Universes expand like bubbles and collide one with other, what would happen if the bubble bursts out?
What would happen if ALL the bubbles burst out?
One after another, universes reached their size limit and exploded.
Physic laws merged and re-stabilized, magic flooded the world, and both interfered one with another, creating a new strange balance.
Amidst this chaos the gods born from worlds of magic and faith selected champions, and bestowed them pieces of themselves to lead their races. But against the power of universes the gods of planets were like children trying to stop a truck.
Even more, they were not the only gods around.
Horrible creatures from outside reality became trapped when the universes burst open and reformed. Their bodies crushed by the weight of tri-dimensional space.
But gods are not mortals, and their deaths were not the deaths of mortals.
The strange, bizarre alien bodies of dead gods fell into the worlds, in the barren planets life sprouted from their carcasses and started the long journey of evolution. But a blessing to the dead is a curse to the living.
In the new Earth these eldritch corpses orbited the atmosphere and one by one fell and combusted, not by friction but by exposure to the native magic. The surviving pieces refined by the local natural laws, now compatible with the native life forms.
Over the course of five years civilizations would fall one after another, prey to monsters empowered by new sources of magic and the mutations of the gods from outside. For power comes with a price and that price is insanity.
A price a beast can happily pay and survive, but is a price that can destroy intelligent societies.
Against the terrible boons of the alien gods the native gods became impotent, their holy blessings unable to compete with the sheer numbers of the corrupted divine monsters. After five years only small clumps of survivors hold still, hiding in their holes, hungry and paranoid.
The gods are not any better, the constant loss of themselves by giving out blessings and the decrease of faith by the death of survivors turned them as emaciated as the believers that once held them in reverence.
Who would worship a god that cannot save them?
Who cares about the god that does not gives salvation?
For beings born out of the faith and the laws of the world itself the revelation was hard to take, they were only revered because they were useful, had they not arrogantly thought the same of their believers?
Those lumps of divine energy became barely recognizable; their forms too unstable by the leak of power, in desperation and resignation they took a gambit and got hold of the last eldritch corpse not to fall. A thing so massive it orbited the world as a small, secondary moon that would fall someday.
A grotesque thing filled with tentacles, arms, hoofs and all other kinds of appendages. Its innards so hard, complex and wide as to pass for alien cities.
Within this corpse they found the power of time and space, domains too deep and powerful to be held by any of them, gods born from the faith of limited beings.
Many of these native gods demanded sacrifice from their followers, and it was not strange for them to accept the fact that their own sacrifice would be required for the plan to work.
One by one the gods exploded themselves into domains of pure divine energy and blended into a single entity. They became a soul to reanimate the corpse, possessed it and gained access to its powers.
Vast, seemingly limitless powers, abilities that even an earthling god cannot dream of reaching.
With its new eyes the lone overgod became able to see through the veil of reality and time, with its endless brains it calculated a path among the unlimited possible realities, and with its thousands of appendages the overgod took every intelligent being who still survived and hurdled them across the ocean of time.
Back to the beginning
But the mind is a plaything of the body, and the overgod could feel its new flesh demanding to exist in fullness, to extend, and grow, and eat.
To eat magic, to eat energy, to eat matter.
To eat souls.
Understanding what kind of abomination it had become the overgod choose to destroy itself instead of succumbing to its new alien nature.
But gods are not mortals, and its death was not the deaths of mortals.
In the past as in the future there would not be an overgod, no eldritch titan orbiting the world like a second moon. And the gods became truly dead.
Across the world all kinds of creatures raised their heads to the sky, attracted by the strange lights running through it, the waves of energy called to the beasts as a longing of superiority. A realm they too could reach over an untold period of time, but for the sentient beings those lights felt as if they were able to remember things from another life.
A past just five years away that now felt so distant.
The net of light descended into the world, it washed over the ruins of thousands of cities, now regrown as forests and cave systems. It should have ignored the plants and the beasts but wisps of energy were absorbed while it looked for the kind of signal it was more familiar with: an intelligence capable of rationalization.
Every sapient being got wrapped in a cocoon of energy and in a flash they were gone.
And then, after everything was done a rain of meteors scorched the land, destroying what was left of the civilization’s ruins.
Five years ago.
In a world of magic all the priests of all religions panicked at once because the gods went silent at the same time, but more strangely, a few people, like one in every hundred thousand received memories of things that were yet to happen. Memories so detailed and vivid they could repeat them to each other and warn them in detail.
Had the gods went to slumber after using their power to send a mass prophecy?
It would take them time to realize their gods were dead, but the knowledge gained from their sacrifice would prove priceless across the many worlds endangered by the end of the multiverse.
Vance woke up confused, for a moment he felt as if he still was on his hole, hiding from the beasts and focusing on the magic that would keep him cloaked. Then he realized he was back in his house.
The electricity was still working, the water was still running, he turned on the TV and the world was still out there, lively and spinning.
He doubted for a moment if he was still dreaming, too hungry and scared to wake up. But no, the light had enveloped him and everything went blank and there he was, back in his house.
Had he really... been sent back in time?
Vance checked the date, how long did he had?
“Fucking fuck! A week!”
A week, whatever that magic light was it had given him a week to prepare and redo his survival. It was great, an amazing chance that could not be measured in words of gratitude... but a week, it felt like a little rushed compared to the enormity of the situation.
