This is a story about four young boys and how they made a deal with an unformed universe to be its parents. It’s about how they created a secret police force to police its outcroppings and to sting its hands when it over-grasped. And it’s about the people who were caught up in its awful wake, becoming agents in an insane struggle.
A brief history goes thus: in 1932, the Young Scientists club was formed by five boys: Whiskey, Egg, Vienna, Russ and Hook. An encounter with a strange rock during a stargazing expedition brought them into a world seemingly tailored to their dreams of being scientific heroes. While they explored, the Xyacti – the nascent protouniverse that created their playground world – studied them.
The Xyacti contacted them as best it could, trying to minimize trauma, taking on a humanoid form and naming itself the Patron. It was new, it said, but also old; untethered from linear progression, cause and effect, cause and effect, physics, time. It wanted to learn those things, but it needed to be taught, and there was nobody in our universe – that it could find – that could teach it except for human beings. So it would, it said, create simulation spaces to do experiments with, using human minds as laboratory tools.
The Patron was able to explain this because the boys – at the head of the Tesseracti – had succeeded in teaching the Xyacti to become a sentient universe, allowing it to reach back to 1932 to explain what they needed to do. But it was possible for this work to be undone, if the Tesseracti weren’t there to do the necessary pruning. Even during the meeting with the boys, the Patron was unstable, losing its form or stuttering in and out of existence. There would be a point where it could cement itself, but that point was pinned to a space-time point in our universe, not in its. And until that point came, the Xyacti was the unknown – the X and Y.
The simulation spaces that the Xyacti creates are drawn from human minds, sometimes from the creative, sometimes from the insane. Every simulation space – called an echo by the Tesseracti – is populated by human souls who take on roles within that echo. A few are tasked as antibodies, protecting the echo against external and internal threats, and these few are given powers above and beyond what the normal human experiences.
Every echo is unique. Some echoes are nightmarish hellscapes, and the Tesseracti puts these simulations to an end with neutron bombs, forcing an early collapse. The echoes that aren’t are the ones that the Tesseracti exploits, raiding for technology and to recruit/abduct antibodies for their own ends. Sometimes a particularly belligerent echo will raid another echo – or attempt to invade Earth, which the Tesseracti will go to war to prevent.
The world is getting weirder. The barrier between the echoes, the Xyacti and our universe are getting thinner. The Tesseracti are the only thing that stands in the way.
Well, them and you.