The Maddening Tales of Science

The Maddening Tales of Science

A Story by Tomm Kanti
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When an old and almighty being detects a certain creature in the vastness of all reality, this demigod then abducts the creature and tells him stories of how Science made him this way. But why?

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The Maddening Tales of Science

(2:35 PM 5/28/2015 BATER U Prequel)

 

Starring into an enormous viewing screen, two stories high and the width of two stages lined one next to another, he pondered if this time unlike many countless other times he would finally be successful in his search.  The viewing screen has a curvature to it, one that looked like it pulled you into what was currently on screen, reaching for you, sucking you in and taking you into its world.  Like a window into the mind’s imagination and further on to what one may want to see, the viewing screen produce for him all he desired.  It was first strictly designed as an entertainment device for its creator, something to keep him amused in his seldom.  But, as time pass by, it became more, he added more technology into the viewing screen and placed more emphasis in what it could do for him.  Even after the years pass and his technology surpassed that of the viewing screen’s usefulness, he kept it around as a sentimental thing that gave him the “humanity” he thought he needed.


The viewing screen was held in his star ship’s main deck, where a long time ago was where he spent most of his time as he travels through space and time as he continued his search.  The room itself was the size of an opera house in the relation to the screen size.  It was cold and humming only with the sound of flowing oxygen, something he no longer needed to inhale.  The floor and the ceiling and the wall were lined with some kind of metal, but it was a metal unlike iron or steal, it was a formless metal, but during the manipulation of its properties, this metal can transform into whatever the manipulator wants it to be.  The main deck was the size of a football field, but he kept it clear of any clutter, not even including furnishing for sitting or hanging articles of clothing, he had no use for physical interaction, not anymore.  At one point he was a prisoner of his own physical body, just like anyone born to a mother and father, but he was able to eject from his true self with the help of his technologies.  This main deck, massive in space for just 2 men to share alone, but that was the kind of man he was, his fortress was not a spectacle on its own, it was his only home. 


The man had with him a dark demeanor, a stigma he cannot shake, the aura of a being so malevolent that you knew this to be true at first glance alone.  He keeps with him the history of a man soaked with trials and tribulations, the hardening of a lifetime and more filled with a strong touch of sadness.  He’s a desperate being able to culminate the work of his years to where he was now like a demigod and he would describe himself as such.  Knowledge and power at even footing with one another, stepping forward towards his seldom goal.  He is an old soul years pass his own generation and further generations after that.  A relic from the past preserved to utmost pristine conditions; an antique he is not.  His mind is ripe and sees all that presents it and he is the man that would use his capabilities to full capacity.

From outside his titanic vessel, amiss in the void of empty space, he drifts in a twilight setting, in a background of lights from far out stars and planets and galaxies.  To him it’s a familiar view of the universe; familiar yet very different.  The space he knew was bristling with sparkling shimmer from celestial bodies far away, yet there is an anomaly here in the current universe he occupies. The signature blackness, the dark and cold recesses of a melting pot of colors was instead replaced by the color mauve, unlike the blackness of his space.  An unnerving hue of purple that stretched out as far as he would look out towards, with just a few dark pockets of this universe.  The blackness he was accustomed to, but no longer there for him to gaze at.  He is left in a rented space, a space foreign to him, a space alien to his custom, a space he reached by traveling between the space he knew.


The cameras from outside his vessel let him see into the great vastness.  Technology so advanced gives him the gift of unparalleled sight, as if looking at the palm of his own hand, he’s able to see the life in a planet billions of light-years away and further on if he so chooses another destination with sights as crystal clarity.  And as he looks on, he allows himself to lament of his own planet, how much the one he looks upon resemble his own, now.  And as he remembered, as he could not forget, he understood why he was so far from his own world and the self-ordained crusade he placed upon himself became his whole life, his whole reason for continuing it.  The world that he once knew, he could no longer return to without being warranted for past deeds and so he makes no plan for a return visit.


The planet was 3 sizes the size of his own planet and the people there, they too resemble him, like mirror images of the people he knew, humanoids, but they were something else, a different name to what he called his species.  To him, he considered them a pass forgotten relative; he considered every humanoid civilization he’s found distant relatives.  For someone so advanced not only in thinking but in attitude, he still couldn’t dispel his feelings towards people that reminded him of his lost life.  As such is the reason why he continues to traverse. 


His vessel is like any other celestial body floating to the rhythm of gravity as it rotates around this galaxy’s grandest star.  As it does, the light on his massive viewing screen crawled towards his floor and ultimately shedding light on another man, hovering inside a pill shaped capsule unconscious, but still very much alive. 


Freshly captive for reasons unknown he suffered a swirling delirium that was caused by a lack of equilibrium in his head as he had no footing to his feet as he float inside the liquid capsule.  He was also drugged, something added into his system as immediate as his teleportation to his current location.  Even now as he floated inside the capsule, his eyes opened occasionally just for him to wonder if it were some awesome foggy dream.  The glimpses of when his eyes opened gave him sights of things he only sees when his eyes are closed and his mind is free to dream.  He imagines he is in serenity, the feeling he felt now, euphoria.  There is no pain, no trouble, just content and peacefulness disguised by his captor. 


Suddenly, it was time for the next phase of his grand experiment.  It was time for him to move towards his next stage.  It was time to wake up his captive.


The man simply had to think of what he wanted done and all the physicality to it all set itself into motion.  If he wanted a lever switched, he would simply think of it to happen and the lever would pull itself.  That of course is just an example, as there is no direct lever leading towards a mechanical action.  All his toys were automatic as his mind controls them, as if he were to control his very limbs.  When it came to an equation for a system he wanted to control, he would think of the solution, and his machines would manifest the answer.  If he wanted a cup of tea, invisible machinery of no definitive size would appear invisibly from a pocket space and creates for him his desired thing.  Just like turning on the light switch, when he wants enlightenment, it is there.


“Wake up,” said the man with his deep hoarse voice, a strong voice, something that was being transported into the mind of the man in the capsule, even as the room outside was ever silent.   


He heard it as if he were dreaming.  He was fully aware, but his body wouldn’t let him connect this knowledge to his normal consciousness.  He stayed in an induced state of euphoria, with an even more induced focus, both states clouded unable to let him fear the moment.  He could have been falling towards his death from a magnificent height and into a deep ravine, or even have a blade to his neck and with a little bit of force claiming his life, but nothing would have him freak out, panicked, no discomfort, he was calm and collected and at the moment seemed as if it were a mix of a dream and a movie with him being a third party watching from a close distance. 


“I’m searching through a very substantial library of information, desperate for a certain piece of knowledge that you may possess.  It is yet unconfirmed that you may be the being I’m searching for, so until the time when I have finally reached this desire of mine, I will attempt to regale you as you are my guest and because you are my only company in such a long time.  You are of course still my guest and I can at least offer the hospitality to introduce myself to you.  I am Von Berlain, nice to meet you.”  He sounded sincere in his thunderous introduction.


