A Lie About Nothing

Traveling isn’t easy to do in secret when you’re an obviously esteemed Cat such as Complex. They’re not very fond of bringing themselves to secrecy, let alone “blending in'' as Everything requested of them. Complex laments in their mind, knowing Everything is more than capable of “blending in” far better than Complex. Though... they pause, knowing their powers allow it to be just as easy for them as it is the god. However, Complex was not created nor put into their position to simply be one of the crowd, and using their powers of reality to appear as average and uninteresting to others was the last thing Complex enjoyed using their abilities for. In fact, it was the exact opposite of what they usually used said powers for. But, sighs Complex, I’ve been on call for them for a while now. Surely this means my time is soon. There's a shiver of visible excitement as Complex grins with a sinister flare of their teeth.

As Complex nears the recently bustling city of Uto they note there’s news posts everywhere you look, hologram billboards lighting up with the welcoming of our otherworldly friends: Nautipods. The posts no doubt created and spread by the loudmouth Gravents. Even outside of the city there were lit posts everywhere remarking how another species has been found, news spread about the history they speak of. New recognitions of the past so many had forgotten or never known, all being laid out in front of everyone now.

It erased their previous grin and placed a large frown upon Complex’s face to think of.

During Complex’s previous task where they gathered up both CCCats and Crooks alike for their little game and tests, Everything spoke ahead of time to Complex about how there was going to be a shift in power, and that new things would surface among the chaos of newcomers. Things Everything saw coming, and things they wanted to avoid. Plus, Complex suspected, some things Everything couldn’t see. And their title is quite literally The One Who Saw Everything. While arguably blasphemous, Complex had a theory running for decades now that Everything was actually not able to live up to their title exactly.

Complex didn’t know the details about why their little test was something Everything wanted Complex to host, but Complex suspected this was because of one flaw in Everything’s mighty power: they had no control nor sight over Crooks, let alone the ability to see what would come of them. They wanted Complex to be the control they couldn’t be.

Complex knew the history of Faceless Guides’ alter world and how they had been sent on a grueling and punishing task to locate and place all known Crooks and their wormling forms into that dimension. That, too, was an order from Everything that Faceless could not refute, lest he be cursed beyond what he already was. While that was punishment for Faceless, Complex knew that Everything wouldn’t give such a task to someone like themself with these newcomers. Nautipods weren’t quite the same as Crooks, nautipods don’t originate from wormlings, and they doubted that Everything was directly worried about them. Rather, with nautipods having interest in the sister Creator, Ofae, and the piece left inside Uto by the crook Myir, Complex theorized this was something about the past Everything wanted to remain well hidden. Ideally even undiscovered.

As they passed through crowds and up countless lifts and elevators and weaved through structures and city buildings alike, they finally neared the top. Complex was told to get to the very center and find the piece of Ofae, take it, and offer it to Grimace to return to the abyss they came from. Before they could even near the clearing where the meteor had been placed, a long and snake-like body practically dripped from beside them, slithering behind. The movements looked more like a liquid than an actual physical being, their towering size quickly gathering on its feet and extending itself into a poised position, standing in a manner that loomed over Complex even though their hands touched the ground, not even in bipedal form. Complex turned their head slowly and with a subtle curiosity. They had to tilt their head upward to find the face of the being standing directly behind them, obviously aware of Complex being in front of them. Their form was distorted and unlike any other crook Complex had seen and it rang questions and almost a twinge of fear through their body, something that was unfamiliar to them. This wasn’t a crook standing feral: this was a crook who had found a feral form. Like CCCats who had the ability to alter their anthro forms and their feral forms, the body of Myir had elongated and lengthened into a bizarre snake of a shape. Their arms were still large and powerful, their legs seeming to get shortened similar to how CCCats do in their feral form. Myir’s neck was long, and it swirled with a smooth and intimidating movement, looking like it may lead his head to strike at any moment.

A quick and confused word started to form in Complex’s mouth as they turned, but their mouth quickly was taken hold of by a large, powerful hand. Six eyes leaking with magic smoke squinted into a grin as they looked at Complex now frozen in their grasp. Myir stood tall, adjusting their form from their snake-like appearance and feral posture, lifting Complex up by the mouth till the only thing touching the ground of Complex’s was their long tail which slapped at the ground in frustration.

“Shush now, false god. I don’t want to hear any questions until I’m done with my own.”

Complex’s sight was obstructed by the hand, but the weave of magic was unmistakable. A tightly woven construction of multitudes of magic creating a nervous system-like structure of a body. The weave seemed to flare and dissipate into smoke as it neared and leaked from the bright, magically illuminated eyes. Complex grabbed at the arm holding them, even though they were aware that fighting with brute strength was not something they were good at, let alone against the grip strength of a crook. A small chuckle rang from Myir’s toothed lips, and it infuriated Complex beyond the title Myir gave them. They wrapped their tail around Myir’s body where it could reach and kicked where they could, but Myir did not shift. Instead, Myir simply proceeded to continue the conversation.

