The Pantheon

Test Subject 1405

March 11, 2021 Joshua White
The Pantheon
Test Subject 1405
Chapters
The Pantheon
Test Subject 1405
Mar 11, 2021
Joshua White

Arrrg, shoot me.  Whelp, I'm back. It's done. I got a lot of more interesting things written in the meantime, but this will only make sense if it's released in the same time period as the other test subjects. 

Anyways, it always helps to remember what you're working towards. Life is not worth preserving solely for itself. It is an absolute neutral, something that must have value to be added to it for it to be worth your effort. Where does that value come from? I'll state my opinion in the mouth of one of my characters. 

 The Pantheon is written and produced by Joshua White.

  Sharing Links: 
 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pantheon/id1498984739
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/811181
 https://open.spotify.com/show/6Pmngtn7BBnOeAiOzAriHJ
 https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-pantheon-57860820/
 https://podcasts.google.com/?  feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS84MTExODEucnNz  

Show Notes Transcript

Arrrg, shoot me.  Whelp, I'm back. It's done. I got a lot of more interesting things written in the meantime, but this will only make sense if it's released in the same time period as the other test subjects. 

Anyways, it always helps to remember what you're working towards. Life is not worth preserving solely for itself. It is an absolute neutral, something that must have value to be added to it for it to be worth your effort. Where does that value come from? I'll state my opinion in the mouth of one of my characters. 

 The Pantheon is written and produced by Joshua White.

  Sharing Links: 
 https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-pantheon/id1498984739
 https://www.buzzsprout.com/811181
 https://open.spotify.com/show/6Pmngtn7BBnOeAiOzAriHJ
 https://www.iheart.com/podcast/269-the-pantheon-57860820/
 https://podcasts.google.com/?  feed=aHR0cHM6Ly9mZWVkcy5idXp6c3Byb3V0LmNvbS84MTExODEucnNz  

I’m afraid this might be the last record I ever leave. No matter whether the thing finds my hiding hole or not, there is no doubt in my mind that I will never escape the planet. All facilities are offline. It somehow scrambled the shield around the generators and busted open their physical shells. Even in severing the cables, such an electronic pulse would have killed any other creature. But this is the Savan we are talking about. The one Savan remaining.

I don’t feel ashamed for what I did. Only embarrassed. If we had simply been a little more cautious, a little more caring… even if that caring had been cynical in nature, the outcome would likely have been better. But what can I say? We were blinded. The promise was simply too great. Not only would we earn ourselves a king’s paycheck, but we would graft into ourselves the ability to survive for hundreds, maybe thousands of years, make death not a thing on the near horizon, but something on a horizon very far off. Every human of good nature would salivate at the opportunity. 

Any human of a good nature. That must be it. The fields and shielding were top notch. Even the Savan shouldn’t have been able to force themselves out. The restraining collars should not have been able to be cut by their own claws. They are impressive creatures, but not so impressive that they would defy the most miraculous of sciences with their sheer strength. The others must have found us, sabotaged us. Yes. That was it. Could’ve been anyone. It’s hard to pick the dead apart from the living when everyone’s cells are still squirming about. Yes. Them. 

I heard legends of them. Wearing the skins of humans. Were once human long ago. Sort of like the Savan. But worse. The Savan, beautifully malformed creatures that they are, were still individuals. Not the idle finger clippings of the still-borne god. 

I shudder just thinking of them. History was strange, then, and the reverberations of that strangeness have been, well, they’ve doomed me. I feel like getting angry, screaming at them for their foolishness. For they, too, will die some day, some day relatively soon. With our knowledge, we could’ve helped them, too. But they’ll say they don’t need help. They’ll say they don’t fundamentally fear death. Bah. Who doesn’t fear death?

Just one Savan left. I’ve got it in my head to try and murder that beast, too. Get it to claw its undersides out like all the others did. Grief stricken. Too afraid of the couple years we robbed from their seemingly infinite lives to simply bear the necessary pain and trudge on. Cowards. The Savan are nothing but cowards.

Too cowardly to even face me. I’ve got one thermo on me. Pass code was as primitive as could be. All it took was an impression of Cassie’s thumbprint. Least, the sequence told me it was Cassie’s. Kind of hard to tell when the thing’s severed, laying on the floor. But even though I’ve got a weapon even the Savan must fear cradled in my lap, just the mere fact that I have it saddens me. Shows me just how poor our security was in the end. Barely had to run through one page of options before I had access to enough firepower to… 

Test subject eight hundred. The Savan only refers to itself as “Savan” now. Would be similar to myself reffering to my own mind as ‘human’. A name which is techically correct, but trite and disgusting. I am more than just an ounce of my species. I was me, and I was going to be great. Renowned from here to the rim’s edge. A household name. But the creatures’ poetic idiocy has rendered me nothing more than a parcel of flesh, another member of a species. Trapped here on the deadened dust world, my only solace being the gentle pulse of doom in my lap. 

