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Even the Stars Die
Even the Stars Die
Neverending, never knowing, never touching the celestial; man may reach, but he is loth to grasp. Thus is the fate of humanity... doomed to roam the Earth and doomed to die and be forgotten. We are but shadows and dust. An archaeologist knows this, as does his antithesis, the astronaut. The proverbial ground-digger and star-gazer have their similarities.
Indeed, Roy was beginning to doubt the efficacy of colonizing other worlds. So much money and or what? Escaping to an equally as treacherous fate on the sands of Mars was hardly moving up in the world. Galaxy, rather. Hardly an escape from the dying Earth. Some years ago, Earth began to die by man’s hand; actually, Earth had been dying since it was brought into existence by the deus ex machina humanity has learned to despise. For whatever reason, God decided to play games with creation and build them, sculpt them. Give them each a soul just to have it doomed years after procreation. Roy, in his nihilism, could think of nothing else as he travelled in his tin-can Kali-Atla-12 Space freighter, sent to reconnaissance the fringes of Mars from afar. Half a century after mankind was introduced to Mars, only a few cities were raised--if you could even call them that. To the immortal brooders of every generation, they looked the part of a hermitage: bleak, inadequate shelter for the sands of Mars. The astronaut was reminded that mankind was doomed. It could not escape annihilation, no species can. All will fail.
Paradoxical images fill my mind as I ponder the fate of man. Why are we to be born if we are to die? It makes logical sense in the scientists’ ennui-belaboured mind: the purging of life’s creatures for new generations, a biological, natural slash-and-burn. So we live and we die, nature moves on with no remorse for the dead. What is this Nature, this supernal, carnal creature forcing us to live in concordance with its whims and ways and yet altruistically supplying us our manna and sustenance? If we are to die, if we are to expire, why fill our heads with that knowledge? Does Mother Nature take a sadistic pleasure in seeing us suffer with the oddly debilitating foreknowledge of fate?
I begin to think free-will is pointless, a delay of the inevitable. No matter how hard we try, God still takes us from earthly abode and repast. It seems that this is the everlasting irony, the exposition and the denouement, alpha and omega. We are doomed and we know it, yet we try to seek earthly immortality with fame and heroism. Achilles knew this. It plagued his brief, tumultuous days; he decided that he saw no reason to survive, to cling on to Earth’s necessities. He committed himself to brutal war and heroism and you cant even say he failed in his ventures - he is remembered today, is he not?
There is the divine duality: doomed to die and begging for immortality. Knowing our fate and fighting it all the more. Living off of Nature’s breast and Nature both preceding and succeeding us. The self is destroyed yet the eternal life-force of Earth and the generations of serfs move on. We are purged, we are doomed, we are but brief flicks of matter and occupied space. Primordial nature, perhaps, is Roman Victory incarnate. Yet we are made immortal by deeds and poesy, or so say the wise, in their divine acumen.
Is there something more after mortal expiration? I don't know. We will never disclose the truth. At least never during our stay in this universe, this existence, this consciousness. Whatever it is, it flees all grasping hands and we will never be able to define it. I don't think it matters. It is a worldly comfort to think we have a chance of metaphysical eternity.
I don’t think we will ever beat nature, nor the driving force of the universe, that primeval king of all that is extant.
This is Roy signing off, maybe the last time. I don't know. I don't plan to ever make contact with you people ever again.
It has always been the belief of quite a few spacemen that, the more you journey, the odder it gets. In fact, many scientists became occult mystics the further man travelled, not able to find logic in the madness of infinity, but that is another story for another day. The more we know about the universe, the more it seems a tumultuous light show alternating between explosion and growing pains, supernova and growth.
When Tarpethos IV, a space-shuttle in charge of monitoring Mars’ explorers, received Roy’s letter, they honest to god thought it was a joke. Even after humanity developed communities on Mars and space, everyone atavistically continued the Gregorian way of recording the days. Thus, even in the dead of winter in Mars and the hazy time periods in open space, April 1 was still a comedians’ day. Either on purpose or not, the letter was received on this day. And so it was a joke.
As the days passed and the astronaut continued to hover over Mars’ atmosphere with no communication, however, the men began to perturb. It was unlike Roy to send such dark jokes, and yet it was also unlike Roy to break off from comms. But it was like Roy to be a dwelling, self-proclaimed philosopher.
On May 1st, they sounded the alarm. Roy’s ship had moved away from Mars, a minor alarm perhaps--but not to the spooked men. It shocked and it unsettled. Most of all, it unhinged them with its illogicity.
As Roy navigated an asteroid belt near Jupiter, he passed the last vestige of humanity. A satellite had been placed near Jupiter’s moon Callisto; as Galileo did almost 500 years ago, so too did Roy unsettle and unhinge.
About time some fool broke the stupor of indolence and the shame of stunted progress.
He was shocked by the simplicity of it all. All he had to do was simply let go. And when he did he was free. He was in despair at first by the irony of it all and the meaninglessness. And his passion made him act rashly, but then he understood that our passions are the sharp whisper of the deep invocations of the True Spirit.
It would always confuse the world, but to him it made total sense to abandon himself to the whims and wonders of the Universe, as his ancestors might have done some 400 years ago in the wilderness of the New World. As he looked around, he was in awe of the beautiful moons of Jupiter, the beauty of Space, the beauty of consciousness. The ability to recognize aesthetic beauty always set man apart from beast, and Roy had decided to dedicate himself to this. Viewing the vast infinity of space, he had understood that even the stars breathe, rest, wake, expire. Even the stars die.
But what's the shock in that?