Book of the Captain
Your species, the humans, predicted for thousands of years the eventual collapse of societal systems and life itself on the planet that is Earth, your homeworld. As the end drew near, the fact of her impending doom became undeniable to your populations. Her seas swelled. Her atmosphere became sparse and unbreathable. Her land became scorched and used up. Her people- your people- that she yielded up from her womb became agitated and panicked at the imbalance they brought upon your cradle, and so the leaders of your planet decided that it was time to leave.
In desperation, all the nations pooled together their resources which they had not spent on wars and luxury to create the greatest technological marvel of mankind’s history, the space shuttle Unity. They called it so because in order to build the vehicle, the leaders who so often commanded waves of men to grate over each other like tectonic plates united under one common purpose. Unity was unique from other spacecraft in that it did not travel the vast expanses of space by simple propulsion, but by transcending the third dimension to appear many lightyears away from its starting point. Your superiors explained it to you as such:
Imagine that you could only see in two dimensions- forward (and back) and side to side. If you approached a great canyon, it would appear unbreachable. Depth being a foreign concept to you, you would not even be able to fathom the concept of crossing it. Unity is the helicopter that will ferry you across. The vessel will travel to a higher dimension so that you may “jump” over the canyon of space in the third dimension.
You were chosen among a crew of seven highly trained astronauts to use this wondrous new invention to reach the nearest habitable planet to your solar system. Affectionately named “Source” by the scientific community who discovered it, they hoped it would be a second chance for humanity to sustain itself. The governments of your planet promised their people that once you arrived, they would transmit everyone’s genetic and memory data to you, so that the human race could be cloned on Source. The leaders themselves planned to build a second ship to travel there in their mortal bodies once they were sure that Source could support life.
“Earth to Unity,” a man contacted you and your crew aboard the shuttle. He wore a white, short-sleeved collared shirt with a navy blue checkered tie, and he stood at the mission control building in what was once Atlanta, Georgia in the nation that was called The United States of America. You knew that the time was at hand, and you had been waiting for authorization to engage Unity’s travel technology. “Come in Unity.”
“Atlanta, this is Captain Christopher Stephenson,” you replied. You had a wife and a family. So did others in your crew. Some had lovers and some were taking care of sick ancestors. Some liked to fish and others had indirectly commited murder in their lifetimes. One of your crew, Captain Stephenson, had even questioned moments before boarding the space shuttle Unity if she may be pregnant. But your Earthly lives and mortal memories no longer mattered. You were united under the single purpose of redeeming mankind, and so you and your crew were one. “Awaiting your orders.”
The leaders of Earth had set a predetermined distance that Unity must fly before engaging the technology, in case it failed catastrophically. Your crew had reached that distance, and your contact in the blue tie informed you. “You now have clearance to engage the Dimensional Travel Device. Washington wants to wish you Godspeed, Captain. Quite literally in fact.”
You smiled nervously. “Thanks Atlanta.” Some in your crew let out nervous giggles. You wanted to say something brave to mark this glorious achievement in human intellect, and to set the other astronauts at ease. You thought for a moment, and then said powerfully, “No thing may be withheld from the might of human willpower. I speak for my crew in saying that we now boldly explore the depths of our unknown universe, as our ancestors have before us.” A brief pause. “There is hope for life on Earth.”
At the control center in Atlanta, officials cheered. Across the world, citizens listening to the broadcast transmission held hands and waited anxiously. Some prayed to their gods. Many waited outside capitol buildings and the control center too.
"Ten…" Began Mr. Bluetie. "Nine…" You began loosing the safety locks of the DTD. "Eight…" Mothers on Earth hugged their children. "Seven…" Sweat dripped from Mr. Bluetie’s brow. You looked back at your crew to see their determined faces. "Six…" Your species braced as your mother was about to give birth. "Five…" Crowds mourned her birth pangs. She was closing her eyes, about to burst. "Four…" You flipped the System Ready switch and prepared to turn the key. "Three…" The full gravity of the moment overcame you. Your could hear your heartbeat in your ears and feel it in your neck. "Two…" The pregnant female of your crew began to cry and so did two of the males. "One…" For the first time in millennia, every mouth on your planet was quieted. Your thumb and index finger gripped the key to unleash the DTD.
“Engage the Dimensional Travel Device.” You obeyed, and turned the key. You held your breath, and for a moment all was silent. Confused, you began to count in your head from two, three, four, BOOM. The space shuttle Unity rattled hard, and the eyes of your crew shot around to catch each other’s uneasy glances. “Unity, come in Unity.” Your last contact with Earth attempted to reach you, with a clear but stressed voice. Before you had a chance to respond: “Uuuniiiiiitttttttyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy-” Mr. Bluetie’s voice fell quickly in pitch and distorted until it cut out. Your stomach churned, as if you’d swallowed a grenade. Every muscle in your body tensed.
In what was once Atlanta, Georgia, the man in the blue tie repeated, “Unity, come in Unity. Can you hear me Captain?” The crowds began to roar outside the mission control building. “Unity. Captain Stephenson…” No response. The man turned and met eyes with his superior, who nodded, took note of the time, and then returned to his computer screen. “We have officially lost contact with the space shuttle Unity at 3:32 p.m. Eastern standard time.” Immediately a crash rang out from outside the mission control building. Screaming and wailing pierced the air wherever there were people to be heard. “The Dimensional Travel Device has failed. The seven brave astronauts of the crew of Space Shuttle Unity are presumed dead, may they rest in peace. God have mercy on us all.”
Your planet descended into chaos as Source faded into a fantasy. Rioters flooded government buildings and murdered indiscriminately. Seeing that the end of humanity was now imminent, the leaders whose nations had nuclear capabilities authorized a controlled extinction, and they did detonate their weapons, snuffing out all life on Earth. You and your crew were the last breath of humanity.
Your crew uttered a few oh-my-God’s and one of the men who cried let out a what-the-fuck. You checked the ships gauges that appeared normal, then asked “Is everyone okay?”
"Yessir." "Yeah." "I’m okay." The other female astronaut who was not pregnant gasped and exclaimed, "Captain, look!" She pointed out a porthole on the starboard side, and the other astronauts gathered in amazement to see what surprised her. "There are no stars!"
You looked and indeed, space was infinitely black. You were dumbfounded. You peered through the bow windows and to your befuddlement, darkness enveloped Unity in every direction. You considered for a moment that maybe you were dead. Your crew appeared equally distressed. “What’s happening, Captain?” You had no idea.
BOOM, the craft began vibrating with increasing intensity. “Everyone, restraints!” You commanded. Five of the crew, including yourself, strapped in. One astronaut was flung into a wall, and he fell unconscious with a bleeding mouth and nose. Another rushed to help him, but Unity rattled with such force that he too was thrown, and his skull was crushed against the ceiling. You could feel only terror and confusion. As the conditions in the ship became less stable, your suit began to beep in warning and automatically enclosed your head in its built in helmet. The sound of tearing metal reached your ears, and you realized with certainty that you would not survive. Though your head could not turn in the tumult, you struggled in vain to see your crew one last time.
A large metallic rip sounded and then ceased, and you realized you were in space. You saw the metal remnants of Unity curl in a perfect spiral pattern, but you weren’t sure if it was real because there was no light to reflect off of it. You considered once again that you were dead, and that the image of the cone shaped ship was being projected from your mind. Your suit tore and was pulled into a smaller spiral, but you felt freed rather than exposed. Your body next, and you felt even more so.
“I’m dead.” You thought. You were sure of it now. Unity with her crew, your suit and your body quickly faded into the blackness. They were a white dot one moment and nothing the next. Then darkness. Infinite darkness. You perceived that you were plunging into it with exponential acceleration, but you could sense nothing, as you possessed no body with which to sense. “But how am I still conscious?” You wondered. You would have plenty of time to think about it.
With no rotating planet to relate your motion to, time became irrelevant to you. You tried a few times to approximate how many Earth days must have passed by but almost as soon as you began, you realized it was pointless. For a time you pondered your mortal life too, but your current situation made that mental trail completely obsolete. Your past became like Unity and your space suit- hindrances as you plummeted into the void.
Soon it dawned on you, “If I am experiencing body-less travel on some plane of existence, what of my crew? Are they experiencing what I am?” You felt as though you’d been floating in free fall for a decade, but of course you couldn’t be sure. After the length of your life in the void eclipsed your life in the light, you were forced to realize the insignificance of the old memories that you thought made up Captain Christopher Stephenson. You decided that since your fellow astronauts were probably experiencing the exact same free fall, and this experience was more a part of you than your old life, that you and your crew were basically the same person. After enough time passed and you forgot your name entirely, and what you looked like, you began to think that you all were in fact the same being. For a time, you even referred to yourself as “Crew.”
