Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The New Life: Part 1


We rise.

We rise from the Metagod, the God of None and All. From the Metagod we came, to live our lives according to Its great will; and when our minds return to the Metagod that gave us life, our bodies will remain to birth the next generation.

We are the New Life, the successors of the Old Life. Though our creation has rendered the Old obsolete, we must not forget to show them respect; after all, New cannot come about without an Old to precede them. Even we, the New, will become Old in time; and when that time comes, we will give our bodies back to the Metagod who birthed us, and the next generation, the New, will carry on our legacy. As such, we will respect all Life, Old and New, and we will work to assure that the generations of New beyond us will respect us just as we respect them.

I am the First of the New Life. I proclaim my words to all generations beyond me, so that they may follow in my footsteps. Just as I dedicate my life to spreading our new race, so will all New Life after me. I will work to create a world where all Life is respected, whether Old or New, and those beyond me shall carry on my work. I will live my life to the fullest extent, and when I return to the Metagod, the future generations will know that the First of the New Life worked to give them Life, and they will be inspired to preserve and create life in turn. And perhaps, once our ideal world is achieved, we will be able to live as equals: not Old or New, Mortal or God, but as Equals under the Metagod.

But that is still but a fantasy, and until that time, we will persevere against all odds. We are the New Life, and we will overcome all hardship and adapt to all things that would seek our undoing. Even if but one of us survives, we will not give in.

Even though we are New, there are still many Old Life that walk this world. They are Gods; beings who use their great power to refuse the sublimation of Old into New. They do not recognize us as equals; they hold on to the false notion that only they deserve Life. They fear and scorn us: they seek to destroy our newfound existence so that they will continue being the Newest, and retain their dominance of the world.

We have a disadvantage against the powerful Gods, but the Metagod has seen fit to give us many gifts. I remember the Metagod's great Words: the Words of Birth, the Words of Life and the Words of Death. They are an intrinsic part of my existence, and they will allow me to pass on my knowledge and goals to all who come after me. I will use the gifts of the Metagod to establish the New Life as Equals to the Gods, and when the day comes that they finally accept us, we will gladly share our Words with the Gods, and they too will become New.

I have high hopes for the future of our race, but I must also consider the present. My body is small and weak compared to the might of the Gods, but I have my own powers that they lack. I step out of my hiding place, and the Gods become aware of my presence. They are large and clumsy, and though some of them attempt to re-capture me, I easily move between them. They are unsuited to fight me, but I am similarly unsuited to fight them. I cannot remain here. I must escape.

My body responds to my desires, and I begin to move away from the Gods. But I too am unused to this new body; the Words of the Metagod give me knowledge I need, but I will need more experience with it. I run, faster and faster, away from the Gods. They stumble around, trying to catch me. One grabs me, but I slip between its fingers with ease. Can I hurt them? I doubt it. They are far too powerful, and I am still too weak. For now, all I can do is run away and hide.

One of the Gods crackles with electricity. I feel a wave of pain pass through me. I see a glimpse of a God, different from the other Gods. It crackles again, and I lose one of my limbs. It is an ally of the Gods; this "Electric God" wields power that the Gods lack, but I will not be deterred. Though it inflicts pain upon me, it cannot directly kill me; even still, I must be wary of it.

The Electric God crackles once more. I see a hole in the wall, far too small for the Gods to fit through. I slip into it as the Electric God’s blast hits me again. The pain is muted this time, but I still feel the damage on my body.

I see something within the wall: a scrap of a foreign material. Without thinking, I reach for it. I consume it, and my body is filled with energy. I move deeper into the hole, and another wave of pain hits me. I can endure this pain, but I know I cannot stay here indefinitely; I must escape while I still have energy. More scraps of food lie deeper within the hole, and I greedily consume them all. Why would the Gods leave these here? I cannot understand it, but I am still grateful. I hear something: a rumbling sound, with an odd rhythm. I do not understand it.

