He walked with a purpose. His desire would be waiting when he reached his destination. For years, he had searched for the thing he had heard so much about. It was an object that both thrilled and terrified him at the same time. Sometimes at night he would wake, his heart pounding so hard in his chest that he thought his ribs would break. His desire calling out for him. He knew he was close. Through the years whenever he had been close he could feel the power of it pulling him. Now, that power was so strong it felt as though it were pulling the very flesh from his body.
He continued to walk on toward his goal. The darkness that surrounded him, followed him was his only companion. It had been with him since he began his quest and would remain until he obtained his desire. The road was uneven causing his steps to be unsteady. He listened in the darkness as he walked, aware of every movement, his, and that of others. Oh, yes there were others. Others who wished to stop him from obtaining that which belonged to him. Many of these others he had taken care of during his quest, and they would never bother him again. Many more waited in the darkness, hoping to ambush him and prevent him from ever reaching his destination.
The first time he had encountered one of these other beings had been nearly fifteen years ago. He had just started his quest for the object that would grant to him the power to create worlds. He had heard a rumor while visiting a remote village in the jungles of South America, of an object that had the power to create worlds beyond this one. Worlds in which the person in control of this object would be god. The villager who had given him this information had said that the object was called many things in many languages, but that it’s true name could not be pronounced. The villager then took him to a cave where the man smiled at him through broken teeth, and pulled back a large tapestry on the cave wall to reveal what appeared to be a window. Through this window, he saw the most amazing thing, another world. This world existed both inside and outside our own. Upon seeing this, he knew he had to have the object that would give him such power.
He began his search immediately, giving up his family, his home, and his life in order to be a god. He followed the object for several months as it moved around the globe. It never stayed in any one place for very long. He discovered the reason for this was that the others the ones he has come to call the “Unknowns” were also in search of his precious prize. An object he began to call “The Universal.“
His first encounter with an Unknown had been just four months after the beginning of his quest. These creatures are in no sense human. They come from other worlds created by those who have in the past been in possession of the Universal. These creatures wish to obtain the Universal in order to change worlds that already exist. But the Universal is his and he will not allow anything to come between him and it.
He had been very close on this occasion, within ten miles when an Unknown leapt out at him from the darkness. The creature had a row of eyes that completely circled the top of it’s head like a head band. It’s hands were not hands but two very large mouths with three rows of very sharp pointed teeth. It was only about four feet tall and had skin like that of an eel. When it appeared before him out of the darkness, he stepped back several feet. It's many eyes were taking in everything around it in all directions. He had been prepared for this however, because he had spent much time researching the Universal and had been told to expect “complications” such as these.
As the Unknown drew near to him, he pulled from his jacket pocket a small object that looked a lot like a marble. As he did this, he yelled at the Unknown, “It is mine and you will not stop me from having it.” The Unknown seemed to reply in a language he did not understand. He pressed the object between his forefinger and thumb and then released it. It did not fall to the ground however; it sped through the air toward the Unknown. It entered through the mouth that was where the right hand should have been and the Unknown stopped and began to vibrate. About ten seconds after the vibration began the Unknown collapsed to the ground an empty skin. Through the years he has had many encounters with the Unknowns, he is not certain what worlds they come from, he only knows that each one has had a different appearance, he has never seen two that are alike.
He continued to walk, each step drawing him closer to the Universal. The villager had told him that there were no instructions for activating or using the object. Once the object was in the hands of the user it read the person’s heart and created the world from what it found there. As he walked, he wondered what his world would be like.
He was now passing through a small town. The town appeared to be completely closed down for the night. A stoplight blinked in the center of the road. As he approached the light he felt a tingling sensation that began in his right hand, progressed up his arm, moved across his chest, and then down his left arm into his left hand. The sensation was so strong he stopped in the middle of the street. He looked at his hands they didn’t appear any different, but he knew that the sensation had been caused by the Universal. He was now within a mile of it.
He began to walk more rapidly; soon he found he was running. He knew that the journey he had began all those years ago would be ending in minutes. Not days, not hours, but minutes. He was outside the town now. Off to the left he saw an abandoned house a faint blue light glowed inside. He stopped, his heart was pounding not only because he had been running, but also because he knew what he desired more than anything was just inside that house, casting that pale blue glow.
