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☦An ending.☦
☦하나의 결말.☦

That was the current population of beings inhabiting the entire, extended multiverse. One single sapient being lay sleeping on the last patch of solid matter, topped with the last gas left from what once was. To the left of the being sat two items; one, a small rusted water bottle filled to the brim with water; the other, a small cardboard pizza box belonging to a human shop that had long since been forgotten and destroyed. The entire scene existed within a sphere only ten meters in diameter, with another human construct - a strange machine designed specifically to ensure the continued existence of this place - located at the exact centre, lighting it all in an azure glow. This was all that remained, existence began and ended here.
그게 확장된 멀티버스 전체에서 살아남은 인구였다. 단 한 명의 지성체가 마지막으로 남은 공기가 덮여있는 마지막 고체 조각 위에 누워 자고 있었다. 그 왼쪽에는 두 개의 물건이 있었다. 하나는 물이 가득 채워진 작고 녹슨 물병이었고, 다른 하나는 이미 오래전에 잊히고 부서진 상점의 작은 피자 상자였다. 이 전반적인 모습은 고작 반지름 10 미터의 구 내에서 보이는 것이었다. 그 중앙에는 인간의 제작품이 하나 더 놓여 있었다. 이 공간의 존속을 확실시하도록 설계된 기이한 기계로, 구 내부를 하늘색 빛으로 물들이고 있었다. 남은 것이라고는 이게 전부였다. 여기서 존재가 시작되었고 또 끝났다.

It awoke and rose. It felt as though there was no lapse in awareness, no significant feeling designating that it had awoken from a slumber, nothing. It went directly from unaware to aware, and wasted no time in obtaining the bottle of water in an appendage and pouring its contents into a certain orifice designed to receive such. After a time it was satisfied, turning its attention to the ham, mushroom and pineapple pizza located within the last pizza box in existence, and began consuming it slowly, savouring the taste as it looked at the boundaries of its home.
그것은 잠에서 깨 일어났다. 의식 사이의 틈도, 잠에서 깨어난 느낌조차도 없는것 같았다. 무의식에서 바로 의식으로 넘어갔으며, 몸에서 뻗어나와져 있는 기관을 통해 물병을 집어들어 외부 물질을 받아들이기 위한 구멍에 그 내용물을 쏟아붇기까지 조금의 시간도 낭비하지 않았다. 만족스러움을 느낀 후, 그것은 존재하는 최후의 피자 상자에 든 햄, 버섯과 파인애플이 올려진 피자로 돌리고는, 생활 공간의 경계를 보면서 피자를 천천히 섭취하며 그 맛을 음미했다.

It followed the lines and cracks of the bleak lunar stone, out to where they began to blur and fade, and then beyond. To say there was nothing but pure black darkness there was to imply there was darkness there at all, which there most certainly was not. It looked out (Out? At? Through? Into? It wasn't sure what description could be used, if something such as this could be described) to the void of nonexistence that permeated and ruled supreme beyond its home, silently waiting beyond invisible boundaries to complete its invasion. It lazily, vainly searched for another speck, a sign of anything within the formless form of its timeless enemy, but it knew it would find nought. Even if by some immense chance, an astoundingly convenient stroke of luck ensuring that another such device preserving its home somehow became synchronised with the timeline and remnant spatial rules with that of its own, it would never be able to detect it; even mere centimetres away, there were no rules of physics or logic in the space between them, and thus nothing through which light, sound or even thought could travel through to reach each other.
그것은 음산한 월석의 선과 금을 따라 모든 것이 흐려지고 바래지며, 이윽고 그 너머로 나아가는 곳까지 갔다. 순흑의 암흑 밖에 없다라는 말은 온통 어둡다는 것을 의미하는 것이지만, 이 경우에는 분명 아니었다. 그것은 생활 공간의 까마득한 너머까지 침투하여 지배하며, 그 침공을 완수하기 위해 보이지 않는 경계 바깥에서 조용히 기다리고 있는 비존재의 공허를 바라보았다(바라보았다? 응시했다? 꿰뚫어보았다? 안을 보았다? 그것은 어떻게 본다고 말을 해야할지 알 수 없었다. 이런 것은 묘사할 수 있는 것이 아니니까). 그것은 느릿느릿 헛되이 또 다른 입자를, 영원한 적의 형태없는 형태 속에 있을 무언가의 흔적을 찾아보았지만, 그 무엇도 찾지 못할 것임을 알고 있었다. 어마어마한 확률을 뚫고, 놀랍게도 편리한 행운이 있어 이 생활 공간을 유지하고 있는 장치와 같은 것이 어떻게인가 그 장치의 타임라인과 자투리 공간의 법칙을 동기화시켰다고 해도, 그걸 감지할 수 있는 방법은 없었다. 고작 몇 센티미터 떨어져있다고 해도, 그 사이의 공간에는 물리 법칙이나 논리가 통하지 않기에, 빛이나 소리, 심지어는 생각조차도 전달될 방법은 없었다.

