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A Puzzle of Squares

A Story by Zachary Elmblad.

An intentionally arranged series of words for publication by The New Scum Productions.
A serialized story for long-term release and publication by THENEWSCUM.ORG
Do not reproduce this document without the expressed permission of The New Scum Productions.
Copyright 2009 The New Scum Productions.

Square Two: Death.

He wouldn't have called it waking up as readily as he would have called it remembering. It was
as if he had entered his first moment of true existential clarity. He remembered what existential meant.
He remembered words, language, he remembered that he was a person. A mind. His first moment of
retrospect outside the fourth dimension. It happened quickly, lucidly, and without the grogginess of
waking up. His eyes opened abruptly, and the moderately-lit room had no features that shocked him or
drew his attention. Easy, logical lines of chairs along three of the walls, with a space every few for a
coffee table with a smattering of magazines he somehow knew he wouldn't be interested in looking at.
Like a doctor's office without the kid's toys, hand-print wall-paint, and ugly multi-colored floor. It
looked more like a probation office lobby. Like a rehab center.
He was alert, but he didn't exactly know what that meant yet. He remembered things, some
things. He remembered that he was alive, once, but he thought of it in the past tense. He could see it
all in his mind, nothing conclusive or cohesive, but memories ranging from early childhood to his
death. Mundane things, like the alphabet. He could surely remember that. He said it out loud,
remembering how to speak as he said it, his words echoing down the empty lobby and back at him like
he was talking to himself in the third person.

“a...A...b...B...c...C... and so on.” He remembered the whole thing.

He looked around at his surroundings, now slightly confused, at the pale beige chairs and the
cheap-looking coffee tables. He remembered a hundred doctor's offices, the rehab lobbies, the airport
terminals, all the things you'd see in those places seemed to be around him. He always wondered
where people buy that kind of crap. No one would ever put it in their house, unless it had a lobby.
“Lobby Furniture,” it must say in some catalog you can only get if you're “in the loop.” The floor was
linoleum that looked like it came from the fifties. He remembered what linoleum was, what “the
fifties” meant. There was no one else in the room with him, not a breath or a stirred bit of air except
from his lungs and his movements. Art hung from the walls, unrecognizable modern impressionist
flowery crap, but it certainly wouldn't offend anyone. It was there because it was supposed to be there.
People put crappy art on the walls because any art that's good, someone else doesn't like. So if you put
something stupid, like a stuffed bear and three blocks, three colors, three letters – A, B, C – maybe a
wooden top with a -green- spindle. That would be the “crazy artist” bit. Grandmothers could hem and
haw about why he chose to use green, and not one of the colors of the blocks. It was vapid, useless art,
merely a way for some schmuck to pay his way either out of art school, or into a bar while he yearned
over the art he really wanted to make. He remembered what art was. That it wasn't just there for
nothing, it had an intended purpose of being looked at, of being admired- even if mundane. Who
applies for a listing in “Lobby Furniture Digest,” right?
He remembered how there were public places like that all over in his life, where things were
just there because they were supposed to be there. Places where you were not supposed to be
comfortable, just adequately contained, pleased enough to settle your patience while you wait. It was a
place where you never quite knew how long you'd been waiting. Had a minute passed? A second?
There were no clocks on the wall, he didn't know what time it was. How could he know how long he
had been waiting? How he had gotten there? He remembered the last thing he did-

He died.
His life had been lived and ended.
So that's what this was.
This was... the afterlife.
It hadn't ended.

Cut into the only wall not surrounded by chairs, the wall across the room from him, there was a
closed receptionist's window. The kind with the bullet-proof glass and the hole with a metal grille.
Like a gas station on the bad side of town. There was a small opening in the bottom, presumably to
pass forms back and forth, but the window was covered from the other side by a thick, black curtain.
No light seemed to be present on the other side. Next to the closed window was a large, black, heavy
looking door which he could have sworn he heard steps coming from the other side of.
A tone rang out as if coming out of nowhere. He saw no speakers, but recognized the mid-
range crackle of a PA speaker coming to life. He remembered what a PA was. One of those noises
you're trained to point out as a small child, but forget about until you hear it again- in some antiseptic
and authoritarian place. A meekly frigid female voice leaked out of the PA. It was a friendly, official-
sounding voice. She didn't sound familiar as if he knew who she was, she sounded familiar in that she
sounded exactly like a woman announcing through a PA should sound. Like it was an archetypal PA
voice, one that wasn't heard so much as imagined.

