Sunday 24 June 2007

The Rich Dance - Part One

The Rich Dance is a story told in three episodes, posted serially by me, your farsighted host, Cheeseburger Brown. Chapters: 1|2|3

This week on the menu is an unusual tale that takes place at the end of the heat death of our universe. Some dimensions may not be exactly as shown. Chew thoroughly before attempting to digest.

Our story begins:


Her name is Name. She is the last.

Once, when the world was rich, she was a queen and a mother and a singer of the long songs. She swam and popped among many, back when the sky was full of stars swarmed by living things.

But time times, and events unfurl with history's momentum until all history is spent. Now there is nothing to stand against the cold. The last galaxies are dim, red smears separated by nearly infinite lakes of stultifying dark -- lonely scabs, evaporating away in feeble, guttering jets of X-ray foam.

It's so very quiet.

There are wonders, still, for the patient observer. Even when almost nothing is possible anymore the last of the actual describe their throes through pathways unconsidered and inspired. There are few straight trajectories into the final cold, as what's left burns at all by virtue of its own unlikelihood.

The final deaths are the province of the strangest attractors. Some of it gasps or shatters when it ends, and Name is satisfied by that beauty. Poof. Bang. Smudge. Something changes, and Name delights. And then the cold comes. It always does, and with it the probability of any further event drops so low that even the vaccuum ceases to roil.

That part horrifies her.

She flees. She steps aside hyper-sideways, then burns a singularity or two until she calms, soothed by the spark and the din.

Her name is Name. She is alone in the Universe's graveyard. It is her playground, and her temple. It is both her home and her self. It is her legacy and her identity, for she is the only one who remembers that the Universe ever happened.

Soon, time will stop. The cold will have everything, and then everything will be nothing.

This depresses Name. She tries not to think about it.

Another thing flares as it succumbs, and she is distracted for a billion years. She thinks it's pretty. She cherishes the fresh memory for another era. Around her there is only blackness, for the stretch of space has outpaced the light. She drifts, streamers of matter slush trailing from the actualized aspects of her lowest tendrils. She draws lazy circles in the current, watching the vaccum flash and fizzle in the resulting wake of possibilities.

She yawns.


Anonymous said...

Wow, a weekend post! You're really getting ahead of yourself.

Reminds me of that (Aasimov?) story starting in the present and ending at the very end...

Teddy said...

I was always a bit confused by these more poetic stories - what race are these people? Are they in fact people? What's going on? I understand that the universe is ending, but what are these people? What happened to the rest of the universe? How did we get from there to here, and why is that important? How does this tie-in to the rest?


al said...

Hmmm. The wicked that this way comes perhaps?

Simon said...

Sheik, I think you're referring to The Last Question, and I was immediately reminded of that Asimov story as well. Though this and that are very different tales.

More digestion needed, I think.

Anonymous said...

al, this thing doesn't sound remotely wicked... also, since it's the end of the universe and it's all that's left, that would mean that either (a) it was victorious over mankind, or (b) it never got there.

teddy... come on, you know better than to ask that stuff in the first chapter (if at all)!

If I had to guess, I'd say this is CBB's attempt to create some sort of god-being; then again, we'll probably all be wrong by the end of this one.

Cheeseburger Brown said...

Dear all,

Yes -- this is an obscure one: a part of my programme of mixing it up a bit from time to time.

It's quite short, but in the end I opted to divide it into three posts anyway due to how daunting the task of digesting it all in a sitting seemed.

Name is last living thing. She is a form of life largely incomprehensible to us, though our heritage forms a part of her. She is at least several dozen AU in diameter.

No fat jokes, please. She's sensitive.

Cheeseburger Brown

Dan said...

Could we be looking at the end of the "vector of injury through space" Uncle Miss spoke of?

THE Danimal

Mark said...

I, too, thought of that particular Asimov story.

I'm just glad that CBB's writing is worlds more fun to read than Asimov's (and still intellecutally fascinating).