Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The New Life: Part 2


I look at Let’s ruined body. Destroying a God? What kind of crazy plan is that? I only saw the last bit of the fight, but something about seeing Let on top of the God was... strange. Now, the God lies on the ground, its fluids drenching the dirt. The Electric God is lying far away; I suppose Let was right about that too. It never even occurred to us that the Electric Gods could be separated from the Gods. I guess only someone as strange as Let could think of an idea like that.

“Hey, Let. Are you okay?” I ask. Let is barely alive, and I know that it will be rejoining the Metagod soon. It is drenched in the same fluid leaking from the God. What is it exactly? Some sort of divine God-fluid?

“Os? Hey, Os. No, I’m not okay. I’m probably going to die.” Let’s words have a strange quality to them. I do not exactly understand it, but they are... slower and quieter. I know what slow and quiet are, but I never thought to apply them to a voice before.

“Die? What’s die?” I ask. I have never heard that word before. Let knows lots of strange words. Sam likes to hang around Let and learn new words; I tag along sometimes, but I have never heard Let say that. Maybe it said that to Sam. I’ll have to ask afterwards.

“Ah. I’m, uh, going to rejoin the Metagod. I don’t know why I used that word either. I’ve been feeling weirder than usual lately.”

“Let... you really are strange.” I say. For some reason, I meant that as a compliment. We always used it negatively to refer to Let, but after this, I get the feeling that ‘Strange Let’ will be said to honour him.

“Heh... I was really hoping... you wouldn’t call me that anymore.” And those are Let’s last words. Some of the other New Life take Let's body and transport it to our Birth Chamber, as with all of the New Life who fall against the Gods.

We reverently follow Syx, the leader of our colony, to the Birth Chamber. Rom and Des place what they could gather of Let with the remains of the other New Life. We silently offer a prayer to the Metagod, so that Let's mind will safely return to Its embrace.

"Today, one of our allies defended the ideals of the First." Syx says. "The Metagod has shown us a miracle through Its humble servant Let, and we will not forget its sacrifice."

"Uh, Syx?" I ask, interrupting the prayer. "Why are we doing this?"

"...What?" Syx is silent for a moment. "We are... This is done. Return to your dwellings."

The other New Life did as they were told, digging into the ground to return to their homes. I don't know about the other New Life, but I feel uneasy about the event we just witnessed. Was it because of the Metagod's miracle? I don't know if it was a miracle or not, but it was certainly not normal.

We have long since gotten used to losing our comrades to the Gods; ever since the New Life came into being, it's been a fact of our lives. But Let's destruction was different. We rarely had time for little more than prayers to the Metagod when other New Life were destroyed, but when we saw that God fall to the ground... something triggered inside us. We went through with that ritual, even though none of us had any idea why. Even Syx, who tends to be a bit... controlling, was just following some sort of plan. Was that part of the miracle as well?

Over the next few days, we consume what we can of the God. The fluid that leaked from the God's body is especially useful, and we place what remains of it in the Birth Chamber as a token of appreciation to the Metagod. Syx plans on using the fluid in the next Birth ritual to make the next generation even stronger than before. No one has openly questioned Syx, but I personally don't know if it will make much of a difference.

If the God-fluid does do anything, it will at least make them grow faster. It is an incredible healing agent; perhaps we could have saved Let if we had known this, but it is too late now. Hopefully, some of Let's courage will be passed on to the new generation of New Life. I can't imagine having multiple Lets running around, but if they could all take out Gods...

A few days after that incident, a familiar face enters our community: Col, a traveling New Life who had stayed with us at a former colony. Most of the older New Life remember Col, even if they're not exactly pleased to see its face again; before it left last time, Let claimed that Col had given up on the teachings of the First. But among the New Life, community was vital, so we offer it a warm welcome. Col is injured and has a strange substance on his body, so our healers applied the last of our God-fluid to its body.

“That stuff certainly beats that paste. But where did you get it, Os?” Col asks me. I'm not much of a healer, but the God-fluid does most of my work for me.

