Friday, October 14, 2011

Retelling Tales: Genesis

As an exercise in envisioning mythology in a new light, I have an interest in re-writing mythologies into modernized stories, ones that you might consider science fiction in nature.

These stories will include the original elements revisioned through our ideas of present and futuristic technologies in order to provide another possible understanding of what may have been described in these tales. It will require a bit of artistic license, in order to flesh out some of the ideas or occurrences, but I would stay true to the original stories as much as possible. Nonetheless, these stories are a work of fiction and are not meant to be understood as having been literal accounts of events, but rather as one interpretation of the possibilities.

Genesis: The awakening of Man

Our story begins with the spaceship carrying beings from a distant star hovering over a gas and liquid planet. The planet had no real form or structure, its gravity holding it in a spherical shape but within those boundaries was an ocean of matter in gas, liquid and plasma forms. The ocean had great turbulence, with mighty storms slowly moving about it's circumference and denser, heavier elements swirling deep within. As the spaceship orbited the planet, a member of its crew, all of whom were of the god race, launched a probe which would begin a transformation upon the planet. This planet, third from the sun, they called Eden.

Once the probe impacted the surface of the waters, it used a special technology to begin changing the composition of the matter. Moving all the way through to the center of the sphere, it caused the elements and phases of matter to separate and to change. Thick water vapor moved to the outermost edge of the sphere, followed by a mixture of gases and with heavier materials such as iron, silica, carbon and the like settling in the center along with large quantities of hydrogen and oxygen, made heavy by being bound together into molecules of water.

The newly changed planet had a surface of dusty and rocky elements, below which flowed a tumultuous ocean of water, and below that a hot core of rock and metal. Over a period of time, the surface of the earth was warm and temperate thanks to both the heat from the core transferred up through the waters, and the dispersion of heat through the thick vapor in the outer atmosphere. The planet became a petri dish, an ideal environment for the growth of life.

Along with the terraforming, the planet's rotation was also changed. The increased speed not only allowed the entirety of the planet to be exposed to warmth from the sun frequently enough not to cool too much, but it also increased the gravity and magnetic field so that the changes made would hold fast. As the thick vapor in the outer atmosphere disguised the sources of the light and the darkness, and the movements of the stars, they launched representations of the bodies into the sky, beneath the vapors but far from the surface. These bodies moved exactly as their exterior counterparts, as a sort of map to the universe beyond.

The members of god pulled various samples from their collections, samples which had been collected throughout their travels, and brought them to the surface in order to flourish. They seeded multitudes of life, from those which grew in the dust to those who walked on it, things to fly in the air and things to swim in the waters. Pleased with their work, they spent some time studying and cataloging all that they had done here.

The time came, once Eden had been suitably populated and growth had covered its surface, for the second phase of the experiment. They gathered a couple of a type of being that had been created here into a facility containing an ideal and controlled environment. The garden, as their habitat was called, had been designed to include every species of plant that had been added to this planet, as well as a couple of species that were from the home planet of the god.

One of the specimen was anesthetized, and it's DNA was sampled and hybridized with the DNA of the god race. From this sample they used a technology not unlike cloning to grow a new hybrid being. This being, they called Adam. He was placed in the garden and observed for a time, including testing where they showed him images of all the species which had been brought here to see if he had enough recall from his combined DNA to recognize them. Once they had completed all the testing that they could perform on him alone, they anesthetized him and took a sample of his DNA, further altering it in order to create a female version of the new species. Once she had grown to full form, the two were introduced.

As the two were allowed to live together, mostly unsupervised in the garden, something incredible happened. The female, looking at Adam recognized that although he was like her, he was his own being who was not the same as she. This brought her to the understanding that she was a being like him, but not the same as him. Ultimately, she came to know that she was a conscious entity and awakened to higher understanding of her existence. Having been changed by her new understanding, she now understood the idea that she could do something kind or something unkind, having a will of her own. She now understood the concept of causing harm or causing good, and developed the emotions which go along such as guilt and joy. Feeling the joy, and wanting to cause good, she endeavored to teach Adam what she had learned so that he too might experience knowingness and joy. Once she had taught him, and he understood her to be a being like him but not him, and that he himself was a conscious being with will to cause either good or harm, he called her Eve "mother of living" as she had awakened him to new life.

Along with their awareness of good and bad, guilt and joy, they realized that there were parts of their body that should be covered so as not to inspire various feelings and desires when unwarranted. They created clothing for themselves, and then, they heard one of the beings of god enter the garden. They hid from fear, as they now understood that the beings of god had subjected them to certain experiments and tests, and they were nervous about what else would be planned for them.

