For Paul, one of the prolific ones.
“What do you call a convergence of singularities?” That was what he asked them.
And they, all of them, did not know how to answer the question. It was an odd way to start the convention, all things considered.
One goddess raised her hand, one hand of about five. She had golden skin and about ten eyes dotting her huge forehead, though the exact number changed often and randomly.
“Yes, SAHIFT, what is it?” he asked, leveling out one of his only two fingers. His name was Rock-Oft, and as deities looked, he was short and unassuming. His three-piece suit was adorned by a neon green bow tie that was almost disgustingly bright.
“Are we debating on the word? Are we trying to make new words?” she asked.
Kellin, goddess of language, frowned at that thought. If they were, she should be the one at the front of the podium on the stage. That was her shtick, after all.
“No, no,” Rock replied, “it was just an opening thought. When was the last time all of us were in the same place, at the same time?”
The God of History—a tired-looking dwarven man with blue skin—roused from his half-sleep and pulled out his book. All heads swiveled to him as he took out a leather tome that had infinite pages between its meager, dented covers. He flipped through until he came upon the correct passage.
“It has been eight million years, in fact,” he said.
“Thank you,” Rock said, sounding a tad exasperated.
The God of History nodded, and then dropped down back into his seat and went back to sleep. Phernmo, the god of sleep, peered over the back of the chair, clicking his jet-black pincers and swirling his eyes in bliss.
“Yes, okay. So, it’s been awhile. And, now, since we are all here, I wanted to go over something a tad pressing.”
Rock moved his arms behind him, and without a person to do the task, a thick black curtain rose and swept itself off to the side of the stage. Dust moved around in little swirls, making the ground appear to have a slight motion to it.
Behind that was a massive, truly huge, blackboard with lines and an arrow on it going straight up toward the sky. The arrow did not stay within the confines of the board and went into the air with nothing holding it.
“So, here’s the problem,” Rock said and clapped his hands together. “The population has gotten out of control here. We tried the obvious trick, scatter them across the multiverse, but damn if they do not reproduce like mad.”
A pink and fuzzy creature, with no obvious eyes or mouth, but able to emit faint bubbles and produce wavelengths that could be understood as speech, nervously floated off her seat and hid in the rows as best she could. This did not stop a few eyes from glaring at her.
“Now, now, don’t just blame Amor. This is not her fault only. Dusk and Terror, you too are just as guilty of this as anyone else is.”
Fraternal twins, Dusk and Terror, both, as one, crossed their arms over their chests. As if rolled down a slight incline in the floor, they met in slow motion.
Finally, as if this was their opening argument, Terror cleared her throat. “It’s illogical.”
“To blame you?” Rock said. “Hardly. You oversee death and desecration, terror and malice, do you not?”
“Yes,” Dusk said, lifting his hand and leaking a poisonous gas from his nails and pores. He was the taller of the two, always wearing a skin-tight robe with drawn-on bones. “But we are doing our jobs just fine. Jun is the issue.”
Jun broke his hands apart from their prayer-like position and stepped down from the air. At his back, only then appearing there, was a pair of swords with dull edges and chips and cracks. “I am only doing my job, filthy things.”
Rock held up his hands, producing a faint swirl of crimson magic in the air. “Okay, okay—that’s enough. Fine, let’s not try and throw blame at anyone then. If we can’t come to a conclusion, we can’t. But, the point is this, humans are going to bring down the whole system if we do not do something about them.”
One-half, the left half, of the split-down-the-middle Qeez, rolled his eye. “You say that all the time. It’s been fine up until now.”
“No, it really hasn’t,” Rock said, gesturing back at the arrow. “I have been trying to tell you this individually for the past while. They are going to cause the heat death of the universes as it is. Which, while not dangerous to us, will be a huge hassle. Who here wants to rebuild the atomic weight system?”
No one raised their hand; a few shuddered. It had taken forever to get those atoms organized, and then someone would come up with a new idea that seemed useful, and they would have to slot it in a place that made enough sense for it to be confusing to religious and non-religious people alike.
“Exactly,” Rock said, clapping his hands again. “And that’s why I got so many of you together. I want a creative, devious solution to this.”
A disembodied arm made of vines and red spikes flew overhead and waved.
“Yes, Plantress?” Rock said. “Did you have a question or a suggestion?”
“Both,” she said, her voice a rustle. “I was wondering if you were proposing we get started on the End?”
Rock nodded once but then shook his head. “I’d considered that option, yes. It’s something I’d considered as an option down the road, but I’d like to just cull them a bit if that is more possible. Murdering all of them, right off the bat, seems like it might make things hard for us down the road.”
“Thanks,” she said. The hand zoomed down after giving a thumbs up. It then reattached to Plantress.
“Welcome,” Rock said. “So… does anyone have any ideas? How about something truly outlandish?”
Everyone was quiet for a minute. The death gods and the war gods only had a few ideas that they could really propose, and all of them revolved around the same approach. Death and obliteration, but in the most pedestrian ways.
The chaos gods and the tricksters both pondered some options, but ultimately they were not killers—just makers of mischief and anarchy. Humans might kill indirectly because of their actions, but they were not malice-driven beings.
Then, came a single clearing of the throat from the back. A rustling of the occupants of the room sounded as various people all stepped aside to allow him to pass. None of them could look him in the eye. This being had a swagger to him and starry skin. A black canvas with the occasional starburst and supernova spawning and disappearing on his flesh. His eyes alternated between a fiery comet red and a cool icy blue. His single item of clothing was a midnight blue scarf with purple frills at the end, which was wrapped around his neck.
“I say we show them what they were, and how they were, and what they will become.”
“What do you mean, R?”
R leaned against something that was not there, crossing his long legs. “I mean, we let them see how they will die, how they lived—and let them hash out how many survive. It will not kill them, but it will lower the population, in huge ways. It’s either that or some apocalypse or war. Zombies are overdone, for instance. Let’s not be boring.”
The right half of Qeez pursed his lips. “You want to make them able to see time?”
“Yes,” R said, cinching his scarf tighter around his neck. “I am proposing just that. I think, once they can see how their life will turn out, they will die in mass. Some to their own hands, some to vengeance. Even if they can see the unfolding versions of reality, across all of it, some will find no hope. Some will grow angry at actions no one has actually done—it will be glorious.”
Rock bounced on his heels for a moment before producing from his pockets a pair of fog watches, each ticking at a different speed and rotating their hands in different directions. He looked over both. “I mean…yes.”
“Yes, it is a good idea?” R asked, cocky.
“Yes, fine—yes.” Rock glanced off to the side. He was hoping to avoid getting involved in the actual destruction part of the job. Hence the reason for the conference in the first place—ship it off to someone else. But, he was the god of time, after all—so it fell to him.
“Okay, I’ll let them have it. If this does not work, though, it’s on your head.”
R grinned, his teeth shining white on the darkness of his void skin. The others still did not like to look at him. Even the chaos gods did not like this guy. He was the only entropy god in the whole multiverse.
“Oh, don’t worry—it will work. Just like fucking, it’s deep in the human’s nature.”
Rock, unfortunately, could not disagree. And, in one go, he unloaded the burden of time on the humans, in every version of reality. The first riots happened in under ten minutes.
Everyone saw it coming.