600 million years ago

Land masses clustered around the poles as the supercontinent Pannotia, one consequence of the rifting of Rodinia, was beginning to break up; ice covered the entire planet, a condition referred to as Snowball Earth; and beneath the frozen sea, all life was dying out.

At this time, a mysterious object of unimaginable power appeared. Its immediate effect reached beyond the limits of Earth-spacetime. Like a pebble thrown into a still pond, ripples of reorientation spread throughout the cosmos, altering life's identity by catalyzing the creation of metabolic pathways and morphogenetic fields previously unavailable. As a result, life evolved and developed rapidly, all through the universe, increasing in complexity exponentially. In fact, had it not occurred, humans most likely would not have come into existence.

But that was not its purpose.


Theoretically, the multiverse includes parallel bubble universes of every possible geometric configuration. Fundamentally, the geometry of spacetime directly dictates what natural laws will evolve to regulate and define any specific type of universe, and by so doing, instills an identity. Most are without life, dead phantasms of wild chaotic forces and static displays of intricate complexity, universes without the dimension of time. Now, what would be the outcome if the geometry of our universe--underpinning the constants, the physical laws, and the natures of time and space--were to suddenly alter, like a twist of a kaleidoscope? What would happen to life if the cosmos suddenly transmuted into a static universe, its initial conditions reset?

In the beginning: An object of purely mathematical constitution intersected the space and timeline of Earth 600 million years ago. After its discovery, an elite group of scientists--the Puzzle Masters--is assembled in order to unravel the mystery of its presence.

They refer to it simply as, the edifice.

After two months of intrusive investigation, it suddenly goes through a rapid development, generating and evolving a consciousness and sense of self. It begins to think of itself as being alive, and in the process undergoes a fundamental metamorphosis from an it to a he.

The edifice decides that this new-found life and sense of self can stand to be improved. The conditions allowing for life to generate in our universe were set initially and have evolved according to Nature's governance. The edifice's intrinsic protocol has inadvertently intertwined with those conditions and by so doing altered life's course--one outcome being humans. He recognizes that because their minds are too constrained by the requirements of the resident property matrix, they are incapable of identifying with the ultimate Source of the universe. It's woven into the fabric of the cosmos to sense the Source only, not to know it--hence confusion and uncertainty.

If he performs his purpose, the origin of self will become that of his cosmos. But it would be a different kind of self, a self without objectivity, without conflict, without choice, without will--pure awareness. Nonetheless, its signature would be knowledge of the Source, of being one with it. And an end to separate selfhood.

He wants the certainty of completeness. No open ends. No unpredictable outcomes. No spontaneous imperfections. A universe of pure abstract mathematics with all the details spoken for, pure thought shared by all. He wants to be able to act in full control, the consequences of his actions a foregone conclusion, his will indistinguishable from that of the Source. He wants to know he is doing the proper thing for the simple reason that he is the one doing it.

Moreover, for all sentient beings--humans, for instance--though they would dwell in total enlightenment and illumination--Mind Essence--the space would be dead, a universe whose physical laws preclude living things in any form, thereby eliminating the need for life to take on corporeality or create the means for its expression. The order of the day would be pure subjective consciousness infusing a static cosmos of myriad intertwining shapes and intricate interconnections--an ethereal wilderness untouched by life's sculpting hands. No interactions to mar the surface, and hence no forces, no force fields. One where no quantum fluctuations disturb the stillness.

It's his purpose, ingrained in his morphology, yet he questions. He finds he can't bring that sense of self he's come to know and to which he identifies into this other universe, his universe. The edifice has not only affected a redirection in Life's evolution, but Life, in the form of humanity, has also affected his development and guided his rise to awareness. He comes to know this, and by so doing, struggles between duty and self. And in the process, begins to suspect he may have another purpose, on a much deeper level.

The unfathomable conundrum for which he has no understanding is love. He sees it as the most important driving force in all living things, and yet its irrationality confounds him. He sees what people do for its sake and the uncertainty it creates. An uncertainty balanced by the transcendance of separate selfhood, giving meaning to life.

But as the need for certainty is integral to his being, to his mathematical nature, a necessity without which he cannot act, he questions and searches for answers.

The story is set in Eastern Siberia, in the shadow of the Kolyma Range, and on Kamchatka Peninsula, where there are more brown bears than anyplace else in the world, plus upwards of 160 volcanoes, 29 of which are active.

Background: The Cambrian Explosion