to that same all-encompassing protection, Unseen in light. Covered by shadow, But there. Always there. Seek it. Find it. It is you. Truly you. .”
Doog: “Uh…yeah…nice to meet you too.”
Doog: “Well folks, Tenebrae is a very unique place. It’s home to an interesting race of beings, and it produces strong medicines that help save lives. Darkness is usually associated with death, but here, darkness is life. See ya next time.” Note: Thanks to our special guest "host" writer: Loki.
being french speaking, I can appreciate the writing, I m impressed, as for the pics, well, black and white diminishes your pieces a little, since you usually use the color so well, still, very original!
The short moments where I had the pleasure of getting a glimps of your stories always had a deep impact on me. Your storylines are ingeniuos, just like the creations. I hope that I'll have the chance to finally read all the episodes, old ones and new ones, now that I'm more involved in the brick business again. Kudos!
Another wonderfully named planet. I enjoyed the more serious feel to this story and think that it worked very well as a contrast to the more humourous ones. The B&W photos were great, especially with the glowing, colourful fungus in the middle. I loved the way that DH spoke: amazing vocabulary. His last speech is great and then it's pithily summed-up by Doog in the last photo. I thought that the texture of the walls of the first building, with the headlight bricks, was a very nice effect. Lastly, is Doog felling okay? He was confronted with those stairs in photo 6 and didn't complain! :)