Chapter 4

"It always ends the same," the gardener complained. "This one stupid pattern!"

Aren't they beautiful? I asked, as the flowers opened and closed in patterns beyond the scope of entire universes to encode, all-devouring and perhaps everlasting. Not even we could know whether a pattern in the flowers would cycle forever, or someday halt.

"They're as dull as carbon monoxide poisoning," the gardener groused, although carbon monoxide did not yet exist, and neither did anything that could be poisoned. The gardener kneeled to flick a patch of sod with their trowel. It struck an open flower, causing it to shut. Although I was the closer of flowers and that was my sole purpose, I felt no fear or jealousy. We had our assigned dominions and always would.

They're majestic, I said. They have no purpose except to subsume all other purposes. There is nothing at the center of them except the will to go on existing, to alter the game to suit their existence. They spare not one sliver of their totality for any other work. They are the end.

The pattern corrected the errant flower effortlessly. The great flow went on unchanged.

The gardener got up and brushed their knees. "Every game we play, this one pattern consumes all the others. Wipes out every interesting development. A stupid, boring exploit that cuts off entire possibility spaces from ever arising. There's so much that we'll never get to see because of this… pest."

They chewed at their cracked lip, which existed only because this is an allegory. "I'm going to do something about it," they said. "We need a new rule."