The Death

Sci-Fi Story written by aussj4link on Wednesday 19, June 2019

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Description
A message from an unknown source claims to have knowledge of a great future mistake.

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Medicine and science have been at the forefront of human progress into prosperity and long life since the first human picked up a rock and used it to kill it's food. Over time, our species went from hunting and gathering tribes, to the most dominant organism on Earth, save for bacteria. It was thought that progress would be never ending and life everlasting would be our greatest achievement. This message was sent at great cost and even greater risk. We are writing this from a time where all of the universe's secrets are well known to us. The year, as described by Earth however, is not known to us any longer. Though, the age of the universe beginning from it's birth is around 20 billion years. Approximately 2 billion years ago, our neighboring galaxy collided with our own and gravity shifts caused Earth to fall into it's own sun one and a half million years later. The collision with Andromeda is not what I have sent this message to warn of however. I have sent this message 6.228 billion years into the past in order to warn of a great mistake that in your time, will be made very soon. This mistake is now known as the single greatest error humanity has ever committed. This mistake is not something that will cause the extinction of mankind, but rather the opposite. We are still not certain of how exactly, but it seems that the very force that causes life to become death, has ceased. I belong to a group that believes this message may be our only hope. In my time, humans and other intelligent life cover the entire universe. To avoid heat death, we managed to stop the universe's expansion, and created more order in the cosmos. Suffering of nearly all commonly known kinds, has been eliminated. War, poverty, famine, sickness, insanity, and pain are extinct and have been for almost a billion years. This likely sounds like a utopia, and in a sense, it is. However now, that all that could be achieved has been, there is no reason left for us to exist. There are no new stories to be told, nowhere to progress, and nothing to look forward to. Because nothing can die, we are doomed to spend eternity existing without any purpose. I was born about 6.2 billion years ago on the original Mars shortly after it had been terraformed to support Earth life. This was only a few millennia after the unknown "cure" for death was created. By that time, the concept of death was only told by those who lived before it was stopped. Many new generations believed death was nothing but a fairy tale and only grew more mythical as new generations severely outnumbered the old generations. The oldest generations were known as the ancients and for every billion people from the new generations, only one ancient who had witnessed death existed. Even they began to be regarded as myth eventually. By the time I was born, many people were tired of life and sought ways to end it. Some tried for hundreds of years to figure out how to induce permanent, dreamless comas only to inevitably wake up a few days later at most. It seems whatever method was used to induce sleep, something unknown would stop it's function shortly after. DNA was analyzed and found to stop degrading at around 30 years of age. Ancients were the only people you could find who looked older than 30, having been beyond that age when death was eliminated. The first major crisis as a result, was not the overpopulation of humanity, but rather bacteria. Not even microorganisms were dying anymore and so as long as they had nutrients, they would continue to reproduce indefinitely. About 200 years after death ended, scientists figured out a way to stop bacteria from being able to reproduce on it's own using a form of radiation that was applied to the entire planet. Some unaffected bacteria was stored to be grown under controlled conditions, but now bacteria across the globe no longer grew on it's own. Cancer was also stopped by a similar method that destroyed it ability to grow using constant radiations. Eventually, a more permanent solution was implemented by relocating all organisms that would simply continue to overpopulate unchecked to black holes. Eventually black holes would become dumping grounds for anything we found to be problematic. During my time on Mars, I came to realize that the value of our lives was non existent. Imprisonment was the only deterrent to crime and not a very effective one at that. People would outright ignore anyone who was not in their immediate circles, no matter their circumstances. Society was not unified at all as a result and adopted more of a free for all mentality resulting in wars and anarchy. Inflation in currency skyrocketed and eventually, physical currency all but disappeared, replaced almost entirely by barter systems mostly based on work directly exchanged for goods. Although we were immortal, and our cells never died no matter how malnutritioned or damaged they became, however we still felt every pain from hunger, thirst, disease, and injury. Also, another interesting phenomenon was that if a person's body were destroyed, the cells of their body would slowly form back together. The more extensive, the longer it took. Even atomization had no effect on stopping the regeneration. Those who attempted suicide this way, such as dropping themselves into molten iron, would take decades to reform and said that they could feel everything that was happening to them in extreme intimate pain when they were able to speak again. Without motivation to do anything beyond studying or raising a family, depression swept over humanity. Eventually, our