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At the beginning there were seven, and each was given an egg.

The First did not realize the gift he had been given. He set his egg aside and forgot about it, choosing to focus on more meaningful work. By the time he came back to it, he had become a god, and saw no need for such childish things. The egg was disassembled, studied, and cast back into the junk pile where it stayed for the rest of eternity.

The Second was too eager. He opened his before the gift inside had time to grow. What emerged was a monster. A cruel place, hospitable only by those that shared its nature. Soon, those who lived in it turned to conquest. They built great machines of war, efficient in design and function, and set out to the other worlds. Entire species fell before their might and were inducted into their ranks. Soon what had started as a single nation was an empire that spanned entire galaxies, and the Second wept at what he had done.

The Third's egg was traded away to a traveler, who cooked and ate it. He was fine, for a while, but then what was inside began to stir. Upon his death three months later the doctor performing an autopsy discovered a small civilization in his stomach. Rather than reporting the discovery, he bottled and kept it on a shelf in his house. There it resided for years, before the bottle was broken in a failed theft and its contents released. They drifted off into the void, never to be seen again.

The Fourth's was stolen in the dead of night. The thief traded it to a fence, who sold it to a jeweler, who put it on display and left it there. Many years later it began to hatch, but having lacked proper care and attention, the contents were twisted. The world inside was cracked and dented. Its people were similarly deformed. It was not long before it began to die. The energies released when it did created a second sun that still shines in the night sky.

The Fifth was more cautious. He saw the egg for what it was, and protected it accordingly. Sadly the Fifth had a wicked heart that infected the contents of the egg. What emerged was a nightmare, a world of pain and sorrow and fire. The Fifth knew it had to be destroyed before it went the way of the Second, and took it to the First. Together they worked out a solution. The world was destroyed without a trace.

The Sixth almost succeeded. She was a good woman who infused the egg with kindness. Sadly, before it could hatch, she died. The newly born world was left without a mother to care for it. The inhabitants suffered a slow death. Disaster struck them again and again, wearing it down until it was finally reduced to a blank slate. If life had ever been there, no one could tell. Certainly it would never develop again.

Then came the Seventh. He was not a bad man, but he was not a good one either. He knew the importance of the egg and raised it well. The hatching passed without trouble. What emerged from the egg was a stable earth. It had both good and evil. Its inhabitants were neither blood thirsty, nor unwilling to fight. Soon it flourished. And God knew His work was done. He passed on peacefully, and the Seventh took up his mantle, watching as we sprang forth from the nothing.

- A story told to me by dying farmhand. I do not know from where he heard it.

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