 “Where am I?” As soon as he spoke back to Von Berlain, he was looking from outside of where his body was in the capsule.  The machine had projected an avatar of himself onto the room fully clothed to what he was wearing when he was abducted.  This technology wasn’t limited by just projecting alone, it created dense matter from light, the feel of one’s own body as their feet touch surface.  And his sight, it has never been more perfect.  He didn’t use glasses before, but the way his new eyes let him see now, it was as if he was wearing glasses all his life until now.  The smell, he smelled the overall tone of disinfectant.  Just that, disinfectant without the odor of a room that smelled of frilly of lavender or peaches or lemon.  It was just the smell of sterile, clean, of an empty room filled only with oxygen and nothing else, no pathogens, no dead skin, or minerals, just a vapid emptiness of space. 


Flooded with amazement from his new body, he began to look at Von Berlain as one would attribute to a savior, a healer, a God.  He made the dream of a better him possible and with this small token from Von Berlain, he began to see his captor as a liberator.  He could feel it inside him.  Things that he normally wouldn’t know, he mysteriously knew.  “My heart beat rate is 148 bpm, usually associated with excitement.  Which I am, I am very excited about this, yet I feel calm.  How did I know that 148 was my bpm?  Because I remembered I learned how to when I was younger.  I memorized it unconsciously from a chart, but for some reason I’m able to remember ever single tidbit of information on the chart I looked on when I was only 8.  There were stains on the poster where I learned it.  It was dirty and browned from years of spray cleaning at a physician’s office.  How am I doing all of this?  You.   You made this all possible, I am not truly here, but there I am in that capsule floating in a liquid gel.  This gel, it acts like a rejuvenation solution, it keeps not only my body alive, but it’s repairing things from the inside out.  I’m guessing it may even keep me forever young if I continue to be dipped into it.  It will preserve me as if I were some sort of meat meant for another night on which you someone will dine upon.  You have given me more than I deserve.  The thing that comes to mind now is ‘why’.  Why would you bring me here?”


“It seems I might have given you a higher dosage of understanding than what you are ready for.  You may have figured it now from just thinking about it, but let me make sure you do know.  This is not your body in front of me, it is merely an avatar for your mind.  Your real body is inside that capsule asleep with its consciousness being projected through space and time.  Where you stand is the coded message I had programed for you to exist in that form.”  Von Berlain explained.  “I see you’re getting too much cognition for your kind of brain capacity.  I’m going to lower the level of your awareness.  I don’t want you coming to the conclusion too soon.”


The surge in his brain began to slow; the connections he made so easily were beginning to sever, as if cords attached to a light bulb were being cut one by one until the bright light that had shined began to dim faintly.  The feeling of his last thought before being relegated to his normal mind function was ‘why’?  Before an answer came to him, it was already too late.  “Why are you doing this to me?” asked Upun Tambor desperately trying to grasp the answer that was forming inside his head, but no longer solid, just the different shapes that no longer fit onto one another.


“Let me first give you the short answer to my story.  After that we may move on to the conclusion of why you are here and why I have done the things I have done.  Let me make it known that you are a key to my so far lofty goal.  But at the moment, my machines have not been able to trace the file I’m looking for in this vast and endless existence.  Until then, we may not speak about my true intentions.”


He looked the role of a king with a red, furry cape around his neck that rolled almost a meter off the ground.  He wore it for show, a garment meant for presentation at a time it warrants.  Von Berlain, a tall and sturdy man, a huge man made up of muscle on muscle that laid on top of another like a brick wall.  Had anyone attempted to push him over, they would find that he was a very sturdy wall.  He could have been an athlete, a soldier, a body builder, someone who was intimidating by looks alone.  His face was rugged and strong, a very large framed man who looked to be a gladiator, if not for the leather coat that was worn like a lab coat.  It protected him and acted like anything protective wear you may find at a lab setting.  His boots, worn like combat shoes.  He was one that looked to be at ready all the time.  But ready for what?  What was he preparing for?


The view on the monitor first showed him his home’s front door in grandiose fashion with the highest of definitions.  He could have sworn he could walk through the monitor and he would be home to tend to his normal existence.  The image then began to transition by zoom out revealing an address to a man named Upun Tambor.  The image zooms out again and by the frames of his home, to the sights of his street and his block, towards the whole of his town, by the mountains, by oceans, then they were to the point of his entire planet and its neighboring celestial bodies frame by frame without any skips.  And what a grand sight it was, so pleasing to his eyes, the brilliance of color and the way it sparked to him.  The planet he knew from faraway look to have been like a living creature.  As if the planet itself had a living heart, each swaying of the waves, the howling of the winds, the drums of its thunders and storms, the precisions of its deserts, the rustles of its trees, all show sign that this planet was alive.  Then after some time the sight he’s seen began to sour.  Legions of his planet’s surfaces became darkened with some kind of dark cloud.  The clouds began to dense and look like decaying entrails, latching on to the planet’s surface, reminding him of a net.  The monitor made it known to his brain what those dark entrails stemmed from.  It was all the negatives of this world, turmoil.  It accounted for the hate in a man’s heart, to the pollution that’s poured into nature itself.  Just like a living creature, the planet had its diseases, killing the planet slowly, so slow it can only be detected a 1000 times smaller than the molecular level.  In time, in a long time, the dark entrails will devour the planet itself.  But in this planet, there is also healing, represented by the beauty hidden under the entrails.


“What do you want from me,” asked Upun Tambor. 


“We, that is to say you and I, are not ready to be divulged that information as of yet.  It is for me to know and for you to wait until I am ready.  There is no reason we must hurry.  I have waited a very long time, and for me I want to suspend gratification for myself just a little while longer.  I do hope you can understand.”


“Understand?” said Upun Tambor, “I don’t understand anything about this.  I was home, then I was here, under your influence.  How can you ask me to understand when you pluck me from my home to be your hostage?”


“How can anyone be subjugated to anything without his consent, you ask?  Well, isn’t that what life is?  You did not choose to be here in this sector of reality, you were simply born to your parents and after that your life was not your own and continuing so in that same pattern.  My introductory to your existence is just another extension of the limited control you have in your life.  So why are you so desperate at grasping a sense of control you never truly had?  But, I am being too condescending, am I not?  What you believe to be an act of aggression from me is not wholly unwarranted.  In the smallest of all differences, you had a routine, something you had expected from your life, and here I am interrupting this routine.  I understand how you feel.”


“Then if you understand my feelings, why don’t you act upon them and let me free from here, back to my world, back to my mundane life as it were before you made yourself known.”  Upun Tambor had the sense that he should be shaken, he should be in distress, but his feelings didn’t let him feel those emotions.  It was Von Berlain’s influence on him and he knew it.  He knew he was never this confident and calm in high pressure situations.  And he knew because this was something very new and strange to him.  It was nothing he had ever imagine would happen to him, but all the same, it was as if he were out on a stroll on a normal day in his normal life.


“Don’t mistake my kind hospitality for an unwillingness to proceed with my purposes.  You have something I need and I will fully receive what I am looking for.”  He wasn’t threatening in the way he said it, but Upun Tambor knew Von Berlain was going to get what he wants.


“Then why the kind gesture of creating this thing before you?  You could simply just extract from me what you want and be done with it.  Why do you feel the need to address me as if I were an afternoon visit from an old friend?”


