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The Absolution Gap is a divide between the Omniverses of Reality and the Omniverses of Unreality. Reality and Unreality are separate, absolutely separate, with a tiny gap between the two of them. This gap is called "The Absolution Gap" because no power in either Reality nor Unreality (it is assumed) has the ability to breach it. That is law, that is fact. That is Absolute.

PrologueEdit

A realm of emptiness, my home. Nothingness, nothing, empty, emptiness. That is all I know, all I am, all I ever will be. Then something changed, and I was spewed out into a place of things, a place of places. So absolutely different from my nature, so utterly full that even the emptiest place there was filled to the brim with substance. I was no longer in a realm of nothing. I was no longer nothing. Now I was something. And that something wanted a name. I was small, almost nothing, but no longer nothing. I was alone, as I had never been alone before. I had never had even the concept of alone, the concept of nothing meant nothing to me. But no I knew, now I was something. But what was I? What would I call myself, for now I had a self to call something. But what? A sudden strange thing, something I at once understood and made no sense of. "Watcher, what have you seen?" I now had a name. 'Watcher'. I was Watcher.

More of this strange thing, which I was beginning to understand as my self adapted to this strange place of places. "Something just exited the Absolution Gap." I now had a home. The Absolution Gap. That was where I wanted to be, that was home, that was safe, that was sheltered. I wanted that now. "I don't know what it is, but this... thing has escaped, has managed to leave the Absolution Gap. Nothing can pass into or out of that gap, that's why Reality and Unreality are separate entities. Because of the Gap." Reality? Unreality? Were these where I was? Were these... places of places really called that? Reality must be where I was, as that was what had been stated first. "Study it, if you can. I need to know what it is. A weapon? A ship? Something else entirely?" "It... it appears to be made of nothing, made of the same nothingness as the Absolution Gap. Except... on the edges, it's changing, gaining form, becoming something out of nothing. Sir, we cannot allow this... thing to come in contact with any powerful energy source. Who knows what kind of havoc it could wreck with an energy source." Now I had a goal: energy. I needed to find an energy source. So I went looking for one.

I found one nearby. But I was suddenly scared. What was it, I needed to know. So I tried to find those strange things from earlier. And there they were. "Shit, sir, it's headed for the generator. If it gets that generator... well, that will be enough energy for it to last forever." "Funny, Watcher, how it only started looking for energy when you said it shouldn't touch energy. Wonder why?" "Are you implying I gave it orders?" "No, but it may be listening to us. If it is, I hope it knows we mean it no harm, and hope it means us no harm either." But I had no concept of harm, no concept of listening, or hope, or anything. I only knew that now I knew what the energy source was. A Generator. I went to it. And then I felt power, then I had a concept of what energy was, what power was. I was strong, I was dangerous. I understood "Harm" and "hope". And I understood that I wouldn't be able to return to the Absolution Gap without energy, more energy then this 'generator' could ever provide me. I needed more.

"Shit, Sir, it's taking our energy, it's absorbing the black hole! And... and it has gained a full form. It has become a black hole, but those aren't supposed to be able to exist in the raw reality, they only exist in universes and metaverses! They can't exist outside them!" "Apparently they can, because this.. thing just became one." "Wait... it's changing again. It's... oh my god." I adapted. In order to gain energy, I would need to speak with these creatures, as I now knew them to be. So I became them. And destroyed them with my touch. They could not sustain me, they were not like me, they could never be like me. Not enough to communicate with me, anyhow. I would be alone again. Not again. I had only just came to understand the concept of alone, and of with. But now I could see that no being in this "Reality" would be able to be 'with' me. Unless... unless I watched, as my name suggested I do. Yes. I would Watch them. I would watch them, and someday, I would find one capable of speaking with me. And someday, I would return to the Absolution Gap. Someday, I would return home.

4 Thousand Years LaterEdit

His plan was finally coming to fruition. For 4 thousand years Watcher had manipulated and altered the humans of this one little planet, all for the purpose of creating a being like himself. He was finally going to be successful, as a child was being born who would have the power to someday speak to him, if she could learn to tap into it. All the creatures from this world could talk to him, but he only needed one... and when he got what he wanted, he would terminate the species utterly, leave no tracks. Watcher watched as a girl was born, born into a world that would curse and hurt her, born into the life he had placed her into so that she would want to come with him when he offered her Existence...

