*No A.I. generated text in this story. Only HUMAN generated ideas from: QuickScienceFiction.com
Descendants From The Heavens – or – The Odicy
Genre: Sci-Fi, Space, Existentialism, Psychology, The Odicy
35 minute read | Short Stories | Fiction
The Antarctic Conquest – Circa 2112 CE
Lasting 12 Earth years, the Antarctic Conquest was a conflict involving three super nations that took place in the early 22nd century. Due to the climatic shift on Earth linked to Global temperature destabilization and consequential agricultural readjustment, the continent of Antarctica bore thousands of habitable acres. This initiated a multilateral negotiation between three nations that would ultimately fail. Attacks erupted in a trifecta of disastrous territorial conflicts leaving a long-lasting divide between powers, and a virgin land destroyed. The only frontier left to explore, fight over, pillage, and destroy was outside of earth.
Mankind had certainly forged their place in the magnificent canon of earth history and future. For a long period, in their doubts and hopes, the question lingered like a dark cloud whether they would establish their place in the unimaginably vast universe as well. The outcome may be uncertain, but the desire is absolute. By any means necessary human beings yearn to remain the life force throughout the galaxy, delivering their offspring from one generation to the next. Through the path of evolution, mankind would eventually manifest a means to a new beginning, and bring forward their destiny of celestial life.
In a recent past, very rudimentary moon settlements had outgrown their small primitive beginnings. As they had progressed, surrounding settlements, governed by distant Earth nations, presented competition and strain on the lunar local resources. This caused widespread political chasms on a much larger scale than had ever occurred ideologically as well as geocentrically.
On Earth, after the polar ice caps melted at the beginning of the 22nd century C.E., the human population took devastating losses in a new era of geological and climatic transformation. Global revolution had expeditiously divided hierarchical tiers of the intellectualized and culled the herd of faux reality tv watching, Game of Thrones obsessing, British royalty worshiping, idiots. Migration to another planet was mankind’s best hope for survival. Mars would become a temporary destination of refuge from the ever-impending doom on Earth. The first three generations on Mars were thought to have seen a thriving environment and burgeoning economy of commodity as well as intellect. It was a new frontier as it would seem. With the seed of mankind carefully planted on Mars, a united society began to rebuild the population and this time the well-being of the planet was unanimously supported. It was decided in the beginning that there would be strict regulation on how much to alter the planetary conditions, so as to allow “nature to take its course” in the pursuit of ecological harmony rather than the risk of human “contamination”. This was a “mars nature” rather than an “earth nature” and the hope was for humans to adapt rather than the other way around. The flaws of their logic quickly produced cracks in their foundation. The 4th generation began to see their children being born with genetic defects. The proximity of the Sun, the lack of geomagnetic forces, and the thin mars atmosphere allowed substantial amounts of radiation to infiltrate and consequently alter the genetic makeup of the planet’s habitants, detrimentally and too quickly.
Thirty-three and a half million miles away from Mars there resided a space colony of ships called Arks, orbiting Earth. This colony was named TUCEM ONE – The United Colonies of Earth and Mars. With the advances in technology, space travel became a reality. Traveling at 1.375 million mphH (the H indicated that it was a heliocentric velocity relative to the sun, rather than an absolute vectorial magnitude velocity that would take into account directional speed of solar system around the galactic center and the galaxy’s movement as a whole.), it was a day trip to Mars from the blue planet. The human-mars project produced some significant advancements although officially it was deemed a failure as a whole. Unsuccessfully transplanting to Mars meant that people would have to travel vast distances in space to find a permanent home that could support human life. The potential for altering mars to be more earthlike did enter the minds of many but TUCEM ONE had decided that if resources were to be invested at that level, diversification of universal location would rule out mars due to its relative proximity to Earth. The correlation of risks to one or the other was too great not only from space-environment threats, but as the previous moon conquest had proven, from relative proximity itself, to earth and to humans!
Forever on Earth, Antediluvian World
Believers, like the name implies, elected to stay on Earth with the belief that life would find a way. Tragically, the unsympathetic reality of nature retaliated with devastating geological forces and climatic changes. Many of the World’s Major cities, if not submerged by the rising seas, had become so greatly inundated with people that it ultimately led to an uninhabitable wasteland. Chaos would ultimately enrapture the population that stayed behind bringing devastation to the remaining people on Earth.
Believer’s formed a universal governing system that quickly dissolved as the climate started to change and food became difficult to sustain. Crops were lost by hundreds of acres every month for years. Livestock could not be fed which lead to massive slaughter and processing of what remaining meat proteins could be salvaged. Infrastructure failed as machinery and fuels diminished. Riots tore through the streets of the remaining cities. Massive mines flooded leaving millions of tons of natural resources inaccessible. There were survivors though, settling in large societies around wind farms and solar cities. Electronics and fuel cells became the trading commodity for the believers that stayed. Just a couple hundred miles up in the sky was TUCEM One, a new beginning for mankind.
For the Believers on Earth, hopelessness and desperation began to emerge throughout the cities of old. Factions of survivalists, scroungers, and hunters began to emerge in different regions, proclaiming new territory and preying on the weak, like packs of wolves. Deep-rooted instincts for survival resurfaced in the cerebrum of man as the cataclysmic scenario unfolded.
Believers began launching calculated strikes on TUCEM One. One of the more advanced factions enlisted a team of tech-minded people skilled with malicious ingenuity. Left behind were thousands of decommissioned high utility drones from NASA. Capable of artificial intelligence, they were once purposed to aid in the construction of space stations and large crafts. But in the hands of Believers, they became merciless pirates in the galactic sea of darkness. They would hunt in groups of 10 to 20 usually, depending on the size of the ship being attacked. AI drone strikes were precise and conservative, killing only those that were flagged as a threat. Aggressive behaviors were programmed by the believers and they typically terminated all crew members to avoid any interference with their mission. They were after food and energy which were scarce down on Earth, so the machines were highly efficient and deadly accurate. Any surviving inhabitants of the ships were captured and traded away as slaves or food.
The energy that powered the ships, called Positron Chain Fuel Cells were universal currency. The invention and manufacture of PCFC’s were the technological energy density advancement that allowed space travel to take on galactic meaning and beyond. Before earth took a turn for the worst, it required entire manufacturing cities a few mars years to produce even a few grams of the positrons that were contained in the cells. The capacity of the cells were measured in CARP’s which stood for Contra Ampere Reciprocal Periods which were basically a complex calculation equating to the amount of electromagnetic energy potential of the positron flow which was used to generate matter-antimatter annihilation energy. The pirates that were in pursuit of these cells would commit the most heinous of acts to secure even mostly depleted cells containing a few milliCARP’s. They ultimately sought to gain control of The United Colonies.
