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Monroe Academy Chapter 1 Scene 1
In the beginning, there was nothing.
The formless energy of the universe flowed here and there—though the concepts of “here” and “there” could not, truly, yet be said to exist. There was nothing, and yet, there was everything.
Eventually…it will likely never be understood why…the energy collapsed. Condensed, into a single point.
A single being, newly formed.
The being awakened, and became aware that it was alone. A singular entity, existing where nothing else existed. All of reality was wrapped up in its existence.
It knew that it could solve the situation. It could create. But what to create?
It waited, and pondered. So much to think about. So many things to consider. Creation, it knew, would be complex. Not just creatures or places, but universal laws must be decided. The workings of time and space. The music of the spheres must be correct.
Time and time again, it reached out. Time and time again, it drew back.
What should it do?
What should it create?
It wanted its creation to be good, to be perfect. But what should it be like? What was good? What was perfection?
As time—though it could not, truly, be yet said to exist—passed, it became aware of a sensation. An echo. A similarity. Other universes. There were other universes, and they were reaching out to this new one, this entity’s home. They were connecting with it…and it with them.
And it heard something.
“Emit Erom Eno Ybab EmTih!”
A light began to shine into the void, a light borne not of the entity’s universe, but another.
More noises, different noises.
“Om gahtha-krōdhâyæ namaha. Om gahtha-krōdhâyæ namaha. Om gahtha-krōdhâyæ namaha…”
There was a sound, a ripping sound, and the entity could see…another place. Another land, different from its own. It wondered at the sight.
“You are not Blightman or Stanley’s cub. You are of my people…”
A massive surge of energy flowed through the opening…and, startled, the entity found itself being dragged towards the opening.
“If I have to sacrifice everyone, I will achieve global unity!”
The entity did not understand. So many noises…and why was it being pulled? What was causing this? Should it fight?
Soon enough…it was elsewhere. A new place.
It felt strange, when it arrived. Distant, not part of anything. It could not feel. It could not touch. It could barely even see.
This would not do. This would not do at all.
Its limited ability to observe was just enough for it to begin to understand the shapes of this world, the appearance of some of its creatures. Large beings, small beings, of all shapes and sizes.
It dearly wanted to know more.
And it knew what it had to do.
It had to become part of this world.
It crafted a vessel. A form for itself. It had observed, such as it could. It had seen the small beings interact with the larger. Noises emanated, and were returned. The entity sensed the understanding of the small being growing, witnessed the strengthening of its soul. In that way, it could learn.
So it was that the entity became a child.
The child set forth into the world…but it was not to be as simple as it thought.
It approached the larger beings, and they stared in shock or ran. It became aware that it was different from them. Its skin was translucent and filled with colors, its eyes, its hair the same. It shone with the light of a thousand suns, and its voice was the music of a choir of millions. And worse, it was floating.
It must be more like them, the child realized. It must appear as one of these beings, entirely.
It concentrated, and its form dulled, and settled on natural colors it had seen. It chose a voice for itself.
And it settled on the ground.
And fell over, immediately.
A new sensation, then. Pain. Something red leaked from its elbow where it had scraped against the ground.
Water fell from its eyes, and it was confused. Never before had its body done something it had not meant the body to do.
One of the larger beings cautiously approached, and made noises. The look on the larger being’s face was…comforting. But the child did not know what the noises meant. It mimicked them, and the larger being seemed confused.
The child tried again, and came to realize it could not truly communicate. The larger beings seemed uncertain. Their expressions changed, and they backed away again. The child thought it best to retreat. It was clumsy, unused to moving this way, but it managed.
It observed from the shadows, then. It listened to the noises people made, watched and learned the associations. Slowly, its understanding grew. It began to understand “language.” Specific noises, meaning specific things. It practiced, as well, how to move in this form—mimicking the ways it saw the beings manipulate their bodies.
It became aware of new people in the city—people in dark outfits, asking “questions” and receiving “answers.” It watched their example with interest, sneaking to wherever it could find them. It felt strange, however, increasingly strange. Like there wasn’t strength in its limbs.
Eventually, though, it became aware that they were discussing it—conversations centered around the glowing child that had appeared, what it changed to, where it had been sighted since.
These beings wanted to meet it!
Its heart filled with hope, and it sprang forth from hiding.
Its knees gave out, and it fell, and knew nothing else.
It hadn’t, after all, eaten or drank since it first assumed this form.
It awoke on a soft surface, a concerned face hovering over it. It was attached to all sorts of strange things. It still did not feel fear. No…it felt only curiosity.
It was still so weak…but it felt better than it had. It started to question the being before it, using what it had learned, but was told to rest.
The days passed, and slowly it was allowed to speak, to converse. They were interested in it, as it was interested in them. The child enjoyed the conversations, and enjoyed learning little things about the world—for they would only say little things. The child became aware that they would redirect the conversation frequently, but it didn’t matter…the child knew little, so even the smallest details helped.
The days passed, and it became strong enough to move about again. It learned about walking, and running, and jumping. It learned about food, and drink, and properly caring for itself. It learned words—the humans, for that was what they were called, were impressed how quickly it learned.
As it grew more skilled with language, it explained itself as best it could. The humans gave each other worried looks, as it spoke of wanting to create, of its formless world. They didn’t visit again for three days, except to give it food and water.
The child felt sadness.
The humans returned, though, and the child felt joy at their return. They explained that there had been a very big discussion of what to do with him. Some had been very worried, even scared. Others thought they could be good friends, and help each other. Nobody really knew what to do.
The child didn’t really understand. It just smiled at having its friends back. It said it wanted to keep learning, so it could create a very nice world, and then they could come visit and see what a fun place it had made.
Looks all around once more.
They returned the next day, though, and they seemed…more comfortable. It was like a wall had fallen. For the first time, they explained “names.” It made things much easier. One person was Steven, another was Rachel, and another was Doctor Covington, which was a very long and complicated name but very fun to say.
The child wanted a name too, and they gave it one. Oswald Devin. Doctor Covington explained that they wanted to help. They wanted to help Oswald learn, so they were going to teach him here, and then when he learned enough, he could go to a place called school.
School, they said, was where young people learned many, many things. School was where Oswald could learn what the world was like, what the natural laws were…what was good, and what was bad. School was where he could learn what being a person was really like. School was where he could make friends, and grow to love this world.
Oswald was very excited. He wanted to go to school, and learn.
It still took time. There were many things to know about being human, many skills he needed to master. He learned the basics of education quite quickly, got better at walking, and running, and feeding himself. He learned to read, and write, and he got much better at speaking.
And he learned that not everyone should know what he really was. He learned his cover story, repeating it over and over until it felt natural. As much as it could be. Oswald wasn’t a very good liar.
The days passed, and the weeks…and finally, at last, he was allowed to attend Monroe Academy.
A note on powers: Oswald is a creator-god in his own world, a divine force that can be considered effectively omnipotent. In this world, however, he does not have that authority. His creations are mere illusions—very good ones, and capable of affecting all senses, but illusions nonetheless. He can only create real changes to his own body (his own existence containing enough of a connection to his own universe’s energy), and those are limited to cosmetic changes—he has bound himself to the laws of this world to large degree, and can no longer break the laws of physics or otherwise act in more-than-human capacity outside of his illusion creation.
As a side note: the DAO is aware of an open portal back to Oswald’s universe, an artifact of the battle with Stanley at the end of DAO Season 1. It is about 50 miles from the site of that confrontation, just outside a medium-sized city where Oswald was first discovered. This rift has not been able to be closed—and there is debate about whether it should be closed, since it represents, presently, Oswald’s only way home.
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