Flash Fiction: I, King of Shards


In my place of work, I labor on a project. On this day, I create a new race, raising them to sapience from common grubs found on a world in a dying galaxy.

Tendrils of living hyperplasm deftly flick toggles on a console of light, as displays of the species’s genetic material show its multi-helix structure, highlighting likely points of change and suggesting options.

Yes. I think I’ll tweak the code just a bit for the adult form, influencing the development of neural ganglia toward formation of two complete brains—one at each end of the body. The larval stage comes first, of course, but most of the design work goes into the thinking stage—that of the adults.

I glance in six-dimensional clarity at the sample vials and quickly assembled habitats for the larval form. They are simple forms, really, living in small mounds of a peat found only on their world. A grub emerges from its burrow, looking warily about, then focusing on me before contracting and quickly retreating into the soil.

I am the King of Shards, a hyperdimensional being with a penchant for making things. Never mind how I got my name, as even I remember not. But this race, this new order of beings, I create as the servants of myself, and of the other eight of our little clique, the Nine who are One. It is a race that will shake the universe, in this, our Grand Civilization.

I look at the virtual console. I think I’ll make them bigger, much bigger in the adult stage. The larval form is simply too small for the kind of brain mass and architecture I have in mind. I flick the appropriate genetic switches. This, I say, is how to take evolution into one’s own hands. I then actuate the change made in all the sample grubs.

I step back as if it were possible for one such as myself to take steps without feet, and look at the habitats. More grubs are emerging to the surface, all of them with the new genetics, all gathering for the final stage. They squirm and writhe about as they pile onto each other by the thousands. I step back again, observing my handiwork. Each of the grubs loses cohesion as the squirming mass undergoes biological fusion, a form of metamorphosis into a single organism. Other habitats in my workspace show the same thing. I shall have several adults to teach.

Glorious.

Random aggregations of larvae form distinct body-portions; sensory limbs; limbs for speech; and limbs for movement. Displays track the development of the brains in each of the new beings. Coming along nicely.

After only minutes, metamorphosis complete.

Their brains are fully developed, but empty of knowledge. They struggle to stand upright on their limbs. They make sounds without words, confused by what their new senses are telling them. I upload the very fundaments of their learning into their minds. The rest they must learn through personal instruction.

“Mas-ter…” One of them pipes and slurps as it directs its nine sensory limbs at me. I smile, the only way one of my status can smile, as my handiwork slowly rises to its nine feet, emerging from the habitat where its larval stage lived. Others like it crawl from their habitats and circle about me in obeisance. “Fa-ther…Mo-ther…” they say in unison, bowing low before their creator. Before me.

I look around at them, this time from the perspective of only five dimensions, as I direct my hyperspatial thought-streams toward them and say…

“Listen my children, for you are the dawn of a new species. I have created you, and henceforth you shall be known as the Suthidruu. Listen, and heed all that I tell you…”

I say that, only now noticing in some of them just the slightest twinge of fervor, of worshipfulness, perhaps of madness, and for the life of me can’t escape the thought of a flaw in my new creations.

And it makes me a little uneasy.

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