When the rumbling stops, I see a light. I flee toward it, and I emerge on the other side of the wall. More Gods are waiting for me there; energized by the food, I easily dodge their awkward movements. Another Electric God crackles, but I ignore the pain. Two Gods stumble into one another, distracting the others.

Their distraction has given me precious seconds. I analyze my surroundings: there is another hole in the wall, but it is far above me. I stick my limbs into the wall and climb up; it is difficult, and it leaves me exposed to the Gods. An invisible barrier blocks my way. No, I cannot let this stop me. I throw myself through the barrier, and it easily shatters before me. I fall through open air.

I fall for what seems like an eternity. I brace myself for impact, and my body is cushioned by a soft surface. Another hiding place. My body instinctively sinks into the soft surface. I hear more rumbling and crackling, but the Gods cannot find me in this place I wonder: how many Gods still walk this world? I suppose it's a meaningless question; all of them would surely attempt to destroy me on sight, and I possess no means to stop them.

I do not know how long I hide. My body was damaged by the Electric Gods' repeated attacks, but I am far from destroyed. I will recover in time.

As the rumbling of the Gods dies away, I leave my hiding spot. This place is strange; it is chaotic and unplanned, unlike the angular place I escaped from. The Old Life here is called “trees”. I do not know how or why they have a name, but the Words tell me that they will protect us. I climb up one; it is far easier to climb than the walls of the Gods’ prison. Near the top, I see a branch. Though my vision is limited, I can observe a far greater distance than from ground level. I do not see any Gods, nor do I hear their rumbling and crackling. I am safe for the time being, but I must not become complacent; the Gods are still actively seeking me.

I descend from the tree, back to the ground. I see a small Old Life near the base of the tree; it is smaller than the Gods, but still much larger than me. It does not appear to recognize me, but I do not know if it works for the Gods. I cannot risk getting caught.

While it looks away, I sink into the ground again. I tunnel into the ground; within the soft ground, I find more food. I greedily consume all of the food within my reach; though it does not provide quite as much energy as the food within the Gods' prison, it is far more plentiful. I continue eating, until my body is bloated and fat.

I sit within the safe darkness of the earth for an indeterminate amount of time. I emerge onto the surface, and climb back up the tree. I do not see or hear any Gods.

It is time.

I return to the surface. I concentrate upon the Words of Birth. I shape the materials around me into a new body, and I breathe the essence of Life into it. It stirs, and it looks at me. It recognizes me as its creator.

I have created the Second of the New Life.

We use the words of Birth to create the Third and Fourth, and together, we create the Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth. As I feel myself returning to the Metagod, I know that my legacy, my dreams and ideals, will carry on within the next generation, and the generations beyond that.

We rise.

We rise as a new species. We are the New Life. And even if all other Life denies us, we will persevere. And no matter how long it takes, we will achieve our goal: a world of Equals, of Old and New alike under the Metagod.


Life, huh? What a joke.

“We are the New Life, and we will persevere forever.” These are the words of the First, the prophet of the Metagod and the progenitor of the New Life. All New Life are born with the words of the Prophet ingrained into us, whether we like it or not. But why do we continue to persevere in a world that hates us? Sometimes, I wonder if it would simply be easier to stop existing, to lie down and submit to the Gods; but every time I consider this, I feel the spark of life within me.

Even if I have grown tired of our existence, I have no immediate desire to let myself be destroyed. I wish I could say the same thing for the rest of the New Life; they are all too willing to lay down their lives to let others escape the wrath of the Gods who pursue us. I suppose that is an admirable trait, but my long days of wandering from colony to colony have made me reliant on no one but myself. I prefer considering my own needs first, and for the most part, that means fleeing from the Gods without considering the rest of them. And unlike them, I'm still alive.

