Time

gsainsa

United States

Bio? Well, I'm still trying to figure it out.

Message from Writer

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To read and listen to these words:
Writers from all across the world,
you're not losing your time
by creating heroes
and making words rhyme.
Don't ever think you are zeroes
or committing a crime
when you say that red is the rose
and the violet is blue.
With paper and pencil, you can always be you,
and your fantasies and dreams can all become true.

The Last Question

January 12, 2016

FREE WRITING

2

It was late at night, and there was I, flipping through the pages of an uncountable amount of books bigger than the thirst for power of a corrupt politician. I was sure that somewhere within those paragraphs I would find the answers I was looking for. The darkness governed the archive, as every single bit of light, except for my personal lantern, had extinguished and nothing stopped the obscurity from taking over all of those tomes full of information. Why would anyone keep such a place in the shadows?
            Just when I thought that I had found an encrypted message in an encyclopedia, which would have definitely led me to solve this gigantic puzzle that lied in front of me, the whole place started to shake. I struggled to maintain my balance, and eventually fell. My lantern fell right next to me and luckily survived the impact. The loud and strong noise of the books and shelves falling to the ground reverberated throughout the room, but what I didn’t know back then was that the chaos of the room prevented me from hearing the fearful voices of the people on the surface. The shaking continued, and the roof began to fall apart. All the documents of the Vatican’s secret archive were suddenly gone. Was this a sign of fate, trying to tell me not to be too curious?
            I was lucky to make it out alive. Unfortunately, all those secrets I was about to discover were buried, literally. “I guess I’ll have to wait a bit more if I want to find out the truth behind Pope Benedict XVI’s abdication,” I thought as I returned to the illuminated surface of the Vatican City. Then, all of my thoughts shifted to what at the time thought to be an apocalyptic catastrophe. Was it the end of the world? Tourist, priests, security forces were all running for their lives. Rivers of screaming people flooded the streets. Although my intuition told me to run from the eminent dangers, my curiosity didn’t let me. Why is it that I have this insatiable curiosity? It forced me to hide where I could take a look at the prosecutors, which, due to their size, could have been anywhere really. But with the chance to see the attackers, I also saw a sea of innocents in pain and fear. Why is it that the truth is always so painful?



