Author : Helstrom

“Hey honey, come look at this.”

I took my bearings and found Samantha’s voice, drew a bead on it and pinched space in her direction. She was far out on the edge of the universe, casually riding the expanding frontier.

“What is it?”

“Have a look. Out there.”

“There’s nothing out there.”

“Well, don’t look then. Feel. Do you feel it?”

She got like this sometimes. I squeezed in close beside her and playfully arranged some photons into the shape of a heart.

“Oh you,” she giggled, drawing an arrow across the photons before they blinked off on their way, “Now really, focus and feel it.”

“What am I feeling for?”

“Not that,” she said as she pulled slightly away from me, “Feel what’s out there.”

“Alright, so I’m feeling…”

I felt it. There was something out there. It was subtle but it sort of bent the edge of the universe. There was nothing that could do that. There wasn’t supposed to be anything out there. The whole concept of ‘out there’ didn’t even make sense.

“What is that?”

“I don’t know.”

We sat there for an aeon or two peering into nothing. To our left a civilization of marsupials sprang up, spread across a few hundred thousand star systems and started to rip itself apart in a bloody conflict.

“Stop it,” said Samantha, briefly flashing an avatar before them.

I chuckled. Always the warden. Such an offhanded gesture for her, but to these creatures the universe would never be the same again. They suddenly realised they were not alone, that there was a great, powerful being watching over them who loved them and wanted them to be happy. There was a great potential for suffering among the stars. We had inherited enough memories from our progenitors to decide we were not going to allow that again, ever.

The edge began to buckle. The universe was no longer expanding in a uniform way. Something was pushing against it, into it, disrupting its fabric. Things started to go wrong. Time wasn’t spreading right, matter folded back in on itself, clusters formed in all kinds of grotesque ways.

Samantha got nervous: “Honey what’s going on?”

“I don’t know baby,” I said, drawing her close again, “I don’t know.”

It stopped in a singular instant. The buckle vanished. Galaxies were rattled like flakes in a snow-globe, shifting violently before finding new points of balance.

Something outside told us: “Sorry about that, I wasn’t paying attention.”

Neither of us knew what to say. I glanced over at the marsupials. They had been playing nice, building shining cities and many flattering monuments to what they called the Star Mother. But with their skies suddenly re-arranged they were having something of a panic.

I appeared before them: “Don’t worry. It’s going to be okay.”

A complimentary cult to the Star Father promptly appeared. Samantha and I pinched off in separate directions. There were a lot of scared species around that needed reassurance that their gods were still looking after them. It would only take a moment of negligence for them to feel abandoned and do all kinds of horrible things to themselves. That much we knew from experience.

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