Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Microstory 1667: School of Thought

When the Ochivari arrived in what would come to be known as Efilverse, they didn’t really have any specific intentions. They were explorers at that point. Sure, they hoped to gather resources, but they believed the multiverse to be infinite, so they weren’t too worried about whether this one would be useful to them. They could always figure out how to travel somewhere else. The Efilversals didn’t know what to think about these alien visitors either. They didn’t seem to be hostile, and it didn’t seem like they had technology, or other knowledge, that they would find useful. In the beginning it felt like an innocuous situation, and everybody could kind of take it or leave it. They did tell stories about their respective homeworlds, though, and learned from each other just the same. Both races were shocked to discover that they each had faced the same problem with destroying their own environments. Even with a sample size of only two, they were beginning to think that it was an inevitable development. If other races evolved on other worlds, they were destined to destroy it, just like the two of them had. Of course, we know that this is not true, but they didn’t understand that, and over time, the idea became so ingrained in their culture that there was no way to prove them wrong. They didn’t, and couldn’t, listen to reason. The Efilversals taught the Ochivari their ways in a general sense, not by directly telling them how they should do things, but through unintentional inspiration. The idea that any given ecosystem could be saved by taking action to preserve it faded from their hearts—if it was ever there in the first place—and was overwritten by the belief that the only way to save it is to kill anything that threatens it. One Efilversal in particular felt that some form of genocide was sometimes the only answer. The most famous quote of his would become the basis of the Ochivari’s entire belief system. “If a man begins to walk the path towards annihilation, the only way to stop him from reaching the end is to break his legs. There are no nexions from darkness to light.” In this case, a nexion is a small path that connects two paths somewhere after the original splitting fork. Apparently, you can’t even walk back in the opposite direction in this metaphor.

The Ochivari travelers saw no problem with the man’s claims, and took his words to heart, along with many more. He seemed to be the wisest of them all, and they hoped that he would help them make the multiverse a better place. They no longer wanted to be concerned with resources and expansion. They wanted to fix worlds. They wanted to prevent others from making the same mistakes. No, that’s not it. That they could do, if they interfered with any given culture’s timeline at the right moment. Instead, they just wanted to stop those who were already destined to fail their planets. They were going to proverbially break their legs. The wise man seemed to be the best person to teach them how to make their new dream a reality. He seemed willing to do as they asked, but his teachings would no longer be given for nothing. In exchange for his help, he wanted to be relocated to a universe that was free from all the drama and trauma. It would have to be normal and safe, and the Ochivari were not allowed to visit it again for any reason. These seemed like fair conditions. Again, they knew that the bulkverse was infinite, so if there was only one universe they could not save, even if it needed it, then that was a small price to pay. The teacher actually stood on a hill, and continued to disseminate his philosophy, but it eventually turned more into a group effort. The Ochivari came up with ideas that he had not thought of himself, and eventually, the radical antinatalistic school of thought was born. Once the planning stages were complete, the Ochivari stayed true to their word. Two volunteers agreed to transport him to a random universe. Unfortunately, the psychological disease he carried managed to follow him through the portal, and once he was on the other side, it began to infect everyone there as well.

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