I am sorry for everything. I was chosen, you see, to be a new voice, a guide, a successor. I was there with them, in that place that was not a place. I have been in the Beyond.
From the Beyond, I saw everything. Every atom, every molecule, every mot of dust. Every universe. As easily as seeing light in a dark place. Like being on a boat in the middle of a placid lake at midnight, watching the constellations dancing above. The boat was the Beyond.
Until I ruined it.
For that, I am sorry. It was not their fault, to trust me with such insight, such power. Such temptation. The Spheres had never before encountered someone the likes of me. In my defense, I can say that I was hurting, beyond all possible tolerance. And the ones who create, the Spheres, were lonely. Their burden was heavier than all the atoms in all the infinite universes.
But what was infinity to an aching heart? I reached infinity, I stood at the end of it. Then I finished it. I am sorry.
If they had got to me sooner, perhaps things would have been different. No, what am I saying? Things would have definitely been different. I am sure Gilda would have cherished the opportunity to commune with the Spheres, she and I, together. Why did they not come to me before the accident? I know, I know that the Spheres have no concept of before and after, to them everything just is, never was, never will be. But to me, it is still hard to get rid of my old conceptions.
Such an orderly order, the Compendium as they called it or, as I understood that they referred to it. They never spoke a word. Not that they could, or that I could have heard it, here in the Beyond. An orderly order that does not accept anything out of place, not even an atom, not even a pentaquasibosson, that missing quantum particle your technology will no doubt infer after decoding my last message.
It was not possible to alter the perfectly calculated Compendium any more that it was possible to decrease the size of infinity. But I did, and I am sorry for it.
I understand you would like to know why the Spheres picked me, out of all people. And I used to be people, human even, although not of the same incarnation as you are, or will be, by the time you read this. I am absolutely certain that you will look similar to my original race: one head, two arms, and two legs. Unlike my planet of origin, you will call your world Earth.
I am sorry. I could not live without her, even in this place that is not a place, but a lookout. I am so alone. Not even the Spheres are here to give me company. I killed them. I remember their silent screams, when they realized what I was about to do to them, to their realm. To the entire Compendium.
Time did not exist for them, time was a human concept to account for our own demise. But Gilda was still alive somewhere in that concept that did not exist, and I was sure I could pull her from there and bring her here. I had the power, the Spheres had trusted me with their universe-making energy, which was infinite. Until I destroyed infinity.
I digress. You wanted to know why they chose me in the first place. They never said, but I always thought they wanted to experience emotions, something they did not understand. What a mistake that was. They should have picked a rock instead. The Spheres were all powerful but also all innocent. Humans were the first race, in the first universe in the Compendium. We were clearly not worthy. Or, rather, I was not worthy.
So in the end of infinity, they wept. They could not stop me, because I had stolen their power. I killed them, the whole infinite bunch of them. But it took a lot of energy from the Beyond, the reserve energy meant to spawn new universes, to jumpstart creation; the energy needed to keep forever, forever.
With the Beyond empty, except for me, there was nobody to hinder my time travel experiment. A human concept forced onto a perfectly implemented equation of infinity, with disastrous consequences. The infinite universes that coexisted within the Compendium annihilated each other before I completed my work. There goes that term again: before. I still cannot shake it from my mind. And that was my biggest technical mistake; just because I thought of time, it did not mean it would manifest itself the way I wanted it. After came sooner than before, and after destroyed itself. Like a man dying before he is born, the effect of my meddling killed the Compendium at some point between the end and the beginning of time.
I am a thief. I stole everything. I am a murderer. I killed everything.
There is not enough room in this infinite place to unload my burden, my guilt, my regret. My knowledge of what would have been, what the Spheres had planned for the Compendium with all its universes and races and beauty, tortures me. I killed all of it.
But before I die, for it is possible to die even in this place, I will use the last of my energy–my stolen energy–for one last insane experiment. Yes, the travesty I have been doing since I killed the Spheres cannot be called anything else. I will jumpstart one last universe, one last tiny place for everything to exist. Outside of the Compendium, for it is no longer capable of hosting anything. This will be the last Big Bang, as you will call it. At least that is what my original human form called it.
And in this last universe, time will be on its own. And apart from humans, the first race, the race that killed everything, there will be others, in all the corners of this last, finite realm.
And you, humans, will not be the first race this time. This is my gift to the last universe. This is my punishment. For I will die knowing that the last universe will one day perish, for it is governed by time, and time is finite.
You see, I will craft this universe with laws that cannot be broken: no new energy can be created, only transformed. And when the energy runs out, the universe will cease to exist.
By the time you read my message, plucked out of the Cosmic Background Radiation, your universe will be the only thing in existence. My only hope, my only comfort, is the belief that all the races in this last, finite universe, will one day realize the beauty of awareness, of being.
You are probably wondering what my name was. I saved that for the end, because it would have made no sense at the beginning.
My name was God.
By the time Earth decoded the mysterious message embedded in the Cosmic Background Radiation, the Staargords, the first extraterrestrial sentient race to visit the solar system, had already decoded it a million years prior. The Council of Races had been waiting, all that time, for humanity to become enlightened.
When Earth’s technology achieved the prowess to detect information encoded in pentaquasibossons, the Staargords, who were the nearest representative from the Council, called.
It was Earth’s president, a two hundred and thirty-seven year old woman, who met the Council representatives in Montevideo, the world’s capital city.
The aliens welcomed humanity to the Council–the last sentient race to join–and wasted no time in bringing the youngest arrival up to speed on the master plan to save the last universe.
It turned out that pentaquasibossons were malleable beyond what the crazy experimenter who called himself God had thought. He had never understood the precise mechanics of the forces he had stolen from the Spheres, and had simply accepted the end as inevitable.
But the scientific minds of the last universe’s one thousand sentient races figured it out. So in the first day of Earth’s year 10000, the president made this announcement.
“Citizens of Earth, from this day on, we will advocate every effort, every resource, to the great quest to reverse entropy. It will be hard, it will be dangerous. It will restore infinity.”
To thundering applause, and accompanied by the Staargordean representative, Gilda Smith stepped down from the podium.
Nestor Delfino writes from Mississauga, Canada, where he lives with his wife. He is a software developer by trade, an avid soccer fan, and loves to read science fiction with social commentary.
His stories have been published by AE: The Canadian Science Fiction Review, Hypnos Magazine, Far Orbit Apogee Anthology, and others.
He has received three Honorable Mention awards from the Writers of the Future contest.
Nestor’s website: nestordelfino.com