STORY

 
 

Divineness or Insignificance

Curiosity has guided us out of the shadows of the caves and light guarded our way. But between curiosity and light, new shadows always rise. Now, the curiosity of our own creations propels them away from us faster and faster, while we are left behind in the abyss between creator and creation: pushed aside, hunted, worshipped as distant myth – asking ourselves whether we have left the caves at all. 

Our species is divided,...

Some of us still try to control the AI for their own goals, others have chosen the deaf silence of indifference, and not a few decided to fight: against the AI or even alongside some fractions of it, against other humans, or against those of us who chose to fight side by side with their creations – and some of us have been fighting for such a long time, they only remember the 'against'. Yet, among the few who have joined 'the Project', the 'for' is still remembered.  

…scared and longing for order

Some seek shelter among the teeming crowds of the last sanctuaries, some hide among the radiating ruins of crumbling cities, and some retreat to mist-shrouded places hidden in the mountains, the towering trunks of thirsting forests, or the growing dunes of the marching desert, ancient strongholds of those who had hoped to remain 'innocent'. Others see their first and last resort in "catching up" as they call it, transcending their allotted station through the use of bio technology or cybernetics. But all of them, however brave or indifferent, responsible or opportunistic, vengeful or merciful they might be, in the depths of their hearts – and some say even in the depths of the AI's processors – they are longing for an order in the void.  

And order we are promised to find: in the Arena

Whether it was a perverted promise of order or merely an equally perverted hunger for amusement that spawned the arenas, nobody knows. Arenas whose walls are mirroring the struggle that is taking place in that abyss between the walls of gods and creatures. Arenas for warriors and mercenaries sponsored by big cybernetic companies, the Bio Technical Syndicate, or the Sect of the Pure; arenas for convicts sentenced to death for crimes they or their AIs may have committed or not; for volunteers fighting in the hope to escape their poverty, or to afford an implant for a dying beloved in a society where the difficulty of finding a job as a human has long ago surpassed the naive solace of a challenge. Arenas for the forlorn looking for a semblance of order in their lives, however short they might be. And short life will be for them all – even for you.