It was properly after first moonset when Kierk hauled himself onto the craggy plateau and regarded down on the sleeping metropolis. Borysi III was small. The smallest place within the multiverse, Kierk thought, and the extra he’d grown, the smaller it had gotten. Now, from above, it regarded like a steel pock on the face of the panorama.
A number of hours earlier, he had woken in a chilly sweat after dreaming that the constricting partitions had closed in and sealed him up like a can of Garvian Mash. Most nights he would’ve sighed mournfully into the darkish, rolled over, and gone again to sleep. However not tonight.
Kierk acquired up and snuck out, previous the mineral grinders and prism bays, to the bottom of the Borysinnian partitions. He shuffled his heels again towards the chilly steel, regarded down at his toes, took a step, and began counting. Different Borysinnians had been milling round. The night time shift. Kierk ignored them. He had as a lot distaste for the individuals because the place. Yearly their brains appeared to shrink till he wasn’t positive something stuffed their curly-horned heads.
Borysi III was recognized for its prism shaping. Every of the bays Kierk handed, counting softly as he went, had been mounted with a number of fastidiously sculpted prisms, mined from beneath town. When powered by lunar gentle, they despatched no matter was contained in the bay hurtling via the cosmos to the vacation spot indicated by their alignment.
(This would possibly sound like magic. It’s not. It’s extremely scientific and defined in nice element in Regival’s Prismatic Efficiency in Relation to Cosmic Disruption and Traversion. Magic is simply science that isn’t understood but, and any Borysinnian who heard point out of the arcane would assume the speaker had been snorting an excessive amount of prism mud.)
Cans of mash and steel crates full of uncooked crystals had been stacked up and dropped via the infinity of house to the unusual locales throughout the multiverse that wanted such issues. Borysi III was a hub of comings and goings. However they hadn’t but solved the issue of house being very chilly. No matter was despatched arrived frozen stable, and if dealt with improperly, crumbled into mud.
If Kierk’s dream did come true, a minimum of he could be zapped off to an unknown vacation spot, pried open there, and have one final, grand journey sliding down some overseas gullet. But it surely was only a dream. Flesh and fluids couldn’t journey the best way of the Garvian Mash.
When Kierk reached the other wall, he sighed and sagged. Each planetary cycle he paced the diameter of town to measure it, and as he suspected, yearly it had shrunk.
If his mind was as outstanding as he fancied, he would’ve realized this was as a result of yearly his legs and toes had grown. Nevertheless, it might be argued that the place did get comparatively smaller since he took up extra of it. Both method, the quantity he had totaled left him discontent.
An concept was forming in his pubescent mind, and on that night time, below the sunshine of the primary moon, he discovered the angst to execute it.
He left Borysi III with a filtration masks anchored to his horns and climbed the encircling rugged cliffs. When he reached the highest, the second moon had risen and the third glowed on the horizon. The prisms within the pack on his again clanked as he adjusted the straps. He meant to open a portal to the Forbidden Zone, after which… properly, he hadn’t thought that far forward. However forbidden with a capital F was a tempting factor certainly.
Kierk crossed the plateau and crept right into a small, darkish cave. He drew a circle within the mud on the stone ground and set prisms at every point of interest. With out the soundness of a prism bay, he may solely hope for a shaky and short-term portal, however it will be sufficient to peek via.
The sunshine of the third moon crept throughout the ground, licking on the edges of the farthest prism. Kierk rearranged, realigned, reconfigured till an online of sunshine stretched between the prisms and so they shook and danced of their locations across the circle.
The lunar gentle glowed, refracted a thousand occasions onto and into and thru itself. Then it flashed and disappeared.
Kierk peered into the circle. It was darkish. The third moon had moved on, and solely by squinting may he see that the circle was barely darker than the darkness round it.
In reality, it couldn’t be darkish as a result of it was nothing. Not the nothingness individuals confer with once they imply the absence of one thing, however true nothingness. The absence of every part.
The night time was nonetheless and silent, and so was the puddle of nothing. Then a shift and a slight change in colour. The nothingness had develop into one thing. One thing large making an attempt to crawl via. A mammoth foot appeared first, anchoring claws within the rock. Then the information of two tufted ears. When the pinnacle squeezed via, Kierk thought there was no method the remainder of it may comply with, nevertheless it stored wriggling and writhing and twisting till one other foot and an extended furry physique and two extra toes and eventually an extended tail slid via.