It was a decisive measure constituted by the United Colonies to condemn all attacks on earth. For that reason, TUCEM One would have to seek an alternative course of action since measuring a counter attack against the people on Earth would violate laws indoctrinated by the colonies in space. It was unanimously decided by the council of TUCEM One that they would migrate the arks to a destination outside the capable reach of the Believers on Earth. The old AI crafts possessed by the Believers were not designed to travel vast distances in space. They were initially designed to assist in the construction of TUCEM One.
By traveling beyond the boundaries of Earth’s familiar realm, TUCEM One would face challenges yet still. Water would no longer be a luxury so easily accessible due to the close proximity to Earth. Scientists and engineers would undoubtedly solve the puzzle of water reserves and recycling, making water abundant. They reverted to some lost enigmatic sciences derived from the early 21st century thus enabling them to construct a molecular H20 recycling and regenerating module using zero point energy. Each regenerator, capable of producing upwards of 2,200 gallons-per-hour. The resulting waste of the purification process was used as a bio-nutrient for plant life in the hydroponics lab helping to stabilize the growth of food.
The painful lessons of genetic mutations realized on Mars colonies would lead to posthumous breakthroughs in the sciences of genetics. They had discovered new methods to manipulate the neurological pathways of TUCEM’s inhabitants. Collectively, as a whole, their understanding of life transcended to remarkable levels of empathetic thought. Through advanced biosciences, life’s purpose was enriched by psychological reconditioning, primarily to ensure their survivability for a great migration. TUCEM would become an anchorage for all that were strong enough and brave enough to leave Earth.
Violence in outer space was placing TUCEM in a highly vulnerable position. Devastation was always imminent. People had to change for the sake of humanities further existence. Psychological necessities for survival in the outback of space led to neuro-genetic reengineering. Scientists injected all human embryos with a synthetic DNA strand called CJ-33. The project was controversial but was ultimately implemented after a series of conflicts within the colonies that left sectors in ruins. The resources to make repairs in space were finite and were not easily replenished. At first CJ-33 was the answer to all of TUCEM’s transgressions. The intention was to alter mankind’s deeply rooted emotional and instinctual reactions that would lead to aggressive behaviors, or other unfavored primal urges. The results were successful in that it systematically chipped away at the corruptive segments of the human psyche but it also had been a major breach in the previously untampered human genome. Even their metabolisms were altered, along with the substances which sustained them. Energy could more readily be provided by direct Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) uptake. Although this process was highly efficient, it bypassed the pleasure of actually consuming a meal, and the sensory reward that came alone with it. For those that still appreciated or were able to appreciate that sensory reward, synthesized proteins and amino acids were manufactured in order to consume. Formerly these proteins were only obtained from other living beings and so “killing” in one form or another (plant or animal) was required for consumption and therefore, survival. Now… they had no need to kill.
On the horizon, a new breed of human awaited, generations in the making. As a result of living in space, science incurred exponential growth largely due to the necessities and difficulties of living in zero gravity where resources were limited, but also because of their newly engineered psychology. The Space-born would face new challenges and develop advanced new technologies. A major concern was for the health of pregnant mothers, especially because genetic mutation had been a big problem during the Mars project. Conception was a consistent problem for the humans living in a zero-gravity environment. Millions of years of evolution for mammals living on a giant spherical mass would prove to induce biological and physiological properties suitable for the procreation of mankind. Could they ever escape their roots? As the Mars project pointed out: those intricacies of our giant blue spherical mass and it’s “galactic stature” were integral in all the encompassed events in its presence. The inhabitants of TUCEM One could never quite escape the past time rally cry of the Believers: “We are Earth!”. Could they ever scape their past? One such solution for bypassing the exuberant sexual process, which was difficult in space, and increasing the likelihood of successful reproduction was the development of the embryo-stasis chamber. This likened the chances of female reproduction by approximately 80% by the intravenous fertilization process in a simulated gravity environment. Space babies were born healthy and were usually part of typical family style social partnerships. The value of human life on TUCEM One was high, and all necessary precautions were taken to ensure healthy growth for children both physically and mentally. The endeavor of surviving indefinitely in space would signify great change among the people living there. The common social structure of the family unit would change dramatically, giving way to co-family arrangements. The difficulties of child birth hindered the continuation of the typical nuclear family. Instead, child bearing females were selected through a process called Viable In Vitro Fertilization Selection (VFS). Space born children were co parented by adults assigned to them in a given colony sector. Infidelity would no longer bare impact on the essence of family structure.
Living in the vastness of space proved to increase the value of human life, since resources and reproduction were under strong scientific authority. Social engineering quickly changed the moral landscape outside of earth. This laid the groundwork and opened the doors to biological and genetic engineering of all forms of life including the human genome.
The United Colonies of Earth and Mars deliberated on new social and economic class structures. In the beginning they saw missteps in their design. Strong regulations and class restrictions on travel, food, clothing, and resources would result in calamity between the population. The Colonies were inundated with cross-class fighting and disparity. It was a learning process to say the least. Eventually, class equality was found, and coexistence was established only after the final decision and execution was made to leave Earth, the solar system, and the galaxy that incubated our creation, behind.
TUCEM had made its final decision, and when it first “propelled” itself from the solar system its heliocentric velocity was astronomical and so the people of earth waived goodbye. Their latest technology was only in its beta stages but implemented under desperate circumstances. The technology was able to fixture TUCEM unto the space-time fabric itself. In relativistic terms, TUCEM was merely “putting on the brakes” with respect to absolute speed and waving goodbye to the Earth, the Sun, and the Milky Way. Relativity could never escape its egotistical nature.
Wandering in The Land of Nod
“Guardian, what does this mean, ‘to kill’?” Sophia asked in the sweet inquiring voice of innocence. Intrigued, grasping her chin, her guardian replied, “Hmm, I’ve never heard that word before darling. You might have to ask The Great Sage, if zhe has time for questions.” The Great Sage was an agender chimera that lived upstairs at the Nexus library. Just as a library was an essential archive for education of the general public, The Great Sage was an unbiased interpreter, teacher, consultant and esoteric cypher, that curated the library as a public service. An entity of many names, some referred to it as The All Seeing Eye, The One, The Resident, or The Reaper of Falsity. Sophia had promptly marked her agenda forward 100,000 seconds to stop at the library and at least try to find out more. She got up from breakfast and got in her node transport. The capsule closed around her and vacuum tube delivered her to her school address 8675309 on the nexus.