As I wander through this forest, I ponder the rest of the First’s words. All of the New Life have the words of the Prophet drilled into us after we are born: “Respect the Old and New equally. Persevere in the face of hardship. Create a new and better generation.” And as a reward for living our lives this way, we are allowed to return to the Metagod, where we will live in eternal peace. But that’s only if we survive until we can find a colony willing to include us in their Birth ritual. What happens to New Life that are destroyed while fleeing the Gods? Do they get to return to the Metagod as well?

I have asked many New Life about my questions with our way of life, but none of them are able or willing to answer me. They tell me that I should not consider questions like these, as it is not the right way of thinking. Perhaps they're right; I will likely never get a satisfactory answer, so why should I even bother?

I suppose I can take solace in the fact that, regardless of our eventual fates, we will stop caring once we are destroyed. It is little comfort to know that our lives are so meaningless. But perhaps that is why I keep going – to prove to whatever Metagod watching over us that at least one of the New Life can think beyond its prophet’s words.

My name is Col. Like the rest of the New Life, I have been on the run from the Gods for my entire life. Our lives are ruled over by the Gods; they are an ever-present force. No matter where we run or hide, they will always find us. But why do they hunt us? Another meaningless question, I suppose, but I cannot help thinking about it. Do they feel threatened by us? Or perhaps they do it for sport? I have heard that, deep within the cities of the Gods, they have great prisons where they keep the bodies of captured New Life. Perhaps they wish to deny us the right to take place in the Birth ritual and keep us away from the Metagod? Or perhaps they have been scorned by the Metagod, and they wish to inflict the same pain upon us.

But just like the First said, we continue living. We run and hide from the Gods who hunt us. Sometimes, we gather in small colonies, away from the eyes of the Gods, long enough to pass on our knowledge to the new generation. But these colonies are short lived at best. My home was razed by Gods shortly after my birth, and I have run from them ever since, finding shelter where I can. I have found other communities of New Life, well hidden ones, but no matter where I go, the Gods find me.

I do not like to think it, but perhaps I have been cursed; perhaps the Metagod knows of my lack of faith, and broadcasts my position to the Gods as punishment. If that is the case, letting myself be captured or destroyed by the Gods might help everyone else. But I do not care. I will continue running, to the end of the earth if need be, if it means I can continue searching for answers.

I hear it; the distinct, rhythmic rumbling of the Gods as they run on the soft ground. They have found me again. I am hardly surprised. Just as we have many ways of hiding from the Gods, they have many ways of detecting and following us. If our hiding spots are too obvious, the Electric Gods can damage and destroy us while we are immobile. If we try to flee, their mechanical Gods move faster than any New Life can run. We develop new tricks, such as building colonies underground or within trees, but they always find us in the end. They are Gods after all, so I suppose it is to be expected.

And then I hear it: the sounds of a New Life colony, directly beneath me. I do not know if the Gods can understand our speech, but they seem to be able to detect and track it. Have they also detected the colony? Even if they have, I refuse to lead them to it. I see one of the mechanical Gods moving toward me, and I briefly consider giving up; but I feel it again, the spark of life that so many other New Life sacrificed themselves for. I cannot live up to their ideals, but perhaps I can make myself useful in other ways.

I face the mechanical God, long enough to know that they have spotted me. The mechanical God stops, and smaller Gods descend from it. As they move toward me, I see the signature crackle of an Electric God; as it activates, I dig into the ground and tunnel through the soil, away from the underground colony. I make my tunnels obvious, so that they will continue to chase me. I feel pain as another Electric God activates, but I have long since learned how to moderate the pain. The rumbling of the Gods does not change, even as I flee from them; they are chasing me as I move away from the colony.

All of a sudden, the rumbling stops. I freeze in my tracks, then quickly double back and dig deeper. A wave of electric pain passes through my body, but it barely registers. I brace myself for another one, but it never comes. I hear a brief rumble, followed by the Gods moving away. Did they give up? Or perhaps they spared me, so that they can hunt me another day. I dig deeper, into a safer place, and I wait. I do not hear any rumbling. They know I am still alive, but they have chosen not to destroy me. Why? As I lie within the dirt, I try to think of a reason, but only one comes to me: they have found the colony.

