We fell, screaming, through a hole ripped in space, through a hole ripped through a billion years of history. It was a fall that lasted us forever, a fall that lasted an instant.
But it was a fall.
Call us angels, avatars of The Final Mind. Part of the end of all things, sent to bring that end closer. By force - if necessary.
Two asteroid-sized intelligences, full of nano-factories and cornucopia machines, full of the products of the end of time. We were ready to make our mark on yesterday, and shape it into a new tomorrow.
The Vulgate Worlds sat in the cometary halo of a dying star: a red giant, guttering away its hydrogen in a final doomed attempt to stay alight. In a million years it would collapse and fade, just big enough to become a white dwarf. Until then, a posthuman clade or two would fill its empty spaces, diving armoured comets into the thin star stuff to steal the secrets of the ages.
Stein Gunarsson was from Kohlwahr. Once a back up world, now an expanding node in the wide open spaces of the superbrights, its ships sped across the stars, grazing lightspeed and exploring the myriad faces of humanity. Stein was one of the explorers, a transmitter in his skull beaming all his sensations to his ship, and then back across the stars to his real body, a cluster of chilled smart matter out on the edge of the Kohlwahr system.