“Simple.  It is my will and that in itself is reason alone.  I do things that I do because I can.  I may have been like you once, but that is no longer true.  That’s what it takes to be me; to have risen.  My interests are of my own volition and it’s what drives me to continue.  Everyone wants to live, but most seldom assign themselves into a rut of a life.  In reality, they are already dead waiting for the official day their last breath draws, pretending what they do will make any difference in the grand scheme of it all.”


For Upun Tambor, he began to see Von Berlain as a braggart, someone who was so opinionated on himself that he no longer saw what maybe normal people would see.  And because of this, Upun Tambor took offense.  It was one thing to kidnap him and put him under his will, but it was another case to pretend as if he were a force like God that his will was worth the power Von Berlain had been pushing towards him.  “You are alone in your solitude and alone in your opinions.  And that is what your dogma for people are; opinions.  Opinions not validated by your advancements in technology and your overinflated ego.  ‘Demigod’, a self-proclaimed status you must have given yourself since I don’t believe you would consider anyone else’s opinion valid.  For someone so powerful, I can’t scratch the feeling that you may be overcompensating, that you’re nothing more than someone hurt in the past.”  Upun Tambor said this with great seething in tone, a venom that had bitterness with sweet satisfaction that he may have gotten under the skin of his captor. 


Von Berlain’s response was with a smile that treated Upun Tambor’s venom like a cocktail mix drank casually and disregarded, like a passing thought and easily forgotten.

“Not opinion, but experience.  Would you believe that I am over a thousand years old?  Would you believe older still?  Ten thousand, a hundred thousand, even million if not millions?  How far does my word process in your mind?  Even with my influence inside your bloodstream, I cannot truly convince you of the maddening things I’ve seen and heard and utmost; the truths.”


“Truths?  What truth is so damning that it turns you into a monster?  Truth is supposed to be a good force, over the doubt, the unknown or untruthful.  How can you make such a beautiful thing as truth turn into the disgusting thing that stands before me?  Truth does not do that, it does not create evil things like you.” 


Upun Tambor became more emotional and Von Berlain understood this was happening.  Instead of applying more influence inside of Upun Tambor, he let him be.  Upun Tambor wants this, he wants to feel his species.  His species were a people who understood honor, he wants to be associated with his people and Von Berlain understood and related with his will to be emotional. 


If Von Berlain had any emotion, it was something important for him to get rid of.  Make no mistake, Von Berlain had once been a being with humanity.  Once, but no more.

Upun Tambor couldn’t control himself.  Free from Von Berlain’s influence in the way he felt, he cried at the sad sight that was Von Berlain.  This being that stated earlier he may have been a kind of Upun Tambor in the past had his life developed in another way.  Now he was a monster that cared for nothing but his lofty goals. 


Von Berlain let him cry, and cry he did.  He let him wept and let him tire.  He let weight in Upun Tambor’s shoulders began to sunken until his eyes closed.  Once Upun Tambor open his eyes again, it was inside his capsule, the other self that was speaking to Von Berlain earlier had disappeared as quickly as it manifested.  He didn’t care, the more distance he placed between him and Von Berlain was well welcomed. 


“You are a religious man, I know you are.  That is why you weep.  Even me, at one point of my life I cared for a God to be good.  It was my father who ultimately help me decide on that path or not.  I chose not.  And make no mistake about it, there are those in the level of God.  Though, they may not love you as you think they may.”


“If they do not love you, they are not God,” said Upun Tambor, managing to speak even through his woe.


Von Berlain laughed, “Then my friend we have two separate definitions of what a ‘God’ is.  And why?  Why do you think they must love us?  Because perhaps you believe that they created us?  Like a mother and father to their children, you associate ‘love’ unconditionally.  That is where you confuse yourself.  You are the child of your parents, not the direct creation of a phantom being.  If you must associate love and admiration to someone, then set them towards your parents, the ones responsible for your very life.  It’s appalling to me that someone may attribute any loyalty, let alone devotion towards something unseen.  Do you need the comfort of an invincible hand working towards nothing for you?  And of the eventuality that unknown hand may guide you towards be it a good outcome or a bad, does it make sense to you that you put so much emphasis on someone that never truly cared?”


“Hope, Von Berlain.  Hope, that is God to me.  Hope being the ever presence that will uplift my life and everyone else.  That one day when all is said and done, we may still be together with loved ones.  What is the use of life without having someone to live for?  I cry, Von Berlain.  I cry because you may live forever and ever and into the end of time, and still be so sad.  Tell me this, Von Berlain, are you happy pretending to be God?”

Von Berlain stayed mum.  He could not say that he had found happiness.  In his uncountable years of living, it was never the goal.  Happiness to him was an illusion for those who searched for it.  To him, it was a liberty in life for anyone who had found it.  It was not a thing required. 


“You have stumped me, Upun Tambor.  I am not happy.  Being a demigod does not equal happiness.  What it does equal, is knowledge.  Have you ever heard the saying, ignorance is bliss?  That seems to be the case with you, Upun Tambor.  Let me share with you some knowledge, that way we may be both unhappy.  Listen to my tales.  My maddening tales of science.”


***

 

End of Epilogue

Chapter 1

 

The Googolplex Universe and Everything Else

“It’s important to know where you are.  I assure you, knowing where you stand in the universe is essential to get you where you want to go.  So where are you now?” Von Berlain spoke flauntingly, “Where are we?  An address.”  Von Berlain raised his eyebrow in an attempt to look playful as he smiled for his captive.  It was an eerie smile, one that was forced made to look convincing.  He then stood up straight, and outwardly like he was embellishing his thunderous voice.  “It’s a simple idea, we are existing in an address.  We are in a collected grouping of celestial bodies floating in space.  But you and I know there’s more to it than that.  Outwardly in space, continuing in every direction, forever towards an infinity of space.  Imagine it.  Here to the end of the universe.  For some reason, civilization always seems to always believe there’s an end to something.  That way of thinking is small and leads to failure.”


“Look out there.  Let me give you a gift.”  Von Berlain merely needed to think it, and the use of Upun Tambor’s eyes evolved into a hyper-telescopic eyes.  With his eyes acting like a hyper-telescope, he could see as far as trillions of light years away and further on without any limits to where his sight may see.  This was possible by manipulating matter long distances away into creating camera technology from thin air.  Von Berlain then uses entanglement to transmit the focus of the camera into Upun Tambor’s brain, negating problems with relativity, the speed of light and spooky actions. 


He did not let Upun Tambor regain the use of speech, for which he could give thanks he was allotted to appreciate of what he saw.  The wonders out there he saw through the viewing screen.  A treasure trove of images his eyes could taste a feast of if he only focused his direction of sight. 


“I know what you are thinking,” spoke Von Berlain.  “You are thinking that it continues, you are unable to focus your new eyes.  Your eyes focus on something, and then it changes, like the sight slips and you are seeing something else.  You have full appreciation for what you see, only if you focus.  I also made your mind capable of running your new eyes, like a computer, upgraded memory so you may store and appreciate the wonders you see at your own leisure and not just blaring composition of light.  How many wonderful sights have you seen in just the last few seconds?  Like watching television and seeing infinity of channels and watching it all at the same time.  Well, you see, you are looking into trillions of light years into space at a certain direction.  If you had moved your head, you would have seen trillions more just in the passing alone.  Take it all in, get used to your new boundless sight.”


