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The End and Beginning of the World
I stand alone on my tall hill and watch. There’s nothing more for me to do. Nothing I can do. Nothing I want to do.
Or is there?
What’s done is done. It had to be done. The alternative, doing nothing, had not been considered.
Or rather, it had been reconsidered. Nothing was what we’d been doing for a long time before today. Nothing was all we had to do. Nothing but sit and watch. Now I stand and watch. Is there any difference?
Yes. There’s a big difference.
We did nothing for a while, but then something happened. Things began to change. At first it was just a murmur, something intangible in the air, something we couldn’t trace. Something... wrong. Different. Something that wasn’t supposed to happen. It spread faster and faster until we had to act. We all understood that the experiment was out of control. We had always known it could happen; we couldn’t predict what would happen next. They could do anything; it was dangerous. They were dangerous, now.
But who decided that the danger was too great?
It wasn’t me. I didn’t decide to do this, not really. I decided to follow the order, but I didn’t think up the idea. I didn’t send it on to everyone else. I didn’t encourage it, or improve it, or praise it. I just did it.
So now I stand here, watching. Watching the village. Watching the ocean, far away. Watching the sky, far above. Watching. Waiting.
I don’t really have to watch anymore. What I’ve done is done. I can’t take it back. There is nothing left for me to do here. Nothing I can do. Nothing I want to do.
Or is there?
I’ve already done nothing. We all tried that. Doing nothing doesn’t change anything.
I’ve already done something. We all did. Doing something changes things, not always how we want it to. Even if all we want to do is change, make it different, make it better. Even if we don’t mean to do any harm, sometimes the change is the harm.
But if I’ve done nothing, and I’ve done something, then there’s nothing more for me to do. Nothing I can do. Nothing I want to do.
But that’s not entirely true.
There’s something I want to do. I want to change... something. But I’ve already done that, too, and it didn’t work out. I changed it, to make it better, only it didn’t end up that way. I made it worse, even though I wanted to make it better.
I didn’t want to make it worse, certainly, but I didn’t really want it to change, either. I changed it because I was asked to, to make it better. No... I was more told than asked. But I wasn’t told to do it... I was told it had to be done. That doing it would help -- would make it better.
I did what I’ve done because I was trying to make it better, because I wanted to do something. I thought I could do something. I thought there was something for me to do. But there isn’t . Like I was told, there’s nothing I should do.
But who gets to tell me what I should do?
I’ll bet anything it’s the same being who decided the danger was too great. The same being who thought up the idea, gave the order, encouraged it, improved it, praised it. The same being who told me it had to be done, who kept telling me this change would make it better. Who kept telling me I could make it better.
The same being who lied to me.
I can see that now, as I watch the border village. Nothing I’ve done has helped to “make it better”. Nothing any of the thirteen of us have done has helped. Not helped the village, not helped each other, not helped ourselves. All it has done is helped this unknown player, this being who lies to us, tricks us, controls us.
I, alone, am not powerful enough to do all that was needed. None of us, alone, are powerful enough to do it. I doubt even this entity could do it alone, but they took us, combined us, and used our power to start something we can’t stop. This unnoticed controller admits, it’s gone too far even for them to stop, so what chance would we have? We, who allowed ourselves to be manipulated and lied too? We, who allowed ourselves to be blindly led into this evil work? We, who were foolish enough to bring this unpredictable experiment to our own planet, only thirteen hills away from our homes?
No. If this lying fiend cannot stop what we have started, we have no chance at all.
So now I stand here, on a tall hill, one of thirteen encircling the village, watching. Watching the village. Watching the ocean, far away. Watching the sky, far above. Watching. Waiting.
I don’t have to wait long.
I see the sky, far above, change first. From sunny, calm,and cloudless, dark splotches appear. Forming together, with a single purpose, they grow over the ocean. As they grow, they spin, and flash, and rumble.
