Mortality And Infinity

10 minutes read


The Eterna-verse is a concept that mortals struggle to comprehend, but with such a large concept, it is no surprise. Ask a mortal to imagine a meter, and not only can they most likely imagine it, but they could even demonstrate it. If you ask for them to show you ten, their variance becomes a little wider, and this is true for every meter above the first. If you mention it in kilometers, people may be able to have a concept of how far is needed, especially those who travel often, but if you ask them to imagine the distance between their planet, and the nearest moon, the ability to comprehend falls away. The distance between their planet, and the sun, their solar system and the next, their galaxy and the next, their universe and the next. None of the numbers that could be tied to distances matters; they may as well be infinity because if a mortal was to attempt to understand or to travel the distance to experience it, they would die before they accomplished it. The Eterna-verse is the representation of infinity for location; it represents the ever-expanding matter and anti-matter that makes up the Eterna-verse. For the mortals, I ask them to imagine that their universe is the center of the Eterna-verse, then around their universe is their personal multi-verse, the multi-verse that is every iteration of their own universe, outside of that there are the other multi-verses, that of the other universes that have no tie to their own, around that all is an endless storm that surrounds everything, and blocks the light from either side, beyond that are more rings, of things that become harder to understand concepts that make up the Eterna-verse. Then I ask, as you imagine these perfect rings, or layers to a shell, I want you to drop it, let it smash, and scatter across the ground, pick up the pieces, and do it again until what you hold is an unsortable pile of matter that could not be pieced together, even if you gave the mortal their one hundred years of life. This is the Eterna-verse; it is an endless pool of chaos that grows, shapes, and changes as life develops within it, universes are born faster than they die, and thus the chaos of the Eterna-verse grows each second it is alive.

The seed of each newborn universe is a deity; as a new deity is born, a new universe develops around it. Deities are born from mortal souls dying once they have lived for a hundred years, the soul wanders the Eterna-verse until it finds a place to rest, where it can grow into its next stage of life, where it turns into a deity, and during this birth, there is an explosion of energy that creates a universe for them to reside within, to keep them safe as they develop. The deities will find themselves upon a planet where they can come into their powers, learning how to develop them, until eventually they are able to leave to begin exploring the universe they are in and, in time, further into the Eterna-verse. However, the Eterna-verse is ruled by chaos, anything can happen, and it does not matter how routine a system may seem. There are always exceptions to the rule and mishaps, and each one helps topple any sign of order within the Eterna-verse.

There was one deity born on a planet like others tend to, but before they were able to take their first breath and open their eyes, their planet was eviscerated by the local star going supernova. By the time the deity did awake, it was in the cold void of space, their eyes opened, and quickly they began to freeze over, along with their mouth and nose, as the water in their body boiled, then cooled upon touching the void of space. Their muscles expanded and contracted, ballooning them before tensing them tighter than they could imagine. Their body started to twist as the muscles pulled them in random directions, until after a few minutes, they died, or so they thought.

When deities are born, they have to learn how powerful they are; their mortal lives’ ideas on how things work will guide how their body reacts to things until they are able to prove it wrong. Spoken simply, if a rock were to fall onto their hand, they would feel pain because they believe they should; they would not try to leap higher than a human or perform acts beyond a human, such as walking on water, eating lava, or even surviving in space. These feats take time, thousands of years of development and growth before a deity is capable of understanding even the most basic elements of their abilities. They need the time to think about what is happening and how it has or hasn’t affected them. If experiences happen too fast, and there is no space to reflect, no learning can happen.

When this deity assumed space had killed them, they did the only thing they could do that was close to death; they fell unconscious, their body started to regulate themselves again, and they returned to normal just so they could awake and do it all over again.

Each time they lived, they did so for a minute or two, and each time they had the memory of the last time it happened. After the first hour went by, the first thought formed in their mind, something that usually happens within the first few seconds of existence. They thought to themselves.

“This is going to happen forever.”

That thought played on a loop; every life had them clawing at their own throat in search of air, hoping to remove whatever was blocking their lungs from working, fighting against the twisting of their limbs as their muscles pushed them to bend in unnatural ways.

