Storytime: In the Beginning.

September 2nd, 2015

In the beginning there was, in order:

Orderly sifting of matter from unmatter
The coalescence of a universal system
The teasing out of the planets
The birth in the cradle
The growth of the remarkable

And it was good. And after that, it was all uphill.

The Shaper watched another perfect world in a perfect universe slowly swim its way upstream from nothing, and It knew that it was good, because It was good. Soon, the stars would beckon to the little creatures It could tell were even now spawning and burbling down in the hot acrid seas of its planets. Soon, they would leave their nests, driven not by hunger or thirst or any want or need – for they needed nothing, they wanted for nothing – but for the pure pleasant hum of their own satisfied curiosity.
They would meet their neighbours out there, for there were many, and they would find others, and others, and others. Space enough for everyone out there, in that busy universe. A trillion infinities of worlds filling with life, and a countless number beyond that waiting to be filled. And swirling in the clouds of ever-gusting cosmic dust, new ones being birthed forever, a rhythm that never ended.
The Shaper watched this all happen. Again. For the uncountableth time.
And the Shaper was more bored than It could possibly imagine.

The space between universes is roomier than imagined. The Shaper popped into it and there was enough space for It to manifest most of its mind and think for a minute, instead of doing what It usually would and haring off immediately into the next construction project.
No, instead the Shaper thought. No, brooded. Dark gloomy clouds of percolating brainpower crackled their way through Its dreams and clumped over Its satisfaction like ants on cake.
Forever is a long time, and even perfection can lose its lustre.
So instead of opening Itself into a new void – as usual – and instead of throwing the bowling ball of creation down the ever-waiting alley – as It was so good at – the Shaper found an existing crack in the wall, a work in progress, and stuck Itself in like a whale slipping through a straw.

This universe was not one of Its own, and the thrill of discovery that so enraptured the last uncountable many of Its creations nearly touched the Shaper Itself for the first time. The suns that boiled under It were a different colour and shape; the void itself more curdled; the elements less in number but more precise in nature.
“Greetings,” said the Shaper, or something like that, because words and even concepts are a tricky thing at this level of communication. If something so precise can be called communication at all.
“Greetings,” said the Maker. Or something like that. Etc.
“How fares Your creation?” asked the Shaper.
“Well,” said the Maker. “How fares Yours?”
“Well,” said the Shaper. Any other answer would be unthinkable.
“I am pleased to hear that. For what purpose do You visit? This has never happened before in the history outside of histories.”
“Boredom and frustration and a dissatisfaction with My own work of perfect eternities,” the Shaper did not say, because that sounded petty, and it was impossible for anything on Its scale of existence to (admit) to that emotion. “Inspiration,” It did not say, because lacking inspiration for Its works was not in Its nature.
“Curiosity,” said the Shaper. Because that was a safe answer.
“A worthy goal,” said the Maker. “Please, fulfill your curiosity with any of My works. It will not disrupt My labours.”
The Shaper looked over the Maker’s universe, and It saw a carefully-balanced structure that rivalled Its own in nature, and It knew that ten million trillion infinities of universes before it had been made, all different by all the same.
“Thank You,” said the Shaper. And It left the Maker to its perfect universe, frustrated.

The next universe was a roiling cloud, so thick with Somethings that there was almost no space for Nothings, and the Shaper felt the unknown thrill of brushing through a cosmos so thick and rich that there was hardly any room for darkness in the skies.
“Greetings,” said the Shaper.
“Greetings,” said the Watcher.
“How fares Your creation?” asked the Shaper.
“Don’t ask Me,” said the Watcher. “I’ve just finished winding it up.”
The Shaper looked around Itself and was puzzled by this statement. “But you have only just begun. The heat of the Beginning is still dissipating.”
“I have set things up so that they will happen as I see fit,” said the Watcher. “What more is needed? Leave the micro-management to others; I am not so fickle a warden as They. My creation will run smoothly without My guidance, and in the meantime I have other times and spaces to make. Stay, if you please, but I am busy.” And with that speech, the Watcher sped itself out of the dawning universe.
The Shaper looked around Itself and knew (for like knows like) that It was in the presence of a very obsessive perfectionist’s work. The infinity that would birth from this bubbling cauldron would be not so different from its own – the sheer THICKNESS of matter aside – yet it was meant to unfold without intervention, like a flower. In the time it had taken It to carefully hand-craft the upbringing of an infinity of universes, the Watcher could start-up an infinite number more, leaving them to their own ends. Life was billions of years to come, yet it was already inevitable.
And after that, the Shaper realized, it would look very similar to what It had left in Its own creations.
“Fuck,” said the Shaper. Or something like that. And It left the Watcher’s clockwork universe, frustrated and fuming.

