The website of UK writer Dan McNeil

A NEW DREAM OF ARMAGEDDON

Back to previous page

“Is this purgatory?”
“No.”
“What then?”
“I’m not sure myself,” said God.
Jesus Christ! Sorry, I’m here and meeting God. This is amazing!”
“Listen, don’t overrate me. I just run things around here and-”
“Why am I here?”
“As I was going to say before you interrupted me. I’m not all knowing and powerful. All I do is make things work, grease the bearings. I’m just a mechanic. OK, I’m a bit more special than an auto mechanic, or even a space shuttle mechanic, I mean it’s the universe I run. Unfortunately, there’s a problem. I’m uploading all of you as intended, but something’s gone very wrong and I’m dying. When I die, the universe dies as well.”
“Stop the goddamn process then!”
“Can’t, it’s set in motion. Non-reversible. You’ve gone through my firebreak – sorry, firewall – deary me, this forty billion percent increase in entropy is really fucking with my terminology. Sorry, but we’ve got less than ten minutes. Then it’s all over. Everything that ever existed, whether you believed it existed or not.”
“Oh Jesus…
“God.”
“But I’ve been good, I’ve-”
“-kissed and loved your kids. Sorry, I can’t save the universe, but I can second guess you. I’m God, remember. Yeah, you’ve loved your kids, billions of you have, but it’s all collective. One guy gives an order, or presses a button – as happened yesterday – and billions die. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Nixon, Kissinger, it makes no difference what century, what side, these psychos had more people exterminated in five minutes than you’ve had hamburgers. The thing is, their behaviour neutered your goodness. By the way, that double S in Henry’s name always reminded me of the SS, in a subliminal way, of course. I’ve always considered Kissinger a Nazi.”

UPLOAD

Engines roar
Smoke
Artillery fire
Blood
Slow death
Corpses no eyes just flies
Dusty road
1941
Hot sun
Barbarossa
Einzatzgruppen
Civilians massacred burned
Lebensraum

ENTROPIC ACCELERATION OUT OF CONTROL

“But I remember so much, my daughter being born, the mountains, the ocean, the leather seats in my Cadillac…oh Jesus fucking Christ, it can’t end…”
“What’s the opposite of remember, hmm?”
“Wha…I don’t know, I…”
“Neither do I, but that’s the way it’s going to be. Whatever the opposite of remember is, that’s what you’re going to be doing. Or rather you won’t, if you see what I mean. There won’t be anything to remember, and there won’t be anybody to remember what’s no longer here. I think that’s how it’s going to be, this metaphysical shit is kind of confusing. I told you, I can’t stop this.”
Sobbing from the man.
“You all thought that when you died it was heaven or hell. Wrong. Death meant stasis, the big freeze, the final destination held in abeyance until the human race was no more – forget purgatory, that’s just a fantasy world invented by a bunch of pious nobodies. The reality was your soul just stayed around after death. The final destination was collective. How selfish of you all, each thinking of number one. ‘Now then, let me see, have I been a good boy or a shithead, will I go up or down? Well, let me see.’ You stupid fucking bastards. Heaven or hell for all of humankind, all of you uploaded or downloaded as one item, to one place or the other, that’s the fucking story.”

UPLOAD

Blood from mouth of dead child
Cigarette burns
Lice
Tower block
Urine smell
Social worker
Police
Gutter
Vomit
Grey sky
Cold east wind
Public inquiry
Repetition of promises
Consistent pattern
No end
Brutalisation

FIREWALL BREACHED INITIATING SYSTEM COLLAPSE

“Listen, I’ve tried to be a good God and give you all the benefit of the doubt and I got it wrong. You’re even more revolting than I ever imagined, all of you. Your murderous short sighted narrow minded barbarism is tearing into me. I knew I’d be uploading a mixture of good and bad, but I assumed the balance would be in favour of the good. How fucking stupid was I? All I’ve taken up is mass hate and bovine stupidity.”
“But you’ve made a good choice, you’ve taken us, the Devil didn’t…where is he?”
“The Devil lived on earth – he died in the apocalypse. He was just a mechanic as well. Nothing special.”

UPLOAD

B-52s
Incursive high level covert
Cambodia
Kissinger
Nixon
Napalm
Speedrush
Year zero
Torrential rain
Mud
Beheading
Mass graves
One million human skulls
YearZeroYearZeroYearZeroYearZero

SYSTEM COLLAPSE IMMINENT

“But…what’s going to happen to all the others in the universe?
“Nothing. Because there aren’t any others in the universe. Not this one, anyway. The only sentient creatures in this universe were you lot. And me, of course. Other universes may have sentient life and they’ll certainly have Gods. I was so hoping to be able to explore and meet them one day, but you’ve put paid to that. Do you fucking get it now? – I can’t stop this from ending. Well, I could, but I’d have to be around to do that and I’m dying, so it’s bye bye time. When it ends there’s nothing. Terribly sorry.”
Sobbing uncontrollably, he started calling for the soul of his daughter, who had drowned in a lake at the age of seven, twenty years before. But of course, even if the universe were not about to end, he had no chance of ever finding her.

UPLOAD

Taiwanese situation
Repel mainland invasion
Incident
Vatican taskforce
escalation
Russian impartiality compromised
Airbursts
Simultaneous strikes
Ground zero
Intense heat
Fear
Hatred
Burning
Death

SYSTEM COLLAPSE MEMORY DISPERSAL

He awoke drenched in sweat. Kicked aside the tangled quilt. Staggered to the window. Above and beyond St. Peter’s Square, the dawn sky was drenched gold and vermilion by the rapidly expanding composite fireball of multiple nuclear detonations. As death approached, His Holiness George W. Bush sank to his knees and began praying to the merciful Jesus Christ.

© Dan McNeil 2003