Alright, Snooze thought, staring into the void around her with a lonely scowl, let’s figure this out.
She wasn’t sure how, but she was going to use the complete and total mastery of her own mind to resolve this situation with flair and panache. It would be as easy as that.
After a very long time with little to show for it except what she began to call a “brain cramp,” Snooze sighed. She’d come up with nothing.
How can I work in these conditions, I mean, I can’t even see!
That ignited what some in the business like to call, “an idea,” inside Snooze’s god-brain. She needed to see, and she had the ability to create light. She’d just gained that specific ability, in fact.
Oh, but I don’t have the Book of Leaf! She lamented, staring into the darkness, and no Meat to lead me on the correct path. She would have frowned if she were able. Then, she got another stroke of inspiration. Two ideas in one short span of time, Snooze was really firing with all cylinders now.
Fire makes light, she said, and quickly accessed one of the--now four-- Ritual Commands she had the ability to use after leveling up.
Snooze focused, and the magic began to work. Quietly, she pulled up Fire in her mind, and formed a tiny spark.
It struck her now in the middle of the Godspell that she wasn’t sure if it was actually magic or not. She’d been referring to it as magic in her mind, and it definitely seemed like magic, but she considered for a moment that what she’d assumed was magic, might not actually be. Who was she to say whether or not this wasn’t just some physiological effect of godhood? Perhaps this was part of physics, or some other brand of science that she’d only become privy to because of her elevated station.
For instance, she thought, back in the old life, she remembered there were things called bonobos. As close to humans as could be, while not being humans themselves. Humans were apes, and bonobos were apes, but they were so impressively different because humans could do things no bonobo could ever do, like take a photograph, or drive a car, or be crushed under the weight of their own lustful gluttony by a vending machine. However, if a human were to take a photograph of the bonobo, wouldn’t that photograph look much like magic to the simple creature?
Or consider the bumblebee, whose understanding of humans accounted to little more than “oh, damn it all, that mobile mountain is running away from me again making that screech noise, and disturbing my flower patch.’ A bumblebee might have had the most sophisticated understanding of the nuances of comedic theory in all of existence, but they too, would have been baffled by a photograph.
Snooze was reminded of Clarke’s three laws. Clarke was the temp employee in data entry at her old office, and while his first two laws largely related to anime and manga--including which waifu was most suitable to each of his coworkers--his third law was, “if I don’t understand it, it may as well be magic,” which was as profound as the first two entries on his list were baffling.
So, Snooze decided, when considering that the bonobo were the closest thing to humans, couldn’t her understanding of the subtleties of the Curios and Godspells be much like those noble apes with higher technology?
She was wrong, of course. Bonobos were not the most closely related creatures to humans. No, that title belonged to the peb, a lifeform that had emerged alongside humanity, but had remained largely undiscovered (except once, in 1954 by a little English boy named Dickey.) The peb preferred it that way, and had spent the whole of their monumental and innovative existence hiding from humans. Their ancestors had climbed out of the primordial ooze at the exact same time as those of homosapien, but had emerged precisely six hundred feet away.
However, the peb are a tale for another time, and do not relate to this story.
The flames erupted in front of Snooze, and she could now see that she was standing on a shiny, black, ground-like substance. She was still getting used to a physical form with legs, as she’d spent thousands of years as a nulliped, and had spent at least... less than that amount of time as a bipedal creature in the old life. It would surely take some getting used to.
Snooze tapped her bare feet on the ground, and could feel that it wasn’t a walking-structure she was familiar with. It didn’t feel like dirt or rock, but instead like glass. It was smooth, and even where there were pocks or roughs, her feet slid over the terrain easily. She moved forward.
After a few moments, she found that there were little arrow etchings in the glass that indicated a direction, and so, not finding this the least bit strange, she followed their indication and after some time, arrived at a platform. It was made of the same smooth, dark substance as the ground, and shifted up into a pedestal ten feet along the rise.
As Snooze approached the object, she saw that a familiar leaf symbol was carved into the side facing her.
The Book of Leaf!
She touched the symbol, and instantly, the pedestal ignited in a powerful green glow while a hovering screen appeared.
WELCOME BACK, SNOOZE
Book of Leaf! I missed you! Snooze exclaimed, and hugged the column of the pedestal firmly, I was beginning to think I’d be here by myself forever.
I MISSED YOU TOO, SNOOZE,
...the Book relayed candidly.
COME, THERE IS MUCH WORK TO BE DONE. YOU ARE HERE TO DESIGN YOUR FIRST WORLD.
But, where’s Meat?
OH, I APOLOGIZE…
Suddenly, there was another spark of light, and the gigantic, spectral animal form of Meat appeared next to Snooze in the void. He did a little dance of excitement, all four legs tapping the ground merrily, and glowed his trademarked rosy hue, while whistling and buzzing.
Meat! I missed you as well!
Meat responded with a flurry of cheerful peals and hums. Snooze chuckled and turned back to the Book of Leaf.
I’m anxious to start, she said.
VERY WELL. LET’S DO THIS.
Snooze thought about how cold the Book had been to her when she’d first arrived, but she thought she remembered thinking that she’d crack that frozen exterior eventually, and make it into a friend. It is important to note that Snooze did not actually perceive the Book’s apathy toward her until much later, when suddenly noticing its responses had become more congenial toward her.