He looked around, he had to be careful now, should an Unknown show up, the Universal would flee again and he would be forced to continue the search. This was the closest he had ever came. Slowly he walked toward the house, aware of everything around him. He kept his eyes on the pale blue light that seemed to glow brighter with each step he took nearer to it. He listened for sounds; sounds of Unknowns, there were none.
He reached the steps of the house and walked up them to the front porch. He paused a moment of ecstasy filled his heart. He pictured the world he would be god of in his mind. His world would have clear blue skies and oceans. There would be bright green trees and grass. And beautiful people everywhere. Unable to wait any longer he opened the door and stepped inside.
He walked across the foyer to the doorway on the left. The Universal was in this room. He could see the blue light pulsing faster as he neared the room. Then he stepped inside.
The room was bathed in the blue light. In the center of the floor was the object he had given up everything for. It glowed brightly as if beckoning him to come forward and take it in his hands. He looked at it; it didn’t appear to have any substance or form. He wasn’t sure what he had expected it to look like, maybe a wand or globe, but it was none of these. It was everything and nothing all at the same time.
He felt a sudden rush of fear, fear so deep it clouded his soul. He shrugged it off convincing himself it was just the excitement of attaining his dream at last. He walked toward the object and reached out his right hand to pick it up; before he could, it flashed and was instantly in his hand. Placing his other hand against it, he pulled it near his chest as if embracing it. He watched as the colors changed with the beating of his heart. Then the Universal flashed a bright orange and began to be absorbed into his chest. He let out a loud scream and tried to pull it away. The harder he tried to free himself the faster it was absorbed into him. He was filled with light, light that streamed from every pore in his body poured into the dark room. The Universal filled his chest he stood paralyzed by it's power as he fell to the floor the house grew dark.
When he woke, he was on a large soft bed. He looked around the room, it was as large as the four-bedroom house he had once shared with his wife and kids. He got out of the bed and walked to the window to look upon the world of which he was now god. As he walked to the window he looked around for the Universal but it was now gone. He really didn’t care he now had everything he had wanted for so long.
He opened the window and looked outside; fear and shock filled his mind. The sky was bright orange; there was no grass or trees the ground was covered with bright red sand. Black water thick as mud flowed through a river that stretched across the landscape. He looked down at his feet, feet which now were large claws. He held his hands before his face and saw they too had become large claws with only three (for lack of a better) word fingers.
He turned from the window and scanned the room on the far wall was a mirror. He walked toward the mirror as fear gripped his heart. Afraid of what he would see, he stepped before the mirror and released an agonizing groan. What he saw was hideous, his head was no longer recognizable. It had become a horrible looking worm-like thing. It was moist with some type of thick yellow fluid. His eyes were on stalks that resembled insect antennae and completely surrounded his face. There was no nose and his mouth contained three tongues that had spike like protrusions on them.
Next to the mirror was a large tapestry the seemed to depict this world. It showed him seated on a large throne with thousands of creatures like him on their knees before him. He pushed the tapestry aside and saw the world he had left. The world where he had been born. He reached out to touch the image and his hand passed through it. He decided he would return to that world and recover the Universal it was his only hope.
He walked with a purpose. His desire would be waiting when he reached his destination. For years, he had searched for the thing he had heard so much about. It was an object that both thrilled and terrified him at the same time. His desire calling out for him. He knew he was close.
He continued to walk on toward his goal. The darkness that surrounded him, followed him was his only companion. It had been with him since he began his quest and would remain until he obtained his desire. He listened in the darkness as he walked, aware of every movement, his, and that of others. Oh, yes there were others. Many who wished to stop him from obtaining that which belonged to him. Many of these others waited in the darkness, hoping to ambush him and prevent him from ever reaching his destination.
He called these others the “Barriers”; they were also in search of the object he had searched for, for so long. An object he had come to call “The Immortal”.
He heard a noise off to his right, when he looked he saw that there was a Barrier standing there. It had a worm-like head that was covered in a thick, moist, yellow liquid. The eyes were on stalks that surrounded what would be it’s face. The eyes seemed to look around in all directions. It’s large hands had three fingers that were equipped with three inch claws. As the Barrier approached him it opened it’s mouth revealing three tongues covered with spikes.
He reached into his pocket and pulled out an object that was like a large marble.
One of the Barrier’s eyes fell upon the object. The Barrier made a noise as if trying to speak. It then watched as he squeezed the object between his thumb and forefinger. He released the object and it sped toward the Barrier.
As the object flew toward him the Barrier was thinking, “Please, if you only knew. You don’t know, you just don’t know.”