Beyond the vision of most, and certainly beyond the vision of this deity, on a separate plane of existence, a set of wary eyes watched, taking notes. They rested their note-taking tools, and they sighed deeply as they watched this deity die over and over again. They looked away for a brief moment, and their plane of existence started to shake; they turned back to the deity, and the shaking slowed to a stop, and so the being watched. With time it was not only the void of space that killed this deity; they were pelted with asteroids, ripping chunks from his body, the blood freezing as it left their gaping wounds. This impact was the first of many, but it was the one that set them on their course, where once they floated stationary, dying, now they were swimming through the void, traveling it. The being behind the veil had hoped that they would land on a planet, but to their dismay, they did. They came crashing down like a stone from the sky, their body burned up as they collided with the atmosphere, they felt their flesh rend from the bone, their eyes exploded, and their eardrums burst all before they died. When they came to, they were in free fall. This time instead of their body freezing and asphyxiating in the void of space, they found their lungs dissolving as fast as their skin as they breathed in the caustic air of the sulphuric planet. Millions of years passed as they being watched, each time they turned their head or closed their eyes, they could feel the fabric of their dimension starting to shake and pull against itself, so they kept their eyes open, and they watched the deity die, and they took their notes, every last detail.

It took an eon before the nearby sun went supernova and shot them off into space once again.

The being shook with rage as they continued their role, their fist tensed until they could feel their nails dig into their skin, and just as they could squeeze no harder, they suddenly released the tension. They took one deep breath before stretching out their hand, breaking the barrier between dimensions. Their hand disappeared from their own and started to appear in the deities. The deity watched as fingers started to appear out of nowhere; soon, a whole hand had formed and was reaching towards their head. Being pushed with all their might, it felt as if they were pushing their hand through a torrent of broken glass that was oscillating around it, then their universe shook like it never had before, they felt as if they were a drawing on a piece of paper, and the paper was being crumpled, torn, their very being was warping in ways that they could not comprehend, they felt two dimensional against the force that was crushing their very existence, but still they pushed through all the pain, all so that they could touch the deity.

The deity watched, terrified, as this disembodied hand reached towards them, it vibrated, and blood dripped from where their nails had dug in moments before; it shook so violently that it looked as if there were dozens of hands all reaching towards them. They stared unblinking as the violent approach of the hands instilled a new kind of dread within them. Their body stopped reacting to the effects of space, their mouth dried, and they felt the dread that not even the sight of an impending supernova could cause; not even the thought of endless suffering could compare to how they felt when they stared at the hands approaching. Their heartbeat increased as their body froze, not with ice, but muscular tension; their body wanted to move, to run, but in that fear, the body engaged every muscle all at once, the result of which was that they started to coil into a ball. Their eyes never left the hands, though, and now, despite being in a vacuum, the hands resonated a strange sound, an increasing pitch that sounded like the sound of a singular nail running along a blackboard. Right as the sound reached the crescendo of its pitch, a single finger made contact with the deity’s forehead.

Suddenly the dimension that held the other being collapsed crumpled like paper in a fist, bending the being along with it. They manifested into the same plane of existence that the deity was in, but their form was distorted, mangled, and horrific. They froze over into a rugged sphere of ice. Meanwhile, the deity’s mind was burning; they were given knowledge, and it surged into their mind as the finger touched them. Their brain was burning with a fury that made the deity scream, their spit flung from their mouth and froze into little shards that escaped them.

In return for the information that flowed into the deity, a single piece was given back, a single word, Anodyne, the deity’s name.

Anodyne was finally able to breathe in space; the void no longer bothered them, and neither did the cold or the radiation. The information had freed them from what they were suffering, and once the searing pain in their skull slowed, they looked over the ice formation that rested in front of them. Anodyne rested their hand upon it, and they knew that this was the thing that had set them free; they had part of the being’s mind in their own, a mess of images, words, memories, emotions, and sensations that should not be experienced for such a young deity. Their mind was broken by the years spent in solitude, but the information given to them has shattered their sense of sanity. They stared into the ice, making contact with one of the eyes of the being, Anodyne looked at the horror the eye had frozen into, and Anodyne stared back at it with hatred.

“You saved me; I will find the one you fear, I will find the one who did this to you, and by the time I do, they won’t be able to do anything to stop me. I will return you to what you were, and this, this, Ompti, they will fear the mortality I will instill upon them.”