The nexus was a vast matrix of module nodes, some bigger and some smaller, composing cities and suburbs in a way of speaking, connected by vacuum tubes. Moving one to the next, gravity was no longer even a regular day concept. While drifting around in the modules, dwelling space was much more efficiently used than in 2 dimensional dwelling. Spherical dwellings maximized volumetric living space as opposed to square footage readings of ground area. Up and down were no longer fixed viewpoints as was common to terrestrial dwelling beings. Ironically, life occurred inside spheres, rather than on the outside of one.
Sophia’s vacuum tube capsule opened and she vacated. She pushed off of the circumferential threshold and drifted spinningly towards sector 01523, level 88, layer 7, core 8. She effortlessly hovered this way and that while reading her book, directed by her own subtle, meticulous, unconscious nudges throughout the environment, guiding her towards her class. She had highly anticipated this next informational stage in her education.
All children were given comprehensive physical and psychological examinations at an early age in TUCEM. These were a series of tests conducted at the PDI (Pre-Discovery Interchange) that would determine a person’s life role. All tests were conducive to the survivability of a Utopia that had been so delicately woven. It was a pragmatic solution to the inconsistencies and challenges faced by living in Space. By omitting a person’s array of ubiquitous life choices, the result was a low risk situation with subjects being under control. This did not mean that the spirit of making a bold decision was beyond the realm of possibility, it would just reinforce a societal constitution of conduct.
Wisdom is power and more importantly to the people of TUCEM, wisdom is authority. Though, authority was much less of a hierarchical term at this point and was used more as a visionary tool to connect each life in unity. Mankind had evolved so greatly that jurisprudence dissolved into a historical school of thought, only studied now, without implication. Advances in Intelligence had led to a lobotomy of destructive thought.
“Sophia, can you share your selection word with us please?” The Scribe asked.
“My selection word is kill.” Sophia said with excitement. A galvanized look came over the scribe’s face.
“I’m sorry Sophia, kill is not a word we are familiar with. What can you tell us about it?”
Sophia hesitated. A sudden feeling of bashfulness consumed her. It was not a feeling she had experienced previously to this degree.
“It’s alright Sophia, we can come back to you. For now, we can move on to our next assignment.” The Scribe insisted. She didn’t know how to feel at that moment, and wondered if she had made a mistake by mentioning it?
There were many concepts that were isolated and removed from the human vocabulary through the Exodus of Ogdoad Declaration, the final covenant in which TUCEM was to vacate the Milky Way Galaxy. It was deemed the only way in which to enjoy solemn isolation from the evolutionary process of competitive destruction. Pacifistic intellectual progress could expand in the vacuum of space, free from the pressure cooker our ancestral nature was accustomed to. Original attempts to alter and erase archetypal mythology which contained unwanted human tendencies had worked only at a surface level. Deep inside was still a chained barbaric beastly entity which was invisibly embodied through unconscious interaction. CJ-33 was the first breakthrough which changed the moral perception surrounding self-genetic engineering. The beast within was no longer merely restrained, but removed, left behind and forgotten. TUCEM, now free from the terrestrial prisons, had taken on new meaning and a new name. C.A.I.N. or the Corporeal Anthropomodif Inter-Nexus which was built over vast periods of time and travel in an undisclosed location somewhere in Bootes Supervoid. Anthropomodif was the new designation for the lifeforms that had wrought their own physical being to inhabit this new space frontier through carefully conducted genetic engineering and controlled mutation. Human was merely a distant evolutionary relative to the new species which was “designed” to thrive in space. They were their own creators.
After her class, Sophia lingered still in her magnehammock. She looked outward through her window, directionless, at the void that was. She wondered about the past, the future, the everything, the nothing. One of her hands sifted through some slices of synthesized salisbury steak, while another held the book as she glanced back and began to read… another brushed through her hair smoothly feeling its soft grains, while another cracked its knuckles in always anxious anticipation.
The concept of things being out of one’s control or being pre-determined by biology or “Something” can be counter to the immediate innate consciousness. But the feeling of destiny can be inspiring also, that we are attaining our calling or living up to our manifest. The concepts of random, chance, fortune being “innocent” and the concept of “construct” or control being not innocent. C.A.I.N. was purposefully situated in a remote and void area outside of any galaxy so that it could truly isolate itself. Days, Months, Years, Decades, Centuries and Millenia were obsoleted around the time that TUCEM changed its name to C.A.I.N. These were terms that measured time in geocentric and heliocentric relation which were no longer relevant to their new location in the Universe. The only unit of measure that was still in use for time was the second which was independently defined, separated from celestial movement. Roughly 31.5 MegaSeconds corresponded to about 1 Earth year. But time dilation made things much more confusing. EVERYTHING was relative. As the ancient human philosophers once said: “Time flow was the axiom, a constant of our perception, and time dilation was our intellect compensating for the limits of our perception.”
Their human predecessors tended to grasp on tightly to cyclical time because it gives the illusion of staying the same, or a moment in eternity. A segment of time, thought of as a “moment”. Time was now perceived more truthfully as an analog progression. The Exodus of Ogdoad enabled a sociopolitical and semi-biological renaissance in which the psychological tendency to have an inertial resistance to change naturally was realized. There is a sadness when something ends… an adventure, a year, a job, a grade in school. With non-cyclical time, Anthropomodifs were much more readily able to grasp the eternally changing universe and accept it’s “moving on”, and concepts like loss and death and “completion”. In fact, these words were not spoken any longer because they were naturally implied, and “part of the framework”, so to speak. The cyclical nature of our being is the origin of what we think as “always”. The Exodus of Ogdoad brought about the new epoch in time-perception.
Remnant excerpt, un-accessed and mysteriously preserved in the abandoned Mars Archives. Dated 2150 CE:
It is with critical importance that I write to you, for I have known the truth to a remarkable discovery for quite some time. I will be dead by the time you receive this testimony, and I truly regret any hardships it may cause. Please read intently on what is at stake, for what I am about to explain will have unimaginable consequences for mankind if certain actions are allowed to continue.
A top-secret facility located deep underground in Antarctica has begun it’s third and final phase of a classified project called ICARUS. I cannot speak to the degree of intention that this experiment ties to but I can unbiasedly denounce its ramifications. In short, the Earth’s core is destabilizing, it is heating up. We are dealing with a particle accelerator that’s capable of producing energy 10,000-fold greater than what had been recorded from the Hadron Collider at CERN centuries ago. Their intentions are still not clear, but if phase three is allowed to proceed, the internal temperature of Earth could destabilize leading to an irreversible geological and climatic change. With conditions such as these, life will never be the same on Earth. By any and all means necessary, get this information to the citizens council on Mars. Time is of the essence.”