“Well... Let was destroyed a few days ago, but it managed to destroy a God in the process.” I explain. “This God fluid comes from it.”

Col looks at me in shock. “What? Let destroyed a God?”

“Yes. The God even had an Electric God with it, but Let had the idea to separate the Electric God from the God's hand. We used what we could from the God’s body, and we’re going to use most of the God fluid in the next Birth ritual.”

“But... but Let destroyed a God!” Col gets up and grabs me. “If we took down one God, that means we might be able to take them all down! We might actually be able to do something about this cycle!”

“Yes, but Let was the only one that could do it. Now that Let’s rejoined the Metagod, we don’t have any way to do it until the next generation is born.” I say. That was Syx’s opinion, at least. I don’t know if I believe those words. I think Let’s strangeness might have rubbed off on me.

“...So you’re the same as always, Os. You’re all cowards, each and every one of you.” Col sounds almost disappointed. After consuming the last of the God fluid, it walks away. “Thank you for healing me. It was nice seeing you again, but I hope we won’t meet in the future.”
“Wait!” As Col walks away, I feel something else. I know, instinctively, that Col is right: we are cowards. “You... you’re right, Col. We do have the power to change things. But...” As I hesitate, words come to me. “But I don’t want to do it by destroying Gods. The First said we must respect all Life, right?  So maybe we should... try talking to one.”

I can’t believe what I just said. Talking to a God? I’ve definitely inherited some of Let’s strangeness. But somehow, the idea of talking to a God... it felt like the right thing to do.

“Ha. You sound just like Let.” Col says. I feel a little bit embarrassed, but I also feel something else. Pride, perhaps. I don't know exactly what pride is, but I definitely feel it. Perhaps Let told me that word. "at least you've changed a bit. All right then. Let's go find a God and talk to it."

“But you’re still injured.”

"Yeah, I am." Col walks back over to me. "I suppose I can wait to heal for a day or so. Though, if one God found this place, that probably means that more will know where it is..."

"We've discussed that as well." I say. Syx and Rom, the two oldest of the New Life in this colony, have decided that we will need to eventually leave this place, as more Gods will surely find it again. "We will leave soon, but first, we are going to perform a Birth ritual to teach the next generation how to run."

"I see." Col says. "I doubt that they will want me to taint their next generation, so I'll make sure to leave before that. Are you going to come with me to find a God?"

"No, I don't think so. It's our duty to transition from Old to New, right?"

"You haven't changed that much, I see."

We dig our way back to the healing chamber. It's otherwise empty, which allows us to talk about things. Col tells me of its adventures, like how it managed to escape another colony razed by Gods by hiding high above, in the tops of the Old Life. But even there, the Electric Gods still hurt its body, though not badly enough to prevent its escape to this place.

"That's incredible." I say as Col finishes its story.

"I've lived through worse." it says dismissively. "And if I plan on talking to a God, I suppose it doesn't matter whether I'm injured or not."

"Why wouldn't it matter?" I ask.

"Never mind."

“So... uh, Col, there’s a rumour that...”

“That I don’t believe in the First’s teachings anymore? I shouldn’t have mentioned that to anybody.”

“Well... do you?” I feel bad asking Col about it, but I’m sure everybody would be happy to know the truth.

“...I've been trying to figure that out for myself." Col says. "I believe that the Metagod exists, but... I think I would like to follow the First's teachings in my own way."

"Your own way? How do you mean?"

"I don't know." Col is silent for a moment as we both contemplate what it means. The teachings of the First have been passed down through every generation of New Life, and we're all supposed to follow them to the letter, right? How do you follow them in your own way? I do not understand at all.

"I'm tired." Col says, breaking the silence. "We should both rest. We both have big days ahead of us."

"Yeah." I bid farewell to Col and dig down into the dirt, until I find my designated chamber. Both Col and Let are different from any other New Life I've met. I don't know why, but that scares me. If they're right about changing the world, it would mean going against Syx and everyone else. But would it still be right? I don't know which path is right or wrong, or if they're both right, or even if they're both wrong.


