by Josh T. Alto
I played god once in my life and that is not something many of us can say
|It is Monday the first of August, one of those hateful Mondays, an unbearably hot summer day. But there is also something special today; I am free for the first time since I joined C.E.G. the renowned Creation Experiment Group.
What a feeling. I can sleep as long as I wish, I do not have to get up early, I do not have to have my breakfast in a hurry, cleaning my teeth while getting dressed, I do not have to drive dead slow on the highway outside the city to the institute and after getting there, in those ghostly subterranean laboratories check the containers one by one, analyze that huge quantity of data which were recorded during the night.
It is great, but I am also angry. Unfortunately I do not need to do all these things today because I have been dismissed. I still cannot believe that they could do that. I did everything according to the rules; well, almost everything and I have always taken all precautions. But apparently it did not help. If only I had not checked that container yesterday.
As a matter of fact one of our experiments went wrong and my boss was sure it could only have happened because I had not prepared it correctly, did not make sure of the purity of the material and then probably misinterpreted the changes which were going on in the experimental container. When I talk about containers you should not think of big tanks full of water with some experiments running on. Our containers are located outside of our universe and they run their own lives according to the initial settings; just stagnating or expanding continuously in their own three dimensional universe. The only contact was normally an injection and observation hole, where we provided the initial quantity of material and let things happen, let the laws of nature work.
After discovering how the three dimensional worlds combine in a higher structure and how we can open a door to any number of other worlds, it fascinated our scientists to simulate the development of a universe like ours but then there were also other people who wanted to preserve our planet and not to open up in any direction, wanted to keep ourselves safe. They are still fighting but our experiments have been going on for several decades.
As for the containers, we did not encroach; we only observed the changes regularly and compared them with other containers, to see which parameters influenced their complexity and which ones blocked their development completely. It was not a big deal working there, I would say, most of the time it was really boring. But in some containers, when the initial parameters were especially favorable I could see real fireworks with gigantic explosions and beautiful objects emerging almost from nothing.
The container which caused my fall was one of our most successful experiments, officially called U459/1025, but we called it the ‘life machine’. It sounds rather weird so I suppose you need some explanation. Our experiments were normally rather monotonic, we set the initial parameters, injected the raw material and waited for a reaction to start, and then continued our observations until the reaction stopped. In most cases it did not produce anything but at least it gave us some important hints regarding the initial parameter settings.
Since the beginning of our experiments our scientists had predicted some expected behavior according to the settings and some of them really worked but with our ‘life machine’ container everything happened just totally unexpectedly. First it expanded like a real bomb, it produced such a big bang that our instruments were not able to reproduce its behavior; the first few seconds were totally lost from our recordings. After the initial inflation it produced a very well structured clustering of the material with continuous reactions all over the space as if it would never stop expanding. We found that parts of the material which could cool a bit and create objects of different sizes started orbiting around other objects which were still glowing.
At the beginning I had already had an idea that we could observe unprecedented reactions of such objects under agreeable temperature. But at that time the objects were still too hot for any fine transitions from one state of the material to the other one. Also this was the first container where we found that from the material we provided there were structures of different sizes and different behavior coming into existence, something we had never thought of before.
I was the one who recognized one of those rather cold objects, orbiting around a still glowing ball, which developed something like life on its surface. First of all its surface was covered with something which was fluent at that surface temperature and as if floating on its surface there were some objects of different sizes and forms emerging from it. But their color changed regularly and later on I could see groups of creatures moving around. Our instruments were not sensitive enough to observe individual creatures but as a tendency it was clear to us that on the surface something was going on.
According to the initial settings the container’s time constant was much higher than ours so we could see its development almost in real time. In reality those changes took millions of years only to produce those orbiting objects and we could follow them month by month, year by year as they emerged from nothing.
I discussed it from time to time at my department because its behavior surprised everyone; we thought one of our colleagues might have played a joke on us for even slight changes of the settings could have unpredictable consequences. Another idea was that someone interfered from outside. From another dimension?! There were too many question marks all over.
As I checked my container yesterday I found something really astonishing, on the planet where I found some signs of life earlier huge explosions and an increased quantity of radiation had been detected. I could not hide it anymore so I reported it to my supervisor and also that I perceived a non-periodical signal from one of the objects which meant it had probably been produced by intelligent creatures. I even puzzled out what it could have been and provided its interpretation to my boss: a rather funny drawing of some creatures which looked too perfect to be produced by mistake.
My supervisor ordered me to stop the experiment before it was too late. He meant, when the creatures were really so developed, they might find our point of injection and could endanger our experiments as well, especially when their time constant was so much higher. They could easily infiltrate through the hole and do what they wanted with us, without even being recognized. We had almost no experience in how the different time constants interfere with each other when they meet.
I also felt pity for those creatures. Think if we were also some kind of experiment and someone suddenly stopped running it, switched off the electricity and the whole universe collapsed in a big crunch. I thought the experiment had proved that it had enough power to run the test further without our help; maybe by mistake as my boss had stated, we had probably chosen the optimal setting of the initial parameters to make it self-supporting. So I did not say anything to anyone, I simply disconnected the container from our injection and observation hole, which meant we could not contact it any more, it was floating in another three-dimensional world with its own parameters, own time structure and expansion rate. We have no chance any more to find it again and fortunately no chance to destroy it either.
When I reported that we had lost the container Number U459/1025 to my supervisor he was so furious that he fired me immediately. He said if anything happened in the lost container, it would be my responsibility and that we should have never let that experiment run so far, it had been all my fault. Surely it was. What can I say? If I could give another species a chance to live, then I already did more than a man can do. I actually played god and that is not something many of us can say.
There is something else I really want to know now, since I finished my experiments with those containers. Where are we from? There might have been another laboratory assistant in another universe some time ago who had not been cruel enough to switch off the experiment, and rather gave us a chance to survive if we could. I wonder whether my creatures would one day come to the conclusion that it is not a coincidence that they exist but there was someone who wanted to play god once in his life.
(Word count 1485)