By: Staff Writers Lucille Njoo and Deeksha Raina
This is the second installment of our three-part NaNoWriMo blog series. The following is background information for the novel, and a plot summary.
The universe we live in isn’t the only one. Earth as we know it is actually part of an alternate universe. In the primary universe, named Atlas, a group of four influential people thousands of years ago were saddened by the chaos their world was falling into. Their names were Ares, Apollo, Aphrodite, and Athena. They decided to create new universes in order to try to achieve peaceful and successful communities. The four of them made up the first Council.
To create a universe, they funneled their own life forces (their anima) into creating a new universe, and they each chose a successor before they died. For the next thousands of years, the Council’s successors took care of the four alternate universes, making sure nothing was going wrong. The people in each universe adopted the characteristic its original anima donor had had: Ares was characterized by war, Apollo by truth, Aphrodite by an attempt at perfection, and Athena by wisdom. The Council can access the other universes through special mirrors, but they rarely do so because of their main rule: interfere as little as possible.
An unknown member of the Council member, ambitious for power, attempts to secretly create a new universe where he will be ultimate ruler–but he doesn’t want to sacrifice his own anima and instead begins stealing pieces of random people’s anima from various universes. Oblivious to all this, people in all the universes begin to lose their memories–first a few, and then dozens, and then thousands. These people that have had pieces of their anima stripped suddenly have no memory of their identities, their families, their friends, their pasts. As the universes are thrown into confusion, the Council decides to open the mirror portals for the first time in thousands of years to find people from each universe to send on a quest to save everyone’s animas.
Four people, one from each universe, accidentally come through the portals and arrive in Atlas. They find their way to the Council and help root out the rogue Council member. Once he is found out, however, he commits suicide. They discover that the rogue had been accumulating people’s anima until he had sufficient energy to start his universe, but the anima, separated from their human counterparts, were unstable. A small glitch causes the partially formed universe to begin collapsing, and since the rogue himself is dead, there is no way to save the anima trapped in that collapsing universe except by entering it to find the root of the problem. The Head of the Council leads the four and six other Council members into the new universe, which they name Eris, while the rest of the Council try to keep the problems at bay as much as possible.
The team encounters challenge after challenge while in Eris, from unfilled gaps in spacetime to stray bits of crudam, or dark matter. As they search for the root of the problem, the group is separated, and one by one, its members are killed by the elements until only the four and the Head remain. At last they find the Core of the universe, where the rogue had been trapping bits of people’s anima. The Core is damaged and cracked. It’s a delicate process removing the anima and letting them fly back to their humans, and they only just begin when the Core implodes and begins to destroy the remaining anima. The Head sacrifices his own life by entering the imploding Core and using his anima to hold it up himself. The four remove the rest of the anima successfully. Back in Atlas, the Council is relieved to see the thousands regaining their memories. Eris, however, is still collapsing, especially now that there is no anima to hold it up. The four race to escape and make it out just in time, but the collapse of Eris produces a tear in spacetime – like a black hole – that slowly starts pulling in all the other universes towards the void. The Council decide to open thousands of mirror portals and save as many people as they can by evacuating to an empty universe named Attis–but they don’t pick randomly. They deliberately choose people with high IQ’s and educations, selecting those they felt were the best of the human race from each universe. Their decisions cause stir in the community and people begin to lose trust in the Council’s integrity. The four are especially angry because all their efforts to save the anima had mostly been wasted, since their friends and family members who they had been trying to save died anyways. But for the time being, they abandon their differences to lead the remnant of very confused people in rebuilding a human society.
Photo Credits: nanowrimo.org