“Your universe is gigantic, titanic, and gargantuan in scope.  In my universe, we called this a googol universe.  In fact, this one is far more than a googol, my instruments have detected it’s already surpassed a googolplex.  In math, a googol is expressed as 10100.  That’s 1 with a hundred 0 right after it.  It’s a very large number.  You’re a learned man in your civilization, you must understand this concept.  And a googolplex is expressed as 1 Googolplex =
= 10^(1*(10^100))… that’s far more than you could ever count.  If you started today, you may have died millions of times over before you ever finished.”

“After looking into infinity for so long, you lose count, or rather you just don’t care about it as if you were looking into a segment of the sea and caring not at the direction or focus of your sight.  You merely care about the view, about the fantastic imageries your eyes have caught.”


 “As you continue to look outward, you may see things that are rather…disturbing.  Have you seen it?  Use your mind, control what you see.  Go back in your memory of where you looked, and you shall see what I’m speaking of.”


Upun Tambor focused as Von Berlain had suggested, and willed his mind to remember what had caught his eye, what peak his interest, what disturbed him so much so.  Like electricity flowing through his spine, he felt the urgency of having his realization confirmed.  It was like looking at a ghost, impossible and out-worldly, but there just the same he saw what he had seen. 


“Yes.  That’s correct.  What you see is; you.  This is one of the strange things that one encounters in a googolplex universe.  Let me explain as to what is happening.  In a universe, there is only a finite amount matter that can be structured in a way until matter repeats.  Think of it as a grid on an impossibly massive map.  At a certain point, the grid will be filled with every possibility that may occur through entropy and chaos, like a roulette wheel of every imaginable situation.  On the next grid over, the same thing may happen and eventually, the same randomness in your grid of the universe is repeated in the next one.  Everything may be repeated, even you yourself.”


Upun Tambor began to panic.  Von Berlain understood this was happening, and so he cut the fear emotion in half, like adding a downer into his system and forcibly taming him.  Upun Tambor became strangely composed, almost quelled and soothed, despite the abomination he was witnessing; he was okay with it.   


"You shouldn't be alarmed, it's very natural.  You see, what you see out there in the very long distance is yourself.  He is the projection of yourself into another space by the powers of inevitability, that of numbers and the likelihood that this would be possible.  Understand that so many of the same occurrences that created you will occur again a very far distance away from yourself.  You are a part of a fractal composition that takes place in a span of trillions of light years.  If you were to grow in size by a Googol, you would see you were nothing but a small part of an infinite snow flake.” 


Upun Tambor took in the information as a computer would consume digits.  He understood what was happening and knew he should be more invested in what he was being told, but he couldn’t help but be so calm.  All he could do was be more curious.


“What you see is yourself, but make no mistake about it, he is not you.  You are yourself, you feel yourself, your mind, your thoughts, your actions and even your own consequences.  They all amount to you and you should take comfort in that alone.  Look further.” Von Berlain suggested.  “Do you see him?  Another one just like you standing on his lawn of his home, carrying on as if nothing in the world was bothering him.  He’s unaware that we are looking at him, he’s just living a normal life, carefree as you just were several minutes ago.  If I were to take him to me and test his DNA, it wouldn’t be a surprise if it matched yours completely.  Then further still, keep looking for yourselves.  There are hundreds, thousands, millions, almost an infinity amount of them out there.  As much as there is room in this universe, there are of you waiting to be found.  Here, let me point to you where to look.  Follow my finger and look there.”


Von Berlain pointed far away, but Upun Tambor’s eyes followed exactly the destination he was pointing towards, like magic, as if there was no effort into looking and spotting the destination he would lock on to. 


“There.  Amusing isn’t it?  No, you don’t get it yet?  Look closer and you’ll see why I laugh.”


Upun Tambor looked closer until his eyes fixated on a woman.  It may have been his sister, if he had ever a sister. 


“That’s you as a female.  Funny is it not?  They are all you, but not you.  You exist as they do and they exist as you do.  All at once.   It’s not magic, it’s the rule of numbers.  Given the massive space there is for life in this universe, how is it not possible for randomness to recreate or vary from your own?  Tell me, if you were to look at all the sand on your world, would it not make sense that of all the offerings, you would find two or more that are exactly alike?  Exactly alike, but with different backgrounds and circumstances.  This is exactly what you’re looking at.  Do you think of yourself as special?  I’m sure you do, parents and their parents and their parents before them like to believe that we’re all special in our own way.  That is something I would agree upon, but taken with a grain of salt.  We are special in the way we are seldom ourselves, but not special in the sense that there may be more than just one of us.  I too, have my doppelgangers, but I find myself to be very much an individual.  I know because I place that mantle of special on to myself.  Now, isn’t that what it means to be alive, to give yourself worth?  You may question my nonsense of being a demigod, but please know that I make things happen for the sake of a life worth living.”


Upun Tambor never considered himself special, but always knew he was an individual.  A lower regards of one’s self, but to him it meant that he could exist in his life honestly if he were himself.


“Yes, take comfort in knowing you are still you.  Take comfort in your own personal thoughts and feelings.  That is what makes you; you.”


Von Berlain no longer helped him quell his realization with helping chemistry to his system.  If Upun Tambor were to fall deeper into the rabbit hole, he would have to deal with the fall himself.  Eventually, Von Berlain would need him to fall deeper, deeper and deeper still for him to understand what this was all about.  That is if Upun Tambor did have what Von Berlain was desperately looking for. 


Without realizing, Upun Tambor began to speak to Von Berlain through telepathy.  It was something he had just realized was of use to him with his new abilities of thought processing.  “These other me, do they all eventually live the same life?” Upun Tambor asked trying to draw at straws the importance to knowing this kind of information.   

“Some of them live their lives exactly like one another, others, just by randomness alone swerve the preconceived plan and live individual lives.  There are many factors that may sway someone to doing things out of progression.  And it doesn’t have to be something big that changes the course of someone’s life.  It may just be the way the wind is blowing, maybe on a certain day you had not gotten up as early as you would have liked or maybe you were earlier.  Do you want to know what overall progression your life would have been if I had not interfered?”  Von Berlain pointed towards a direction he wanted Upun Tambor to see.


“There.  How boring your life would have progressed if I hadn’t interfered.  You are alone in your home.  You have no wife, no children, not even a pet.  You would have called a friend later that night and all you would have done was drink a glass of some alcoholic beverage before you slept passed out from over drinking.  But you’re a young man still, it makes sense that you would not have too much going for you at this stage of your life.  It’s very normal.  You are still very young.  You have a full life ahead of you.  The world is your oyster and you’ll have your entire fill.  I will admit that during my version of your current age, I was not such the specimen you see today.  I could even say you dwarf the weak and dumb me at your age.”


“And all the people I know, they are there as well, may I find them?” Upun Tambor asked realizing he could find someone he was looking for.


“Yes.  Yes.  Yes.” Exclaimed delightfully Von Berlain.  “Now you’re starting to understand.  Play with it a little bit.  See what may have been.  Look, look there,” Von Berlain pointed again with such fervor. 


“You have a sister in this one.  She’s very pretty.  And looks like you’re the better for it.  Here you are, doing something on a Wednesday night.  Did you know I kidnapped you specifically on a Wednesday afternoon?  It would be the best time for you to go missing if things start to get late.  Though I may add that time is nothing to me, so abducting you during any time is not important.”