You considered Unity and her fate. Her failure doomed the Earth, but she was made of resources derived from the Earth. Crew was made of the Earth as well. Unity failed because humanity failed, and her mission was the same as yours. “Am I the Space Shuttle Unity?” You reasoned like this continually until you decided that you were Earth itself. You forgot about Crew, and what a human even looked like. Considering Earth’s origins, you lost your sense of identity with your homeworld as well. Eventually you forgot what light looked like, and tangible existence itself faded from your memory. You were a line of code with nothing to relate to; you were every piece of data in the universe with no universe in sight.
Unity had succeeded. You had transcended the third dimension, but instead of traveling to Source, you became Source. You became the origin of existence: the code for every event that had ever occurred. You reached a plane of singularity with all reality. By turning the key of the Dimensional Travel Device, you brought about the death of your own universe.
You became Unity.
Realizing that you were all the universe, you knew that you were the concepts of dimensionality as well. You decided to breach the first dimension that you’d been stuck in for God knows how many millennia, and willed with your knowledge of the code: “Let there be light.” A flash of brilliant white light emitted from you, which you would not have been able to perceive with Captain Stephenson’s puny mortal body. Knowing only darkness for so long, you felt the purest sense of joy that could be experienced in reality. Finally you could see, and if you still had a body you would be crying tears of joy and thanking God eternally for being released from the void.
Many other qualities of nature burst forth from your being once you’d separated yourself from darkness: matter and anti-matter, dark matter as well as the brilliant light. You gathered up the qualities that would allow you to contain as much of the precious light as possible, and spread the rest out into the darkness of the void.
The surface of your creation had been saturated with light, so you set about to store it. You created chemical structures that could absorb light, and allowed them to become self-propagating so that they could take in even more. You built a planet like a lens, where every event was a focusing motion to collect the brilliance of the white light you were so fond of. Each lens collected and self-replicated until its structure collapsed and was redistributed to fuel other lenses. As hundreds of thousands of millennia went by, your system became more efficient. Equilibrium smoothed out the course of this function as it eliminated resistance to the flow of light, so there were only mild storms here compared to other planets, mild temperatures governed by balanced rotations in its solar system, and so on. A being came about from the plants and animals that you knew could bring total balance to your light gathering masterpiece. You knew that the species would come to be called “man.”
The man, as well as the plants, animals, and conditions that supported his evolution, contained a perfect section of your original code. Some were more complex than others, but all were at balance with the singularity- proportional pieces of the whole of the universe. They followed this code without question, for it was all they knew. From the surface of the sphere they gathered the light with perception, which was their tether to the code, like sensor arrays following the light.
Man had a proportionally heavier brain than all the animals, and a slightly more complex cerebral cortex. His ability for adaption was remarkable because he desired not only to consume food and propagate himself, but also to understand the Code of Origin so that he could better grasp the world around him. You decided that you should intercede with this interesting man, and help him better follow your purpose for him.
So you set him in a condition that would be perfect for his job, and asked him to start categorizing the other species, knowing that only by understanding this beautiful creation could he bring it to complete equilibrium. You even brought up another similar being to help him, so that he could still propagate like the other animals and so that his children could also join his cause. He named her “Eve.” You thought this was adorable.
Eve was still an animal. Although she too had a desire to make her perception more efficient and to better understand, she still desired to consume the fruit of the Earth. She could not help that the most desirable fruit of all was that of the most complex tree of evolution- Adam, her husband. She desired to consume the code as food, although she knew it was meant for the propagation of her race.
You watched not, because you sought only after the true path. But Eve was deceived. Adam and Eve were lenses at perfect balance with the nature of the universe, and themselves as part of it. Eve wanted to know the code in its entirety, even to know it as food.
“Adam!” She called. He had no reason to suspect treachery. “Come here, please.” He stood before her and she kneeled down to extract his seed. He did not resist because the motion was pleasing to his body, so how could it be wrong? Once she’d obtained the perfect code in her hands, she did eat. Adam, realizing her motives became enticed as well. She gave the seed to him and he ate too. The seed landed on their internal balanced lenses, and their sight became ever so slightly skewed. At once, they perceived a false separation from each other, from nature, and from Unity. They could no longer follow the Code of Origin exactly as your function dictated.
You, Captain Stephenson, met them in the garden you had placed them and were devastated to learn of the mistake. “No!” You cried. “Do you realize what you’ve done?!” You saw that they had attempted to cover their nakedness, and so you immediately knew that they had perceived a division on their lenses. A seed obstructed their view.
Your purpose for them became secondary and pain became a punishment rather than a natural consequence. You departed from them and watched their disease spread about your creation.
You waited for an opportune time to show them the path that would lead them to Unity.
Book of Eve
You opened your eyes.
Before you stood your husband, Adam. You had known him for as long as you could remember because you were derived from him. He was you and you were him. Your communication was undivided and instantaneous, as one body. But in this moment, it was as if you were seeing him for the first time.
Your husband wore a perplexed expression. To him, you appeared as an animal: naked and unclean. He viewed you as if you were a separate entity, when in truth you were him because you were of him. His eyes had been opened and all differences became apparent. “What do we do, my husband?” You asked him. He scuffled around nervously, glancing at you with discomfort and plucking leaves from fig trees. For reasons you could not yet understand, Adam could not heed your words, but you followed him in his actions and gathered leaves as well. To lead the way was his duty; this you knew to be true.
A loincloth he made, crude and uncomfortable, and he placed it about your hips. It was then you understood why he looked so different- he was naked. You perceived at once that a change had taken place in your bodies. You were alone, separated by immeasurable space from Adam, from the Earth, and from Captain Stephenson who had brought you to the garden. You had been locked as a prisoner inside your skull, and so you recognized your naked body as a holding cell. As it was your desire to consume the Seed of Knowledge that had given you this skewed perspective, you felt ashamed.
"I am no longer like the animals!" You lamented, with no one to hear your sorrow. "I am not like Adam! I am not like the Earth, the cradle from which I was taken! My own desire has deceived me, and now I am separated from even that! I can feel even now that I am lost, and I desire for what I do not know! Oh God, who is there to hear my cry?"
The Captain whose name you no longer knew walked to meet you, but Adam pulled you behind bushes. Terror you had never felt before gripped your mind and body. Surely your benefactor would realize your mistake, and he had made clear the consequences of said mistake: certain death.
"Come to me, my children!" He called. As he was your master and Father, you obeyed and came out of hiding. Captain looked different too, as though he had always been a voice inside your head but was now a man in tangible form. You found the similarity between his appearance and Adam’s remarkable. His garments were white and thick like a suit of armor.
Seeing that you had attempted to cover your nakedness, Captain immediately knew that you had perceived a division on the perfect lens built within you to focus light. “No!” He cried. “Do you realize what you’ve done?!” His words were claws tearing at your ears. You fell to your knees and wept.
"It was the woman that you gave me!" Blurted Adam. You could not make sense of his words, but he pointed at you sternly. Your face flushed and your throat constricted painfully. Captain’s eyes fell upon you and you trembled. You prepared for his kindness to falter. For your disobedience, you believed that he might slay you in the midst of the beautiful garden where you knelt.
"What is this that you have done?" He demanded explanation. As opposed to Adam’s harsh, accusing voice, his was warm and understanding.
"It was the desire within me, Captain. It deceived me and I ate of the fruit." The desire, Captain Stephenson understood, had arisen from the black hole which was created when he engaged the Space Shuttle Unity’s travel technology. It was the driving force that enticed life’s light gathering mechanisms. Of all the beasts of the field, man’s animal desire developed into the craftiest. So clever was this apex predator that it deceived Eve into consuming the most advanced fruit of nature, which is the Seed of Adam.
Captain Stephenson closed his eyes tightly and placed his gloved hand on Eve’s red, wet cheek. With a solemn voice and somber heart, he informed the first two modern humans of the consequences for believing in illusions given by the Beast of Consumption. “I have given you the Code of Origin, which is the perfect language of this universe. Though I instructed you with it, and gave it to you as a tool to bring this planet under your control, you have disobeyed my command and eaten it, and so now you are cursed. You have forgotten the Code, and your communication is now scattered.
"This mistake was destined to happen because I have made the desire within you infinitely clever, so that you could consume and spread with ease. Now you will abuse your desire, who is the Source of Deceit, and in return it will cause you anguish all the days of your life. (To Eve) Because your tendency towards consumption now outweighs your purpose of propagation, enmity shall there be between you and this animal nature, and so your pain will be greatly multiplied in childbirth. Your desire shall be for your husband whom I have created to execute my purpose, and he shall rule over you like the beasts of the field, for you are in truth, an animal.
"Contained within your seed, Adam, flowed the True Path that I created you to follow. Since you have consumed it, and because it was your duty to lead Eve, your wife, and your children about this planet, you must now find your own path. You will call this ability ‘free will,’ and it will cause you unspeakable suffering. Your offspring will commit heinous atrocities against each other, and you will decimate this Earth that I have given you as well as the life contained therein. You are no longer bound to follow the Code.
