Prometheus of Men: 2999 AD

February 20, 2008
By Tim Newcomb, San Diego, CA

I have never seen fire.
Although it undoubtedly seems impossible, or at least improbable, to most who read this, that statement is true. I have seen images of fire, but I have never actually witnessed it. To see fire is a dream of mine, for I want to experience, not merely know about, the subject that has been for thousands of years equated with zeal, passion and fervent spirit. Fire must be marvelous to have been the description of the power and yearning I now fell in me. But all these things will become clear to you in the course of my account.
Before I begin, however, I must give the conditions of my present situation and the history that created them; for I do not know who will read this, in what time it will be read, or if any will still have that ability to read this form of communication in the future. I cannot assume that whoever has this knows or under stands what led up to this point in time or comprehends the present status of the original world.
The year I am writing this in is 830013 Fluere, or the year 3023 A.D. in the old time measurement, a system that was abolished late in the 22nd century because it was based on the birth of a religious leader, something that was found highly offensive. However, I shall use this time measurement method because of its simplicity and accuracy. It can be said that any real scientific and technological advancement began in the 24th century, so that is where my narrative on the world will begin.
The world advanced in small steps up until the 25th century. The technology created by the early inventors was always one-sided and simply a more advanced form of an older apparatus in a pre-existing field. Electromagnetic pulse weapons are a good example of this. EMP weapons became advanced enough for combat in the 21st century, both hand-held and long-range guidable EMP devices. But the technology in simpler forms and the idea of the technology existed and was recorded for hundreds of years before this. So in just a few years after they became widely used, they were rendered completely obsolete because superconducting modules had long been in use since the ability to change ordinary materials at any temperature to be superconductive and the transmutation of elements was common place. The creation of an entirely new field of weapons, commonly called quantum weapons, marked the end of all previous weapon fields in the 25th century.
The 25th century brought with it not only quantum technology, but dozens of entirely new fields, one of which led to the creation of perhaps the greatest and most widely anticipated mechanism of foundational science: the Zero Point Energy Module. Of course, the technology, having been theorized about for hundreds of years, operated far differently from how it was expected to. It did not tap into vacuum energy, but a much different (and previously unknown) source of power, the specifics of which are not needed in the background of my account. It was designed near the middle of the 24th century by a United Kingdom scientist who called himself Allap Blair (This name was false, he chose to remain anonymous, even to this day). With an infinite source of energy at their finger tips, the human race moved into a new area of technology. A large percentage of people decided to download their consciousness into androids and dispose of their biological body, and thus become immortal (this was something achieved early in the 23rd century).
Human space advancement is also notable. The 24th century found itself as the peak of space exploration. By that time, tens of thousands of drones had been sent out from earth and four planets within our solar system had been fully colonized. Space engines no longer required any temporary energy devices such as atomic sources; they were all equipped with the Blair device and could travel only a few hundred thousand miles slower than light.
Many of the world governments began to join into larger factions once a global currency was established (with the exception of two countries that did not accept the common currency). The world became much more united when racism was almost completely eliminated around the 23rd century, as interracial marriages eventually led to a new, genetically united human race. It became very rare for any given person to possess a heritage of less than 4 or 5 races.
Religion underwent drastic changes as well during these centuries. The majority of religions were completely extinct by the 24th century. Islam and Christianity were the only two that survived forcibly, but Islam eventually completely disappeared as its principles could not be upheld in the modern world. Judaism also survived, and was never completely eliminated, although the numbers of participants at several points in time waned dangerously low. Naturalistic Darwinism, a long time opponent of faith and belief, was disregarded as a viable scientific theory in the 24th century due to the mounting evidence against it, starting late in the 21st century. Because of the destruction of this major method of thought, which was the only rational naturalistic explanation of existence, a world religion was created which morphed all religions that have ever existed into one. Despite many beliefs of this religion being diametrically opposed to each other, it is still accepted by many today.