But Vance had a secret weapon: money, lots and lots of it, he had won the lottery a year ago and had been living from it since. At his fifty years Vance wanted nothing but to live a luxurious retirement with his lottery money, and could have gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for the multiverse meddling with his reality.
He checked the fridge and took out a frozen pizza, covered it with more meat and cheese and put it in the oven while surfing the web. A week, damn, he had to engorge himself on food while he still could. He was going to rejuvenate and become healthier from the magic anyway so it was not a problem.
“What? Titanium is not that good for swords? It sounded way cooler in my mind.”
“No titanium guns either, it’s kind of a disappointing material for all of its reputation.”
Knowledge was crucial to make a plan so Vance had spent several hours looking for information on which materials and machines could be used to make weapons, which to stockpile and which would require to be made after the world changed.
His five years of struggle were not worth very much, all he really learned was that somehow magic changed the interaction of energy rendering most technology useless. Everything that used electricity died, and guns became unable to shoot in succession until they simply jammed or exploded. The only vehicle he saw that actually worked was a steam car restored from the 70’s, and that was crushed by monsters anyway.
Crushed by giant monsters.
The second piece of knowledge was the fact that magic could be focused and amplified by gemstones. That’s how Vance survived, hiding in a hole and using a piece of diamond to reinforce his hideout.
The third were the meteorites that would rain on a regular basis, and could cause mutations on people and monsters.
But why? How did that work?
Answers would have to wait for later, in his first apocalyptic run he transformed his house into a small bunker, and he managed to hold on for a year before a horde of monsters trampled it with him inside. And surviving by pure luck. Trapped under concrete and steel he was forced to dig his way out with magic, the ability which would be his lifeline on the four years after.
A diamond, Vance took his walking cane and admired the artificial diamond on top of it, buying natural diamonds was stupid, as artificial ones were purer, shinier and stronger. So he ordered a batch of twenty big enough to fill his fist and a bunch of smaller ones. They were incredibly useful but still just one among the several materials to stockpile. Sheets of metal were a must too, both for weapons and armors, steel pipes, aluminum and lots of cheaper gemstones.
Vance looked out from his window, his house was big, had a wide basement, an orchard, plenty of trees in the vicinity, and a small stream of water coming down from the nearby mountain. He was ten minutes away from the city and this had saved him too, as a lone human attracted little attention from the beasts, but it also presented a problem of fortification. On the city he could bunker up inside a tall building. It was just a matter of destroying the upper floors to retrieve the steel beams and use those to fortify the bottom, the metro tunnels were also an obvious shelter that already connected the city...
“Wait, can’t i just use the magic to dig in here?”
It would take him some time but he managed to survive a full year by simply hiding at home. It was his lack of action what let him to discover the use of his diamond so late, but if he dedicated himself to become more familiar with magic then he could develop an advantage.
Ok, Vance surfed the web again to order steel beams, large amounts of coal... gas, small tanks of gas that could be carried on his back, a fence... was it really necessary? He was away from the city and anyone who could steal his stuff would rather stay near such a stockpile of items. No, he would fortify his house first, and increase the size of his stronghold after the change happened
Vance hired a construction team to make the foundation of a bigger space around his house, big as a medium sized supermarket and fully made of steel. They arrived the next day and got to work immediately, moved by juicy monetary incentives, but got delayed another two days as the steel beams took time to arrive, much to Vance’s chagrin.
His worry was not about the upcoming wave of change, as much as it was about having to let his other orders of supplies outside, and then take them inside the new structure. Which would take even more time.
Alas, the new bunker was ready just one day before the week timer, with all the beams and metal sheets it felt like a full metal wooden barn. Vance kept the construction team hired to help him bring everything inside.
“Sir, are you a doomsday prepper?”
Ben, the team leader asked him, it was no strange question as they were filling a metal structure with edibles, fuels, tools and materials, which would be presumably used for construction of other new tools
“I prefer the term Apocalyptic Prepper” said Vance, “But how about this? I predict that tomorrow the world will start to change and it will change even more in the ten days after, if tomorrow you see a change come again and we will talk about an alliance.”
“It sounds weird but i guess i don’t lose anything by agreeing” said Ben as he extended a hand to shake Vance’s, he didn’t really believe anything would happen, but basic client-costumer courtesy is a must for any businessman that does the work in person.
The construction team was almost leaving when a big, big trailer arrived, on its platform there were an old locomotive, a small tractor and many wheels and tires of all sizes.
The delivery men used the tractor to help drag down the locomotive and left the tractor and tires. Vance had tried to get his hands on a steam engine, but most of them were small models for use as wood powered electricity generation, so he settled for buying some old locomotive engines. Once the cash was rolling it was rather easy after dismissing the initial historical concerns used to drive the price up.
The other supplies would arrive after the change started and it was still a race against time, albeit his previous life made him believe he had some time to spare and get his machines ready. But the fact that he was sent back in time meant the past could be changed and who knows what other surprises the near future may disclose.
- In the refrigerator, behind the mayonnaise, next to the ketchup, and to the left of the coleslaw
I have decided to write all the stories i want to write, because i would rather advance slowly in all of them than be stuck forever in the planning phase.
I WILL finish very single fiction i start, but it will take time, LOTS OF TIME.
Check my blog on the meantime.