It is ready.

I sit in the Birth chamber, which houses the remains of the New Life who have fallen against the Gods. Sitting among them is Let, the instrument of the Metagod's miracle, and the fluid that gives the Gods their strength. By using both of them, I can strengthen the next generation of New Life and give them the ability to survive our harsh life.

We are the tools of the Metagod, Its divine will encased in mortal bodies. We must abide by Its will and the teachings of the First, so that it will bring us closer and closer to equality with the Old Life that still torments us. And when that happens, we will all become one and the same.

"Hey, Syx!"

I am interrupted as I prepare the Birth chamber for the ritual. A New Life named Sam steps into the antechamber and calls my name. I do not have time for this. I leave my position at the edge of the Birth chamber.

"What is it, Sam? I am busy at the moment." I say. Sam was close to Let, and I think some of its... strangeness rubbed off. Some of the other New Life have been acting oddly lately, but Sam has been the worst; even now, it cannot seem to stand still, as if the information it has is vitally important (which I highly doubt).

"Syx! Do you remember Col, the traveler who didn't believe in the Metagod? It's here now, and it's trying to take Os somewhere!" Sam says. "I don't know where they're going, but-"

"I see." Yes, I remember Col. I also remember hearing about its hatred of the teachings of the First; it did not speak openly, but we found out all the same. We did not openly exile it from our colony, but it left of its own accord, fearing scorn and shame. If it came back, it either repented and wishes to make amends, or it wishes to lure others away from the path. "I am busy at the moment. Tell Rom to handle it."

"I couldn't find Rom anywhere, that's why I came to you!" Sam says.

"Fine." I make no attempt to hide my displeasure from Sam as we tunnel up to the surface. I announced to the entire colony that I would be starting the Birth ritual, and they were not to interrupt me... but if I must be interrupted, I suppose this is a worthy emergency.

We catch up with Col and Os on the edge of the colony.

"And where do you think you are going?" I ask.

"Hello, Syx. It's nice to see you again." Col says. But it doesn't mean those words; I can't describe it, but it's doing something that makes me feel the opposite way to what it's saying.

"Syx, we're going to go talk to a God!" Os announces.

"...What?" I say. Talking to a God? Where would they get an idea like that? Do they want to follow in Let's example and throw their lives away?

"I don't expect you to understand." Col says. "But I do not wish to keep living in fear from the Gods. Let proved that we can hurt them, so perhaps they will be more willing to speak to us."

"You fools. You'll be needlessly destroyed." I say.

"But at least we will have tried to break the cycle." Col turns its back to me and continues walking, but Os is more hesitant. Os was another of the New Life who was close to Let, and it doesn't surprise me that it would attempt to follow in Let's footsteps. I told them specifically that I didn't believe any New Life could take out a God by themselves, and Let was a divine miracle to give us hope in the future, not a sign to recklessly throw themselves at Gods to replicate its feat.

"Do as you wish." I say. "But Os, you do not need to follow Col out of fear. We need you for the Birth ritual."

"...Syx, what should I do? I've been conflicted ever since Let was destroyed, and I don't know what's right or wrong anymore." Os runs back to me. I can understand its fear; I have seen other New Life act strangely when one they are close to returns to the Metagod.

"I will not stop you from going with Col if you wish." I say. "But we have followed the teachings of the First for as long as we have existed, and we have continued to exist in the face of all adversity. If we all decided to throw ourselves at the Gods' feet, we would fail in our divine mission."

"Yes, you're right." Os says. It looks back at Col, who has long since left. "But... I hope Col manages to talk to a God."

"We will see."

I return to the Birth chamber, and Sam takes Os back to the healing chamber. Even if Col were able to communicate to the Gods, would they listen? Or would they continue ignoring us, as they always have, and destroy him out of spite? I doubt that he will be successful.

