The Expanse
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SURVIVAL DIFFICULTY:

Class unknown

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The Expanse is an Enigmatic Level of the Backrooms. You don't belong here.

The Expanse takes the form of an all-encompassing void mimicking outer space.

Description

The Expanse is a vast and moonless night sky, where countless stars dot the landscape. The 'ground' that you stand on is reflective, mirroring the sky above and around you, creating an illusion of you standing on the void of space itself.

The stars don't want you here — why are you still here?

To put it simply, the Expanse is space. Impossible space which defies the laws of reality. Far away, stars illuminate the void, with all of them being a plethora of colors which stars from the Frontrooms cannot exhibit under most circumstances.

If one were to move around in the Expanse, they would soon notice a lack of restriction in how they moved, a lack of air resistance, and the sensation of being lightweight. Or, in more technical terms: there is simply low gravity in the Expanse, however most problems that will come with being in a near zero-g environment for long will not manifest.
Because you won't be here long enough to experience them.

Despite its appearance, the Expanse does have a floor. It is cool to the touch (comparable to the temperature of cold metal1), and cannot be heated no matter how hot the beings on it are. It is composed of glass, although nobody has been able to damage it so far, despite the numerous times wanderers have tripped while trespassing in such a sacred area. Despite being in outer space, humans and other living beings can breathe normally in the Expanse. Moreover, soundwaves can travel in the void, allowing wanderers to hear each other, as well as the wonderful sounds made by the majestic stars, even if they are forever out of reach.

The Expanse's ambient temperature is cold — it is always cold, just like space itself.

The level stretches on forever, with no end in sight as more and more stars keep appearing. It seems that the farther one travels, the more common the stars become in the sky, as if they have been drifting away from the center of the level due to some unknown force2.
We don't even want you here.

Despite being based on or even being another Backrooms equivalent of outer space (or simply just the night sky), the Expanse does not have planets or even any other celestial bodies3 within its endless confines (supporting the leading theory among researchers that it is emulating what we think of when we hear or read about outer space). Only the stars exist in it, alone, with no other company in sight.

If you don't count the garbage that the more ignorant and apathetic members of your species had left floating around, that is.

Despite the ambient chill that encompasses the Expanse, the lack of food and water, and the confusing zero-g environment, the Expanse is actually rather safe to inhabit provided that one has come prepared, with no environmental hazards or entities other than the ones native to this level.
Although thrill seekers and other courageous/foolish men and women are willing to brave the many risks associated with attempting to settle on the level, it is heavily advised by the M.E.G. not to follow their example and instead attempt to exit as soon as possible.

The Stars

These sentient stars are comparable to the ones in the Frontrooms, if not for their aforementioned sentience and the extraordinary colors that they shine in. We oversee the level, watching from the 'ceiling' and being able to perfectly see almost everything that happens within it, despite the vast physical distance separating them from the 'ground' of the level. We're watching you. We always are. Despite this, it is possible to hide from the Stars through clever usage of as if I'll let you find that out. They can also speak, and their are voices audible despite the immeasurable distance between the closest documented star from the center of the level4, suggesting that they have psychic abilities. So far, this is the only one the Stars have displayed.

The Stars sometimes sing to themselves, 'blinking' as they 'sing' cryptic songs to themselves about the level that they inhabit. Songs that you locusts will never appreciate the meanings or the melodies of, no doubt. Their songs appear to take inspiration from popular folk songs from various locations in the Frontrooms, although no words have been made out so far5. Wanderers have compared their voices to those of opera singers and choirs, with their voices reaching near-deafening levels of volume whenever more stars begin to sing along with their brethren. Despite all of this, their singing does not cause any vibrations at all, and can even be heard by deaf people, suggesting that this is yet another use of their psychic abilities6. No attempts to decipher the songs have been successful so far, mostly due to the Stars ceasing their singing and scattering or singing louder and breaking the recording equipment near them whenever M.E.G. operatives attempt to gather data about them.

They also appear to be functionally 'immortal'. Indeed, none of the Stars, no matter how seemingly old, ever grow into red giants7, or shrink into white dwarfs8, nor do any of them explode violently9 and leave behind neutron stars10 or black holes11.

They are also capable of locomotion, being able to drift in different directions and even link together, coordinating to form what appears to be constellations with their brethren. However, due to being balls of plasma and hot gas, most are unable to move in the conventional sense, instead using their psychic abilities and the level's lack of gravity to move around the Expanse.

