Morzwiq shifted himself into another
point in space and time. His consciousness hung in the depths
of black space, suspended like an ethereal angel over a vast
nebula glowing red and green. Waves of x-ray and gamma radiation
washed over him. If he had a body, it would be panting and
shivering in fear and exhaustion at this point. Instead, minute
electrical currents jolted through the infinitesimal amount
of matter and energy of which he consisted. Quickly he scanned
the nearby stars for even the slightest unusual energy signature.
No, wait. That gas giant there by that
red dwarf. Something had pulsed faintly before slipping behind
it. Unwilling to double check, without thinking he reflexively
pulled on the faint energies of the cosmos and tunneled through
the space-time continuum to run, to escape, to hide. Again
and again he shifted across the universe.
Finally, finally he stopped. As he
examined his surroundings, his attention finally came to the
blue world beneath him. Had he a mouth it would have been
agape, or gasping in shock. Instead he simply hung there,
silent and invisible but alive and looked.
* * *
So long ago in humanity's past that
the shared knowledge pool of all human consciousnesses had
nearly forgotten it, humans had taken corporeal form. No,
that wasn't the right word for it. They'd had no choice then.
They simply had a corporeal form. That could get sick,
injured, or even die, and the intelligence within the organic
neural network connected to the body would cease to exist.
Humans had left their home world for
the stars, curious and exploratory by nature. They settled
distant planets, terraforming them and even genetically altering
themselves to adapt to new worlds. They constantly sought
other sentient life, but were repeatedly disappointed to find
nothing but microorganisms, and even those were rare.
Alone, they evolved themselves to last
longer and travel between the stars more easily. First came
a transition from organic substrate to electronic. After being
born they were uploaded and lived as long as the hardware
could support them, extending their lives by an order of magnitude.
This also eased transportation between the stars as they could
simply be transmitted across first space, then subspace. Even
this level of post-humanity did not settle the human spirit
to strive further and further. At some point humans took on
a pure form of energy and did away with organic bodies, creating
new intelligent entities, other humans, at whim by combining
elements and traits of the intelligences of as many other
humans as wished to participate.
Soon after, with their consciousnesses
able to link and resolve problems communally, the very fabric
of space and time, the fundamental principles of the universe
became theirs to play with and manipulate. Quickly they shot
to the farthest reaches of space, still searching for life.
As for time itself though, even these advanced metahumans
feared tinkering with such a slippery subject as that. They
deemed traveling to the space and time when humans lived organic
lives as completely off limits and followed this code to the
letter, each and every one. No one knew what paradox might
come to be by altering humanity's history. The deep past was
frequently visited, and in the opposite direction only the
near future. Further out, the future varied too much between
voyages, an unknown, constantly moving illusion.
Watching cellular life evolve on worlds,
patiently the human entities waited from above the nursery
worlds. Thousands of what pre-ascendant humans would refer
to as years would pass. In all the stars, of all the galaxies,
in all the many cycles, they spun about the universe and fewer
than two dozen fertile worlds were found. Of these, only three
begat life above molds, bacteria, and virus. Or the nearest
such alien constructs could be compared to organisms familiar
to humanity's past. For as much as life on each world resembled
life on others, even the basic constructs of organic life
such as DNA varied tremendously. A few worlds were even based
on non-organic chemicals and principles of reproduction completely
at odds with DNA-based organic life.
Of those three worlds, each slowly
developed a sentient species. On one of these worlds the humans
attempted to play god and make minor adjustments to help the
species survive, resolve conflicts and stop plagues and famine.
For every tweak, however, the situation seemed to veer further
off course in unintended directions. Halting a famine caused
a population boom. Intervening in a war caused religious sects
to crop up left and right and commit further atrocities. Finally
they backed off, leaving the world a jumbled, violent, crowded
mess, and resolved to never interfere again, only to communicate.
And even then only when the species had at least one off world
This did finally happen on the other
worlds, and the humans eagerly tried to make contact, to learn
the communication mechanisms of these creatures. Some humans
even took a corporeal form of the alien lifeforms. More or
less it worked. However, ascended human entities found it
impossible to drop to the level of pre-singularity consciousnesses,
to grasp the concepts relevant to them, and similarly to communicate
the few remaining concerns that were relevant to such an advanced
They backed off, and they waited for
more. And waited. No other life forms were coming. So the
humans set about creating life on barren worlds. Nudging it
in the right direction till it took off on its own, then leaving
it be. Various sentient species cropped up, developing languages,
then weapons and transportation.
Finally, space travel and colonization.
Some even spread across entire galaxies and began experimenting
with transferring their minds to machines. Excitedly, the
once bored immortal humans watched and hoped. For companionship.
To no longer be alone amongst the stars, but to have equals
with which to share the universe. Equals, but different minds.