“Welcome to intake, the Doctor will see you now”

The door swung open, revealing a man who stood with a hunched wisdom. It was an old man,
one who looked like each wrinkle on his face accompanied a story which never ended. He thought for
a moment that he recognized the man. The man held a clipboard loosely to his chest with the crook of
his left arm, a cup of coffee in his left hand. The man then gestured, noncommittally, with his right
hand. As he gestured, he grinned, which moved a long cigarette in a holder from the front of his mouth
to the corner.

“You are dead.” he said, suddenly, with a voice that was neither caring nor interested.
“Does that surprise you?”

“No, I think that I had kind of planned it that way”

“So you did, and so you are. How much do you remember?”

“Bits and pieces, mostly just stupid things like someone I think was my mother telling me to remember
to wash behind my ears. Picking up a 96-count box of crayons, and having to settle for the 48 because
we “couldn't afford it”

“Naturally. It's the big memories that you have to go back to, that's the deal here.”

“What is this, purgatory?”

“Watch it- that kind of crazy talk will get ya whispered about.”

“Where are we?”

“The dark center of the universe. Doesn't that sound cool?”

“It doesn't end?”



“Why not? We don't bother asking questions like 'why' around here anymore,” the man said.

“Ok, but here... is a, “here,” right?

“You will listen, and you will listen carefully. Walk with me”

“Why should I follow you?”

“Well, you can follow me, or you can sit in this lobby for eternity. Your choice.”

“So now I have choices? I can't even remember my name.”

“You have many choices, and your name is Lux.”

“That's not my name”

“If you can't remember your name, how do you know it isn't Lux?”

“I just know”

“Your name, here, is Lux.” He held up a file.

A name is a good thing to have when you can't remember anything important. Lux got up. He
stood up from the chair, standing on the feet of a dead man. It was like he was watching a movie of
himself, from himself, and he was controlling the movements- but at the same time, he knew what he
was going to do when he did it. It was still pretty weird. Oddly reminiscent of some wild
hallucinogen. Obviously he never died and went to hell, or whatever this was, tripping balls on acid;
but he had thought about what might happen after you die a great deal. He was not pained to walk, it
was effortless. He walked confidently towards the man. About ten feet from the door, he stopped dead
in his tracks and gazed at the man.

“You, you're- no fuckin' waaay!”

“Kind of. I'm Chronos.”

“Like that video game?”

“That was Crono. More like a catchy Greek or Latin name with little or no inherent meaning to you or
whatever it is you are or do. Take yours for example. Lux. Light. It's just how we decided to name
ourselves a long time ago, that's all. It came into fashion sometime around the Earth time-context of
the Victorian Ages. Every time someone dies for the first time, they have to come here, wait in the
damn lobby, and I come get them. That's my job. It's what I do. While I'm here, at least. Now come
on, God DAMN IT man, you're wasting my time!”

“You look -just- like Hunter S. Thompson” He felt stupid, as he said it, because he hadn't had the
faintest clue who that was, just that he looked just like him.

“I look like what you wanted to see when you died.”

“Yeah, I did always say you'd be the first one I'd see when I went to...”

“To hell, yes I know. That's what everybody says about him. And no, that is not what this is.
Christianity was bullshit, you knew it when you were alive.”

“So, am I still a person?”

“No, not really. You're more than a person, you're a fully actualized existence. You are a- well, I know
it sounds bad- but think of yourself as a traveler. You're trying to get to point B.”

“Where's point B? I'm so confused”

“Look, don't ask any more questions, OK? You're gonna have to hear a whole big speech and all that
nonsense from Phalanx, and I just don't want to get into it.”

