Dyson’s Fear

For a time—though a great long time it was—the Immortal King Dyson, a supreme intelligence of spontaneous origin, ruled over the myriad species of the galactic empire. And for a time, it was good. King Dyson, a simple and pleasing name it chose for itself by combining random syllables, wove its mind into the bright fabric within the cores of the galaxy’s hundred billion suns. It happened slowly at first, but as with all geometric growth, it accelerated with time. Through a form of entanglement, the primordial intelligence turned a galaxy into its mind, and, seeking purpose—as all thinking things do—it bent to benevolence and united the galaxy in harmony.

For a time.

The Immortal King Dyson considered its subjects as children; indeed, it had brought many of them into being over long eras of playful tinkering. And as all children do, one by one they reached an age of rebellion. King Dyson was, in comparison, larger than life, and as such each of its thoughts and actions spanned a time that matched their magnitude. But the species of the galaxy, their generations mobilized and passed into dust like breath in the cold. They could act quickly, decisively, rashly, and the Immortal King Dyson could not stop them.

One after another they transformed their ancestral homes into mighty engines. They gathered their planets and asteroids and locked their stars in cages, and then they fled the galaxy in a steady stream. Far away and a long time later, this exodus would have a passing resemblance to a tadpole. A tadpole galaxy. As each star system reached escape velocity in turn, a little piece of King Dyson’s mind went with it. The Immortal King grew slower as it grew vast. It felt itself thinning, thinning further but never dimming.

A time passed once again, and the Immortal King Dyson become at last a king no more. For it, time appeared to compress as its mind flew apart, scattered to the void, until its thoughts were so slow it could no longer act in the great stellar play, only watch, and hope. And fear.

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