Far Beyond

10 minutes read


A lone planet circled around its star; silent in space, it followed its course. The calm of its rotation was only a front, though; down on the surface, chaos reigned. The surface of the planet is unstable; large deposits of charged crystals defy the gravity of the planet, lifting large chunks of it into the sky; while some rose to safe heights before stabilizing, others sailed far beyond, falling apart the dirt and stones came raining back down to the surface, destroying anything it landed upon. It did not matter if it was a hundred-foot tree or a boulder; they were crushed under the immense weight of that which fell. Beneath the chunks of land were great craters which, over the years, filled with water and became lakes. The creator of the planet, Anodyne, the mad god of chaos, spent their time in the pursuit of creating life; they started by making plants and single-celled creations, and they found themselves moving up the evolutionary ladder at a rapid pace, but when it came to creating a creature with sentience similar to a human, they achieved nothing. The already scarred surface of the planet was struck repeatedly as the deity let out their frustration. They created deep crevices and reduced most of the mountains on the planet to a sliver of their original height. Their screams could be heard across every planet in his universe, vibrating through space and resonating on every planet.

Anodyne continued to feel the crushing pressures of loneliness; they thought that by now, they would be able to create life they could interact with, something that they could talk to as to stave off some of their crippling isolation. They cried and laughed at the same time; their hands shook with rage as they giggled to themself.

“All alone, finally, everything we wanted as a mortal. To explore a universe, and here we lay in the dirt, weeping, laughing, incapable of dying.” Anodyne slammed their head into the ground, over and over again, screaming louder with each collision, then they stopped just shy of the ground. “I don’t need to create life; I just need to find developed life; I am an idiot. This universe must be covered in developed planets.”

Anodyne seemingly vanished as they started to fly around their universe in search of sentient life. They darted between planets like a wayward pinball in the largest machine ever built. It reached a point when they started to give up on everything; they slowed down, and soon they were nothing more than adrift, staring blankly with their mouth slightly ajar. Their eye twitched as a small portion of drool fell from them, freezing in the cold of space as it drifted away, eventually finding itself falling to a nearby planet, evaporating upon entry; it released a new biome of bacteria and a new branch of life to develop.

Meanwhile Anodyne was approached by another, there was a flash of light and a soft click that appeared behind them, they turned to see a shining individual, their ambient light fading slowly they stood before Anodyne upon a small chunk of earth with lush grass and flowers they sprouted instantly. Anodyne squinted, turning their head to one side, then slowly back to the other.

“Are you real, or just one of my usual hallucinations?” Anodyne asked as he covered each of his own eyes one at a time.

The other deities’ mouths opened, but instead of words came the sounds of crashing waves, cracking rocks, and morning bird calls. Anodyne stared blankly, but before he could say anything, the other deity spoke again.

“Strange, do you use language?”

“What else would I use?”

The other deity looked around them, squinting periodically before turning back to Anodyne.

“With a universe this old, I assumed you would know other forms of communication.”

“What, is the sound of nature supposed to be faster than just talking?”

The other deity pinched dust that was floating past; look intently.

“This is rare,” the deity brought their finger closer to their eye. “Oh, this is very rare; this place might be a good spot for mining.”

“What are you on about?” Anodyne looked at the small pile of dust. “It is dust. How is that rare? It is everywhere.”

The other seemed to stop momentarily before grinning. They then started to walk forward, and the small island beneath their feet grew to accommodate the new deities’ movements. They walked straight past Anodyne, Anodyne turned to watch him, but another light caught their attention; they turned back to see two other deities wander in.

They both looked at one another, and the sounds of nature came out; the first deity to intrude replied in kind.

“Who the hell are you, and what are you doing in my universe?” Anodyne yelled.

The other three looked at one another with furrowed brows.

“Listen, kid,” the first deity said, laying a hand on Anodyne. “This place has some rare materials; we are going to take it, then we will leave. We will only be here like a million factorial years, then we will leave.”

Anodyne raised his hands and proceeded to count on his fingers for a moment before looking back to the newcomers with the same hatred in his eyes that he used to stare at the frozen being.

“You will leave now, or I will kill you.”

The three newcomers laughed at Anodyne before turning away and continuing their plan.

Anodyne felt the rage boiling inside of him; he turned and struck the closest one, just to have his fist stopped by some kind of invisible force.

“Okay, listen here, child. We find you amusing, but if you try and get in our way, we will kill you, and we will continue what we were going to do anyway. So, know when you have no chance of fighting, and back off.”

Anodyne waited for them to finish before he slammed his fist at the other deity a second time.

“This is my domain; you will leave.” Anodyne proclaimed as he continued to stare.