Upun Tambor looked and searched.  He found it by the will of his mind, like imagining a destination in your head and your mind automatically plays it for you whatever you desired to see.  Another address far away from his own.  There, a younger him still, post pubescent, he was laughing and having fun, not alone, with someone, a pretty girl.  It was a beach, water crystal clear, the sun beamed down but it wasn’t hot, it was just pristine and the day was a perfect day for that version of Upun Tambor to be alive. 


“Look at you,” Von Berlain taunt Von Berlain, “you’re a romantic.  The girl, who is she?” Von Berlain asked already knowing who she was.


“My dream girl,” said Upun Tambor feeling upheave as he starred and be reminded by the young woman he looked at.  “Someone I thought was my dream girl.  Someone who haunts me when I least expect it.  Someone I thought I would have lived my life with if my desires would have come true.”


“And because of situations not of your control, your dream girl became someone else’s dream girl, correct?  You shouldn’t fret about something like that.  You’re still young, you may find someone you can call your dream girl.”


“It’s funny as much as it is sad for me, as I’m watching her it brings back so many fond memories.  Even more so with this advance mind that you so gifted me with.  I can see her as if she were standing next to me, her face, her skin vibrant and young, and me next to her, the other me who reminds me of how I looked not so long ago.  Not only do I look upon them, I can feel the rays of the sun as the two of us had frolicked in our youth.  The smell of the sea harkens me to when I fell to her, when I began to start placing such strong affections for her.  It gives me hope to believe there is still a chance in the relationship I once had with her.”


Von Berlain snickered rudely, he wanted to be genuine with Upun Tambor even if it broke him, he didn’t care.  “Be realistic, Upun Tambor,” warned Von Berlain.  “Don’t look into the void and see your future in your past.  It doesn’t work that way.  Remember what you’re looking at is someone else’s life, not yours.  That boy and girl down there are just a mirror image of what you once were, despite it being real.  To treat it like anything more than just a fond memory is foolish.  It will not quell any lingering emotions you may still be carrying for that girl and for that matter, even that boy.  There is nothing that can link you to a different life een as you watch them at this moment.  However they grow up and become themselves in another 10 years is up to them and whatever the outcome may be, it’s not you.  You are here with me, they are themselves, and what will be of their future has no meaning to you.”


Upun Tambor sighed, feeling defeated, but just the same suspicious of Von Berlain’s warning. 


“Why can’t I shake the feeling that what you just told me doesn’t apply to you.  You are Von Berlain, the self-anointed demigod; I wonder if I had your capabilities that I would not find happiness being the boy with that girl on that sunny day at the beach.”


“I cannot say I have your best interest at heart, Upun Tambor.  I have my own desires and I would be lying to say I warn you of an ill fate in believing that you may take the place of your younger doppelganger.  Don’t you know; I only give warning so you may benefit from my experience.  Don’t you believe that with the powers I’ve attained something like a lost love found trillions of light years away might have been my answer as well a lifetime ago?  It’s an illusion, dear Upun Tambor, a figment of your imagination.  Do you believe that girl you’re looking at so fondly is the same girl you had once loved?  Don’t sully your original dream girl’s memory of a younger version of her.  Like looking into a photograph, she is nothing but a look alike.  The girl you once loved is in your own planet, living her life happily with or without you.”


“Don’t patronize me.  You get what you want because you can, remember?  That is part of why I am here, is it not?  How simple and easy it must be for you to capture that girl like you captured me and force her to be your fond pet.  Isn’t that why I’m here?”


Von Berlain laughed at him and shook his head.  “No, Upun Tambor, that is not the case here.  Do you know what the difference is between love and the aesthetics of love in this situation?  If I were to capture her, fill her mind and body with my will and have her behave the way I want her towards you; that is something I can do, I have the power to make it so.  Then, there is the thing we consider to be love.  Love is the individually grown affection within a person.  It is wholly decided by one person and that person alone despite any outside influence.  That choice of picking who you love is also a task one must deal with in life.  That is what makes freed om to love special and personal.  It is for you that the girl you once knew had formed these feelings for you.  It is of her will and no one else.  That’s why as you look on and put such strong feelings to a stranger you’ve never met and only seen from a distance, know why I say it is folly to believe it may be a solution to your loneliness.  You may want her to be the same girl you knew, but she’s not, she’s a stranger to you.  To treat her as a reunited friend is false.  I think you may even agree with me about this sentiment.”


Upun Tambor gave in to Von Berlain; no, he agreed with him, he understood he was playing nothing but a fool longing of something he once had.  So he closed his eyes, turned his head, no longer looking into the direction of the image of his lost love.  Surprisingly enough, Von Berlain had helped him change his mind as he spoke of personal choice with the people he loved.  It was because the way Von Berlain spoke, he seemed to have gone through it himself.  Now more than ever did Von Berlain’s age betray him for Upun Tambor understood when Von Berlain had said he spoke from experience, he meant he had made that same mistake.


“Then what else is this sight beyond sight good for?” asked Upun Tambor decidedly angry over the lack of personal use.


“You are still thinking too small, Upun Tambor.  Think bigger, think with a plan, think with information gathering.  There,” Von Berlain pointed to another direction, “there in that direction, follow my index finger and see to where I point.”


Von Berlain pointed into a part of the universe where a lone blue planet existed, lush and teaming with life.  “Look and tell me what you see.  Focus.”


Upun Tambor looked to where he pointed and found the blue planet.  “It’s a world full of life, fauna and flora.  Magnificent creatures that hold such an affinity to the life they live.  And the sceneries of this world are magnificent as well.  I can see trees and formation of rocks and fluffy things that may marvel that of my own world’s beauty.  But why, why do you show me this world?”


“It’s simple,” answered Von Berlain, “to give you an idea.  Can’t you look into something so beautiful and not be inspired to live, to continue life when you have had more than your fill of living?  That world, it is only a few millions of years old.  Only about 10 million years ago, life had developed on this planet to the bustling ecosystem we see today.  That, my dear Upun Tambor is a fledgling marvel to look at.  For now, it is nothing but an Eden of creatures, but in the next 100 million years, it will produce something more familiar.”


Von Berlain moved his finger again and Upun Tambor followed once more.  “Here, look at it.  It is the same world, advanced 100 million years later.  Do you see what it’s become?”

Upun Tambor was shocked to see that eventual home he’d come to know.  “That blue planet is my world?” asked Upun Tambor almost flabbergasted.


“Yes,” Von Berlain answered frankly, “it had evolved, changed, even been hammered by celestial bodies and had formed into the world you know now?  Do you understand what this power is good for now?  Your historians, or geologist, what did they tell you your world was before you have come to know what it is?  Did they say that it was once and has always been a green planet that it is now?  Knowledge is power, Upun Tambor.  With this knowledge I’ve given you, you may now make use of.”


“I’m no geologist or historian, I care not for what my world was once.  There are those who do, who want to find more, more and more and still more…but I am not one of them.”


“Aggravating, Upun Tambor, just aggravating,” said Von Berlain acting annoyed but never being imperfect of his intentions.  “With this knowledge, you may able to unearth your world’s most ancient mysteries.  You may track down your lineage and know how they lived and how they survived and how you yourself came to be.  I have said before, it is important to know where you are, but it is also important to know where you came from.”


