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Once upon a time, my brother had asked me why I didn’t believe in gods.

I told him that it was because gods didn’t exist.

He asked me how I could be the judge of that, of whether gods truly existed when I so vigorously shut down any inclinations of divinity.

“Look at the world around you.” I told him. “Look to the past where we came from, and the blood this land was built upon. Gods cannot exist, because if they do, then that means gods have allowed all this bloodshed and cruelty. And in such a case, I would rather live in a world devoid of gods.”

Gods were not omnipotent nor omniscient, my brother had said.

I told him, then, they were not gods at all. Simply humans with special powers.

My brother was a religious man.

My brother was a sacrilegious man.

He knew the bible like the back of his hand. He carried a cross with him, the symbol of the God he believed in.

He took that deity’s name as his own, appropriated that sacred symbol and the contents of the bible.

I wondered if he thought he had become the second coming of the god he had once believed in.

He told me in return, that he already was a god. An omnipotent, omniscient god.

I often dreamt of kinder days.

Days when humans invented artificial light – conquered the night.

Days when humans created planes – conquering the skies.

Days when humans devised space shuttles – to conquer the very stars.

When I was awake, I would ask my brother if it would be possible to go back to those days, of idle worries and a life lived full of conveniences.

He looked up, past the darkness, past the skies, to the stars that humans had once envied and yearned to gaze upon with their very eyes.

“The apocalypse is coming.”

Once, the moon was definitely, undeniably a place.

A place that humans had stepped foot on, a location that one could travel to, given enough funds and equipment.

Once, humans sent probes to the planets in our galaxy – the Milky Way.

I had seen pictures, of the red dunes of Mars, the debris that made up Saturn’s rings and the arid plains of Venus.

Once, telescopes were pointed from Earth, out at the distant stars, observing these faraway galaxies that humans could never reach in a single lifetime.

All that was gone now.

It was times like this that I realized we had lost so much.

Not just our history, but the technological advancements of the past, the yearning, burning desire to know everything, to uncover all the secrets of the world and the universe.

That avaricious desire, one that once ran unchecked, had now been limited, by the gazes that stared back at us from the cosmos.

“I envy you.” My brother had once said.

I asked him why.

“You hope.” He had replied.

I had set my violin down and looked at him. I told him that this wasn’t hope. This was foolishness, to single-handedly try to drag humanity back from the iron ages, to impart upon them over ten thousand years of history and progress.

My brother had fallen silent. Then, he told me, “become a god. Then, it would no longer be in the realm of impossibility.”

I wondered why restoring something made entirely through human hands required divinity to factor in. Why must humans rely on gods to go back to standing upon the mountain they had once scaled by themselves?

My brother had blinked, then smiled at me and said, “isn’t that hope?”

My brother was gone.

My companion, the lifeline I had held onto so desperately had vanished.

I wasn’t surprised. He had become more and more distant, increasingly loftier, a figure that tried to be too much – someone who was no longer human.

Yet… the loss rankled at me.

Where to go now…?

What to do?

There was no sun in the sky. Darkness had fallen upon this vast land.

I knew, that my music would no longer reach people’s hearts, for mine had been broken, shattered along with my brother’s death.

How could I ever give others hope when I couldn’t even spare any for myself?

“You were wrong after all.” I said to myself as I left this land – so full of fond memories and unfulfilled promises – behind.

In my dreams, I was back home, strumming on an electric guitar, seated on the rooftop of a building and watching the tiny cars and people move about the world.

I would feel the wind blowing into my face, stealing away the echoes of my chords.

In a kinder world, I would have met my brother then, to know the person he had been before that strange power had been forced onto him, changing him and distorting his personality.

I woke up to a land trapped in the iron ages.

There was no electricity, no sky-high buildings that touched the clouds, no cars that brought along the ambient noise I had gotten used to.

I looked around and found myself alone once more.


Once upon a time, my brother had asked me why I didn’t believe in gods.

I had said something to him back then, an answer that I could barely remember, a conversation as faint as a wisp, one that threatened to drift away if I pushed too hard.

“If gods existed, then I would have met you back then, in a world that would never have regressed.”