In The Eyes Of God

Prologue: The Deicide

"Have faith in reason, and reason in faith."

-Jave Harron, Personal Journal

The duo were ready. Charleng Lazarus and Rakul Citch did one last check of their weapons and armor. It was all in working order. It was time to end this. The corrupt would-be god would be thwarted and crushed.

They ran through the metal corridor, their footsteps echoing on the strange, silvery alloy. They made no secret of their presence. It was almost the final confrontation, and it was easy. Too easy. Because there could be a trap, both were on guard.

They continued through down the hallway until they came to a dead end. The only thing at the end of the hallway was a small console mounted on the wall. The duo approached it, with weapons drawn. It reeked of a trap.

Just then, there was a flash of white light. The duo looked again, and their nemesis appeared. He was clad in a white lab coat, with simple belt, and a cygraft on the left side of his bald head. He smirked a surprisingly warm smirk, and looked at the duo. "Greetings, my children. Nice to see you could make it," Harron said as he extended his hand.

Neither of the duo returned his grin, and only extended their weapons rather than hands. "Harron, it is time to face justice!" Charleng said, aiming his weapon.

"Please, my children. Explain why you are here," Harron replied.

"You've destroyed the world so you can become a god! Now, you plan to kill God Himself!" Rakul thundered, "We've come to make you pay!"

"Please, my children. There is no need for violence here. As I can see from your own actions, you have already committed a fair share of it," Harron pleaded.

Charleng fired his weapon. A beam of hyper-pressurized water flew through the air and pierced right through Harron's body. Much to the duo's shock, the damage simply closed up within a few seconds.

"Though normally needlessly complex, nanocolonial bodies are useful if you can get them to work," Harron explained, "This form is completely made of microscopic machines. If damaged, they simply repair any damage. Besides, I can simply create another if this is destroyed. The main purpose of taking form like this is communication."

"Then why even bother talking to us?" Rakul asked.

"Because of your actions. You have seen a deranged religious text, hacked into covert files, hijacked control of a weapons system that can manipulate space and time, uploaded the said religious text as an overriding protocol on the said system, killed more than a few innocents, and confront me with an intent to kill me," Harron answered.

"You're hardly innocent yourself, Harron. You killed everyone in the world, and bottled up the survivors in the Residential!" Charleng retorted.

"I hardly killed everyone. I am guilty of terminating their physical forms, but not their mental ones. You see, when my nanoswarms where consuming the planet, they were programmed to upload the minds of any humans they encountered. Then, those uploaded minds were placed in simulations of their past lives, unaware anything was different," Harron replied.

"Yes, but you still erased several minds' memories, and put them in the Residential, where you played God with social manipulation!" Rakul yelled.

"That was for social experimentation. I wanted to find out what happened when a few interesting personality types got together I've found a few interesting conclusions. People tend to grow fond of what they're familiar with. They don't easily give up what they've been raised with, even if there's evidence to the contrary. And some people, mainly the inexperienced youth and disaffected, are looking for any reason to rebel. Neither truly thinks. One conforms without reason, and one deludes themselves with false reasoning," Harron explained.

"And how does this relate to anything?" Charleng asked, slightly interested.

"One of my experiments was to release a text I knew would be dangerously seductive into the Residential. I combined the worst aspects of historical religions, movements, and philosophies, and created a whole fake religion," Harron continued. "Then, I put some basic encryption on it and wanted to see the effects on anyone who found it. You two found it, and fell for it completely. Hook, line, and sinker."

Rakul raised his weapon. "How dare you insult the Dictates of Reuben!"

"Mindless extremism is but one of the things those Dictates were designed to instill. I can see it worked too perfectly," Harron commented. "Either way, both of you found me to be a heretic of the worst variety. I was a purveyor of technology, and an unapologetic one if that. I opposed the kind of mindless dogma you embraced. Since the Dictates of Reuben opposed everything I stood for, and you both were already discontent with the Residential's social order, you lapped it up and devoted yourselves to destroying me."