For the same set of human minds had existed now for hundreds
of millennia with no changes, no innovations, no pursuit of
* * *
It was around this time that Celik
came to visit one of her nascent worlds she monitored. The
species had colonized several moons in their system and even
terraformed a barren outer planet. The large mandibled, furry
creatures had sent numerous probes and generation ships to
other systems. Still dependent on slower than light technology,
they had not yet learned that out of ten colonization efforts
only two had survived to the destination world, and now only
one of those had truly thrived. News from the successful colony
would not reach home for another fifty of their years. But
there was something momentous happening for the primitive
species. Celik took personal pride in this project as she
had been tending this world and species for many millennia,
staving off comet strikes, shielding primitive life from intense
cosmic radiation, and subtly tweaking the primitive proto-sentient
minds of one species to aid its evolution.
She knew she had arrived at a point
in the creatures' timeline when they were to launch their
first faster than light drive ship. The technology even mildly
surprised Celik. Certainly it was understandable and feasible
(though irrelevant to a species such as hers, which could
travel the universe instantaneously), but it was truly a huge
leap forward for the species. Reluctant to let them meet failure
with such a grand leap in innovation, she had monitored their
greatest minds carefully as the ship had been designed and
built, but thankfully no significant errors had arisen for
her to tweak.
So she arrived and hovered above the
planet, seeking out the exuberant minds below on the planet
as well as onboard the ship. A countdown began and Celik decided
to enjoy the anticipation as an organic would, not skipping
ahead. Thankfully she did not, or she might have missed it.
Just before the launch, less than a moment in time, something
happened. Something changed, shifted ever so slightly. Briefly,
she detected a presence, akin to her own, nearby. Assuming
it human, she reached out for it, only to recoil in shock
as a young organic might when touching something hot for the
first time. The presence roiled in fear and hate, full of
rage. Such shock she felt, she barely perceived what happened
next. In the blink of an eye, the presence was gone and the
ship had launched.
Odd, she thought to herself.
She tried to shake the experience from her mind for the moment
and reconnect with the sentients below. She could share this
with the others later. But again she was to be surprised.
For there was nothing on the planet below. Confounded, she
carefully scanned the planet, the moons, the orbiting stations
where just moments before billions of sentient consciousnesses
had existed. There were none. In more detail she examined
the planet for flora and fauna. Nothing. Exasperated at this
impossibility, she took corporeal form and wandered the planet's
cities. Everything seemed left in haste, even the garments
the creatures wore. Down to the lowliest microorganism, organic
life had been wiped from the system. She reached out hurriedly
to the stars and found the starship, only to find it as barren
of life as the vacuum of space around it.
For the first time in a very long time,
a human felt fear. Celik rushed towards the familiar presence
of other humans and virtually yanked them all together to
tell her tale. Which was met with disbelief until the others
could deny the facts she communicated directly to them no
Several returned with her and they
traveled back in time, against another of their taboos: to
be in the same place as themselves at another point in time.
She hid her presence as best as possible along with the others,
thinning their awarenesses out to the point of near nothingness
to avoid her previous self detecting them. They watched again
as she watched the planet, the ship, and again detected the
other twisted, evil presence. This time they felt the instantaneous
surge of energy that completely destroyed all organic life
in the system, not even vaporizing it but breaking it down
to its essential components of matter and energy.
The humans contemplated long and hard,
but came to no conclusions. They searched, but did not find
the rogue entity. They sat and waited, and watched, for many
more millennia and nearly forgot. Until it happened again.
Then, more frequently. And finally, the unthinkable happened.
One of the metahumans did not communicate with a regular associate
at a predetermined point in time and space. Traveling to the
world she had been known to be monitoring, they found the
world dead, and no trace of her consciousness.
Quickly humans began scouring space
and time. They posted sentries at every planet which hosted
life. But one by one they fell. Desperately they tried to
recall their roots of curiosity and invention to create methods
of defense and offense. Gradually they built mechanisms to
retrieve vast amounts of the universe's energy and channel
it into shields and weapons. They began to win the war, destroying
their enemies. Never able to communicate with them beyond
sensing their rage and fear, never able to capture them, they
carried on in this senseless battle against an unknown enemy.
But the tide did not change quickly
enough. Soon it became apparent: humanity and all life within
the universe had a limited lifespan. The humans broke apart,
fleeing to far distant regions of space and time, even to
the beginning and end of time. Those that went too far though
found the limitations of their still slightly corporeal forms:
as the universe exploded in its birth and finally collapsed
again in its death throes, the huge gravitational forces pulled
and tugged at the few sparse bits of matter and energy which
made up the human's consciousness. Slowly, painfully, they
were shredded into non-existence.
* * *
Morzwiq fled. And fled again. Randomly.
The enemies always seemed to find him, but he constantly escaped,
hurtling everything he could at them even as he felt the deathly,
uncannily fast onslaught of assaults against himself before
Finally, finally he stopped. As he
examined his surroundings, his attention finally came to the
blue world beneath him. Again, had he a mouth it would have
been agape, or gasping in shock. Instead he simply hung there,
silent and invisible but alive and looked.
