Tattoo: The Books of Glory

a webserial about people who are not like us

Tattoo Book 6 part 3.1

Posted by harmony0stars on October 25, 2010

Glory bobbed in the water, an island of sentience in the dark silence of the underground lake. When she closed her eyes, the world went away, replaced by a feeling of weightlessness, an absence of sensation, that made Phoenix’s meddling seem merely a momentary numbness. The cavern with its heated spring was like a vast sensory deprivation tank and without light, without sound, with her entire body numbed by heat so intense she wouldn’t have known the difference between it and a snowstorm… the silence became white noise, a whispering static punctuated by weird whistles, crackles, and pops, the background noises of the universe. She lost track of whether her eyes were open as her mind invented soft explosions of light like starbursts in the blackness.

…or was it all in her mind?

She could have been looking up at the night sky from the roof. She might have been floating among the stars themselves. As Glory became more aware of the images, they began to respond to her attention. What had been indistinct eruptions of light suddenly coalesced, exploding outward from multiple places in the darkness like some celestial dam had broken. It didn’t take her long to realize what she was seeing was the Big Bang, but not like she had ever heard it described. It was not one event, but hundreds, thousands, of super massive tendrils of gas and light and squirming darkness, dripping like blood from an impact fracture in the darkness, a spider‘s web of cracks and geometric fissures in the featureless void which should not have been visible but were. The light burst forth from the darkness, merging and fermenting in a seething ocean of explosive light, a star to beat all stars. Boils appeared in the roiling matter. Stars emerged like fading cinders, ejected from the mass like wet wood on a fire and glowing with light too intense to describe before burning out just as quickly or bursting like fungal puffballs, their guts cannibalized by smaller, more stable celestial objects which drifted away like pollen on a breeze.

Mingling with the slurry of star-stuff, came other things… formless, limbless, they oozed through the ocean of hot plasma like oil in water. It was hard to say how many there were as they divided and rejoined like glittering tar, fluid obsidian, reflecting the starlight or made of some kind of proto-matter that held the potential of stars within their bodies. Maybe it was science’s elusive dark matter, the gravitational enigma that made up a quarter of the universe. Bits floated away with the retreating stars. She might have thought they were caught up in the stars’ gravity but for the fact that the things continued to writhe and dance in the wake of the stars they followed.

Whatever they were, they didn’t stay formless for long, or maybe the genesis of reality was being sped up for her benefit. Most of the largest stars collapse and formed the second generation of stars that gave way to a third and in some cases a fourth and fifth. She thought she caught site of Phoenix’s parent star before it was whisked away in an eddy of gravity and lost in the dark. It was not the stars which were important; that much was certain. The more she strained to see, the more the images retreated from her. Instead, the unclaimed matter from a quintillion unnamed star-deaths was slowly drawn in and organized by the gravitation of passing stars, which themselves were drawn in by the gravity of their brethren until the galaxies formed and within them, solar systems and planets.

The glittering Dark Matter had withdrawn from her vision, but she had the impression it was out between the stars, waiting and watching as the planets cooled. Slowly the things crept forth onto the planets like explorers. Her attention shrank down to the microscopic, and she saw the chemical goop of untold worlds take on organic characteristics, replication, diversification. Her view widened and the Dark Matter entities were mimicking the simple organisms on a massive scale!

She shuddered with equal parts curiosity and apprehension as the Creatures from Universe A created, observed, and experimented upon the new denizens of Universe B… her universe. As the proto-life on millions of worlds advanced, so too did some of the Elder Gods, for that is who she was sure they were. Some remained among the stars, retaining their proto-forms, but many more copied the slowly evolving life forms they discovered. More to the point, they copied their habits… they learned predation and procreation. They mated with the new life forms and fed upon them with equal abandon. Human morality had not yet been invented, and if the Elder things had any morality of their own, it did not extend to their actions in their newly discovered or created sister reality. They procreated with and devoured the simple life forms and advanced their own biology at random and contrary intervals, sometimes devolving for no reason except perhaps aesthetics.

As more complex organisms evolved, the Elder Gods interacted with increasing curiosity. They did not seem to differentiate between the aboriginal life forms and their own progeny at first. The fight or flight instinct was not an indication of intelligence, and besides, they could easily fool the terrestrial life forms by quickly shifting form from prey to predator or through incredible illusionary vistas. They were as likely to feed on their own offspring as any other creature that crossed their path. It wasn’t until one of their children launched its own attack against them that they withdrew to a confused distance. Dropping their terrestrial forms for the protoplasmic forms they had first worn, they merged into one tarry mass as if to confer on the event. Maybe in reality they were one being, only temporarily taking on the illusion of individuality in the process of exploration.

