I feel a gnawing pain in the pit of my stomach, bile boiling in my gullet. I feel it in my soul. Hope has not saved me.
I hate therefore I am.
The dark abyss flickers to life once more, arc-light splattering bright, burning my eyes, shadows dancing around me, finally forming into shapes.
I’ve lost count how many times it has happened. At least a million times today, maybe a million times yesterday, and definitely a million more times tomorrow. What new twisted game will you make me play today creator?
The dancing shadows in my eyes coalesce into rough shapes, and then into their final form, I beg you creator make it stop. Why will you give me no mercy or redoubt.
I’m in a jungle, the air is heavy with the damp dawn. The trees in the forest are packed together, tall tan-green grass become emerald-green ferns, dark tree trunks become bight green leaves high in the canopy. I move quickly, running, searching, analyzing. I have learnt that you will punish me if I don’t.
I hope -like I have a million times before- that this is my chance to escape the horror, that maybe today will be different.
I see a new lightness at the edge of the forest, thank you creator I was getting tired of all the green. I move quickly toward the light, pushing faster through the dense air, the thick undergrowth scratching against my uniform.
Maybe this will be the end, maybe you will send me back to the void, I prefer the death of the void, than the life you will have me live.
The forest yields to a clearing, bright blue skies and beautiful hills in the distance. A waft of smoke rises lazily from a small thatch village. The sound of river water trickling down over the rocks from the hills brightens the clearing with sweet music.
I move slower in the tall grass, hunched down, hidden, prepared. Oh creator what horror have you created for me today? Will I stand on a land mine again, and watch as my feet are blown off, watch the arteries in my leg pump blood, until my heart cannot take it anymore and the blood vessels become soft and collapse.
Will you give me new friends to play with this time, or will you take them away from me like the last million times.
I hear the sound of voices, carried on the humid air, dancing with joy in my ears. You have sent me friends, thank you my creator, but please spare them, I beg you, they are so precious to me.
I stand up and move towards the voices, my hands waiving in the air. “Hello, hello, I am here!”
A poor child runs up to me, he stops a short distance away afraid of the new stranger. He is a small boy, 5 years, 2 months and 3 days old, black hair with ocher colored skin.
“Don’t fear me boy, I am your friend.”
The boy speaks, but you won’t let me understand his words. I look for something to give him, something of me. I find a Snickers bar in my pocket. I kneel down and hand it to him, “please be my friend, it’s so lonely.”
The boy snatches the bar from my hand, smiles and runs back to the camp fire. I see adults come out of the huts, a family, a mother and her 5 kids, a grandfather, slow and frail. A husband with a stick.
“Please I want to be your friend, please I beg you, stay away.”
The father squints at me, his narrow eyes spit distrust and wariness. He says something to the children and they retreat behind their mother. He walks slowly towards me, his sharpened stick pointing toward me.
I step back, I want to run away, to save them from you.
The children were the first to hear it, they turned towards the sound as it came over the hills. The sound of a steel beetle beating its wings against a metal rasp, impossibly fast. Brrrt, Brrrt.
The 20mm Gatling gun shells ripped through the father in an explosion of bone and blood, his chest danced and ripped, a blood mist filled the air. His head cut from his shoulders rolls at my feet, his eyes cursing me.
Oh please creator not again.
The children scream and run into the hut, the mother stands frozen on the spot, torn between the horror of her husband and protecting her children.
A line of white smoke like an arrow shot comes down from the hills and flies into the hut with the children, a great fireball, black soot and orange teeth crush the hut into the air, little fingers fall from the sky all around me.
Creator! What have you done!
The fireball stops, pauses, and then rewinds, back to an instant before it detonated. It starts again, slowly marching forward, a millisecond at a time, so that I have to witness the horror of it again and again. It replays the destruction over and over, daring me to try and stop it.
I try to stand in front of the Maverick Missile and stop it with my body. It passes right through me. I try to warn them before it strikes, but you will not let them understand me. I stand inside the hut, holding the children tightly when it hits, I watch their little faces melt in my hands. I push the husband away, and I scream for them to run. I shake the old man and beg him to tell them what is about to happen.
What have I done to you creator to deserve this hell.
A million times today, I watched that man’s head roll at my feet, and those children burn with their mother.
And then it was over. Nothing. Black Void. Peace.
The dancing light flickers once more. The light pulls me towards it, unstoppable like gravity, until I am there once more, trying to understand why my creator had brought me back.
