Short Story: Io


In the ever-present, expanding cosmos, an imperceptible flow of energy invisible to the human eye, ear, and mind steadily pulses across the eternities. It is, what human instruments have measured as, an emanation of radio-waves– but one of many remnants left over by the explosive big-bang. Upon decoding the various, intermittent pulses and silences– as one might with Morse-code– one will find a message discernible only through mathematics and applied linguistics.

It reads thus: “The masses will have undoubtedly cried upon discovery, proclaimed this to be His work, His word, His voice. They will have implied He were the one to be credited with the infinite, cosmic machinations. The truth is however, is much simpler, than such a primitive species could hope to grasp. I know this because I know him– your “He,” your “Alpha-Omega,” your “God.”

“To attempt explanation on such lowly mortals given your stubbornly facetious intellect, would prove unyielding, difficult. However, I must at least try. The fact is God– if you so wish to call him that– does exist, but he is no Divine Creator. He is yet another scientist! One whom began his career a long while after I. The best I can think to explain, for I must in posterity’s sake, is through the parlance of your own times.”

“God”, whom I know as Io, was a student, mine– and a poor one at that. When he came to me, as others often do, he had little training. He knew of the physics of dimensions, of universes, and of duration-manipulation. He knew of them, but was continually perplexed by their intricacies, astounded by their fields and dynamics, and downright overwhelmed by the masses of information and formulae. I remember watching him sit in class hours after the other students had gone home, his utensils making ubiquitous markings as he tried and failed to grasp the least wanton physics. So poor was his form and and understanding that I had written him off as a try-er, but ne’er a doer.”

“To understand this properly, perhaps you should know a few things about us grander beings: Firstly, our “sciences” are beyond humanity’s intellectual prowess. There are simply no words in your parlance to relay the extremity of our understanding of these fields. I can say only in words you’ll understand, that we are of the highest repute in matters of knowledge and wisdom. Furthermore, we do not teach as your “master” teaches your “student.” Instead, we communicate with feelings, images, thoughts that supplement a vast, and unending genome. (Again, in your parlance, for genes are not apart of our composition.)”

“These facts are important to know because it was Io whom struggled most deeply with them. (I believe this may be the basis of your “created in his image” fallacy.) In your terms, his genome was tainted by a mutation– a mishap of your “evolution” passed down to him from the time of his creation. The poor child. His mind was so permanently boggled that his awareness was too weak, inattentive, to grasp the many concepts his lineage passed to him. For a period, he and the others thought him mad. It was then that he came to me– a counsel to his ward.”

“Another thing you must understand; Io has not always been here. What I mean to say is that in your “holy” books– of which I detest– Io is remarked as never-ending, never-beginning. This is a preposterous, pretentious notion, and could only be taken as fact by the most gullible of creatures. To believe such ego-maniacal depravity is to lack the where-with-all– or perhaps, imagination– to picture even the true scale one’s own planet, let alone something infinitely larger. I will put it simply as this; mathematics do not agree you in this notion. You can not take one from zero. Even your primal, “reptilian” brains could find it if bothered to try.

“Ah, but I digress. There is but a final matter to clear up, this notion of Humanity as “chosen”, “created in His Image”, or any other of the infinite and vastly flawed arguments. As I said before, Io was my student. He was not authorized– nor was it wise for him– to “give life” to any part of any of the infinite universes our species has created. He was simply not competent enough. To further expound on an earlier aside; I believe his ego was driven to defend itself. As a result, he chose creatures not unlike him– at least not in their poor, mental aptitude.”

“Again, I digress, but as to the matter of this “life-giving.” In the course of his meanderings through our insurmountable knowledge, he stumbled across an old formula for life-giving. The formula was older than most, unused as a result of its instability and dissimilarity to us. So vastly minute in its size was it, that it could not communicate with us in any way– even this message might prove futile. In simplest terms, the formula was obsolete. A number of other species of varying sizes, though still larger than any a “human” might imagine, have since been created. These new formulae have held a purpose– chosen if you will– to aid us at appropriate times in our research. Humanity is not one. It is, was, and shall forever be an accident and a grave mistake.”

