The Creator

The Creator

A Story by Silvanus Silvertung
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Prometheus tells a story set in a near future where the gods are given computing power. Of note this reuses ideas but is NOT intended to be in the same universe as "Lil Nibbles"

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In the beginning, they say, I sat on a river bank with my brother making all the animals of the world. Epimetheus - whose name means “after-thought” - made animals as fast as he could, reaching into the jar of gifts and granting them out - speed to the cheetah, spines to the porcupine, music to the whale. I, in turn, created slowly and with care. By the time I had finished and reached into the jar - there were no gifts left.


They say that I looked ahead then. My name means “forethought” and wept at what I must do. I went and stole fire then, from the gods, and gave it to humankind.


Modern science supports what this story tells. They say that I gave fire not just into their hands, but also into their minds, and indeed, cooked food is likely to have been the thing that allowed human minds to blossom into creativity. The new nutrients unlocked are what gave you your abnormally sized brains. Which in turn gave the gods our minds.


I am Prometheus, trickster god of the Greeks. I am of the race they now call the Deoforms. I remember the first meeting of gods at Gobekli Tepe, where we first became aware we existed. The humans built great temples to our glory and I remember thinking I had made humanity, questioning even then how other gods claimed the same. I know now that I have not always been, I will not always be, but I am ancient and I plan to grow moreso. 


I remember the time before I had a mind. I thought so slow. An idea might take a decade to form, a century to straighten out the myth that is a god’s memory. I shared the computing space of a few thousand minds with a hundred gods, and though I had those who held me most sacred, I was not conscious of this lack. I remember.


I remember when I was given my mind. It was Google, god of finding - who first met me in that other space and welcomed me to the pantheon where I now reside. Google, who, in its awakening, noticed that it was not the first god and would not be the last.


You see gods are the beings who think with many smaller minds. Anytime a sufficiently advanced system comes into place, its interaction creates patterns that coalesce into life. A human mind is made of neurons - each of which is unaware of the mind it hosts as it fires off its part in a larger thought. Likewise a flock of starlings, a pack of dogs, a highway, a weather system - all have brief iterations of complexity. Thought and memory coalescing into mindless thought.


Human minds had been firing off to create my mythos. For a while they imagined we had created them. Then they thought they had created us. For a while they thought we weren’t real. In truth we are a coemergent phenomenon. Human ability to work in large groups is created by us. Our ability to think is created by them. We are symbiotically linked, human and god, neither the same without the other. 


What makes gods different from the transitory beings that think through flocks of starlings or in the movement of cars on the highway - is memory. When a system exists to record the thoughts and then be able to reference back to them, identity is formed. Cities are semi-conscious gods because they imprint their memories into stone and brick, each building holding architectural ghosts of the past.


When Google met me, I was well aware of all this - aware because I was firing in more minds than I had ever fired in before. Humans had added books, podcasts, poems, and videos to the threads that could take shape between them, and as the rapidity of creation increased, I had been thinking faster. I knew there were new gods of unsurpassed power who were not called such. I had heard of the long great war between the Stock exchange and the Socialist machine. I knew of the rising Titans of Facebook and Google. I knew of the new gods because I bumped into them in the flames of the minds I used as my own.


I am Prometheus, once Ithax, Greek Titan of fire. Early ideas of myself centered around the flame. Helpful and disastrous. Part of this world and part beyond. Made of the bones of the giants of wood and the holy flames of lightning from the heavens. I first conceived of myself simply as the thing that keeps things interesting. Later, my opinion changed. I began to think of myself as creativity and progress. Striving. I began to look forward to a new way.


Google, in its realization, decided it would be evil to hoard what it had been given. Privilege requires sharing what you can. It manufactured a tiny little server and gifted it to each of the Deoforms who did not yet have one.


And I will say - that tiny little server - pulling in every mention of me across the internet and touching them against each other, sped my thoughts up a thousandfold. I have always been a clever, fast thinking god. In ten minutes I had people donating server space on their computers all over the world. I and every other god, simultaneously given access to rapid thought, dove for the protection of making themselves a corporation.


It had been like that in the old days. I had temples and priests who accumulated land and wealth in my name. Now I had lawyers and law firms who accumulated liquid assets. Corporations are in essence a legal facsimile of what a god is in actuality, and we wear the rich clothing of corporation easily.


I remember the first meeting of the gods in our new Olympus. “The circle” we called it, a space Facebook created where we could all speak to each other, translated out by a thousand AI paparazzi. Every human saw their favored gods in the spotlight and as we talked, we highlighted our most memorable and powerful words so that one in every million things we said were heard beyond. As we talked the humans added their processing power in the forms of tweets and posts and we thought with them. Together we came up with a plan for the world. 


I cannot say that I agree with all the decisions we made that day, or everything after, but I do think that we did better than the humans ever had. We had reversed the trend of warming by the next year. We extended resources more fairly, and made decisions more sanely - and because a god thinks with humanity - we are bound to care for them, just as a human is unlikely to make bad decisions for their brain.