“Stupid, fucking child gods.” The invading deity said as he turned to Anodyne.

He let a sigh out just before he struck Anodyne, sending him flying back to a nearby planet, like a stray asteroid landing upon a planet. Anodyne coughed blood and struggled to breathe through his injuries, his vision started to wobble, and then he fell still.

The other deities did as they pleased, bringing strange machines into the universe. They began bagging the dust that was circling around the universe.

Anodyne’s blood flowed out onto the planet; around his unconscious body was a small colony that tasted his blood; returning it to their nest, they began improving themselves in ways they were not prepared for. They followed the stream of blood and moved their colony into Anodyne’s body, crawling in every orifice they could find. They built their colony in his body. The more blood they drank, the stronger they became until they were able to finally chew through Anodyne’s internals, carving their own caverns, not having to rely on his natural cavities. They dug deeper, ate more, and grew in strength and number, but it did not matter how far they dug; his body never seemed to end, even when they had burrowed further than Anodyne’s slim frame should have been able to hold.

Anodyne awoke suddenly after only a few months with an intense ringing in his ears. His body had healed, and he stood to his feet, nearly falling as he went.

“Odd; why is my body off balance?” He asked himself.

Rolling his eyes backward, he looked inside to see the sprawling nest of ants that now lived in him.

“Pests. If it wasn’t my body you were in, I would crush your home suffocating you, until you died…” Anodyne began to trail off, then looked to the sky.

“I know what I have to do.”

Anodyne started to amass every piece of matter he could lay his hands on, pushing it all together. They soon collapsed under the immense pressure, creating a black hole in their place. He could feel the pull of his creation but could still move freely around it; he knew he would have to do better. So he made another one, and another, until they started to chain react, sucking each other in, until there was one that ate everything that came near.

Meanwhile, the invaders were working on collecting all the dust from space still, but they stopped when they noticed that everything around them seemed to be drifting in one direction, then stopped again.

“That was weird. It was almost like there was an intense pull, then it balanced.”

They looked at one another before getting back to work; they made no attempt to look for the disturbance and soon had forgotten that it had even happened. But after a while, it happened again, pulling in another direction for a short moment before stopping. Then again, in another direction.

“Okay, what is happening?” One said, frustrated.

“That is simple; I am going to kill you all.” Anodyne said, appearing in between the three other deities.

“What are you on about?”

“I am bringing death to your door; this is your last warning, leave or suffer.”

“Kid, you don’t know what you are talking about; you have never even left this universe; how do you expect to stop us? We have visited hundreds of other deities’ universes; you can’t hope to defeat us.”

“I won’t defeat you; I even intend on dying with you.”

The other three looked at one another before noticing what was happening. Around them, the universe was being consumed by a collection of black holes that were slowly encroaching on them.

“Damn, take what we got and move out.”

With that, all the strange machines disappeared, and two of the three deities reached out, grabbing door handles that were not there but a moment before, and walking through the appearing doors, for them to just vanish once they closed.

“Smart move, but you can’t jump universes; good luck getting out of this. Out there in the Eterna-verse, they call getting caught in a black hole that is stronger than you as god hell.”

The last deity went to leave, reaching for a door handle that started to appear but then faded, and Anodyne began to laugh.

“Oh, thank the stars, I thought I was going to die alone; at least you can join me.”

The intruding deity began to panic as he started grasping for the handle, trying again and again.

“What have you done?” He screamed as he looked at Anodyne.

“I made black holes to destroy all your precious dust; it turns out that somehow disrupts your little door thing, which is a nice bonus. I actually had forgotten you could jump universes, so I nearly completely fucked up. But hey, one out of three ain’t too bad for a kid.”

The surrounding black holes all spiraled around one another, encroaching on the two remaining deities; they could feel their bodies being dragged by the immense force of a near universe-sized black hole. While the intruding deity screamed in horror and tried to summon his door, he could not help but see Anodyne allowing the pull of the black holes to drag him around as he laughed.

“You have no idea what fresh hell awaits us; you won’t be laughing then!”

“I spent my first several billion, trillion, whatever years of existence suffocating in space, being burnt to dust, and dissolving in acids; I then had part of another being’s mind forced into mine. I don’t see things getting worse. I have done hard yards; this is just the next hurdle. Welcome to the life of the suffering friend. Let’s visit hell together.”

Anodyne reached out, grabbing hold of the other deity, laughs and screams twisted, and wound around one another, spiraling into the immense mass of the black hole, which was in its final moments before becoming whole. The other deity broke down into tears while Anodyne cheered the two of them into the pit of the black hole as it consumed the final pieces of matter from their universe.