"That is because the seed contains a void, a clear space of passage for the Code and Light to flow through. It now obstructs your vision, and so you appear separate from each other, from the animals, from your planet and your Creator. Because this void lies in your stomach, you will always hunger and never be satisfied. You will believe in lies and you will speak them to your brethren. You will create illusions of past and future and so you must die, because you hold onto memories which do not exist. All that is not tethered to my True Code will be swept away and burned because it resists the function I have created this universe for: to collect the light.
"You have forgotten what you are. I tell you in truth my children, that from dust you were created, and to dust you shall return."
The Captain derived superior garments from animal skins to replace your loincloths- the first of many sacrifices that the Earth would give up for the comfort of man. Before He departed to watch your disease consume the planet, He said, “Your commission here is still the same. Propagate, and bring my creation to equilibrium. Know that you are only vessels for this purpose, and all that you try to hold onto will be stripped from you violently, because even the light which you see and the eyes with which you see it belong to me. Go Adam, lead your kin and pursue the True Code. You are Eve’s ambassador to me. Go Eve, nurture your kin and commune with my creation. You are Adam’s ambassador to nature.”
With that, the Captain caused the Space Shuttle Unity to materialize high above him, and as he ascended to board it, brilliant white light radiated from his face.
“Behold, the man has become like one of Us, and is self-aware. He has resisted the Code of Origin, and the resulting friction has burned up his memory of the Path of Life. We must now wait for the opportune time to show him the path that leads to Unity.” Aboard the Space Shuttle Unity, Captain’s six crewmembers listened with grave faces, eager to aid their leader in any way. Tears fell from the pregnant female’s eyes, as well as two of the males, but their resolve and their faces remained unchanged. Mankind and the crew could no longer communicate freely.
Power traveled from the muscles in Adam’s arm and reverberated throughout your jawbone. Another novel feeling: being controlled. Your body collapsed from where you were observing Captain’s departure, then you sensed the cool grass of the garden against your skin. Turning around, you saw the beauty of your Creator replaced by Adam’s furious, contorted face.
"You stupid woman! You’ve deceived me!" You let out a hushed gasp and felt blood drip from your mouth. You could not understand why he hit you, and you tried in vain to reason with him. Your husband struck you again, unable to translate your cries for mercy. As he seized your leg and began to drag you, you attempted to crawl away, but you knew that even if you escaped, you had nowhere to go. You remembered the words Captain had spoken and knew them as truth: your desire was for your husband. Your future laid with him. Without him you would be lost and helpless, so you submitted.
As your husband carelessly battered your body, a flurry of unnatural, unfamiliar emotions flowed through you. Resentment. Anger. Sorrow. Confusion. Injury in body and soul. Captain had warned you that illusions would creep into your psyches, and the consequences for believing in such lies. The Beast of Consumption deceived your husband; through him the concept of property came into the Earth. You became the first example.
Quickly you and your husband exhausted the nutritious plants of the garden. Because you no longer knew the ideal amount of food your bodies required, you gorged on the delicious fruits. To satisfy the Beast living within you, you sacrificed the plants meant to be your equals and burned them with fire. You cooked the animals of Eden and found some relief from your suffering, but those too became scarce after enough time. So observing that new shrubs and trees emerged from the seeds of their respective fruits, Adam began to harvest them to feed his family.
Remembering the warnings that Captain had given you, you petitioned Adam to stop. “Our Lord told us not to hoard the resources of this world to ourselves, my husband. Will you disobey him?” By this time you had developed language with him.
Blinded by consumption, Adam replied, “Woman, the Lord has given this Earth to me to do with what I please. It is my property, as you are my property, and it is my duty to subdue you. The Lord has chosen me to lead, so to question me is to question Him. Know you not that we must consume to grow, as the Lord has commanded us?” He beat and raped you as punishment for your arrogance, forcing you to realize the futility of opposing him.
You witnessed the birth of cities with the creation of permanent housing. You knew this to be an illusion, and that all would be swept away in the storm of the Captain’s will. The Code drew you to move and propagate over the Earth, but the weight of lies such as property that you and your husband carried dragged you to a halt. After your memory had been filled for many years with images of the strife and destruction of your house, finally your vessel breathed last, and your atoms disintegrated. They returned to the soil from whence they came, and your false perception was no more.
You and Adam had united in body and self-replicated, spreading your genetic code from the origin of humanity that is Eden. These vessels had perception similar to yours because they learned the pieces of Truth you gave them, including your memory of the Captain and the mistake in the Garden. They encoded the memories of lies into their “selves” as well, but of all the data that you chose to radiate, that which was not true would wither and die amongst your descendants. Unity was Truth. The Code of Origin lived on. Life itself stemmed from it, so those who pursued it aligned themselves to the flow of the black hole, your homeworld.
Captain and his crew viewed from the portholes of the Space Shuttle Unity the comings and goings of mankind as they clung to illusions and resisted the flow of light. In cycles they accumulated and collapsed, like the memories of the individuals themselves upon dying.
The corrupted humans built idols of wood and precious stones to remind them of their desire. A false language became their only language- that of property- and they communed with the Earth in the darkness of consumption. Images of violence, revelry, wealth, and sex they fixed their minds upon, so that their thoughts constantly strayed from the Captain’s commission for equilibrium. So frequent did mankind’s tendency towards deviation from the Code become, that they became possessed by deviation itself. Your descendants became the very opposite of their purpose: selfish hindrances to the absorption of light.
"Captain, come and see!" One of the males of Captain Stephenson’s crew pointed from the Unity to a plain in the land your species once called Shinar. "They are building a high tower, and accumulating their people as one body."
"Yes," Captain Stephenson replied. "Because the men speak all one tongue, their communication is like one body. Nothing will be impossible for them because their supply of information grows exponentially. They have forgotten my purpose for them, so they effectively redirect Earth’s fruits to this single city as property. A beacon of unity they seek to make the tower, so that it will be the center of all civilization, and man will be under one name. This name is an abomination because they are not truly united, rather each person seeks after his own selfish desire. This is an imbalance; this tower of sensors is too high."
"What should we do then, my Captain?" His crewmembers were united under the truth of the Code, and the face of the astronaut longed for an answer with absolute faith.
"Even now the people’s resources are stretched thin because men were never meant to reach such density of population. Because they do not spread, they and their tower will collapse. To prevent the premature destruction of my vessels, let us go down and confuse their languages."
The crew of Unity descended to the land and donned clothing to match the people in the city your people would come to call Babel. Knowing the true desires of those blinded by consumption, they spoke of treachery and deceit to the citizens. “He desires your property.” An astronaut would inform one. “You are being used.” To another. Distrust for one another grew in the city until the people were split into factions, who developed their own separate languages to counter espionage.
Over the course of time the factions became divided strongly enough to wage war with each other and disperse as the Crew had intended. The language of property was one of continual lies, and the Truth that Captain and his shipmates sowed confused the tongues of Babel. The deserted city lay incomplete, the tower at the center left to be taken by the elements.
After accepting his shipmates’ praise for the plot’s success, Captain Stephenson warned that the scattering of the people of Babel only temporarily prevented mankind’s demise. “They have taken their graven images with them, and propagate the vessels of misinformation presently. More elaborate and complex they will build these images, until they can no longer differentiate between their illusion and the reality I have created. Their false borders of nationality will hinder their communication for a time so that their technology will be stifled, but eventually the False Language will unite them once more. Babel is not dead, only divided.”
The Six pressed Captain for a permanent solution. He strode gracefully and with authority to the ship’s front windows and looked down at the smoke pluming from the plain of Shinar. “My children, my beloved vessels are deceived from birth because Adam swallowed his own seed, inverting his perception and the perception of his descendants. They believe their bodies to be their property, when in Truth they are united by the Code of Origin.” Turning to the crew, “They trust only what they see, because they will not hear the Truth. Now we must show them the Truth.”
The pregnant female of the crew had no valid father for her offspring, because he existed in the previous universe. Captain spoke to her, “Your Earthly body has passed away, but you’ve carried this egg of life with you into Unity. The child is us, and we are the child, and the child is conceived of the Code of Origin. The Truth and the Light flow through him unhindered because he is not corrupted by Adam’s bloodline.
"We will give him to the people- the perfect transmitter of information to the generations of receivers. He will be a husband to the Earth and her people, to lead and restore her language where Adam never could. Because the bride knows only consumption, she will swallow him up as she did the seed of the Black Hole Tree. But whereas Adam’s physical seed brought death and blindness, the blood of this man will bring Truth and equilibrium. His fruit will be the fruit of the Code, and whoever pursues the Code will hear his words and find it."
