Fluke

Far away, in a galaxy which we have not yet catalogued, in a time we could call the present—though to do so would be at the midpoint of a span terminating at impractical at one end and meaningless at the other—there is a planet that we shall call Fluke.

On planet Fluke, there are things we would recognize as alive: the Fluke Bat, and the Fluke Tree, as prominent examples. Though, careful observation would reveal that these are but one creature. The tree grows as might a peach tree, or a plum tree. But from within the pit of this tree’s fruit emerges a winged animal which flies freely over Fluke’s continents and oceans. These animals mate with each other to make fertilized eggs which they bury in the ground to keep hidden from hungry predators. These eggs, of course, become, seasons later, trees.

But there is another creature on Fluke whom we would not only agree is alive, but also intelligent. Conscious. We shall call it the Monofold.

The building blocks of life can manifest, at times, emergent properties: mutation, reproduction, and senescence among them. But the Monofold exhibits none of these, and it is this creature for which the planet is named. This creature, unique among all creatures across the gulfs and rifts of space unknown, is the product of random assembly, born fully formed precisely one time without mechanisms for aging, evolving, or imperfect cellular division. This one creature will live eternal and alone, a solitary ambassador to the heat death of the universe.

Impossible, some will claim. Too unlikely. But this is the inevitable outcome and ultimate goal of all natural systems. The tyranny of statistics set free by the incomprehensibility and magnitude of absolute numbers. With enough galactic superclusters, with enough stars, with enough planets, with enough time, there will always be a Fluke.

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