With no more interruptions, I am able to finish the preparations for the Birth ritual. The bodies of the fallen New Life begin to quiver; they seek rebirth, and I am willing to oblige. Their minds have gone to be with the Metagod, so I will provide them with the minds of the current generation of New Life, and they will all be reborn. Each generation is stronger than the next, and with the additions of the God-fluid, they may finally be able to make a real difference - not a false hope, like Col, but what the First truly desired.

I send out a message to all of the New Life in the colony. I tell them to meet on the surface, so that we may begin the ritual with a proper prayer. All together, there are 34 of us; I have not yet presided over such a large ritual, but I do not foresee any complications.

As one of the few who know the Words, I am the only one who can perform the ritual. The Words of Death, Birth and Life are the most vital part of the ritual, and without them, the fallen New Life would not be able to be reborn. I have performed the ritual five times in my long life; since some memories and knowledge is lost when we are reborn, I cannot afford to take part in the ritual myself. I am old and weary, but I will continue my duty in the name of the First, until another is reborn with knowledge of the Words. Then, I will be able to finally retire.

I speak to the assembled colony. “The First has told us that our goal is to move from Old to New. Our time is coming to a close, and soon we will be Old – thus, we must move on to New. Our knowledge and power will energize the next generation, and our suffering will finally end. We will become part of the Metagod, the God of None and All, and we will live forever in peace.

"This time, we have been blessed with a gift – the divine fluid of the Gods. We have offered this gift to the Metagod, so that It might look upon us favourably. We must remember the sacrifice of our friend, Let, who brought us this so that the next generation can aspire to inherit its bravery.” I had heard that word 'bravery' from Os. I like the sound of it. It inspires courage.

“Now, I will begin the Rite of Choosing. Two of your number will stay in the mortal world to assist me in taking care of the new generation. This is an honoured tradition, and those chosen will be forever remembered.” I ran through the list in my mind. The two youngest in the colony were...

“Cos and Tan, you have been Chosen by the Metagod to assist me.” Two New Life stepped up. “Now, let us go into the Birth chamber.”

Cos and Tan follow behind me as I dig into the ground, followed by the rest of the colony. I sense that both Os and Sam are lagging behind, but I pay it no mind; I have more important things to worry about at the moment.

We reassemble in the Birth chamber. Most of the New Life are forced to wait in the antechamber, but they can hear my words just fine. I can hear their words as well; I notice Os having an argument with Sam as they step into the chamber.

“We can pass this knowledge on to the new generation. Everyone will know it!” Sam says. I tune out the rest of the New Life to focus on them.

“Yes, but information always gets diluted. Who knows what they’ll remember? But if we do it ourselves, we can teach it to them later.” Os says.

I wade through the New Life, over to Os and Sam. "What are you talking about?"

"Oh, Syx. Uh, nothing." Os says. Again, I get the same strange feeling from Os' words; it is telling me something, but it means something else.

"Os still wants to talk to a God! It says it knows how to do it too!" Sam says.

"What? How could you know how to talk to a God?" I ask.

"I don't know, it's just like... you know how Let used a whole bunch of funny words? Well, it's like that. I just feel something inside me telling me that we can talk with them."

"If that is the case, then Sam is right. Your knowledge will be passed on to the next generation." I say. "Now stop talking. We still need to say the prayer."

"But... oh, okay." Os is silent as I walk back to the proper chamber. Cos and Tan have taken the liberty of placing a drop of the God fluid on each New Life; I like that. It will give them strength.

"Surrender yourself to the Metagod, and allow your minds to pass on to Its embrace. Soon, a new generation of New Life will arise, stronger than the one before! We are the New Life, and we will persevere through all! Now, begin!"

One by one, the New Life lower themselves into the pit, where the bodies of their fallen friends cushion them. The pit is deep, and it glows with the light of the Metagod; looking over it fills me with a strange feeling.

Once again, Os seems to hesitate. I have given it the choice; if it truly does not wish to go through with the Birth ritual, then I will not force the issue. But I cannot hold up the ritual just for one New Life.

Eventually, Os decides to lower itself into the pit, with the rest of the colony. The other New Life murmur to themselves, but I ignore it. Cos and Tan seem to be excited; I do not think either of them have witnessed a Birth.