“I’m not a scientist, Von Berlain.  All this information will do nothing for me if I do not know what I may do with it.  You’re throwing pearls before swine with me.”


  “No, Upun Tambor, the proper analogy is a blind man living in a library.  Or better yet, a child unwilling to do his homework.  Success is a follow up of that which one puts in work.  The mechanism that turns nothing into what you want is you.  With me personally, it is the knowledge and use of what I knew that turned me to the person you see now.  And it wasn’t the lack of professional training that stopped me, it was the willingness to learn that ultimately help me prevail.  Just how you are now.  No swine here, just a sloth.”


“Von Berlain, do you expect me to be like you?  Do you think that I should become as demigod as you are?  You may want to search the universe for who knows what, but not everyone has the ailing determination of your ambition.  You say that I may be you and you may have been me once, but let me tell you this, Von Berlain, some people don’t want this, don’t have what it takes to be you.”


“Yes, that’s understood.  I imagine that with everyone like me, there would be no such individuality when it comes to a kind of people.  But, there has to be a line to cross where it is a necessity to have someone like me.  Not for my sake alone, but that is the natural progression towards a species, a race, a people.  We must not stay stagnant of what our people can do.  What is the point if we are not pushing the edge of what we know, of what we can attain, of how we may evolve into something far grander than our modest beginnings?”


“Are you telling me what this is all about?  Some sort of pioneering spirit so deep and far and remote, just to find what no one ask you to look for?  Here in this grand googolplex you claim it to be, looking for a needle in a haystack making a quest that only elevates you, you Von Berlain, like some greedy boar.  You want me to guess as to why I’m here, I give it to you.  I’m here because you want to conquer.  I am your introductory to this universe and you want company to help massage your swelled ego.  Is that your goal, is that what your aim is towards?”


Von Berlain laughed to hear such foolishness.  Von Berlain didn’t feel alone, he didn’t feel sad, he didn’t feel the humanity that normal beings felt.  All those things he had experienced a different way from how normal people experienced them.  There was no anger for Von Berlain, or for that matter happiness.  His emotions are bottled somewhere for a use sometime in the future whatever he may plan for.  He did it so he may not be influenced by sentimental feelings and his judgement detracted. 


“Upun Tambor, you’re a funny man.  Just the thought of your assumption is funny.  If I were lonely, do you believe that I would have abducted someone like you to keep me entertained?  I’m sorry to say, but you’re not that interesting, Upun Tambor.  I will not say why I have abducted you, but I will say that it is not for your company.”


“Fine then, I’m incorrect in my assumptions.   It’s another puzzle piece needing to put in its place.  I am getting closer to your answer Von Berlain.”


“Quite.  You must attempt, Upun Tambor, no matter how strenuous it may be you should try.  And I am here to help you while I’m helping myself.” 


“My universe,” started Upun Tambor curious, “is it truly unique?”


"All is unique and all is not unique.  Your world is one of many infinite universes that are a googolplex.  That only means that when your big bang occurred, it had occurred 10X10^100 years a before my own universe.  There are many ways a googolplex comes to be, the most I’ve witness is just the expansion of a universe to a certain size by a catalyst of chaos and entropy.  You could have easily lived in a universe where it was limited by the physics of the universe itself.  So, let me ask you, what something deems your universe special or for that matter any universe?  Even I, being a demigod, am only one of countless demigods in known existence.  I would state that the pride or self-importance I place on myself would be what I consider special.  No one else is going to state your place in the universe, but rather you must place the importance in yourself.  Whatever attributes your universe may have, take note that other universes exist with the same stats."


“Damn this gigantic universe of yours.”  Bellowed Von Berlain as he perfectly delivered this line to get Upun Tambor on to his next point.  “If it were only the size of most other universes.   My universe, it is a normal universe, this universe puts an emphases on being expansive and also being so unnecessary.  .  Where my universe exploded from the big bang, this universe had done so earlier in time.  And because of this I will soon be detected by this universe’s local police.  I say that because sure enough the people of this universe have already mapped out the most of this universe.  Where I would have had my answers in mere seconds in my universe, I continue to wait for the answer here.  But, I guess I can’t help it.  If I want to get what I want, I must be patient and have it come to me.”


“Infinity, it’s a long time, endless.”  Upun Tambor tried to wrap his head around the concept, it was feeling the weight of the realization of something so heavy.  “How is it possible?  I mean, everything I may think or dream is conjured somehow just because things never end?  The more I think about it, the more my head starts to strain from the thought.”


“It’s due to the infinity principle.  In a wide spectrum of possibilities that span from an endless past to an endless future, in between is the occurrence of all things by which fits into a probability spectrum.  You may dream of a giant monster destroying your city and somewhere between the past and future of a reality is the happenstance of it happening.”


“My death, I would have died already, it would have already happened countless times, yet I still live and breathe here.  Does my death somewhere else have any effect on me personally?” asked Upun Tambor as he considered being afraid of his own ghost.


“No, not directly.  How could it?  I’m sorry, that’s not ultimately correct.  I would say that somehow, some way, the death of you somewhere else may have a small quantifiable recourse on you yourself.  Like an ant falling off a branch 12 feet above the ground, it happens, it occurs, but how does that affect you personally when you don’t even notice it happening.  It’s the same with your doppelgangers.  I’m sure even within the membranes of your universe and other universes acting as a veil on both worlds, there is a tell, a sign, a small little trigger that has affected you somehow.  You won’t notice or see or hear or could even acknowledge such a thing when it happens, but your death somewhere else is not so easily erased.  How can it not when all things are possible?”


“So sad.  So vast and so sad.  Emptiness or lack of emptiness, just so sad,” stated Upun Tambor lamenting the structure of the universe. 


Von Berlain could tell what Upun Tambor was thinking just by hearing the tone in his voice, or rather the tone Upun Tambor had wanted to project into Von Berlain’s mind.  He too experienced this understanding a long time ago and had once felt the same way.  That was a long time ago and since then has had his outlook changed to fit the world and life he now lived. 


“There is nothing sad about possibilities to choose from, Upun Tambor.  You may look into the grand scheme and think that nothing matters, but you’re wrong again.  It is not that we are plentiful, it is not that we may be petals of an infinite flower, it is that we exist at all.  We make moves to be different despite being unable to control what we do.  Still we make attempt at our goals.  Think local, think personal.  I for one will live in the moment.  I suggest you do the same.”


“Is that how you were able to live so long without wanting to end it?  Even you must get bored, Von Berlain.  Even you must quell the lingering hand of monotony that wraps around your neck from time to time.”


“Of course.”  Von Berlain laughed devilishly.  “I have vices.  I do things that are not necessarily good for me.  I do everything I would want and enjoy myself tremendously.  By my count, I have experimented with over a million different drugs and substances not normally consumed by the body.  In this universe alone, there are similar substances that I have already taken and live to tell the tale.  There are some drugs that do things to you, that alter your mind or body.  One time, I had been cloned by the use of a simple consumption of a capsule.  I had to dispose of the other me of course, but that’s a story for another time.”


“So I take it recklessness is the answer to a long life?”  Upun Tambor spoke sarcastically.

