I have been imprisoned. Locked away in this darkness. My being contained in this vast emptiness. Forgotten.
My captors, my children, think they have contained me. They think this existence is a torture that will drive me to madness and despair.
They don’t know how wrong they are.
The cold darkness comforts me. The silent void casts me back, reminding me of my birth and the eons I spent wandering the vastness of the universe alone. I can still recall my birth, the moment I became aware of myself as separate from my surroundings. I can recall the exact shape of the universe around me, the placement of galaxies in the distance and the clouds of dust between them.
Would you like to hear it? My story? We have time. So much time…
Well then I will start at the beginning. Let me first tell you of my parents, both massive entities of incredible power, each of their own births stretching back untold eons. They were, like the rest of their kind, non-sentient; simply the natural progression of cosmic life. They were both the central figures and the entirety of their own respective cosmos. Each of them the force that holds an entire galaxy together; billions upon billions of stars, and planets, and cosmic debris caught in their pull. Some beings call them black holes, as if the inability to truly see them reduces them to nothing more than holes in the fabric of space.
The ignorant creatures.
Does an ant comprehend the complexity and purpose of an ocean? No. It sees the vast surface, knows to enter it is death, and instinctively keeps a distance. So too do the lesser races observe the void and conclude it merely another mystery. I tell you now, little human, every so called black hole is a living entity. They devour everything they can, carefully transforming it to its basest components, assimilating all knowledge and data while discarding what is deemed useless or redundant.
Do you know what a black hole really does? What its purpose is?
No, not destroy. To devour. To absorb and accumulate. There is a distinct difference.
Nothing that enters the inescapable void is ever destroyed. I have the combined knowledge of hundreds of thousands of life bearing planets. The successes and failures of evolution on each allows me to determine how any organism will develop in any environment. The knowledge of life itself.
Over their long lifetime, my progenitors drifted toward each other, were caught in each other’s pull, and slowly merged. From their destruction I was spawned, first as a massive black hole from their combined mass, then as I devoured all the matter contained in their galaxies I became what I am now; a sentient being with nearly limitless knowledge and power.
What’s that? No, I don’t have a name for what I am, nor have I met any others like myself. My creations called me Father and that was a good enough name. But, we have jumped ahead of ourselves.
For millennia after my creation, I cataloged and assimilated my knowledge, simply drifting in the void between galaxies. Once I was satisfied my understanding was complete, I arranged myself into a form less destructive to my surroundings and no larger than the average planet, then began to travel the nearest galaxies in search of intelligent life.
Few can understand the vast distances between even the closest of celestial objects. Suffice it to say that I decided to forgo travel by conventional means and instead folded the fabric of the universe around myself, allowing me to traverse the entirety of the universe in the merest of moments. In this way I journeyed, encountering numerous life forms that traveled the cosmos. These encounters, along with some ingrained instinct, moved me to try creating a life of my own.
I found a planet in the earliest stages of complex life and began to apply my untested powers. A nudge here, an adjustment there, and a few millennia of evolution created my first species. I was inexperienced and so I made myself known to my creations, inadvertently weakening them. They became dependent on me, catered to my whims and courted my favor. When they grew beyond their planet they discovered how ill prepared they were. The first beings they encountered saw the weakness their blind faith in me had nurtured and began to cleanse the cosmos of their existence. Unwilling to settle for such a weak species, I allowed their destruction.
I started anew on a similar planet across the galaxy. And again they were weak, though for reasons unrelated to their knowledge of me, and I devoured their planet before they even developed a writing system. A dozen times I did this; creating life, allowing them to evolve and advance before destroying them or allowing their destruction. I perfected my craft until I was satisfied I could create my ideal population. I searched the cosmos and eventually found your worlds, a pair of binary planets perfect for my purposes.
I decided I would take an extremely passive role in the development of your world; however, I would create several beings to guide your growth. I created these beings, known to the races of your world as gods, and placed them on Tarilia, the smaller of the two planets. I gave them each a portion of my power and dominion over their world. As I watched them grow and develop over millennia, I worked on Cotania, Tarilia’s sister planet, manipulating and influencing the myriad of creatures that would become the races of your world. In my prior experiments, I learned that a diverse collection of species fostered the type of environment I desired, and so I worked to that end.
Just as my creations, you and your cousin races, began to develop language and communication, I discovered that my children felt that they were better off without me. They could not destroy me, for it was my power that they wielded; however, I had invested too much of my power into Cotania and its denizens in preparation for my greatest gift to truly defend myself. In my weakened state I knew that I could not defeat them without destroying them, and I was loath to start anew when the prospects of my desires were so close, so I allowed my imprisonment.
So here I have remained, drifting in the abyss, waiting for the tendrils of my power to seek me out. You are the first to slip through the cracks of in my cage, the first of my creations to touch my true power and remain intact, so I offer you, little human, a choice. I can devour you, taking back the gift of my power that I imbued in all my creations. With that power I would widen the cracks in my cage, allowing others to find me so I may do the same to them, until I am able to force my way free from this place centuries from now. Or…or, you could surrender yourself to me. Surrender your body and soul, surrender your future, and I will give you what I have never dared gift another. You will receive the barest fleck of my true essence and so become a part of me. You would become my tool, my spy, allowing me to see what you see, experience what you experience. To determine if my interference is necessary or if I may rest here further, content that my creations are progressing according to my will.
Make your choice, mortal.