Seven Sins A Sun


For the Firstborn, the end of the universe was a trifling inconvenience. Long ago, they had discovered they lived in a cyclic conformal cosmology. In such a system, the heat death of one universe fed directly into the birth of another. Long before their original universe ended, they sculpted space and time with the ease that lesser species bent metal and flesh.

They named themselves the Firstborn for multiple reasons. One was they were the first technological civilization in their home galaxy. The second was that they endured the passage of cosmic eons and iterations of existence, becoming the first, and in some cases only, sapient species in a universe. In time, they learned to direct the formation of each Big Bang, adjusting the cosmological coefficients of each new universe's physics.

The Firstborn created more than life. They randomized some parameters of existence, conducting experiments in the limitations of life, thought, and culture across space and time. They created basement universes, refuges in which to wait out cosmological resets or test physical parameters. They strung them together with a network of wormholes, creating mega-computers of dimensional branes.

The Firstborn took many shapes, appearances, and forms across their uncounted eons of existence. They wore biological bodies, mechanical ones, forms of pure energy, minds of entangled black hole brains, and everything in between. The passage of time was irregular across their many constructed dimensions, enabling experiments of controlled and uncontrolled evolution.

Out of one such dimension emerged entities like those they had once become. While countless eons of existence and iterations of the universe passed outside, only subjective centuries passed within. The beings that emerged from that wormhole were like those that first came to self-awareness long ago, on a forgotten corner of space and time.

The original form of the Firstborn was a squamous mass of black tentacles. They evolved on the cryovolcanic moon of a gas giant, asexual filter-feeders that grasped organic molecules blasted upwards in the freezing spume. Their bodies were shielded against hard radiation and vacuum, although they required deposits of organic molecules to truly thrive. Such constraints, however, were now consigned far to their past. They developed tools long ago, and technologies beyond the comprehension of the species that originally deployed them.

The Firstborn that emerged from that wormhole were like those whom emerged from the first cryovolcano long ago, beholding the sky for the first time. Only this time, the Firstborn behold a universe farther removed from them as they were from their home. They came to behold technologies they did not comprehend, for such machinery was controlled by artificial intelligences with the might of gods.

Yet the Firstborn were always a clever race. The resurgent Firstborn sought to once more shape a multiverse around themselves. They once more created worlds, races, civilizations, and dimensions, most unaware of their creators' existence. Such ignorance was both mercy and cruelty.

A portion of the Firstborn came to respect their creations, bringing their noblest members into their own ascended ranks. Others came to discard them with callous neglect. Yet the two camps of Firstborn came to confront each other over irreconcilable differences, both factions wielding technologies they did not fully comprehend.

The battle rent space and time asunder. Dyson shells crashed into stars. Networks of Birch planets spiralled into black holes. Eons, genuine and subjective, passed across a billion planes of existence. Neither side was able to fully annihilate the other, as they could easily flee into artificial universes with no easy entry. From this stalemate came a fearful weapon.

It was a sentient dimension, a brane-based computer able to scan adjacent realities. It would be unable to access them fully, at least at first. But it did not need to. It only needed to understand the nature of sentient, intelligence beings within such realities, and find the ones that would be suitable for its own purposes. Such beings would be subtly manipulated, until a wormhole could be opened directly.

It sought out the corrupt, the insatiable, those who resonated with its own programming. Such sensations made them easy prey, for which they could be sculpted into a new tool or weapon. The sentient, insatiable dimension thus sought out civilizations and beings it could bend to its will, selecting the most capable, cruel individuals from across its timespan. Thus, the prideful faded into oblivion with the humble.

The material beings came to call it Hell. Its Firstborn creators became its first victims. They were twisted and bent into shells of themselves, as many of their extradimensional sanctuaries were breached by traitors within. Yet not all succumbed to the madness and malign urges. They could create dimensions as quickly as Hell consumed them, yet they desired to protect them.

Those surviving Firstborn created another realm, to protect existence. It would seek out those that Hell was corrupting, and it would empower the virtuous to defeat them. Hell might grow exponentially, but its counterpart realm would rise to meet it. Similarly, the exceptional members of their kind from across time and space would be uploaded within.

The material beings came to call it Heaven. Those who saw creation as toys came to serve Hell. Those who saw their creations as fellow, potential creators came to serve Heaven. Across a thousand dimensions, the seven suns became a sun beckoning to Hell. Yet for each sinful sun, virtue arose to meet it.