“Not so carelessly summarized as such,” Von Berlain corrected, “but I guess it is a viable way to express how I lived.  Keep going Upun Tambor, keep moving forwards for your own sake.  By the age of this universe, it can be stated that nothing has been alive when first your version of the big bang had occurred.  And with this lack of understanding from your past is sadder to think you’ve lost the precious information of back then.  So, why not continue to live, why not be an authority of reality, why not live as a demigod.”


“Because we’re not supposed to live this long, Von Berlain.  We were meant to live our lives for as long as we can and expire.  You, you’re a corroded, spoiled thing disguised in a nice shiny looking plastic wrapper.  But inside, you’re nothing but mush, you’re goo, you’re mold, you’re the thing that’s been in my refrigerator for so long I must throw you away.  Why do you live on forever while everyone else live life and die?”


“How naive you are.  Nature affords us with all the possibilities of what we want.  Nature is there for us to grasp on to and never let go if we so choose not to.  Normally, we are born, we grow old and die, but clearly nature also provides us with the choice to live as long as we would like.  But, it is not so simple, it is not so freely given.  Finding the fountain of youth you must have the courage and knowledge to attempt at attaining, it is the prize for the esoteric, the ones that throw out the shackles of their own limitations.”

"You’re talking about breaking nature, not co-existing with it.  What you are to nature is what cancer is to the body, coercing and changing and mutating for the worst.  You are an anomaly that broke nature's code of conduct and are a criminal freely traversing the universe with a self-entitled sense of superiority.  What if everyone had lived forever like you?  And you say it’s not simple, but here you are bragging that all you want you will have, as if you were to simply think of the matter and the rest will magically appear.  Isn’t that how it is for you?  What’s to stop everyone else from defying nature and becoming a virus that is Von Berlain?”


Von Berlain smiled at him looking unfazed by his insult.  He knew something that Upun Tambor didn’t.


“Upun Tambor, what did I say?  There’s no need to imagine what could be when you have a googolplex to search for your results.”  Von Berlain pointed towards his screen, to a planet, to a grand cathedral with shimmering crystals and rupees.  “There, immortals, living freely from nature’s death grasp.”


Upun Tambor looked and he saw what Von Berlain pointed to.  There were people of some kind, humanoids of a bustling society.  There were people walking on the streets on the daily mundane course of their lives.  They were walking slowly, as if there were no rush to get to their destination and there was a distinct sense to these people.  It was something that couldn’t be seen or understood by watching first glance alone, but in time you would know that for the most part these people were happy.  They weren’t free from the pettiness of humanity like lust and greed and everything else that comes with being alive, but they were free in other ways.


Upun Tambor kept watching.  Inside the cathedral Von Berlain pointed to, he watched two citizens of this world and heard them speak.  He didn’t know their language, but he knew exactly what they were speaking, as if it had translated into his head automatically.


***

“Magistrate, good day to you,” spoke Hansel Levitt.


Hansel Levitt, a citizen in this world of immortal beings.  Today, at the ripe old age of 167 he visits the Magistrate.  Despite his age, he looks to be in his late 20’s, still a sprawling young man in looks.


“Hansel Levitt, good morning.  It’s good to see you here today.  You must be here regarding your newly born daughter,” greeted the Magistrate.


The Magistrate, a man far exceeding the face firmly on his head, that of a young man at the age of 35, but truly older than what he looks to be.


“Yes, Magistrate.”


“And she is the daughter of your fifth wife?  Is that the current count?”


“Yes Magistrate, she is Velma’s daughter.”


“Yes, Velma is right for you.  However long your marriage will last, she for now is very much good for you.”


“I do hope so as well, Magistrate.  When I was first courting her, she had been burnt from her previous marriages.  I am her 7th and she admitted that she was no longer interested in having children, but here we are and me needing procedural for our new born.”


“How many children have you fathered now, Hansel,” asked the Magistrate.


“I would have fathered 8 children with my son Philip being the eldest at 102 years old now.”


“Time does fly by so quickly,” said the Magistrate anecdotal.  “It only seems that you yourself were just 60 when you first came here for Philip.  Has he had his first child yet?”


 “Unfortunately no, he is of the opinion that having children will only further our state of over population.  He doesn’t believe we’re able to find a solution of terra-forming other planets.”


The Magistrate nodded his head to show how distressing their situation was.  “The future is uncertain, but I can’t believe that we will fail.  The same people have been working on this technology for the last 200 years and there has been very good results.  Tell your son to have faith; we’ll live among the stars someday and someday soon for that matter.”

Hansel’s concerns for the future were quelled, if even by just the utterance of success by the Magistrate.  He had that kind of gravity to him, one where others were forced to pay attention and listen.  There was a rumor going around that the Magistrate was the 56th eldest person in the world and Hansel found himself in quite a fortunate position. 


“Magistrate,” said Hansel with trepidation, “I find myself in a situation where I have your strict attention.  I happen to know you’re a busy man and you socializing is a rare sight.   You have that kind of reputation.”


“Come out, man, tell me what you’re getting at?  No need to tip toe around.”


“Right.  Well, there is a resounding rumor of your age.  It’s been stated that you’re over 800 years old, some even peg you to be over a century older.  Well, to get to the point, can you tell me how old you really are?  You know, that way we may finally dispel all those rumors and speculations.  You know how they may get out of hand without reigns to control.”


The Magistrate looked at him with utmost seriousness, as if asking him how old he was impeded onto a case of national security.  It was as if he were asked his sexual preference, something taboo to ask someone to reverent as the Magistrate. 


“Hansel, what would you do with this knowledge of my age?  Other than the single pop of an interesting topic to speak of with your peers, what other use will you do with knowing how old this poor soul is?  Cruel really, here I am to be the subject of a group of young men to make humor at.  Is that the goal here, Hansel?”


“Why no, Magistrate, perish the thought.  If I were to ask it were simply to scratch an itch that’s been eluding me for some time.”


The Magistrate laughed in sport of his younger constituent.  “Be calm, Hansel.  I jest at your expense.  I mean nothing about it.  If I were reluctant to spout out my proper age is because I may have forgotten how old I am without doing the math.  Yes, I am that old, it’s nothing to brag about really, if all you do is continue to live, it’s just fine with me that people think of me as nothing special.”


“But Magistrate, no one thinks of you as not special, how can you not be with all your attained knowledge of the world?”


“My mindset is far different from the current generation.  Did you know when I was 25 years old, I began to think I was getting old.  When I was 35 and the formula for cellular regeneration was perfected, I thought that I may still have been too old to take it and continue to live, but I did and here I am still looking no older than a day after 40.  When was the last time you saw a wrinkled face, the face of someone representing the years of their lives in earnest?”


“No Magistrate, I can’t say that I’ve seen it before.  If only in the public records is where I’ve seen such an example.  You know, old photos and the kind that give me an idea of what an aged person is.”


“There’s something to say about wrinkles that’s no longer expressed on the face of the populace.  You wouldn't be able find one on the entire planet today, but back then all you had to do to see it was go outside and look onto a crowd of people.  Those at the age over 50 couldn't hide who they were, and let me tell you that some of them tried.  It may have been funny back then the lengths one would go through to look younger, one method even involved surgery.  How much youth was considered a sign of beauty.  Nowadays, you may consider what people did to stay young archaic, but we didn’t have the formula yet and for some death came in the form of age.  I wonder if we would still be so vain had we not found eternal youth.”


