It is chaos, at the first gate. Stars are forging, atoms are being formed and explosions cascade across the horizon. The universe is being born.
I do not remember how long I have been here. Days? Years? I am transfixed by the creation unfolding before me as I watch from a small, impossible, planet. I do not pretend to understand how the gate and I are protected from the fires which surround us. These Gods dared to defy the universe, and they have succeeded.
Finally, I see what I have travelled here to see. An unnatural bubble of space time disruption appears. Forks of plasma dance across the event horizon. And then they come. Five behemoths glide through the bubble, suspended above the chaos of the universe’s birth, their sub-light engines urging them onwards. They are, I suppose, protected by the same technology surrounding the small world I am on.
As all five clear the event horizon, I consider how pristine they are, so untainted by the horrors to come. What changes these structures will bring to the universe.
As the bubble collapses I imagine they are all communicating with one another for what will be the last time for millennia. This, I realise, is the beginning.
I am tempted to go to her now, to seize control and destroy them all. But even if I could play God I doubt they would allow me. The purpose of the first gate is clearly only to observe.
I see the flicker of their drive exhausts now, warming as they prepare to jump to FTL for the first time, navigating their way to their specific portion of the universe where they will wait silently for life to rise around them.
Eventually she is the only one left. Watching me, it seems. For a moment I think I can see a floodlight below the bridge pulse knowingly.
And then she jumps.