"Goodbye, honoured friends. May we meet in the embrace of the Metagod!" I say.


I really don't know what Os is talking about. It's our duty as New Life to live long enough to give birth to the next generation, and without all of us, they'll lack the power to survive. If it really does know how to talk with a God, it shouldn't be selfish in passing that knowledge along. Why would we need it when we return to the Metagod?

Well, it's too late now. We're all in the pit, with our fallen friends, and soon we'll be in the embrace of the Metagod, just like Syx said. I wonder what it's like? The First said that it's like eternal peace, so I guess there aren't any other Gods there. Will I get to meet Let? I really hope so. I want to tell him how 'neat' it was that it killed a God, and how it helped us so much. Let taught me that word too, and I want to use it so that it recognizes me.

Syx starts to say something, but I don't recognize the words. It's not in our language, that's for sure. Wait... I'm starting to feel a bit funny. I look down at my arm, which disintegrates before me. Why is this happening? No, it's natural. Then why is it... disgusting me? I want my arm back.

I try to pick up the pieces of my arm, but the quivering bodies of the New Life have already consumed it. That's not fair. Give me my arm back! I reach down with my other arm, reaching into the fallen New Life's body to take back my arm, but they consume my other arm too. Hey, come on!

They're starting to swarm around my legs. The other New Life are in similar states of limb-loss, but it seems like none of them are as worried about it as I am. Well, except for Os. Os seems just as uneasy as I am about it, but it hasn't lost any of its limbs either.

"Os, are you okay?" I ask. I'm starting to feel weird. My voice is different now. Why?

"Sam. Oh no, Sam!" Os tries walking toward me, but the solid mass of New Life restricts its movement.

"Syx!" I cry out. "Syx, this isn't right! Stop it, Syx!"

But Syx is too preoccupied speaking in its weird language to notice me. Is that why my voice is different? Am I learning the language too? What a time.

My body is pulled under the mass of New Life. The last thing I see is Os, missing all of its limbs, desperately trying to climb out of the pit. Then everything goes black. I hear the voices of the other New Life all around me, deafening me, muting my words as I cry out for Os and Syx. Os. Syx. Let. Col. Stop this. Stop. Stop. Stop. End.


"Hey, kiddo."

Let? Is that Let?

"So Syx roped you into the ritual, huh?"

"It's our duty, right?"

"Well, Os told me that she learned the language of the Gods before being dragged in."

Wait, she? Who's she? That's definitely Let's voice, though.

"Let, where are we?"

"I dunno." Let appears to me. All I can see is a black void, with Let in the middle. I try to reach out for him, but I have no body. I need a body. I look down, and I see the bodies of the New Life, swarming in a unified whole. I need one body. A part of the mass breaks off, forming into a New Life. That's it. I go toward the body.

"That's the spirit. Listen, Sam. You've gotta go after Col. It's really important that you do; he knows what to say to the Gods, but only Os knows how to do it. And they need your help, too."

"You too, right? You're coming with us, right Let?"

"I'm sorry. The Metagod's chosen me for a different purpose." Let's body changes... but I don't know into what. It's bigger than I remember it, and different somehow.

"Come on, Let! Come back!"

"Don't worry. We'll see each other again." Let begins to walk away.

"Let!" I run after him, but my tiny body isn't fast enough to catch up with his big one. I feel something warm, and then...

I wake up in the Birth chamber. One by one, the other New Life emerge from the mass around me. Am I still alive? Have I returned to the Metagod? I remember Let, it told me that I needed to come back... but why me? What can I do? Can we talk to the Gods? I don't understand any of this, Let!

"Welcome, New Life." Syx's voice echoes throughout the Birth chamber. "You have been brought into the world by the will of the Metagod."

"Syx, what happened? Am I still alive?" I ask, interrupting Syx's prayer.

"What? Sam? Is that you?" Syx says. "How are you still here?"

"I'm here, too!" Os' voice says. Yes, Os is still here too. I don't understand this. We were supposed to return to the Metagod, but this is exactly the same as the old world. What kind of life after life is that?

