Leaving the Light By: Christine Schnell
Life has gotten rather boring now that people know who and what we are. All disease has been wiped out. We have advanced so far that we can go out in the sun without worrying that our skin will scorch, so need for research especially in medicine is not needed. We can cross the galaxy nearly in the blink of an eye and so we are at a limit at how much more we can do with our technology. We have made peace with all mankind and alien kind for that matter and so diplomats are as obsolete as the weapons created for war. Who needs tailors, or butchers or any other jobs requiring labor when you can get a computer to do all the work for you? There aren't even any business men selling their wares now that you can just go up and press a button on a wall and the thing you desire will appear right before your eyes. What kind of society would be so cruel to do this to their people, to make them utterly useless? Human kind, of course that is the only answer. Humans wanted to improve themselves so much to make their lives easier, and so they did, too easy, so easy it's one monotonous boring day of sitting around doing nothing after another. There are those that pretend to be scholars learning new things, but there are no new things to learn. Even all the alien races have given us as much information as they could about themselves. So that now even children know twenty languages and nearly everything about every living culture before they enter puberty. What more is there for humanity after it has overreached its grasp of knowledge?
I wish I could answer, even as the leader of my world I have nothing to do, for what society needs leading when they have no where to go? It is the one scenario of the apocalypse that no one had anticipated. The end of the universe would not come in the form of a God destroying us, or an asteroid crashing into the surface of the planet, or the Big Crunch. The Big Crunch the opposite of the Big Bang, what a joke! It's still trillions of years away. Hell some scientists have already calculated the time it will happen to within a few years. It doesn't matter though because we'll all be dead long before then. This true apocalypse came from within our own minds. We have destroyed ourselves by learning everything there is. Even people such as myself who were supposed to be superior to the normal humans have reached their limit of what we call life. And every day you find one more person dead on the street, weather by suicide or sheer ennui.
Yet it wasn't always so. It has only been like this for the past hundred years or so and our population has reduced by more than a half. I had seen the signs that this was coming even before it officially began. Of course I have seen many things over the years and I had tried to tell them, but what was there for me to do? How could I stop people from learning, I could stop them no more than I could stop myself? I the all powerful Queen, yeah right, that's a bigger joke than the Big Crash.
Humans believed that once they learned as much as they could they would evolve. I have seen no such evolution. I, being who I am, had "evolved" once, and at times I believe that to be more of a curse than a blessing. My evolution was forced on me, I was never considered evolved, no matter how many people saw my wonderful powers that I had taken away from those that made me what I am. They considered me a monster, a freak, someone no something to be feared, not awed by the conversion I had gone through. From that time on I made it my duty to learn and understand other cultures, so that they could understand and respect me. It took several hundred years, but I had done it. That one thing was the challenge that drove my life, and one hundred years ago when that understanding came I knew my life as I knew it was over. I watched as quickly everything around me began to deteriorate. With one thing learned the next was easily grasped, and the next more so than the first. Soon people understood all, for the universe was full of knowledge, and the people about me were full of the universe.
Oh now, how I long for those days when I didn't understand people's resentment of me. How I long for war over land and sky and space, for disease and pestilence, for prejudice, ignorance, hatred, for some antagonist other than boredom that I could reach out and grasp! This monotony that you hear and are no doubt tiring of is my everyday life. At least it is now. The excitement of having to run at the first sight of daylight, of fighting for one's life and right to live, the lying and cheating of tourists as they came to see the mysterious and supposedly legendary monsters, all of this is left in the past. A memory left to torment me, for there is nothing left to learn from it. Or is there? Have you not heard my tale? How can that be, in a universe that everyone knows all? But yet I read in your thoughts that you indeed do not know what I'm talking about. Oh joyous day! Someone who has yet something to learn! Perhaps the end of the universe has not come yet. If there is but one person who has something to learn there is hope left, and you my friend will hear what I have to say. Then you may make your own conclusions and perhaps be able to grow beyond what even I am. Do not make them hastily for one who takes knowledge in too fast will be bored later, believe me on this, I know, Hell I know everything for that matter.
Author's Note: This was the original opening to this story, however I since have changed the opening and will soon be submitting it for publishing and hence am removing all versions from the web as they are obsolete and unedited. I apologize to all the fans I have made with this story, but I hope to soon be able to offer you a clean version you can find on any bookstore shelf.