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Imagine a space of incredible volume. Now place within its center an enormous ball of hydrogen and helium, collapsing against its own fiery detonation. Imagine a fireball so big that the force of its own illumination prevents light from its center from escaping for millions of years. Now picture the left-over bits from the star’s ignition spinning around in orbit, slowly accreting together over a staggering length of time.

This is the stage. This where all of the acts appear, lit from this ancient fiery torch. This where all of the tragedies and comedies that have ever happened and will ever happen, happen.

Are you getting the hang of it? Can you see this place, this domain? For as long as there are people and intelligences able to record impressions and ideas, this will be the only home of anyone who reads these words. But don’t feel so bad. The solar system is a big place and perhaps bigger than most might know.

For within this enormous system, the vast whirling orrery, know that certain places didn’t quite arrive in time for the show. What we see is what showed up on the stage when the curtains went up, but some of that which is hid off-stage.

In these other spaces, tethered to the rest of the system but still independent, are bounded universes entire. It is one of these places that a young woman wakes, lying on a field of grass. Picking herself up, she smells heath, dusty wind, and the trace of flowers in the distance. She can see the low hills on either side of a wide valley, purple and hazy in the distance. Peering intently, she can barely make out a structure perhaps two miles away, something with grey walls and fluttering pendants.

She called herself D. Perhaps if she can leave the valley, she may find a different name. She likes the sound of Jessica.

Does she want to return? A need brought her into existence, a desire to see a stray note in the symphony of the system brought into fuller harmony. And this she accomplished.

Are there other notes, discordant and unaddressed? Certainly.

Is it her responsibility to correct those as well?

The answer is contained in the question. She existed and exists. She exists to exist. Only when the system spun in complete order, with every mote of chaos of creation's first moments picked free, would she escape. So she knew that however long it might take her to cross the valley, the task would lay ever before her. She would forever be heading towards it, no matter which direction she turned.

She stands up and begins walking towards the building, unsure if it would offer a portal back to the stage or simply help point way the forward. And as she approaches that structure, its brightly colored flags whipping back and forth in gusts of wind, a faint smile appears on her lips.


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