The prisms scattered, and the portal snapped shut.
The creature that had crawled out of nothingness shook itself, raining Kierk with ice crystals. It stretched its again and yawned, razor claws arching out of its paws. Then it sat up and curled its tail round its toes. However the cave was shorter than it was, so it needed to hunch below the stone ceiling and its head slid down between its large shoulders.
Unblinking yellow eyes stared at Kierk, who was standing welded to the ground.
The creature’s look had startled him. Till that second, a dwelling factor passing via a prism portal had appeared an impossibility. He most likely ought to’ve run away screaming. He didn’t. Something would possibly occur when dabbling with the Forbidden, and the cocktail of hormones in his mind granted him a sure crazed immunity to frequent sense.
“Salutations,” he stated nervously, quieter than he meant.
The creature stared, one ear twitching because it brushed the rock ceiling. Its pupils dilated till the yellow eyes turned jet black.
“What are you, when you don’t thoughts?” Kierk requested, not sure the factor may discuss and questioning if he was making a idiot of himself.
“I’m existence,” the creature stated promptly. “The universe. The cosmos. The entire of life embodied, contained, turned in upon itself. The place it’s made entire and nothing. Full and separate. Doable and not possible. Sure and no.”
“Oh,” Kierk stated.
“I suppose I’m right here now,” the creature stated. “So, if there’s one thing you need, hurry up and say it. Infinity passes one second at a time.”
“I’d like to go away this place,” Kierk stated cheerfully. “I’d prefer to go some place else.”
“Someplace… else.” Kierk faltered.
“I recommend specificity,” the creature stated. “I consider you natural organisms require sure circumstances to outlive.”
Kierk thought-about this. His information of different locations was restricted. They had been there, someplace, and he wasn’t. “Effectively, the place did you come from?”
“The void,” the creature stated, casually flexing a paw.
“Oh. Is it good there?”
The yellow eyes pinned him. “It’s a void. It’s nothing.”
The creature sighed. Apparently, existence was impatient. “What if I confirmed you the universe and you chose a spot? Are you able to do this?” It regarded as if it wasn’t positive he may, however Kierk nodded eagerly.
The creature lay in order that Kierk stood between its large entrance paws and opened its mouth. There have been no enamel or tongues or throat, only a heat breeze from a darkish, empty cave. One thing flickered deep inside. A lightweight. A flare. The growth of nothingness into every part. Nova imploding and exploding. Stars flaming and dying. The crash of cosmic waves towards unusual, ethereal shores. Planets of each form and measurement wheeling via the countless dance. Some clamoring with life; others wastelands of mud and raging storms. Life surging to its peak and falling into decay.
A tear ran down Kierk’s cheek. His eyes stung, however he couldn’t blink, couldn’t look away from the horror and sweetness. The creature’s mouth stretched right into a cavernous yawn, then shut.
“See something you want?”
However Kierk was already scribbling scrambling down the rocky mountainside. He solely stopped when he’d pounded again contained in the steel partitions and leaned his arms on his knees to catch his breath.
He had seen solely glimpses of different worlds via the holes the prisms made. In his thoughts, the entire of the multiverse couldn’t be that a lot greater than Borysi III. Possibly a bit of, however not by a lot. He bent over and panted and thought of throwing up. It was a impolite shock to go from being a comparatively massive individual in a comparatively small house to a tiny, insignificant speck.
He straightened up and patted the stiff steel wall subsequent to him. At third moonrise, Kierk would’ve stated these unforgiving boundaries stored him in. Because the third moon set and he crawled again into mattress, he knew they had been retaining the remainder of the world out.
Borysi III finally solved the chilly drawback. However when given the prospect to go away his steel cocoon, Kierk stubbornly shook his head and stated he was effective the place he was. The larger his world grew to become, the smaller it made him. So, he stored his world small. He by no means noticed the magenta shores of Rysian IV shining with the spume of inexperienced waves or the countless torfa fields of Yyrian II. He by no means knew the fun and terror of stepping from one world to a different and glimpsing infinity in between. He lived hemmed in by partitions, partitions he wouldn’t look previous for concern of seeing two black eyes of nothingness staring again at him.
He did develop into the best prism shaper in Borysi III, in order that’s one thing… I suppose.
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