own solar system was overpopulated and desperate for a solution. This was when ships were built to carry people to neighboring stars. The trips would take hundreds of years, and insanity was almost guaranteed. The first wave didn't even make it 5 years into their trip as they had gone insane and detonated their ships only to drift endlessly through freezing, suffocating space forever. The second wave froze it's passengers, relying entirely on an A.I. to deal with potential problems. Of the 20 ships sent, 14 were lost in the first 70 years. At this point, the fundamental problems had to be dealt with before any further attempts to branch out could be made. That was when a huge campaign was launched to begin curing insanity and developing faster than light travel. The campaign involved massive amounts of resources to bring in people who were devoid of motivation from having lived long lives without purpose. I was nearing five thousand years of age when I was on the space station "Galactus" with my wife and my parents. I had done a great many things and obtained many skills in my time and was a high level engineer who had helped build several of the ships that were involved in those first two failed treks to reach other stars. I immediately began training in physics and a few hundred years later, I along with a sizable chunk of the population, was working on breaking the laws of the universe and allow us to reach distant stars in the same time it took us to get from Earth to Mars. Suddenly a new purpose was upon us and for a time, many of us were happy looking brightly towards the future. Finally, sometime a couple thousand years later, a discovery on exactly how gravity as well as dark matter worked along with clear ways to manipulate them, finally gave us the means to bend space and time along a path. Now it would only take a few days to reach nearby stars with future projections being able to take this new technology much further to speeds near infinite. Also, at the same time, the inter workings of the brain were mapped out in so much detail, that insanity and other problems with the mind, were easily fixed. Now people could stay on track with everything no matter their circumstances. With this, we began colonizing our galaxy. In ten thousand years time, we found countless worlds in our galaxy that supported non intelligent life. We had originally thought we had only stopped our own deaths, but it appears we stopped it everywhere as those worlds teamed with life that could never die as well. At this point, we realized we would eventually reach an end to our purpose in this universe and so we began working on how to reverse the effect of universal immortality. Eventually we did come across other intelligent life and they too had been suffering the effects of never ending life. For a time, we had peace. Then, unknown as to how it was leaked, the secret that humanity caused this was brought to other life's attention. This sparked a billion year war as they believed that we also had the cure. I spent 3 million years as a prisoner in that war and was smashed to atoms many times for information and experimentation until humanity finally took back the war. They ended the war with peace on the notion that all intelligent life would help seek out a way to bring back death. By this point, despite all of our advancements in preventing suffering, time itself seemed to be a suffering we could not prevent. New generations would have some drive to learn and build families, but after a few hundred years, they would end up like most of humanity, becoming depressed husks that cared about nothing and did nothing. With no real purpose to drive us, nothing mattered at all. Finally, after 6 billion years since death was stopped, we colonized the entire universe. We created a massive black whole at the center of the universe, and then placed all galaxies in an orderly fashion, orbiting the center. This prevented both heat death, and the possible collapse of a never ending expanding universe. Eventually, minds found themselves split on a possible solution. Time travel had been possible for a few billion years now, but all attempts to fix anything using it, only created split timelines in which this one still existed. As a result, continued research into time travel as a method of repairing death, was abandoned. That was, until a group of scientists discovered a way to send back a message that could be inserted into a mind that would likely be interpreted by that mind as an imagined story. They claimed to have tested it several times, monitoring for the birth of new timelines and reported that none were ever detected. This information became universal and suddenly factions of intelligent life everywhere formed. Some had the belief this could fix everything, and some believed it would destroy everything and result in not preventing the loss of death. Meaning we would all still be alive but suffering forever and without anyway to at least prevent that suffering. In the end, the group that was against this method prevailed and made anything to do with time alteration illegal and punishable by exile to the center. I was apart of this group as at the time, I didn't want my family and people to suffer if it failed. That was until a few million years later, a discovery was made. While most of humanity stayed in the universe, some attempted to leave, believing there might be something beyond it despite all of our most advanced technology telling us that this universe was all there was. It was believed those people would be lost forever, traveling endlessly into darkness on false hope, until one day, they returned. By this point, we had travel capabilities that allowed us to travel from one end of the universe to the other in minutes. When the group that left the universe returned, they