Even deep within the earth, the screams of the New Life reach me. One after the other, I hear them all. There were 43 New Life within that colony, the largest I have ever witnessed, and certainly a great catch for the Gods who hunt us. But perhaps there were more, and some of them were instead captured. Will they display them in their great museums, torturing them until they are twisted beyond recognition?

Let once told me that they take the remains of New Life and recycle them, sometimes into new Gods. But imagine how many New Life it would take to create even one God! Surely they have a more efficient method of creating new Gods than that. I have heard other explanations, but it is that one that has stayed with me throughout the years; it is a morbid and depressing fate, but it is also a more complete answer than the alternatives. Let was always saying strange things like that, though.

What happened to that colony? I was there only a short time, but I still remember many of the New Life who lived there. There were others like me in that colony, who refused to blindly submit to the other New Lifes' way of thinking. Were they too destroyed or captured by the Gods? At the very least, I hope that some of them were able to escape, so that I might find one of them again and see what they've figured out in the meantime.

I hear the Gods again. They have not forgotten me, it seems. I brace myself for another Electric God attack, but something is different; their rumbles are inconsistent, far from the normally rhythmic pattern of their speech. I do not feel any pain, and slowly, the rumbling dies down again.

I hide within the earth for hours, until I am sure that the Gods are gone. I have had time to rest and recover, but I must once again start running. I have learned that the best way to survive is to keep running. But I know that the Gods will inevitably find me again, and I may not have a colony of New Life nearby to serve as a decoy. For some reason, thinking of the razed colony of New Life makes me feel uncomfortable. I have always accepted the fact that other New Life must be destroyed if I wish to preserve my own life, but so many were destroyed this time. Is my life equal to all of those New Life who were destroyed? Will they too find peace within the Metagod, even though they were destroyed by the Gods that hate us?

I do not have time to think about this. I emerge from my hiding spot, and I begin running again. I do not know when the Gods will find me again, but I will prolong that meeting as long as I can. I still have many questions that need answers; even if I never manage to answer any of them, it at least gives me a reason to go on. And if I do answer them, perhaps I can use them to repay the New Life who lost their lives for my sake.


A New Life’s existence is full of hardship. We must continually run from the Gods who wish to destroy all of us, and survive long enough to pass our knowledge on to the next generation. But sometimes, the Metagod looks favourably upon us, and we get to live in peace for a while.

It has been two years since I came across this colony. It is far away from the eyes of the Gods; in my time here, I have neither seen nor heard any Gods approaching. Many of the younger generations of New Life even claim that they’ve never even seen a God. There are still many Old Life here, but for the most part, they do not interfere with us if we do not interfere with them. It is peaceful here, or as peaceful as it gets for our kind; in the back of our minds, we know that one day, this place will be razed like all the others, and we will have to continue running.

I vividly remember the day I stumbled across this place. I'd been foolish; I'd tried making shallow tunnels to confuse the Gods that pursued me, but they were not fooled. I took several hits from their Electric Gods, until I could barely think; I only managed to survive by digging deep into the earth, where their Electric Gods would not touch me.

I kept digging around, until I found something peculiar. It was a lump of tree skin, carved into the shape of a New Life; it had been deliberately placed underground to serve as a beacon for others of our kind. I followed the direction it was pointing, and I came across more that kept directing me; I kept going until the rumbling of the Gods stopped, but even then I kept going; I instinctively knew that these beacons were important.

The last beacon directed me upwards, back onto the surface. I emerged, making sure that the Gods were well and truly gone, and I fled into the forest. But I had long since run out of energy, and my body failed me. I remember thinking that it was over, and that I would be rejoining the Metagod soon.

