When I first entered the mainframe, it wasn’t like a flash nor was it a gradual seeping through the cracks. It was painful. Going from one end of my body to the other, there was a never-ending crackle in my nerves, and for a moment, my heart stopped beating. My blood stopped flowing. And my brain stopped thinking.
I don’t remember what I saw.
My colleagues say I wouldn’t shut up about another existence, about the real big bang—assuming the one we know wasn’t actually real—and even though I didn’t have a single scrape of when, or where, I went, there was still hope.
Periodically, when I wasn’t actively trying to remember, bits and pieces would rush back like lightning. I would experience the sensation again. My body would freeze at my desk, and whenever anyone tried to touch me, static electricity would burn their fingertips. I would jolt back to realty as if nothing happened. The middle of a sentence, during a bite, even a breath, I would freeze in time itself.
So we tried again.
I was in shock. The chair was ice. The portal a monster’s jaw.
I was afraid. More than the first time, but I couldn’t speak up.
Nothing came out.
And when they flipped the switch to send me forward, this time, I remembered.
Shapes, figures, colors, constant junctions and flowing tunnels in the fabric of reality—I couldn’t keep up, but I could report something.
The numbers. Existence itself was a puzzle with each individual piece a set of numbers that descended into perfect place. No errors, no real purpose, just for the sake of…it.
Flat planes that shifted and became jagged like mountains. A world of thick bubbles within the first that was neither small nor within. Coils of matter turned inward and out upon itself and pictures of light contorted into our world, our existence–
Until I was back.
I was silent. And the only idea, the only piece that seemed to surface further than any other damn chunk in the entire universe….
A white hand closed, packed matter into one tiny point, and the universe exploded.
The numbers, the big bang, the equation—that was it.
That’s who I was.
Numbers. A vague concept brought to…
What? Humanity? Existence? Sight?
Blackness, then my colleagues. And even they were made of numbers. Ones that made sense even when I couldn’t fully comprehend the sets within their frames.
Nothing was the same after that. Quantum tunneling became my transportation. Ageless wonder became my comfort. And time itself within the universe was…for me.
I was the equation. The world was my canvass, and people were my numbers to play with as I saw fit.