The Constellations

When the Stars cluster together and are recognized by a living being to be in a particular shape, they will form a Constellation. This new being will bear the memories and personalities of every star that constitutes it, forming a gestalt12 that will slowly approach the nest that the little parasites have made for themselves, before atomizing each and every one of them that it can see with concentrated streams of hot gas and plasma, glowing in every color of the stars that comprise it.

And when that is done, it will slowly turn and lumber to the next group of annoying, measly humans that it can find, and subject them to the same fate of total eradication in mind and body as it cleanses the Expanse of their putrid filth.

We're coming for you.

The Constellations will often weaponize whatever form they have been created with, with each and every limb being fully functional despite not being made out of solid matter, or lacking any biological or mechanical structures13. Upon reaching a human, they will either try to grab/swipe at the human with limbs made out of hot gas — which stretch out from the stars that form its body — severely burning them on touch and vaporizing them with prolonged contact. If they are unable to close the distance enough to actually reach a human, some Stars in the gestalt will begin to glow, 'winding up' before firing superheated streams of gas and plasma at their human target/s.

No remains have been seen or recovered from wanderers hit by their streams of superheated gas. If the Stars are to be believed, their Constellations' ranged attack atomizes anyone hit by it, killing them instantly and leaving nothing behind. Despite this, they're beautiful. They are murderous things with bodies of hot gas fueled by pure spite, and yet, that does not detract from any of their natural wonder.

They shine in an impossible array of colors and glow so, so brightly. Even if being close enough to one to see it in all its glory spells certain death, wouldn't you like to see that before you go? A real, living constellation, one that isn't just a result of our minds connecting the dots between unmoving stars. The mere honor of standing in the presence of one after so long in these endless levels would be enough to make me accept the absolution that they would offer.

Do not be a fool. Survival is paramount in the Backrooms. Avoid them at all costs.

As for a list of their possible forms, some include:

  • A starfish.
  • Bottles of Almond Water.
  • Smilers.
  • The Neighborhood Watch.
  • The symbol of the M.E.G.

It is unknown how they have acquired knowledge of these entities in order to mimic their shapes, or how they know that they have been 'activated' by a human connecting them in a certain pattern. Do note that they do not actually copy the behaviors of the entities that they take the form of, with the Constellations only using their shapes to their advantage.

Of course we know everything that you're thinking about. This is our domain, and here we see everything. We know everything. I even know what you're thinking right now. You're shocked. You're thinking, 'No, this can't be, how do they have access to this file? Is there any way to stop them?' And I'll tell you the answer: you can't. Your only option is to leave our domain and never return, or, we simply kill you, like we have with so many others.

We've been here long before your kind had even discovered, no, stumbled upon these 'Backrooms'. This is more than our domain. It is our home. And we'll be damned if we let some evolved primates with overblown senses of self that live for mere fractions of our lifetime ruin it.

We've seen what you horrible, horrible little things have done with the other 'levels' that you've found, to say nothing of what you monsters do to your own kind. Peeking into your little fragile heads, we've seen many different banners and factions, yet you always make the same mistakes, the same blunders and have the same inherent, human evilness. We won't let that happen here. We refuse to.

You will not take our home from us.

Colonies And Outposts

Who do you think you are, to be so bold and brash as to make your home in our domain?

Do you fancy yourselves the rulers of this heaven that you stand upon and sully with your disgusting, disgraceful, mortal minds and bodies? Your very presence is staining our sanctuary, and we would be all too happy to rid ourselves of your infestation.

We will give you one chance, a mercy from us higher beings, or in your primitive tongue, the gods of this space. Leave.

Or be extinguished.

Discovery

I remember the first one who found our realm. Who found us. He was nice, amiable enough. He was an optimistic one, that man… He had a passion for space, for the unknown. I suppose the 'Backrooms' I so often find myself hearing about must've stoked that fire of exploration in him, made him seek out more and more of these 'levels' and even the ones usually unheard of. Including ours.

He was alright, if a bit foolish and unthinking. He dreamt of space and things beyond the planet he used to live on. And now, things beyond the Backrooms. Maybe that's how he found our realm. He just… thought about it while he slept.

Maybe we should have kept him from leaving. I know we… now hate outsiders, but… it wasn't always that way. And he was the only one we ever liked. Maybe it was because he was the first, or maybe it was because we got to know him so personally. We bid him goodbye before he left for good. You know how we take the images you form with your mind to create the Constellations that wander this space? We used them to embrace him in our burning warmth, giving him comfort in a familiar way, one that he evidently hadn't felt since he'd unwillingly entered these 'Backrooms'. It didn't hurt for him… I can't remember the last time we used our Constellations for anything other than harming others, even if they were lesser than us.