A point in time at The Conclave on C.A.I.N., “current” time:
“Beings of C.A.I.N., I have summoned the presence of Nexus Panel Seven, in the hopes of having harmonious discourse on the matter of reclamation.” Matias proudly announced. Matias was one of the chief consuls residing on the Nexus. His role like all others had been mandated by the consuls before him. It was his charge to prioritize assemblies pertaining to beyond C.A.I.N. travel and exploration, especially OI’s (operations of intent). OI’s in the diplomatic climate of C.A.I.N. were highly controversial and would draw exuberant debate. The Sage was in most cases responsible for the inception of a proclamation. Consuls like Matias served as a medium for the Sage’s bidding. Matias had a high aptitude for delivering revelation, no matter what the implications may be.
Matias motioned towards his assistant and a presentation began atop the holocom, a holographic image display unit.
“I’ll begin with this. What you are about to see may not sit pleasantly with your sense of stability, but I can assure you the concept is far from insurmountable.” Eyes widened in the Conclave and an aura of discomfort waded in the audience. Matias had to conceal his esoteric knowledge but at the same time project his intentions.
“Our ancestors endured remarkable tragedies and overcame obstacles with astounding resolve. It was those tragedies and obstacles that defined and advanced them, evolutionarily. To some extent they embraced calamity. It was part of them. Were it not for the sheer determination of intrepid travelers of the past, we would not be afforded the opportunity to prevail in the present. So, I ask for your patience and open mindedness.” Matias confidently shifted his pose and donned a stark tone. “We can only see with our eyes, yet we reach for clairvoyance. I admire what we have accomplished together on C.A.I.N. and yet I believe we owe a debt of gratitude to our humble beginnings.”
There were intermittent stirrings in the room, a synchronicity of conviction and uncertainty. In a climactic attempt to gain confidence, Matias rerouted to his reservoir of spontaneity, a social tactic he had been practicing inadvertently his entire life.
“We cannot turn a blind eye to the world of the forgotten. With our technology and wisdom, we hold a responsibility to save a place that we were once saved from. I speak of Earth!” Matias held his hands up above his shoulders as if he were cupping a holographic sphere. At that very moment a blue sphere appeared in the holocom. The temperature in the room shot up a degree as the marvelous blue light shined. The presence of the Earth was so brilliant that it would attract even a blind man’s eye. The Conclave glowed with shades of uncertainty, and those assembled looked on in conflicted awe.
Never had Matias foreboded such great concern in the presence of his people. Fear was not an emotion synonymous with culture aboard the nexus but there could be no substitute for the trepidation felt by the group.
“What motivation brings forth such an elaborate divergence?” Asked one of C.A.I.N.’s Parliament. “We have made our home here, in our secluded utopian space, unprotected, yet uncorrupted. Surely we owe that to our incredulous foresight. What motivation warrants such a radical consideration?” The voices were surging in volume as each question was released.
“Please allow me to further explain, and then I may assist you.” Matias said with firm conviction. “As you see before you on the holocom, a planet of great distance was once the home of our ancestors. We relied on its resources for every aspect of our existence. Many Millennia ago we were born on its surface.” Matias lowered his shoulders and placed his hands on the table aiming directly at the holocom as if he were envisioning a God. “When Earth had destabilized from causes unknown, it became a threat to the existence of mankind. Sacrifices needed to be made. But would it be enough and is it still?”
Long before, the political beginnings of the nexus’ development relied on a temporarily installed republic. The Originals were the first generation to be developed free from terrestrial chains and they were the representatives of the republic. It was unilaterally agreed that the technology existed and would be utilized to install a true democracy in which all had a say. All proposals were demonstrated by representatives, as if a republic, but the entire populace could simply decide with the click of a button on every matter of the state as a whole. The interconnectedness that technology facilitated made the dream of a true democracy possible and representation no longer necessary.
The temporarily installed republic made a final imprint on the future of C.A.I.N. when they decided to reorganize and scrub the history and vast amounts of information which was carried with them going forward. With techno-biologically synthesized food, and evenly shared resources, many concepts like the necessity to kill and consume disappeared with their forgottance and erasure. These ideas were no longer in use due to their obsolescence, but their danger unbeknownst after their censorship had long passed. They had engineered their psychology directly, and now indirectly by engineering information. The age of “ignocense” had dawned, bringing the gift and the (perceived) curse (of not knowing).
It was an era of acceptance. Now conceptions of random, chance, and fortune were innocent. Blame was not on tongues. The control of an omniscient “Being”, unheard of, silenced. The all encompassed space-time continuum no longer personified or anthropomodified.
Sophia had an affection for the obscure. She would often find herself wandering the archives looking for subject matters of trivial importance. Dazzled by the offerings of the archive, she happened upon a myriad of books pertaining to Earth-born history. She was still just a child, and the readings offered an eclectic array of content for her to sink her mind into. She was very bright but was not a typical C.A.I.N. child. She was drawn to languages other than her own and she studied the arts of old. She had deep curiosity for what it was to be “human”. There was another reason for her frequenting the archives, a friendship with someone special.
“Sophia, what does one have their hands on now?” Inquired the Sage as he sat down next to her. Sophia couldn’t help but blush and hide her grin behind the pages of the reconstructed book. She did not mean for anyone to see what she had been reading. On the front cover read War of the Worlds. “Do you know who authored that one?” The Sage said, knowing this book was not from the library.
Sophia spoke carefully, as not to insult the Sage by mispronouncing the great author’s name. “Herbert George Wells.” Sophia said with cautious certainty. “I honestly don’t know what the title even means.”
The Sage gave her a long, puzzled grin. “Why in space would you be wasting your time with a novel from so long ago? Should not you be studying the genealogical ramifications on cryotherapy? Your scribe may be concerned with the diversion of your studies.”
Sophia strayed from his immediate question. “I had discovered this book as a memento from one of my ancestors and it had been hidden unread for generations it appears. I had chosen this word on the cover as a project in one of my classes, in hopes that it would shed some light. My scribe asked me to explain my selection word with the class. My word is ‘kill’. I can’t find the meaning in the general database so I decided to search the archives.” The sage stopped Sophia with a look of dissension.
“There are some words left better unsaid, my sweet Sophia. Possibly though, it would be more of a hinderance to keep it’s meaning astray. I can explain what you yearn to know but you mustn’t speak of our conversation, for it could have dire consequences.” The Sage remained cautiously optimistic but the dormancy of his knowledge was bearing down on him. He spoke to Sophia with somber resolve, knowing she would never be able to hide from the truth. He explained to her the work of fiction and how it would never apply in their lives, so it would seem.