It paused on its current slice of pizza, idling before it had taken its first bite. It moved its food away from its orifice, out towards the edge of the island of existence, stopping with the tip of the slice flopping lazily just before the edge. The entity knew what would follow, but it enjoyed doing it nonetheless; there was little else to do here anyway. With a slow motion the slice was forced half-way beyond the boundaries of existence, before being withdrawn to reveal that all exposed to the void was gone, having been erased well below the subatomic level, below the quarks, beyond even the level of simple, raw energy. It was gone forever, erased from reality forever, impossible to recover by any means. With no interest in continuing the half-wasted slice, the entity carlessly tossed away the remaining piece, watching it briefly before it vanished.

The sight reminded it of a story formed by a human many eons ago. The entity was not new to the universe, oblivious to the degree at which reality had been perverted; no, it was old and timeless, hiding beyond the view of watchful eyes, reaching out and listening quietly with its mind, learning of all that happened within its reach. Even as the holes began to tear open wider and wider, birthing untold new horrors and mysteries that could never feasibly be explained, it listened and learnt how these things had come to be, and planned for the inevitable time to come. It waited until the time was right, and took the three items it needed - items which once would have been protected and revered had lost importance and lay discarded by their owners, lapsing from their minds.

The first was the pizza box - a simple little thing, capable of generating endless supplies of food whenever closed and opened once more. The limitation of such food always being a form of pizza was acceptable, especially considering how the generated food had eventually come to be randomised when the entity grew bored of the same repetitive flavours.
처음은 피자 상자였다. 뚜껑을 닫은 뒤 다시 열 때마다 음식을 무한하게 공급해주는 간단하고 작은 물건이었다. 언제나 피자의 형태라는 한계는 넘어가줄 수 있었다. 반복되는 맛에 질릴 때쯤이면 새로운 맛을 내놓았으니까.

The second appeared as simple as the first, a mere canister forged by the humans that had slowly yielded to time and age, but still retained its ceaseless supply of water that required only a motion to utilise. The water was good too, the mindless bottle ensuring that only liquid fit to nourish and sustain a jewelled regal flowed from its neck.
두번째로 나타난 것은 처음에 나타난 물건처럼 간단했다.

With endless nourishment ensured for the entities' own health, only one item remained; something with which to protect the final vestige of reality, an anchor to hold the ship of logic and sanity steadfast in the storm of chaos and destruction. The machine was used frequently by the humans to try and save themselves, but overuse and recklessness weakened them until they could do nought but bow beneath the foot of the invading destruction. This one, however, stood strong and alone. Though it never ceased function, endlessly grinding away to hold the spokes of physics together around it, its own solitude strengthened it tenfold as it used the force of nonexistence to hold the small sphere together in spite of it. With these three items the entity knew it could survive indefinitely and as such waited until the inevitable time came when their use was necessary.