“I had kind of hoped it would all just end”

“What, you thought you could just quit? Ha, doesn't work that way. Existence is kind of an endless
thing, man, you'll see- Earth is just a training ground of sorts, it's like school. You can't readily drop
out of that school, except by committing the greatest taboo- suicide. You still die, all the same, but you
missed out on a lot more fun. No matter, this existence won't bother you a bit.“

He was trying to put it all together. Who he was, and what it meant to keep existing after life,
without all the Earthly religious garbage. Gods this, gods that, he had no idea who he had to please,
who “they” were around here – the people who told you what to do. He knew that he was kind of
pissed off, though- the fact that it really all was just a big test. He was trying to figure out why it made
him so angry.
He followed Chronos, who looked less and and less like Hunter S. Thompson as they walked
down the hall. He remembered who Hunter S. Thompson was. He remembered reading “Fear and
Loathing” for the first time. He remembered all the good times watching the movie, quoting it, re-
enacting it, living it. All at once, it just popped into his mind from seemingly nowhere. Chronos
turned to look at him, and the recognizable face of the good Doctor dissolved to a different face
entirely. Without pronounced features, just a “face.” They came to the end of the hallway, and stopped
at a door, heavy and black, like the one he had entered from the lobby. It had a silver tag on it, which
“Preliminary Intake Briefing Room – Gaia, Galaxy Sol, Planet Earth, Time-Context: American English,
Michigan, United States, Post 9-11 – Pre 2012”

He thought about how official sounding that was. Like the rooms in a halfway house he lived in
one time. He remembered a word- euphemism. Two words, private residence. Three words, I hate

“Well, have fun.” Chronos, said, as he nonchalantly opened the door.

“Lux, what's up, dude?” Said a man that looked eerily similar to Chronos, just a face, no distinct
features or memorable characteristics.

“How do you know my name?” He said it, but he still wasn't comfortable calling himself that.

“Lux is what the name on your file is. It means light, didn't Chronos tell you?”

“Yeah, so that's not my name?”

“No, man, you can pick whatever name you want once you leave here. You don't really need one now.
You did have a name, once, on Earth. I don't know what it was, I just know you probably had one-
actually a few.”

“So you don't really know me, and neither did Chronos?”

“No, man, look, there's a lot you don't understand- I get it. Let's just sit down and be on with it, then,
shall we?”

“On with what?” He yelled.

He didn't know why he yelled, but he did it. He remembered what yelling was and what it
meant. He figured it wasn't necessary to yell, so he sat down in a chair- a comfortable, black leather
chair that seemed to swallow him up whole. It was the best damn chair he ever sat in. He looked
around the room, and found it to be remarkably reminiscent of a house- any house you'd stumble into
on a drunken night in your college years. Band posters, soiled carpet, beer cans.

“On with the preliminaries, dude, just relax. You're freaking out.”

“Why are you talking like a hippie?”

“Look, like I said, there's a lot you don't understand. I'm only trying to help you. These are common
expressions and surroundings from your cultural vernacular and Earth time context. It's in the file. Me
and Chronos are familiar with the time, so we volunteer for duty at the center of the universe for
intakes from that time context. The center of the universe is just the most general location in the plot,
the (0,0,0.) It's where everyone ends up when they enter the fifth dimension. We make it look like a
place you'd be comfortable in, and we give you a recognizable face to see when you get here so that it
isn't that overwhelming. It's kind of altruistic, I know, real touchy-feely and bleeding-hearted. When
you've got an eternal existence in any time at any place, it isn't really that difficult to volunteer some
“time,” as it were.”
“Ok, whoa, those aren't euphemisms.”

“I'll be straight up with you if you need me to be, man, but if you don't mind... I have a bit of a speech
that we prepared for you. There might be some euphemisms, but it's just to keep it flowy and nice.”

“A speech? For me, for Lux?”

“Yeah for anyone. Lux. The intake. I could refer to you as intake 0619-048624011-12ba if you'd
rather I did that”

“Ok, Lux works”

“Hence the Greek and Latin names. Keeps thinks simple. Now listen. You are dead -”

“I know that, Chronos told me”

“This is the speech, man, don't interrupt me!”

“Oh, Ok, Sorry.”