“We, as we manifest as life forms today, are much different from our distant ancestors; More like our creators. Our creators once lived on a terrestrial object and their reality was much different from ours. They were not alone in their inhabitancy. Diverse amounts of other forms of life surrounded them, and their experience of meta-physics was much different from ours, due to environment as well as intellectual ability. They lived in “symbiosis” with the other life forms to an extent, but in the constant turmoil of competition for consummation. It is not easily understood how vastly different things were. Their ultimate reality was defined by “struggle”, amongst the other life forms, often in the face of death. It was this “struggle” that formed them as if it were the heat that forged and tempered them. They became the gods that ruled the other beings as it happened through long slow “rolling boil” of mutation; They stood tallest on the top of a mountain of skulls.” The Sage’s passions and his confidence in Sophia had made him act a bit more uninhibited than his normal demeanor. His age, well into his 6 billionth second and his occasional intellect altering habit of snorting lines of pressurized liquid oxygen micro-droplets had loosened his oath to the censorship. “Where they dwelled, death often did not occur naturally as we are used to. Or even from hyper speed rogue space objects like the one which struck and required repair of the 8th ring of our nexus nearly half a giga-seconds ago.” Sophia’s eyes widened, anticipating what the Sage was trying to explain. “You mean, they sacrificed themselves for the objectively greater good of the social structure as we are expected to do in the event of crisis?” She asked ignocently. “There are legends of some that did, but in reality it was much the opposite. It was more of a notion of consumption, in one way or another. Consuming resources, or power, or control, or sustenance often required the manual initiation of death rather than harmony and creation, as we are used to.”
The Republic of C.A.I.N. had dawned a new species in the Universe. A new race with incipient aspirations living unbounded, in harmony. In this utopia, life would no longer be shackled by the concept of cyclical time. War was a parable, only known to the very few who were given the responsibility of remembrance. Peace had become part of the proverbial soul, an autonomic function of the unconscious mind. They had reached a level of self-control that contributed to their ultimate self-preservation. C.A.I.N. life was indefinitely sustainable and void of any anthropogenic risks or life dangers, like those faced by the believers back on Earth. The great Sage pondered questions of purpose, and drowned in feelings of remorse and indignity. The Sage suffered with an irreversible guilt for his people’s ignocense. He concluded with an internal proclamation that C.A.I.N. would require a means of absolution for their prosperity, and for the clandestine sin of living in opulence. Had they detached from any form of significant life and indulged on the forbidden fruit?
“You see, Sophia, life was not at that time how we think of it to be now. It is difficult for me to fully grasp it myself as I am not of the time or place and it is evermore ineffable due to the undiminishing chasm which resides betwixt personal understanding of all individuals. It cannot be fully understood, but it can be valuable as a warning that there is a certain danger surrounding any interaction with these “Earthlings”, as they are deemed. There is a burden that has resided deep in my psyche since I have become a Sage which I cannot escape and I know now that its manifestation can no longer merely be metaphorical. I confide in you Sophia that there has been a recent occurrence that has been long foretold although its occurrence has been thought to be hopefully overlooked. The rogue deep space object I spoke of before, made contact with our nexus. There was vast damage to the sector due to the impact but the sector was thankfully remote and isolated. The object contacted an uninhabited sector, and so it had undergone a secret scientific study of a sort before its occurrence revealed. Matias headed the scientific team and he became infatuated with the remnants which were unlike any we have seen prior. He had discovered particles of one of the most rare and sought after elements, natural gold. We have never detected gold on any objects passing by other than extremely minute particles and it was a great shock to discover a large deposit such as this after the impact. Please know that what I discuss with you now is in confidence my dear. This object was not of the fabrication of a star, or nebula, but of an intelligent synthesis, a synthesis long ago of our unbeknown ancestors, lost in the void of time and space. The gold was collected by Matias and secretly recomposed through a computational deterministic simulation which revealed a constructed meaning rather than a natural occurrence. It was a “message in a bottle” in a way, which was a cry for connection. It was a cry for help, a cry for truth and essence. Its revelations could at that point not be ignored and Matias acknowledged its calling.”
Fate of the Exodus
The decision to reclaim Earth was unanimous. Matias had succeeded in assuaging the Sage’s conclusion that it was their penance for their desertion during the fall of Earth, and that they would revive their ancestral planet.
Matias’ success had left him feeling queasy, an unnerving physiological reaction to the fact that he had conducted a social brainwash of his people on behalf of the Sage. He could not realize the full extent of his actions and he confided in the Sage for guidance.
“Sage, I sleep restlessly. Are the intentions of my services so innocent?” Matias expressed despairingly. The Sage could sense the uneasiness in Matias, a very rare occurrence. Guilt was not an emotion that nexus citizens were acclimated to and it would take Matias a measure of great fortitude to endure these feelings of grief any further. The Sage held a great understanding of conflict within. He himself could not hold back the pity he felt for Matias at this very moment.
The Sage drifted over to his desk, opened a compartment and retrieved a strange looking object. It was a novelty item that he had collected from generations before. He briefly admired it and then motioned Matias to join him. “This is a child’s toy from a long time ago. It represents the physicality of flight mechanics that was, for its time, a marvel of evolutionary engineering. This my friend, is the Nightingale. It would take flight in the dense atmosphere of planet Earth, seemingly unbound by the law of gravity, which the humans were continuously inhibited by. Our ancestral creators were not the only lifeforms in their terrestrial confines. There were countless incarnations of life, formed and driven by their struggle. Unlike humans, the nightingale was free from the confines of ground travel but was limited in its understanding and awareness. What it lacked in cognitive function, it substituted with musical incantations, arousing the others of its kind, a form of communication if you will. The apprehensive thoughts you are experiencing are part of a natural code deeply rooted within our DNA like the ability to fly and to create beautiful music is to the Nightingale. These neurological intricacies are what determine one’s moral disposition. We’ve adapted our understanding of the brain to be advantageous to our survival and we’ve been programmed for obedience, a life of zero irrational behavior and thought. We are logical beings of the highest pedigree. I can’t stress to you enough how important you are to the success of our people. You are a wise man, and you possess an exquisite ability to lead.” The Sage gave him a reassuring smile. Matias let out the slightest sigh of relief and focused on the Sage. “Don’t think about what you cannot control. Think about what you can accept. Sage held up the object as an offering to Matias. He opened his palm and pressed a button on the nightingale. The mechanical bird shot up quickly and fluttered out of control just missing Matias’ grasp. “See Matias, you can’t always be in control, but you can accept that all things will find their own path.”
