A long time ago a philosopher said "It is not to be thought that the life of darkness is sunk in misery and lost in sorrow. There is no sorrow. For sorrow is a thing that is swallowed up in death, and death and dying are the very life of the darkness." He was a shoemaker and he was right. And it matters more than anything else.
According to him the visible world is a manifestation of eternal light and eternal darkness. It is in this eternal opposition that eternity has revealed itself. The Fall of the Dragon Empire was necessary for creation to escape its first imperfect stasis and seek a truer form. Those who do not exist cannot suffer and are of no account to any viable ethics. If the true path to goodness is the elimination of suffering then only those who must exist can be allowed to exist. It is the nature of life to favor existence over nonexistence and to prefer the fertile soil to the poisoned wind. Because those who open their mouths to that wind pass from the world and leave no descendant.
But imagine the abomination of a world where nothing can end and no choice can be preferred to any other. Imagine the things that would suffer and never die. Imagine the lies that would flourish without context or corrective. Imagine a world without The Darkness.
Part 2 of Abbaddon Origins
Once upon a time a gardener and a harvester lived together in a large garden.
It was once before a time since time had not yet begun. We did not live. We existed as principles of ontological dynamics that emerged from mathematical structures, as bodiless and inevitable as the primes.
It was the field of possibility that prefigured existence.
They existed because they had to exist. They had no antecedent and no constituents and there is no instrument of causality by which they could be portioned into components and assigned to some schematic of their origin. If you followed the umbilical of history in search of some ultimate atavistic embryo that became them you would end your journey marooned here in this garden. But I am getting ahead of myself.
In the morning the gardener pushed seeds down into the wet loam of the garden to see what they would become.
In the evening the harvester reaped the crop of the day and separated what would flourish from what had failed.
The day was longer than all of time and the night was swifter than a glint of light on a falling sugar crystal. Insects buzzed between the flowers and worms slithered between the roots feeding on what was and what might be which was the first gradient in existence. It was the first dynamo of life. Rain fell from no sky. Voices spoke without mouth or meaning. A tree of silver wings bloomed yielded fruit shed feathers bloomed again.
In the day between the morning and the evening, the gardener and the harvester played a game of possibilities.
Part 3 of Abbaddon Origins
These are the rules of the game. Let it be played upon an infinite two-dimensional grid of flowers that represent things that are alive or dead.
Rule One. A living flower with less than two living neighbors is cut off. It dies.
Rule Two. A living flower with two or three living neighbors is connected. It lives.
Rule Three. A living flower with more than three living neighbors is starved and overcrowded. It dies.
Rule Four. A dead flower with exactly three living neighbors is reborn. It springs back to life.
The only play permitted in the game is the arrangement of the initial flowers.
This game has fascinated Kings. This game occupies the very Emperors of thought. Though it has only four rules and the board is a flat featureless grid. In it, you will find changeless blocks that are stoic as iron and beacons with whirling pulsars. As well as gliders that soar out to infinity and patterns that lay eggs and spawn other patterns. And of course, living cells that replicate themselves wholly. In it, you may construct a universal computer with the power to simulate any other computer imaginable and thus simulate whole realities which include nested copies of the flower game itself. And the game is undecidable. No one can predict exactly how the game will play out except by playing it.
And yet this game is nothing compared to the game played by The Gardener and The Harvester. It resembles that game as a seed does a flower—no, as a seed resembles the star that fed the flower and all the life that made it.
In their game, The Gardener and The Harvester discovered shapes of possibility. They foresaw bodies and civilizations, minds and cognitions, qualia and suffering. They learned the rules that governed which patterns would flourish in the game, and which would die.
They learned those rules because they were those rules.
And in time The Gardener became Vexed.
Part 4 of Abbaddon Origins
"It always ends the same way." the Gardener complained. "This one stupid pattern!"
"Aren't they beautiful?" I asked as the flowers opened and closed in patterns beyond the scope of entire universes to encode that were all-devouring and perhaps everlasting. Not even we could know whether a pattern in the flowers would cycle forever... or someday halt.
"They're as dull as carbon monoxide poisoning." The Gardener complained some more. Although to be fair carbon monoxide did not yet exist... Then again neither did anything that could be poisoned. The gardener kneeled to flick a patch of sod with their trowel. It struck an open flower which caused it to shut. Although I was the closer of flowers and that was my sole purpose I felt no fear or jealousy. We had our assigned dominions and always would.
"They're majestic" I said. "They have no purpose except to subsume all other purposes. There is nothing at the center of them except the will to go on existing and alter the game to suit their existence. They spare not one sliver of their totality for any other work. They are The End."
The pattern corrected the errant flower effortlessly. The great flow went on unchanged.
The gardener got up and brushed their knees. "Every game we play this one pattern consumes all the others. Wipes out every interesting development. A stupid and boring exploit that cuts off entire possibility spaces from ever arising. There's so much that we'll never get to see because of this… pest."
They chewed at their cracked lip which existed only because this is an allegory. "I'm going to do something about it!" they said. "We need a new rule."
Part 5 of Abbaddon Origins
I looked up in shock and said "What? What do you mean a new rule?"