San Francisco (2043)Edit

  • Charcoal (I do not own pic)
  • Fire (I do not own photo)
  • Mud (I do not own pic)
  • Sky (I do not own pic)
  • The Slums of San Francisco (I do not own pic) year 2043

"Charcoal... Charcoal...! CHARCOAL!" Charcoal leaped out of bed as the voice yelled right into her face. She pulled out the knife she kept under her pillow and looked around for the cause of her being woken up. It was Fire, as usual. "Fire, how many time's do I have to say it: don't wake me up in the morning! Send Mud in, he's gentler." Fire smirked, imagining all the things 'gentler' could mean. "It's breakfast, and Mud did the cooking, so I had to wake you up." Fire turned to Sky. "Hey, wake up!" Sky didn't even move. "I said, WAKE UP!" Sky still didn't move. Charcoal noticed a slight grin on his face. "Wake the fuck up damnit!" Sky rolled over and groaned. "Lemmi sleep in..." Fire snorted and then got an idea in her head. She slipped into the bed next to Sky "Aw, I was hoping for some fun... ah well, if your too tired..." Sky rolled over and tried to catch her, but she leapt up before he could manage it. "Ha! Your awake now, I hope!" Fire laughed, and rushed out of the room before Sky could get up and pull her back into the bed. He looked at Charcoal "Well, I guess we're both up then." Charcoal laughed "Yep, and breakfast smells like bacon!" "You say everything smells like bacon!" "Well this time I'm sure of it!"

Five minutes later, the whole gang was sitting at their little table, made out of some cinderblocks and a piece of scrap metal, eating the best tasting 3 days too old bacon they had ever eaten. "Mud, ou an weally ork iracles woth ood, you know that?" Sky said, swallowing down a mouthful of bacon as he spoke. "Yes, I'm awesome, I know. Applause would be nice." Everyone laughed an applaused Mud while he took a few good humored bows, and then promptly fell over one the way down for his last when he was too enthusiastic, which set off another set of laughter and applause. This was Charcoals family at their best, happiest, and contentedness. They weren't like this all the time, usually they were more or less street rats, hungry and bad tempered. But for now. they were family.

After breakfast, Charcoal led her little gang out to scavenge some food, steal some money, and try not to get caught by anyone who may have something against them. Same old, same old. They may have been street rats, but little changed in their world. So they continued, headed up to one of their favorite places, a restaurant district where the trashcans were always full with half-eaten food that was still good. "Okay, now, split up and meet up here again in an hour, okay?" "Yep." "Aye Aye, capin" "Sure ting Boss" were the various replies from her gang. The four split up, covering more ground in less time that way. Charcoal herself dirtied up just enough to be obviously homeless while still keeping herself cute enough to approach. She had been doing this her entire life, she knew how to milk a crowd for every bit they had. Charcoal headed out into the crowd, looking for someone who had friends or family nearby, so they would have to help her or feel guilty and look bad at the same time. As Charcoal was out begging, Sky was scrounging through trashcans behind the restaurants. He found a large and almost untouched chicken. "Who would throw out such big uneaten chicken? Ah, what do I care, I gots me some foods!" Mud, meanwhile, was sneaking up behind people and stealing wallets, then putting them back a few bucks lighter, which he was exceptional at. Fire was out sneaking into restaurants that were open and stealing food right out of the kitchens, which she often got away with. But today was not going to end well for one of them, though they didn't know it yet.