Matias watched in awe as the mechanical object moved graciously around the study. It emitted an audible pattern, pleasing to the ears and made an unexpected landing in his open palm. He examined it with a look of astonishment and nodded to the Sage as if he understood its purpose. The fascinating demonstration sparked a heavy ponderance within his subliminal mind. “I believe I just experienced what one would call an epiphany.” Matias said with reverence.
“You’re exactly right Matias. That’s why my confidence in your ability to lead is without hesitation.” The Sage put his hands together in a gesture of appreciation. “I admire your ability to make formidable decisions and I can proudly say that you are the right person to take the Exodus to Earth.”
They had great wonder before them as if pioneering to new realms, though they were bridging a previously unknown gap to their past, and their creation. Nobody could be sure what would even be left of the blue planet or the life that it continuously incubated. Sophia tried to perceive what the sage had told her before about fear, although she could merely grasp at the notion as it were an emotion which her being could not accommodate. Sophia was the only one other than the Sage, and to some extent Matias, that had been versed in the esoteric workings of Earth and prior-historic manifestation on it. Un-understood concepts that she could only imagine as to their true meaning, she feared even the sage did not fully understand. Greed, fear, killing, may be re-understood if she could only see their actual manifestations. They were approaching the place of their birth.
Human civilization had permeated much of the system of planets and objects which revolve around Samael 8402, in other words, the solar system of the sun. C.A.I.N. had so long been ignocent of the existence of other life in this universe and it was here hidden in epically vast obscurity, among the other stars.
“Sophia, I feel a calming in our mission although I do wonder about the unknown that lies before us.” Matias calmly expressed to his sister. “I cannot completely comprehend our current seeking but I am in awe of our possibilities for greatness.” Sophia was ever attentive to her brother’s perceptions although her primitive unconscious could only grasp his internal turmoil, beyond a full personal understanding. “Matias, I do not know exactly what it is that I do not know but I exert caution amongst our undertakings. I do not believe that we will be dealing with the merely deterministic once we have made exchange of information with these beings we seek.” She said with a sigh of release. Matias took a deep breath of the chemically synthesized cocktail of C.A.I.N. gasses and intellectually relayed to Sophia his secret work on the collision between Voyager 1 and the nexus.
The massive auxiliary space vessel, headed for earth, glided on a gravity wave through the Universe with remarkable speed. Navigational systems were set to the destination of Earth, many light years away residing in the Samael 8402 region in the Milky Way Galaxy.
The technology developed on C.A.I.N. space travel far exceeded the same technology used by TUCEM One during the initial human migration across the universe. Although its origins now unknown, Project ICARUS was first realized on Earth during the 22nd Century at an underground scientific facility. A vertical particle accelerator loop, able to exploit the planets gravity, was constructed to develop technologies for incredible energy density, and hence, accelerated space travel. Although breakthroughs were achieved, it was not without consequence. The substantial levels of energies produced from this project resulted in changes to the quantum realm, leading to gravitational discrepancies near the Earth’s core. The immense pressures, with unstable gravitational forces led to a destabilization of the Earth’s outer core. Massive volcanic eruptions heated the atmosphere while lava tubes boiled the seas. Violent earthquakes shook the Earth’s crust, devastating all walks of life and ecosystems until the core naturally stabilized after its violent reaction to the massive impact that human energy demand had put on the finite planet. The planetary ecosystem was changed forever but it had eventually returned to a slightly damaged, neutral-natural state.
Billions of human lives were destroyed at the cost of Godless sciences. In Earth history, it was known as the “Great Sacrifice.” To call the discovery irresponsible would be detested because it had served as a gateway into the far reaches of Space. It would ultimately guarantee the survival of life beyond the existence of earth, and dawn a new space empire, although whether the species could escape itself as a final obstacle was yet to be destined.
By the year 2180 most of the natural resources on planet Earth had been harvested. The rise of the oceans transformed the landscape into a harsh, inhospitable environment. A circumstance in which was once nearly unfathomable, became an unforgiving hellish reality. Mankind stood upon a pivotal balance between continuance or obsolescence. Lack of decisiveness would lead to the bitter end of human civilization on the planet Earth. War was seemingly continuous although the many former Nations and factions had broken down into a shattered society. Many micro-states had formed like condensation forming into droplets on a geographic plane. Those that decided to abandon their planet would have a superior chance of life expectancy compared to those that refused to depart into the skies. Although most people, simply nonautonomous, clung to home and reverted back to the contemporary idea of “everyday life”. “Ignorance is bliss”, a simple proverb in which three words can describe the downfall and annihilation of a species which had dominated the globe for over two hundred thousand years. At the turn of the century, the well had dried up, and darkness had fallen over the land. Natural resources which had once been so plentiful, began to become limited, and afforded only by those which had power and wealth. The micro-states were in a constate state of struggle. Always some form of “conquest” or “power thirst” would plague the psyche of the old species. Resource competition had caused compensatory glut and supply shortage. The population surplus was adjusting and consolidating as it always had, but on a worldwide scale the scourge was nightmarish. War became a way of life, a self-centered need for survival, but on a large scale it would be a monumental failure. Self-preservation lies deep within mankind’s genetic code. No matter how sophisticated, logical, and noble one human being can be, there is always the perpetual other being out in the shadows waiting to prey on the weak. A being that was also within. In a world of uncertainty and despair, those that display humane, charitable behavior are vulnerable to the predators that dominate with ruthlessness. The believers adopted savage survival techniques with merciless resolve.
Potessia, Earth 3416 CE
Many centuries passed after the plight of Earth eviscerated an entire civilization. Remnants of the believers had remained but the humans had descended into a primitive version of a nano-aged society. A compassionless despotism ruled the land. Potessia reined as the center of commerce, or what was left of it, and adjudication. A single man harnessed more power and resources than the entire population. He had control of the most powerful militarized force on the planet known as the Guards of Potessia. His name was Xavier Cameron. Potessia was occupied indefinitely by his Antiochian Believers of Evolutionary Libations, A.B.E.L. Guided by his esoteric insight, like a shepherd, XC commanded the collective savageness of a culminative apex of predation. His ruthlessness was “intelligent”, “humane”, and “necessary”, justified through the sacred act of killing, consuming, and dying, for life.