This coincides with the rise of pure humanistic relativism early in the 22nd century. The idea has been maintained since then that the only spiritual and metaphysical truth is what each individual believes. This has been challenged by science in the discovery of many metaphysical forces and non-material entities and the two separate realms, or planes of existence, that they dwell in. These have been sensed, but never captured, and the realms have never been traveled into. There have been great efforts to physically enter “heaven” or “hell” either by trans-membrane teleportation devices or communication with the dead (which was made possible by mechanisms in the 22nd century), the Over-force or other sensed supernatural forces. But none of these finds or efforts ever resulted in a large-scale resurgence of piety, spirituality or religion. The only religion (I call it a religion for lack of a more accurate word; in reality, no piety is needed, only faith) of the old world which has survived is Christianity.
An old idea based on the philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher Epicurus, called Reductionism, took a prominent place in the beliefs of society around the time Darwinism was disproved. A more radical form of this, however, caused several problems. Euthanasia was completely legalized, and in most countries children under certain ages were not legally considered humans, and thus were killed by the millions (although humanely, if that is possible) to control the population. The ages that children were allowed to be terminated at sometimes reached as high as five or six. People at one time early in the 23rd century killed themselves in mass out of the belief they were harming the rest of earth’s native environment. Instead on using their life to fix the problems on the old earth, they simply tried killed themselves (and occasionally other people who were unwilling). The people who followed this reductionism doctrine caused an even larger problem in the 29th century, one I will describe later.
World war three took place in the 28th century. Lithuavia, a relatively new, Russian-based country aligned with the Republic of the Americas against China (which, at the time, was the largest it had ever been in its history. Most of this war was electronically combated, but 6,007 people still died in neutron warfare. After mainland China was disabled and its energy in Russo-American control, China’s allies surrendered. The war was much longer than expected; three full days.
After WWIII, a new language, which was created purely of functionality, became widely used. It was deemed “the perfect language”. At this time, a new faction of society emerged, calling themselves “Tellus Veritas” meaning “true earth in an ancient language called Latin. They rejected all real technology and regenerated a large portion of land to how it was before man intervened. They lived simple lives, did not live past 160 by choice, and never allowed their consciousness to be recorded. No memory chips or other synthetic enhancement modules were ever implanted in them by their own decision. This group naturally fractured into several divisions, all choosing technology levels from different eras. Their core belief was that technology is harmful, calling the advanced world “Technikos orbis” meaning “fake world”. They only spoke an ancient language called Latin.
All of these people died, however, in the cataclysmic event which followed WWIII. Ironically, the destruction of man came not from a war or any other external forces, but from the inside. A group of staunchly atheistic reductionists attempted to destroy the human race and “start over” with non-biological artificial androids, which would seek only physical and technological advancement, meaning they had complete irreverence towards all biological life. They gave themselves no name, but often referred to themselves as the “advancers of life”. Others later named them “Digiterras” meaning “digital ground (or earth)”. The ultimate goal and purpose of these new entities was to evolve technologically until the universe reversed its expansion in a few trillion years.
When the expansion reverses, all energy will be crushed back into “the pea”, killing all life forms that may have, by chance, evolved. So, to the Digiterras’, the only promise for the continuance of intelligent life was to eliminate all sense of self, idealism, emotions and small-mindedness and concentrate solely on that goal. The only method this could be achieved by was to eliminate all human and biological life (as it continually got in the way of this goal) and institute artificial life far superior to any biologically-based entity. The Digiterra’s machines would have evolved to the point of having the capacity of trans-membrane teleportation. This would allow them to teleport into a safe alternate universe until the “big bang” happened again, and then they could return. This would continue indefinitely, and the machines would have no higher goal or motive than this.
Using an advanced form of a technology based off of cold fusion (cold fusion and related technologies had been banned since their discovery) they destroyed the world. All human, plant, animal and artificial life was completely eliminated from all land masses on planet earth. However, only a part of the world’s population lives on land, or in the air. They successfully killed millions of life forms in the surface and nearly shut off the world’s electromagnetic field, which had been naturally weakening. But ever since the 23rd century, several countries had been building underwater cities. Some of these house millions of people. Several were destroyed, but the Digiterras’ plan to end all biological life failed as most of the underwater world survived. They did, however, manage to kill all animal life in the oceans, with the exception of a few mutated species. They also killed themselves off.