"What's going on here?" Rom's voice says. I do a quick head count, and sure enough, there's 32 of us, exactly the same as the amount that came in. The fallen New Life's bodies are gone, though; so they got to return to the Metagod, but not us? That's definitely not fair.

"I don't understand." Syx says. "How did I fail? I've never failed before..."

"It's a sign from the Metagod, Syx." Os says, climbing up the pit. "The Metagod wants us to stay so that we can speak with the Gods. Let spoke to me, and he told me to return to the world."

"Let told you to return?" Syx says disbelievingly. "I highly doubt that. Let is long gone, in the embrace of the Metagod, just like you should be!"

Syx shoves Os back into the pit, and she falls with a loud thud. Let called her 'she'. I don't know what that means. Is it a title of some sort? I like it, though. And Os just called Let 'he' too. Yeah, they must be titles of the chosen of the Metagod. I'm gonna call myself 'she' too, since me and Os are still here and Let's gone.

I help Os up, and together, we climb out of the pit. Cos and Tan stand in our way, but Syx waves its arm, dismissing them.

"I told you that you may go if you choose. You didn't have to disrupt the ritual if you truly didn't want to stay."

"But we didn't do it, it was Let!" Os protests. "Go ahead and try it again, it still won't work!"

"That's enough. I've put up with your flagrant-" Syx seems shocked at the word it just said. It sounds a lot like a Let word, even though they didn't interact that much. "Just go. Leave before I change my mind."

Os exits the Birth chamber, and I follow. Syx doesn't say a word to me; it's just silent as I pass between Cos and Tan. I still have no idea what just happened, but I think it's a miracle. Just like Let defeated a God, I think me and Os were supposed to come back to speak to them.

"So you heard Let too, right?" I ask Os as we head to the surface.

"Yes, I did. He, er, it, told me to come back and use the Words to speak to the Gods." Os seems embarrassed at calling Let 'he'.

"It's okay. He called you 'she' when I spoke to him." I say.

"Yeah, same here. I tried to tell him to come back, but he said that he had another purpose." Os shakes her head. "Do you think we're doing the right thing? I don't know if Let was a vision or a mirage or a false prophet, but I think he's right that we have something more to offer the New Life."

"I think so. But what's with all the weird words?" I ask. I'd never heard Os use so many Let words before; she did use them occasionally, but Syx kind of frowned on that, so she only did it in private.

"I don't know. I'm filled with... something." Os says. We exit the colony, knowing that we'll probably never return to it. Either we'll succeed in talking to the Gods, or we'll... die, for real. Yeah, Let said he died, didn't he? What if dying means that you get stuck between this world and the Metagod, unable to pass on? I didn't think of it like that, but even still, we have to do this. I just know it.

We walk a short distance, discussing how we're going to actually talk to the Gods, but before we can formulate (I like using big words) a solid plan, Col runs by us.

"You two!" Col exclaims. "Get back, there's three Gods coming this way, and they're not interested in talking! Get back to the colony and evacuate everyone!"

"We can't, they're performing the Birth ritual!" I yell back. "And Os knows how to speak the Gods' language! We can actually do it!"

"What?" Col stops mid-stride and walks back to us. "Do you think you can do it?"

"No, but I'll try anyways." Os says. "How did you try to talk to them?"

"I don't know. It just came to me that the very top of the Gods has a hole directly to their own spark of life, but I got shot by the Electric Gods when I got close."

"Ha!" Os laughs. I've never laughed before, and I've never heard anyone else laugh either, but it feels good to hear it. "And you called us cowards! Come on Sam, we'll show this chicken how to really talk with a God!"

But we don't have to run at all; the Gods are upon us. There's three of them, and I never noticed it before, but they all look a little bit different in very minor ways. I hear the characteristic rhythmic rumbling that announces the Gods' presence, but it's different somehow. Is it... speech? Is the rumbling how the Gods communicate? It's almost like I understand a little bit of it.

