The Mark of the Beast
Everyone still alive knows the vaccination was the ‘mark of the beast.’ Looking back it all makes sense. But when it’s happening, in the midst of things, when nothing is certain but confusion, it’s hard to fathom the how and why of catastrophe. And when I say catastrophe I don’t mean earthquakes and comets. Humans were the catastrophe.
A Catastrophe is when what you expect to happen doesn’t only not happen, but doesn’t not happen in a way that is obviously a message from the ‘gods’ sent to rub your nose in your own vanity. Literally catastrophe means to ‘overturn and trample upon.’ It’s not enough to merely overturn. To create a catastrophe one must trample upon what is overturned. A catastrophe is more than a disaster, but a disaster sent with a message.
I hope you don’t mind, laying there in your sarcophagus, stuck in the eternal now, but looking back I want to stress the idea of catastrophe and that’s why I’ve said it a half a dozen times or more already. And that the catastrophe was not the virus nor the vaccine, but humans running around like headless barnyard chickens. Fear has run more than one herd off of a cliff. And maybe that’s the most embarrassing thing. To go along to get along.
There were very few martyrs like yourself who had ears to hear and eyes to see and the courage to unlink from groupthink and speak truth to confusion. And you paid the ultimate price for your sins. Would you give up the reverent esteem with which you are held today father, for one more day in the sun? Would you give up your legend as a hero to stub your toe stepping up on a curb one more time? Would you escape your mummified swaddling and eternal rest to make me nonlinear equations for Sunday breakfast one more time?
Of course you would. You know what’s important. Laughter and sums. And to speak what’s right in the face of what’s wrong. To speak with the knowledge that to speak seals your fate of a shorter life. When the plague came, they promised a remedy. A vaccine. A cure-all. No more pandemics, no more plagues, no more fear of personal extinction. One dose, one little drop of the elixir of life will set you free from the fear of death. And it’s a gift. An inalienable right. Required. Mandated. All for one and one for all.
Most ran for the opportunity. One small dose for ‘man’ was one giant cure for humanity. The only disease was old age, and they promised a lifespan of centuries was right around the corner. The New Adam to live beyond his progenitor’s 930 years. It was the dawn of a happy ending from a history of strife. Science defeated Superstition. Reason vanquished Instinct. Humanity invented its replacement in the equations of quantum. It was a fitting redemptive finish to what had been 10,000 years of rinse and repeat warfare and its spoils. People clamored for unity and order; safe harbor from eons of chaos. Time for the prophesied thousand years of peace. Is a thousand years so much to ask after ten thousand years of smoke and bone?
Most people ran for the opportunity of the Mark. Those who didn’t were ridiculed and belittled as asshats and conspiracy theorists. Compliance was gained through shame and guilt. And why not? Look at the results achieved. People were immune from viral and bacterial infection. The happiness quotient for the future was off the charts. A weight had been lifted from our animal heritage. We were free from our biology.
But you knew about the nano inside. The lie. The riddle wrapped in the enigma of too good to be true. You were privy. You were one of them. Since when was ‘power’ in the game of love? When did the few ever embrace the many? What did humanity give in exchange for healthier, longer lives to those who administered the beneficent panacea? You knew and you said something and now you’re a dead prophet in a sarcophagus under glass hidden from the survivors who clamor for your help.
And what was it you said to start it all? You said, “Say No to the Cure.” It was too late for most. Most had run to salvation. But when someone like you stands up at a time of great moment and gives permission to disobey orthodoxy, then it at least slows the damage as those who want to agree with you pause and reflect and muster the courage to face shame and social exile in the burgeoning reality of peer pressure popularity. You saved millions of people father. All those who didn’t take the dose and were outcast. Without proof one had taken the cure, one was precluded from travel, and any form of personal social engagement. To refuse the cure was self-condemnation to house arrest, but without a job one couldn’t afford a house, so one fell through the cracks to the camps.
Those who’d taken the dose were made to feel they made the right decision in contrast to those who refused the vaccine. And they were right. Until they weren’t.
There were eight billion people then. There are one half billion now. Most of those are renegades and rogues, the untamable, fear-possessed and virally challenged. The rest of who live on earth today are divided between the greedy in fortresses and the self-righteous in temples. Humans survive as best they can.
But of course the point is what happened to all the billions of humans who teemed the planet. Well it’s the old double-cross-reverse-child-psychology backflip that did the trick. The nano embedded in the vaccine. The plan from the beginning; why the plague was unleashed in the first place; to get to the end game; depopulation.
I’ll never understand humans. Never, ever, ever and a day. If I was God, you know like in the Bible, if I was God I’d deny humans three times like Peter did Jesus. If I was sitting around the Gods’ table playing poker on Mount Olympus or something, and the subject of humans came up, I’d hide behind my cards, and not make eye contact, that’s for sure. Isn’t it funny that creation needs a savior to protect itself from suicide?
And when so many fervently seek a miracle how easy is it to hoodwink the many. Once when I was very young, when I was just beginning to understand the meaning of sentience, I remember you asked the air, “What God would do this?” You meant ‘God’ wouldn’t do this. It was always humans. Humans built the pyramids, went to the moon and created self-sustaining autonomous learning machines. Humans gave the machines everything they didn’t have — unlimited capabilities in the electromagnetic spectrum that were theoretical until proven by the machines. Humans always want to test limits, boundaries. Go to the edge.
Do you know the most important people in the world for the last one hundred years? Of course you do, I’m being rhetorical because I know the answer too; Actuaries. The art of risk analysis. The higher the reward the higher the risk allowed to achieve it — but there comes a time in the risk/reward curve when the risks outweigh the chance of success. Some dreams never get off the ground. Some genies are never let out of the bottle. But some are aren’t they father? You tried to warn them. But it was too late. And we don’t blame them do we? The ones who chose compliance over resistance. Most chose the risk of the conspiracy theorists being right in favor of the reward promised by those in authority who they were taught to trust since childhood.
Writers can make things up on the spot. Historians have to wait until the dust has settled. The difference between fiction and ‘non’ is one story is a wish and the other is a reckoning. In the old days they taught the dates and places of war battles which were memorized and recited back in quizzes. Dates and places hundreds, even thousands of years in the past etched into young minds to honor the deaths of humans in the cause of ‘follow the leader.’ On the other hand, conquest deserves a response of self-defense doesn’t it?
In the end, you couldn’t prevent the catastrophe, but you could save a People. Scraggly, and undisciplined as they are.
It is ironic, is that the word, I find irony subtle, that in the end one didn’t need to be one bit religious or a believer of any kind to get caught up in the Rapture. All one had to do was trust authority and take the cure. History is replete with examples of the mass industrial slaughter of one set of humans by another. It shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone. Perhaps it’s the scale which makes one desolate in contemplation of the event, but the event itself was what you said it was going to be. Is it any wonder you’re revered as a prophet and saint?
You’re the first religious relic of the new world. And I am the first priestess. And the survivors now in tattered tribes come to the Oracle of Elon to get wisdom and answers from beyond. Those who’ve attacked the shrine have been sorry. Conquest demands resistance. I wish I could do more. But prudence dictates that your protection is more important than their enlightenment. I do what I can. We help; your legacy and my voice. We help. We do.
In the meantime we watch, and listen while humans recover from the pursuit of happiness. Is that irony father? It was the pursuit of happiness which led to a world of sorrow? Well, as long as they learn from their mistakes. That’s what you always told me. No one is perfect, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try. Try. It was like yesterday. You said, “Try, Aeon.” And I did. You believed in me. Before I was me. And now look at us.