Ride the Lightning
The world around me was white. Blindingly so, though for some reason it didn't hurt. I pushed myself slowly to my feet, coming to a standing position before realizing that I couldn't tell what I was standing on. Turning in a slow circle, all I could perceive, in all directions, was formless void, and the light.
The sound of my voice, but strange. It was like I was hearing my voice without the need for my ears. There was no resonance to it, no echo, as if it were in fact not moving through a medium. Was I dead?
Nothing. Nothing forever in every seeming direction. I stood still, quiet. A hand came up to my chest, pressed against the lightning bolt I wore.
My nostrils flared. Air, or something taking the place of air flowed into and out of my body with every breath. My heart continued to beat, blood moving in my veins. I had no idea where I was, but I knew one thing for sure.
I was alive.
Eyes closed, feel the spark, the current, the lightning, flowing through my veins, crawling over my muscles. My vision went gold and I shot off into the infinite distance.
I would find answers.
At the Edge of Everything, the Threshold, the Bleeding Edge
To the rational mind it should not have been possible. There are theories which describe the nature of the universe. There are theories which describe the expected nature of the multiverse. On the planet Earth, on most versions of the planet Earth, these theories have been developed for centuries. The greatest minds of the human race have promulgated them, and both observational data and experimental evidence have supported them. According to those theories, this should not have been possible.
Yet for some reason, it was.
In the seeming middle of space, there was a Wall. The span of the Wall was infinity. Relative to a position in front of the Wall (and it was a Wall, never a wall), it stretched forever up, and down. It stretched forever left and right. Applied to the concept of curved space-time and taken to the logical conclusion then… the Wall had to encircle everything.
There was a spark of golden light in front of the Wall. First nothing was there, then the figure appeared. It was massive, an undulating wave of fractal surfaces, spinning in space while golden discharges crackled between them, scoring the crystalline structure and turning it black. Though there was no discernable face to the Entity, it contemplated the Wall. The structure was made of some indefinable material. Though the Entity had a breadth of experience which spanned hundreds of realities, nothing like it had been encountered before.
Every surface of the Entity engaged in the act of observation, cataloging the Wall, attempting to understand what it was perceiving. There surface was impenetrable, but it was not uniform, in no way smooth. Instead a multitude of faces were seemingly built into the Wall. Some existed on a scale matching the terrestrial lifeforms of the Entities currently designated test world. Some were of a size comparable to the Entity itself. Some dwarfed it entirely, being as like unto a star in their scale. Though the Entity had evolved in such a way as to limit social interaction to a series of mathematical tradeoffs, its most recent incarnation had instilled within in some rudimentary ability to understand and interpret emotions through observation.
The faces all looked terrified.
The lightning flowing through the Entity became more energetic. A storm in space, everything about it became faster, while relative time slowed to a standstill.
The Entity contemplated.
Within the span of a picosecond thousands of tendrils emerged from the Entity and struck the Wall. Immediately the substance of the Wall began to overwrite the crystalline nature of the tendrils. Current arced throughout the Entity and this change reverted. The points where the tendrils contacted the Wall began to smoke, darkening.
A crack began to form.
I stopped running after what felt like forever.
Or was it only a moment?
The lack of reference made the two concepts functionally the same thing. Regardless, I seemed to be in exactly the same place as when I got here.
Wherever here happened to be.
With a scream of frustration I kicked at the non-existent "ground" I was standing on.
"Feels good doesn't it?"
I whirled around, looking for the source of the voice. As far as the eye could see, in every direction, I was still alone.
"Who said that?"
Well that answer didn't illuminate the situation. I forced myself to calm down and to think. The voice was soft, but easily heard, seeming to come at me from every direction at once. If pushed, I would say that it was…..masculine. Considering that this voice was the first sign that I wasn't alone in this nowhere….the least I could do was talk to it.
"Where am I?"
A chuckle followed by a sigh greeted me.
"You would start with the hard stuff."
I shrugged in response.
"Sorry, I don't really have an easy mode."
Again the laughter.
"You are not wrong. To answer your question, you have entered the Speed Force."
There was emphasis placed on the last two words. I could practically hear the capitalization.
"The Speed Force? What, like gravity?"
A sense of amusement suffused the air around me.
"Not quite. Gravity is a fundamental force of the universe. In fact, it is necessary, otherwise matter couldn't coalesce in a meaningful way. The Speed Force is a meta dimension. It suffuses the entirety of the multiverse, moves about in flows that are difficult to understand while bound to linear time. If you have a mind for the classics, you could think of it as an Ouroboros."
I frowned as I worked through that statement.
"The Speed Force is a snake that eats its own tail? No wait….the Speed Force is a paradox!"
Again the feeling of amusement, though this time there may have been a hint of….pride?
"Exactly. The Speed Force exists throughout the entirety of the Multiverse. Yet, it was not there at the beginning of things, and it should be long since exhausted come the end of everything. Yet it both exists and endures."
The more this conversation went on, the more my mind seemed to be working on a problem. I wasn't there yet, but I could feel myself getting closer to an answer of some kind.
"Where does it come from then?"
All around me the space I was in began to writhe. Golden light suffused with red, the hair on my arms, my haid rising around me. I could feel shifting potentials, the smell of ozone filling my nostrils, a taste like tin in my mouth. Tiny sparks crawled along my skin. In the distance, the rumbling of thunder. I looked down at the symbol on my chest.
Again the voice.
And I ran.
Authors note: Huh, well this happened. Not going to commit to any kind of a schedule here, but I had a bug to write and this is what wanted to come out. The posted, intended end of this has been sacrificed upon the necromantic altar needed to bring this about. Some things from that will be used, but I am not going to hold myself to that plan.