“Tell me, false god, what brings you into this part of the city stinking of magic no one should possess?”

Complex was dropped to the floor, given the chance to answer Myir’s question. They weren’t sure how Myir not only saw through their reality magic but could physically interact with them. It was enraging to have their power be so easily tossed aside and then ridiculed, especially when they knew their level of magic was only possible from Everything’s blessing. Something few have the privilege of ever getting in their lifetime. Their fury showed, but it only made Myir tilt their head with a grin of pure bliss as he looked down at Complex. Complex stood upright, brushing themselves off and releasing their tail from Myir to swirl it behind them. Their head tilting back to try and maintain a posture of dignified spite despite being unable to look down at Myir.

“I’m under order,” Complex began to answer, adjusting their shoulders with pride, “from The One Who Saw Everything, no less.” Complex seemed proud to announce this, expecting it to gather some sort of fear in Myir. Even as a crook, Complex expected Myir to know who Everything was and the power they held. But Myir simply chuckled.

“Ah, so Everything finally thought of getting a little outside help to keep the information down?” Myir chuckles. “A little too late then, it seems,” Myir spoke with a tone of pride high enough to belittle even that of the egotistical Complex. Complex shakes their head in disbelief and bewilderment at being told they were wrong or that they’ve even done wrong. At first they don’t believe Myir’s words, but their face of doubt is present and Myir picks up on it. Their smile is wide, excited like a little kid’s even. They grin, nodding at Complex struggling to find words, ushering them to speak.

“Go on now, ask it. I know you’re dying to know.” Myir coaxed, and he was right. Complex hated that he was right, but Complex wondered if there was information they were being left out on. Their order was given to them direct and precise, immediately worded to the exact of what they needed to know to complete it. Nothing more. Was there more?

“Late for what?”

In a realm beyond understanding of shape and form resides two sibling entities. This realm is visited by all sorts of other entities who come and go, but they do not appear in this known moment. The sibling entities have their own privacy, yet are by no means secluded and removed from the commotion of this realm. They are simply unimportant in this moment. They appear within a blink, faster than a blink, even. One after the other as if they were chasing their walking after image. A being walking on their hands and feet in a feral posture matching that of a CCCat; their exposed chest cavity littered with multitudes of shifting eyes that refuse to remain still as they gaze far beyond this realm being the brightest form of color on their body. The rest of them seems more like a white, glistening light. Letting these unknown arrays of color touch their being; only their eyes. They step forward, a long mane dragging as they touch down from their blink into existence and they sigh.

A being blinks into existence behind them, announcing in a frustrated tone as they appear,

“What did he mean, Ev?” Calls the second being. They walk upright, their pelt black as void and their tail seems to trail into that very void of existence, going on as long as time itself. They appear decorated in golden accessories found from within the mortal plane, but that is the only means of color placed on their body. Their form matches that of a CCCat as well.

“He meant nothing, No. To think you would believe a being like that is foolish in itself, but to doubt me?” The being of eyes in white, Everything, turns to the endless being of pitch, Nothing. “That just proves how unfit you are for your role.” Their posture is angered, yet they move with elegance that is broken by shattered, jerkish and flawed movements. It seems like time speeds up and slows down at unknown and sporadic intervals as they make even the slightest gesture. The same happens to Nothing, who is in a posture of wide arms of pleading, standing upright on two legs unlike Everything.

“How can I be unfit for a role you apparently took from me?” Nothing booms, their voice echoing in anger as though it came from every direction. It doesn’t phase Everything, who seems to only scowl in retort. They march to Nothing, adjusting their form to stand upright, meeting face to face with the sibling entity. Their finger presses into that of Nothing’s chest, enough force to cause Nothing to step back despite their attempt to fight back.

“I did it because Skire needed it,” Everything hisses back. “If I hadn’t done what I did, Skire would have signed its fate in the moment of that bloody war. Everything we were told to do, protect, and guide would’ve been destroyed.”

“You don’t know that,” Nothing’s voice lowers, whimpering, but there is no doubt within their tone. Just confused, betrayed anger. “You say you see it all but you instead took away the sight of your only sibling. You blinded me to make sure only you could see. You made it so there was no chance of sight beyond your own.”

Nothing pushes forward, slapping the hand of Everything off of them. Everything’s face flickers for only a moment of shock before turning into an even further twist of enraged hatred. This doesn’t stop Nothing as they point their own finger right back into Everything’s chest, opening their palm to entirely press their hand against the many eyes exposed within as they push Everything backwards. They walk a number of steps in this bizarre, angry dance as Everything tries to fight back.

