Sunday, July 1, 2018

Lore : The Doorways

These mysterious structures have drastically changed the course of human history. Where they come from, how they function, and for what purpose they have appeared on our world remain unknown.

All Doorways are identical to one another, a cylindrical structure made of sandstone bricks. Each is fifty feet tall and twenty feet wide. There is a single entrance, an eight foot tall open doorway for people to step through. Because entering the doorway itself is what causes people to disappear, the structures have since been named Doorways, despite initially being called Towers.

Inside, the structure is an empty circular room about eighteen feet wide, with a ceiling extending forty nine-feet high. This indicates that the walls and ceiling of the whole structure are only one foot thick, as seen at the doorframe. The floor is noticeably smoother, like a solid piece polished stone, but the walls look the same inside as outside.

The inside of the tower is not completely pitch black as at first believed, but the light that comes from the entrance is very dim, as though being partially blocked by a translucent black haze. Even a searchlight aimed at the entrance barely illuminates the far wall. Likewise, there is no airflow through the inside structure. Natural and fan-powered wind simply stops a couple feet from the entrance, leading to a stagnant feeling in the air. The temperature inside of the tower remains a cool 50 degrees Fahrenheit, regardless of outside conditions, or forced attempts to cool or heat the structure.

The Doorways are completely indestructible by all known means of human science, as well as the powers of the very superhumans it creates. Even nuclear blasts have been insufficient to so much as tarnish the stonework.

Moving the Doorways is likewise impossible. The strongest machines and superhumans have not been able to budge the structure an inch. Attempts to dig beneath them have shown that the stonework extends below the earth for about five feet, and then stops. Digging under the tower structure causes it to float in the air, as though it is stuck at that exact point in space-time, relative to the Earth.

The most terrifying feature, of course, is the disappearance of any human that steps more than three feet inside. Eye witnesses and cameras show that if a person takes just a few steps past the doorway, they simply vanish. There is no other effect, no sound, no light, no surge of energy. They are simply gone, and most are never to be seen again. This effect only ever happens with humans. Machines and animals that enter the doorway do not vanish, and come back out just fine.

The most fascinating aspect of this feature is that, occasionally, a person does return. Exactly three days after they left, a person may walk back out of the Doorway. They are usually wearing strange clothes, like a fantasy or science fiction character, but have no memory of where they’ve been. The only clues as to what might have occurred are the occasional, barely remembered dreams of events that seem to have occurred on a world beyond the Earth. Details of such dreams are always flimsy, inconsistent, and not particularly standout from other dreams anyone might have.

Most importantly, however, is that the people who return have obtained superhuman powers. They also appear to have innate knowledge and skill with their abilities, as well as becoming combat proficient with them. However, as with every else, they have no memories of how these powers, or the training to use them, was acquired.

There is no reliable pattern for those who return. People who return come from all walks of life, any race, gender, religion, nationality, etc. Likewise, exterior factors like the time of year, the weather, the environment seem not to matter. Several may return within one weeks or months may go by without. Taken as an average over several years, though, it appears that only 1 in every 1,000 people return.

One final mystery of this ability is the fact that many more women return than men. What this implies is up for debate, but current statistics place only 5 men returning for every 1,000 women.

The Doorways are usually within three miles of a populated area, along a major road, river, or sea shore. There does not seem to be any sort of pattern or special significance to their placement, at least none that anyone has discerned. The doors are usually referred to by the state or country they are in.

American States and Provinces
Sodus, New York – Accessible, guarded
Salton City, California – Accessible, guarded
Cuzama, Mexico – Inaccessible, filled with and buried under concrete

Allied Islands of Europe
Hausach, Germany – Accessible
Ostyatsk, Russia – Inaccessible, surrounding area heavily irradiated
Al Aflaj, Saudi Arabia – Inaccessible, surrounding area heavily irradiated

Pacific Alliance
Xiaojia Zhu, China – Accessible, guarded
Jakarta, Indonesia – Accessible, guarded
Reeha, India – Inaccessible, surrounding area swallowed by perpetually burning lava

New Gondwana
San Clemente del Tuyu, Argentina – Inaccessible, ocean lost
La Joya, Peru – Inaccessible, ocean lost
Aus, Namibia – Accessible, open
Toutiala, Mali – Inaccessible, ocean lost
Juazeirinho, Brazil – Accessible, open

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