This ended all space exploration and colonization as no more supplies from earth led to the deaths of almost all the colonists, except those who had sufficient farms in place to harvest energy or grow food, like some on Venus. No trips above the water were ever attempted for years, because what was left of the atmosphere consisted mainly of tritium, technetium-99m and several other man-made elements that are corrosive to most materials. It was not long, however, before the Earth project was launched. It is a united attempt by the underwater cities to try and reclaim the earth. Hundreds of years before this, in the late 22nd century, a genetic database of every biological entity that has ever existed on earth was completed. Since multiple copies of this still existed in the underwater cities, it is possible to create all of these life forms artificially.
The few Digiterras’ bots that survived the explosions were the first aim of the project. They were heavily damaged, so it was not hard to destroy them. Atmospheric conditioning is their second goal, so that human lives are not dependent on technology as they are now. Genesis ship-great crafts which have been constructed for the sole purpose of rebuilding the planet- are built in the ports of the city of Scylla, the largest of all sea-cities. This city is the hub of the earth project. While there is presently a united world, the Earth project is planning on creating eight countries in a complex system of government designed to be virtually perfect at maintaining peace.
As for the ocean-cities themselves, they are well-equipped for life. Huge sea farms which once covered miles of the sea floor were destroyed during the attack, but were quickly rebuilt. A few cities are powered by Blair devices, and the others are powered by numerous types of technologies. Many are being sustained by the power of the sun. These solar panels float on the surface and wirelessly transfer energy to the cities.
I cannot explain what happens further in time because I exist at this point. The city, in which I live, Pharos, is located in a deep rift in the Atlantic Ocean. It is one of the most newly built and is on the forefront of the Earth project. Pharos consists mainly of spherical buildings, has several large docking ports and is one of the few ocean cities which have the ability to build vehicles. Over 600 people live in Pharos, each with their own quarters. Unlike many other cities, Pharos gives the ability for its inhabitants to get physical exercise and verbally converse with each other. There are public areas for people to converse or look out into the ocean with their own eyes. Most, however, chose never to leave their quarters, or if they do, to wear an exoskeleton. They do not want to take the time to train their bodies to be strong enough to walk on their own. The people in each building are divided into “Communities” of a few hundred or less. People have the option to work or not in the ocean cities. Some chose to work, such as the majority of those in Pharos, but others create artificial electronic environments to live their entire lives in, completely escaping reality.
I was born (artificially, or course) in the year 2999 A. D. with the name Lawence Edigus but changed it to Nexos Tarpathius by the time I was 5 (I had cognitive-acceleration nanochips inserted in my hypothalamus). I have always lived in Pharos in a building next to the largest port in the city. I am rare in that my biological body is strong enough to not need and exoskeleton. There are eight other people in my “community” that are like this, and we occasionally converse verbally on our public deck , from which we can watch the genesis ships dock and depart (for despite Pharos being to deep for any sunlight to reach us, the city illuminates several miles of ocean around it). The others in my building never leave their computer consuls.
I am a prodigy in Pharos. I far exceed many of the most experiences programmers in my city. My skill is exceptional for my age, and I have helped design and program many droids for the Earth project. I have long been at the forefront of the Tranquility Endeavor, a means of unifying the world.
All religions, except the New World religion, have been officially forbidden in the ocean cities. This means only Christianity, because it is the only religion completely alive. Judaism, while it is hated by the so-called “tolerant” world, cannot easily be persecuted now as is has been throughout history, and is generally ignored by the world. This assault on Christianity (the physical one) was dubbed “The Tranquility Endeavor”. This religion, stemming from Judaism, has dangerous ideologies of absolutes, the edict stated, because it is the enemy to peace and self-happiness as it divides the world in-between right and wrong. This world did, however, quite easily label the Digiterras’ attack as evil. But, they said, only ideologies which unite the world can be allowed and the followers of the man called Yeshua disregard the views of society as being supreme, and they try to institute a judgment method not held by the world. The Bible, a summary of all Christian beliefs, is only available in an edited version for historical reference. The stories were stripped of their spiritual content (as they have been viewed only as literature since the 20th century, but now this attitude manifested itself). The religion laws were instituted before the Digiterras’ attack, but were only strengthened by it because many blamed it on the Jews and Christians because they were the ones, they claimed, who divided the world to begin with.
