The number of ways I saw which could end a civilization were staggering. Tools existed to allow one to destroy themselves. Solar system were populated with a multitude of hazards that could spell their demise. The stars which facilitated life on their satellites inevitably died. All these fates could be avoided however. Peace tended to dominate over apocalyptic war, systems were developed to move asteroids into safer orbits, whole planets were shifted to more habitable regions as dying stars convulsed. And when supergiants were in the last thralls of their lives great shells would be constructed to capture the liberated ferric energy. It was a truism though that the ultimate fate, the violent wrenching apart of ever particle in the universe was inevitable. A slow process, made slower by the ever vigilant forces working in opposition to expansion, it was yet as inevitable as time.
Individuals, collectives, self sustaining patterns of tunnels in ice, non stochastic self replicating climate patterns, and anything else with an ability to think, no matter how slowly, developed ways to cope with the knowledge that, some time in the far future, the very matter which composed them would no longer be stable. Some turned to religion, others to science so unwavering in its denial of the inevitability of expansion that it would be better classed as religion. Still others attempted to find ways around the fundamental truth of their universe. Gigayears passed, then terayears, while civilizations thrived, filling the spaces between the clusters, no solutions were found. Non could ever be. The search itself was predicated on time, the very thing the searchers were trying to unknowingly halt. After trillions of years the undying civilizations of the universe were simply ripped apart, in an instant. And the program satisfied its halting condition.
When all was said and done the results were undeniably astonishing. At first simple harmonic pressure waves were observed, but these expressions of self soon evolved. Eventually stellar symphonies were composed across entire galaxies, quasar sculptures were embedded into filaments themselves, and poetry was encoded into the very fabric of their reality. Their universe had been given only one thing, a instability in the foaming mass of its quantum reality. States which minimized the effects of these random fluctuations were selected for and continuously progressive time followed. Expansion and ultimate destruction were one inevitable effect, but sentience and the self expression which accompanies it were another.
I created a universe for art, the first P—complete universe ever simulated, and I preceded to destroy it. As time passed, and I ruminated on those choices I made in my youth, I found no obvious answers to the questions I face. I learned of others who had since succeeded in reproducing my work. We needed to contextualize what we had done. Meta-physical theories and frameworks of understanding were presented, philosophical debates were held, but no answers were forthcoming. Eventually, more in frustration than anything else, we stopped meeting. Much time passed, our respective civilizations became greater, they expanded and began to emulate the great civilizations of our P—completes. We discovered the same fate of all P—completes awaited us, far in the future.
Now I stand at the base of our greatest accomplishment, gazing upwards in wonder at all we have accomplished. A solution to the final problem has been found, we will twist the fabric of reality itself. For my part I have found the answers I seek after all this time. I hope those who follow appreciate my art.
Energy pulses through the substrate of the tower, the universe whines under its strain, expansion is slowed then stoped, and the program satisfied its halting condition.