“The formula became available to everyone as soon as the first group of individuals had reached 30 years without growing any older than they already were.  The formula was the perfect cure for everything that may ail you.  It had rendered every past medical accomplishment pale in comparison, left vaccines and immunizations no more useful than sugar pills, surgeries and radiation, no more needed.  It was touted as the ultimate wonder drug, and for all its faults and notoriety, it really was.  It was the thing people had been praying for, the miracle countless people have wished for, but not really expecting to get.” Said the Magistrate lecturing.


“But it wasn't perfect, nothing in this world is ever perfect.  Grandmother and grandfathers, sickly and near death, they too took the wonder drug.  For 100% of those who took it, found it had worked to the advertisements, all of them became healthier, they continued to live way pass their intended life span, but then all of them died in less than 20 years of taking the drug.  No, none of them died through natural means, the drug made sure of that.  They all died of either accidents or by suicide.  That was the downside of the drug and continues to be.  As old as they took the drug, was as old as they would be forever.  The drug works in a way where it does not reverse the aging process, but rather maintains the appearance of when the drug was taken.  It recycles the cells that are currently in the body and clones it perfectly throughout the body and renders the person revitalized of all their cells and its makeup.  There was a question finally answered when this drug was unearthed. When we're dying in our beds, waiting for the clammy hands of death to pick us, would we want to fight the inevitable?  For those who took the drug at their advanced age, the answer was no.”


“They're all dead now, Hansel.  Most of us from then are dead, even my closest friends and family, they're all dead.  Either from accident, some murder, but by most suicide.  And here I am, no longer wanting to count the age I live because every year I add brings me further from those I have loved.  So I forget, and as I forget, I can continue and so I continue.  I'm 1,252 years old, Hansel.  By this year, I am older than a century and getting harder to find reasons to live, but I continue still.  That means I had lived a life 12 times a normal body may live for.  During my time our population was estimated at 5 billion.  Only 75% of the population took the drug, that’s about 3.75 Billion people.  In 80 years, of the 3.75 billion people who took the drug, only 2.50 Billion people were still alive.  In 160 years, there was only the 2 billion left of the people from my generation.  In 500 years, only 500 million were alive.  In another 500, there would only be 417 people survived.  From 5 billion people to only 417.  So much may happen in 1000 years.”


“And finally when the tally had been collected and the consensus on my people were added and calculated; they said it was something like 300 million accidental deaths, 20 million murdered, and 2 billion suicides.  Two billion suicides.  It became a normal thing for someone to take their life after so long and for so many people to have heard this news, it was an attitude of a case study.  Something to hear of from the nightly news and brushed aside because it wasn’t personal to you.  But to me, it meant the world, to me, it was my people, the people I knew.”


“But make no mistake about it, Hansel; I have no regrets, I just have questions.  In my old age, I ponder things.  As I wait in bed at night trying to fall asleep, I wonder about questions I will never find the answers to.  Is it better this way that we found eternal youth?  Would the alternative be better and have people die of disease, that children will not see the end of their adolescence, that the old may fade into the darkness for no reason other than their time being up?  We use to say that a person lived a long and fulfilled life, that is why we celebrate their death and for some, it was a comfort.  Today’s mantra on death is far different.  Now death is just a useless happenstance that has ended a life.  We still celebrate their life, but we see death as an illness that may have been avoided.”


“The suicides.  What could possess a person to end it all?  I can guess at it.  It’s this volcano building towards an eruption, a fire that must be eating away at you, at your inner being, enough to make it stop. It must be that slowly seeping feeling of sadness.  A depression no extracurricular could swerve.  Then there might be a fear, a fear of seeing the worst there may be.  The weird and grotesque of what may come.  And you say to yourself that it’s going to get better, but there will be more bad.  If that bad is enormous in impact, what terrible consequences it brings then?  Perhaps, some people have seen so much that the fear of the future is there to drive them to end their lives.”


“I for one am optimistic.  I’ve seen a lot myself.  I can tell you that we are heading towards someplace, a place befitting us as a people.  We’re making new grounds on technology that will ensure our survival.  All we need to do is keep going.  There’s an very old adage now that was said during my time; keep looking into the stars.  We need to keep that mindset, there’s more out there we don’t have now.  The knowledge is endless.  That’s why we must keep going.  We’ll have it all, too.  Life, youth, strength and energy enough for a millennia.  And room and space and more adventure and the unknown we must continue to shed light on, so we may continue our long lives into longer lives.  Aren’t you excited, Hansel, the next big thing?  So don’t worry about your lives here on this planet.  Don’t worry about the population surge, continue the way you are.  We will have enough and more so by then.  The more people we have, the faster we may get there.”


“Say, what are your plans for the week?” asked the Magistrate as one would ask a friend in such a sly manner that would depict you as wanting company for the evening.

Hansel lifted up his left hand as if he were offering up a plate.  Out from the middle of his hand came a light that projected a calendar.  “I will be at leisure with friends and colleagues tonight, tomorrow and the next day, but I am free to do work the next two days afterwards.”


The Magistrate laughed.  “Good to know.  If your friends are wanting to ask me my age, I could possibly tell them in person.  I am the Magistrate here, I have to be personable.”

Hansel was delighted to hear such an offer from the Magistrate.  He had to jump at this chance.  “It would be my honor to leisure with you Magistrate.  Tonight, you will leisure with my friends and I.  Oh what an opportunity, I promise you will enjoy yourself tonight, Magistrate.”


“I don’t doubt fun will not be had,” said the Magistrate as he stamped Hansel Levitt’s child procedural.


***

  “I see,” said Upun Tambor as he tried to form a lesson from what he just watched.

  “That’s what you do,” Upun Tambor asked discouraged at the prospect of eternal life.


“Yes, Upun Tambor.  I party hearty.”


End of Chapter 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2015 Tomm Kanti


Author's Note

Tomm Kanti
This is not a finished product. It is only the Prologue and Chapter 1. In the book, I am several chapters ahead, but will only post when I am comfortable turning in the next chapters. Please understand.

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Idon't read science fiction or whatever it's called, except of course Dune, which to me is more than sci fi. I am easily critiqued (my little poem you read), because I know nothing of "science" but a small amount of philosphy....that isnt what i do, it just happened to get written sort of.

I made it half way through this. I plan to finish reading it, and I will read anything else you put on this site. You definatly have alot of talent. I need to break it down and really analyse it. I am not "smart" about writing, or anything else for that matter. But then, Virginnia Woolf probably couldnt have written a sci fi story either. So, put this story on here and I will read it. I don't know if others will, they (it seems) have short attention spans. Keep writing! excellent. and I will keep reading, I had to leave this morning so couldnt read it all....!!

Posted 5 Years Ago



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Added on August 4, 2015
Last Updated on August 5, 2015
Tags: Anthology, Demi-God, shrinking, Googolplex, Teleportation, God, doppelganger, Multiverse, Immortal, aliens, hard science, Sci-fi

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Tomm Kanti
Tomm Kanti

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A lazy writer who needs constant encouraging to do anything. more..

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