Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Beginning is the End

"Well, I don't know what to say. It happened so fast. I guess it was a long time in the waiting, but to us, those of us who were always here, it was all very fast. It's a hard thing when you realize that all you are and everything you know are such small things. So inconsequential. To people back in the dark ages it came as quite a shock to learn that the universe did not have them at its center. We weren't that naive. We understood our place in the universe. We just thought that the universe at least was a large thing. A pretty big deal. Of course, there were scientists saying there were other universes and such, but it never really occurred to us that our universe even was a very small thing in the grand picture of it all.

"It started one night... Well we first noticed it one night. The sky lit up with thousands of new stars. That's what we said at first. But the astronomers said that stars would be so far away that we wouldn't see them all at the same time. These new lights in the sky were all in our own solar system. They were moons, asteroids, planets even, that all went alight suddenly, as bright to our eyes as a star.

"Almost as soon as they were lit, they went dark. Moons and planets we used to be able to see were just gone. That's what we thought. The scientists told us they were still there. Their gravity was still affecting everything just as it had before, we just couldn't see them anymore. Someone suggested that they had all turned into tiny black holes and that's why we couldn't see them anymore. We thought that meant we'd all get sucked in and there was quite a panic.

"Scientists later reassured us that there weren't any black holes, but even if there were, they were the same mass as before and we were in no danger of getting 'sucked in'. Not that their statements helped the general panic any. What they did say was that it seems that every bit of light was being absorbed by the moons and planets and such. Why or how, they couldn't say. And that was all that anyone was interested in. No one cared what. Just why.

"Most folks invoked either gods or aliens to explain what was going on. Scientists seemed to agree that it seemed likely that an alien intelligence was involved somehow, but didn't have any direct evidence of it. All sorts of end times cults sprang up, but eventually we all just went back to our lives. What did it really matter if we couldn't see the moon and some of the planets? They were still there. We still had waves in the oceans. It was a little darker some nights, but was that so bad?

"Eventually the scientists started to notice that the same thing was happening elsewhere in our galaxy. We noticed slowly, gradually, as the light finally arrived from further and further, as other planets far away lit up like new stars and then went dark. It was apparently the most exciting thing in the scientific community that had ever happened. To them it confirmed intelligent life elsewhere, but as to what it portended, they were silent.

"Then, suddenly, it all ended. The entire universe just stopped. Over. We were done apparently. You might ask, 'How would you even know?' and 'How then are you still here?' Those would be good questions to ask.


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