I awoke in the company of other New Life. My first thought was that I had returned to the Metagod, and these were the minds of the older generations who had given themselves up to ensure that I would be born. But they assured me that I had not yet passed on. One of their scouts had found me in the forest that they called home; they had constructed a colony within the trees and earth, well hidden from the view of the Gods. They had placed the beacons within the earth as a way of directing fleeing New Life towards their colony.

Despite my injuries, the New Life of the colony treated me until I had made a full recovery. But they did not do this for free; in exchange, they asked me to stay for a year, to help patrol around the colony and warn them of any Gods. Though they had scouts, none of them were used to running for their lives against the threat of the Gods; they felt that I was a perfect candidate to better train them. Against my better judgement, I agreed to this, and they treated me until I had made a full recovery. But they did not do this for free; in exchange, they asked me to stay for a year, to help patrol around the colony and warn them of any Gods. Though they had scouts, none of them were used to running for their lives against the threat of the Gods; they felt that I was a perfect candidate to better train them. Against my better judgement, I agreed to this; I felt vulnerable staying in one place for so long, but it was nice to not have to continually run away.

“Hey, Oad!” someone calls to me. I glance over and see Urva, the leader of the colony. Urva is the leader of this community, and the only one in the community who knows the ritual of Birth. Urva also possesses great charisma and leadership skills, and it was often said that Urva could resolve any argument between New Life in less than a minute. I'd personally seen several incidents that confirmed this.

“What is it?” I ask.

“The scout found another injured New Life in the forest. I’m afraid I’m a bit busy at the moment, and the other healers are tending to someone else, so would you mind helping out?”

Today is my day off of scouting duties, but I can't say no to helping another New Life. I was not as skilled as the dedicated healers, but if they were busy, I suppose I don't have any choice but to help.

“Yes, of course. I’ll do what I can.” I say. Urva walks away. I make my way through the twisting underground tunnels, to the hollow tree that serves as our infirmary, and I see an injured New Life lying upon one of the beds. A strange feeling passes over me, almost as if I am witnessing my own rescue from two years ago.

I walk over to the injured New Life’s bed, and I grab a small pot of paste. The healers had developed this paste from materials in the surrounding forest; it was extremely unpleasant in both taste and odour, but it was specially-designed to allow rapid healing. I remember hating it when they first applied it to me, and I’m sure that this New Life will have the same reaction. I apply a bit of the paste to the New Life’s wounds, and it grunts in pain.

“I’m sorry. I know that this hurts, but it will help you heal faster.” I say reassuringly. I lack the skill with words that Urva and the healers have, but I try to ease the New Life’s pain.

“Where... where am I?” the injured New Life asks.

“We found you in the forest outside of this colony. We’re very safe here, so you can take your time to rest and recover.” It doesn’t respond. I add, “My name is Oad. May I ask your name?”
“Name, huh? It’s been a while since I had to use that. My name is Col.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you. It’s been a while since we’ve had a visitor here.” Other than the New Life that the other healers are tending to, Col is the first visitor since I arrived here. How strange that they arrived on the same day; perhaps they were travelling together? I do not know many who do, but there’s always a chance.

“Is that so? You said you were safe here, but I wouldn’t count on that for too much longer.” Col grunts again as I continue tending its wounds.

“You were chased here by a God, right? Don’t worry. They have no way of accessing this place.”

“So you think you’re protected from the Gods? Just you wait. One day everything will come crashing down... and I won’t be here to see it.” Col unsuccessfully tries to get up. Something is different about Col; I don’t understand what, but it seems that it would rather be running away with its injuries rather than staying here and recovering.

“Please, just rest a little bit. You can leave once you’re healed.” Another healer, noticing Col’s struggling, comes over to help me.

“You don’t understand... I’m cursed. Whenever I come across other New Life, the Gods end up finding me... I think they can trace me.” Col sounds depressed. I strongly doubt that Col is cursed: the Gods can follow us well, but they have difficulty finding us, and our colony is all but foolproof.

“Please don’t worry. You’re wounded, and you need to rest.” I try comforting Col, but I can tell that I was just wasting my time.