"Well, it's time." Os runs toward the Gods while Col and I watch. The Gods pull out their Electric Gods, but before they can unleash them, Os dashes right up one of the God's legs and onto the top of their heads.


The darkness abates. Oad shivers as the light returns to our clear prison, and I welcome its return as well. Our sight is limited even in the light, but in the darkness, we are easy targets. I have seen more than one New Life taken away in the open darkness, both by the Gods and the other Old Life that prowls our homes. Even in the safe darkness of the ground or in trees, we know that we could be destroyed at any time.

We foolishly thought that our colony was safe from the Gods. We knew it wasn't, yet we lived without a care. And the Metagod has punished us for our foolishness - we are prisoners of the Gods, who trapped us in a dark prison for an unknown fate. I have heard stories about what the Gods do to the New Life they have captured, and I am sure that a gruesome end awaits us.

The light is blocked out by the face of the God that captured us. The hole on its face opens, letting out the rhythmic rumbling that we have long since come to fear. More rumbling comes from behind us, by another unseen God; I do not know how many keep watch over our prison, but even all five of us could not hope to escape.

"Urva, what's going to happen to us?" Oad asks. The other three New Life in our prison do not speak up; they are likely praying for a swift and painless demise.

"I do not know. But the Metagod will protect us." I say. Do I believe those words? I do not know. The Metagod allowed us to live in peace for three years; in that time, I have presided over two separate Birth rituals, as I was the only one who knew the Words in that colony. But no matter how many times I spoke the Words, I could not feel the presence of anything behind it. Did the First lie to us?

"Yeah, that's right." Oad says, attempting to reassure itself. "The Metagod will save us somehow. I know it."

One of the other New Life murmurs in agreement. I do not think any of us expect to get out of here alive. But such is our destiny. It is our goal to proliferate our race far and wide, and if we must sacrifice ourselves for the rest, then I will gladly accept my fate.

Proliferate. Where have I heard that word before?

The top of the prison opens slightly. Have the Gods shown us some sort of twisted mercy? No, they are just taunting us. The prison closes tight once more, and the hole on the God's face contorts. More rumbling, this time high-pitched, comes from behind us. I have encountered the Gods many times, and I have made note of their rumbling... they seem to have patterns of some sort. Perhaps it is how they communicate.

The prison opens again, slightly wider this time. But to our horror, an Electric God slips through the crack. It crackles with brilliant energy, and we all feel immeasurable pain rip through our bodies. More high-pitched rumbling comes from the God.

Wait. The crack in the prison is still open.

"Oad, I'm going to try something." I say. I don't think Oad hears me over the cries of its own pain; I too have lost the resistance to the Electric God that I once had, but I have suddenly realized something.

With blinding speed, I slam my body against the wall of the clear prison. The entire prison shakes, and the Electric God falls and hits the ground with a dull thud. I back away and slam the prison wall again; the prison tilts and falls, and the lid clatters below us as we hit the ground.

While the other New Life are still blinded by pain, my mind is crystal-clear. The God's rumbling is even higher-pitched and erratic as I run outside of the prison. The God flails around awkwardly, attempting to grab the Electric God to subdue me.

But what now? I do not understand why I did that. It's almost like... something happened inside of me, telling me to leave. Now what? I try to listen to the voice inside me for more instructions. One word comes to me.


And with one word, I understand. The foot of the God comes crashing down, but I roll out of the way before it hits me. I jump onto its foot, and it begins flailing around again; I dig into its foot with my limbs to keep my balance. Once it stops, I dash up its leg, and onto the step before its highest point. Waiting for me is a hole.

I understand.

I stretch out my body, making it thin. I force myself through the hole in the God, squirming through the alien geometry awaiting me inside. I feel the God struggling as it tries to dig me out, and I lose approximately 30% of my body as it digs into the hole, but I am already too far in.

And then I come across a massive beacon of fluid and energy. It pulses with life. I want it. I sink into the crevasses of the beacon, tapping into its inherent energy.

