So, I was talking to the author of Correspondence From the Goddess and got inspired to write a short story in that universe. So then I did! ♥ Enjoy!

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It was done. Along the great Centaurus arm of the galaxy, the concordance of civilizations known as the Project had built a piece of cosmic clockwork, made from bright stars and black holes. At the center was a hole in space, gaping wide, and through it shone the impossible light of another galaxy.

The One was ready. They would pilot the Ship through the excruciatingly precise looping arc that would carry it across the vast gulf of intergalactic space. Despite the staggering energies committed to the Project, the enormous investment of time, it was still incredibly dangerous. More than likely, they were only the first brave sentient that would be sacrificed in the cause of exploration – but it was a cause the One was willing to give their life for.

Amidst the cheering crowds of a thousand worlds, the exotic particle engines thrummed to life, carrying the One past the solar system of Projectgate, past the energic field that kept the Project safe from the things that prey on stars, and into the heart of twisted space.

The One could feel the tug of twined gravity fields. Each molecule of their body was attuned to that pull, and it was that that allowed them to walk the course up and down and around and through, stepping swiftly on feet of shimmering quarks along the shifting spaces. They could feel the universe curling in on itself, closer, closer, until the distance between Here and There was a single breath...

And then there was a bump, an irregularity, and the One lost hold and space spun and time inverted and they weren't There and they weren't Here and they were...

Safe.

The Ship rested on a featureless surface in gravity slightly lower than the One's birth planet. The cockpit was open, the air a pleasant mix of methane and sulfur. A sourceless light filled the air. It was all very... comfortable.

Which, all in all, made it far more disturbing. So the One was almost glad when something unpleasant intruded; an angry, cuttingly sarcastic voice, unmistakably addressing them. "Thank you so much for your little stunt. I really didn't have enough to do today."

The One turned their head. An alien stood there.

It didn't look like any of the member races of the Project. Solid and bipedial, with a soft natural covering and colorful artificial coverings over that. Somehow, the One could tell that the white bits with the black circles in the middle were visual sense organs, and that the being was glaring at them.

"No, no, don't speak. I want to bask in the presence of the most MONUMENTAL IDIOT IN THE MILKY WAY."

The One cringed. Their vibratory feelers waved feebly. "Um, I don't understand what's going on..."

"That doesn't surprise me!" The being ran what looked like a manipulator limb through the mass of brown substance atop its structure. "I mean, I thought humans were bad. It's good to know there's unintelligent life elsewhere in the universe."

"...who ARE you?"

It shook its cranium and exhaled deeply. "Lydia Devin. Human, from Earth. As far as I know, supreme being in the universe. Pleased to meet you, I'm sure."

"Supreme..." The One cocked their head, listening to the lack of echo. "Am I... dead?"

Lydia let out a half-amused pfft. "Hah! If only it were that easy. No, I yanked you into a bubble warp spacetime thingy, because you were about to do something that would have been a tremendous headache, and believe me, I know from headaches."

"Oh. So... my flight would have been a failure?"

"Failure! Ugh. No, no. I mean, yes, it would've been a fuck-up of truly epic proportions, but it wasn't really your fault. I'm just yelling at you because it would be too much trouble to yell at every single member of your Federation of United Whatevers."

The One carefully lifted themself out of the Ship. Their stability discs hit soundlessly on the smooth thing they decided to call "ground". "Well. Um, what was it that went wrong?"

Lydia sighed. "You made a big machine to travel between galaxies. Swell. Except that when you went in, it scraped across my pretty-much-omniscent consciousness like a nail down a chalkboard."

"...well, I apologize, but—"

"WHICH, in turn, alerted me to the fact that your little trip was going to blow up every star between point A and point B, because your duckfucking scientists couldn't be bothered to test this monkeyfucking thing before building a full-scale model!"

"...oh." The One cringed a cringe that he hoped would respectfully communicate the embarassment of a galactic civilization.

Lydia shook her head. "Look, don't worry about it. I fixed it. Don't ask me how I fixed it, I don't understand the math any more than you do, but you and anybody else should be able to travel through it without blowing anybody up. Except themselves, if they're not careful, but that's how it goes."

The One's ingestion canals fluttered in surprise. "That's quite generous of you."

"Pfff. Nah, it's just easier than trying to get people to follow a warning. Although..." Lydia smirked. "Might as well hammer the message in, right?" She snapped her fingers, and

The One was back in the Ship, back above the atmosphere of Projectgate Three. The crowds that had cheered the launch gasped (or micturated, or photosynthesized) as a great pillar of blinding multicolored light stabbed through the clouds to the launch pad and the Ship lowered down in a scintillating bubble. As it settled on the pad, a great voice boomed, "LISTEN TO WHAT THIS GUY HAS TO SAY. SERIOUSLY, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY IT AGAIN." Then the light vanished.

The One stepped out. After a moment of befuddled silence, the people rushed them. The head of the commsyndicate pointed a listening wand toward them and said, "What happened?"

The One paused. How to explain the fact that a cosmic being had prevented them from making a cosmic mistake? That someone was out there, and they seemed to begrudgingly, impatiently care?

The One leaned forward. "Well... I met God. She was... nice?"

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Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, shine on~

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