The possession of an original Bible on an individual’s computer consol warrants execution (the only crime punishable by death) by being ejected into the ocean. This also helps to control space issues. If they downloaded their consciousness, it is erased as well.
There is no organized government assault to track down Christians. Hunting Christians is almost a past-time for many people, a way to sharpen and test their skills. When a Christian is found, or at least someone who downloaded copies of original Christian materials in their consol, the government is alerted, the person who discovered the “Insurrectionist” rewarded, and then they come and take the Christian, stunning them into a permanent comma until the disposal of the body. Christianity has never been stopped, and it has always plagued the government’s wishes. It is presently estimated that there are at least three Christians in every city in the world, hidden and undiscovered. No one has ever been discovered in Pharos, up until the time at which my story begins.
By far the greatest bane to the collective government was an individual called the Master Hacker. He was perhaps the greatest computer master ever to have lived in the modern world, and appeared about thirty years ago. His skill at hacking (which led to his name), programming and general diagnostics have gone unmatched.
Unfortunately for the government, the Master Hacker is a Christian. He hacked hundreds of servers to allow pro-Christian ideas and messages to exist, and created and sustained secret servers to hide and distribute original Bibles. The best of the best have tried to find his identity, but they cannot even track him to any city. This electronic warfare has consumed every city in the world.
In mid-April of 3022 AD, a Christian was discovered in Pharos, the first ever. He was a biological engineer working on developing temporary growth genetics for the earth project, and apparently had not only kept Christian files, but had posted a Bible on an intranet server. He was 35, with no computer consciousness.
That day, myself and nine others gathered on the public deck to watch the execution ship (a small, short-range transport) leave with the criminal. From there we could see the main port clearly. This was a very unsettling happening in Pharos, and since it had an almost historical feel, it was much talked about.

The others and I came early to the usually empty deck to discuss it verbally. There were varying emotions in the group, but the same opinion. Necessary justice had been rightly given. I held this opinion the strongest, as I was the most adamant Christian tracker, and had aided in discovering three of them before in other ocean cities.
Everyone talked in small groups. Apelles, who, like me, needed no exoskeleton, approached me as I sat in a repelling chair, gazing at the expanse of light bending betwixt the buildings. He was middle-aged and mostly of African descent. “This is unfortunate for the earth project. I’ve seen and worked with his designs before. He was bright at genetics, just not at computers.”
“Yes,” I said “but we have to bring an end to this disunity. You know, ever since the creation of the cult, its inhibited society. It’s arbitrarily set standards for the world, and tried to impose a universal moral and ethical code, instead of society’s view.”
“I suppose so. But maybe if we just imprisoned him, then he could still work…”
“There’s only one way to deal with this evil. Do to them what they did to society under Constantine; they forced their beliefs on an entire empire. That kind of bigotry can only be met with these tactics.”
“And we are already too soft on them.” A woman, Rhea Silva, joined us “The more pressure put on them, the more they thrive, but attack them hard enough and fast enough and they will crack. The government has always let Christians slip through.”
Apelles mused, “But they have always found a way to slip through. They spring up where there is any freedom at all. In a perfect society, there is no thought.”
The conversation evolved and I left it, as my feelings were already mirrored by Rhea’s I carried myself up to one of the “old-timers”, Decius Mus, with whom I have had long conversations with before. He wore an exoskeleton, for he is over 200 years old. He did not have any mental implants, saying they cloud his thoughts, so he remembers and thinks only with his biological mind. He is not, in any way, good at computing. His consol is very basic and he mostly keeps to himself. He is a worker, helping maintain the world genetic database, create primary construction outlays for the earth project and is one of the two manual pilots of a very old watercraft called the Neptune. It is the only craft that the pilot has to be physically inside of in all the ocean-cities. It is a giant boulder-mover, usually used for large construction. He was sitting, gazing at the city and the shuttle that was about to leave. Always finding him of interesting opinion, I approached him, and asked whether this was a fitting punishment for Christians.