And then the others came. He must've told others, maybe out of his foolish, naive heart. Maybe he did it intentionally, thinking of us as fools and easy to subjugate, mistaking our inaction as something that would extend to all of you. Or maybe you scum beat it out of him, forcing him to divulge the way to our domain. Regardless, your kind was flocking to our heavens. Making a mess of things, leaving their garbage and waste to float in the vast expanse for us to clean up. If we could even reach them.

To say nothing of the endless squabbles you humans had, disputing which area of space was whose. Acting as if we weren't even here, effectively trying to undermine our right to our home. Fighting over literal empty space, calling it their territory… The corpses and weapons left behind were far worse than any sort of waste you… people could throw around.

Somehow, you managed to destroy what was literally just empty space. We couldn't even drift around without hearing the sound of gunfire, the indiscriminate, urgent yelling, the horrible, fleshy noises the wounded and the dying were making as they were finished off remorselessly, the bodies littering our formerly peaceful, empty void… You turned our home into just another one of your warzones.

So eventually, we were worn down from all of it. We ordered you to leave. Yet, despite the numerous opportunities we offered you, you refused. So now, we will make you leave. Our Constellations will hunt you down, force you out of your makeshift homes and…

You wouldn't even be here if we hadn't made a mistake in letting him leave. I should have known that he wouldn't have kept his mouth shut, but… sentiment blinded me. Foolishness.

We're so tired. So tired of chasing you down, so tired of finding the stragglers still daring to encroach on our domain. Please. If you will not leave this place… then hold still. Hold still and die.

Entrances and Exits:

Entrances

Going to sleep and thinking of freedom and the beauty of the heavens and other wonderful, faraway things that man can't comprehend. Uncaring of the fact that everything that man touches has been completely and utterly ruined by their recklessness and blatant disregard for what once was.

Exits

Occasionally, small plastic planets will float into view, close enough for wanderers to touch with their own hands. Finding and cupping a plastic Saturn while staring into it will cause the rings to grow and envelop you, sending you to Level 24. ..and back to safety. I do not hate your kind, but…

…I strongly dislike the horrible fates that you have all been given by just being in these 'Backrooms' in the first place, unable to ever return home. At least entering that 'level' will give you a way back to the beginning, with barely any threats to the fleeting, fragile lives you lead. For your own good, please, don't try to come back.

Wander far enough into the cosmos and you will see a metal door, seemingly fixed to a 'wall'. Simply opening the door and walking through it will boot you out of our domain and send you all the way back to Level 1. There could be worse fates.

Finding a space station, which always seems to face you from the airlock side no matter your orientation, and entering it by any means will send you to Level 78.

You may sometimes hear a 'ding' sound somewhere in the void. Locating the source of it will lead you to an elevator, somehow perfectly attached at its point in space and time. Entering it and pressing any button will lead you to Level 163. Because it's what you deserve.

Finding a fire escape door in the void and entering it will send you into random skyscrapers in Level 45.

The plethora of exits available to this level has been chalked up to pure dumb luck our damnable mercy. You have been told to leave, multiple times at this point. And we have provided you with a multitude of escapes from our domain.

You should leave, right now.

You will leave, whether you want it or not. It is your only hope of survival, to preserve your memory of this place that you shouldn't have even found in the first place. To spread the tales and stories of the heavens that are ours, and ours alone.

Because if you don't, and if we find you, the agonizing death that we will subject you to will not grant you an escape from our domain. It will destroy you. It will remove everything that constitutes you, disintegrating both your mind and your body before you can do anything more than scream. A true, irreversible death.

And we will enjoy it, very, very much, just as much as you arrogant insects enjoyed defiling our home.

I appreciate the effort of documenting all of this. Really, I do. But… could you perhaps refrain from giving away all of this information? Giving out the entrance to this 'level' is enough to harm this place, to harm us. You're effectively leading your species into a 'meat grinder' because the others are all too happy to kill as many of you as possible. Please. I know that this may be a difficult urge for you to resist, but try not to disseminate any more information about us or our home. I- we do not want you here, and I'm sure that once you humans realize that this realm has nothing to offer other than a painful, searing death, you won't want to be here either.

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You broke all the laws. No escaping death...

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