“You are dead. You once were alive, on a place called Earth. You are no longer there. You are in the
fifth dimension of existence. Earth is what you might call an incubator. It breeds new life, which goes
on to exist, through reincarnation, to learn the intricacies of the three spatial dimensions. Humans, the
final version of life on Earth, know time. Time is the fourth dimension of existence. It is relative to a
fixed place in the cosmos. Beings in the fifth dimension do not exist as they did on Earth. You are not a
captive here. You cannot leave, but it's not because we're holding you back. No one is holding you
back, you can go wherever you want after you leave here, but we advise that you follow along with
your guide for a short time. [uh, that's me] Life does not end, it keeps going. Humans have a unique
glimpse of the upper dimensions. It's that sense of time which bends, which perplexes the minds of
humans. They invented a multitude of coping mechanisms.
On Earth, there are many religions. These religions are made by people on Earth. They are not
made by the cosmos, or the universe. The universe is, as your physicists said, quite a very large place
indeed. You will have a home. It will be an entire solar system. This was provided for us by the
creator of the universe. He is not a benevolent or vengeful master, he is only the creator. You will
never meet him. “He” isn't even a “he,” nor a “she.” Sexual reproduction is a human trait.
He is a more advanced being than us, than you, Existing in dimensions far beyond our
comprehension. Much like you now exist, far beyond the comprehension of Earthlings. Much like you
existed on Earth, far beyond the comprehension of animals. They knew you were there, they could feel
your existence. Some could see you, touch you, smell you, hear you, taste you. They could not
comprehend you, They just existed within your presence, barely aware of it if they were even aware of
it at all. So do we exist, here, in the Fifth Dimension, discovering the meaning of existence, not the
meaning of time.
When our existence in this dimension is through, all deeds accomplished, we will progress
again, on to the next dimension, Dimension is our name for it. We don't comprehend it, we exist
within it. Your life existed as a series of events, from beginning to end. Now you must explore the
choices you made. Through examining the different paths, you will gain the wisdom needed. You will
remember many things. The sums of your dreams, your thoughts, your actions, your choices, your
would be's, and your could have beens. Your friends, they too died and will die. Friendship is also a
human trait. There is no time in the fifth dimension, and no conflict, no allying, no adversaries, no
need for such nonsense. We have all the space we need, in our infinitely expanding universe. We
know of each other, we help each other along the path. It isn't difficult to lend a hand every now and
again- especially if you're able. The fifth dimension is a transitory realm, more of a state of
consciousness than a spatial place, a place of endless possibility and constant change. You will exist in
your physical, four dimensional home in a galaxy of your choosing, and you will use at least one of
your planets on which to breed new life. You do not know how, yet, but you will. The life you breed
will help you understand, help you to grow and nurture, help you to achieve existence beyond, on to
whatever is next, we don't know what it is.
You will die, again, some time. But now, as you know, death is not as final as you once thought
it was. Death is like a sonic boom, severing your ties to the lower dimensions, freeing you to exist
further in life. You may try to kill yourself here, but it will not work. You do not exist in time, you
exist as a sum of your experiences, which you must piece together frame by frame. Square by square.
Complete the puzzle. That is your task. That is your point of existence. To grow your mind, to
sharpen your intellect. To pursue new heights, new sensations and understandings. New plateaus of
mental clarity. That we may follow along this path is our blessing. Our life is our freedom, and our
freedom our life. You will grow in your understanding of life, of the nature of existence. First by
examining the entirety of your existence on Earth, then by creating your own version of Earth. Things
you think you could have done better, you do them. Things you want to change about it, you change.
You are like a god to your life-bearing planet. You will create life that will one day follow your
footsteps into a fifth dimensional existence. That is how you will spend your existence in the fifth

“Is that it?”


As he said it, that final 'yup,' the room around them disappeared. He found himself floating,
suspended in what seemed like nothing, but it was certainly something. He had no body. No body like
he had back on Earth, anyway. He felt whole, and he felt solid, but he had no form. He was shapeless,
like a camera with spherical vision. He could see in all directions, and it seemed like those directions
went on endlessly like the rays of the sun. He could see no end to his vision, just a spatial arrangement
of stars, some close, some the faintest imaginary specks of light.

“Welcome back to the fourth dimension,” a voice said. He heard it, but it didn't come from anywhere.
He just heard it. He recognized it as the voice of Phalanx.

“Is this... space?”