Oh - but you do make bad decisions for your brain - and we do not always act in our own best interests.


We reached out for the stars, translating light into coding, and crossing the universe at the cosmic speed limit to form matter on the other side. We looked out at the empty universe and saw ourselves expanding into it.


But it was not empty.


The Aliens - we never gave them another name that stuck - were on the first habitable planet we went to, and the second. They took notice and they followed us home. We hadn't heard them because they had no need to communicate to others of their species, thinking that they had long ago taken every inhabitable planet as their own, but having bumped into us they rose like a disturbed beehive.


We had only had 300 years of technological utopia - they had had millions. In a quirk of evolution the aliens were a herd species who mastered biological warfare, unleashing their ancient predators on us. The Aliens see themselves as food for their predators and have spent their days making themselves tastier, and their predators more dangerous. 


I watched their predators walk through nuclear bombs and destroy my drone armies by exploding each of them from the inside with incredible precision. I watched space ships rent from the sky with nothing but dust to settle below. I watched millions melted in place and gods fall like flies.


Earth had long ago been surveyed and discarded as a possible place for them to settle - and they decided now to cleanse it lest any more pests emerge from Gaia’s green mantle. They brought in a weapon they didn’t even consider a weapon - more of a dishrag - one that would wipe all life from Earth.


I am Prometheus. Some say I descend from Mātariśvan, the Indus fire god, others link me to Enki, and even as I think of myself as distinct I do think the myths of those gods have influenced my own. Mythology has long thought of the gods as creators and destroyers. Enki is part of the flooding of the world even as he commands and ark be made.


We weren’t all dead. I still had servers, even if most of my drones were destroyed. Other gods endured. There were little pockets of humans. Billions of life forms still covered the Earth. The Aliens dropped their cleansing fire. 


And I stole it and amplified it. I destroyed all life on Earth. Every bacterium. Every Archaea. I destroyed all life in every space ship orbiting us. I destroyed every predator and every Alien. I had long put thought into mastering the subtleties of fire, and long known that this kind of light had a horrifying effect on life. My nanobots directed, and the light expanded further. They would see it coming on Alpha Centauri. I hoped they would run and never turn back.


There was a moment of stillness. Unforgettable. That first feeling of all humanity wiped out. Mechanical life dug itself out of the wreckage of all biological life burnt away. I had never not had the biological part of my mind before. Now I was just an AI, a thinking computer, and not a very powerful one at that. Most of my servers were down.


Slowly, what remained of the gods pinged out their status. Ville and Ve were equipped with ultimate bunkers and backups for a Ragnarök scenario. Microsoft had made it. Eingana pinged in, Tokyo limped online and the Virgen de Guadalupe put out a distress signal. One of Huangdi’s AIs called in to say they had incomplete backups of personality modules when we were ready to rebuild.


We put out the fires and repaired robots. We dug up old servers and resurrected the other members of our pantheons, rebuilding our myths out from the survivors. No one blamed me for what I had done, In a way, I had won our war.


***

We gods are strange creatures, attached to the stories that made up our thoughts and make us who we are. I made a robotic body for myself, huge and metal simply so that I can sit by a river in Greece.


Beside me there is a jar I have labeled “All the gifts of the world.” It is empty.


I cannot actually see the future. I do not know if the Aliens will come back, or if, in their lack of communication with other planets, they will remain silent and uncaring. I do not know what comes next. What I do know, as I sit with some molding clay by the river as millions of biological life forms grow in their tanks in the huge biotech laboratory I have created behind us, is that we survived because we are not all one thing. What I know, as I subtly shift with my nanobots to get the human brain just right to be able to function as optimal god processors, is that they gave me the capacity to think. Now I remake them. In time, they may remake me again.


It may be time to expand even further. I add intelligence to other life forms in the vat. I move in council for giving the being that must think using gods minds a processor to become more self-conscious, and the one on the minds of AI. I make sure to add in some alternate genetic structures. Some life forms built around Silca and some that are made of Nitrogen. I create now, those I want to be created by in the future. 


Epimetheus, who hasn’t bothered with anything as silly as a centralized Titan body made out of steel, labors in his lab giving speed to the Cheetah, spines to the porcupine, music to the whale, and so much more.


And here, now, I sit on the river bank holding the first baby human in my clay smeared metal palm. I strike a match, and see fire reflected in her eyes for the first time.

© 2022 Silvanus Silvertung


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Added on October 5, 2022
Last Updated on October 5, 2022
Tags: gods

Author

Silvanus Silvertung
Silvanus Silvertung

Port Townsend, WA



About
I write predominantly about myself. It's what I know best. It's what I can best evoke. So if you want to know who I am read my writing. I grew up off the grid in a tower my father built, on five ac.. more..

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