Author : Joshua Reynolds
A little flare.
Just a flash on the other side of the sun, our sun, and it was gone.
That was when we knew it had escaped.
We made it in a generator the size of a grown man’s thumb. Just a little thing, a little spark. But it was a hungry thing nonetheless. We fed it fire at first, spoon-fed it on lit matches and glow-sticks. It ate light and drank heat at a prodigious rate. Like an infant at its mother’s teat.
It’s getting colder as I write this. Everything is going dark.
Soon it wanted more. More light, more heat. We had to move it to a quantum singularity tube. It was the size of a basketball within a week and still growing. Still eating. We fed it with a flame thrower and with bundles of light-bulbs. The heat it put off was astounding. We thought we had done it. We had created an artificial power source that would replace fossil fuels, replace nuclear energy.
We were wrong of course. You wouldn’t be reading this if we hadn’t been.
I’m sorry. This is no time for sarcasm.
Almost too dark to write now.
I wish we hadn’t fed it the flashlights.
We realized it wasn’t under our control when it began to reach out of its containment pen and drain the lights in the ceiling. Can you imagine it? The horrible sound of a tendril of living flame uncurling from its parent mass and piercing a quantum buffer? It sounded like a church-bell exploding. The heat washed over us then. More than we thought. Men were turned to ash before they had a chance to scream. It didn’t notice.
In our defense, we never thought it would be intelligent. How we couldn’t see that, in light of its hunger, I can’t explain.
Maybe we were blinded by science.
I’m sorry. Gallows humor.
It left us, left our facility a burnt crater. Those of us who survived almost wished we hadn’t. It had its gravometric pull you see. It distorted the laws of physics around it as it devoured the heat and light of anything it touched. And it got bigger. Ever-increasing mass at an exponential rate.
Then, like a dog on the scent, it noticed our sun hanging serene in the sky.
That was two hours ago.
The sun turned as red as blood forty-five seconds ago.
It will be dead in a matter of minutes. And then, so will we. That’s why I’m writing this. Just in case someone reaches this planet and wonders what happened. Wonders about the trail of gutted, dead suns all leading back to this pathetic little mud-ball of a planet. I’m sorry. We’re sorry. We don’t know how to stop it.
Cold. It’s so cold. Can’t see anything. The sun is gone. Our sun anyway.
How were we to know it would be intelligent?
How were we to know it was a cannibal?
Please forgive us.
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