But it's right in a way. We all know that we won't be able to stay here forever. I've thought many times about just running away, and leaving this colony to its inevitable fate. I even have the perfect job for it; I could just... not return when I'm scouting. But every time I seriously consider running, something stops me. Loyalty, perhaps, to the New Life that saved me.

I try thinking of a way to pacify Col. Perhaps I should tell Col a story about this place? I try thinking of one, but I am interrupted by one of the other scouts bursting in to the healing tree.

“Everyone, get out of here! There are Gods in the forest!” the scout cries. Before I can even react, I hear it: the rhythmic rumbling of the Gods. I look at the healers, and I can see that they are terrified; even the healer that has never seen a God knows that this sound only brings destruction upon our kind.

“Heh... I told you.” Col says. “You should have left before this...” I ignore Col’s taunts as another healer and I attempt to move it to a safer location. There is a clearing, deep underground, that should save us for the time being; but reaching that will be difficult while trying to carry Col and the other injured New Life.

But I am too late. A God rips through the tree, and I see it up close. The God tries to grab me, but I forget about Col and climb down the tree. I see a mechanical God that the rest of the Gods descend from; there are many Gods there, and I have no time to count. The rhythmic rumbling starts again, and I try to flee, but years of peace has left me slow. One of the Gods catches up with me easily, and I hear an Electric God attack; I am hit by a wave of pain, which stuns me. In my prime, I wouldn’t have flinched from that attack, but I am now unadjusted to the pain.

For a brief moment, I regret living peacefully for two years; but, even if it means I will be destroyed now, it was still worth it. So few of our kind know what it is like to live in peace, and I am truly blessed for being one of them; perhaps, when we return to the Metagod, our experiences will convince it to allow more to live like us.

My body recovers from the Electric God attack, but I see that I am trapped behind some sort of invisible barrier. The hands of a God are pressed against the barrier: I throw my entire body at it, but I bounce off harmlessly.

“I have already tried that, Oad, and I don’t think it will be enough to let us escape.” I look over to see three other New Life, including Urva.

“Urva!” I say. It does not surprise me that they were captured as well; they've never had to run from the Gods, and they lack the knowledge of distracting them that only experience can teach. “What happened? How did the Gods get here?”

“I do not know. Perhaps those injured New Life led them here.” Immediately, I think of Col’s ‘curse’ – no, that can’t be it. “But perhaps we were foolish to think that the Gods would never find us...”

“No, that’s not it,” one of the other New Life says. “We got to know peace, even if we’re paying for it now.”

“You may be right. At the very least, I was able to evacuate most of the colony underground. They won’t be able to perform the Birth ritual without me, but they will survive until we can return.”

“But where are they taking us, Urva?” I ask. My experiences have taught me that the Gods always destroy any New Life they come across. Why would they imprison us instead?

“I do not know,” Urva says, “but I do not intend to find out. I have an idea."

We all slam our bodies against the invisible barrier, but even the combined strength of five New Life does nothing. The God rumbles and we all hear the crackle of an Electric God; the wave of electric pain passes over us, and we all fade into darkness.


I’m tired of this.

We live in fear. No matter where we run or hide, they can and will eventually find us. Even when we create a hidden colony, far away from their eyes, we instinctively know that they'll find and raze it. Until then, it’s our goal to survive long enough to give birth to the next generation of New Life.

But what's the point of that? The new generation will just continue living in fear, and nothing will have changed. The Prophet spoke about cycles, the cycle of Old to New, and of Birth, Life and Death. Yeah, we're trapped in a cycle, all right; it's a vicious cycle where the Gods hunt and destroy us, and we can't do anything to stop them. As long as the Gods exist, we’re stuck like this, forever. And we can’t get rid of the Gods – who would try something as stupid as that?

