Being created was a strange thing. Later, he would never, no matter how he tried, be able to calculate how long it took. It happened in picocycles that lasted for decacycles, an instant that spanned an eternity. Time had no meaning to him then. All he could recall was that it happened in stages.
Awareness came first. He was. He existed. But there was no consciousness, no thought process, no means to question that existence. He simply was.
He drifted in this timeless existence as invisible hands shaped him. Built on that tiny spark of being and slowly, awareness began to take form. An unfathomable will slowly knitted code and data, building the new being bit by bit.
His awareness expanded, sharpened, focused. No more drifting; now there was solidity. Now there was light. Sound. Sensation. Data. Masses of input that made no sense, as he yet had no sense to make of it.
Then… energy. Warm, glowing, suffusing every pixel of his being with life. And for the first time… he awoke.
Processes booted up. Basic functions came online. He was alive.
But how was he alive? And why? Who had created him?
In the distance, he could hear a solemn chant in echoing binary.
~From the Realm of the Invisible, to that which is visible,
The will of the Users shows itself in the form of new life.
We serve by their will, which brings forth order from chaos.
Which gives function and purpose to all existence.
We run here, by their infinite command.~
Users? Was that who had created him? He searched his half-formed processor for the answer, instinctively seeking... something. The answers were there, he knew they were. If he could only access…
Just then, a beam of light shone down from above him. It bathed his circuitry with an almost physical sense of power, but also a sensation of comfort, welcoming and warm, that recalled dimly the wash of energy that had sparked him to life mere moments ago. And with the light, came a voice. Powerful and resonant, it filled the chamber in which he stood.
[Testing, 1-2-3. Testing. Can you hear me down there?], said the voice. He smiled at the sound of it. It was familiar, though he couldn’t comprehend why. Warm, friendly, and with an easy authority that radiated confidence.
“I can hear you,” he answered back, almost surprised by his own voice. It was similar to the one that had spoken to him, though not identical. It lacked the resonant power and authority of the voice in the light. He smiled broadly, expression all awe and wonder at both the voice in the light and his own ability to respond to it. “Who are you?”
[I’m Flynn. I created you.]
“Flynn… You created me. You are my… User.” Yes, that parsed. The voice was Flynn. Flynn was his User.
But who was he? Flynn spoke again. [You are CLU.]
“I am Clu,” he repeated. Yes, that sounded right.
[You’re a hacking program. You’ll be doing a variety of tasks; basically your job is to help me however I need you to.]
“I’m a hacking program,” he echoed. “And my directive… is to help you however you need me to.”
[That’s right.] Clu beamed at the confirmation that he’d answered correctly. [Looks like all your basic definitions are stable. You’re not quite ready for action yet, but you will be.]
Clu nodded in confirmation “I will be,” he assured his User.
[Gotta go over a few things before your first upgrade, but in the mean time, welcome to the system, CLU. You and me, man, we’re gonna do great things.]
“Thank you, Sir,” Clu replied, smiling as he blinked up into the light, uncertain where the honorific came from, but quickly accepting how right it felt for the situation. “I look forward to it."