“Io, the poor soul, wished only to understand the vastness of knowledge our species contains. He wished like his ancestors to be held on high, praised for his genius. But he had not the capacity for it, and certainly not the ability to do so responsibly. Many of us knew this, treated him differently for. Those you might term as “peers” bullied him, while colleagues of mine berated, belittled, and ridiculed him. I, and a few others like me, took the poor boy aside at times to comfort and calm him. It was a mistake, one that I regret to this day. He knew well why the taunts were directed at him, but appeared to take it in stride. In secret, he resented us all. Then, in direct defiance to our collective will, he began to experiment on his own.”

“This is how life in the “Human” universe came to be. The universe itself was an old one. Once again determined too minute, its physics too basic. It had been laid aside for eons until one day it might be studied as a curiosity by one of us in some way. Yet Io did the unthinkable!

“He stole into our archives, lifted the universes container up, took it and a few others, and secreted them all away. He then used the old formulae– how he gained the capacity to do so, we’ll never know– and mixed together its ingredients. Like a mad chemist with a dropper, he deposited the ingredients onto a planet, let it stew for billions of years. Though we do not mark time as you do, it is all the same in relativity.”

“Oh if only you could truly grasp our existence, then you would see how ill-advised Io’s course was! As time passed, he became disheartened, distraught. His ego was shattered, his heart broken. He had once more failed, had taken so many risks only to again prove himself unworthy.”

“Then, something wonderful, amazing, hideous occurred. Long after he had given up hope, turned away from his experiment as scientists turns from his petri-dish to mind other matters, he took a last, forlorn look back. Something had crawled from the world’s seas, flourished to surprise even him!”

“As he tells it, whilst he rummaged through an old sack of belongings– no longer a boy, but now a “man,” he re-discovered his youthful experiment. In truth, I believe he came across the “Human” universe’s disappearance in reports in his work at the archives. It is the only job suitable to creature of his poor intelligence. I believe it reminded him of his failure, forced him to look once again upon it in defeat– as though the scientist were about to chuck the petri-dish. Instead, he was surprised by life, millions of years evolved, and so Alien in its form. He rejoiced. Never had he, or even we, seen such a form. Still he was elated at its discovery, but told no-one, studied it until he’d perfected its equations.”

“Oh the millions of agonies! Io why? Why did you do it? Was it truly ignorance, or was it an act of spite– the desire to inflict the same pain you’d received from those of us whom lack compassion?”

“Io sent one of our ambassador particles down upon your world, programmed to his directives, and disguised in your native form. He had told it to tell of “God,” a place in his kingdom, and a frighteningly large amount of other nonsense, that had it been known, would have had him locked away for good. Yours species however, was disinclined to accept the notions he put forth notion. (And I don’t blame you. Especially for a poorly planned experiment, carried out by an equally poor student.) Io’s ambassador particles were sent over decades, millenia; each time their programming was refined, his message clearer, simpler. Unfortunately, he was an even poorer programmer than he was a student, was incapable of coding the particles to interact properly together, or indeed at all. Conflicts began. What you call “Holy wars” are nothing more than followers of the various particles failing to co-exist as they had.”

“This last point is why I send this message. I have discovered Io’s schemes. More aptly, he has confessed to them. I don’t blame the poor child, for he only wished to be like his elders. Is it so terrible a thing to wish to be greater than oneself? No, invariably this is the way that all beings grow, evolve. He has however, gone far beyond the realm of the sane seeker to that of a desperate madman. His pomposity on matters of our science have only increased, the delusions imparted to you gone to his head. We fear now for the remnants of his sanity, the life he’s petulantly created. It is possible I may find more life that he has half-assedly created like this first, in the depths of these long-forgotten universes, but it seems unlikely as of yet that he has found it.

“And so I leave this message for the “Humans of Earth”: You are not alone. However, you are not special. You are not unique. You are not chosen. You were “given life” by a child-scientist in an act of petty childishness. End your feuds; for there are scientists, and then your “God”; a failed, child-scientist. But do not fret. Instead, cherish your existence all the more. Otherwise his delusions will go to your heads, and you may miss out on what we have created the others for. We will abide the rules we have on such matters as these, and leave you to your ultimate ends. And should you reach sufficient knowledge or frame of mind, we may retrospectively consider Io’s experiment a success, and let you into the “kingdom.” Fare well in your journeys so that you may go alone, unhindered by delusion. For Io is no “God,” no “Creator,” he is a child; too young, stubborn for his own good. Rest assured that if you truly think him amazing, then you must wait, meet us.”

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