Commentary: Oh, the prologue. The cock-teasing prologue. I’m happy with what I have for it, and I feel it sets up the novel nicely, showing that it will be kind of cosmic and deeply thoughtful, but I worry that it doesn’t really draw the reader in. It might even bore you! I often think that I’m just over-analyzing it (what writer doesn’t do that) and I should just leave it. I would like to throw a little more detail and some clarity in at some point too. What do you think, dear reader?
In a distant part of the all encompassing vastness of outer space a light appeared amongst the other trillions of lights speckling, blotting and endlessly spinning throughout the cosmos of this universe. This light was different than the others, however. It did not come from a boiling star or the reflection of a massive sphere of condensed carbon. No, this light was its own. It appeared in an instant in a place in space further from Earth than any light seen by humankind. Yet even so far from all we know this light was by no means at the edge of our universe. Rather, it was somewhere in the middle of all the mass taken up by the rocks, planets, stars and galaxies. The center of the entire universe, mathematically speaking.
From this incalculable center the light shot off. It moved on its own accord, switching directions at will with no friction to hinder it. To any onlooker (if any being has the power to see something moving so quickly) it would appear like a stylized lightning bolt streaking its way through the black emptiness of space towards any object, however small. It struck tiny space rocks with millions of years of inches behind them as they slowly floated along, drawn further into the darkness by some unknown force. As the light hit them it would circulate throughout their entire mass, touching each molecule at speeds that cannot be measured.
It was searching.
After scanning through a cluster of hundreds of space rocks it zipped through space again, moving towards a large, spherical world. Crossing the distance of a solar system in an instant the light struck the cold, lifeless rock. It moved straight through the crust of the planetoid without damaging it or even altering its makeup. The miles of stone remained unbroken as the light passed through them and into the core. From the molten sphere the light spiraled outwards until it again reached the crust and burst forth to the next object.
In a universe of slowly changing geology and eternal sources of light and energy this bolt searched at speeds unseen to this place since its dawn. It was virtually the same moment the light arrived that its search began to bear fruit.
Countless beings smaller than blood cells with simple directives and creatures large enough to topple canyons with complex understandings, dreams and emotions. Life. Everywhere. Billions of souls inhabited this universe the light had found. It scanned them all, collecting everything there was to know about the various animals, plants and even people who lived across the stars in this universe. Some were strange and complex even up against the vast knowledge the light carried with it. Others were simple yet beautiful in their ways. Some beings were incredibly diverse between individuals while others might as well have been clones of their counterparts.
And the universe itself! The light marveled at the rotating worlds, the cycles of energy from stars to plants to insects to creatures to the world and into plants again. It had seen many places and witnessed the creation of worlds far more complex even than this one. But the light was impressed. Emotion boiled within it as it marveled at the beauty of our universe as one would a fantastic painting.
The light had scoured existence for years as uncountable as the souls. It had blinked into one universe after another, exploring all there was to know, searching for the answers it sought. The light had encountered beings and places which followed rules and operated in ways entirely unknowable to those of us with flesh and blood. It had seen places where there is no physical, places where logic went by different rules, places where everyone was a god and places where everyone was a slave to a single master. As the light viewed our universe it compared it to memories of other existences and ways of being. And it was impressed.
That’s saying something.
Yet the longer it scanned the more it began to worry. Something was amiss. This place was not entirely as it was created to be. Some corruption had sunk deep into the very fabric of all that was here. The same corruption the light had been seeking in the beginning was here too! It was patient but excited to see if there was something to learn here. Despite this excitement it controlled its desires, taking the time to scan every nebula, tree and atom in case there was something hidden here.
The being flowing through the makeup of the universe did not sense the corruption through any of its great facilities. Each time it scanned something the light gleaned all there was to know about that thing, including the entire history of the very matter of the object from the dawn of time until the destruction of our universe. Time here was malleable for this being. This universe of ours was one in more than can be counted. Its rules did not apply to the light, who was from somewhere deeper in reality than our own existence. But even with the control it could exert the light did not sense this corruption.
Yet it knew there was something wrong here. This place was designed by a creative hand of great potency – a single being stronger even than the light. Someone with the skill to create this universe had once dwelt here. A project so massive took time and energy, even for a god. More importantly, it took maintenance. Such universes as ours are so vast and complex that their own weight tends to fall in upon themselves after time. The light had seen several universes abandoned by their creators. The same thing always happened.
The universe the light had found was ripping itself apart. Slowly, but surely. At some point in the distant future it would expand unto its breaking point and everything would rip apart. Even the smallest atoms would essentially pop and be destroyed forever.
Where was the creator? The light searched galaxies and the space in between over the course of several hundred Earth years until it had no where left to look. Not a single atom unturned. The creator of this place was missing.
As the light had suspected. The evil it sought had something to do with this. As it watched the creatures of one planet build their first cities and utilize their first tools the being in the light knew it had to save the souls here – for they too would rip apart if they were to stay here. And without the creator to withdraw them they could not leave this doomed universe. Oblivion lay before them if something was not done.
But the light did not have the control of this universe like its creator. No one but the creator itself could alter it at will. Still, this being had seen more in its time than almost any other in all of everything that is everywhere. Ever. Resolve filled the being as it started to work to save these souls from their eventual fate.
Its search would have to hold for now.