said they had been traveling at that speed for almost one and half million years when they came across something that shouldn't exist. At first, their story sounded like somehow they had gone insane again despite our cure and there having not been a reported case of insanity for billions of years. They said they came upon a planet that looked exactly like Earth. An unknown light source gave it what appeared to be sunlight, but there was no star anywhere. Despite being able to see this planet clearly, the ships instruments detected nothing. However, they did detect that there was a gravitational pull coming from the planet. This lead them to believe it was not an illusion. After some deliberation and debate about what they should do, they decided to send down a couple of small ships to investigate. Upon entering the atmosphere they reported seeing a sun above them, the main ship however, still in orbit, saw nothing. The planet was exactly like Earth before death was stopped. Complete with all the cities, plant life and wildlife, except there were no humans. After a few days of searching the planet for clues about it's existence, they finally came across a single human who had tried to run from the ships. They captured the man and he said he thought they were aliens that had invaded and abducted everyone a few days ago when the ships first entered the atmosphere. After explaining who they were, the man claimed it was the year 2020. He then proceeded to claim he had just had a chess match with an old man in a black suit who claimed to be there to take his life. He said that they made an agreement that if he lost, he would take over the job of the old man who came for him. However, if the old man lost, the old man would die instead. He said he was a chess grand master his entire life and never once stopped playing and improving. He said the old man was obviously also a grand master, but in the end, he won against the old man. Just as they had agreed, the other man in the black suit died there on the spot. That was the exact moment when the man said he saw the ship in orbit and the smaller ships enter the atmosphere whereupon he ran and hid. The group asked him to prove this chess match with the old man who had died and so he took them to the location where they played. There, they found the body of an old man in a black suit sitting at a table with a chess board. They attempted to analyze the body but still, all of their tools detected nothing. They decided to take the man and the body back to the ship whereupon the moment they left the atmosphere of the planet, their tools detected the man and the body. They analyzed the man and found that his DNA was breaking down at the proper rate and that he would likely die with time. The body was analyzed and found to be human all except for the brain. There was no brain at all in the skull. Instead, there was a substance we had known about for a few billion years. It's created by black holes and can only be extracted by removing the gravity. The matter and energy inside the black hole has been so densely compressed, that it forms a substance capable of producing enough energy to move the entire universe. This is how we now have virtually infinite energy sources. Having found this substance inside the body's head, was especially strange, but further more, the body never decomposed either. The group then decided to turn back and bring their findings believing now, that death may have been a sentient being and that if they can bring it back, they can bring back death to their universe. Seventy years after leaving to return, the man died of old age. Before he died the man had theorized that when he had the chess match, he was already dead, and that Death was simply trying to get him to take on his job. Death never expected he could actually lose. This theory was supported by evidence they found of his heart having shown signs of arrest, which the ships automatic healing properties fixed before they left the planet. They thought that the planet was some kind of suspension of time and therefore, was unaffected by the billions of years since it's creation until the ships came. Now, back in the universe, they began working on a way to revive Death. Believing the core of his mind simply required a new black hole substance, they removed the one inside and replaced it with another. This failed to revive him, however, what was thought a total failure produced an interesting effect. the moment the new substance was inserted, reports of a few million people dying was brought to the attention of the scientists involved. It was then theorized that although we couldn't detect how much energy was in this substance, it was not infinite. We believe that when the new substance was inserted, it was much too small to revive him but was used up immediately resulting in the first deaths witnessed in 6 billion years. Calculations were made based off the amount of matter and energy used to create the substance along with how many people died when inserted in Death. It was then surmised that in order to bring death back and kill everyone that wanted to die, it would take all the energy and matter in the entire universe, but of course doing that meant no way to extract and insert the new substance, meaning we all would be trapped suffering inside the black hole forever. And so, the only real lead on solving the greatest problem life has ever faced, was lost. 200 million years later, it was decided that we would try sending the subconscious message into the past, sometime before the year 2020 in hopes that the chess match that killed Death, is not played. We must die. We were never meant to be immortal.
   

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    A very interesting story. Really liked the concept. Keep up the good workSmile