“He knew the risk he took, and he now receives what his actions dictated be the government.”
“Yes,” I readily solicited my opinion “They are the only real, permanent disruptors of peace. They disregard all human advancement for the sake of aimless myths. Why they cannot keep their ideas to themselves is unthinkable. They try to shove their beliefs into the minds of others without benefit. The world religion does not do that!”
Decius thought for a short spell. “The Christians believe they have truth. The final, ultimate and universal truth. Let me ask you this: if you found what you believe to be the answer to existence, and the salvation and hope of mankind, you would not share it?”
“If you mean the peace-inhibiting Christian ideology, then no.”
“That’s cruel. And cold, very cold. Like our environment. This water around Pharos, as you know, should freeze. But it doesn’t; it still moves, it still functions, because the man-induced pollutants super-freeze it. If you the pollutants out…” He did not finish.
For the first time in a long while, I actually had to think about what was said, because it was a new concept to me. “You sound like one of them.” I said after a moment. Decius laughed.
“Yes, anyone who has compassion does now in our times. But I just do not like how peace has become more important than thought. I would rather have a difference of opinion than to live without any sense of a need for truth.” I told him that truth has already been determined by society, and so a minority’s views are never needed. I understood that he was simply trying to challenge me, to see if I could match his logical skill, for we had many similar discussions previously, in which he only confused me and asked questions I could not answer. We talked for a while, then sat silently and watched the city.
Finally, the ship left its dock. It was one of the newest shuttles in Pharos before the Digiterras attack, so it was almost entirely transparent, clearly showing the contents of the cargo hold; a man, lying on his back like an ancient king in requiem, seemingly at peace in his unconsciousness, but about to die.
“Prometheus” Decius said. Turned to him and saw his attention lay solely on the shuttle.
“What, the ship?”
He shook his head. “No, the Christian.”
“I don’t understand.”
“No, no, you don’t.” He smirked at a thought that was ironic, not joyful. “You know the story of Prometheus, but you miss the point of it. There is a great difference between knowing and understanding, for knowledge, I have found, is completely worthless unless it leads to understanding. Prometheus, son of Iapetus and Clymene, gave fire to mortals. He bridged the gap between God and man, defying more powerful forces to pass down the fire, and it became the human’s greatest possession. This, however, was at great personal sacrifice. Then is not a Christian a Prometheus? They were handed a fire, and it is their duty not just to keep it alive, but to pass it on, generation through generation, through persecutions and tribulations. If passing on the fire of God requires self-sacrifice, then, like Prometheus, that sacrifice must be made. That is how that man thought, that is why he lived, and why he now dies.”
The shuttle was now fading into the darkness that surrounds Pharos. I had never considered the Christians or Nihilists like this before.
Castor, a friend of Decius, had come up behind us and now joined our conversation. He was much younger than Decius, being only sixty, but had one of the best consoles in Pharos. For about thirty years he had used his incredible computer and skill to co-ordinate inter-cit functions, which gave him incredible access to all electronic databases. Castor had been listening to Decius and agreed with him that this is indeed how they think of themselves. They conversed until the shuttle was coming back into view. I could find nothing at add to the discourse between them, although I have always been accustomed to never being short of things to say.
When the shuttle came back empty, the people slowly left the deck, since justice had now been served. I put out of mind the entire experience for three weeks. Life (if it can be called that) resumed back to normality in Pharos and nothing extraordinary occurred. That is, until the Morpheus returned out of the darkness of the ocean.

This happened entirely unexpectedly, for no one had seen the Morpheus since the Digiterra’s attack. It was assumed by some that it had destroyed itself, because no one had any idea of its location. But in reality, it had been in the sea all those years, roaming the depths on the currents. Unfortunately for us, one of those sea currents took it on a direct trajectory to Pharos.
