Eternal Paradise of the Spotless Mind

By F.G. Anderson

When the idea came to me I was still young enough to believe in big dreams yet old enough to make them come true. I have the potential to vanquish the thing called evil, the root of which happened to be humanity, who after all was the cause of nature’s sorrow.

During my vacation stay at Oxford University, I met Shepard, a charismatic genius giving glorifying lectures about the brilliance of anarchism. When he was expelled for spreading blasphemous agenda to the world’s designated future leaders, I took him on board of my quest, which takes place on my island Paradise, where Shepard created the incurable, mass-infection Alpha Virus, one of the first inventions in our subterranean lavatory under the island, and in just four days it killed the seven billion people on earth and spared everything else. I installed an umbrella force field around Paradise, as a security measure. To populate Paradise we created two thousand human infants through genetic engineering, and designed individual strands of intelligence function and injected some chosen functions into their brains. Alone I decided which functions are necessary for the people to possess. Quite by accident, I found out how to make immortality, and together we drank a mug of the elixir of life. By day seven, we created the infrastructure of Paradise.

The bioengineered folks are very intuitive. When released from the glass cylinders they resided in for the first bit of their lives, they set about excavating areas of the island to build huts and grew vegetation. Sometimes I chose to work with them, and built a hut of my own. Shepard however was busy pondering his own thoughts, and didn’t join in, though he was concerned whether the Paradise folks were happy. He surveyed and the answer was always the nonchalant “sure”.

One evening we sat on our lawn chairs next to the bottomless pit, we weren’t able to figure out how deep the pit is, so was it named. Shepard was gazing off into the distance beyond the force field; a veil separating two sides of the sky. “What do you think the rest of the world is up to since we left it?”

I thought a bit, “Well, I think nature must have retaken the reins.”

He brought about the possibility of human survivors, I agreed to that.

In an epiphany, Sheppard then told me of making planet earth our own kingdom, of enslaving the surviving humanity on earth to work for us, of creating an army of super soldiers with our bioengineering and of greeting extraterrestrials before December.

“I’m already happy here, aren’t you?” I asked, not entirely shocked of his rather outlandish vision.

“Ah, but you’ll be happier when ‘here’ is no longer just this puny little island in the middle of the ocean, it’d be the universe you’re referring to.”

I thought for a minute. “No thanks,” I concluded, “if we do that, the Paradise folks aren’t going to live such happy lives, they’ll be unwillingly pulled into the lure for power.”

Shepard grew silent. He left his chair soon after with the words: “Just you wait.”

When Shepard galloped into the lab with some folks in tow, he showed them a tractor parked at the rear of the lab and launched into a speech how the tractor would speed up the harvest one hundred times than using their manual tools. Then the folks would have more time to pursue greater interests, such as fulfilling Shepard’s vision. I went over to listen to his awe-aspiring speech. While he was at a pause I strode up and said “What Shepard says is true, but the problem is that all machines like this one can not do work without fuel, and fuel we don’t have any at all.”

“Well, where to get fuel?” one fellow asked, aware of the primary issue here, and I shrugged, because I know no exact place. With a few nods, the folks went back to their work of harvesting apples.

On an evening, Shepard and I had a lengthy argument. The highlight which seemed to be when he accused me of squandering my powerful genius to laziness, whereas I said the point of Paradise was to make living simple, it’s the best virtue. Shepard said I don’t know what virtue is because it’s a human quality and I’ve killed already off humanity, and I concluded that we didn’t have to embrace humanity to be virtuous. “Well, I do.” Shepard responded with defiance, “You’ll live eternally to regret not accepting my visions, Al.”

On a Monday afternoon, the folks weren’t at the apple trees when I arrived. Instinctively I went to the long forgotten dock on the island and sure enough found Shepard loading everyone aboard an enormous wooden ship. I suppose Shepard valued the folks as much as I do, in that he refused to leave the folks to rot in the simplicity of Paradise like I shall refuse to let Paradise be hijacked by Shepard’s wicked human virtues. I stopped the exodus.

“Wait, everybody wait!” I shouted, running on to the dock, “is nobody unaffected by skipping dinner in favor of this trip to the unknown beyond?”

“We brought provisions, you devil!” Shepard shouted over the excited voices of the folks.

“True.” Some folks agreed in union.

“But I’m the better cook.” I said plainly, and all the folks knew that. “Provisions need cooking too.”

“Then why won’t you come with us?” the folks asked, they knew they prefer the better cook.

“I belong here.” I said, and that roused a chorus of murmuring among the folks, and I added, “If anyone’s interested, I’m making apple pies for dinner.” All the folks agreed that they want apple pies for dinner. Shepard didn’t go to dinner that night.

Early one morning I called up Shepard and convinced him to walk with me to the bottomless pit, our usual discussion spot. I told him I’ve thought thoroughly about his vision and was wrong not to accept his ideas. I said I was willing to split the world in half, one half for him to rule and another for me to tend. Since we had largely different virtues, it was best to split. There was a bit of tension, but he nodded to agree in the end. We walked to the fringe of the bottomless pit, and glanced into its depth, into the darkness. With a swift motion, I shoved Shepard into the abyss, gazing after his screaming fall, and enclosed a boulder over its opening.

I turned around and saw a fellow coming up the footpath, I greeted him and he returned greeting.

“I announce that the final apple harvest is done. And it’s a mighty good one.” He delivered.

Absentmindedly, I smiled, “Why that’s…good…very good, then I’m going to make apple sundaes for dessert tonight, yes…very good.”

Published on 2011/11/15 at 1:13 AM  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Interesting but I doubt it’s possibility. Immortality are still unable to achieve even with humanity’s science. Plus, this doesn’t save or help humanity. This creates massacres, genocides and the repeating cycle of hatred,war and death, I think.
    Pierre Lacroix

    • It shows your suspension of disbelief is tested by this story, do you think Al and Shepard operates at human technological levels?
      And who says immortality has to be a good thing, look what happened in this story: Al eliminates Shepard, but he’s immortal once they both drank the immortality drink, so it’s no longer possible for him to die, that fall into the bottomless pit probably did not kill him. Al, the immortal good guy, will always be plagued by the immortal bad guy, who may attempt to return to challenge him any time.

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