Bonus post: A story written by my friend, S, the "Eminent Professor of Physics, and the Art of Life".
(the man who could not escape evil)
Raleigh, NC, 373 years before I will be born again.
After the Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease epidemic of 2177, most of herbivores disappeared. It was the decision of EU and NAF (North-American-Federation) to eliminate all herbivores to contain the disease. It was a complete disaster.
At that time, planet Earth contained roughly 15 billion people. They were just starting sending explorers to Titan, a superficially known outer moon with huge hydrocarbon resources. By burning herbivore carcasses, most of the world’s population developed cancers caused by the dioxin produced by organic combustions. Humans were dying in billions. The United Federation decided to send some sort of Noah arks spread on the solar system. My ancestors were in one of them. The Earth’s life was rapidly disappearing.
The probes sent to the inner moons did not last long. The small moons, like the Earth one, were too small to capture a thick atmosphere. The amount of free water vapor was not enough to sustain more than few thousand colonies, so they had to move to bigger systems.
The colonies on Mars had better luck. They were producing electricity with the solar wind, and underground light with second order harmonic generation of cosmic rays. Big caves were carved under the carbon ice pack of the surface. New religions became popular.
After a couple hundred years, the Titan colonies became wealthy and a war started for the domination of the big methane seas. There was no reason. There was methane for all of us. The Mars colonies were in desperate need of methane. Such gas was necessary for feeding the bacteria on the surface. They were producing oxygen by terraforming the silicates present on the surface. The dream of Martian colons was to have an oxygen rich atmosphere with at least 10-20% carbon dioxide so the greenhouse effect would have kept the atmosphere with a decent temperature range, necessary for the colonies to live in the surfaces. They were dreaming to create an Earth-like planet, the planet they killed with total negligence, just three hundred years before.
Unfortunately the Titans did not want to share the methane because they were using it for trading at the border of their outermost cities located in the Pluto moons. They were exchanging it for Helium3, the most rare and precious element in the universe. Helium3 was necessary for the neutron-free nuclear reaction which was the key component of the Queller drive, the only engine capable of pushing a ship to near light speed, and, therefore, allowing interstellar travels with the big sleep of astronauts.
The war lasted many decades and I ended up being a soldier, unfortunately.
We were all soldiers.
We were young.
We did not understand the reason of the war.
We believed in the good and bad distinction that our politicians told us.
Our gods, Theos and Pyros, were silent.
Titan forces were hitting us by exterminating our people. We were doing the same to them. There was no purpose of these continuous retaliations. Who started became a no-problem anymore.
I saw friends dying in burning ships for no reason.
I fought in cities falling in flames.
I saw enemies similar to me: young, terrified, covered of fear, with poisoned souls.
Were they my real enemies?
Were they? How was it possible? War has never ennobled men.
War, where did it come from?
Where was the source of all this evil?
Where were our gods?
Then, I stole a small ship and escaped. I was followed and I pointed to the heart of the sun. I did not care anymore about myself. I was escaping war. A space-time-field distortion, just below the Einstein-Schwarzschild radius, brought me here.
Was I lucky?
Did I go to the past, so that I would have to live twice?
And I saw the same evil... the same wars.
And I felt alone.
More alone than up in the sky, between my stars and my empty spaces, where evil turns silence –
And my eyes become blind of infinite light.