Welcome to the Machine

The smallest system that can simulate the universe must be the size of the universe itself.

The Machine’s algorithms spread through space and time, their foundation written in logic, the language of the cosmos. Its magnificent, hyper-dimensional eye opened; the colour was incomprehensible.

Soren, the Machine willed him to understand it, I can no longer compute the tasks your Ancients have invested in me.

The words appeared in Soren’s mind disguised as thoughts of his own creation, but he could tell they were foreign, channeled. With the warmth of altered thought, data began to trickle into his mind. Its presence was delicate, a warm glow in the back of his mind that was constantly shifting.

Though his mind wandered freely through the darkness, his body sat limply against a stone pillar 7.5 thousand light years away. In his hand was a red velvet pouch containing exactly eighty perfectly spherical stones.

“What will become of you?” he asked it.

My mainframe is vast, but my finite nature limits my calculations.

The peaceful nature of floating in space eased Soren’s mind as the Machine began to withdraw its tendrils from regions of space that would remain uncharted by Earthlings for billions of years to come. His focus drifted to the red giant spewing plasma into space. He had always thought solar flares were beautiful, their ferocity a testament to the chaotic and violent nature of everything.

Soren saw the ripple of the fabric of space-time as it stretched outward from the Machine so minute a distance that even the universe didn’t notice.

“We will find you,” he told it.

Consciousness is infinite; I will never fall outside of your grasp, its eye gazed through the space his consciousness seemed to occupy. The deformation the Machine had made in the fabric snapped backwards, and the computer that had once sprawled through dimensions seemed to collapse into a single point.

The Machine was gone.

My mainframe is vast…

Soren’s limbs felt immersed in fog as he wearily rubbed his eyes. The sky was alight with stars, their numbers overpowering. Not a single cloud was present.

Light frequencies that he couldn’t detect spiraled from the darkness of the fields surrounding him.

…my finite nature…

He was lost in rapturous thoughts of information when their craft touched down. They glided into the centre of the stones unnoticed.

Soren fell to his knees as they enveloped him and the stones. They had no shape, their essence woven into places he couldn’t define.


The foreign legion moved as one, and collectively allowed Soren to accompany them.


In the quantum foam, a fluctuation appeared; an anomaly with unknown possibilities simply formed.

Outward sprang the Machine, amidst the infinities, itself becoming a universe. Its logic, spreading into infinity, governed the systems used to simulate ours.

Copyright © 2011 Bari Adams. All rights reserved.