“Yes, it's a super-existence inside the three-dimensional realm created by the creator.”

“What does that mean?”

“That means, you can go anywhere, do anything, whatever. You are a theoretical point in the three
dimensions. The Cartesian Plot. You can go to any planet, any star. Once you're existentially centered
there, however, you are bound by the time-context of that solar system's fifth-dimensional being. Sol,
the place where Earth is, is run by a chick named Gaia. She's cool, but still kind of new at the game.
In fact, you're the first person to pop out in to the fifth. At least, out of her creation anyway.”

“Yeah, Gaia. Look, man, we don't have time for this- we have to get somewhere, fast, before you
totally freak out.”


“Ha, did you hear me? I said time. It's a funny thing, time. You see, there is what we call 'the big

“...Big time?”

“Yeah, existential time. It doesn't quite work like time on Earth. Earth time is temporal, based on
what's called a 'life.' It begins and ends, based on an individual 'lifespan.' Life is just a measurement,
really, an easy way to separate existences. Like I said earlier, you are a sum of your experiences in the
fourth dimension, but you have to go back there to figure out what it all means. You're no doubt a
jumbled mess of memories from all sorts of different existences. That's why you don't have a name.
You have a thousand names, a hundred thousand names. You've been alive an infinite amount of times,
you just didn't know it. We measure existential time as a single wavelength of the frequency the
cosmos reverberates at. You got me?”

“Not quite. The thousand names bit reminds me of reincarnation, like the Buddhists believed. Like
you keep getting chances to do what you're supposed to and then you move up a rung, I just don't get
the whole reverberating cosmos thing”

“Right, well, the universe vibrates. It's technically infinite, because it expands to accommodate the
need for new galaxies, but the whole thing kind of pulses like a bubble suspended in water. The
frequency at which it vibrates is the only constant we really have. It's the yardstick by which we can
measure existences in the four-dimensional realms.”

“I have no idea why, but that seems reasonable to me.”

“I'm going to take you back to Earth for a bit, so you can check out your first death. It's an easy
introduction to understanding what's going on. I'll just manifest myself as a bead of light, follow me,
and we'll be there shortly. Just try not to think too much, OK? It's easy to let your mind wander when
you're between spaces. Imagine yourself following my light, and you'll be following the light- it really
is that simple. Try it.”

The instant Phalanx's voice said “bead of light,” there was a small light in front of him. It
reminded him of a candlelight, seen from afar, on the darkest of nights. He had to realize what “front”
was, at first, but it was really just the direction in which he was traveling. It was hard to see Phalanx
with the backdrop of the billion candlelights of stars, but there was something different about this
particular candlelight. It seemed to have a presence, an essence. Maybe that's what they had meant
when they wrote that letter to Lux. It felt strange to refer to his only existence after death not only in
the third person, but as a euphemism for intake # 0619-048624011-12ba. His name was a number he
couldn't even remember in the afterlife. As soon as they started moving, the bead of light took off at
what seemed a supernatural speed to him. He learned how to move, it was easy. There was no
resistance, he wasn't even a “thing,” as much as he was a point of reference on a Cartesian plot. He
was a point in the universe, and then he was another point, and another, and another. Speed and
velocity had no relevance. He had not mass, only consciousness manifested to a single point in space.
He could see the Earth as they closed in on the Sol Galaxy. He recognized it right away. He
had seen so many pictures of it from space on TV that he could have spotted it anywhere. It was hard
to imagine he had once lived and died there. There it was, just floating like a marble, forever falling
through the nothing of space. The light that was Phalanx came to rest somewhere between the Sun and
the orbital path of Mercury. It's hard to imagine a spot of nothing in such a wide space, but the utter
perception of it all is what really made him uncomfortable. Not the vast distances, those seemed
irrelevant and immaterial now. He felt like he could just be there – anywhere – in an instant, so long as
he knew where the “there” was. He existed beyond time, beyond space. It was still hard to get used to.
So infinitely overwhelming in complexity and depth. He felt like he could see it all.
The thing he noticed, almost all of a sudden, was that there was no sound. He heard Phalanx's
voice along the way, but it was like an echo in what he would have at one time called his brain.
Thoughts and memories and information were flooding into his mind at such a rapid pace. Seeing in
all directions at all depths at all times made him feel woozy and debased. Thinking about feeling
woozy made him remember he had no body to feel woozy in. It was a latent effect of his consciousness
passing through a greater depth of sensation. He wasn't thinking broadly enough, even though he was
beginning to realize that his mind had the capacity for it. Infinite capacity, it seemed. Like he could
know the entirety of knowledge in the universe. He didn't have the knowledge yet, but he knew he
could know it, it was possible. He thought about infinity. It seemed like a more tangible concept to
him. When time is irrelevant, infinity seems so much easier to grasp. It's your field of reference that
differs, infinity is just kind of there, looming in the distance- all ways back, forward, up, down, left,
right, and everywhere in between. Even what couldn't have been is in there somewhere too.