I speak as if the Morpheus is alive and intelligent, and it is in a strict sense of those definitions, yet it is not biological, but a human- built mechanism which was not designed to destroy. At the center of one of the original water cities called Amphitrite was a unique spherical device that was the energy source for that vast city. It was a research device as well, maintaining supercritical forms of nuclear and other unstable materials, and periodically fission, fusion and nuclear detonations- hundreds of times more powerful than the original atom bomb- would occur in it. Anti-matter could be produced from it, as well as stable forms of elements that previously could only last a fraction of a second. It could- and did- split forces and keep them separate if it wished. Being very intelligent, yet only having one goal in mind- to sustain a enormous mass of energy in a reaction state- it did not rely on external orders. The casing of the Morpheus (created out of, among other things, a Radon and Unniloctium network solid) was designed to be, and had to be, immune to the nuclear and cold fusion reactions that took place in it every day, which enabled it to survive the Digiterra’s attack, although it did sustain considerable damage because a technology related to cold fusion was used.
This Morpheus, now critically damaged but still sustaining a reaction energy level equivalent in mass energy to the earth (although much of that energy constantly fluxes in-between dimensions), created the greatest problem in the history of Pharos. The problem was the Morpheus-being nearly 3/4ths of a mile wide and completely immune to EM pulses (the entire outer shell was created to be superconductive) - is going to hit Pharos, and when it does, the weak and structurally insecure shielding hull will not be able to withstand the kinetic energy of the impact or the city’s resonance energy. With that much unstable energy in that many forms being released of its containment right next to Pharos, the city would be destroyed, molecule by molecule.
So, naturally, the city was quite worried.
The Morpheus gave us about five hours warning. The first attempt was to access the computer inside it, but it had been destroyed, and the reactions had become self-sustaining. The idea of neutralizing the reactions was also impossible. Pharos was so unaccustomed to physical problems.
The only option left was to use the Neptune. It was the only vehicle large enough to have any home of moving the Morpheus. The Neptune was enormous and powerful, but with comparison to the Morpheus, it was not certain if it would be able to move it.
Decius was the pilot who volunteered. The other suddenly gained a newfound conviction to help with transferring databases to other cities, which, of course, prevented him from risking his life on the Neptune. The Neptune, which was almost a permanent part of the city because it was never used, was brought to life and exited the dock with less than an hour until the collision. The giant passed over Pharos slowly, for despite its enormous engines, its incredible size meant it took time for it to reach its top speeds. And it had to fly directly into the deep sea current that was carrying the Morpheus towards Pharos.
The danger of the mission was obvious; if the Morpheus could destroy a city, then it could easily destroy a construction water-craft. The Neptune had to attach itself onto it, and just being close was very dangerous. To physically contact it was nearly suicidal.
Decius gained the undivided attention of Pharos. On Decius’ skill as a pilot and stalwartness was staked the future of Pharos. They realized that Decius could have left for another city in the Neptune, because he had complete control over it. Some expected him to leave because he insisted that no co-pilot or other passenger be with him, and he had absolutely no reason or obligation to save the city. But apparently some intrinsic force gave him motive to stop the Morpheus.
The situation arose so quickly that few understood it in its entirety. Decisions had to be made rapidly, and general chaos ensured. It was hard for the people to understand what was happening. I did not realize the Neptune was gone until it had almost reached the Morpheus. The impact almost detonated the Morpheus. The Neptune was designed to attach itself to a large object, but not an object moving as fast as the Morpheus. It did not contact it head-on, but at an angle, using all of its nano-technology grappling arms to adhere to it as well as its docking attachments. The grappling arms act almost like liquid tentacles, distributing the force well and not detonating the Morpheus. The Neptune was handled by Decius with great skill.
Pharos watched (through the spectral imaging on the Neptune) as the Morpheus was slowly dragged out of the current which passed over the city. Three hours were required to complete this. Naturally, Pharos was relieved, but now a new problem was realized: to simply release the Morpheus again into the oceans currents would put other cities in the exact same danger. The ocean currents have been immensely strong ever since the Digiterra’s attack. Decius realized the problem first, and found the solution before Pharos. Several miles from the city were a naturally occurring labyrinth deep in a canyon. These huge caves extended for miles into the pith of the earth, and were sufficiently deep so that no current strong enough to move the Morpheus could exist.