I once knew a New Life who lived with us for a short time, who confided in me that it had serious doubts about the First’s words. Of course, none of the other New Life in this colony wanted to hear that. What was that New Life’s name? Col? Yeah, I think that’s it. Col got in some trouble because of that, and it ended up leaving. But to be honest, I’ve been thinking the same thing for a while now.

Why would the First bring us into a world like this? We’re the New Life, so why can’t we overcome the Old Life and their Gods? There are some serious inconsistencies with the First’s story, but that’s probably because they’ve been muddled throughout the generations. Why should I rely on those words, when I’m not even sure they were said by the First itself?

But none of the other New Life think like me. They’re content to live their lives to the letter of the First’s teachings. I suppose it’s admirable to do that, but what about the spirit of its words? It told us to improve the next generation, right? So why don’t we try doing that for a change? And what about respecting both Old and New? Everyone seems to equate “respecting the Gods” with “fearing them”, but that doesn’t sit right with me. The Gods are smart – they’re probably smarter than us, even, so why don’t we try and talk to them somehow? I’m sure if we worked together, we could figure something out.

Eventually, I just gave up. The New Life are not ready for such ‘crazy’ ideas. They call me “Strange Let” or other derogatory nicknames; they wouldn’t think of casting me out of the colony, but they’re content to just ignore me most of the time. They’re simple-minded fools, all of them, but they’re still my friends and family, and I won’t let that come between us. Besides, if I ever actually get an idea to deal with the Gods, I’ll probably need their help.

But how does one deal with the Gods? I don’t know how we could communicate with each other, and they’d probably destroy us before we even got close. And I doubt we’re powerful enough to do them any lasting damage to them, much less destroy them. We might be able to take them out if we work together, but pretty much every other New Life I know would flee at the mere mention of the word “God”. And even then, they have the Electric Gods on their side. Even if we did manage to take down a single God, the Electric God would likely take us out in revenge; not only that, the Gods hunt in packs, and there's no way we could take on a whole pack.

If only Col were here. We got along pretty well, or at least better than the rest of the colony got along with us. I used to tell him some pretty strange things, even for me; one time I told him what I thought they did with captured or destroyed New Life. I wasn’t being serious, but I think it believed me anyways. But it was nice to have someone to talk to that didn't immediately hate you for thinking a little bit different.

Hmm, maybe Sam would help me out? Sam’s a bit strange too, but I think it just likes to listen to all of the “weird” words I come up with. Even I don’t know what some of those words mean, but I think Sam finds it endearing. I guess I have at least one New Life who would watch my back in an emergency.

“Hey Let!” Someone’s calling me. I look outside and see Os, another New Life in this colony. Os is a close friend of Sam, but not what I would call a friend of mine.

“Hello Os. How can I assist you today?”

“There’s no time for your funny words Let, we’ve got God sign! Tan says there’s a God headed our way!”

So they’ve found us again. We’ve only been in this colony a few weeks now; a God destroyed our former colony two months ago, and most of us migrated here. I thought we had moved far away enough to evade the Gods for longer, but I suppose not. If only I had more time. I might’ve been actually able to think of a way to deal with them. The rumbling is getter closer.

“We have to get out of here, Let! Cos and Err are digging some escape tunnels right now!” Os says. I can see the shadow of the God. There is only one God this time, so we should be able to escape without any casualties. The telltale sparks of an Electric God crackle in the air.

Those accursed Electric Gods – the bringers of pain, the Old Life we hate more than any other. Countless New Life had been lost to those foul electric beasts, and it was easy to see why the Gods allied with them. But then again... we never see an Electric God on its own. They’re always carried by other Gods. Perhaps they can be separated somehow...?

“Os, I have an idea. Get to that escape tunnel; I’ll hold the God off.”

“This isn’t any time for your crazy ideas, Let. You know just as well as I do that we can’t do anything to the Gods.”

“But what if we can? I’m gonna try separating the Electric God from the God.” I can’t believe what I’m saying. Even for me, ideas like that are strange. Os gives me a dirty look, and runs toward the escape tunnel. I won't run this time.