The being of god, Jehovah was his name, called out to them as they had not come to greet him as in the past. When he found them, he asked why they had hidden themselves, and he noticed that when they answered there was a change in their stance, they made lasting eye contact and they spoke of themselves with understanding when they said "we were afraid". This marked monumental progress in the experiment, and appropriate timing for the next step of testing of these beings.

After explaining to them as much as possible about what they would soon be experiencing, the two were removed from the facility and placed in a new home out in the world, a natural habitat for them to adapt to. They were told that unlike the garden, not all things would be there so they were taught to farm to grow their own food and they were taught about some other survival tools they would need. It was explained to them that now that they had a new understanding of each other, they may in time come to reproduce and that the process would be long and painful for the woman but ultimately rewarding as it would provide more of their new race - this race called Man by God.

Adam and Eve, newly awakened, did not fully understand everything, and now the beings called god had removed themselves almost completely from the lives of Adam and Eve - a test to see if they could survive, if they could put their hybrid intelligence to use enough to sustain themselves.

It worked. After a time of confusion and not eating, the pair began to farm and build as they needed, to develop a life for themselves. It did come to pass that they bore children as well, another highlight in the experiment proving that though they were hybrids, they could reproduce and when they did so, their children were like them.

Many further things were learned about these hybrids, including that they retained some of their animal natures. Once, the children of Adam and Eve, named Cain and Abel, brought the efforts of their labors to show to the beings of god as a check on their progress. The works of Abel were graded well, he had learned to pasture and grow animals well, but the works of Cain were not as well praised. He had brought only plant matter, which he could have grown or could also have collected. This showed no remarkable progress, and at Cain's displeasure he was told that he would need to put more effort forth if he desired to receive more benefit from his efforts.

The words did not reach Cain, as he had carried more of the animistic genes than his brother or parents, and he decided that if his brother were no more, then all of the praise would be his. He killed his brother, and when this was discovered by god, he attempted to deny his knowledge that anything had happened.

The beings of god had found where Abel's blood had stained the ground, and pointed it out to Cain. They then said that Cain would be removed from his family, and from contact with god, in order to protect others from him. He was immediately fearful that he would be killed as well, but god recognized that further study of Cain and the lineage he could put forth was important, and so he was allowed to continue living and to reproduce his own strain of DNA into a lineage for study.

The generations of this hybrid DNA were cataloged, following through the lineage of the males as it was they who typically passed either the god DNA or the original animal DNA and this determined what their offspring's tendencies would be.

Through all this time, the beings of god continued to interact with and be in close contact with Man, but some of their ranks found beauty in this creation and decided to do their own experiments - from lust rather than for research. The new strain of offspring produced was varied, some where giants, some were incredibly strong or powerful, some were more like god and others were more like man. The gods who had taken humans for wives had also taught them about their technology and other knowledge, showing them things beyond human comprehension and which muddied the experiment, effectively destroying any hope for conclusive results in the study of man.

Finally it was decided that they would need to wipe the slate clean and start over. They chose a man whose DNA had retained the most even blend of hybridization - he was no more god than he was animal, he and his family were as genetically close to Adam and Eve as remained in the experiment. These people along with specimens of every other type of life on earth (except those tainted by over mixture with god DNA) were ushered into a special carrier to protect them from the coming changes. Once all of the creatures had taken residence in the carrier, god sealed it and moved it out of harm's way - into a cargo hold on one of their larger spaceships.

Another probe was sent to Eden, much like the original terraforming probe. It condensed and pulled the thick water vapor from the outer atmosphere as it entered, causing great amounts of water and rain to crash down to the earth. As it entered the surface of the earth, it blew it apart such that the waters below the surface as well as the rock and metal from the core all came rushing out as well. For a time, the planet was again like the tumultuous sphere that god had originally found. Eventually, it settled, being more like a slurry of water this time and causing it to form quite differently in its settling. Now there was a terrain of great mountains and valleys, and all the water from the sky had pooled around to form vast oceans. The planet which had been mostly dust was now mostly water, it's surface a jumbled mix of the elements which had previously been separated more evenly. The container was brought out of the cargo hold and placed upon the ocean, and allowed to drift as a boat, until further settling occurred and it found it's way to land.

God instructed the humans directly a last time, teaching about the changes which had occurred, how they now could see out into space at night, and how it would now rain and because of those changes, the planet could not be torn apart in the same way again. They showed the humans how a rainbow could now appear in the sky, and assured them that as long as they could still see rainbows, they would be safe from massive flooding such as had wiped out everything.

Then the humans and animals began to repopulate, and the god notated that a strain of what Cain's DNA had contained still appeared among the sons of Noah, being a sort of curse that would follow the lineage of Canaan.

And thus, mankind and the earth came to exist in the forms that we now know them.

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