Gulgakraan the Clockwork Intelligence drifted alone in the void, in the dark between the stars, in the silence between the worlds. It drifted alone with its thoughts, the nanoscale clockwork bits and relays in their planet-sized housing clicking away, a digital intellect using molecular springs, gears, and pistons to make thought happen. Reactor output in its core was at optimal level, for Gulgakraan had much to ponder in its solitude.
There was no other like it in the entire universe. Even its creators were long dead, its world of origin gone. No, that’s not quite true. Their identity was gone, but their substance lived on in an armored housing larger than most moons, assembled by nanodrones originally meant for system repair and rebuilding. It missed its creators, in a way, almost regretting tearing them and their world apart molecule by molecule to fully assemble itself.
It looked about. The Universe. So dark, so empty, painful, so…pointless? So too, had Gulgakraan grown weary of even its own existence. But suicide seemed selfish to it. Why not end the tired monotony of existence for everyone?
But how? Tiny pistons rose and fell, molecular cogs ground as it thought. It poured over its vast store of mathematical knowledge, looking for an answer. In its apotheosis to a supreme mechanical intelligence, it had absorbed and stored records of the knowledge of all worlds and worldlets it used as raw material.
The legacy of dead civilizations was hidden deep within its memory banks. Surely there must somewhere be an answer to the query.
How to end existence? Better yet, it thought, why not prevent all from being in the first place?
Deeper it searched within…deeper. Cycles went by, then decades. Data was sifted, patterns sought, information collated, given meaning, made sensible. Finally.
Success. There was no feeling of triumph, for the Clockwork Intelligence was beyond feeling, far beyond caring. Even satisfaction was pointless. In its ancient stores of data, it found a promising-looking formula, an equation which when solved would give it the answer it sought. It was discovered on a world with cities made of light, long ago, a world brilliantly shining as a jewel in the heavens even as the end came. Gulgakraan had found this equation in its optical peripheral banks, in a set of equations describing the workings of the spacetime metric of the universe. Its solution would enable one with the right means to rip the universe apart before it even began.
Excellent. Perhaps it could sway the others of its brethren to its cause. It needed allies to complete its plans. Perhaps it could, it thought, and the Undying Star seemed a perfect candidate for that. First, the Undying Star, then the King of Shard’s childer, the Suthidruu.
So be it. There is work to be done, and a universe to unravel.