Alan spun slowly in his chair, ignoring the slew of collision data littering the landscape of his desktop wallpaper. “Do you ever wonder about what we’re actually doing here?” he asked.
“I’m analyzing data from ATLAS. You’re wool-gathering,” Brian matter-of-factly replied.
“But don’t you wonder about what’s happening inside the collider?”
“No, because I know what’s happening. Protons are striking other protons at relativistic velocities.”
“Right. And that creates a fantastically energetic soup, not at all dissimilar from the stuff comprising our universe following, and I’m talking by femtoseconds here, the Big Bang.”
“So don’t you ever wonder if maybe we’re creating a tiny, immensely ephemeral universe with each collision? And if intelligent life could evolve in such an infinitesimal universe? And if instead of studying the fundamental structure of reality, what we’re actually doing is methodically cataloging the death of a billion trillion intelligent beings?”
“No,” Brian said.
“But what if we are?” Alan mused. “We are their Prime Mover—their primum movens, the first cause of their existence. We are their God, and we regard them with absolute and utter indifference. How callous is that?”
Brian shrugged. “No more than whoever created this crapsack we live in.”