The entity recalled the story it brought to mind; one of a single, lone human fighting against a seemingly unstoppable force to save the universe from it. A perfect acid known only as Nothing, capable of consuming and erasing all it touched regardless of what it was, but capable of being used for endless possibilities to be achieved. It recalled how the tale had ended, with the human seemingly failing in their endeavour, becoming the final remaining component of its existence but being granted the power to undo almost all the damage that had occurred. The entity gave its closest analogue to a smirk, realising how similar the story was to his own predicament.

But such were mere stories - such a rebirth was impossible here. Who was left to serve as the new architect? Nobody had made it but him.

The dreamwalkers? They didn't make it, mischievous and cunning as they were. The bastards tricksters had likely realised their realm was crumbling around them and pulled some sly trick to try and preserve themselves, perhaps by sleeping themselves. But there is only so much of itself an ouroboros can eat before there is no more to feed on, and so the dreamwalkers would have died, taking the dreamlands with them. Dreams were no longer empty for the entity; there were simply no dreams.
꿈을 걷는 자들? 그들은 실패했다.

The priests of steel and bone? They didn't make it. They were too blinded by their furious rage for each other, trying to resurrect their own deity while destroying the other to think of their solutions to the problem. Even if the two had miraculously cooperated, worked together to birth and forge a combined deity of unrivalled might, it would have been unable to prevent the reverberating destruction that approached it. The entity wouldn't have been surprised if the two religions finally died with their leaders in each other's arms, clutching at the daggers each had pierced the other with.

The Factory? It didn't make it. It likely never considered destruction as a threat, just a way to turn a greater profit before it was finally killed. It certainly made sure its walls didn't fall unnoticed, producing more and more flaws and errors in logic and causality as the end approached its borders, screaming louder and louder as the distance shortened until its maw was finally silenced like it should have been long ago. Perhaps the Factory was a small part of nonexistence, working to further its own spread? It didn't matter now - none of the Factory's machinations or products stood anymore.

The Toymaker? He didn't make it, but he helped lessen the pain. While he was viewed as warped and insane by others, his motives were pure hearted and true, wishing only joy and happiness to those whom needed it. Even as their parents became unspeakable monsters right before their eyes, the toymaker ensured they had some pleasant item to think back to before their end came. Not just children, no. Any who saw the wave approaching and were despairing were serviced by the toymaker, getting gifts of impossible puzzles and helpful dolls and the like. And though even the Toymaker met his end eventually, he passed peacefully remembering the smiles he granted to those who suffered.

The sisters? They didn't make it. No number of fathers, timelines, events or plans had saved them in the end. No magnitude of revenge was enough to scare the destroyer from them. No desperate pleas brought divine protection to them. No, they passed without a thought or heed, their own secrecy preventing their story from being brought to mind, even by their father.
여동생들? 그들은 실패했다. 그 어떤 아버지나 시간선, 사건이나 계획도 최후에 그들을 구해주지 못했다.

The librarians? They didn't make it. Endless access to unlimited knowledge, countless burrows and trapdoors to sneak through, infinite supplies to anything they wished, and yet still they too fell. Their books shattered like glass, their legacy melted like their bones, and within moments they were gone as though their own book had been burnt. They knew what was coming and how it was coming, and so they knew more than any other how futile it was to resist a primordial force without mind or emotions. Their stories remained though, remembered by the few whom encountered them and remained, and were told as legends and myths to entertain the babes and wives. But even they fell in time, knowledge itself becoming corroded and worn with time.

The godslayers? They definitely didn't make it. In a way they were the lucky ones, being spared from viewing what their thoughtless actions had wrought. The entity didn't entirely know what became of them - were they slain early and mercilessly? Or did some of them remain long enough to view the feedback of their mindless destructive nature consume them whole? Did they see as their rivals became powerful and corrupted in their obsessive motives and involuntary actions? Could they scream as the world shattered and melted like ice around them? Did they hear their legacy crumble and burn beneath the weight of their sins? The entity did not know. It had been too fearful of its own demise to connect with them and learn.