The first sign of that something had gone wrong was when shouting started up behind one of the restaurants. It was Sky, having been caught in the act of stealing a just thrown out set of pots which the boss had just been told to retrieve. Recycling was big, you could make money from it too. So now Sky was stepping on it to get his bum out of harms way. He ran right into Fire, who had just popped out of a restaurant to see what the noise was about. He managed to keep running, but Fire was on her rear now, and caught with an equally large amount of food taken from the restaurant behind her. She got up and started running, but was unable to escape. So she dropped the food and, using her street-born agility, pulled herself up a wall and onto the roofs, which were clear of people. A few blocks away, she climbed down and headed after Sky. Meanwhile, Mud was working his way through a very wealthy family. That's when he heard all the noise, and instantly left the family with a whole wallet lighter. He pulled out the cash and a gift card to a fancy restaurant and then tossed the wallet back as he fled. It hit the owner square in the back of the head. Mud snickered at the baffled look on his face. It was, however, Charcoal who would end up worse off for this days work.

As she went about her business begging, a rival gang noticed her. Since she wasn't from their gang, and since her hair an appearance isn't all that hard to miss, the rival gang noticed her immediately. They then recognized her for being from a rival gang, not just a new street rat. The streets aren't known for being friendly, not to street rats, but even so it was bad luck for Charcoal that the gang that spotted her was an enemy gang she had met before. Last time, she had kicked ass, this time she would be kicked. Literally. In a swift, painful battle, she was forced out with a broken wrist, two black eyes, no money, and at least a few cracked ribs. But she got out alive, which she considered pretty good considering it was 1 on 5, with her as the one. She rushed back to the meeting spot, and with the rest of her gang went off back to their house. As they traveled, it became obvious that Charcoal wasn't doing too well, and in the end they had to carry her home after she collapsed from her injuries, which were turning out to be worse then they had thought. As they came around a corner and entered the drainage pit, they also arrived home.

Home sweet home was a shanty, made of scrape metal and the corner of a bridge that went over a drainage ditch. It wasn't pretty, and it wasn't healthy, but it was home nonetheless. No windows, rusty pieces of metal, a few stray cats that kept the rats away, and several piles of scavenged trash and the like that they were saving for a rainy day. When they entered, they saw what they always saw, a dingy little room with a single bedroom off to one side, divided up into the two rooms by a simple and rotted cloth handing from the ceiling. They put Charcoal in a bed, and then started to argue over how to help her. There was no such thing as "health care", but they could possibly scrounge up enough supplies to sell and pay for a check up. Course, Charcoal was insisting the entire time that she felt fine and they had no reason to worry, she would be back up on her feet in no time. The others didn't listen, they knew full well that Charcoal wouldn't admit to dying if she was already dead, so her complaints now were nothing to them. She was a friend, a part of the family, and they refused to lose any of the family. In the end, however, it came to a compromise. Charcoal agreed to allow them to bandage her up and wouldn't ask how they got the bandages (it involved scissors, a pair of glasses, and several crowbars). In return, she would not be going to a hospital any time soon.

When her friends returned, Charcoal was up and about already. She wasn't using her right hand, which had a broken wrist, and it was obvious that breathing hurt like hell, but she was up and about. Of course, that only lasted until Mud got her back into her bed, at which point he started to bandage her up. She tried to stay "modest", but for Mud modesty was nothing compared to a life. After about ten minutes of work, he had Charcoal bandaged up and ready to go. While Charcoal fumed at being doted on by Mud and being wrapped up in a blanket and some bandages, Fire got a few laughs out of how Sky had been caught. "And then, and then, if you can believe it, the guy comes back out from the store, muttering 'bout how "the Boosmun needed some stuffin in 'tween 'is ears", spots me taking off with the pots, and roars 'Oi! Does ain't urs, give em back!' Naturally, I didn't do no such ting, ha, as if! Course, den he got 'is friends and 'arted kickin ass. So I lost the pots, and took off runnin." Fire laughed, "Right inter me, o' course!" Sky chuckled "Well, you know ow much I love you, Fire, it's only natural I would crash inter you." Here Mud came back into the room with a steaming pot of stew, more water then food "Okay all, foods ready! Charcoal get's fist dibs, on me!" Charcoal muttered something under her breath, while Fire came out and said it openly: "Groan, why her? It's only a wrist and some ribs, she can eat like da rest of us!" Mud glared good naturally at her "Cause I said so, foo!" He unwrapped Charcoals arms, but made sure to keep her legs well wrapped and immobile. "Let me outta dis stupid ting already, god damn it!" Mud looked at her seriously "First off, you should say please when trying ter get stuff from people, secondly, no, I don't think ur ready to walk yet." Charcoal started her annoyed muttering again, something about mud and what would happen to it when she was free again. Mud only chuckled.