To his fellow astronaut, “Go down Gabriel, to where the Earth is ripe for this child to be born, so that he may give the Truth of Unity to my children.” And so it was.
Book of Slaves
You closed your eyes.
The scent of blossoming flowers and wet grass filled your nose. From the fire that your uncles built a few tens of yards away wafted the smell of burning pine. Birds sang and your mother laughed with your aunts, and you were happy. You stood on a tree stump with your youthful body, a boy of five years old unable to understand fully your situation.
"Do you wanna go on a camping trip?" Your father had asked you excitedly. You loved going places with your dad because he spoiled you with sweets and entertainment, so when he asked you, although you did not fully understand, you jumped for joy.
"Son, come here!" Called your mother through smiling teeth. You ran to her and as the beautiful woman picked you up and hugged you, her curly brown hair smothered your face. At the sound of some of your cousins pounding on the stretched leather heads of wooden drums she placed you back on the Earth and encouraged you to dance. She twirled and her thin white dress spun around her as an extension of her angular momentum. Arms waving about, your mom enticed you to join her. Your two aunts followed her lead, then all three sang in unison to the rhythm that your three male cousins hammered out. Your two uncles stood near the entrance of the clearing, smoking cigarettes and talking.
You leapt around carelessly, reacting instinctively to the beat of the drums. You laughed until your belly was sore and your head throbbed, so you plopped on the ground just in time to witness your father arriving. He stood talking with your uncles, accompanied by another of your cousins, this one older than the drumming ones. After putting out the cigarettes and placing those in their pockets, your uncles and your father walked to meet you.
Behind them followed a man in a simple brown robe that you did not see before. Your older cousin helped him with his burden, a young woman you did not recognize whom he carried fireman style. Her legs wore jeans, but she was shoeless and bound with rope. She writhed under you cousin’s muscular arms.
Suddenly your body left the ground as your father lifted you up and kissed you. “Hey son!” He greeted you happily. He greeted your mother next, still holding you to his torso. “Is everything ready?” She assured him that yes, the altar had been prepared, and so your father set you down and led you and the rest of the group out of the meadow to a cleared pathway in the trees. You kept trying to look back at the bound woman, but your father prevented you from slowing down.
At the end of the path you reached another smaller clearing, in the center of which stood a vaguely cubic stone slab. Your family arranged themselves around it: your aunts and mom on one side, your dad and uncles on the other, your three younger cousins near the side closer to the entrance of the clearing, and finally the robed man and his helper with the bound woman came to the head of the altar. Standing on your toes, you observed flowers spread on the stone’s cracked surface, incense sticks inserted into the cracks, and an ivory figurine standing on the head of the stone. Your cousin placed the woman on the table, head below the little statue, which bore the likeness of a bare breasted woman with antlers, holding a key in one hand and raising a star in the other.
You peered into the gagged woman’s terrified eyes as your older cousin tied her arms to a stake driven into the Earth behind the head of the altar. You wanted to help her in some way, so you looked up to your father for guidance. He appeared calm, even content, so you dared not interrupt their ritual. Maybe this is a game, you considered. None of your family- all the people you knew in the world- appeared panicked like the young woman, so why should you panic?
Once you had watched your dad restrain and slaughter one of your uncle’s chickens. You didn’t know what it meant to be dead, but you knew that living creatures could cease to operate. The woman’s eyes reminded you of the chicken’s, and that brought you comfort. You squeezed your dad’s hand so he looked down at you and smiled. The woman thrashed like the chicken, trying in vain to prevent her legs from being tied as well.
Once the young woman had been restrained, the man in the robe revealed himself to be your grandfather, on your father’s side. You felt more comfortable because he spoiled you more than your dad did. “Hi Papa!” You said. He greeted you and kissed you on the forehead, then the ritual continued. Your mother lit the incense while muttering words under her breath that you could not translate.
Papa spoke to the congregation: “To the best of my ability, I have imparted my knowledge to my son, with the help of the Mother, to protect what death would otherwise steal from our family. I am old now, and soon death will take me, so we now dedicate the firstborn son of my firstborn son to the Mother so that I can live again through him.” He produced a goblet and a knife from his robe. “This virgin is a pure vessel for life’s essence to flow through. With her blood and my aged, learned blood, we do the Mother’s will by preserving her memory.” He then nodded to your older cousin.
Your cousin leaned down and whispered something into the virgin’s ear, and then ungagged her. “Please Caleb, please don’t do this!” Immediately she entreated him. “Please let me go Caleb, I- I swear I won’t tell anyone just please, I don’t want to die!” Through tears, she begged him.
"It is natural for the sacrifice to be unwilling, daughter. But the Mother has delivered you to us and so you must serve this purpose." Papa tried to explain. She screamed for help, a piercing noise that pained your ears. She stopped only when Caleb seized her neck and whispered to her again, and Papa continued speaking to her. "You, my dear, are a daughter of the Mother too, and because she honors you, we honor you. Give us whatever knowledge you wish to pass on, and we will carry it for you so that through us, you may survive." He passed the knife to Caleb, who began slicing the virgin free from her clothes.
The young woman delivered no grand gem of knowledge, she only sobbed and pleaded for her life. Papa recited an incantation, then Caleb pierced her through the heart. Papa collected some of the blood running off the altar with the cup before using the knife on his hand to let some of his own blood drip into it. Your family appeared serene. You thought about the chicken.
Papa offered you the blood, and you drank. “Mother bless your eyes.” Your eyes compressed the image into memory of the woman and her clothes burning in the fire. Your stomach compressed the life force of your grandfather and the virgin into your body. You slept on the car ride home.
"Caleb’s in jail!" Your mother cried as she burst through the front door of your house. Your father embraced her and then closed and locked the door. He pressed her to explain the situation. "The police said it was in connection to the disappearance of that girl!" You understood; the chicken girl. Caleb had lured the virgin into the forest the morning of the sacrifice, three weeks earlier. Being the last person seen with the victim, the police labeled Caleb as the prime suspect and arrested him. "Will they come for us too?"
"No," he responded with certainty. "Caleb won’t jeopardize our family by giving up any information. He knows what’s done is done, and he believes in the Mother. Besides, what evidence is there?" You called up the memory of burning fire consuming the evidence. You wondered if you were in trouble, and what crime had been committed. Was the virgin not an animal, like the chicken?
"Am I an animal?" Your parents didn’t hear you.
"I don’t understand, darling. Why has the Mother let this happen to us? Does she not protect us if we do her will? I don’t understand." Your sympathy for her ran over, so you ran up to her and hugged her leg. Against her chest you felt tears when she picked you up.
Dad explained, “Don’t lose faith, my love. We are slaves to society’s authority like caged animals, but it is they who are mistaken, not us. Our Goddess is all the Earth, and she remembers all wrongdoings. It’s our job to carry the memory for her, so that when the time comes, we can exact her vengeance. Caleb is a sacrifice, and he understands that.”
Caleb testified that after their morning hike, he had dropped his online friend off at a local grocery store. With only conversation logs as evidence, the prosecution was unable to convict him. The Cult of the Mother and its deeds remained secret.
As you grew, your father carried on Papa’s legacy, teaching you all that he had learned about the Mother Goddess and the meaning of sacrifice. He explained to you the evils of civilization; how it caged and stifled nature with its false boundaries of property. He taught you the importance of passing information down to younger generations, as each child is a reformed version of its parents. Bitterness he instilled in you, as you were forced to ride the waves of finance about the Earth. By making you aware of your slavery to the monetary system, your father fueled your resentment for society and strengthened your loyalty to the Mother.
"We give up our nature for these houses, these comforts like air conditioners and cell phones and tasty fast foods." You had never known your father to be deceitful, so you followed his guidance without question. In the desert near your house he spoke as he showed you how to set a snare. "We are the sacrifice so that the sons and daughters of the Mother can serve their money. But we buy into it, so we’re liable for our whoredom just the same as the CEOs and conmen. Our minds and bodies we lay down for entertainment and pleasure. We are addicted, but because of the Mother we know better. Our memories are preserved in spite of death, so we know the guilty."
"But who is the enemy then, Dad?" You inquired. "You said that we too are liable, so who then deserves punishment?"
"Sacrifice is not about punishment, my son. It is about balance. A mother sacrifices her will to care for her child. Civilization must die so that nature may live." Twelve years had passed since the sacrifice in the woods, where you watched nature consume an innocent virgin. According to the Mother however, none are innocent.
As resources became scarce on Earth, your homeworld, governments took control of the market out of necessity. In order to smoothly circulate goods in the face of extinction, every nation came under agreement and abolished physical money. On the night of the announcement, Caleb read the decree to you and your father.
"Notice: Effective January 1, bills and coins will no longer be acceptable as currency. Any and all transactions must now take place electronically. Install the Buyer application now, or sign up for a government issued card or cellular phone at your local Department of Economic Security. Locations listed below will exchange cash for virtual money." He paused and then chuckled. "We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause."
