The Beginning

A group of scientists say goodbye to their final creation.

“Gentlemen, we are gods.”

These are the words I hear as I watch the heat-death of the sun. In less than twenty-four hours, my bones will be dust. Laura will be gone, and so will the kids. Everything that I have ever seen will cease to exist—except these. Except these tiny little machines that we are going to jettison off into space. I don't have the slightest clue where they will go. I designed them to the best of my ability and if I am a god, then I am a fallible one. Despite all the tests, I am still nervous. This is our final screech into the dark emptiness of space. This is our final plea to be more than just a fleck in the endless ocean of existence, and it is imperfect. It could fail. The ship could fizzle out and melt. It could hit a star or a black hole or other celestial body, though I know the probability of that is almost nothing.

Michael looks at me. He put in just as much work as I did. He knows it could all fall apart, but he is smiling. He is the raw spirit of everything good and righteous I've known. He is ingenuity and ambition and courage, and in several hours, he will be wiped from the universe without any trace or memory. There will be no dental records or hair samples or anything else to identify him. He will wink out of being as if he was never there at all, along with the rest of humanity. Yet here he is, smiling. His smile is wider than I have ever seen it, and he is weeping.

“We're transcendent, Jonathon. We're finally part of something bigger than ourselves. Self-proliferation. We are creating life. Here. On the brink of our own extinction. On the razor's edge of everything we've ever known, doing something never done before. Desperation Jonathon. Desperation drives us to achieve. Desperation to survive, even if in some artificial way. This moment, right here is everything it means to be alive. We've created in the past Jonathon. We've created buildings and monuments and soon they will all be gone without a trace. This though,” Michael gestures at the metal container. “This is life. This is true creation.”

The End

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