Still beats Mondays at the office . . .
Submerged. She claws at the acrylic until her fingernails bleed. She pounds at it until her hands ache. She heals over days, months. Then she scratches again.
The groove widens to a score, widens to a fracture, widens to a crack. She pries at the shards until they snap, amniotic fluid gushing forth. She shivers in the cold, tearing out hoses of injectable immortality, breaking free of the coffin, naked.
A subsapient drone winks electronic eyes at her, uncomprehending and maternal. Beyond, a maintenance terminal, the dust of centuries blurring its contents, glows watchfully, millions of years of life stored in radioisotopes and self-repairing infrastructure.
Above her tube, she sees a wooden placard she carved herself—her own name. Somber memories return slowly, while around her the others lie motionless in their containers, dreaming still of Eden.
“Naw. Controls were activated from the inside. Kid did it on purpose. Anyway, we trace the dog’s tag back, the mom says Jimbo had to be put down, see? So the kid, I figure he takes it real hard, spaces ’em both.”
“A damn shame.”
“But like, the strangest thing was—this kid and his dog, they both throw up, right?”
“Sure, decompression will do that.”
“Yeah slimed up the whole airlock. They both went out thrashin’. But this kid—he holds onto his pup the whole way, puke be damned.”
What Adam and Eve *really* needed was a father figure.
Welcome to the dizzying, transcendent ocean between multiverses. Here, the gods, immortal and omnipotent, are at play. Ineffable machinations play out over ages, light years, and dimensions: the fabric of the omniverse their canvas. Swirling brushstrokes of burning stars form intricate designs over cosmic time, inscrutable to the self-replicating carbon clinging to the cinders—replicators called, perhaps generously, “life”.
The replicators are tolerated—when they are noticed at all, which is rarely: the grandest efforts of humans influence so little of the gods’ designs, even the mere thought of extermination is literally not worth the effort to conceive. And so, the humans remain: patterns of carbon and dust that taught themselves how to think.
The thinking carbon presumes to grasp the reasoning of the gods, to explain the silence. Often, the humans pray. Often, the humans fight and die. Still others believe, the void unanswering, that there are no gods. Few imagine the even harsher truth . . . that the gods are indifferent.