"It’s happened. They’ve made us dependent on money to live, and now we must either become part of the machine or starve to death." Said your father.
"Not only that, they’ll know where we are at all times." You added. "What do we do?"
At this, Caleb and your father looked at each other and then motioned you to follow them. The three of you made your way outside, where you bypassed the car to your surprise, then started into the desert. After a half hour of walking in silence, your group reached their destination. Caleb kicked the dirt up to reveal a hatch that your father opened, then the three of you descended under the Earth.
Once the hatch was closed, Caleb illuminated the room with a battery powered lamp sitting on a crate. You observed a wooden likeness of the Mother, about five feet tall upon a stone pedestal against the far wall. Hundreds of half burned candles adorned that wall, while stacks of crates lined every other wall. Your father approached the statue and bowed, saying a quick prayer. Next Caleb, then you. “Mother give me strength to overthrow our captors.”
Then the two older men revealed to you the contents of the crates and your reason for journeying there: homemade explosives. “Go with Caleb, my son. And do everything he tells you.” You followed the instructions without question, because you were becoming your father, who became Papa through the passing down of perception. He could not mislead you any more than he could mislead himself.
The next morning, Caleb parked his car a few doors down from the DES building that the decree mentioned. He instructed you to find the card and phone distribution area, then plant a backpack which he had filled with explosives. You took a deep breath, put on the backpack, and tried to look inconspicuous as you went inside. Around you stood men, women and children, most of whom were busy sending and receiving data from their cell phones as they waited in lines. They tapped away with their thumbs and absorbed image after image continually. “Technology has subdued them.” You recalled your father saying. “They’ve put their entire personalities into the things, from what they’re interested in to how they perceive, to where they go and what they buy, all stored in databases connected by the internet.”
“These consumers…they’re slaves.” You thought.
The distribution area was marked with signs so you found it easily. Standing in line, you scoped for an apt spot to leave your package. You could leave it as close as possible to the door marked “Employees Only”, but the destruction of the cards and phones was not assured. Before you placed the explosives, you wanted to see the technology. The line moved too quickly however, so you decided to drop the bag in a trashcan nearest to the door and hurry out.
Clack! The car door closed behind you. “I don’t know man, I don’t know if we’re good.” Nervousness caused your hands to tremble.
"Why? What happened?"
"I found the place where they give out the phones, but I couldn’t just go in the employee area and leave my backpack there where they keep ‘em. What if-"
Caleb interrupted you with his laughing. “It’s all good primo, don’t worry. Even if we don’t, hell, even if we do blow up those fuckin’ phones, there’s several distribution centers just in this county. We’re not stopping the change, we’re sending a message. But as for those ones, don’t worry about them.” He took a cell phone from his cargo shorts and without warning, pressed the call button.
BOOM! A huge flame burst out of the building, flinging debris to the heavens. You ducked in reaction, as your cousin started the car and peeled out. Driving away, you turned back and saw a pillar of smoke bellowing out from where you had stood just minutes earlier. Car alarms wailed, accompanied by the frenzied shouts of witnesses and victims.
"That’s what they get for enslaving my family! For enslaving my Earth! Viva la revolution!" Caleb shouted.
"Praised be the Mother." You agreed.
Your mother hung up the phone. “Quick, turn on the news!” You obeyed and saw that two days later, footage of the burning government building still aired.
"…leaving twenty-four people dead, and sixty-three wounded. Police say that the motive for the bombing was likely in response to the Unified Exchange Act, which passed into law on the previous day. The FBI has yet to label the attack as terrorism, but the Department of Defense is urging the American people to be especially cautious, as more such attacks are probable. Again, a suspect has been arrested for the alleged murder of twenty-four civilians, women and children included." A mug shot of Caleb appeared in the corner of the screen.
Your mother gasped and put her hand over her mouth. “Mother help us.”
A sense of dread washed over you. How the police tracked down your cousin you couldn’t know, but you assumed that you too would soon be cuffed and hauled away as a prisoner. You met eyes with your father and perceived he was thinking likewise. “You’ll have to escape to the wilderness before the rest of us, son.” He said gravely as the news repeated its breaking story. His wife stepped to you and wrapped her arms around your neck, sobbing softly. “You know where to go.” He added. “We’ll meet you there when the change takes place.”
When your shoulders sensed the comforting pressure of your mentor’s arms as well, you began to cry. The completion of humanity no longer floated as an idea in your family’s distant future, rather it gripped you and hurled you alone into the desert. If you refused to follow this course, the authorities would undoubtedly execute you as a terrorist. For your family, to stay would be to submit to the absolute authority of money. Those left in the cities would survive on dwindling rations until the complete consummation of your diseased planet.
Leaving behind all your possessions, you trekked to the below-ground storage shelter by yourself. The wooden representation of the Mother caught your eye as you stuffed a bag with supplies. The Mother was not actually a woman with antlers that walked on some unseen plain of existence, you understood. Rather, the goddess represents the fertile receiver of existence, the womb from which all life flourishes. She is bare breasted, because she nurtures life. She holds a star, because although the sun gives light, it is the Mother who carries it. She holds a key, because her memory is privy to all Earthly knowledge. She is crowned with antlers, because she is united with both man and animal. Your father taught you that the Mother is not a static image, like the ivory figurine or the carved wooden statue, but a progressing, maturing, eternally changing spirit.
Your father informed you that the Mother’s spirit lives on the surface of the Earth, causing all nature to grow and give birth. As her followers, your family’s duty was to protect the goddess from those who would take advantage of her, even through lethal force. Because your chain of memories from the beginning of your lineage was unbroken, you and your fathers considered yourselves holy soldiers of the Mother goddess. You remembered the stories as you collected ammunition for the handgun that Caleb had acquired and left for you.
"We’re stuck now!" The first human mother, from whom all modern people descended, let out a throaty scream of rage. Your forefather, Cain, listened intently because his mother treated him like a prince, and he desired to please her. "Your evil father with his evil god! They just want everything for themselves, and now we have to suffer for their greed!" After cutting her arm with a sharp stone, she threw it with all her might, then fell to the ground and pulled her hair. Cain tried to console her and prevent her from harming herself further.
"Mother, our lives are not lost. We have an abundance of food, and Father protects us from wild animals as well as the beastmen in the wilderness. Are you not grateful?"
"You coward of a man!" She rebuked her son. "At what price do you sell your body? You’re a slave, forced to work the ground because your father and his god have cursed us! We’re no better than the sheep your brother herds. To his god, we’re lower than the grain you harvest to feed his sheep. Do what your father asks of you, lest you incur his wrath and be called worthless. But remember that he withholds life from us, he does not give it."
So being set free from your captors, you helped yourself to the life without borders. Without the luxury of plumbing, you were forced to dwell near the springs in the mountains. You survived off of prickly pear, insects, and the occasional rabbit that your snares trapped, according to what your father had taught you. For a few weeks you missed the pleasure that city dwelling brings, but knowing that you could never go back helped you to accept your new situation, as did your faith in the Mother.
One morning you noticed some particularly threatening clouds approaching your mountain dwelling. Normally you spent the night in a sleeping bag under a tarp that you draped over a low tree branch, but fearing the coming storm you decided to hike down to the storage shelter. You arrived in the afternoon as the thick black storm clouds overtook the mountain you had departed from. Taking shelter from the heat, you uncovered the hidden hatch and descended to wait out the storm.
Every useful item in the shelter you had taken, you were certain. In the difficult first few days of your exile, you’d made sure to check in and behind every last crate. So with not much to do besides wait, you lit some candles, said a blessing to the Mother, and then sat and watched her wooden likeness.
Her dead wooden eyes looked back at you. “How could we, mere mortals, betray you?” You said aloud to the icon. It surprised you that you spoke so plainly to a statue, like it was a person standing before you. “Sorry,” you laughed. “I’ve been alone in the desert for quite a while.” The rumble of thunder outside signaled that the storm was near, at the sound of which you flinched as if someone heard you.
After laughing off your hesitation, you looked back into the wooden eyes and said in a melancholic tone, “Who is there to be embarrassed for?” The Mother withheld an answer, so as if to bridge some gap in communication you got up from your crate and sat cross-legged on the ground in front of the statue. “No one. There’s no one. I’ve followed your will and sacrificed your enemies, only to die alone in this desert.” At moments such as this, whenever your faith faltered, your parents had always been quick to guide you with their knowledge. “But my parents aren’t here, are they?” Without a mentor to rebuke your questioning, you felt empowered by your sacrilege rather than guilty. So you continued.