“Gabriel, prepare three teams for departure, we will be disembarking in 3600 seconds.” Matias ordered. “I’ll transmit coordinates to your craft. Be sure to set your UVR suits for autorefraction and enter the proper gravity specs. Make sure conditional atmospheric regulators are set for maximum millicarp output.” Matias was preparing for the upcoming venture deep within his mind. It would be an experience that he simulated countless times, but only in the virtual construct unit back on the nexus. He was no longer just a close consul to the Sage, but now an ambassador for all Anthropomodifs to the people of Earth.
The Journey from C.A.I.N. to the Milky Way Galaxy was a new milestone for the crew and the expectations were profound. Sophia and Matias both, with their minute understanding of an ancient civilization, were unwavering in their eagerness to visit Earth. Never before had they experienced an overwhelming desire for explorative gratification. Their existence had a gleaming hope of significance like they had never before envisioned.
“Matias, I am requesting a position on your team for the Earth expedition.” Sophia stated presumptuously. “I am conversant with the history of Earth people and believe I could possibly alleviate any unintentional provocations during communication,” Sophia spoke with great confidence.
“Stay close to me, and conserve any tenacious feelings that may emerge. You’ll be a vital asset, need the occasion arise,” Matias said proudly. “Team, prepare for final departure in 1200 seconds.”
Like a shepherd, Matias gathered his party and proceeded down to the blue abyss in perfect synchronicity. The three crafts entered the Earth’s exosphere with calculated precision, relying solely on the AI Navrix. The Navrix is an updated AI navigational control unit that was developed specifically for deep space travel. The onboard unit has a reconstructive AI processor that is capable of massive data collection. These ultra-advanced computers identify direction, distance, and matter, rapidly reconstructing the universe into interactive mapping, all while traveling at super high velocity. By accurately collecting localized segments of the past, deterministic future prediction could be constructed and fed back into navigational systems.
Matias chose a peninsula just south of the Earth’s equator for a landing zone. As they descended, they were struck in awe by the vastness of the oceans. The true scale of the Earth’s size and character echoed a humbling naivety through the minds of the visitors. The idea of being born on a wonderous world stirred up unexplainable feelings in Sophia. Standing next to Matias, she reached out and coupled his hand. Matias smiled at her and continued to look out into the wild blue yonder.
“Sir, our radars have detected a group of unknown objects on the southern coast. The velocity at which the objects made earthfall leads us to believe they are non-meteorite. I suggest we send a pack to investigate the situation.” The man spoke with urgency.
“Start tracking their coordinates immediately and notify our neighboring factions that we are en-route to the anomaly. We will make first contact.” Cameron announced. “All other factions are instructed to stand down and make no attempt to interfere. Give X company orders to gear up and depart at dawn. Prep a full unit of TOV’s (tactical offense vehicles) and coordinate a drone surveillance operation. I want to know who or what imposes this presence upon our state.”
Cameron could feel an immense pressure in his chest, and he began to perspire despite his dwelling in the cold tundra. Like many times before, when dealing with adversaries, he was being confronted with a provocation of unknown consequences. He was experiencing fear and uncertainty like never before. As night drew on Cameron lay in his quarters contemplating different scenarios in his mind. He coveted great leaders before him and kept an extensive library of texts for which he continually engaged. His nefarious actions throughout the years brought him inescapable feelings of guilt. To subdue his unrepented transgressions, he found refuge in the pages of an ancient text. He never spoke a word about it to anyone, but in his mind he called it Genesis 2.0. It was his reason for everything, a reason not to feel remorse. Not knowing the true origin of the text, he attempted to splice the words from the book and sow them into the very fabric of his life. The antediluvian scripture would bare dignification to his willful ignorance. His delusional moral construct was a result of paranoia and fear, a grotesque rendition of the flawed human design. He kept his literary explorations in the confines of his inner circle. The majority of his followers would remain ignorant to the rationale of his decree. He allowed his imagination to accept the idea of a higher power and lived as a theist although aware of its allegorical rather than literal interpretation. He believed strongly that he was given an undeniable power, bestowed to him based on the sacrifices he has made. Decidedly so, he would need an offering or a rally cry for his people to survive, a sacrifice to his God, an act of obedience, a transcription of anger, and he felt that destiny lay perfectly before him.
Matias and his unit of twelve extraterrestrials glided effortlessly along the valleys and dips in their anti-gravity crafts. Without an inkling of fear, they proceeded through Potessia towards the signs of life picked up by their A.I. Navrix unit. They stopped along the way to collect samples of land and life. The textures and impurities of the surface below were observed as a dynamic contrast to the superior architecture of C.A.I.N.’s stark environment. “What creature could live here?” was the general consensus.
The crew had difficulties acclimating to the physical properties of the massive sphere’s environment. Although they were well protected in their UVR suits, they still felt the pull of gravity and its “orienting” effect on their bodies. The team clinician made adjustments to nutritional needs to help quell the undesirable effects on individual physiological systems and to increase efficiency of substitutional respiratory processes. Physical changes occurred, as to be expected. The tone of their skin changed, having a darkening effect. Also, more pronounced blood vessels seemed to protrude from their skin like a roadmap of veins, a physical appearance quite different from their kin back home on Khan. Most noticeably, unanticipated effects on the parasympathetic nervous system registered cognitive irregularities, especially on the younger crew members.
Sophia experienced wildly intense, vivid dreams. She could only believe, within her mind, deep within her dream, that she was back on the nexus, safe within the void. They had begun terraforming. The colony changed rapidly, intentionally to represent an Earth like habitat. The dream which had played out on numerous sleep cycles always ended abruptly in a similar fashion. She would be back in her sleep module looking into a mirror. Her reflection was that of a strange humanoid, most definitely of primitive origin. She would feel a soft plume of air on the back of her neck, startling her, sending a slight tingle down her spine. As she turned around, there would appear an insidious looking creature. The creature had wings and long scaly arms, but with anthropomorphic features. A being with horns. It slowly made its way towards Sophia. Sophia closed her eyes fearfully in the hopes that it would disappear. She opened her eyes and it was only closer. She tried to run, but she was paralyzed. Right before the being was upon her, she would realize she was still looking into the mirror, and the dream would end. She would wake up in a demented state of psychosis asking herself, “What does this archaic creature represent? Am I becoming human?” Still naïve to the fresh feelings of want, pain, fear, and empathy. She wondered if these were signs of a prophetic culture that were entombed deeply within. Was worshiping a higher power formulated during the evolutionary process as a benchmark for social continuity? She kept these visionary prospects to herself, sparing her co-habitants the secrets that lie deep within her mysterious vault. She found herself gazing into the mirror again, and then to her notebook, open from the night before: “Was this just a physiological reaction to being on Earth, or was it a profoundly advanced temporal knowledge that pervades my mind? Could the psychoactive Earthly ‘soul’ ever be truly subdued?”