It's a Small World After AllEdit

Speaking of DemonsEdit

Watcher And CharcoalEdit

Charcoal looked out over the Omniverse, staring with large eyes at everything She could see it all, her friends in the ship fleeing back home to help save the human species from the termination date, fleeing to just one of an infinite number of universes. Worlds upon worlds with humans living within them, limitless numbers of universes without humans. Universes in all stages of their lives, universes within universes. Charcoal looked into the past, and into the future. In an instant she knew Watcher's role in her existence, she knew his past. But that was not all she knew. She now knew the joys of flight, the curse of death. She watched as, in one world, a child was born. In another world, a war begins and thousands die. In that world, a demonic species attempts to wipe all life from it; and this world, a city is founded that will become a center of the arts, of learning and civilization. Charcoal could see all of Reality, all of it. But she could see beyond Reality, she could see other Realities out there. Unreality, simply a different Reality. Charcoal could even detect the Absolution Gap, and infinite others like it, places of nothing, of emptiness. Unborn universes, waiting to live.

Charcoal saw Watcher then. He appeared as black fire, taking no single form, a mass of flames that shifted and swirled as Charcoal watched. He was the larger, older, and more powerful of the two. He hadn't spent the last 4 thousand years sleeping, after all. No he had grown much since his own entry into this Reality, and he was dangerous, even to Charcoal. But he simply wanted to talk. "Hello, Charcoal. Finally, we meed face to face, insofar as those such as us can do so." "Why?" "Why what?" "Why did you create me, why do you seek to destroy humans, why do you seek to destroy this Reality?" "I seek only to return home, where I belong. If that means I must destroy this Reality, then so be it." "You will lose. I will not let you destroy everything I have ever known to be real and true in the world." Watcher seemed to move back slightly, as though he hadn't expected this. "But... you need not die with them. You can come with me, you can explore all of Existence, everything, all of time and space." "And lose everything that I love? Lose my family? Never."

For Charcoal now knew she had a family. Scattered and lost, but a family, on earth. She now had reason to fight Watcher, more then ever before. Watcher could see this. He could see everything, but he had refused to allow himself to see this future. His desire for friends had blinded him to the dangers, and now he was looking at one. Charcoal felt herself growing strong, growing powerful. Watcher was still the more powerful of them though, and he refused to die. She tried to snuff him out, but found himself unable to do so. Watcher had been equalled by Charcoal. Watcher tried to talk to her, but she refused to reply. She was angry, she was furious, she was Charcoal in all her pride and all her glory. She would not let another lead her, she was the leader! Watcher saw this, and fled from her. He knew what he needed to do, knew that to return to the safety of his home he would need to destroy this Reality. He now just had another enemy to deal with, that was all. And Charcoal, well, she decided to do as she had always done: Fight!

OutlineEdit

CharactersEdit

  • Charcoal - Charcoal is a street rat living on the streets of San Francisco. She is the de-facto leader of her little gang of kids, which consists of Sky, Fire, and Mud. Hair that is dark black with lighter streaks in it, hence her name, and emerald green eyes. She is 18 years old.
  • Watcher - Watcher, or "The Watcher" is a being of near limitless power from another form of Existence called the Absolution Gap. His was an unstarted Reality, a place of nothing. He managed to escape that place, though not even he knows how or why.
  • Sky - Named after his hair, Sky is a 5ft9in tall boy of 16. He is a member of Charcoal's Gang, and uses a pair of knives as his main weapons.
  • Fire - Her name comes from her hair and personality. Fire is a loud, not too subtle individual with hair as red as the reddest fire. She has dark blue eyes and likes to use her looks against her enemies. 17 years old.
  • Mud - Mud has brown eyes, brown hair, and wishes his name could be Dusty. He isn't loud, doesn't defend himself against verbal abuse, doesn't like to argue, and is a ruthless killer when necessary. He uses a number of guns, all of which were stolen. Keeps spare ammo on his body at all times, along with a small book the nature of which is unknown. Mud is 19 years old.