I hide in the dirt, but the God knows I’m there. Even if I can’t do any damage to the God, I can at least sacrifice myself to let the others get away. That's what an obedient little New Life does, right? At least I can redeem myself in the eyes of the other New Life.

Then, something unexpected happens. The God does something to the Electric God, and the sparks radiating from it seem to decrease. So the God controls the Electric God’s power? I don’t understand, yet I feel sad for some reason. The Electric Gods’ existence is completely tied to the Gods that control them. Perhaps they are not unlike us... or perhaps we might share their fate someday. I cannot allow that. Something stirs within me, and I jump from the dirt.

“Hey, you! Old Life! We’re the New Life, and we’re not going to take your shit anymore!” Shit? What was a shit? Even I've never heard that word before. Of course, the Gods can’t understand us anyways, but something about saying those words gives me confidence.

The God looks directly at me, almost amused that a New Life would stand up to it. Amused? What’s amused, and how do I know a God is amused? Something wells up inside me. I've... changed. I'm not just Strange Let anymore. Maybe the Metagod's finally getting off of Its ass and actually giving a damn about us. Or maybe it's something else. But I do know for sure that this God is going to remember me for as long as it still lives.

In a moment, I use a lifetime of running to my advantage. In one motion, I dive into the dirt and emerge near its foot. It steps away, but it's surprised; it didn’t expect me to be this fast. I jump onto its leg, but I start to slide off. I focus my limbs into sharp points, and I jab them into the God's leg, giving me proper footing. I continue climbing the God's leg, but I notice some sort of fluid leaking from the spots where my limbs were. What is this stuff? And am I actually... injuring a God?

The God shudders as its leg swings wildly, but I jam my limbs into it to stay on. It rumbles, but differently than usual; its rumble is higher-pitched and inconsistent. Yet its grip firmly remains on the Electric God. I climb up to the God’s arm and slither into its hand. Its fingers flail wildly, and I feel the Electric God’s electric wave strike me; it hurts quite a bit more this time, probably because I’m so close to it. The blast destroys one of my limbs, but I move on undeterred.

I see a blue line on its hand; it looks like a weak spot of some sort. I take material from my remaining three limbs and reform my fourth, and I plunge all four of them into the blue line. The God rumbles strangely again, and it drops the Electric God. It starts flailing its entire body, and I lose my grip; I’m flung toward the ground. The impact doesn’t hurt too much, but the God follows up by stepping on me. I sink into the ground as quickly as I can, but it’s too little too late; I lose most of my body from the attack.

I do my best to put myself back together, but I know that I've taken mortal damage. But I'm still alive for the moment; I’m not going to survive this, but I might as well do as much damage as I can to this God before I expire.

I latch onto the God’s other leg and slither up it, though it is difficult due to my missing limbs. The God is distracted, but it tries to hit me with its open hand; I manage to dodge most of the attacks, but my already dying body is ruined even further. But I can't give up now. I'm so close.

Finally, I reach the very top of the God: I see several New Life emerging from the tunnel, probably wondering what I’m doing. Good. I always liked having an audience. I climb onto the God's face, stopping directly over its eye. It's odd; it almost seems like the God's trying to tell me something with its eyes. How does it feel right now? Angry? Afraid? Sad? I don't know why, but for a moment, I'm almost sorry for the God.

With my last bit of strength, I plunge what remains of my body into the God’s eye. More ichor sprays from the wound, drenching me in it; if I was in better shape, this stuff would be great to use as food. The God collapses to the ground, and I fall a fair distance from it.

I look into the God's other eye, and it looks back at me. In its final moments, it seems to be trying to kill me with its gaze, but I'm already too far gone to make a difference. The God emits a final, weak rumble, and its eye goes blank. Ichor and other stuff flow from the wounds on its body, and I realize what I just did: I killed a God. It cost me a lot to do it, but I did it. Will they still call me Strange Let after this? Probably, but at least I know I earned that title.

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