9:55 pm Stories, Uncategorized

“Six Nineteen. Ascernity Administer on approach.”

“We have you now. All signs read clean. Welcome back, Ripper.”

He waited patiently at the door. For all they had learned and understood about The Universe, they still hadn’t figured out how to create personal teleportation devices.

Doors. Just like us. They always end up making doors of their own.

Sure, they could teleport planets across systems and use asteroids as their own personal weapons against would-be invaders, but small scale objects? Impossible. Well, at least until someone figured it out. It was only a matter of time, but the lack of personal teleportation was getting annoying.

And time was still a one way street. A tough nut to crack.

The thought of his immortality clashed against his fear of The Universe still in the midst of collapse. He knew he had a few billion years left, but after that… then what? Would it finally all end?

The giant metal door reading “ASCERNITY ” slid open in an instant and he walked down the carpeted hall. It smelled like perfume and chocolate chip cookies. Two of his favorite things. He looked up through the glass ceiling of the docking connector as he moved briskly toward the station. Two members of the maintenance staff passed by without saying a word or making eye contact, entered Ripper’s vessel as the door closed behind them.

He walked along his usual route then stopped in front of door he’d been though countless times. He took a deep breath. The door faded away and he set foot inside.

Normus had a stocky build, much like Ripper. In fact, they were identical twins, not uncommon in this era. Especially after sex became a useless survival trait.

While using his arms to motion towards floating, translucent panels, Normus had his back to a large sixth-dimensional simulation of planet Earth. Her moon was floating nearby, shimmering like a celestial diamond. Another simulation no doubt.

He looks busy. Too busy.

“So, is it as good as they say it is?”

Normus looked up over his shoulder. “I wouldn’t have made it any other way.”

Ripper took a few steps in, stopped, then slapped at the sphere. The simulation immediately began spinning in the opposite direction. And fast.

“No! Come on!” Normus touched his temple with his forefingers and squinted while Ripper began to laugh deeply.

Classic Normus!

With an audible snap of Ripper’s fingers the sphere snapped to it’s old rotation and the sim continued.

“Well, you just killed anything that walks on legs…” Another translucent panel appeared before him, this time red in hue. Normus punched a few buttons then swiped it away. The faint audible confirmation of the panel’s disappearance fell on deaf ears.

Earth was now in ruins. The sudden, jarring rotation shift threw continents together in an instant. Entire weather patterns shifted as atmospheric chaos ensued. The force alone killed all hope for survival of any creature that measured over 47.8 EFEs (Earth Force Events). A single EFE was the calculated shift in rotational force it would take to turn every variant of the Human species’ brain to paste. Extinct on a dime. Absolute 0% calculated chance of survival of the species.

“Look, I’m sorry… the look on your face…” Ripper managed to get out between short bursts of laughter.

“It’ll be fine. You set a ceiling on their imagination right? You’ve given them survivability traits of faith and trust? There’s no way they’ll just stumble upon all the answers. It’s impossible!”

Normus looked on, his face twisted up in a somewhat annoyed expression.

“And they have humor and hope to get by on right? It’s not so bad.” Ripper said in a consoling tone.

“They still feel pain. Physical and emotional.” Normus turned his back and resumed work as if nothing had happened.

Ripper looked back to the simulation of Earth as firestorms broke out in the high atmosphere. The moon began to break away slowly and rotate on its own. “One more reason they’ll never make it. But it’s just a sim after all. We can just wipe it and start over like we’ve been doing. I don’t see why you get so attached.”

Normus knew Ripper was right.  Indeed, it was just a sim, after all. A fully simulated version of not only Earth, but the entire universe. Each being living being living and dying without any idea that it all happened in a virtual space. Every civilization rising and crumbling without any real consequence. Every action and equal and opposite reaction simulated so well that even if some sentient race got to the point of harnessing the power of the stars, they would never be able to tell they were living in a world of make believe.

A fully functioning universe contained on a piece of matter no larger than a finger tip that could be rebooted and simulated a million times over.

Next time would be different. Normus was tired. Getting old. He would live as long as the universe existed, but he felt like he had lived longer than forever. He wanted a change, and he knew what it would take.

A twist. This time, they would make it. He had no doubt.

Normus stared at Ripper. Is this how it would go down? Just like any other day?

“It’s time. Let’s do this once and for all.”

Ripper smiled and nodded, but he sensed something was different about Normus. Almost imperceptible, but after working with someone for a few hundred thousand years, one tends to pick up on the nuances.

Everyone in their right mind bets on apes turning into humans. 99.7% of the time, humanity gains sentience after a few billion years. However, they always die off. They just never quite seem to make it. More than 84.5% of the time they make it off Earth. 52.3% of the time they colonize another planet. 33.3% of the time they colonize another star system. 5% of the time they make it to another galaxy. One time they had made it to two new galaxies. That was the 896,273,254th sim. One for the record books.

There were those few times where the dinosaurs didn’t go extinct either. Those were some interesting sim results.

Normus pulled up a panel, hit a few buttons in the air and swiped the image away one final time. They walked out together, Ripper leading the way.

Before the door closed, Normus paused.

“How do we know we’re not a sim?”

“You ask that every time and what do I always tell you?”

“It’s can’t be us. We’re the ones creating the sim…”

“Exactly. In all of our sims, they rarely make it to another galaxy. We’ve spread across multiple galaxies!”

Behind his back, Normus was fidgeting with one last variable on a tiny floating green panel. Buying time.

We’re not a statistical anomaly. We can’t be! Our AI have run the numbers. They can’t even make a semi-complex sim of their own!” Ripper spat out passionately.

Normus nodded solemnly. The two walked through the exit and the door phased in behind them. Behind the door, the simulation of Earth zoomed out to a tiny dot, then disappeared in a giant flash.

The Big Bang. From the top. Once again. This time, with the entire compendium of the Real Universe, transferred into the sim for Humanity to discover.

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