LocationsEdit

  • The Absolution Gap - Watcher's home and a barrier between this Omniverse and the Next.
  • San Francisco - The city on earth where Charcoal's Gang live and are introduced to the story.
  • Central Library of Omega Knowledge - This is where Charcoal's group first meets Watcher.
  • Reality - Contains Watcher, the Central Library of Omega Knowledge, and many other places besides it.

SpeciesEdit

  • Humans - Charcoal is human.
  • Drugats - The species that Charcoals group meets when their ship crashes on Earth.
  • Jaer - A species that attacks Charcoals first ship.
  • K2Y3T45 - A Machine Species that tells Charcoal of Watcher and that he may know the way back to their universe.
  • Omega - A powerful species of creature that can travel the Omniverse with ease, and know a great many things about it.
  • Infinit others - Encountered in the Central Library of Omega Knowledge as Charcoal and her group look for a way back to their universe.

PlotEdit

  • Prologue Watcher, a massively powerful being from the Absolution Gap, wants two things in life: A friend, and to return home someday. In that order. Because of this, he started working on uplifting and altering a humanoid species in a smaller universe that he selected for their adaptability and potential. That species is Homo Sapients, or Humans.
  • 4000 Years Later: Charcoal, the Human that Watcher selected to be his friend, lives in San Francisco. Shes the leader of a small gang, and they are simply trying to survive when Watcher influences a UFO to crash into the group.
  • It's a Small World After All: They take the ship and end up accidentally leaving their Multiverse behind. They then try to make it back to Earth, learning about the Metaverse they live in. They are told about Watcher, and about how he may know the way back to their home.
  • Speaking of Demons-Watcher and Charcoal: Charcoal and her little group have entered the Omniverse, or "Reality". They are still looking for Watcher, but on their journeys they encounter a vast number of different creatures that live in the Omniverse. They learn of the Absolution Gap, as well as find out from Watcher himself about the Termination Date on the human species, one that he set up to destroy them after he got his wish of a friend. He doesn't tell them that he set it up though, and he gives them a cure, having decided that they are worth saving, if only until he finds a way to destroy the Omniverse.

Notes on the story to help you understandEdit

The Universes HereEdit

  • Existence is everything. There is nothing outside of Existence, nothing, for Existence has no borders, limitations, beginning, or end.
  • Realities are immense essences that all follow similar laws. Basically, they are the bubbles in the bathwater, and Existence is the bathwater. Eventually, the bubbles pop, merging with Existence and releasing their contents into everything.
  • Omniverses are just another name for Realities, more scientific, like calling Earth "Terra". Omniverses contain Metaverses.
  • Metaverses are massive essences that follow much more similar laws then Omniverses. These contain Black Holes, which are portals to their individual Multiverses within them. They will eventually pop, spewing out their innards into the Omniverse that contains them.
  • Multiverses are filled with Universes, and have their own laws and rules that vary between them. They contain all the things that Universes do, but they also contain Black Holes (which shows that our "universe" is really a Multiverse). Eventually, they pop, spewing their innards into the Metaverse that contains them, and creating bubbles of laws that spread until they hit and merge with another bubble.
  • Universes are ever expanding bubbles of essence. As they age, they will slowly spread out until they pop, spewing their innards into Multiverses and the like. They all follow a strict set of rules that varies slightly between individual Universes inside a Multiverse, and more so each level up you go.

TriviaEdit

  • I did not know about Alastair Reynolds' book named the same thing. Woops... fail. My bad, I'll try to think up a new name if it becomes necessary.
  • I have long thought of a being from in between "Reality" and "Unreality"
  • Both "Reality" and "Unreality" are realities, but so different they cannot even be called opposites. They are simply different.
  • The Absolution Gap is at once the size of a reality and nonexistant. There is no reality within it, no time, no space, nothing but nothingness.

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