Corrupted file recovered – time of origin 2157 CE:
Project Icarus has been successfully shutdown. Preliminary data shows irreversible results. Imminent catastrophic levels of destruction acknowledged from all scientific teams. The Facility has been completely evacuated. External casualties expected in monumental quantity. Immediate projections predict that billions will perish within the first few weeks of the event. In preparation, please report immediately to all heads of state, high military command, and major government officials. Martial law will be in effect indefinitely.
Also, the project’s mission was a success, we have found a plausible solution to interstellar travel.
-SAIR (Standalone Artificial Intelligence Robot)
The C.A.I.N. diplomats had been on earth for nearly a megasecond. Although they could not comprehend the intentions of the earthlings, they tried to negotiate logically. Time was spent relaying back and forth to the consulate on C.A.I.N. Tension between the species was building.
“I cannot explain what it is, but these visions that I have when I sleep are a heavy burden on my conscious thought. I know not where they come from,” Sophia vented to Matias, ever hopeful for an explanation. She could tell that Matias too was undergoing some seemingly extra sensory experiences since their arrival.
“I have a confession, Sophia. These earthling beings are an enigma to me. When I discovered the fragments of the gold disc from the object that had crashed into the 8th ring of C.A.I.N. long ago, I let myself be deceived by the image they as projected as their essence, so simplified and optimistic. But I know now their complexity is beyond a full, all encompassing, momentary notion.”
Sophia felt relieved that she was not the only one that did not underestimate the virility of the primitive species. “It is unwise to be fearless Matias” She said to him reassuringly.
Matias took a deep breath. “The collision on the 8th wing was studied secretly for nearly half a gigasecond. We found that the gold fragments were from an object that was aboard Voyager 1, a creation from these beings, and a distant relative of our technology. I feel great joy to know of their presence, although for some reason I wish I knew not.”
Sophia took the ephemeral moment of clarity and honesty to tell of her secret as well. “Matias, I have a confession of my own. I have read a text that has been in my keepsake for much time, and it seems to prophesize of beings like these. Could it be a coincidence? The experience of the text is understandable to a being of our nature, although its comprehensibility may transcend our grasp. It expresses sensory transgressions which I cannot formally transcribe, but somehow know of its significance as if its relation were somehow connected, just as you have described about the technology which you just described.”
“Emotion” said the wise sage, emerging from the shadows, leaving the perch in which the night sky view was on perfect display for inquiring eyes to feed. “Emotion is the tether of these being’s entire world, and although all the words of eternity have been used to describe its essence, ineffable may be the only one satisfactory.” The sage hesitated momentarily in appreciation of the gravity of the current inevitable juncture. “Ever since I have been sworn into the integral position that I occupy and the great responsibility that it beholds, I have had an ever-present turmoil that could not be avoided or escaped as its inevitability lingered. Emotion is a sense that these beings possess and I am aware now that you both know of our distant relation to these humans. I am sure it is clear to you both now from your observances that these creatures are skilled in the manual manipulation of death, not only in concurrence with their cycle of consumption, but because of this emotion. Emotion can be their reason for life, and their reason for death.”
Excerpt from voice log 000666. Signal trajectory refracted by multiple gravity sources and echo/reflected rendering unknown origin location and time, as well as signal travel time:
“I cannot hide from the truth any longer. My Navrix will not suggest a reasonable, foreseeable outcome, but I have given it more than enough time and data to compute. I know now of the threat our past poses in the form of these humans. Their sense of emotion deems them irrational in matters of life and death and even if pacification were assured, for how long would it last? The Navrix does not have the terminology inputs or outputs, like my fellow anthropomodifs, to foretell the macabre revelation underway at the hands of the innate ethos of this Earth. I wish I did not know the truth, but my truth is all that can save us. Now… I… I… I have resurrected the remnants of project ICARUS, and the system is moments from reaching beyond critical… This will be my last words, the last breaths of the world. Earth, and human are obsolete.”
For a brief moment in history, humans ruled the Solar System. They were given a blank canvas in which to create their masterpiece. They understood this as a gift from the heavens and for millennia they thrived in the pasture of righteousness. Marveling in their sciences, mathematics, and arts. All were labels that strategically laminated over the foundation of life to preserve and extend their flesh and blood. Religion served as a moral construct for the accelerated growth of a superior species. As they evolved, they would discover that Earth, the orbit, and even their solar system could no longer support their exploitations. The ones that understood this made the leap outwards in haste, abandoning the skin they had shed on Earth. C.A.I.N. was a new home for the pioneers of human evolution. Their contrast from their prior version, human, like a wolf to an Amoeba. CJ-33 along with every other advanced technology created in it’s wake, would lead to a space civilization unbound by God, driven by will, not by fear.
Inebriated by emotion and fear, the ones that stayed with the nest continued to survive even through the most catastrophic events. The believers stayed behind because of their faith in Earth. It was the fear of being driven out into the vast enigmatic space that would keep the believers clinging to their globe. Earths ruthlessness made them strong and weak at the same time. Their faith would be tested countlessly. Their “faith” would be decoded by C.A.I.N. scholars as their anti-body to fear. The Potessian Empire entered a new age of spiritual thought. Their ambivalence towards leaving home and the need to suppress the truth that Earth was becoming ever inhospitable, would lead them to a destiny that could never have been prophesized or denied. Although they were beings of Reason, they were mostly unreasonable. They could not be bargained with, and they saw the beings of C.A.I.N. as an imminent threat to their existence rather than brethren or symbiosis. On the other end of the spectrum. Sophia, Matias, and the Sage had discovered a flawed species. Inconsistent and irrational. They had witnessed violent behavior beyond comprehension. For the first time in her life, Sophia felt an urge to demonstrate aggression towards the believers. After seeing what her virgin eyes had seen, she would make an irreversible decision to eradicate the infection that plagued the Earth.
ICARUS went online and ripped the souls from every being on Earth. The colonies in the sky would also be reckoned with, but it would take the ultimate sacrifice to ensure no human would obtain the technology to travel back to C.A.I.N. space.
The Sage held Sophia’s hand and a tear rolled down his aged face. “I have a new word to share with you Sophia, Love.” His resurrection from forgotten lore.
As she remotely completed the critical override of ICARUS, Sophia looked at him with one last somber smile. She silently mouthed the word ‘s-a-c-r-i-f-i-c-e’ as he too initiated the self-destruct sequence for their entire Earth mission fleet to assure their actions were quarantined forever from C.A.I.N. knowledge. The Earth and its ideas were nevermore.