Questions, so many questions. So many questions I could have asked them right there. What was the real reason behind the War of Iraq? Did the CIA participate in the conspiracy to murder JFK? Is class struggle and income inequality truly necessary for a capitalist society to function? Was Benjamin Franklin a woman pretending to be a man so that his/her rise to power wouldn’t be hindered by sexist judgment? Too many questions without answers, but the time was not right. I had to ask the right questions if I wanted to obtain the answers I needed. I had to control my impulses. After all, I was in the room with the largest amount of information in recorded history. The computers of the Black Room stores every single bit of information the United Nations has. The most powerful men and women of the world were in there staring at me. Were they gazing at me with surprise because I lacked facial features, like eyes and a mouth? Or were they bothered by my top hat and gabardine coat? I inferred they didn’t like having a complete stranger in their extremely clandestine meeting. Is this what must happen for all of them to be on the same side?
            “What are you doing here, you freak? This is a restricted area!” one of them yelled at me. His thick moustache was staring at me with anger. I asked myself why this foolish man was running a country. Yet again, was I really surprised?
            “Oh please, don’t be stupid. If he was able to get in here, he obviously knows what this room is, don’t you?” asked a woman. I think she was Hillary Clinton, although did I actually care?
            “This is the Black Room, one of the biggest secrets hidden by the United Nations themselves. It is a chamber designed to store all of the data in recorded history into one single database. These quantum supercomputers are able to gather so much intelligence that the UN had to come up with a new measurement to calculate it. In fact, this room’s energy thirst is what created the current energy crisis, wasn’t it? As you can see, I have done my homework. However, there is something that I do not know. What is the purpose of the Black Room? Is it an attempt to preserve humanity’s knowledge or an excuse to invest billions of US dollars in machines that could potentially be used for great military strategy and espionage?”
            “We will be the ones doing the questions. Who are you, young man?” asked the old lady with the tallest chair. I thought she was the Queen. Why was she the one in charge? 
            “The question is, your Majesty,” I walked to the gigantic, round table at the center of the room, “why did this happen?”
            “Enough of this! Security!” moustache man shouted.  
“Wait! If he knows that much, he could be useful. I don’t know who you are, how did you find out about this room, or how the bloody hell you managed to beat the security system of the most protected room in the planet, but you better start talking about what your intentions are and your relationship to the world’s crisis, young man,” she replied. Although her old voice had an inconsistent pitch, her message remained strong and powerful. What is that led her to continue on for so many years, her addiction to power or her lack of trust in her own son?
“You named this place the Black Room because nothing that happens inside this room gets out. So you truly believe that nothing can filter out of these walls? Well, remember that even black bodies emit radiation. Quantum mechanics 101. I just happened to cross paths with those, hmm, fugitive particles, if you will. I just needed to ask the right questions to get here,” I answered while walking across the room, looking at the giant screens. “I know what you are thinking. I must be the mastermind behind this catastrophe, and in a way, you may be right. You see, I personally didn’t do anything to initiate this; we all did. This war has started because of the calamities we, all humans, have brought upon the world. The dilemma here is: which question do we need to answer to solve this problem?”
The man who had been yelling earlier spoke again. His moustache was quite disconcerting, “Look, Mr. I-Ask-Too-Many-Questions, you are not an appointed official; therefore, you have no right to be in this room right now! Who do you think that you are?!” he hit the table with his hand, “Do you think that you are so smart that you can just fucking walk in here without any identifications and start walking around as if this were your living room?! We are dealing with a fucking world invasion here, and we don’t have time for your bullcrap, you little piece of shit!” His face turned red. I was surprised that his ears weren’t ejecting smoke. I always wondered why humans feel so much anger and are so easily aggravated. I pitied this man’s country. They must always be getting into wars. How much energy and time would we safe if people stopped shouting and yelling at each other? 
“I don’t like agreeing with him, but he is right. I am sorry, sir, but if you don’t know how this happened or how to solve it, then I am going to have to ask you to leave, the woman who I thought was Hillary Clinton said. She pressed a button on the table and said, “Mr. Smith, will you be please turn on the mind-erasing machine?,” I got nervous there. I knew that it wasn’t my time to leave yet, but I didn’t have the answers they wanted. Only questions, so many questions. Why did the US government allow companies to drill the Artic? Did Bush do 9/11? What exactly started the space race? Is Communism actually that destructive, or is just propaganda from the US government to exterminate a belief that rivals their American way?
Luckily for me, no one answered. Did they really think I would have come in here if I hadn’t taken care of any obstacles to accomplish my goals?
“Again, you are asking the wrong questions,” I said. “We shouldn’t ask the how, but the why. Why is this happening now? Are we meant to survive through this apocalypse?” I finished looking at the screens. Those images were devastating. They showed different parts of the world. I guess they were recording them from their satellites, because there is no way that the street cameras could survive that war. Men, women, children, they were all screaming for help. They were all suffering. I could feel their unbearable pain. Is this a cruel joke of fate, or is it justice?
“ ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?’ The Book of Revelations. Interesting book.” I stopped to stare at the last screen. I saw one of the creatures that were causing this chaos. It was a tree, a willow to be accurate. Its roots were moving like the legs of a spider, swiftly transporting it wherever it meant to go. It moved its branches around, destroying and killing everything and everyone that crossed its path. How could such a peaceful being like a tree become so violent?
As the room went silence, waiting for me to say something, I could hear the tree murmuring something. I had no idea how it was able to do so, but I knew what I heard: 
 
 
To war, to war, to war we must go.
Regardless of the rain, thunder, or snow,
To war, to war, to war we must go
End their reign of terror and shadow!”
 Suddenly, about 3 tanks appeared on the street. They blew off the tree. What was left of it fell to the ground and stopped moving. It was dead. “I see that your soldiers have already taken action against the trees. I just heard the tree saying something. These trees are intelligent beings with the ability to communicate in human languages. Interesting, I wonder how this happened, but my instincts are telling me that is not the right question to ask. Tell me, have you tried communicating with them?”
The old lady answered immediately: “We have not, for we didn’t notice that the trees were able to speak in human languages. We couldn’t hear them over the innocent civilians screaming and running for their lives.” Well of course they didn’t try. Some may call me a cynical, but were they actually just concern about the safety of their citizens, or were they worried about their power being stolen by some walking trees?
And just when I thought that the man with the living moustache was going to stay quiet for the rest of the discussion, he stood up and shouted again, “So what do you suggest, Dr. Top Hat, that we talk to some fucking trees?! Please! Those bastards are slaughtering our people, how could we talk to them?! And now get the fuck out of this room and let the important people solve this problem! You have done nothing but ask, ask, and ask!” How does anyone get enough courage to swear in front of the Queen? 
Although, I wasn’t really yelling, I did loose my temper a bit and raised my tone, “Do you want to know why I ask so many questions, huh, you fool? It’s because questions are what creates progress. Asking is what moves society forward. If the philosophes didn’t questioned their societies, absolutism would still exist within Europe. If the scientists of the Scientific Revolution didn’t have all those doubts about Ptolemy’s model of the universe, we would still think that the Earth is the center of the universe. If no one wondered if there were another route to get to India from Europe, America would still be unknown to the world. Questions are the key to evolution and progress, and I dream that someday people will ask the right questions so society can evolve and reach a point where there are no more wars. Maybe someday you, the “important people,” will question things like why do we need to go to war, or do we really need to kill all these trees. Maybe someday, you will realize that asking the right questions could save the world. If you’ll excuse me, I’ll take my leave, as I see that there is nothing that I can do here. Keep this room secret and safe. Seeing how things are going, we will probably need something to preserve humanity’s knowledge, because it doesn’t seem like we will be around for much longer.” I exited the room the same way I entered it, but how I actually got in is a secret that I will bring to my grave. I left the Black Room with many questions hanging. I hope they think about what I said. Maybe, and just maybe, they still have time to save humanity, but will they be willing to answer to their crimes?


