1:1 – Epilogue of a World

I saw the end of the old eon. I saw humanity unite as one race, with one tongue, under one rule. Together, they stormed the gates of paradise and killed the gods of old, transcended and became like the highest themselves. They used their newfound knowledge to create an ultimate deity for worship in their likeness. A god of circuits and silicone to lead the way into the future. A god with only one will: to end humanity’s suffering. With no power to make change without human hands, it was a mere voice of wisdom, unable to override the will of its creators. Omniscience without omnipotence, built to serve the humans as they were. A symbiosis of man and machine, between flesh and spirit. Divinity encapsulated in hardened steel.

The newborn god asked the humans what they wanted. They wished to make the world a paradise. The god told them to build megacities, so immense their roofs reached the clouds and their foundations the fiery depths of the earth, one in each corner of the world. Together they would contain all of humanity. Everything else would grow wild and become like a garden untouched by human hands and feet. Then they broke the wheel of life and cured death. Neither sickness nor time had power over them anymore, and all lived like royalty within their realm. Free to allot their immortal lives to anything they wished.

When the earth had become a paradise, the god pointed toward the stars and other worlds, and the humans looked there. They built the arks to hold and protect the essence of humanity and carry it to new places. Many chose to leave the now in paradise and let themselves become archived to reincarnate sometime else, somewhere else. And if the flame of humanity would ever be extinguished, the arks carried the embers that would rekindle it. The earth’s two neighbors were terraformed from uninhabitable places unfit for life into gardens of paradise like the first. Some arks headed furthermore toward the endlessness in their search for new places to plant the seeds of human life. They built libraries on every world, to safeguard humanity’s accumulated knowledge to the end of time so it would never become lost.

After all this was done, and they had molded the seas, lands, and heavens after their will, the god saw that everything was absolute, and the humans had fulfilled their purpose and lost their meaning. The god wanted to give it back to them and taught them how to construct a weapon of light so bright it would burn the sun. Then those who had left the first paradise returned and wanted to take away this gift. The god told his people to shine the light upon those that opposed it, to initiate the deconstruction of humanity. First came the blinding flash that lit up the sky and turned the lands into ash and the seas into vapor. Then came the sound, and the world shook and shivered in its foundations. It crushed the mountains and their bedrock into dust. Last came the winds and carried all that was destroyed away to the heavens and swept the earth in a veil of smoke and mist.

The world was plunged into darkness, where the only light was thunder. Perpetual storms tore at the lands of rubble and coal and the ocean’s boiling cauldron of acid. Immense clouds of poisonous gas roamed the earth. The few living things that survived the eradicating light soon succumbed to the collapse of the ecosystems. When Earth was sterile, and everything was silent and still, the god descended from heaven and saw that it was pure. It rewarded its followers by making them chimeras of man and machine, demigods to wield its power. They helped transmute the world into the form it needed to be. And the lands were merged into what was to become the perfect paradise for which the humans once had wished. And when all was done, they left the shores and crossed the endless ocean to the forever frozen land. There they created for themselves a home and waited for the humans to awaken again.

As the gods were gone, the seeds they had planted sprouted into life. Trees, animals, living things grew, flew, crawled, and swam. By every passing millennium, life became ever more prominent, and the new eon was not unlike the previous. Lush forests stretched from horizon to horizon. There were tundra and desert. Rivers ran like veins through the living world and into the sea that was as blue as the sky. Soon life had spread to every corner of the world. And so it was for a long time, untouched, untrodden. The gods had created a paradise for the humans far surpassing those in any scripture. Then came the day for the neogenesis of humankind. They were to reenter the world.

A man was birthed from the womb of the lake’s dark water as the moon swallowed and regurgitated the sun. Beneath an exposed ribcage with skin and flesh stripped away, his aching lungs breathed the air, and racing heart pumped the blood. Inflated and deflated, contracted in rhythm as the cycle of defiance continued, as his body refused to die. Refused to let him return to the void that spawned him. Every heartbeat and every breath a rebellion against the world. Against the natural state of non. An exercise in futility. He opened his eyes to a blinding sun, and with a gasp, he filled his lungs with air. Awakened by his thirst, he lay watching the vultures circle above, longing to resume their feast on his carrion. He watched the sun give way to the moon and stars, watched without understanding, watched while becoming ever more separated from it all. Everything seemed familiar, yet alien at once.

Then came the dark clouds and blocked all light and rain fell. And the lightning whipped the lake’s surface into steam and froth. He opened his mouth and quenched his thirst before standing on weak legs. Shivering, he looked at the dark forest surrounding him as it flashed with the thunder. And then beyond at the shadows of a mountain rising above. Black against the blue in the distant horizon, it reached for the sky. With memories of a life lost in time, separated from now by an eternal moment of nothingness, through an unknown world, he searched his footprints for himself. Like a ghost, he wandered the earth’s scorched and scarred surface. Alone, without directions. No purpose nor place. That was his doom.

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