This time (in the place without time) the Shaper was so frustrated that It smeared Itself down the infinite line, prying and tapping and knocking at the doors of a little infinity among infinities of universes. Some were Its own, some the Maker’s, the Watcher’s, the many many infinities of others, all different, all the same, all perfect, and it made It want to scream until it had lungs to scream with.
Until It tapped a crack in reality and fell right through into a void so vast that for the first time in an endless time, It knew shock.
The stars were so far apart it beggared belief; the galaxies were actually spinning away from each other. Matter was… flying apart. What was this? What was this?
“Oh,” said the Shifter. “Uh. Hi there. What’s up with You?”
“Well,” said the Shaper automatically. Then It realized this conversation wasn’t going the way it always did, and amended: “I am well. My creation is well. And You? And Yours?”
“Uh. Okay, I think. Yeah. Yeah, this is all according to My plan. Nothing wrong here.” It squinted (an analogy) at the violent smashing of an uncountable barrage of meteors into a cloud of swirling stone, giving birth to a red screaming infant of a planet. “Oh man. That was close.”
“What is all this?” asked the Shaper. “I have never seen such a cosmos. Your matter is racing away from itself.”
“Well, it’s a race all right,’ said the Shifter. “But it’s a two-player one. Matter and uh, entropy. Damned thing keeps cropping up in everything I do. Woops, there goes a red giant.”
The Shaper looked and saw that many of the Shifter’s stars were faulty and expanding to giant sizes before exploding, probably as a result of an imperfectly-timed Beginning that had led to a cosmos lacking many of the standard elements and possessing a deeply odd set instead.
“Where is Your life?” It asked, feeling the faint stirrings of astonishment. “I cannot see it, and surely it is due by now?”
“Oh. Yeah!” said the Shifter. “It’s over there.”
The Shaper looked and saw only empty stars, hurling away from each other in the endlessness.
“No, uh, eight millionth one on the left. The little yellow one.”
The Shaper looked more closely, and on a single miniscule planet of a single tiny star in a single small galaxy It saw life, which was… busy, in odd ways that almost reminded It of the colliding, burning, exploding heavens above It.
“What is It doing?” It asked. “I have never seen such behaviour.”
The Shifter glanced (another analogy) over at the Shaper’s scrutiny. “Oh. I think it’s eating.”
The Shaper considered this. Some of the Shifter’s life appeared to be turning on and dismantling the others – some of them were actually ceasing to live, of all the preposterous notions. “More entropy?”
“Energy’s gotta come from somewhere, You know.”
“Not in My cosmos,” the Shaper did not say, because really life was astoundingly busy down there on this lonely strange world of the Shifter’s and It did not want to shut It up.
Instead, it asked a question.
“How did You do it?”
The Shifter shrugged (this also was an analogy) and they watched as the star the little life-world orbited began to swell at the edges, eating its own core. “Dunno, it just happens. It’s all in the wrist, I guess.”
(That was a final analogy. They do not possess wrists)
The Shaper looked at the Shifter’s universe one more time, marvelling at the simplicity of it all. Every atom of everything was slowly breaking down, and in its breakage strange things were hatching out and spilling from the seams.
“Thank You,” said the Shaper. And It left the… dying?… universe for the space between, where It thought for a minute on what to do.

Then It went to the place where it had all begun so many times, and

In the beginning, It said
Let there be chaos.

And it was good, because It was bored.

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