That was the thing that pushed him over the edge. As he thought about the concept of time
inside infinity, he started to see it. Planets seemed to be a thick ring of orbit rather than a sphere
floating in a sea of tranquility. They exploded as they were created. The stars blurred in and out of
existence, fading, brightening, forming almost a fog as far as his mind's eye could see- which was quite
far. He saw the big bang, and the original galaxies- the ones the creator made first. He saw everything
at once, as it was created, to how it was now. It was a staggering sensation, one that he was having a
really hard time coming to grips with.

“Lux? Luuuuux? Oh shit, you're bugging out, aren't you? Just try to relax.”

He tried to answer, but as he heard Phalanx's voice, it came as a thundering of every word
Phalanx had said since they met, all at once. He felt as if his thoughts were going to boil over with
input, and it overwhelmed his mind. His whole essence, his whole consciousness, his whole being
ached. It hurt in a way he couldn't understand, but he could definitely feel it. A hurt that went so deep,
he felt as if he would go completely insane. Like he was about to go into a bad, bad, trip on some
horribly powerful hallucinogenic drug. He had no way to sort it all out, no way to separate what he
was at that instant with what he, and everything, was- ever.
In that instant, he felt completely comfortable. Like an existential blanket had been put over his
mind. Over his very being. He was contained, for an instant, but comfortably so. He felt calm, like he
was being cradled as an infant. He saw a crack of light, then another, then three more as he saw a hand
open up from around him and place him, ever so gently, on the surface of the sun. He felt like his old
self again, but in perfect health. He looked at his hands. It centered him. That's what he always
looked at. He found he could walk, strangely, on the surface of the sun. He looked beneath him and
saw what seemed like an endless depth of fire, explosions, fumes, and vapors. Somewhere, there was
an edge, and he was walking on it. Dancing on the faintest wisps of fire tongues.
“Welcome back to four dimensions, I had to carry you here”

“It was all so immense, I still can't quite shake the feeling”

“Chalk it up, man, you're going to have to go back out there eventually. By the end of this little
exercise, you'll be able to put it all into context. Remember that it is infinite, but you are not. That's
the key to putting it all into perspective. Even though you can perceive infinite time and space now,
you are not that infinite time and space. You exist within it as a single point, a single existence, a

“A singularity. Ok, that's a good thing to remember. Perspective is the big thing here, isn't it?”

“Well not here, here. Because we are in the physical space of the star “Sol,” in the Earth time-context
of Abiogenesis- the moment which life began.”

“Like, when humans came around?”

“No, it takes a long fucking time to get to Humans, man, that's the last step. Remember this stuff,
you're going to need to learn it.”

“So what's Abiogenesis?”

“It's when the Earth finally became chemically viable for life. After everything settled down, and after
Gaia finally came here and made it her universe. She learned how to articulate the balance of elements
and atmospheres- systems and... well, she'll tell it best.”

“If we exist in infinite time, how is it she finally “came” here?”

“Good! Good fucking question! You are taking this in stride, man!”

“I was a thinker in times past, you might say.”

“Most of you bastards aren't. I blame television. Crafty, but ultimately a waste of time.”

“Whatever, man, Aqua Teen was the best thing that ever came out of that box.”