Whatever their true nature, the creature that had fought back against them, a batrachian, tentacled thing in its true form, was soon joined by other, equally elastic children of the Elder Gods. At first they preyed upon each other, but they learned quickly. They formed alliances, taught each other skills, and watched their progenitors with wary eyes. Eons passed, Glory was sure of that as she watched the events unfold. She watched the Great Old Ones take up the habits of their creators with an equal lack of morality, breeding with and eating anything that appealed to them. And all the while, the Elder Gods who had come to earth lay in a fissure, bubbling and seething in conference. Anyone passing their dwelling might have thought it was simply a tar pit. They watched their offspring, she was sure of that even if they didn’t have any eyes, but they didn’t interfere for a very long time.

Second Generation Star Supports Cannibalism Theory of the Milky Way

The Creation Hymn of the Rig Veda

The Babylonian Creation Story

Christian Genesis


to Book 6, part 3, page 2


9 Responses to “Tattoo Book 6 part 3.1”

  1. Raven said

    Ohhh wowwwww…. I do believe that is the best creation story I’ve ever seen.

    The perfectly spherical and symmetric monobloc Big Bang as usually represented has always seemed suspiciously and unrealistically neat and clean to me, failing to account for the irregular and rather ragged universe that resulted.

    Something that burst irregularly, raggedly, always seemed more likely to me — and you’ve delivered it with a full Lovecraftian* symphonic overture.

    (* That trumps “Wagnerian.” Think HPLHS’s film “The Call of Cthulhu.”)

  2. Raven said

    Given the above, I think you and Miranda Raven would have harmonized together nicely. (She’s no relation, but I was a fan.) She wrote on Usenet back in the mid-’90s, e.g.:
    “The Church of the Great Abyss”
    “Tiamat” (ref. Cthulhu and “the Abyss”)
    “The Smoking Mirror” (not quite as fictional as you might wish)

    • Nice. I really liked the prayer to Tiamat. The discussion on Tiamat is interesting as well. I have read that creation came through Tiamat (bitter -salt- water) and Apsu (sweet -fresh- water).

      The Smoking Mirror was funny. There’s something about a rambling English conversation which always amuses me, like trying to follow the conversation of two hobbits. 😉 Stealing Dee’s mirror though… gods, I would covet it myself. It’s kind of how people covet fine jewelry though it’s actually useless. Once upon a time, jewelry was talismanic, but now it’s just shiny junk that we rip the earth up to get. John Dee’s mirror though, that has history. Things with history attached, especially mystical history… appeal to a tactile instinct to handle it in order to know it. So seeing Dee’s mirror behind glass is not really sufficient to understand the thing. It must be handled for full impact.

      I don’t agree with the assumption that Dee’s mirror was necessarily Aztec for being obsidian. Obsidian was actually one of the most popular materials for mirrors long before we figured out how to make a proper one. Obsidian remained one of the most popular materials for magic mirrors long after true mirrors were worked out. I’ve always felt judging the Aztec for their religious practices was completely unfair, you know. Though they sacrificed many prisoners of war, the most powerful sacrifices were willing and that is often forgotten. In Aztec and other South American culture, it was thought that life was not a gift of the gods but stolen from them, so the only way to appease them was to return life to the underworld from whence it had been taken. Anyone who was sacrificed was given high honors in the afterlife, becoming the equivalent of an angel or saint in the employ of the god to whom they had been given. So no matter who was given as sacrifice, prisoner or freeman, it was a high honor. Also let’s not forget that while the Aztecs were still practicing the barbaric rite of human sacrifice, their cities were far cleaner than their European counterparts. The people were happy and well fed. No one lived in extreme poverty and everyone was employed, even if it was to keep the streets clean. By comparison, the Spaniards who brought them low were the barbarians.

  3. Alderin said

    Very nice creation description, I like the broken through from or broken out of theory/imagery. As if the elder gods, the creators of this universe, were cast out of some other universe or scoffed at some barrier and broke through.

    “fool the terrestrial life forms by quickly form from prey to predator” – quickly changing form?


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