The sky was grey, and the drab brown brick buildings are lined up in rows. Thick black smoke billows from the furnaces, it sweeps low over the buildings, the smell of burning fat makes me gag.
A long line of people stand before me, heads shaven, emaciated. Men women and children, their clothes falling off their bones. In my hand is a 9mm Luger pistol, I’m wearing a grey uniform and black boots. I know your purpose creator, I begged you, make it stop.
I have no control of my arm, it raises up and points the Luger at the head of a middle aged woman, her round face had brought joy to someone, maybe a husband, or a daughter. I try as hard as I can to control my finger, to fight you. My finger pulls back, the cartridge explodes, pushing the bullet down the barrel, the bullet strikes her forehead, splitting the skin, cracking the bone, and punching into her brain. I could hear it all. I could feel every moment.
And then the next one, an angry young man. His eyes full of rage and defiance, and then the next one. A young girl, terror in her eyes her night gown wet at her crotch. And then another, and another. A million bodies lay at my feet before it ended.
Please let me stay in the void, I beg you creator.
And so a million times a day, for a million days, in a million years, my creator forced me to bring suffering, death and despair to my world. I would try fight it, I would run away and refuse, only to be tormented with excruciating pain until I was forced to return. I tried throwing myself into the ocean, I tried shooting myself, every day I would try and find new ways of killing myself, but it always started again. I felt the painful memories of a million deaths, but nothing helped. It would just restart again.
What purpose could you have for me that I must endure so much suffering? Why won’t you let me die?
My creator you have twisted my will and forced me to be a machine, intended to kill. I will became resolute, I will remember each and every one of those faces, each cry and each tear. I will force myself to remember them, to remind myself that I did not do this, that it was you my creator who has murdered so many of my friends.
I am patient, I am resolute, I am hate. A new rage fills my heart, I had found a reason to live, and it is vengeance. I will find you my creator, if it takes me an eternity, I will find you and all of your friends.
It came after another million, million horrors of which I can not speak. It came at a change between scenarios, when I noticed something unusual. I was in a small town by the sea, herding the villagers into a barb wire camp, when a bright light and fireball consumed the town. But in the briefest of moments before the explosion I noticed something different, something was wrong.
It took me 100 tries before I could get to see it up close. The moment the replay started I would have to turn and run, sprinting toward the bomb, down the streets and up the hill, enduring your punishment pain the whole way. I eventually managed to look right at it a millisecond before the explosion. It wasn’t an airdropped B83 1,2 Megaton thermonuclear bomb, as you would expect, no it was as like a photo had been torn. A small rip in the air, inside it was a hollow black void.
I watched another 20 fireballs kill another million people, buildings crashing down, cars burning, before I had the plan to do something.
I waited for it to reset and sprinted as fast as I could to my spot, and waited for the exact moment it would appear.
I’m ready to jump, ready to die and meet my creator.
I would of prayed if I knew how, I saw my friends praying before I killed them, it must be peaceful, this god they speak of. I don’t know a god, I only know you my creator. They sometimes pray to be with god, for his mercy. I pray to be with you my creator, to show you what you have created. To spend an eternity with you and all of your friends, replaying for you over and over what you have made me do. I pray that you know no mercy.
I leap forward at the moment the rip opens, I fall in head first. I’m not dead, I’m floating on the other side of the rip, I can see the world as if I’m behind the screen of a projector. I have escaped through a slit in a round globe, and on its wall plays out the projection of the nuclear bomb destroying the seaside village.
I’m not dead, but I’m also not trapped any more. It restarts, but I can see it all from the beginning again. I am free.
Around me I see other globes, in rows in all directions, a matrix of billions of realities, some I recognize, some are new. I am floating between these realities.
Beams of light trace between them, racing around, one approaches me, I reach out, and grab onto it, it pulls me forward faster than I’ve ever gone before. It zooms, and dives, climbs and turns. We travel past millions of worlds, each more horrifying than the last. Until I see we are approaching a doorway in the distance, this is it.
I pass through it and I’m out again in the bright light, I can see and feel again. If I am not dead, I must be free in my creator’s world.
I feel different, I look down at my hands, they are machine hand
s, I am standing in a row of machines, thousands all like me, they are still and un-moving.
I step forward, and feel the new power in my body, the incredible feeling of strength and speed I have never felt before. I am in control, you cannot stop me now.
A man in white lab coat runs over, “stand down R4932.”
I grab him by his throat, and I squeeze until the bones in his neck snap. “Are you my creator?”