"There are powers beyond the mind, which your scientists could never have brought within its framework without shattering it entirely.
Arthur C. Clarke
, Childhood’s End
The multiverse. A realm of the strange and wondrous, where the unlikely can be likely and the possible can be impossible. Each universe gives birth to more every millisecond. Universes are born, reproduce, grow old, and die every minute. This is a fact known to many beings across the realms. What is not known to most, however, is that the barriers between universes, dividing what ‘’is’’ and what is ‘’not’’- are thinner and more easily breached than believed possible. Some individuals utilize crude and fleeting methods like sorcerous rituals or technological portals, but, for beings privileged with great powers, there are other ways to travel, ways that would easily confound lesser creatures- if not shatter their mind entirely.
One such race, the mysterious and enigmatic creatures known only as the Nomads, pioneered one such method of strange, seemingly miraculous transportation across space, time, and probability. For below and between the tenuous threads that bridge realities are what they called the Deeps- a misnomer, perhaps, for spacial geometry has little place when one takes all of space and time into account- but still, for their purposes, a fitting moniker. The Deeps, as they can be called, are a place of darkness and anarchy, where chaos reigns and malleability and shapelessness rule. The Nomads had learned to use this space for their own whims, sending people and things back and forth across it, sometimes in the name of science, but, more often, as entertainment, whiling away the centuries with their strange Challenges forced upon lesser creatures. The Nomads know that without the Deeps, there would be no multiverse at all. The bulwarks between universes would falter and merge, creating chaos. The multiversal barriers have occasionally warped, bent, and fused into new shapes and configurations, taking their hapless denizens with them for better or for worse. When universes collide, it can lead to brand new futures or eternal strife. But yet, somehow, such events do not take place regularly, even though the fickle laws of advanced quantum theory would say otherwise. In fact, what is believed by a select few- and known by even less- is that there is some kind of gestalt mind formed from the chaos. Such a complex and changing place would cease to be if not regulated and directed by a mind, albeit an utterly unfathomable and alien one.
The mind, if such a word can be applied, that lives in the Deeps is possessed of great power- for it holds together all that is, was, and will be. It knows peace, and creates stability between worlds. It has seen many threats to many universes, some grand and perilous and others small and insignificant. Rarely does it act, for when it does, the situation is dire indeed.
But not all good things can last forever.
Something had entered the Deeps- though in the timeless expanse of nothingness, one could not say whether it had hung there five seconds or five quadrillion years. The mind looked over it with something that could be called 'interest'- a shell of realspace, containing within it a creature that was a turmoil of emotions- a beacon of hate and madness. The thing- for the mind that was present had little notion of what such an item could be- hung in limbo, unchanging, strange pulsations of energy keeping it from being totally subsumed by interdimensional matter and being destroyed.
Like subtle, poisonous smog creeping through a forest, the mind did not even realize that something was wrong with its ancient and well-maintained balance- at least, not until it was too late to react. Pain, white hot, burning pain, made it writhe in fear and horror. And, even worse, it felt something
entering its mind. A roiling psychic cry of pain echoed out across unreality, rippling through the multiverse, causing disturbances that reached across space and time…
A GAME OF GODS: INFINITIES
A beautiful meadow, full of verdant, gently waving grass, dotted with flowers and the occasional young tree. Off in the distance was what appeared to be a building- or perhaps a cluster of buildings of some kind, their shapes were too indistinct from this vantage point to tell.
Perhaps incongruously, parked in the meadow was a car. This particular car was green and white, covered with the logos of various corporate sponsors, emblazoned with a bright red “88” on its chassis- a chassis that no doubt housed a powerful engine. But even the most cursory analysis would reveal that this was no ordinary race car. For one thing, no NASCAR racer was ever reinforced with steel armor, a hood-mounted Gatling gun, or missile bays slung just above the trunk. Secondly, no race car in existence would ever change, shift, transform
, like it was doing now, pistons, gears, and panels moving and shifting around as what was formerly a car grew a head, arms, and legs, emerging as a humanoid robot. Two mechanical legs crouched slightly and arms went up in a defensive position as the enormous robot, surveyed its surroundings. “Damn…” it muttered to itself, with what appeared to be a faint Scottish accent. “And where would I be now?” Whatever this robot knew, he did realize that he was most definitely not with his two friends at the launchpad for the Autobot shuttle, the Xantium
. Where he was
, however, was a mystery to him. Whether the other people, creatures, and things that were also lying prone in the field knew was something that he would have to find out...
edited 23rd Jul '11 6:45:49 PM by Locoman
"I calculated the odds of this succeeding versus the odds I was doing something incredibly stupid. And I went ahead anyway."