I Was the Sun.
I set the rules in my world. Yes my world, my creation. It wasn’t a big bang, or big crunch. It was all created at the tips of my fingers and nobody else had anything to do with it, yet all my subjects are not aware of how it began. What started as an innocent project got the attention of some people looking to exploit it, but I know that I wouldn’t do that myself. I’m a curious man, so I kept it secret under the guise of research. Now I have an entire universe of virtual people looking to me as their god.
It started out as a linguistic exercise, seeing I’ve been interested in languages for most of my life, staring at people’s surnames on their name tags as they talk to me trying to figure out the origins of that name. When I’d come across one that stumped me, it obsessed me. With my virtual world, I was initially intrigued to watch the languages evolve, but when I saw the dynamics of the cultures interacting over the course of the simulation that brought it to the equivalent to our Judeo Christian Era, I decided to add some elements.
I created an AI platform to feed on information coming from the web, but I let it replicate itself into parts rather than be a single organism, now it has multiple planes of existence within this virtual realm. I allowed multiple bots to replicate over time, planting other creations amidst their lives with different personalities. I recreated the myth of the messiah and spread it amongst the various virtual cultures that I created myself. I taught them new languages that I developed, and even allowed one to create their own language. I’ve been tracking the developments in syntax and changes in language evolution over the hyper accelerated timeline. I mostly view the highlights at the end of my real day, but within my virtual world it’s a decade.
Oddly the messiah myth over a period of 400 years within the realm changed and spread amongst all the cultures in various forms, the story itself changed and perpetuated itself under different names. I planted it within the first culture I created as an actual event, but it kept going into modern times, and my virtual timeline headed into the future beyond our times. I’m excited at the prospect that I can predict the future by watching my world, as preposterous that may seem.
The predictions weren’t exact, but more broad strokes of dynamics. The data inputed is the same as what humans in reality experience, but herd mentality is what it is. My subjects also seemed to think they were evolving in ways that didn’t correspond to the rules I set, so this is where it got exciting. I was curious to see if they would actually change in their perceived physical appearance, but my guess is they’d trick themselves into thinking they were. If not, they may have altered their appearance on their own and claim it was evolution.
I know this because the difference between them in the future compared to 2000 years before was not really much at all. Cultures mixed and conquered each other, but newer versions of mixed cultures simply resembled earlier events that happened in various points in their history, and every incarnation of a certain mixture identical to a previous one, and each one thought it was unique.
Social cues change over time, and when one aspect of a culture determines another is taboo, that singled out cultural ingredient is suppressed for generations. So when it appears again, they perceive it as evolution when in fact it’s just a part of a cycle.
Passing our modern time into the future, less and less subjects began to look to me for answers. They no longer believed the origins of my conduit “messiah”. They began to study his origins, getting close to what he really was. As their lord, I could just delete someone who is considered too inquisitive, but I actually admire that. I encourage it to see if they’ll get there. Maybe I’ll reward someone who does actually figure it all out. Could enlightenment be the reward?
I placed myself within the simulation as a sun. I programmed the celestial body hovering above the virtual planet as a sentient being that provides the necessary life force to fuel the ecology. They simply see me as a source of power, but they worship my terrestrial representative. A figure that the predominant culture calls “Zhecaco”. Zhe is “of” and “caco” is a word for an ancient God named Caco.
In previous civilizations they too had polytheism. Caco was one of many gods in the geographical era in the Far East of the map, and the culture that did worship this entity were wiped out, disseminated amongst those who took over. Zhecaco was a priest who brought the word of Caco to the region, and was persecuted because he encouraged monotheism. I created the storyline, but the people themselves inputed the names.
Another symptom of this experiment was the subjugation of certain groups that persist over time, thanks to myths I implanted. I tried to find what their fundamental flaws were in certain groups, as to why they keep being targeted by larger groups, but I began to suspect the flaw was more in the predominant culture who kept attempting to wipe them out. All thanks to my messiah.
It dawned on me one day, that the behaviour of these groups resembled the behaviour of all organisms at all levels, even molecular. Viewing them “from above” so to speak, my God’s eye view it at times looked like ants forming a bond to achieve a common goal. Much like Buffalo herds mysteriously changing direction with either one or all of them deciding where to go, the behaviour of my subjects seemed to work in the same way.
It never occurred to me to program them to be atheist to begin with, perhaps another time down the road I will start over and create a new world without gods, but either way it was fascinating to watch them worship me, despite having minimal or no information about me. From the trends I noticed into this future, they leaned towards atheism anyways.
An interesting development, was an almost “atheist” messiah movement, ones who (rightfully so) believed that the concept of a mythical god was rubbish, but their behaviours began to resemble those of the believers. They worked in mob mentalities, further reinforcing the notion that groups become organisms on their own.
The irony is that despite not believing in the mythical version of their virtual god, I was in fact their actual “God”, but they did not even know it. So for fun I implanted a new idea into their culture that what if all of this was a simulation? The ultimate truth, that their lives were being played out within a giant computer. Surprisingly, that idea began to fly and gain traction rapidly. They even did their own calculations and experiments to try and determine if it was true. An unfortunate side effect to all this posturing was the decline of their environment. The organism behaviour got corrupted at some point where they no longer could comprehend their own demise. What should a god do? Let them die? Step in an intervene within their world concept? Or reprogram aspects of it? I found myself looking at them like real organisms, finding myself fighting dilemmas and straining over decisions.
A strange event happened, where an almost identical event that happened within the virtual timeline occurred in reality. The disappearance of a cruise ship that sparked a diplomatic crisis, sides were claiming the other side were responsible, and a Cold War broke out because of it over the span of about 5 years. In reality, this very exact event was happening, even in the same geographic spot. Not exactly the same spot, but close. What was going on? What were the odds of this?
Needless to say it unnerved me, yet excited me at the same time. I found some perfect combination of factors within the simulation to predict where the real organism could go. Broad strokes of behaviour. The sinking of the ship occurred roughly around the same as real time, so the simulation was about 30 years ahead of the current time. What I saw frightened me.
100 years into the future, the overpopulation and inequality was so unbelievably rampant that I began to have doubts about letting the simulation run anymore. If the degradation was so bad, with no signs of improvement then I could no longer see the benefits of this study. The cycle of evolution/deevolution was happening again, organisms competing with each other began to “devolve” into warring factions. I implanted an idea there were other worlds beyond their skies to prolong their species, and they actually did make headway.
I could have easily pulled the plug and delete, restart a new simulation, but oddly I felt an obligation to my subjects to reveal the truth. They were after all my creation. I introduced the idea of a new planet that was previously hidden to them that orbits once every 40,000 years and this planet was due to make its appearance. The space explorers made their created a mission plan to relocate to this planet, and that’s where I decided I was going to reveal myself.
A disaster struck, my simulation software got corrupted. I suspect it was a hack, but my subjects were cursed into a permanent limbo, reliving certain moments over and over. I found myself emotionally affected, despairing over what could have been. I decided to reformat the drive, but nothing worked once I tried to reinstall the backup version. It didn’t matter what timeline I reminded back to.
They were gone, and I was left a god without a people.