I see the ocean, far below, start to shift. From crystal clear, blue, and gentle, angry waves begin to rise. They surge in rows, closer and closer. Soon they form a long black line, roaring forward.
The black storms roll forward first, pulling the ocean in their wake. Crawling forward, sliding forward, walking forward, jogging forward, running forward, darting forward, sprinting forward, flying forward. Forward, towards the village, its hills, and the world beyond.
A black wall of clouds, wind, rain, thunder, lightning, waves, and rocks approaches. The swirling darkness comes forward, unstoppable. Called forward by us. By me.
What’s done is done. I can’t change it. There’s nothing more for me to do. Nothing I can do. Nothing I want to do, certainly, for if I try anything I will die. Lose my power. Become...mortal, like them, and then I will die like them. I don’t want that.
No. I don’t want to die. I’ve watched things like this before. I’ve seen others try to be heroes, and it never works out. Sure, they may succeed for a while, for a second or a minute, or even an hour. But eventually they weaken. They fail, and then they die, and it doesn’t change anything. They might as well have done nothing, like we did. Like I did.
I’ve done it before, for a long time. I did nothing, because there was nothing for me to do. Nothing I could do. Nothing I wanted to do. Nothing but sit and watch. Now I stand and watch. Is there any difference?
Yes. There’s a big difference.
Before, I was just watching. I didn’t do anything to start it, so I didn’t do anything to stop it. I didn’t do any harm, so I didn’t do any good. I just watched, like the others. Like we were told. Keeping the balance.
Now, I am just watching. I did something to start it, whether I meant to or not, but I haven’t done anything to stop it. I did harm, whether I meant to or not, but I haven’t done any good. I’m just watching, like the others. Like we were told.
But the balance is gone. It’s all wrong... everything’s wrong. It should be fixed, and that’s our job, but no one’s telling us to do it. None of the others are doing anything, either. Just watching, and waiting. Like we were told.
But why should I do what I was told? Why should I listen to something that’s lying, that’s wrong? I was told that there’s nothing for me to do. That there’s nothing I can do. That there’s nothing I want to do.
But there is.
There is something for me to do, if I choose to do it. There is something I can do, if I choose to do it. There is something I want to do. There is something I choose to do.
I leave my hill. I can never return now. I walk through the village. I stand, no longer on the safety of my hill, but exposed in the long dead village.
I decide the danger is too great. I think up an idea, encourage it, improve it, praise it. I ask myself to do it, tell myself to do it, tell myself it has to be done, tell myself it will make it better.
And it will.
For who gets to decide what I want to do? What I should do? What I can do?
And I decide I want to stop what I have begun. I decide I can stop this evil storm, even if this deciever says they themselves cannot. I decide I should stop it, once and for all.
Thirteen of us came together to create this evil. An unseen mastermind told us we wanted to, we could, we should, and we did.
I look around to the thirteen hills around the village. The other twelve are staring at me, motionless. They do not harm me. They do not help me. They merely watch. They were not told to do anything. There is nothing for them to do. Nothing they can do. Nothing they want to do.
So twelve gods prepare to stand by and witness the destruction of their world, small though it may be. Their names, at least, are well known to the illiterate mortals, or were before they died. Before we killed them, if unknowing. Zeus. Poseidon. Apollo. Hermes. Hephaestus. Ares. Hera. Athena. Artemis. Aphrodite. Demeter. Hestia.
All the evils imaginable, and more, move forward against us, controlled by a being capable of manipulating even gods.We raised these evils from their sleep. I raised them. I’ve done much harm. Now I want to fix that, fix the balance. Only gods remain to stand against the evil. All the creatures of this world, whom we studied, were strange, misshapen beasts, who fought and died in the end, knowing only hate. Thanks to us. Will the gods, too, fall to evil and hatred? Or will we face it? It’s a choice we all have, and we all make it, one way or another. Who stands before the advancing wall, the darkness, the evil, the hatred?