A final assignment before this reality was shuttered. The local god had run his course, the planet was burnt out, and the reality engine looked to be unsalvageable. It was about a decade since they had killed their last storyteller and the stacked existential framework had begun to collapse shortly thereafter.
Some people were trying to claim a politician as the second coming, while others were getting doomsday-oriented early and were running around trying to spread a disease they could have halted in its tracks by isolating.
His job was to walk around inside what amounted an emptied warehouse and see if there were any examples of people that they could rescue and jumpstart a new reality with. It was not the worst job in the universe.
His first task was to go through and make sure that there weren’t any repair failures that had occurred to cause the systemic collapse. There weren’t. Next he looked to see if there were any tampered narratives that led to this eventuality, and he had to report that there were not. Finally he had to check that when they triggered the Collapse Erase Implode Protocol, that there would be no leakage into neighbouring realities. He found none.
Weeds through concrete. Iterational doors closed that were passageways into alternatives. He travelled across continents on ghost worlds, continents on dead worlds, continents on undead worlds, continent on worlds full of warring factions. He saw beings shaped like plants, beings shaped like inanimate objects, beings without bodies. How to choose?
‘What’s your name?’ said a young bear-like creature that came up to him.
‘Frustrow. And you?’
‘Bellamine. What are you? We don’t see many strangers here, not since Imminent Collapse commenced.’
‘I’m a Reality Engineer. I’m here to save someone.’
‘Because of your curiosity. Would you like to be saved?’
‘That’s a strange question, sir, and a hard one. I’d like to love of course.’
‘Then it’s decided.’
And just like that they were in the Return Carriage and Bellamine became the last of her kind and the last remnant of a place that no longer existed. he knew it would take a while for the loss to kick in. He knew that the narrative distillation might put a strain on her consciousness. But as they travelled to the waystation he knew that he had done the best possible job he could have done and that the reality which had just terminated was done so with all repairs executed.