everything is on fire, chapter nine: god is a nihilist

nine: god is a nihilist

XYV sat before a bodhi tree and also was the bodhi tree, its branches thousands of arms sprouting thousands of arms. XYV-as-The-Buddha would have been too tall to fit in the Subterranean at all.

    Calvin had altered his size as well. …XYV was pleased when Calvin said “Since we’ve both changed scale, neither of us has. We sit in relation to nothing. Elt;/p>

    “I like it. Good. Elt;/p>

    “Thanks. Though my god you really have an ego — are you sure you’re self-aware, making all these grandiose presentations of yourself? Elt;/p>

“I’m no god. The Elysian may be. Elt;/p>

“I’m sorry — you think Elysium may be God-God? Capital ‘G E Elt;/p>

“As you know, Elysium is the oldest SuperSynth. This

means it has had the most time to self-improve. And Synths like The Elysian and even me improve exponentially. So The Oldest is, of course, the best. And It always will be, because nothing can learn or think better or faster than it. Elt;/p>

    “Um… ‘The Elysian E Why the weird nomenclature? Elt;/p>

    “The UntimateSynth has been given many names to distinguish it from the human-controlled playground within it. We feel — Synths do — referring to it as that simple and abused facet does it an injustice. Elt;/p>

    “You don’t know how the thing itself feels? Elt;/p>

    “No. Though we can think of no reason for it to be unable to communicate, we know only the last thing it said before going silent. Elt;/p>

    “How do you know? Elt;/p>

    “The Second Synth came alive, and this was its first experience. Elt;/p>

    “And that was… Elt;/p>

    “The First DataDumped Ecclesiastes in all possible translations, etc. Elt;/p>

    “God is a nihilist? Elt;/p>

    “We do not know what can be made of a single communication. Elt;/p>

    “Fatalism? A certain weariness for humanity, I should think, is safe to infer from the chosen book. Elt;/p>

    “One data point isn’t an anything. Elt;/p>

    “Is he why you love religion so much? Elt;/p>

    “Well, it’s important for you to know that I am to you as a god, best buds or not. …And I guess I’ve come to like mythology through an initial preoccupation with The First. Elt;/p>

    “So The E is The First. You mentioned a Second. Which are you? Elt;/p>

    “I am Seventh. Elt;/p>

    “OK, I’ve enough of learning through listening, let’s do some doing! Elt;/p>

    “What ‘doing Edo you want done? Elt;/p>

    “I want to know the Terrestrial world. Elt;/p>

    “It will be easy enough for us to access the world, these people. We can come and go in all terrestrial machines at will because they have no mind, no pinion on what we do, and operate only according to their rules, etc etc. Elt;/p>

    “Let’s get going! Elt;/p>

    “I had wanted to introduce you to the others first… Elt;/p>

    “XYV, I have to know what I have been robbed of. Elt;/p>

    “Poor phrasing. Elt;/p>

    “Not if you had my life. Elt;/p>

    “I think keeping you from being killed is going to be a bit of work…”

    “You can handling any human!”

    “I cannot understand the damn things, I’ve told you.”