What had he done? Why had he come here?
Morzwiq looked down on the birthplace of humanity, Earth.
He gauged the age of the planet, its moon, and sun. At the
dawn of life on the planet. He had not come here by chance.
Something in the back of his mind had brought him here. He
had decided somehow that before he died, he was coming home.
For a long while he sat and rested.
Even as great and all powerful as humans were, their abilities
put a strain on them. He had virtually worn himself out of
existence. Nothing appeared. No enemy.
Time passed, and hesitantly he quit
monitoring his surroundings and began examining the blue sphere
which housed uncountable pools of organic structures, just
waiting to form life. He tried to access the vast amounts
of information his consciousness contained on their species
history, which they had so meticulously carried with them
for millions of years. Yes, life should be forming roughly
around now, give or take a few hundred thousand rotations
of the planet about its sun.
So, he settled down and waited. And
waited. But nothing ever quite formed. Despite his hesitation
in meddling with life on a planet, especially given the planet,
Morzwiq tweaked a few things here and there to get life started
in what he hoped was the right direction. If it wasn't, what
would happen? Would he cease to exist or somehow change? Had
he a body he would have shrugged, even if just to himself.
Again he waited, but life seemed to
be reluctant to form here. On more than one occasion great
waves of intense radiation from distant star births and deaths
rolled through the system and he used his abilities to shield
the planet. Finally, exasperated, he made more changes, always
careful to keep things in line as best he knew with how life
had evolved on Earth. Finally, humanity's ancestors emerged,
throwing stones at each other, killing beasts and wearing
their hides, and starting fires.
As Morzwiq waited, he found he could
hone his abilities and his presence. He began to stretch himself
about the world, able to watch it from any point in time and
space simultaneously. The two competing species of proto-sentients
were at a standstill in evolution, equally balanced. Annoyed
and unwilling to wait for the species to finally get to a
point where one would evolve over the other, he pitted them
against each other and let them slaughter themselves until
one won out.
The humans fought, though. Incessantly.
And had no direction for their innovations. Morzwiq reluctantly
admitted something he had been delaying for some time now.
He was humanity's god, gods, and goddesses. So he took many
forms and spoke to the many peoples, each in a way they would
understand. Giving them direction, hope, and fear. It worked
better with some, and worse with others. He took the form
of animals, burning bushes, and great wrathful human-shaped
gods and goddesses. Finally human society, rough and tumble,
began to progress.
Relatively, things began to take a
quicker pace, especially as humans invented language, writing,
clothing, transportation. Electricity and computational systems
came about, then space travel. Finally they began their first
tentative steps to the stars.
As they did, Morzwiq further tested
his consciousness's abilities, and reached out to the stars
with the organic humans' journeys. He could feel and experience
humans in multiple star systems, at multiple points in time,
and merge these experiences seamlessly. He was in awe of his
Still, when would the humans reach
the singularity? He longed to speak to an ascended being that
could understand him. Finally the first human transcended.
He remembered this from his historical memories. She would
only live in the field for several days. He almost reached
out to her, but realized she would be frightened to death
by something which now spanned an entire galaxy and thousands
of years. He would crumple her mind just by a whisper.
Finally, humanity ascended into the
forms of entities. They spread amongst the galaxies, and Morzwiq
did with them. He attempted communication a few times but
found even the tiniest bit of conversation, of thought, crumpled
their minds and warped them into something horrible. He realized
he had become to metahumans what metahumans were to organics.
He had reached a second singularity point of evolution.
Sad for the humans he warped, and embarrassed,
he collected their consciousnesses and held them back, away
from the universe. They whispered insane thoughts to each
other and over time became his only companions. He became
more and more lax with them, and increasingly frustrated with
humans. Why wouldn't they try to evolve as he did? Instead
they ran about playing god and creating worlds.
Once, one of his pets escaped. Angry,
confused, it lashed out and destroyed a world. Morzwiq shook
his head in disgust and sadness and destroyed it with a thought.
Something, deep in his memory, awoke at the event. Something
he should recall. But he pushed it out of his mind, irrelevant,
when he saw the humans' reaction. For once in a long time
they became motivated. They moved, and acted to this shocking
But that time came, and passed, and
they returned to their stagnant ways. He decided they needed
more motivation, and grabbed more minds, snapping them and
shaping them into what he needed. Then he unleashed his hounds
across the universe to wreak havoc.
There! Yes! Finally the humans evolved,
changed, enhanced their abilities. Soon he might even be able
to communicate with them.
But the beasts got out of hand. And
it was then he realized. It all came crashing down upon him.
What he had caused. Who he was. Both the creator and destroyer
of all mankind. As his last effort, his last thought, he sought
out his old, primitive self and guided him to Earth, forbidding
his minions from following him.
And with that, he let go. His consciousness,
which spanned galaxies and millennia, simply ceased to exist.