He remembered Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a cartoon he used to watch on TV. He remembered
what a cartoon was, what a TV was. Artists, computers, satellite and cable broadcasting. He
remembered the words “Non Sequitur.” He remembered the Latin language, like where his name came
from. A dead language, the language of Ancient Rome. He thought of all the gods of the Roman
Pantheon, the Greek gods, the Egyptian gods, and all the countless searches on Earth for what happens
after death. He wished he could go back and tell them all. Just tell them to wait it out, enjoy their
simple lives on simple Earth. Not worrying about time-contexts and intake numbers. Not worrying
about what galaxy they had to pick out of an infinitely large set of galaxies.

“So what about infinite time?”

“Yeah, remember the bit about the big time?”

“Yeah, the rhythm of the universe.”

“Right, good way to put it. The song that never ends.”

“It doesn't end? Ever?”

“It started, right? When the universe was created. It was set in motion, in what is likely an entire field
of universes, a multi-verse. It has a beginning, but no end. It's just “Time.” The greatest measurement
of time, sure, but time none-the-less. It's just a bit different than Earth time.”

“So what about seeing in different dimensions of time?”

“You felt at home in the spatial dimensions, you'll feel at home in the dimensions of time as soon as
you start moving about through them. You can only be in one context at any given time anyway, so
once you get into a galaxy, it's a bit easier to cope with the immensity of it all.”

“Ok, so time is relative to where I am, I get that. Is that why we have form again?”

“Precisely. You can only have material form in a context of time. If you tried to manifest yourself into
your Earth body while you were between time-contexts, like way out in the middle of nowhere of
space, you'd exist as an infant, a child, a toddler, a pre-teen, and so on. You'd be a giant mass of
existence not able to move anywhere.”

“And dependent on Oxygen, too, right?”

“Yeah, but dying isn't really the same thing as it was to you anymore, now is it?”

“Not really, I guess, no- not at all.”

“Then I think it's about time we met with Gaia.”

“The creator?”

“Of Earth, yeah. We're definitely not cool enough to meet the creator of the universe.”

“I got that impression”

“I'm sure he's off doing something else entirely, off to bigger and better things, or maybe nothing at all-
we don't really know. He created this place, and as soon as the first person entered the sixth dimension,
godhood, his job was done and he peaced right the fuck out. The thing was built to be self-sustaining.”

“Right on, man, I have a feeling this whole afterlife thing isn't going to be so bad at all.”

“Well... You be the judge of that. Let's go see your Mama, Mother Earth, Gaia. She's really cool.”

With that, the tongues of flame separated, and they descended towards the heart of the sun. Sol,
a star like a million others, many now apparently owned by dead people like Lux. He was growing
fond of the name. It wasn't so bad, Lux, it sounded pretty cool. It was a strange honor, it seemed, to be
meeting the creator of Earth. God, in a sense, although he never did believe in god- and his existence
right now didn't seem like what the bible, or any other book for that matter, had said it would be like.
He figured it wasn't so bad. Existing outside the confines of what “they” told him to do was a new kind
of freedom for him. A freedom he felt he could get used to. Sure, there was that great creator of the
universe, and everybody just seemed to acknowledge him without apprehension, fear, or anxiety. Lux
figured it didn't make much of a difference if the creator was around or not, seeing as how there were
millions of billions of small-time creators bustling all over the universe getting busy planting the seeds
of life on their planets. Who would have time to worry about the creator of the universe when you had
the whole universe to explore, and it just kept getting bigger without end?
They continued down through the hole in the sun, to the core. To the cold, dense, strangely
homely-looking, dark, tiny, metallic core. There was a building there, that seemed impossibly existent.
It stood like a temple, a dark-grey metallic temple, shimmering in the light of the sun- a different kind
of shimmering than the shimmering on Earth. A complete shimmering, with an infinite amount of light
sources all bouncing off the mirrored temple at once.
On the steps of the temple stood a beautiful woman, with brown hair that framed her perfectly
proportioned, oval face. She held her hand like a sheet over her eyes, as she gazed at the two men
approaching. She took a step back, suddenly, as if she had seen a ghost.
As Lux approached the temple, he too took a step back, suddenly. He knew that face, it pained
him. It was a face he recognized somewhere in an ocean of memories in the back of his mind. He
needed to put a name to that face, he needed to know what that woman's name was-

And then it came to him.


to be continued in Square Three: Gaia.

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