Monday, August 2, 2021

Microstory 1681: Dark Studies

An Efilversal survivor named Nils Nilson was the one who ultimately taught the Ochivari how to start their antinatalistic movement. It was he who believed most passionately that the only way to protect life was to destroy it. He saw no irony in this. “To prevent suffering, one must cut the threads of existence before they get too long,” he was once heard saying. He was insane. But he was an excellent orator, and a very moving teacher. In exchange for his words, he asked the Ochivari to transport him to a new universe. He didn’t specifically say that he was going to continue to spread his message, but that was definitely what he wanted to do. His people were becoming extinct, and there was nothing he could do to stop it. If he wanted to mould a civilization into his image, he had to find one still with a significant population. That was what he really wanted, to turn people to his side, and convince them to do whatever he wanted. It probably didn’t matter much what he convinced them to do, as long as he would go down in history as the most influential voice of all time. It worked. The world he ended up on was falling apart. Wars and unregulated technology were threatening everyone in some way. There weren’t really even rich people who could protect themselves against the consequences. It was just a huge mess, and from just about everyone’s perspective, a lost cause. Nilson saw potential in them, though. If he could condition them to despise technology beyond a certain level, he could have his notoriety. He got to work. He used his charm to gather a few followers, and with the power they gave him, he was able to gather more. And more, and more, and then after that...more. It was never enough.

No one could stop him, even if they wanted to. Any government still standing at this point in time was wholly ineffectual, so there was no one willing and able to oppose him. Anyone who had some kind of principled stance against his ideas didn’t give him much thought. The reality was that he was not only the loudest voice in the crowd, but one of few who had any interest in using that voice to enact change. With little resistance, he banished sufficiently advanced technology, and killed anyone who did actively operate against him. Most people were too scared of him to argue. Yes, he was violent, but he was ending wars, because people no longer had the suitable resources to try, and they were all coming together under one banner anyway. Eventually, no one was left to fight, because they were either dead, or on the same side. Now, the Ochivari promised never to enter the universe where they left Nilson to start a brand new life. They had every intention of keeping that promise. Unfortunately for all of us, that kind of attention to detail can get lost when you’re dealing with bulk travel. Nilson died not too long after he arrived, which only augmented the mystique surrounding his philosophy. When the Ochivari finally did arrive, it was nearly thirty years later, and no one on the mission who made the original promise to him was even still alive. Despite their ability to travel through time, a generation for the Ochivari goes by quickly. Each time an individual tries to make a jump, there’s about a fifty percent chance that they’ll die, and past successes hardly increase those odds. Anyway, since their outlook was transformed, these humans were happy to welcome the Ochivari to their home, and were more than willing to join their cause. The loop is complete. The Ochivari gave Nilson to these people, which made them the confederates they would end up becoming to the Ochivari.

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