In a small underground facility in Jan Mayen, an island owned by Norway with a permanent population of around 35, a secret research team was overjoyed. It had taken decades for them to reach this point, many of these people sons or daughters carrying on their parents’ work. Some very complicated machines had detected brain activity in the bootes void, an enormous dead region of space containing nearly nothing. This team was the first group of people to ever actually prove the existence of an extra dimensional being, a feat many religious groups had been trying to do for millenia, if not longer. Champagne bottles popped, and cheering resounded around the island. Until it spoke.

This project was understandably controversial, causing much contention between team members. As this was an effort done under a secret branch of the United Nations focused on furthering science through any means possible, the team was multinational and all had different beliefs. But they all had a few things in common. No family, no friends, unconditional loyalty to the organization, they spoke the same language, and their security clearance, of course. Some of the more religious members were uneasy when they were first transferred to the program, saying that this was not our domain to meddle in, and as humans we should not be trying to locate gods. Of course many other people also saw no issue with their goal, it was in the name of science, the driving force behind our entire modern civilization! And of course, there was that minority of people who believed that this was a compulsory step on the path to humanity’s golden age, that we should try to obtain everything we could from this entity and dispose of it once we are finished.

It communicated with them all at once, seemingly forcing its speech into their minds, overriding any other thoughts they had before. The voice was androgynous, and had no discernible accent either. It congratulated them for finding it, and stated that they were on the path to enlightenment. Humanity only needed to do one thing. Give it belief.

What once was a celebration turned into a catastrophe. Bottles shattered, people screamed. To say that there was conflicting views on their findings would be an understatement. The whole island was faced with turmoil of the highest degree, nobody could decide what to do now.

They could publicize the findings, after approval from the higher ups of course, but that would require them to trust that it was telling them the truth. This was the opinion shared by the majority. Another large portion thought that preposterous, acting too soon was a terrible plan. After all, the team had yet to glean almost any information about what the entity was, or what it wanted. A small group of people even decided that this project was getting dangerous now and should be immediately terminated. After consultation with the security council, a tentative movement was put in place to show the world what had been discovered that fateful day.

Of course, if you were suddenly shown absolute scientific proof of a being that could quite possibly be a god, would you not eventually believe it? The discovery was a news headline internationally. We had discovered another sapient, sentient being in the universe! Months later, a universal religion had swept the planet, claiming that the anomaly in the bootes void brought our salvation. Humanity now collectively shared a goal of establishing contact again. Wars ceased to exist, people set aside differences. Governments dissolved. The UN dictated all national affairs. And that’s where things began to go wrong.

“Cease contact! I SAID CEASE CONTACT DAMN IT!” screamed the secretary general as the true horror of what had just happened began to sink it. A booming voice resounded in the minds of every person to ever exist, past or present.

“You all disgust me. Humanity has become a disgusting perversion of what it was intended to be. You will not escape atonement. The slate must be washed clean, it is the only way.”

It was not just an extra dimensional conscience. It was a god. A hateful god, ready to unmake what it had created. A precursor of all other life, ancient beyond words. Imprisoned in the universe itself due to a lack of belief, it was now strong enough to wreak havoc on the world. And it would. It would make these miserable creatures know the true meaning of suffering.

The ensuing rapture could not have been stopped. It seemed to last forever, yet there was no time to scream. All the dead were reanimated, only to immediately be killed again. Skin unraveled itself from bones, everyone experiencing true agony as they begged for it all to end. All living things were exsanguinated, their blood raining upwards in reverse towards the arctic, where a massive, torrential vortex had already begun to form. Structures seemed to fold into themselves like paper. All the while, the souls of all the people viscerally aware of the torment their bodies endured, down to the subatomic levels. Every proton, every electron of their body, long after separation from the rest could feel pain. And it never ended. Life itself is intertwined with every little piece of your body, you see. No matter how far separated they become. And so the souls of the damned screamed for eternity. The ruined husks of our species’ biggest accomplishments lay burning, not going out with a bang, but with a whimper.

The whirlpool of blood was now so large it covered the entire northern hemisphere, tingeing entire continents red. Not that anybody was left to see it. The world had become a twisted, hellish mausoleum, full of hatred and suffering long after the demise of its last occupant’s corporeal form.

Ten thousand years pass. All that remains is ash. The wrath of this vengeful god was finally coming to a close. But amidst all those souls, past and present, something worse had already begun to form. Filled with the malice of a combined trillion years of anguish, the spirits all began to converge, forming a collective conscience in a region once full of life that was now completely empty.

And just like the ouroboros consumes itself, this horrid cycle started itself anew.