Those who follow the old ways

I can’t remember exactly when I wrote this short story (incomplete), but I do remember it was around the time I began to embrace technology as the future in my own mind, which was about 6-8 years ago. The story itself was meant to have a medieval superstitious tone to it, but I wanted to overlay that feeling with the reality that the reader and the characters in the story knew very different things about the world the characters are in. I also wrote this story because the idea of turning the earth into a nature reserve, like a national park, always fascinated me, and I hope that if we do become a post singularity species we have the foresight and romanticism to remember where we come from and work in some way to preserve the earth, if only in an archive somewhere.

It’s a brave new world, a bright new metropolis. The pinnacle of human creation, where everything you see has been built for the sake of man. Ideas once false have become fact through manifest destiny. The human mind has constructed a world that exists for her sake, bending to the will of its creators. Technological breakthroughs pave the way for aesthetic adaptations. The clay of which the pots of life are formed has become so varied that there are scarcely enough people to mold it to their liking. Monoliths reach from the sea to the edge of space, trafficking both humans and their toys to the stars above.

Throughout the entire world and its plethora of languages, some words have become obsolete. The idea of starvation, the concept of death, and the need for war have all fallen to the sidelines as humankind has transcended their own mythical gods, reaching for the stars, and succeeding.

But among the vastly re-sculpted world are the dissidents. Those who would not join their brothers among the stars. The humans that refused to accept the innovations that lead to the overthrowing of evolution and the liberation of every man, woman, and child that draws their identity from humanity, as well as a few that don’t.

Because of the vast gap between the sculptures of clay and those that refuse the pots, an agreement was made. Earth, the birthplace of life and the home of humanity for most of her history would be returned back to the old ways, back to the ways of evolution. But in order for this to happen, the children of Earth could no longer step foot on her fertile soils, nor mix their teleology with the Earth’s own technology. Those that refused the edict of the children of Earth would stay behind, forever bound to a pact made with the sculptors, to never redo what they had insisted not be done. To no longer sculpt the world, but agree to be sculpted by it.

In time even the dissidents would forget about their ties to the stars, returning to a time where humans were ruled by the forces of nature. The rest of humanity left Earth, as a natural reserve, and took on the task of touching all they could see in the night’s sky with the voice of Humankind. The stories of a time when men and women could create entire cities with the wave of their hand began to fade from memory, and the ancient ways of superstition and fear slowly bled back into the psyche of those that stayed behind, the followers of the old ways.

The Children of Earth had given her one last gift, as they had left Sol behind. An abomination that the dissidents would never know existed. A powerful tool to ensure that the humans that stayed behind followed the rules they swore were so valuable. The gift of limited innovation. For what the dissidents’ minds could never grasp was the depth of their departed siblings intellect. When the decision had been made for some of humanity to return to the old ways, a decision was also made by the children of earth. This decision was made to ensure that the integrity of mother Earth would never again be compromised by the ever changing values of humanity. A guardian against the tools of man.

“Look Papa, the snow is glowing!” exclaimed Lilia, as she pointed up to the cloudy night sky.

“That’s not snow Lilia. Why that’s a shooting star! Make a wish now, in the name of the old ones, and if you are true of heart, it may come to pass.” Replied Joshua, setting down the stack of wood he was carrying back from the barn.

“Ok Papa.” Said Lilia, squeezing her face hard in thought about the wish, “I wish I could meet the old ones.”

“Lilia! Never wish for such a blasphemy to come to pass! Heaven forbid you should ever meet an old one, their minds are beyond ours and to waste their time with your small talk would surely cause them to punish us with an even harsher winter!” scorned Joshua lightly, patting Lilia on the head, as he picked up his load and continued to the cabin.

Lilia nodded solemnly and turned back to the sky, watching the shooting star grow brighter and brighter. Finally, after Papa had left earshot she whispered to herself “I wish I could meet an old one and ask it why they can’t help Papa carry his wood”.

“The explosion came from somewhere beyond that clearing, we cannot have been the only ones to have heard and seen it.” Proclaimed Gorin, sitting atop a mighty steed, a faded brown beard covering most of his face.

“We have enough light for more than an hour, after that the torches are lost and we’ll be blind out here. I’m still going to go look brother, but I heed your warning well.” Replied Salen, sitting atop a much thinner and leaner steed, holding a torch and with a much younger beard upon his face.

Salen and Gorin were not actually brothers, but had sworn the oath of brotherhood when they had joined to regional watch. Their oath asked of them to treat their oath-brother as blood and share with them any fate they would meet, whilst on patrol of the republic’s lands.