“I could’ve helped you,” Nothing’s voice yells with pain from within their heart. “I could’ve helped all of them. Instead you doomed them, locked them away, forced them to become irrelevant. You lied, Ev. You’ve made excuses so you could keep control for yourself.”

Everything stares at Nothing, No’s face twisted in a pain not even Ev had seen before on their sibling. It makes them stumble from their feet, a being of supreme power clumsily falling onto their rear as they wince in surprise rather than pain. From below, they look up at Nothing who stands before them, their clawed hands clenched into a fist. Nothing doesn’t speak, and they seem to radiate an emotion that neither of them knew they could feel. No takes in a needless breath, shaking off the feelings they didn’t know how to name. They turn, offering a stubborn hand to help Everything up.

Everything looks at it, confused, then back to Nothing who is looking at them in a frustrated face of anger. It creates a knot within their endless chest, a feeling that floods their entire being. They look down, and for once they feel shame.

“You’re right,” Ev whispers weakly. “I lied.”

They dip their hand into their chest, a moment of pain crosses their face as they do so. Their hand writhes within the mass of glassy eyes as they search for something within, eventually pulling out an eye of shifting, shattered colors. They hold it in their hand for a moment, looking back at No who seems stunned into a frozen posture. The feeling of shame does not leave their body to witness this, in fact it causes that feeling to flood their being more. They take the outstretched hand of Nothing’s and stand, holding onto it firmly so that the palm is still upwards. They look at Nothing’s face and place the eye firmly in their hand without fully letting go.

“Skire appointed us both after the war to fix what had been done. It’s creation looking doomed to death and bringing all around it into that same fate. When I was given my host and my power I saw nothing but failure. With what little influence we were allowed to grant to them, I saw the chance of change. I needed your help--”

“You needed me out of the way.” Nothing interjects. Everything winces, gripping tighter to the eye held within both their hands.

“You’re not wrong,” Everything admits with guilt in their tone. The feeling of a hot pang of shame radiating within their body does not leave. “I feared that our kin’s weakest forms, wormlings as they’re called, would be best controlled and lead into good if they maintained their connection to the greater mind. Crooks I believe they’re named, were too unpredictable. With their detachment they could still cause blame to be put on their kin for their strayed behavior and doom the entirety of Skire’s work.”

“The one named Myir said the one named Halik had a solution to that. But you wouldn’t know, would you? You never gave the stray evolutions a chance. The creator’s creed is to let their work evolve and grow without them. You know that. I could’ve helped you, even, but you made it so I couldn’t. Not to my full power. Do you even realize that?” Nothing’s grip on the eye tightens, but they don’t pull it away. The feeling of comfort pulses through their hand at the touch of the eye, and their body feels like it shifts with confusion at the feeling.

“You’re right. When I took my host I saw everything fail, so I thought I had to control that which I could see in order to watch it succeed,” Everything pauses, an expression of disappointment painting itself upon their face as they inhale to correct themselves, “I thought my control would fix everything.” Everything looked down at the eye, watching the colors shift as though light were refracting within its very core. Nothing’s hand breathes with flickering particles glimmering around them gently, the eye speaking to the host.

“I took your eye from you before you took your new guardian host. I was given mine first, and Skire did not have reign over us after imbuing the hosts with its power. So when I saw the fate of the creations, I took it upon myself to recruit your help. I made your host match my image in hopes you’d be able to work with me and aid one side, but it wasn’t correct. You were never meant to take that form or hold the power you did, but you didn’t have your eye to merge with your host and you were never given your proper place. Your role.”

Everything looks up to Nothing, gently releasing the eye from their grasp. Their hands gingerly retract, placing themselves nervously near Everything’s chest as they watch Nothing pull in the eye with a gentle expression of comfort.

“I’m giving it back to you now. Not as an apology, but because you’re right. Even now I see us failing, and I need your help. Your proper help as the role you were given.” Everything steps back and watches as Nothing’s pitch black form seems to spread itself into a million pieces, gathering and reforming into larger pieces chunk by chunk and slowly putting itself back together. Their shape changes from what would best be recognized as a CCCat on Skire slowly into a large, upright being more similar to a Crook. Their dark fur does not change, but it is as though the colors refracting within the eye have all separated into individual eyes as they scatter up the crook’s neck and face. It seems almost like a stained-glass mural upon their body as the eyes glimmer with color never before seen on them. With an exhale, they open their true eyes and look back at Everything, who seems to be staring back at them with uncertain expectation.

“I can see,” Nothing states blatantly, startling Everything. Ev gently nods in response. Nothing looks down at their hands, turning them and flexing their fingers.