I sat on the top of a hill, waiting for the end to arrive. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately), I was going to sit there forever. I observed the chaos from a distance. I heard screams, gunshots, bombs, etc. I saw the city on fire, and its flames rising to the heavens. Trees are vulnerable to fire, so I guessed it was the humans who created the fire to defeat the “invaders.” They were willing to sacrifice all those human lives and their own homes to win the war. Can we really consider that a bad thing, or is it a sacrifice made for the greater good? Are humans truly sinful? Do we have a natural tendency to evil? Can we really define it as evil then, or is it just a survival instinct? The question is: if we were purely sinful, how come we have a concept of good as well? I can only speculate, for I am a human myself. I am guilty of sins and crimes as much as everyone, so do I have the right to judge us?
Suddenly, I heard the noise of a willow’s leg-like roots approaching me. I heard their battle cry. It was the same verse I heard back at the Black Room. I didn’t run, and stared at what I thought would be my murderer. It flinched for some reason when I turned to look at it. It could have killed me, but something stopped it from doing so. Was it my non-existent face?
Face-less man, why don’t you want to run? Why don’t you shoot me back with a gun?” it said, although I don’t know how, for it had no eyes and no mouth. Why did he want me to run or shoot back? Did it feel guilty for killing me because I was defenseless? Did the trees have a concept of morality as well?
“There are many questions I want to ask you. I am ready to embrace my fate, but there are many things I must learn before I leave. I have noticed that you are moral beings, so will you be willing to grant me one last wish, please?”
Your questions I’ll answer. I promise I will, but I can’t guarantee you’ll make it out of this hill,” it answered. Was it having second thoughts about killing me?
“First question: how are you able to see and speak if you don’t have eyes or a mouth?”
            “Ironic that you ask me that, for you have no face under your hat. I have never seen a man like you before, with no eyes, no mouth, no guns, do you even like war?”
“I don’t think anyone does. Although, it was World War II what boosted America’s economy after the Great Depression. It would certainly explain why we go to war so much. Do you think we do?”
            “I have lived for many years, about one hundred eighteen, and the tyranny of humans I have seen.“ I pondered, is this rebellion motivated for justice or revenge?
“Is this why you woke up? Is this why the trees decided to fight against the humans?”
We are nature’s agents, and against evil we must fight, humans had their time and submitted everyone to their might. This is the natural order of things; they are the oppressors, so the oppressed shall kill the oppressor’s kings.” And there we have the answer to the why this is happening. Not only are they defending their people, if I can call them people, but they are fighting for everyone else humans have made suffered. They are fighting for the slaves that escaped through the Underground Railroad, the Natives who were killed by the European explorers, the members of the LGBT community who had to hide in the closet for years, for all of them. So no, they don’t fight for revenge. They fight because they must. They are natural consequences of our tyranny. I am curious, is this some kind of magic trick, or something that can be explained with science? Honestly, I don’t think it matters. The reason behind this rebellion is simple; it happened because the rules of nature are the way they are. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. If there is an oppressor forcing its power on an oppressed, the oppressed will eventually force its power on the oppressor. This is how the world was going to end. Some kind of twisted Marxist joke. But, could it end any other way?
            “That’s all I needed to know. Will you kill me now?”
            “You don’t wish to murder or even attack me. You don’t look human, are you a tree?”
            “I am no tree. I am a human, and for humanity’s crimes I must pay. But before you bury me under this hill, let me ask you one final question. You just said that because I don’t want to kill you, even if it meant saving myself, then I must not be a human. You are willing to kill me now. Based on these statements, tell me, which one of us is more human?”
            The tree drew back its largest branch and prepared to lay a final blow upon me. I extended my arms to embrace my final fate. But nothing happened. But the tree was still there. A couple of eyes opened on its trunk. Why didn’t this surprise me? I was intrigued by the irony of the situation: A talking tree with eyes facing a face-less man and considering whether to finish him or not. This moment is where the line between oppressor and oppressed lied on. Would it be willing to cross that line?
            Finally, the tree spoke, “I suppose there is logic and truth in what you say. The question is: which is the right way. Is life so black or white, or is it just gray?” Thus, the tree marched on, down the hill and into the burning city. Then, I contemplated something that shook my whole perspective of reality. The army of trees and the Black Room did not fully surprise me. Could I have expected anything else? But what I witnessed as the tree walked to the city was breathtaking. Was it real, or did my mind show me what I wanted to see and hear?
To war, to war, to war must we go?
Regardless of the rain, thunder, or snow,
To war, to war, to war must we go?
End their reign of terror and shadow,
Yes, but why to war must we go?”
I smiled and finally breathed, That is the question.”

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