[rewritten and reposted]
There I was. I stood there like an idiot, my awareness trapped in the inner world of the hypershard’s sensorium, walled off from the use of my own physical senses and ability to act.
All for a single line of code that in my eagerness to be free, I’d overlooked. It was like the keystone of an arch, and rewriting it would have stopped them from forcing me to kill an entire world. What science I knew from my parents, and especially from my time with the Kai’Siri told me that short of photochemical processes, nothing on the planet would undergo the usual process of decay — even the normal microbial life had been killed, and I was the cause of it all.
All those people. Sure, they stood on average about four meters tall, and were built to support it, but weren’t really that much different from my captors or myself. People. Dead. All dead. The planet reduced to a radioactive ember spinning lifelessly around its star.
Lovely. The ‘shard’s taunting voice was back with a vengeance, and my own thoughts going so fast that it’s hard to tell them apart. True to its word, I suppose.
It goes on for twenty minutes or so, the damaged alien relic in my brain ranting on. I wall myself off from it while the ‘shard receives the orders for departure from the waiting ship I’m stationed on.
Time to think this over. The command signal engages the ‘shard’s flight and life support systems, and I rise skyward to the ship, the shielding I generate protecting me from the radiation of the dead and poisoned world.
I enter the main airlock while any decontamination that may be needed is done. My masters are taking no chances.
Back to working on code when they’re running tests on me, hoping they don’t detect the changes I’ve made to the hypershard’s machine language or the damage the relic’s suffered. I catch a snippet of discussion…
“…Diagnostics are showing something wrong with the subject’s brain. There’s extensive cerebral scarring and anomalous data readings coming from the implant. It’s a bomb waiting to go off in this ship…” “We need to terminate that thing at once before it kills us all! Get me the ‘shard sysops NOW!! Oh, household gods, it’s already waking up!”
Uh oh. They’re on to me. Almost done, and not a moment too soon. There.
[Initiate reset sequence…]
Maybe I can survive this. Time to see what I can do…
I’m looking through my own eyes. Good. I’m awake and aware now, not trapped in that dreamscape. I’m in control of my own body again. Ha!
Technicians and ship security troops rush in as I stand up. Desperate fingers furiously push buttons on now-useless kill-switch handsets. Weapons are leveled at me by trembling hands. I think one of the soldiers just wet himself.
I’m grinning like a madman, and for all I know I may be one. Those present have looks of shock and disbelief on their faces. Good. It means I’ve the upper hand.
I reach out with the energies of the relic in my injured brain, multiple dimensions of spacetime curl and unfold, the altered geometry of the local universe warping physical laws and constants, while I alone remain in a bubble of normalcy.
I cancel the nuclear binding forces of everything in the room but me, a bit too quickly though, and the blast takes out a third of the ship. Strong and Weak forces go bye-bye while I laugh. I’m stoked. This is fun.
What else can I do? I know!
Maintaining a bubble of atmosphere around myself, I shift my awareness to the quantum level, the visual overlay of the hypershard shows me the porousness of the very finest details of spacetime, with virtual particles popping in and out of existence at random. I choose a particular region and tweak it a bit, jiggle it a little, while stabilizing the virtual matter emerging from the flux.
I aim for the top. I’m going to create a universe. Let’s put it inside the ship, now drifting in orbit. Revenge. For what they did to me and the world below.
The infant universe expands rapidly, scribbling over the part of reality containing the ship. I reach out, grabbing the baby universe with my mind, bending its laws to my will. I contain it. Just barely, while beginning a big crunch within its bounds. I’ve chosen a high level of dark matter and a small cosmological constant for this universe, and aging it trillions of years in seconds, accellerating its evolution while it stops growing and begins to collapse.
This. Hurrrts! I silently scream as I hold on. I don’t want it to grow out of control. I rather like the universe I was born in.
I speed things up as the ‘new’ universe, now in its old age, collapses to particle-size, then a singularity, ready to expand again. Elsewhere. Elsewhere? No, not quite. Nowhere and nowhen would be more accurate. It’s now a newly reborn expanding bubble in the multiverse, with a new set of physical laws, existing outside the spacetime I called home.
I think I’ll live there now, where I can be alone and safe.
I’ll be thought too dangerous to live at all in my native universe. Word gets out about these things. The others like me, they don’t have the insight I do, so they’ll probably never fully evolve, not to my level, but they’ll still be fearsome in a fight.
Time passes. Years, then decades, then centuries.
It’s been a long time now. I’ve lost track of how long. *whispers* Oh, yes, thanks, about 323 standard years, and the medical functions of the shard have kept me physically young the whole time.
Inside though, I feel ancient, and oh so tired. Constantly debating with disembodied voices from a malfunctioning alien brain implant will do that. Maybe I should experiment with new coding, perhaps even find a way to fix my brain — but isn’t that kind of like fixing an engine when it’s running?
How’d I get my name? Well, I couldn’t remember my old one. Chalk that one partly to the brain scarring from the botched implant procedure, and partly to the shoddy mindwipe techniques the Kai’Siri used on me.
I heard one of the techs in the room, I think the one who looked at my diagnostic readings, whisper something like fract-, or frag-, or something like that. I sometimes still think in English, so the ‘shard translates what I hear into that.
Hmmm. the Fractus, the shattered god. A god? Well, yes, I created an entire universe from nothing, didn’t I? Okay, I’ll ditch the ‘god’ part. That sounds too immodest even for me, but Fractus it is, Fractus the creator, as broken, fractured inside as I am.
…For I’m Mad and yet Maker of Worlds.