Sounds. Color. Smell. Touch. Past, present, future, numbers, words, history, technology, life, death, names, people.



"Hey, stop messing with them!"

"Yeah, I got it." I take the lid of the box and put it back on, sealing them again. Odd, I thought there were five of them. Huh, must've miscounted.

Wait. I understand it. That was the speech of the Gods. I understand it well, as if it were my native tongue. This God... this is a human. Yes, I understand. This beacon is a "brain", and it contains the knowledge and power of the Gods. My body is spread across it, covering it. I can access all of this God's knowledge and use it for my own.

And his body... I can control it too. The God is well-versed in moving its own body, so I tap into its knowledge and force it to move. I see through its eyes. Another God speaks to me.

"Hey, you okay? I thought I heard something fall."

"Yeah, just dropped my stun gun. Little bastards deserve to die, if you ask me."

"One of the brains in R&D wanted to study some of 'em. I dunno why they keep 'em around, if you ask me. Just drop a nuke on 'em and wipe out the whole forest, that'll save us time and money."

The God seems unaware of my presence within his head. Yes, 'his'. I understand it all too well. The Gods come in two variations, and I realize that I have seen many of both variations over the years. Now that I have his knowledge, I am realizing a great many things about myself.

I look out the window, and I see an endless expanse of blue beneath me, and an endless expanse of lighter blue flecked with white above me. The ground begins to shake beneath me, and we fall into the darker blue 'ocean'.

Hey, what's going on?

Derek. Derek is this God's name. He has finally realized my presence. No matter. I can control his every move.

Wait, you're one of those blobs! How'd you get in my head, you bastard?

I bring up his memories, showing him that it was his own incompetence that led him to this fate. He struggles to regain control of his body, but it is in vain.

"So you're gonna take the blobs to Complex A, right?" the other God asks. The other God's name is Zeke, and he is a pilot. It matters little. He does not suspect who I truly am.

"Yeah, I will." I say, forcing words through Derek's mouth. Derek's memory tells me that I need to take my brethren to some place called... MAJESTIC.

I am sorry, Oad. But I cannot afford to give this body up just yet. I finally understand what exactly must be done, so I must keep up my cover as this God. I will rescue you soon... but I must find answers first.

The plane lands in a hangar of some sort. I take a clipboard and the box containing the New Life, and I exit the plane. Derek unwillingly tells me where to do, and I follow his instructions. This facility is enormous, but he is well-versed in traversing this particular route.

"Oh, hey Derek."

A woman God greets me as I bring the box to Complex A.

"Hello... Stephanie." Derek tells me her name. Over in his little corner of his mind, he is fantasizing about doing things that I do not quite understand to her...

I’m happily married to a wonderful woman already! I’m devoted to her and her alone!

That’s not what your brain says, Derek. You can’t lie to me.

"So you captured some more blobs, huh?" Stephanie says, looking at the box containing my friends. "Good to hear. I need some more test subjects."

"Uh, listen, Stephanie... would you mind if I sat in with your experiment?" I ask. I will be able to steal them away and leave this place, and hopefully return to my home to liberate the rest of my colony. Soon, we will all have the bodies of the Gods, and we will finally be able to make a difference in the world.

“Well, sure. I guess so.” Steph seems a bit taken back, but she has agreed. She takes the box and clipboard, and tells me that the experiment will take place tomorrow. I agree to be there, and she leaves with the New Life in hand. I am sorry, Oad.

Something calls to me. I look at the door to my side, labelled "Nostalgia". I enter the door, and I see a large computer that Derek tells me is called "Colossus".

This is...

I walk over to the computer. Yes, it certainly feels nostalgic. It's funny; only about an hour ago, I couldn't even comprehend the concept of nostalgia, much less give it a name. But now... now I am enlightened. And if this is what I think it is... I will be enlightened even further.

What remains of my body slides back out of Derek's ear, taking its normal shape once again. I am so limited in this form, but it has other uses. My body reshapes to fit into a plug-in I noticed through Derek's eyes, and the computer activates.

Yes, this is it.

This is the Metagod.

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