The Foundation? They didn't make it. They thought they were the stonework, the base of what would be normal and not paranormal. They thought they were the ones whom could be depended upon to preserve their world from the horrors beyond. They thought they knew enough to turn the inexplicable into tools, to use them to save the world. They thought they knew how to abuse certain flaws in logic to further their goals to protect everyone. They thought they would be the steadfast ones, the reliable ones, the justified ones, the ones that could and the ones that would.

But they weren't. They had lied to themselves until they thought it was true, but inevitably it was still false, still a lie. They never realised what was happening when the foundation beneath them buckled and crumbled. They never realised how warped and distorted they had become from the madness of the world. They never realised how badly their machines and tools were treated, rendering them useless. They never realised how badly they had failed not just themselves, nor their world, but all life. Even the legendary Foundation had fallen, the supposedly prophesied saviours. Even they didn't make it.

Nobody didn't make it, but the entity did.
심지어는 아무도 아닌 자까지 해내지 못했지만, 이 개체는 해냈다.


Only the entity remained to rebuild the universe, but it knew it couldn't. It didn't know how to, or what to do. It didn't have the cunning of the dreamwalkers. It didn't have the passion of the priests. It didn't have the audacity of the Factory. It didn't have the hope of the Toymaker. It didn't have the determination of the sisters. It didn't have the knowledge of the librarians. It didn't have the focus of the godslayers. It didn't have the resolve of the Foundation.
It had nothing but itself, a bottle of water, a box of pizza, a section of stone and the machine preserving it all.
오직 개체만이 살아남아 우주를 재건할 수 있었지만, 그럴 수 없다는 것을 알고 있었다. 어떻게 하는 지도 모르며, 무엇을 해야 하는지도 몰랐다. 개체는 꿈을 걷는 자들 만큼의 노련함이 없었다. 사제들만큼 열정적이지도 않았다. 공장만큼 뻔뻔하지도 못했다. 장난감 상인만큼 희망이 있지도 않았다. 여동생들 만큼 투지가 있지도 않았다. 사서들만큼 지식이 많지도 않았다. 신살자들 만큼 집중할 수 있지도 않았다. 재단 만큼의 의지가 있지도 않았다. 자기 자신과 물병 하나, 피자 상자 하나, 돌 바닥과 그 모든것을 유지시켜주는 기계 빼고는 아무것도 없었다.

There were no tools.
도구도 없었다.

There were no guides.
안내도 없었다.

There was no hope.
희망도 없었다.

Time had long since run out. There were no days, no hours, no minutes, no seconds. There was no undoing or redoing. There was nothing but now and there.
시간은 바닥나 버린지 오래였다. 날도, 시간도, 분도, 초도 없었다. 되돌리거나 재도전하는 일도 없었다. 현재와 이 장소를 제외하면 아무것도 없었다.

The entity turned to see the familiar machine and moved its form for the first time in a long, long time.

It remembered the button.
개체는 버튼을 기억했다.

It relocated itself to have the large, bright red button conveniently accessible to its appendages.

It remembered what the button does.

It gently rested an appendage against the button.

There was nothing left to do.
더 이상 할 수 있는 것은 없었다.

The entity consumed the final slice of pizza it had, and cast the box out into the hungry abyss.
개체는 가지고 있는 마지막 피자 조각을 섭취한 뒤, 상자를 굶주린 심연에 던져주었다.

There was nothing left to see.
더 이상 볼 수 있는 것은 없었다.

The entity consumed more of the water, then cast the bottle into the abyss with the box.
개체는 물을 조금 더 마신 뒤, 물병을 상자와 함께 심연에 던져주었다.

There was nothing left.
더 이상 남은 것은 없었다.

Thoughts of its ageless lifetime raced through its mind. It remembered everything within an instance, searching vainly for anything it could possibly do other than the inevitable.

There was nothing.
아무것도 없었다.

The entity pushed the button, ordering the machine to stop.
개체는 버튼을 눌러, 기계를 멈추었다.

With one final silent motion, the jaws of the rat snapped shut.
최후의 고요한 움직임이 있고, 쥐의 턱이 닫혔다.


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