Level 45 : Master Baconator
Posted 02/12/12 7:55:50 pm
"That's it then?" Branwen asked. "I will never die now?"
"No, you can still die," Adol explained patiently. "You just won't stay that way."
"Is there any way to... end it?" Branwen asked. "I mean if I'm a thousand years old and tired, and want to move on?"
"I suppose you could ask the Cube," Adol replied, shrugging. "None of us have chosen to 'end it' as you say."
Branwen looked at Adol appraisingly. "How old are YOU, Adol?" she asked.
The old man smiled at her. "Does it really matter?"
"I'm just curious," she replied.
He pointed out the window to a tree in the courtyard, a great, huge, sprawling thing that reached up into the sky. "See that tree?" he asked her. "I planted it."
"Oh," Branwen replied, stunned.
"You say the Cube exists," Branwen began.
"It does, indeed," Adol nodded.
"Have humans visited it?" she asked him.
"Some have. It takes years of training to learn to commune with the Cube, however. You humans seem to lack patience."
"That's a result of assuming we have a limited number of years," Branwen explained.
"Oh, I understand," Adol chuckled. "We were once the same."
"So what do your people do now?" Branwen asked. "You've solved the problem of immortality. What else is there?"
Adol led Branwen out of the meeting hall, and back into the town centre. He walked over and sat down under his tree and gestured for her to do the same. Spooky came running to them, excitedly chased his tail for a minute or two, then lay down beside them, panting.
"We're trying to learn to create," Adol began. "As you say, solving the problem of death seemed to be our greatest achievement. But it came with a price. Each new generation of our people had new ideas, new dreams, new visions... but ours have remained the same since we no longer can have children. You humans come here, speaking of miracles we can't even imagine... creatures we long to see, inventions we would love to tinker with. You have a spark of creationist within you. We hope to learn it from you, gain it back again."
"Why did the Cube start bringing humans here?" Branwen asked. She lazily scratched Spooky behind his fuzzy ears. He rolled over shamelessly, demanding belly rubs. Branwen scratched his belly. The pup sighed contentedly.
"We asked It for help in our quest to advance, and that is how It answered us," Adol told her.
"So, the Cube answers your wishes?" Branwen asked, contemplating.
Adol shook his head, "Not exactly. One of the earlier humans described something he called a computer. He said it was a machine that would perform tasks if asked correctly. He said that computers seemed marvelously intelligent, but they were actually quite stupid, because they responded very literally to a human's requests. Imagine the Cube as a device such as that, but one that is vastly more intelligent than any person you have met so far. If you know how to ask the Cube correctly, It can do just about anything to this world; cause rain or snow to fall, raise the mountains, drain the oceans, bring more wildlife to an area, even create new and wonderous creatures that we have never seen. But you need to know how to ask in such a way that the Cube cannot misinterpret, for the Cube does Its best to protect our world. We believe it created the world out of nothingness, and will not allow our requests to harm the world, you see."
"So, sometimes you'll ask for something, and..." Branwen began.
"Nothing happens," Adol replied, smiling. "The Cube is trying to maintain a balance we do not understand, and although It will allow us to play at creation, It will not allow us to tip the balance."
"I don't think I really understand," Branwen said, shaking her head slightly. "What you say sounds like our version of a god. But we never really meet our gods. You can actually touch the Cube?"
"You are far more interested than many of the other humans," Adol replied to Branwen. "Why don't I bring you to It to see for yourself?"
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