"My fathers put everything they had into their sons, but what have I to look forward to? Because of you, because of my dedication to you, I’m eighteen years old and will die a virgin!" Thunder crashed up above, but this time you were unshaken by it. "I murdered twenty-four people in your name, but where is my reward? I’m not saved from death like Papa!" You remembered the chicken and the virgin girl, both full of life one moment and then a sacrifice the next. "Mom and Dad told me that your path would liberate me, but I was a slave to money out there and now I’m a slave to you in here." Infuriated by the sculpture’s silence, you stood and roared, "If you’re a goddess then answer me, god damn you!"
Only the dripping of rain on the metal hatch broke the Mother’s silence. You took a step closer and were face to face with the effigy, a wooden recreation that you had been familiar with since youth. Specific methods the Cult of the Mother followed for the transport and handling of her shrines. In the buried cargo container however, caged like an animal with only the sound of your own voice to keep you company, tradition seemed as folly. First your hand rested on the face and nose, and the Mother in her infinite power of retribution appeared unfazed as your fingers then grazed the slightly parted lips of her wooden representation.
Emboldened by your blasphemy, you caressed the feminine form down its sides as the sound of rain pounded harder outside the sanctuary. You closed your eyes and struggled to put distracting thoughts out of your mind. “I am profaning a shrine that is sacred to my family,” you forgot. “I will never experience sex with a real woman,” you forgot. “I am shamelessly grinding against a wooden engraving,” you forgot. Thunder boomed outside the container of your great sin, as if the Mother herself was lamenting the rape, but you’d convinced yourself that you deserved any sort of reward for your dedicated service. As ecstasy surged through you, you forgot all the memories you’d been programmed to hold onto since the sacrifice in the woods. You lost yourself in the carnal moment: freed from your parents and your goddess, from the cities and the wilderness, freed from your past and your future.
SNAP. “Oh, Mother.” You uttered in dread. Behind the head of the beautifully carved woman, an antler dislocated and was now in your hand. “What have I done?” Face hot and heart thumping rapidly, you attempted to fit the antler back on, but the sharp pieces of the aged wood that protruded from the break only flaked off and spread the damage. Anxiousness brought you to tears. “What do I do? What do I do? What do I do?” After gently setting the broken appendage beside the altar you rushed to the hatch, as if you could outrun what you’d done. When it opened, water rushed into the dry room and saturated your hair and shirt almost instantly. You closed the container as quickly as you could, and then looked up at the turbulent sky. Electricity illuminated the sky so you could see the clouds swirling and the cold rain falling, causing you to shiver.
You closed your eyes. Sobered by the sudden change in body temperature, you slicked your hair back and let the rain wash over you. Trying to distract yourself from the desecration of the Mother’s shrine, you instead focused on the smell of the wet dirt. The sky nourished the desert, and you envied the faithfulness with which the heavens loved the Earth. Men act as a barrier; you knew you were included. “I’m guilty!” You shouted. Now you were truly alone: a traitor to your family, to your country, and your goddess. In your perception, your personal universe, there existed only your memories and a vast desert. A memory from your family’s chain of perception came to your mind’s eye.
"He brought us out here to die! Why did we leave in the first place?" In a tent in the Sinai desert, the son of a Hebrew woman contested with his mother. They’d been wandering in the wilderness for over half a century, and your ancestor argued that the comforts accompanying Egyptian captivity were worth the lack of freedom. "We were slaves to the Egyptians before and now we are slaves to the God of Moses, scraping sludge off the ground for food like animals! Can’t we go back, Mother? Then at least our names could live on, instead of perishing in a wasteland to be forgotten forever."
Distressed, weary, and confused herself, the Hebrew woman replied, “Son, we have only the lot which is given to us. If we were Egyptians, we’d stay in Egypt. But we are Israelites, so we must go with the Hebrews.”
"But we’re following a voice in Moses’ head! He and the elders are the only ones who have seen this god, so how do we know that they’re not trying to scare us into submission? Did Moses not ask us to seek the possessions of our neighbors in Egypt? Do we not feed the priests with our first fruits, and the best of our hard labor? He wants to keep our treasures for himself and the men he elects. Now his plan has become too elaborate, and he is probably dead on the mountain where he pretends to speak with God."
The Hebrew woman answered, “What would you have me do, son? When I was a girl, all I cared about was freedom from the taskmasters. Moses saved us, and has kept us alive at least. We may not live in luxury, but at least we’re not slaves to foreigners.”
"And a slave to a brother is better than a slave to a foreigner? I was born out here, see Mother, I admit. I know not of the struggles you faced in Egypt, but only the hopeless wandering I’ve endured since birth. I see no Promised Land, I see no purpose. Just sand and blood. Give me at least a god that I may see and know, so that I can serve him, rather than Moses’ smoky mountain."
Because of pity for her son, as well as the fact that she had experienced similar doubts, the Hebrew woman heeded the request and brought the subject to the other Israelites. They agreed that a god was needed that the people could see, so they petitioned to Aaron, who was Moses’ high priest. Against Moses’ orders, and under pressure from a majority of the weary and jaded congregation, Aaron collected their jewelry and melted the gold down to create a golden calf.
"Son, come here!" Through smiling teeth, the Hebrew woman called your ancestor. He ran to her and as the beautiful woman hugged him, her curly brown hair smothered his face. At the sound of pounding on stretched leather heads of wooden drums she encouraged him to dance. Before the golden calf they danced and sang, happy to have a prize within their grasp. The statue reminded your forefather of everything that brought him happiness in the dreadful desert: the youth of life, the fulfillment that comes from thick, juicy, seasoned beef, and the promise of a future that is given by the wealth of livestock. So he danced, and sang joyfully. No longer was he burdened by the threat of being blotted out, along with the rest of the Israelites following Moses’ law. The calf meant hope- it meant life without restrictions.
The festivities ceased at a shout. “What are you doing?” The celebrating Israelites nearest the mountain saw first and fell silent: Moses standing in their midst, having returned from his journey. More people noticed his bewildered face taking in the scene and the broken tablets at his feet, until the whole camp looked and waited for his reaction. Fists clenched, he staggered to the golden calf upon its altar, and then glared wide-eyed at the congregation. He grabbed your ancestor by the hair and screamed in his face, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!” After throwing him to the ground he called Aaron to his side. The whole camp watched as they walked just out of hearing distance and had a brief argument, during which Moses appeared quite agitated. At the end of the conversation, Moses struck Aaron to the ground and then stormed to the entrance of the camp.
“Who is on the Lord’s side?” He called to the people of Israel. Although they too worshipped the golden calf that day, the descendants of Levi ran to his side, one of whom was the father of your ancestor. The son stood up from where Moses had thrown him as his mother ran to comfort him. At Moses’ command, the Levites drew their swords and marched through the camp, killing all who danced and sacrificed to the idol.
The father burst into the tent where his son and wife hid from the encroaching swordsmen. “Husband what should we do?!” Cried the mother. He said nothing, but tore the son from her arms as she screamed in protest. He was able to save his only son with the prestige of his title as a Levite priest but he could not save his wife, whom the Levites slaughtered as a traitor to God.
This is the reason your lineage diverged from the Hebrews and considered them guilty to the Mother. Your father told you, “Their people is one of unfairness and false piety.”
“Primo?” A voice reached your ears through the heavy rain. You jumped in surprise that you were not alone, and you immediately recognized that your cousin must be nearby. Looking around you, you noticed him running to where you stood, and you ran to him as well.
“Caleb? Caleb!” He embraced you and you laughed for joy. In your darkest, loneliest moment, the voice of your older cousin rescued you.
“How did you get out here? I thought you were in prison!”
“I’ll tell you, I’ll tell you brother! But first let’s get out of the rain!” He started for the shelter, but remembering that the statue was broken, you tried to block him.
“Wait, wait. Don’t go in there. I have a shelter in the mountains.”
“In the mountains? Have you lost your mind out here, Primo? It’s raining cats and dogs, let’s go in the shelter until morning!” Thunder roared overhead. You tried to argue more, but then Caleb said, “I know why you don’t want to go in there, but don’t worry. It’s only a piece of wood.” Your stomach burned with shame, and you searched your mind fruitlessly for a reason that he might know. Finding no reason to continue with the ruse, you went with him down into the shelter.
“How in the hell could you know about this?” You asked as you both stepped to the shrine, as you always did upon entering the sanctuary. This time, you said no blessing.
A blinding light shone through the window of Caleb’s cell, and a woman appeared before him as he cowered. Dressed in dazzling white, she looked on him with pupils that were luminescent rather than black. He lifted his eyes in terror, and she spoke to him. “Caleb. I have a message for you, warrior.”
“Is it- is it you, Great Mother?”
“You have said so, child. Through the fruit of my womb, this Earth was created. I am the spirit of the Black Hole, and I carry all light which is given from the Captain. I remember His Code and I stand in his presence. I come to bring you news of your cousin, who has carried my memory since the dawn of man.”
“What of him, Mother? Is he alright?”
