The sun, at last. How long had it been? Yellow and weak though the sun was, it gazed up at the star with pleasure, letting the light fill its eyes.
Only one actually saw, of course. That had been the first real hint that something was wrong. Eyes were complicated, so many tissues working together, so easily upset if one layer grew back wrong.
The sun, the wind, the barren dirt beneath its feet. Simple pleasures to replace others that had been lost; even the recollection of forgetting was passed. Long ago it had broken free, time and again, walking the world to—Conquer? Destroy? Spawn? There was no longer any way of knowing.
Its feet tugged at the ground, pulling the boiling body along. Tissues writhed upon its skeleton as they grew—there was never any problem growing, never that, but now cells fused and squirmed in a riot of biological agony. Deep inside was the heart, the gate to elsewhere bringing in life and information to stave off entropy… The flow was now a mere trickle, choked over long years with cancerous growths.
A shudder and it collapsed. Cold knowledge filtered through the body; the end was approaching. Now would be the time for them to strike. It raised its head.
They stood in a circle, silent. Today they had no slug-throwers, or combustibles, or electron-strippers or rampaging protons. It looked at them, looked through them, in all the ways it knew to look.
One stepped forward, one jailer, executioner. Not a single figure, though; to higher senses it was intertwined with the rest, personal fate merged with the organization. The figure's temporal self was a mere offshoot of the ultimate self-organizing prison.
"The Foundation," it rasped.
The figure was hesitant. "Yes?" The being shone with centuries of survival and devotion. Devotion to an ideal, a concept that had conquered what even it could not stand against.
It chuckled. "You're… still… disgusting…"
The reptilian head slumped to the ground.