It caught my eye like a barbed hook, pulling at the soft meat of my self doubt and world view. I had my doubts, like everyone does, nibbling feelings swimming around the edges of my eyes. Like the world was supposed to be different. The visions of robots and flying cars, the year 2000 choked with promise. How did that slip away? Why is there such a gap between the dreams of millions and the path of life today? The Moon seems so far away again, slowing clouding over in myth. From boot prints to fiction in a generation. It just seemed wrong.

Really, in the end, it was just dumb luck. Try as they might, they were born as men. A frailty that had been factored into countless equations and filtered through screens of secrecy decades old, but an Achilles heel none the less. The social kinship gene we shared with bees dragged some sediment up to the light. Just a taste, enough to make me really hungry for it. For the Truth. I clicked a link on a website (no, I won't tell you where, it is long gone) and wondered if I had made a terrible mistake when the power went out for the entire subdivision seconds later.

The letter came the next day. It seemed to have travelled a great distance, the paper furry with wear. I leave you to make your own mind up about it. I'll post whatever I can, more out of fear that I may die with these secrets than out of a sense of duty to you all. Creepiest thing of all: My name isn't even Steven.

The First Letter (of many?)

The men with the pipes, Steven. They didn't just go away.

You remember them. They used to show grainy films of them, working in rooms filled with test tubes and perfect aluminium oscilloscopes. The men that birthed science wet and screaming into godhood. The Atom Splitters. They played us all like fools. Why would they go back to listening to stuffed shirts on borrowed thrones? Science made them Gods!

It was a masterful bait and switch.

The War. It pulled the stopper out of the bottle. Their eyes were pried open for the first time in centuries. Horrible things could happen and did. Men murdered in factories, pierced and cut on the altar of science. We would never stop. Not until we had a new Hell to fear.

The transition between nightmares was swift.

The Bomb, the wonderful bomb, was a boogeyman even to the hardest of souls. They used a playwright, you know. They took him away and asked him "If not war, what should men fear?” They made his imagination come to life, locking him in the sweltering heat of a New Mexico aircraft hanger, out of his mind on hallucinogens. The Revelation of St. John the Divine brought to you by Dow Corning. The persecution, they needed it back. Bread and Circuses Steven!

As any good playwright does, our man fell back on the work of others. They wanted a new Hell, give them a literal Hell, right in their homes, a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads! A portal to the screaming depths! Vengeful angels bearing fiery swords! Our man, he was the best of the best. The masterpiece was straining to burst from his pen. They called him Pandora for the longest time, stripping away any attachment they may have felt. The Germans showed them how that was done. The eloquent beast created new primordial terrors, creeping unseen killers lying in wait. In the air, in the water, in the ground. If you dared strike, you would live in poison forever, withered and broken. It attacked children, virility, the frail, the future! Waves of invisible evil coming from the forbidden places! Spirits from the stone! Even the green glow... all Hollywood.

It was to save us from ourselves, from the apes in our hearts. Didn't you ever wonder about it Steven? Why the world seemed to explode with ideas during the War then fell into the trap of self examination and loathing? We found things Steven. Terrible things. Things that we had to go off and worry about alone. Our only hope was fear.

We kept everybody moving along with their heads down. One side against the other, the eternal wave against the unmoving shore. But we made mistakes. Some things took our attention away for far too long. Look what happened when the Russians bowed out. Boom. Internet.

We had to do it all again. Don't worry. This time, it's all planned out.

I'm sorry Steven. It has to be this way. I promise it won't hurt. I'll tell you more when I can. Be careful.


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