After revelation, there must be action, a new ending sealed and a new beginning forged.
Feng, renowned humanitarian and murderer, is tired. After long decades, he has one last, great act of creation in him.
This is the story of a genius’ greatest creation; of the first posthuman, and first true AI.
Also, a glamorous party, the real meaning of jihad, and someone riding an elephant in a palanquin. More
There is no fate, no destiny or weaver of life. We live in the hope that there is meaning and purpose buried within our chaotic trajectories, but it is an illusion for most, a narrative woven of similar falsehoods like truth, justice and order.
We live, but do so with no glimpse of where our paths will take us, walking the tightrope between ape and angel, able to fall into the abyss or rise above it at any time.
This is our glory, and our tragedy.
In short, we are human.
This story does not concern a human. What is true for us is not true for this creature. As with angels and demons, it is utterly bound by the stuff of which it is made, blessed and cursed with a fate, and its inhuman powers will be balanced by an utter powerlessness to determine its own destiny.
It will be called Zǔ, the tiny collection of cells already fated by its name to become the progenitor of a new age of man. It is a technological masterpiece, the product of giant strides in the material sciences.
Over a long and strange life, Zǔ’s body will be a testing ground for exotic new compounds and software of breathtaking elegance, as well as the first generation of true wetware.
The coiling, precisely designed DNA is a scientific concerto, composed and performed by a thousand luminaries, many unknowing and distant.
By the time it is large enough to be moved from its Petri dish, the undifferentiated body will have tiny mechanical structures implanted where, ganglia will soon flower like desert acacia. These metallic threads are the first visible sign of the stark inhumanity of this perfect form.
The future set before this child is no less strange than its past. Every inhuman born as the centuries pass will trace itself, in blood and bone and wire, to this experiment in posthumanity.
Like its fathers, Zǔ will be a figure of great hope, and great fear. One day, Zǔ will direct vast armies as extensions of a unique mind. Enemy forces will flee rather than be caught in the swathe of destruction, swarm armies flying and tunnelling around the simply dressed figure.
This child, born to wage war, will know love like no other, surrounded from birth by a purpose-built community. Zǔ will by design make only the most positive acquaintances, and eventually lead humanity beyond Earth, living a life of love not for individuals but for all of mankind.
Knowing such love, Zǔ will always carry a loneliness deep within, ever distant from normal human sentiment. Over the centuries, the ever-changing figure will always hold in a heart of flesh and machinery an endless fascination for all the strangeness and charm, the beauty and the terror and spaces in between.
Most importantly, there is the utter hatred of Zǔ’s conception and purpose. This hate is the defining fact of this poor creature’s doom, the darkness hidden at the heart of this shining light. Zǔ is conceived and born in absolute hatred, a loathing of self and other that knows no equal.
Zǔ is a weapon, and its story begins in an anger that would shame the gods, a rage cold and dark enough to make the kraken shudder.
This child, so steeped in love, who would bring such hope to the forsaken and peace to the embattled, and is born as an act of absolute despite, a rejection of the world and its corruption.
This is the tale of that hate, and that birth.