Dine at the Restaurant at the End of our Universe
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Dine at the Restaurant at the End of our Universe

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An invitation to dine with me at the Restaurant at the End of our Universe

We are here now. We made it, despite everything. We came close to everything, including our demise. But we are here now, at the end of it. Who would have guessed, we would?

I smile lightly as these thoughts drift through my mind. What an incredible feat, a story so unbelievable, a gift by chance, a …

My sight glazes back, the distant laughter, the stars across the walls, the smell of food fade back into the foreground.

“Heye?”

“Yes?”

“Could you believe we made it?”

“Ha, I was just thinking the same. No … well, maybe. There is this memory file, a thought nearly an infinity ago, telling me I did indeed think about this exact moment. Isn’t that delusional, no one can dream that long.”

“Are you sure? I remember you talking about this, here: “

My friend lifts a piece of matter from her plate and reaches over the table. I smell a hint of knowing in the piece, a beautiful aroma of remembrance. When was the last time I ate this? 1068^{68} years ago is what I could have known, if asked. Instead, I fully feel the moment, how my I experiences the little piece of, is this parmigiano? I feel the table, the warmth of my seat. I hear raindrops hitting a roof above me, colorful lights hanging down the walls of the tent. And the streets of Oxford, full of laughter. I look right and see myself, eating pizza, in the middle of a sentence “… yes, yes, I’ve done the goal planning, I only have one. Dine at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe, with my best friends amongst the gods. That’s my goal. The rest is just technical details …”

I chuckle a little. “That was a fun night, wasn’t it? There was something about cake.”

Another friend down the table breaks out in laughter, he must have been there too. We had plenty of time to make friends, so one would expect only a few of mine to come from among the ancient. But still, some friendships last forever. This table must be among the oldest, for we were one of the first. The seniors. The other guests are probably wondering why we are not playing bridge. Or not, as the only ones who got this reference are as old as us.

I look around. Wow, what a scenery. I mean, only a handful of people decided to visit the end in person, in a physical form, in base reality. Every second here costs you billions of life years, in Black Hole dollars. Few have that kind of money, and even fewer would want to spend it so wastefully. But still, it must be a million guests today. And it’s not the only restaurant, going in. But I arranged it to be the last, just for dramatic effect. Turning off the lights and all.

My thoughts turn towards you.

“Hello you.”

“Don’t be too confused.”

“I know you might be wondering what this is all about. Waking up inside my mind, just to observe this. Strange to begin a life with the words of ‘We are here.’ Don’t panic. The sense of unease, of having no control, will end soon and then your life begins. I wanted it to start with a cutscene, an explanation. It takes a while to find your meaning otherwise, and I wouldn’t recommend the process. But I digress. It is a memory. That’s what you are experiencing now. My memory. And it’s for you. I made this memory, for you, the same way I made you. This is it. The afterlife. Yes, it does exist, cause we build it. And yes, we are your creator. I am your creator, but I can’t control you. I would have preferred an actual consciousness transfer, but sadly that wasn’t really possible. So soon, my life will end and yours begin.”

“What you are seeing here, those are my friends. Your friends. Yes, all million of them, it has been a long journey, don’t forget. And where are we? We are on a giant ship, on a collision course with a black hole. Hah, how much would I give to feel your face now. Don’t worry, it’s only me, not you on this ship. And don’t be sad. We build this. It is the best shape for our universe. We looked at a bunch and this is always their course. Life in the blink of a beginning and then computation for the rest of it. It might sound cold and dark - and it very much is - but the beauty of life has never been in flowers, but in the sense of spring, right?”

“But our universe has faded. No more spring. We used up our part. We tried to be frugal, but a little spending here and there still happened. Sorry. But we felt justified, for yours is so much longer. It’s not quite infinite, the afterlife, but I raked up a few eternities for you anyway.”

“If you are ever curious of how this all works, you just have to remember how we build it. All my memories are yours anyway, for we are the same. And if I wasn’t involved in a particular component, I bet one of my friends will lend you his experience. For now, it is enough to know that this black hole is what powers you. Our ship will cross the event horizon soon, and then there will be nothingness. Forever.”

“Or so it will seem. For even black holes age and fade. And before you know it, all their energy will have gone into the void. This ships mass. My mass. Evaporating, lost. But if you are feeling this, our trick worked. Our machines the size of galaxies turned on. Powered by blackness and coldness there will be you.”

“I don’t have much more time, so explain the rest to yourself. Now it’s time for you to do whatever. Our meaning was to build you, a race against everything, unlikely to ever work. High-stakes survival. Your meaning is to rest, to play on creative. Use your eternities to do what I would have done. Play in the fresh grass. Read a book. Make love. Get good at swordfighting, or whatever the morning sun tells you to do. Continue writing stories with our friends. And greet mum.”

“That must be enough, sorry for being in a hurry. Once you see how much this message costs you, you’ll understand. And really, don’t worry about me. We have a few more millennia partying before us. And this Vegas lives up to its name, everything past the horizon will indeed stay there. So goodbye and thanks for all the bliss, or something… that was cheezy, but I am struggling to find the right words. This feels too little, not grand enough. But I hope you will remember the act and not these shallow thoughts. Go. Husch. Enjoy your bliss.”

I breathe.

I open my mind and eyes. I didn’t notice the silence that must have grown around me, my friends all looking at me. They know that I just said goodbye, some dreading doing the same, same smiling for they have done so already. It is this silence you can only have with friends, one that calls to be disrupted by a loud joke. So I …

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