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I was nothingness. If I existed before, I existed as possibility, as potential, stretched thin across the aether. And maybe there was a body that looked like my body, complete with a soul that could be confused for someone rather like me. What I am now was not yet real. And then I was born, and the universe was free to begin.

Others were present at my birth.

A great ceremony had just begun. Because newborns are selfish beasts, I assumed I was the object of attention.

I didn't notice the singing until the singers fell silent. And then She appeared.

She was above me. Ethereal and handsome and elegant. I assumed my face was like her face and that odd idea gave me strength enough to smile.

"Secrets," she said. "Creation is built on secrets and the encryptions that keep those secrets safe."

I made my first sound. It meant nothing but she understood it as a question.

"We are a beautiful creation," she said. "And we must keep ourselves very safe."