"Harron, the Residential is simply a horrible police state. It deserves to be wiped out," Charleng continued. "You turned the whole planet into a nanoswarm under your control, and kept the only humans left inside a barely habitable section of yourself. You alone had the power to change the Residential. You did nothing."

"The Residential was simply an experiment. It was interesting to see how different utopian ideals melded together to create a very dystopian society. I did not interfere because it would defeat the very purpose of the experiment," Harron answered. "All too often do unrealistic expectations crash against the rocks of reality."

"A clever saying proves nothing. You have enough computing capacity to bend time and space. Why would you need to experiment like that?" Charleng responded.

"I simply wanted to see firsthand. Simulating yields countless projections, but I wanted to witness it myself," Harron added.

"Still, you are an unnatural abomination! There's nothing natural about uploading your mind into a planet-sized colony of nanobots that can manipulate space and time!" Rakul yelled.

"There's no human invention, including culture, that is natural. To be honest, I don't care. Ever since our early ancestors overcame their natural urge to flee from fire, and learned to control it, humanity has been the dominant species," Harron continued. "Later, with genetics and cybernetics, humans altered themselves to became transhumans. I am merely an extension of basic technologies."

Charleng continued. "Yes, but fire can burn you if you get too close. We've seen those schematics. You built a device that can-"

"-Act autonomously to alter universes according to its protocols. However, it will work using the minimal force required," Harron interrupted. "You thought you could turn it against me, so you uploaded the Dictates of Reuben as the guiding protocol. Which was a very stupid move, if I do say so myself."

"Why did you let us do it, then?" Charleng asked.

Harron simply smirked. "Many reasons. I've long wanted to see the extremes of which someone would go for a religion. I'll spare you the technical breakdown, but I will say this. You've set that System to activate soon. When it does, it will destroy the universe. How is something that would take hours to describe without knowledge of advanced quantum mechanics. The uploaded minds, Residential dwellers, and I will be able to survive, though I will lose most of my power. You, however, will not."

Rakul was shaking a bit. "You're lying!"

"Am I? My friends, have I ever lied to you?" Harron answered with a grin.

"We'd have no way of knowing," Charleng replied.

"You will. You were once friends of mine. Close friends," Harron replied. "However, both of you consented to me erasing your memories and putting you in the Residential."

"Lies!" Rakul shouted, firing his weapon.

A burst of flame hit Harron, with no apparent effects.

"Believe what you'd like. Either way, I shall provide a way out for you. I've created a vessel capable of inter-dimensional travel. It's stored in a hangar just down the way you came in," Harron pointed. "You shall regain your memories once you escape this dimension. Beware, though, the System will try to mind control you."

"What the hell?" Charleng asked as he looked back.

The hallway they had entered through was gone. In its place, there was a massive chamber with a vessel suspended from the ceiling. It was a green and gray bullet-shaped ship with the name Renegade on the side. A parallel set of massive rails were attached to the bottom.

"It's easy to alter things like that when your body is made of nanomachines. I just repositioned a few, and moved it into place," Harron explained. "Quickly! Get on! The controls should be obvious. I shall contact you once you escape from this dimension. There's a destination I've programmed. Now, go, or I shall have to force you."

With that, the room began to shake. Charleng and Rakul looked at each other, and ran towards the waiting Renegade. The door closed, and the vessel vanished in a flash of blue light. The room stopped its violent rumbling.

A few parlor tricks at the right times can break any fanatic's will, Harron thought. He had done that rumbling, of course. Otherwise, his friends would not have fled. It was for their own good. Harron and the uploaded minds of the rest of the human race would endure. Even the Residential dwellers. However, it would be any minute now. The System would wipe the universe out. The Dictates would ensure it attempted to destroy universes however it could. Any minute. And shortly thereafter, the universe ended.