Locked Light

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High above the Bottlenose Nebula, deep in the heart of the Cipher Volume, the Vox spin, and there they wreak havoc on any signal that dares to pass them by. But directly between them, in one very special place, the Vox have no power. For there, we imagine, lies Ordon the Weaver's last gift to the universe: The silent consumer. The invisible trap. The closed door. The Locked Light is there, waiting for the last day. Or so we imagine.

Shine a laser, send a signal, whisper a prayer, it matters not. Whatever you send to the point between the Vox is gone. Ryken, that lorekeeper who came down from the sky, he ignored my warnings. He said he was going to go into the Light. I told him that his silver ship, his wondrous machines, and his very soul would be trapped in the lock. After all, why should it treat matter any differently from the way it treats pulses and waves. He never came back. That's how it is. It's all Ordon's now, until he returns with the key. Or so we suppose.

Ah, the Key, I haven't told you about the Key! At the very last minute, of the very last hour, of the very last day, Ordon will go to the Vox with the Omega Key and he will use it to unlock the Locked Light, and it will all come out at once. That's what it's for, you see. It doesn't need very much at once - an errant comm signal now, a spray from a nova tomorrow, a trickle of starlight pooling up over an eon. I suppose even Ryken's soul will help. All that light, all that heat, gathered over the lifetime of the universe, don't you see? When The Destroyer comes - and it will come - it will pass by the locked light as though nothing is there. And just before the end, as the Destroyer grows weary of its work, Ordon will turn the Key, release the light, and from it Ordon will weave the next universe. That's the way my grandfather told it, and that's what I'm telling you.

Or maybe there is a rounding error in the spectrometer that's producing that dark spot. Who can say?