This is everything. Eternity surrounds me. A small eternity. Young. Growing. Particles coming together, light gathering its speed, fundamental elements evolving and joining. A tiny universe swirling out of nothing. I snake across this small existence, a universe I shall protect with my very soul.
Despite the chaos, the sub-atomic activity, I find myself at peace.
Slowly but surely, I see atoms come together, creating elemental colours. Heavy and light metals, gases and liquids. My universe is coming together, filling a black nothingness with stars, galaxies and nebulae.
As for me though, I watch and begin my first cycles. Not all atoms have made it this far. Parts of myself subconsciously recycle them and spit them out as new objects – sub-atomic, atomic, molecular, organic, protein-based or even bigger still. This is my universe, and it all gets cleaned, recycled and reborn. When sentient life comes, and it will, I will do the same, nurturing it and protecting it. But for now, it is just me and this quiet, gently churning universe.
I hear a voice. I have heard nothing but myself for so long. Myself and the sound of explosions and the traumatic creation of new particles, of suns coming to life. This voice confuses me.
“Is anyone here?”
How do I understand this being? It does not seem to be part of this universe. Something foreign. It should not be here.
“Please? Anyone? I have nowhere to go…”
I seek out this voice. It is stranded on a small, solid object, as foreign as it is. It is organic. Alive. Breathing. I can hear its heartbeat, but inside, it is empty, stationary, static. My snaking body spins, twisting round stars and filling empty space, so I can properly see this being. My loneliness speaks volumes, I want to share that with this being.
I am here, little one.
“You are? What are you? You’re huge! As big as the stars.”
I am the carer of this universe, the protector and nurturer of my own sliver of existence.
“You made this place?”
I was born here, among its very first sub-atomic particles.
“That is… hard to think about.”
Where did you come from, little creature?
The being glances around. It is lost and dazed. Tired. Delirious. Yes, you, little creature.
“Oh. My universe… it died. It reached its end. I was made to watch as it slowly drifted away into something cold and dead. The last few voices there told me to escape through a door and I… ended up here.”
Voices? The nurturers of your universe pushed you to come here.
“They said I would be better off here. That you could learn from me. So mistakes aren’t repeated. My name is Tenuk, by the way. Nice to meet you!”
I assume it must be nice to meet you too.
“Do you have a name?”
I think for a moment. No. I do not have a name.
“Can I pick a name for you?”
Do I need a name? I do not think so but clearly this being believes I do. Feel free to make some suggestions, little one. I have time, before consciousness begins to form.
“Hm… I had a friend called Retvik. Can I call you Retvik?”
No. That is a silly name. Yet somehow it is something I have heard before. A message in an unopened bottle. Still, silly.
“I guess you don’t like that. Well… Perhaps I can call you Rethiavan. As you are a gigantic serpent being. You have arms and stuff, I think, but…”
That name will do. Thank you, little one.
“Yay, you like it!”
I do. Now, little one, tell me about your universe, so we can make this one a better place…