“No, I mean I can see. You weren’t wrong. I’ve seen them fail. Why are they doomed to fail? If we’ve seen them fail, doesn’t that mean it’s certain?” Nothing asks, looking back up to Everything with worry. Everything looks down, uncertain how to respond and not yet able to face their sibling.

“I’ve never said this, but: I don’t know. No matter what I’ve done I’ve only seen time be bought, never have I seen their fate change. I’ve been trying, but no amount of help I recruit or actions I take have been able to influence them into success.” Everything admits with a defeated tone. Nothing looks at Everything, their head tilting in confusion as they stare into a beyond, watching the images of the past, present, and future of their kin pass by their eyes.

“If Skire gave us its power then surely there was something we were meant to do? Why would it set us up for failure? If you see your kin fail and I see mine fail, how are we expected to help them?”

Everything looks around in the space of colored void around them, objects and shapes meaning nothing as they shift and change around them. They search for an idea among the nothing, a feeling of helplessness has always existed in their mind from the day they first took their guardian host and saw the species they were set to guard. Then they look at Nothing standing before them.

“Perhaps even despite our vision we are supposed to do as the creed of the Creator’s suggests. Evolve, change, and grow without them. It’s the only thing I could think of, and I chose to ignore it for centuries now in fear it would mean our obsoletion.” Everything admits, stepping closer to Nothing who only tilts their head at Ev.

“You, of all creatures, are now accepting that creed? You are a cat of pure ego and certainty, and you are admitting even you were wrong and need to change within the same year?” Nothing furrows their face in confused entertainment, not believing what they are hearing. Everything dodges No’s gaze, shame not being quite the word of the emotion they feel but instead matching more that of embarrassment. There’s a pause of silence as No waits for a response, and Nothing laughs when it’s clear Everything won’t vocally admit it. The laughter from Nothing embarrasses Everything further, making them cross their arms in frustration at the mockery that is befalling them for the first time in their lifetime as a guardian. Nothing eventually slows their laughter and places a hand on Everything’s shoulder.

The noise around them ceases entirely as the moment Nothing’s hand is placed on Everything, imagery both of them never have seen before floods into their minds. Experiences of time pass through them as though they live through all of time through all the eyes of their kind in the mortal realm in a matter of moments. Visions showing them certainties and possibilities they neither had possessed comprehension of.

Nothing takes their hand off of Everything, exclaiming with a loud yell of surprise as they blink rapidly. Everything stares dumbfoundead at the ground, looking far beyond it in shock and confusion. They both turn their heads to one another after a moment and come to a strange realization in unison.

“We only saw one side...” Everything says slowly, trying to find their words.

“We could only see certainty in our own actions, but we never took into account the possibilities of our combined actions.” Nothing exclaims excitedly, their once playful nature returning as though the events that transpired moments ago did not change their entire known existence. Everything nods at them in surprised agreement, then slaps their hand onto their face and drags it down in a loud groan. Nothing watches with a knowing smile.

“I can’t believe I’m supposed to know with utmost certainty how everything pans out, yet the first thing I ever chose to do with this life led me, you, and Skire’s creations to suffer for many years down an aimless path of expectations and wishful thinking.”

Nothing furrows their brow to Everything, a frown forming on their face as they wait for Everything. “I expected you to summarize that in a more appealing way.”

Everything shoots a glance of accusation, “What do you mean?”

Nothing gestures wildly, swaying their new form about in a mocking fashion. “Come on, say you, the guardian of all-knowing sight made a mistake.”

Everything scoffs, their renowned ego taking a hit as they back up with the remark feeling as though it left a physical impact on them. “If you had formed first would you not have done the same thing as me?” Everything asks with a twinge of anger.

Nothing raises a brow. “No?” Nothing walks over to Everything, their form blipping into place beside Everything. “You made, quite honestly, the worst mistake ever. You can tell me I’m right, but I would rather hear you tell me you were wrong.”

“Why should that even matter? We have the means to properly help the creations now, we can move on and do what we were appointed to do.” Everything blips a few feet away from Nothing, arms still crossed.

Nothing blinks into the front of Everything, and places their hands on Everything’s shoulders as they look them face to face. "Because being wrong is how you can learn to grow to be better."

Everything has their neck retract in shock at Nothing’s new form and size now looming over them, but they stare at their new face for a beat. Then sighs.

“Fine. I was wrong,” Everything takes a step out of Nothing’s grip, their movements graceful and seeming to no longer jerk with uncertain timing. “And it’s time we work on making things right.” Nothing smiles in response to this and places their hands behind their back.

“I don’t forgive you for what you’ve done, but if we can help the creations then maybe one day I’ll find it in my essence.”

Everything turns their back to Nothing with a scoff, but there is a smile upon their face as they warp to an unknown place in an unknown realm filled with unknown possibilities. Their sibling follows after them.