A Voyage to Arcturus
"You will choose."
"I can do nothing. Crystalman is too powerful. I barely escaped with - my own soul."
"You are still stupid with Earth fumes, and see nothing straight," said Krag.
Nightspore made no reply, but seemed to be trying to recall something. The water around
them was so still, colourless, and transparent, that they scarcely seemed to be borne up by
liquid matter at all. Maskull's corpse had disappeared.
The drumming was now like the clanging of iron. The oblong patch of light grew much
bigger; it burned, fierce and wild. The darkness above, below, and on either side of it,
began to shape itself into the semblance of a huge, black wall, without bounds.
"Is that really a wall we are coming to?"
"You will soon find out. What you see is Muspel, and that light is the gate you have to
Nightspore's heart beat wildly.
"Shall I remember?" he muttered.
"Yes. you'll remember."
"Accompany me, Krag, or I shall be lost."
"There is nothing for me to do in there. I shall wait outside for you."
"You are returning to the struggle?" demanded Nightspore, gnawing his fingertips.
"I dare not."
The thunderous clangor of the rhythmical beats struck on his head like actual blows. The
light glared so vividly that he was no longer able to look at it. It had the startling
irregularity of continuous lightning, but it possessed this further peculiarity - that it
seemed somehow to give out not actual light, but emotion, seen as light. They continued
to approach the wall of darkness, straight toward the door. The glasslike water flowed
right against it, its surface reaching up almost to the threshold.
They could not speak any more; the noise was too deafening.
In a few minutes they were before the gateway. Nightspore turned his back and hid his
eyes in his two hands, but even then he was blinded by the light. So passionate were his