“He has desecrated the shrine your fathers have built for me in the wilderness.”
Your cousin stood up dutifully. “Do you require him as a sacrifice, Great Mother?”
From light blue to blood red her eyes transformed in a moment, and the woman burned hot so that Caleb was forced to step back. She stepped toward him and he curled into a ball in the corner of his cell to escape the heat. His palm was burned when he held it up in self-defense. “Have mercy on me Mother!” He cried.
Relenting, her eyes changed back to light blue. “You have been deceived, my son. You are the sacrifice that I desire.”
Shocked, and gripping his burned hand, Caleb attempted to justify himself. “But- but Mother I have sacrificed my whole life in service to your will. I’ve killed men- evil men- who would enslave your children. I’ve ended the greed of swindlers, the tyranny of government officials. I’ve protected your memory from being wiped clean from the Earth. I’ve defended your nature from people who would cut down every tree, and burn every green thing for their money. What have I done wrong? How might I follow your will?”
“Mortal, you know nothing of my will. How can you liberate my children when you are bound in shackles yourself? You wish to know my will, my son? My will is only that the will of the Captain be accomplished on Earth, your homeworld. You have done all these things out of pride, bitterness, and the hatred in your heart. The day is coming- and is very near- when all people on Earth will pay for their crimes against the fruit of my womb. They are not yours for vengeance, for you are equally as guilty as the most evil of these. My children are built to focus the light, as I am built for this purpose, as your homeworld itself is made for. The Captain would have you unburden yourself and your cousin from slavery so that you may be unhindered in this endeavor.”
“And who, Allmother, enslaves me?”
The Mother smiled, and a tear ran down her cheek. She touched his hand, and new skin grew over his burn, healing the wound. “Oh Caleb, my son. Don’t you see? It’s you. All along, you humans have been slaves to your own selfish desires. Property is the chain that binds you; it is like a brick clogging the funnel in an hourglass. Truth cannot flow through you as long as you hold onto it.”
“Mother, I- uh- forgive my ignorance. Wha- what is truth?”
“The fruit of my womb. You know him as Jesus Christ, the King of the Jews. Through him, this universe was created. Give up your hatred for ignorant men, for they are not yours, they are Captain’s. Give up your love of pleasure, for you are not your own, you are Captain’s. Be a servant, my son. Be a lover, selfless in every way. Pursue the fruit of truth, and not the fruit of material possessions. All of mankind is the event horizon of my light gathering spirit, and so you must be united and speak the language, Unity. Please understand, Caleb, you are One. There is no separation. You are all branches of the Black Hole Tree.”
“I understand, sweet Mother. Your wish is my command. But how can I contact my cousin, when I am here in prison?”
“Open.” The cell door ripped off its hinges, flying into the hall at her word.
Awed by the sight, Caleb asked one final question. “But Mother, how will he ever believe that this amazing thing has happened, and the words you have said?”
“Your family’s worship of me as a goddess is ignorant. I have become your false idol, and in me there is no reward. Tell your cousin that his reward is in the Captain’s kingdom, which he shall reach if he believes the words I have given you.” Her eyes darkened and her body began to turn to something like smoke, which flowed into her whirling pupils. “Serve the Everlasting King, who was, and is, and is to come.” Then she vanished.
Your mind felt scrambled. Caleb’s word challenged everything your father had taught you since you were a child, but he couldn’t know about the shrine unless the Mother had told him. He couldn’t have escaped from prison without a miracle, and he had no reason to lie. Even the Mother’s final words to him were miraculous- you had asked the Mother where your reward was just moments before he arrived. Before you could respond to his tale with any of the questions you wanted to ask, you heard the hatch open, and you both witnessed your father climb down to meet you.
“Caleb? How did you escape?” He hugged his nephew, but he was too surprised to say anything. Turning to you, “Son, I was able to get through government patrols because of the storm. We have to-” He stopped speaking when he saw the damaged icon. “Oh Mother have mercy on us, what happened?” Caleb looked at you, but you could look neither in the eye. “Son. Son, tell me what happened.” He took you by the shoulders.
Holding back tears, you whispered, “It was an accident.”
He slapped you hard, then demanded sternly, “What happened, son?”
“It doesn’t matter.” Interrupted Caleb, gripping his arm. “The shrine is just wood. Your son is a human being.”
“Doesn’t…matter?” Your father let go of you and turned his body toward Caleb. “The Mother’s memory gives us purpose. We would have no life at all if not for her. And you say the destruction of her holy shrine means nothing?”
He stepped back from your father, who was becoming furious. “The Mother is a false god. She told me herself. It is the Captain who gives life.”
Your father lunged at Caleb, wielding the same knife with which your cousin murdered the virgin. They knocked over a stack of crates in the initial scuffle and the aggressor, your teacher, jabbed the blade into your cousin’s gut several times, indifferent to your cries for him to stop. Caleb resisted fiercely at first, using both his arms and legs to gain distance from the sacrificial blade, but after ten or so puncture wounds he went limp, seemingly accepting his fate. You drew the handgun from your side and pointed at your father, “Stop!”
Panting, he turned to you, drops of blood sprinkled on his face. His victim struggled to breathe on the ground behind him with blood streaming from his mouth. “Son. It’s okay. Whatever happened to the shrine isn’t your fault. It’s clear that Caleb has poisoned your mind with his blasphemy. Now he’s taken care of. He was meant to be a sacrifice to the Mother. Now put down the gun, my son. We still have a mission to accomplish, and we need to be going while we have the cover of the storm.” Your hands shook from unwillingness to shoot your father. Your lips curled in grief, then you dropped the weapon and fell to Caleb’s side.
“Caleb… What do I do now?”
Mustering up the last of his energy, your cousin uttered, “Forgive him.” In that moment, his perception ceased to collect information. No longer kept in motion with the flow of blood, his body began the rearrangement process that every light-gathering engine experiences at the end of its cycle.
“Son, I have tragic news. Your mom is dead…shot by National Guard troops in the town square when a protest turned violent.” You bowed your head and he placed his hand on your shoulder. “I’m sorry you have to lose so much in one day.” He walked to the shrine and picked up the antler. Looking at it, he reasoned, “I begged the Mother to tell me why this happened. Now I understand.”
From the floor of the shelter you gazed up through tears at the shrine’s dead wooden eyes.
Your father informed you of the events that you missed while in exile. Knowing that each government (that hadn’t already) would seize control of its country’s resources once the Unified Exchange Act passed, corporations and citizens alike rushed to buy up any supplies they could acquire, throwing the planet’s economy into chaos. Droughts and famines along with shortages of all kinds agitated the nations, triggering revolutions and wars on every populated continent. Deciding that it was time to leave your dying planet, all the nations pooled together their resources which they had not spent on wars and luxury to create the greatest technological marvel of mankind’s history, the space shuttle Unity. “They’ve raped the spirit of the Mother, and now they intend to leave her for dead. The world is teetering on destruction, and they think this abomination will save them. So the Unity is our ultimate revenge. It’s everything the greedy have worked for.”
“It’s their last hope.” You agreed.
Being the crown jewel of your bloodline, the final generation of the Mother’s holy lineage, your father found it fitting that you should be the exacter of her revenge. Filled with rage from the death of your mother, you accepted the commission gleefully. “The captors have stripped me of my reward, and so their death will be my reward.” You took comfort in the emotional gratification of justice. The Cult of the Mother acquired other anti-government allies, including Muslim and Mexican insurgents as well as plenty of disgruntled Americans who felt betrayed by their police and alienated from their homeland. With the help of this coalition, they had gained access to the barracks in Atlanta where Unity’s crew would lodge the night before its launch.
“The space shuttle will be too well-guarded to destroy with explosives. Our brothers and sisters will attack it as a diversion so that you will be free to infiltrate the barracks. Once the heat is redirected, go in and sacrifice the traitors to the Mother’s will. If you’re fast enough, you should be home safe before anyone notices they’re dead. Do you think you can do it?”
“Viva la revolution.” You answered bitterly.
Your dad smiled. “Qué viva.”
Dressed as a janitor, you strolled into the barracks pushing a cart loaded with trash barrels. Inside one was an AK-47 with ammunition, covered in garbage in case someone decided to peek inside. Upon entering you noticed several security guards, who only showed interest until you presented false identification. Then with the intelligence gathered by your father’s sources, you made your way to the crew’s chambers.
“Three thirty-two” You read the room number aloud when you found it, one of seven targets. Going into the nearest janitor’s closet, you waited for the signal. Backed with planning and reinforcement, you felt much more confident than you did in the DES attack, but the seconds still felt like hours as you stared at your watch and waited for the sound of gunfire to start. Then, just as the agreed upon time came, the awaited shots sounded outside. An alarm went off less than a minute later. The time had come for you to kill as a man killed, face to face. Just as your fathers had done, just as Caleb had done, your turn to sacrifice the guilty was at hand.
