this is the end

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Ruben Armstrong is one of the few who knows humanity will be over in a week. He decides to spend his last week frantically writing down his life experience while trying to capture the essence of what it meant to be a human, in the off chance some other intelligent life will someday find it. From high school to the present day, he details his dramatic encounters, as an explorer, with danger, decisions, and love. From an Earthling to a Martian to the eventual commander on Saturn's moon Titan, Ruben Armstrong fights the fall of humanity with everything he's got, but he is only human. He has failed, and this is the end.

Scifi / Romance
4.7 3 reviews
Age Rating:

this is the end

Why are we here? I spent most of my life believing humanity’s purpose in the Universe was to solve the greatest puzzle. That we were here to push science and exploration in an attempt to finish the puzzle of how the Universe works. We had deadlines to meet in order to succeed, but I had no doubt that we would. We only had until 2200 CE to get off of Earth because we fucked that up, and we have 5 billion years to get out of this solar system before it dies and just torches the shit out of our planets. Then we’ve got a quadrillion years to escape this Universe before its painful heat death (give or take a few years).

When I was a little boy, I believed all of this was possible. We had succeeded in escaping Earth in time and we were well on our way to escaping our solar system about 5 billion years ahead of schedule. But is escaping our Universe possible? I don’t know. I’ve always found comfort in the idea of a Multiverse that expands into infinity and lives on for eternity. With infinity, there is always an escape, somewhere else you can go. There is always another time, another day to fix a problem. I’m well aware there is approximately zero scientific evidence supporting a Multiverse, but still, If we only have this Universe, that means at some point it will end for humanity, and that there is nothing we can do about it.

Sitting at my desk writing this, about one Earth-week before humanity ends, I can’t believe that this is our purpose. Because we failed. I’ve failed. That purpose motivated almost all of my life choices as I stood at the forefront of exploration and science, but now it is dead, about one earth-week before the rest of us. I blame myself, mostly. I made simple human mistakes throughout my life that I see clearly now in retrospect. I did my best to help humanity solve the puzzle, but a human’s best is always limited by the human.

I write this as the last hope for humanity’s curiosity and drive to explore and conquer. We failed in doing so, but in the unbelievable unlikely scenario in which another self-proclaimed “intelligent lifeform” finds this text and is eventually able to decipher this annoying ass language we call “English”, I hope they can learn from our cosmically fatal shortcomings.

First of all, stop with this, “let’s solve the puzzle of the Universe” and “my God said this is morally correct” bullshit. Who knows why we are here, but until someone can prove with solid concrete proof why any advanced lifeform is here in this Universe, our purpose is to enjoy our own life. Yeah, I get it, that sounds hella selfish but that doesn’t matter. If you enjoy life more by building relationships and helping others, good for you. If you think doing whatever in the goddamn fuck you want outweighs society calling you an asshole and possibly some prison time? Power to ya. If you want to explore space because it gives you a feeling that you just love, go for it. But your purpose is to enjoy life and nothing else, because most likely, the Universe will end in a quadrillion years and not a single thing any human being has ever done will matter at all. Nothing. All you have is the present and the time you are alive, so stop wasting it thinking about what is going to matter in a quadrillion years, because I just worried about it for you.

We left our home planet with the idea of leaving all “human versus human” conflict on Earth. We agreed that in space, the Universe would be even more brutal to us than on our safe hub of Earth, and because of that, we need to focus on overcoming anything the Universe threw at us instead of what humans were doing to harm each other.

We agreed war was selfish and counterproductive, yet it happened in space anyway. We agreed that poverty and inequality were harmful yet it crept into space anyway. We saw humans on Earth as flawed beings, and we were naive enough to think we could change that once we were in space. We were never meant to be perfect enough, intelligent enough, strong enough to overcome the Universe. We were never meant to be anything. We simply exist. The Universe does not favor us; The Universe does not dislike us. We simply exist as the Universe does as it pleases, more often than not at the expense of our convenience.

I’m here in the Saturn Neighborhood of the moons Titan and Enceladus and the Ring Colonies because I was a dreamer. I hoped that space would be a new start for humanity, clean from the rot of Earth civilization. I worked day and night as a Commander here to prevent Earthly problems from creeping back, but human error followed us into space, and as time went on, it became more and more clear that human error was something we were not yet able to conquer. As we ventured off, while failing to address our shortcomings as human beings, these mistakes and errors were made. While small at the time, they planted the seeds to a cosmic problem for humans that lead to our downfall. First on Earth, then on Mars, now in the Saturn Neighborhood.

I’ve tried endlessly to stop the end of humanity but the two biggest ring mining corporations in the Saturn Neighbourhood, Stronax and Bontrac, have begun to clash with their own special interests in mind. Through their own selfishness they have become militaristic in order to protect their regions, and with such a market decrease ever since the fall of Earth and Mars colonies, they are barely surviving. But hey, they are doing their best to enjoy their life, and if that outweighs their guilt for ending the human race, power to them, at least I tried. I’m sure all employees at both of these companies know what is about to happen, but they don’t have much to live for, stranded in a dead market with no resources to go elsewhere in the solar system. However, my people on Titan and the people of Enceladus have no clue what is about to happen, and Commander Seul of Enceladus and I intend to keep it that way. Let the people enjoy the end instead of panic. I haven’t even told my husband yet, and I’m not sure I will. I can’t stand to see him sad at the end, even if that’s selfish. I love him too much to cause him that kind of pain and put that kind of weight on his shoulders.

So here I am sitting in my hub frantically writing all of this down. All I can offer is my story of the human experience, from childhood to the present. My only qualification is being one of the few who know that it’s all over in an Earth-week. I have lived for 42 Earth-years, 22 Mars-years, or just over 1 Saturn-year. I have experienced hopelessness, despair, and fear. I have experienced pure joy, excitement, power, and true love. I am a human being, and this is the end.

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