Word Count: 1548
A Secret Scribble Santa gift for @George WL⚡ on Story Bat.
To whomever finds this,
I can only imagine the circumstances that brought you to this letter, and I would like to apologize for any part I may have had in that. As I write this, it’s the 22nd of March in the year 2035. As you’ve no doubt surmised, yes, I am Dr. Rhys Ellore, M.D., Ph.D., and various other acronyms that you likely don’t care about. I was a scientist at Life-Tech Industries, LLC America. I imagine you’re at least familiar with the research my sister Elain and I worked ever so tirelessly on regarding the event of three-hundred years ago? When that planet-sized asteroid seemingly manifested beyond Earth’s defenses and hurdled itself into the sun? The resulting impact sent rippling waves of energy across our solar system that, to this day, remains a mystery. We were intent on determining the nature of that energy, and the fact that you’re reading this means my theories were correct!
There was no lasting damage to the sun itself, but the collision had drastic and far-reaching after effects on our planet. Though the true nature of those energies remains unclear, they fanned the flames of global warming. That which was once a mere future threat was elevated to a catastrophic real and present danger that threatened to extinguish all life on Earth in short order. Except for humans, that is, who developed seemingly magical abilities, though scientists were loathe to refer to it as such. But abilities that manifested water and plants, light and dark, life and death with nary a thought could hardly be called anything else. And humanity is nothing if not an industrious survivor race. In surprisingly no time at all, they learned to use their newfound abilities in unique and unimaginable ways, shaping the future of the world nearly overnight and ushering in a new technological revolution by combining magic and technology. A feat that no one ever dreamed possible. And so began an unprecedented age of scientific luxury.
Depending on when you were born, you may or may not remember that era. It was an incredible time to be alive! Such advancement in so little time. It was truly remarkable!
However, the path to that prestigious point on Earth’s timeline was not an easy one. While mankind was gifted with magic, the other lifeforms on planet Earth were not so lucky. Part of my research was dedicated to understanding why, but the results thus far been inconclusive. Crazy as it may sound, it seems like the power chose us as its emissary. It was a blessing and a test. Humanity needed to act quickly to preserve that life lest they starved to death. Where would they find nourishment if all of Earth’s flora and fauna were lost to the drastic changes in climate and environment? Their powers gave them the ability to make hospitable indoor climates, create water from the air, and manifest shields to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful rays. Regrettably, the ability to conjure enough food into existence to sustain all human life was not one such boon.
And so it fell to us to protect all life on Earth, which proved to be a herculean undertaking. Plantlife could be created with nature magic, but that life couldn’t survive more than a handful of hours with the environment as it was. Even with nature specialists working around the clock, it was impossible to keep up with the demand. And the animals…That was the greatest challenge.
It was also the first sin.
Though life magic had been freely bestowed upon some chosen humans, tampering with the life forces of innocent creatures that had no say in the matter received heavy criticism from animal rights activists the world over. As you well know, survival won out in the end. Scientists used their magics to breed new lifeforms, capable of surviving Earth’s-at the time- new environment. After that milestone was achieved, their focus shifted towards convenience.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to raise the perfect specimen over and over again?” An intrepid young scientist (and my sister’s fiance, at the time) suggested we use life magic to make the perfected specimens ageless, and, using that same magic, we could shorten their gestation periods to ramp up “food source production.” Once the idea was out there, it spread like a plague. Every scientist and life specialist had to know if this was feasible, and, eventually, the unthinkable happened- they were successful. With the science perfected, herds of “perfect,” meat-giving creatures were created and sealed away to be bred for the remainder of their days. No one ever wanted for meat again.
With humanity’s survival safely ensured, scientists began to shift their attentions toward loftier goals. Why not eliminate the inconveniences of sleep or aging, and perhaps even remove the need to eat altogether? If animals can be made perfect and immortal, why not humans? Blinded by her foolish heart, my sister became captivated by this study, abandoning our research and choosing instead to work alongside her fiance, dreaming of making theirs a truly timeless love.
It began as a small experiment. All subjects were there of their own volition. Most of the early ones died during the first few waves of trials, but each failure led to understanding, and with understanding eventually came success. Removing the need for sleep was the easiest hurdle, requiring the least amount of life magic to accomplish. Next came the need to eat, thus eliminating eating disorders the world over. Achieving immortality, however...well. Let’s just say that whether or not you believe in gods, it certainly seemed like something out there didn’t want humans to have that sort of power.
There were never survivors.
However, so many people believed in this study that they foolishly continued to encourage its pursuit, for, as I well know, there is nothing mankind fears more than death. And, of course, science was all too happy to continue, despite the odds and the human sacrifices it took to test their theories. As it so happened, one young female scientist believed in it so much that she signed herself up as a test subject: my sister, Elain. She was the first to survive, but no one could call what she has now any sort of life. Elain is now confined to a life of eternal darkness, as light of any form causes her skin to boil and melt on contact. “Severe aversions to both artificial light and vitamin D,” they said. What utter blasphemy! Even magical shields aren’t strong enough to help her, which has every researcher and specialist under the sun scratching their heads. There’s no good reasonable explanation for this! Her condition defies all logic!
“It has to be her blood,” they said.
Well I say they shouldn’t have tried to play god. They shouldn’t have swayed a young mind as they did, feeding her lies and giving her false hopes! Elain used to love sunsets, rainbows, and clear nights with big full moons. She’ll never be able to enjoy those things again because of THEIR hubris! To make matters worse, her fiance, the reason she believed in and fought so hard to make these experiments work, left her the moment Elain had her first “melt down.” My sister puts on a brave face, but I hear her crying through the door to her chamber each and every night. Her existence is one of complete and utter misery!
The experiments HAD to end. Mankind twisted something as pure and truly good as life magic into something evil. My theory has ever been that these powers have consciousnesses all their own. Each one chose a human who’s soul harmonized with it. Spiritual magnetism, if you will. And right now, life magic is rioting for being used in a manner that goes against its nature! I just about screamed my theories at my peers, making clear and viable arguments based on raw, tangible data, but none of them would hear me out! They laughed and called me crazy for creating such “ridiculous” hypotheses.
I will fix it. ALL OF IT. Of this, I swear! I was gifted with a talent for death magic, the rarest of all. I see now that it can’t be a coincidence. It falls to me to remind humanity that death is a necessary and inescapable force. Death is natural. Its what makes life worth living! Take that away and what do you have?
A world where no one ever sleeps or eats, and people sacrifice their lives in the pursuit of eternal life when they should be enjoying their time right now.
We have digestive systems, therefore we are meant to eat.
Sleep is how our bodies heal, meaning we are meant to rest.
What they’ve done flies in the face of the natural order. The scales have been tipped. The balance has been broken. I will see it corrected. And I am eternally sorry if my retribution has affected you in any way. If it’s any consolation, I only do what is absolutely necessary. I only hope you can understand now why I chose this path, and that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.
Rhys “Azrael” Ellore