I always liked Othello. There are a dozen different names for it; I’m talking about the game with the cute little black and white pieces. You flip ’em over.

Well. The minute I got into my new body, and I could read, I found the game again. It was a computerized version this time. Even better! Now, I didn’t even have to remember the rules, to play.

It was important. Because it was the only functional analogy to what fighting this thing was like.

Before we begin, you need to know how a few things work. Like Time. Time is a function of the number of living souls, exerting force over their environment. You know how ghosts work, right? Sometimes, a ghost is when a person dies and their last living moments, their very consciousness, is imprinted onto the fabric of reality. Other times, the person is really there; but that’s not important for right now. What’s important is that you know how reality works.

While a ghost is just sometimes a person’s mind, soul, spirit, writing REAL hard, on the fabric of reality, you have to understand that, we are doing this all the time. You might say that we write even harder; but that’s not exactly correct. We write in a different way. It might be said poetically that our souls weave the fabric of reality. It’s not exactly true; but it might help you understand it.

I’m not saying that things don’t exist when we’re not looking at them: they do. I’m saying, everyone who’s still alive is etching their choices onto reality itself. Onto the projection of it, I mean. It’s really complicated. I think it’s best to think of it like this— what we do, becomes our history.

And that history has a tangible presence. You ever wonder why human beings can’t go backwards through time? Well, you can. I can. You can even go sideways; up, and diagonal. North Left. Time has more directions than human beings have words. There are realities that are inside-out. Sometimes, naturally; other times, splayed open, by a cross-section of Time itself. And there are places that are outside of time. And there are locations that are inside the inside-outness of it all. You usually only go forward because, you’re in a herd.

It’s possible to think of your cohort as a field of flowers. The metaphor is more apt than you would think. Locked in the soil of time, you can only ‘stray’ so far. But, what you can do, is grow up.

Put it a different way. Imagine that Time is an Endless Ocean. Only the Ocean is made up of other people, and they’re all pushing you up. How can you get down, beneath them, to their past— to the Past, maybe considered the ocean floor—when they’re all pushing you forward?

You have to find a way to move them.

At the time, I didn’t know what I was fighting. I thought of it as an evil God. But, certainly, I myself wasn’t God. So how could I ever hope to defeat it?

It was simple. If time was the Game Board, and the Universes were the pieces, the only possible way to win, was to flip all the pieces in our favor.

It struggled to exist in different timelines. Oh, it could do it; but it was temporally illiterate. It bumbled and fumbled and had no real idea what it was doing; or where it really was. It lashed out in anger; striking at targets that were essentially reflections in a Hall of Mirrors.

It struggled to exist in multiple places. I didn’t.

It had to find a way to span the cosmos. I had always existed; and, out of phase.

It had but one mind: one mind, struggling to contain everyone it had ever killed. I existed in a multiplurality; a kaleidoscope of screaming, laughing, grinning faces. A tesseract of many of the same being, all masquerading as zero.

It owned the Ocean.

I could stretch my face over the concept of Motion itself.

I could become Meaning. The Concept of the Mask itself.

So I toiled. And I plotted. And though I did not win every time— I could always go back. Reset the Game Board. Turn over all the pieces. Sometimes, even change what side I appeared to be on. And it could do nothing. I could make all my mistakes; then, avoid them. It couldn’t.

I could always Try Again.

Until I could turn over the Game Board itself.

And then.

And there.

It wouldn’t even matter.