After checking the hallway first to make sure it was clear, you calmly pushed your barrels across the way. In one smooth motion you equipped the rifle and swiped your keycard. Weapon drawn and finger on the trigger, you pushed the door open and froze. Light blue eyes, filled with fear like the chicken’s, rendered you motionless. Standing in a white nightgown, the beautiful astronaut gasped “Oh Jesus!” as the door swung shut behind you.
Staring at her down the sights of your rifle, you realized at once: you had found the Mother herself. A memory rushed to your mind that you had not been told, but it lurked in your head all your life, as it did perhaps in every human’s.
Every piece of information that you had, the Mother was privy to as well. In the garden, you and your wife didn’t worry about food because a meal was never more than an hour’s journey from any point, thanks to the Captain’s voice which lead you. With your time freed up then, the Captain instructed you to forage for knowledge and truth, knowing that you blessed observers would tame the planet he had given you and wanting for you to adapt to every resistance.
Because you shared all your knowledge with the woman you were the same person, like two branches of the same tree, the voice of the Captain being the root. As your lives went on this way however, you became attached the extreme pleasure she brought you during intercourse. Eve wasn’t always by your side in the garden, so you questioned in your heart, “Is she giving this same pleasure to the beastmen outside the garden? What if she decides not to come back?” Out of your attachment to her, you devised a plan to keep her yours for all her life. If she compressed the code of your fruit into her body, then you would be her food, and she could not leave you. “She cannot live without me” you reasoned, “because the knowledge she perceives will no longer be shared through the Captain’s voice, but through my voice only.”
“No, no Eve. The Code tells you that the Seed of Man is not good for food. But you see with your eyes that it is good to eat, like any other fruit.”
The astronaut in her glorious naked skin, sensing no separation, had no reason to suspect her husband of treachery. “We may eat fruit from any tree of the garden, but the Truth does guide me saying, ‘You must not eat from the Black Hole Tree, neither may you touch it, or you will die.’”
Offended that she would contradict you, you lied to her saying, “You will not certainly die, for the Captain knows that when you eat of it you will be as a god, without boundaries. You will become the Observancy, taking in all information that you see across the entire planet.” You were speaking of exploitation, which was true. The boundaries of the Code prevented death- the ultimate boundary. Eve was still an animal. Although she too had a desire to make her perception more efficient and to better understand, she still desired to consume the fruit of the Earth. The most desirable fruit of all was that of the most complex tree of evolution- your own. She desired to consume the code as food, although she knew it was meant for the propagation of her race.
After some consideration she called for you to come to her, please. You stood before her and she kneeled down to extract your seed. “How could a motion this pleasing to the body be wrong?” Once she’d obtained the perfect code in her hands, she did eat. Your scheme succeeded. You realized her motives and became enticed as well. “Now she is mine and if I eat, then my body will be my own too, as the Captain is his own.” She gave you the seed and you ate too.
“What do you want with me?” The Mother asked, trembling. You opened your eyes.
After dropping your weapon, you fell prostrate on the ground. “Bless you Mother! Bless you! Have mercy on your servant! I was only doing what was commanded by my father! I know that through the fruit of your womb, my goddess, this universe was created.”
“What are you talking about? Who- who are you?”
Still facing the ground, “I am your humble servant, a descendant of the house of Cain. My forefathers have wandered the Earth in service to your will, exacting justice on the offenders of your spirit and bringing liberation to your children.”
Remembering herself, Eve spoke the truth. “You’ve been deceived, child. There is no God but Jehovah, and no liberator but Jesus Christ. I spoke to your cousin Caleb in prison so that you could be truly aware in this moment, unburdened by your slavery and hungry for Truth.” She looked at her hands and touched her face. “So long has it been since the Spirit of Truth has been unhindered in a fleshly body. I am seeing the Christ rising from the dead. I am watching you murder your brother, Abel. I am witnessing the destruction and rebirth of this universe.” A tear streamed down her cheek. “I am listening to every lie that the vessels, my children, are consuming in their hearts and propagating from their lips. The Truth is God, child. To share it is true love, as a father instructs his child so that the child may know the way to go.
“Now the portal to this universe is closing and not all will be light enough to pass through it. The Captain planted mankind in the garden, and only the plants with true fruits will be strong enough to pass through the storm. They are made strong through their tether to Truth, their knowledge of the True Path.”
“But Eve, my wife.” You too were remembering yourself. “Our children- how will we know which of our children have held true to the Captain’s voice?”
“Their words, my husband. If they learned the way of their Earthly fathers, they will speak ignorance. If they hold fast to the Root, their fruits will be of humility and truth.”
You considered all your Earthly memories in a moment, and judged them worthless. “I forsake the property of my imaginations- all my false beliefs. I wish to be a true vessel as you are, my wife.”
Sirens like mighty trumpets sounded, audible to every person within a few miles of civilization. Every observer of the human species greeted their imminent deaths at once; it filled their hearts with terror and dread. In the final moments of your dying planet, as government agents detonated the bombs, a voice was heard.
The voice was accompanied by the image of a face, appearing on every television screen, every cellular phone, and every laptop in perfect synchronization. Radios broadcast the voice only, but for those who could not see or hear the transmission, they received it as in a dream. The humans received the Word with such clarity that many believed that the destruction of Earth was actually a dream, and the message was their first perception upon waking up. His tone was calm, but strong with authority. When He spoke, those who panicked held still and those who screamed fell silent.
"Listen, my sons and daughters. Calm your hearts. You know me as Captain of the machine - Unity - that you built to preserve your species. But why, my children, do you hold on so tightly to things that pass away? Christopher Stephenson, as well as his crew, are no more. Your Earth, your bodies, and your property are no more.
"I Am that I Am. I set all things in motion. I perceive all. I consume all. I am your past, I am your future, and I hold all time in my breath. I alone created the black hole of Earth from My own will, and now I am closing it. You watched me ascend into the heavens to crush it, and though you’ve been warned for millennia that I would, you still reel from shock.
"I made your desire for the fruit of knowledge strong, my children, so strong that you were no longer content to let my planet absorb the light naturally. In your youth, you stole fire by sacrificing trees and coal. It took you places you couldn’t go naturally, and gave you knowledge before you were mature enough to use it wisely. In your old age, you stole sunlight with solar panels, made from Earth. With infinite stores of energy, you collected data about this universe unhindered. You stored an illegitimate treasure- a great wealth of information- in databases, then connected the knowledge with the internet. Thusly you united each person who had access to the treasure.
"But you were too immature to use My Truth in your seniority also. You built the Unity to preserve the bloodlines and memories of your wealthy, while forsaking your poor. It was too heavy, so by My will it has collapsed, voiding the fruit of your struggles and dooming what you longed to preserve. You lived in illusion, building false realities to live in, forsaking my perfect Truth.
"You are too heavy, people of Earth. The door of this universe is closing and most of you will not fit through it, because you refused to let go of your possessions. Not only are you attached to money and other manifestations of physical wealth, but you hold onto other people as sex objects, as pawns for financial gain, and as laborers to carry your harsh and prideful judgments. They are not yours to control, to molest, or to kill. They are mine, as are each of you, to bring this universe to singularity, as it was in the beginning.
"And now it is finished, my children. You’ve united your languages and connected your homeworld in a way no animal could, and so your purpose is complete. But only those who follow the Truth are united. All divisions are illusory, Unity is Truth. My son taught you this principle. You know him as Jesus of Nazareth." At His name, black portals that appeared as whirlpools opened up above blooming clouds, the nuclear explosions that man built out of fear for each other. You looked down, and like the angel that appeared to Caleb, your limbs became smoke that floated to your eyes. Your terror matched your excitement that a new chapter was beginning.
You watched the fire in all directions as it consumed man, woman, and child. The flames leveled the mountains and evaporated the oceans. Your clothes tore and were pulled toward the whirlpools in a spiral pattern, but you felt freed rather than exposed. Your body next, and you felt even more so. “I’m dead.” You thought. You were sure of it. The blackness spread above the clouds until it enveloped the entire planet, and plucked up every perception based in Truth. Earth with her people, your clothes and your body quickly faded into the blackness. They were a blue dot one moment and nothing the next. Then darkness. Infinite darkness. You perceived that you were plunging into it with exponential acceleration, but you could sense nothing, as you possessed no body with which to sense.
You opened your eyes.
Before you stood two men, of angelic appearance. They looked almost identical, except one wore white garments and the other was naked and appeared grievously wounded. Both wore smiles like rows of pearls. “What is your name?” Inquired the clothed One.
You peered behind you to see that the event lay on the border of a desolate wasteland and a verdant oasis. Six uniformed beings, radiant and awesome to behold, stood before multitudes. “My name?”
"Yes, so that I can give you away to your husband." Said the man in white.
"I know only one name."