But let’s allow her to have this one, shall we?
The Book of Leaf shifted its display, and suddenly, Snooze was looking at another void, though this one had a thin circle depicted in its center.
I HAVE OPENED THE WORLD FORGE FOR YOU, SNOOZE. HERE YOU WILL TAKE YOUR TRUE STEPS TOWARD YOUR NEXT RANK IN GODHOOD. THIS PANEL EXISTS TO ALLOW YOU TO CREATE YOUR WORLDS. YOU WILL USE YOUR GODSPELLS TO CRAFT A WORLD TO YOUR QUALIFICATIONS, AND SET IT TO BE.
THIS WORLD WILL EXIST IN A UNIVERSE ALL ON ITS OWN, AND YOU WILL BE TASKED WITH PROVIDING IT WITH MORE WORLDS AS YOUR PROGRESS ADVANCES.
This is so… stellar! Snooze noted, believing her play on worlds to be the very apex of wit.
NOW, FIRST, YOU MUST SPEAK THE BASE ELEMENTS INTO BEING. HERE AT THE WORLD FORGE, YOU CAN USE ANY OF YOUR GODSPELLS WITHOUT EXHAUSTION, BUT USING THEM WILL NOT AWARD YOU THE BENEFIT OF GAINING LEVELS.
Earth, Air, Water, Fire, Snooze listed, and focused on each ability as she said them. She watched on the display as the four elements appeared as their shimmering Curios in the space on the screen near the circular outline. She realized that there in the void, a ways away, the elements appeared as well.
Ah! So this display is showing what is right in front of us!
VERY PERCEPTIVE, SNOOZE, I AM CONTINUALLY PLEASED BY YOUR EPIPHANIES.
In the time since they’d begun, the Book of Leaf had realized that, it too, had allowed its own existential understanding of self to bleed through in its interactions with the god. It now referred to things in the first person, and thought that it was odd that it had become so transparent with the creature named Snooze. Perhaps, it thought, that was a byproduct of its surprise at her progress. It had begun to take pride in her accomplishments. That was a sensation about which the Book of Leaf was not entirely sure how it felt. However, feeling anything about it at all was likely an answer in itself.
NOW, ACTIVATE YOUR GRAVITY GODSPELL, AND WE WILL BEGIN.
Snooze did as she was asked, and forced the new ability into the equation. Suddenly, the four elements floating yards away, began to swirl around a central point, smashing together in a magical whirl of light in the center of the circle. They formed a crackling orb of fire, earth, air and water, slowly turning on an axis of the gravity she’d created.
NOW, WE ALLOW IT TO RESOLVE.
THE WORLD WILL BE BASED ON YOUR LEVEL OF ACHIEVEMENT IN EACH GODSPELL. THOSE ABILITIES YOU NURTURED WILL BE STRONGER, AND EASIER FOR YOUR CONTROL. THOSE WHICH WERE NEGLECTED WILL BE MORE UNWIELDY.
Snooze watched as the planet took shape. Landmasses were forged, oceans grew, and molten lava spilled out of the cracks in the crust and formed islands and mountains, while an atmosphere coalesced around the circumference of the orb. She watched as next, plantlife began to spread along the surface of the land, and volcanoes erupted, spilling into areas and forming new terrain. Storms arrived, and though they were occasionally large, did not upset the balance much. She could see trees, and other varieties of flora spilling across the world, as massive swathes of fungus sprung up.
Flecks of the formation of the planet broke off, and were trapped in the orbit, forming two distinct moons.
All of this happened in a sped-up fashion, and Snooze was captivated by the show. She’d created a whole world in a matter of minutes, and it left her feeling strange.
NOW, YOU MUST SPEAK LIGHT AND DARKNESS INTO BEING.
She did. A huge, blazing sun was born, and its light bathed one side of the planet as it rotated in place. Then gravity took effect, and the world began to orbit the sun in an elliptical fashion, and Snooze watched as sections of the planet began to cover itself in ice.
She waited a moment, until the Book of Leaf prompted her again.
NOW, YOU MUST INTRODUCE LIFE AND DEATH. FIRST YOU WILL CAST DEATH, TO EFFECT THE WORLD FIRST WITH ITS NECESSITY, THEN LIFE, SO THAT THE LIFE WILL GROW WITH ALL CONDITIONS EQUALLY.
Hesitant, but confident in the Book’s statement, Snooze activated the element that she had never used before: Death. She cast it, and a smoke of gray descended on the world, choking it for a moment, and she watched as grass wilted, and trees grew black. It was a sad display.
Will Life fix that?
LIFE FIXES ALL, SNOOZE.
Okay, here goes.
She tried to activate Life, but nothing happened.
Book, what gives? Did you give me a bum Curio?Why can’t I use this?
YOU CANNOT CREATE LIFE FROM NOTHING, AT YOUR LEVEL, SNOOZE. YOU WILL NEED A SEED.
But, where do I get a Life Seed? She wondered.
There was a whistle, and Snooze looked over at Meat, who danced around in a circle happily. Then she looked back to the Book of Leaf, and froze at the words displayed.
YOU WILL USE THE SEED OF LIFE FROM YOUR ARCHANGEL.