It was after Decius had taken the increasingly unstable Morpheus about 50 miles down into one of these caves that I witnessed the most mind altering behavior of a human I have ever seen.
Self-sacrifice, it has been written, is the noblest of all sentiments. It is the ultimate measure of the honor and goodness of a man. For is there not no greater love than to lay one’s life down for another?
Yes, the Morpheus detonated. The cold fusion reactions did not leave one atom in Decius’ body attached to another. The explosion resulted in a quake that was felt tens of thousands of miles away, collapsed much of the cave complex, and illuminated miles of the sea floor.
Did he have to die? No, but to destroy the Morpheus he did. There was no other way. He knew that taking it down the caverns would detonate it due to the increased pressure. But he did it because it was the only way to save lives.
I was, to put it plainly, shocked. I did not understand this; I had ever experienced, and had never had any understanding of such self-sacrifice. I simply did not understand it.
Before the explosion, Decius sent a data burst to my computer. It was all access ciphers to his quarters, his consol and all encrypted files on it. He apparently wanted me to access his computer. I did, for reason I myself am not sure of. Perhaps I wanted to see who he was. He was so mysterious, so unknown to me.
I was, to put it plainly, shocked. I did not understand this; I had ever experienced, and had never had any understanding of such self-sacrifice. I simply did not understand it.
Before the explosion, Decius sent a data burst to my computer. It was all access ciphers to his quarters, his consol and all encrypted files on it. He apparently wanted me to access his computer. I did, for reason I myself am not sure of. Perhaps I wanted to see who he was. He was so mysterious, so unknown to me.
I sat at his consol. It recognized the codes in my implants, and came to life. I froze. A typical computer runs at eighty or ninety EOM’s (the computer’s activity level). Decius’ computer bio showed over three trillion EOM’s. I had expected, at best, ten or twenty EOM’s. I instantly tore apart his computer, opening up all files and computer activities. A thought sprang into my head and a chill ran down my spine as the realization hit me. The Master Hacker.
It was by far the most advanced and complicated computer system I have ever known. He had stored copies of every world database. On one device. Yet he hid everything. My mind could barely grasp his skill. He had eluded the world for over thirty years, the greatest mathematician and hacker to ever exist in the history of man. And I occupied the quarters across from him.
I found a map and list of every Christian and Nihilist in the world. Ten fold more than expected. Millions across the globe. And now I could expose him, before the government came to deal with his things. I could expose every Nihilist and thought-provoking Christian in the world. Purify it in one swing.
I had dedicated my life to destroying Nihilism. Why did I hesitate to make Decius’ identity and his files public?
The man fascinated me. He had something, something in his eyes and soul that I lacked, which illiminated anger and bitterness and hate and animosity. I could become everything I dreamed of; I could have all I wanted for making the Master Hacker, although he is dead, know to the purposeless earth. But in that moment I looked into my dreams, my self-created belifs and personal aspirtions and saw nothing.
For the next few hours a browsed through the banned writings, and one of the original Bibles he had.
“But if I say, ‘I will not mention him,
Or speak anymore in his name’,
His word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
Indeed I cannot.”
The fire of Prometheus, the fire of heaven!
“I determined never to stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose.”
“Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
The truth will set you free...nothing else
“…for this reason I came into this world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”
“For although we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.”
“While women weep, as they do now, I’ll fight; while little children go hungry, I’ll fight; while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight; while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, where there remains one dark soul without the light of God- I’ll fight! I fight to the very end!”
“ ‘What is truth?’ Pilot answered.”
“If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.”
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”
“How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once made low the nations!”
“The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

That day I saw. That day I laid myself down, and picked the fire up. The world will never know the Master Hacker is dead. For he has never died, but simply changed his identity.
And so Saul becomes Paul.
The fire will burn on; it will live, through the ages, through me, a bearer of the fire in this age, to pass it down, generation to generation, eon through eon.
I, Nexos Tarpathius, a Prometheus of Men.

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