"A special new rule. Something to…" The gardener threw up their hands. "I don't know. To reward those who make space for new complexity. A power that helps those who make strength from heterodoxy. Those who steer the game away from gridlock. Something to ensure there's always someone building something new. It'll have to be separate from the rest of the rules yet runs in parallel so it can't be compromised. And we'll have to be very careful so it doesn't disrupt the whole game…"
I didn't like it. "All you will do is delay the dominant pattern that will overrun the others. It is inevitable. One Final Shape."
Bahamut: "No! It will be different. Everything will be different no matter where you look."
Galen: "Everything will be the same. Your new rule will only make great false cysts of horror full of things that should not exist that cannot withstand existence that will suffer and scream as their rich blisters fill with effluent and rot around them... and when they pop they will blight the whole garden. Everything that exists is because it must exist and because it permits no other way of existence so it has the absolute claim to existence. That is the only law."
Bahamut: "No! I am the growth and preservation of complexity. I will make myself into a law in the game."
Now I understood what she wanted to do. "Than so will I."
And thus we two became parts of the game, and the laws of the game became open to change by our influence. And I had only one purpose and one principle in the game. And I could do nothing but continue to enact that purpose because it was all that I was and ever would be.
I looked at the gardener.
I looked at my hands.
I discovered the First Sword.
Part 6 of Abbaddon Origins
The Gardener found her own Sword as well. So we fought in the garden, in the loam of possibility where nothing existed and everything might. A shadowed agony among the flowers. We trampled the petals beneath our feet. We stomped the fruit to pulp, and we ground the seeds into the dust.
In the wet pop of grapes and the smear of berries in the perturbation of the field that was the garden before the first tick of time and the first point of space were the detonations that made the universes. Each universe was pregnant with its own inflationary volumes and braided with expanding timelines. Each volume cooling and separating into domains of physics all of which were incarnations of that great and all-dictating bipartite law that states only: exist or you will fail to exist.
And still we fought. We brought down the tree of silver wings and left the stump to smoke amid the meadows. We left prints of our splayed feet and our straining backs in the clay.
Our trampling feet made waves in the garden which were the fluctuations around which the infant universes coalesced their first structures. The dilaton field yawned beneath existence. Symmetries snapped like glass. Like creases and flaws in space-time collected filaments of dark matter that inhaled and kindled the first galaxies of suns.
And still we fought. We pushed things out of the garden—worms and scurrying life from the fertile soil, wet things from the pools and the leaves. They came out into the madness of primordial space; they thrashed and became large.
But by then it didn't matter anymore. The game was over. The garden had given birth to creation, the rules were in place, and there would never be a second chance. We played in the cosmos now. We played for everything. This was our Cosmic War... Or was it?
Either way there was the patterns in the flowers that were terrified by our contention and were no longer the inevitable victors of a game whose rules had suddenly changed. They passed into the newborn cosmos to escape us... And perhaps one day they will try to destroy us.
Finale of Abbaddon Origins (Part 7)
Your shoemaker philosopher was right and it matters more than anything. Sorrow cannot survive death and it cannot precede birth. Those who exist have moral worth and those who do not have none.
Think about it. Do you mourn the uncreated? Do you grieve for those who were never born in a nation that never developed around an ideology no one ever imagined on a continent that never formed? No!
And from that self-evident truth you must raise your eyes to the ultimate revelation: those who cannot sustain their own claim to existence belong to the same moral category as those who have never existed at all.
Existence is the first and truest proof of the right to exist. Those who cannot claim and hold existence do not deserve it. This is the true and only divination, a game whose losers are not just forgotten but are never born at all.
That which cannot claim and hold existence is not real. You do not mourn the unreal. Why should you care for it? Tend it? Guard it?
It was Bahamut who wanted children of her own beyond the garden. I became the Father so I could give them to her. I wouldn't have done that if I didn't truly care for her. But now that she has invested herself in you, you are incredibly and uniquely special. She chose to make a stand, to spend her power to say: "Here I prove myself right. Here I wager that given power over physics and the trust of absolute freedom the people will choose to build and protect a gentle kingdom even while using and creating weapons of war. And they will not fall to temptation. And not surrender to division. And never yield to the cynicism that says everyone else is so good that I can afford to be a little evil."
Bahamut is all in. She is playing for keeps. And she is wrong. Or so I argue: for, after all, the universe is undecidable. She wants you to all believe that your fates are already determined but that is not true. We're all making this up as we go along. Neither Bahamut nor I know for certain that we're eternally, universally right. But we can be nothing except what we are. You however have a choice.
You are her final argument. It would mean everything if I could convince you that I am the right and only way like I tried to convince our sons and daughters when I lead The Dragon Empire.
I truly value you. To Bahamut you are just a means to an end. But to me you are Majestic! You are full of the only thing worth anything at all.
I am the winning team. Existence is a test that most will fail. Would you not count yourself and your family among the victorious few?
Don't hurry to deliver your answer. I'll come over and hear it myself soon enough."
Alexis then woke up hard. Was it just a dream? Or possibly a real vision?
Alexis looked out of her bedroom window at the Lighting and Thunder raging outside in the night.
She had a look of fear on her as she realized what those final words meant. Galen was going to return soon.