Why won’t it approach me? 

Why won’t it give me the satisfaction of my own death? I cannot die of old age here. Not because I have triumphed, no, I cannot die in that manner because I have failed. If I am to walk up to the nonexistant pearly gates and tell my sad story to gatepkeeper, I will have nothing but my failure in my hands. Why won’t the beast at least let me walk away with revenge?

(Have weird scratching sounds in the background whenever it is Savan’s turn to speak.) “The revenge will kill you, too.”

Ah! There you are! Where did you?

“In sector 82C. Once the security systems were disabled, it was simple enough to pick it out from the bunch.”

Whatever! Doesn’t matter! Savan, if you’re here to kill me, I’m not going down without a fight!

“I will not kill you.”

Why?! Why won’t you kill me?! Kill me, so that I can kill you!

“Do you even hear the words coming out of your mouth? I would have expected my torturer to be a bit more sane.”

Sane?! You killed everyone, Savan! You ruined the project! We were so close! So close!

“Close to what, my little soft bellied friend? Are there not dozens of backup satellites circling the planet that have each and every sequence lined up in their databanks? 

Savan? What? Who told you this stuff?

“Savan. Old Savan. Dead Savan. I am the only Savan left.”

Stop being poetic and answer me!

“No.”

Then kill me! I don’t care if I die anymore, Savan! 

“Why not? Wasn’t that the entire purpose of the project? To keep yourself from death? And now you ask it of me.”

You idiot! Eternal life wasn’t the purpose, least not mine! I wanted to be known. I wanted to be liked. I wanted to have comforts, and yes, I wanted to have them for a long time. The treatment we were fashioning would give me all of those things. And I would finally. I would finally…

(muted sobbing)

“Cheer up, little torturer. Those were decent goals, sought about by indecent means.”

(Sniffling) Shut up! Indecent means?!

“You sought life by death. Did you never think of seeking life through life?”

Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! Kill me!

“No, again little one, no. You were right in your desires; existence is nothing without substance. What that substance is is defined by you when you are smart enough, and by the hollow representations of your fellows when you are not. You understand weapons systems and chemical reactions like a child knows how to play, but you are like a baby when it comes to understanding your own existence.”

Shut up!

“Wealth? Prestige? Perhaps they make you feel good, physically, for a time, but I see the torment in your eyes of a deeply desecrated mind. The pain of every moment surpasses whatever pleasure you could find. You ask me for death when you have been dead for a long time.”

Shut up!

“If I hadn’t been so ticked off at all your failed attempts to murder me, all your successful attempts at making my nerves shiver with pain, perhaps I would stay with you, help you understand the madness which claws at your heart. But, as such, I have my own life to attend to, my own priorities. May you, in your torment, find a few of yours.”

Please. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what I’ll find. There’s no radio; you crushed all of them! I’ve nowhere to go! Nowhere! I’ll starve!

“Silly, little one. The radio would have been no use to you even if I had left them around. In the eyes of your short sighted masters, you have failed. What scant information your folks gathered in tormenting me and my friends is already in their hands. Your presence would be nothing but a liability to them, a rock hanging over their head that their enemies will use to bash their brains in. You say you want life. You only have a chance here.”

Then kill me! I can’t farm! I can’t… I can’t do anything.

“Try a little bit, and maybe you will understand all those things you feel you cannot do. Or maybe you won’t. As I said, maybe if you hadn’t made it your life’s work to torture me, perhaps I would help. But as for now… I’ll take the recorder.”

What?! No!

“Screaming for death, you back away as the serrated claw comes crashing down towards you to steal your little gadget. It was an opportunity for you to die, and yet you didn’t take it.”

(Quieter) No! I… please.

“You did not want to die, just as you never really wanted to live. Another bit of your mind that you will need to sort out. Time will heal all wounds, even the wounds of your torment. Seek me out then, little one.”

And so the Savan left for another part of the world, alone. There were, as it said, other things for it to do, like roam about the vast, sparkling expanse of the dunes, or glance longingly at the frames of long dead cities. There was time for all, and then some. But the burden of time did not hang heavy on its carapace. The ones beyond would grow to understand with time, for the seed of understanding had already taken root. 

The time was coming. Slowly, steadily. But the Savan would be there for it.