The winds of time - by Ian Sutter
This silly old planet has survived for a very, very long time. So many lives have lived, laughed, and cried over many, many generations. Although, my memory of recent events has gotten foggy over the years. This old planet has had a rich history. It even once teemed with life and culture. However, it is now a desolate wasteland being devoured by entropy, the winds of time. And here I am, at the end of the world, the last human on this earth.
We destroyed ourselves centuries ago. It wasn’t but a few hundred years after we found out how to stop the clock of the human body that we realized our mistake. I was a young man at the time, somewhere in my early twenties. Quite frankly it was so long ago that I don’t even remember my exact age. I had been selected by the dictatorial government from the time to undergo a new procedure which would, and I quote my commanding officer, “keep me alive for many, many years to come.” Oh how I wish I had refused… not that I had a choice.
It was a cold winter day when I entered the local hospital in the town I was working. I believe the name of the town was Eunoville, apparently named after a mythological deity from an ancient religion. The town was not large, but not quite the bare minimum either. It was just large enough to have one of the worlds most advanced hospitals. If you couldn’t be treated anywhere else, then you could be treated there… for a price of course.
If you were of the common class, you were required to pay a large sum of money to get treatment at Eunoville Central Hospital. If you could not afford it, you were either denied treatment or forced into military service. That is how I ended up there again as this was my second visit to that wretched place. I was forced into military service after I could not afford the treatment I received a year prior for a terminal cardiopulmonary condition I was diagnosed with at birth. I say “wretched” because the building once served a different purpose. It was used to perform deadly experiments on members of the drone class; a slave class which were to serve all those above them, even if that meant dying in agony.
It was the knowledge gained from those atrocities that enabled the hospital to become so advanced, and now I was to be made immortal by the very hands that committed them. I became sick to my stomach, with this knowledge, but I took the drugs anyways. The alternative was execution at the hands of my commanding officers for disobeying an order. “Take two little white pills once a day.” the doctor ordered. Then little by little, as the days went by, the humanity was slowly being stripped from the core of my being. No longer would I have to be afraid of old age, but I could never have known the curse that this would bring.
One day, about one hundred years later, I awoke in my room during a bloody, relentless war. The commoners had risen up in revolt against our dictatorial regime. They knew full well that there was no hope of killing the immortal elite, but they knew they had to do something. It was on this particular day, however, that everything changed. I was called to duty to fight against the commoners in what is perhaps the most diabolical and horrendous way one could possibly wage warfare.
The Eunoville hospital had been converted into a center for the development of biological and chemical weapons and I was called to work in top-secret Division Zero. The most top-secret of the top-secret biogenic weapon development laboratories. By this point my conscience had been so seared by the evil things of the world, that I genuinely thought that ending the war this way would have the least casualties. Oh how wrong I was.
The conflict waged on for many, many years. Though the same elites were in power, the commoners had passed the war on through the generations. And during all the chaos I was forced to work on the “perfect” biogenic weapon. A weapon that, in concept, would only kill commoners, leaving the immortal elite to have this planet to themselves. The war continued for what seemed like a century or two while I cower away in this little den, this bloodstained laboratory.
One day, two centuries into this conflict, I made a most horrifying breakthrough. By this point, the biological differences between humans with normal lifespans and humans with eternal lifespans had become distinct enough that it was possible to target the entire commoner population with a specific pathogen. I was so horrified, that I took great technological measures to erase my research. It was, however, too late. I failed to realize the extent to which the government surveils it’s citizens. The regime had many prying eyes, and my work was saved and transmitted to leadership at the military head quarters. They didn’t hesitate to start testing the pathogen that I was so horrified to discover.
Before I became immortal, I always cared about people, even the commoners and the drones… especially the drones. It always bothered me to see the pain and suffering that the government inflicted on it’s own people. Quite frankly, military service had me in agony every day and every night. I was always afraid that one day I would be forced to kill someone “for the good of the empire.” I could never have anticipated that I would be the one to develop a pathogen that would nearly wipe out the worlds population.
The day I discovered that the procedure for engineering and cultivating the pathogen had been stolen was the day it was released into the atmosphere. My heart sank. Commoners were dropping like tired quail left and right. A few moments after reading the news, I collapsed in the midst of the emotional turmoil, remorse, and regret. It was like a dagger had been plunged into the deepest parts of my being, killing any shred of humanity I had left. It was in my oblivion that I made up my mind. The world was going to end, and I was going to bring it about.
I spent the next two decades researching how to kill the immortals in power. I thought that I may get a chance to atone for my sins. I payed no heed to how faulty my reasoning was. The dictator, the man in charge, had paraded me around the capital of his empire. He pained a heroic picture of my misdeeds, claiming that I was the one who, through some brave efforts, won the war against the commoners. I couldn’t have been more disgusted in my life. After all of this, I continued working on my terrifying venture. Then, one day, I made a breakthrough. I thought to myself, “I can finally avenge them.”
I went to a small hill in the middle of the continent once known as North America. It was here that I released a pathogen that would kill all the corrupt people who ran this world… or so I thought. For some odd reason, I remained alive. The one person I couldn’t get revenge on was myself.
So I lived on alone throughout the years, then decades, then centuries all the way up to the present day; the day the universe ends. I sit here upon a sea of human bones, waiting for the end. The end of this dying universe, falling into entropy. I can finally rest. I can finally see justice for my horrible misdeeds, for I have many regrets.