At first it caused an incalculable occurrence of ailments: sickness and a chronic tiredness, uncontrollable demons which grew inside one’s very own body. Babes died before birth and minds refused knowledge. In our foolishness, we thought it merely a test of our worth.
When at last the hellish maladies had passed, we’d thought ourselves proven right and that soon we would become immortal like the Gods. Soon we would bleed naught but the liquid metal that was now steadily leading us into the Heavens.
It was Mercury, named for the Messenger and surely brought to us by him. We took it in a moderate dose with each meal. Gradually each dose grew larger, and each meal smaller. Before long there was no meal, only metal.
In just four months the plagues returned and departed. Thereafter, we lived gratefully in perfect constitution. We were nearly holy and we reveled in it, lorded it over the heads of the peasants we commanded. This higher level of purgatory, this blissful stasis, has lasted us for generations. Only now are we beginning to feel our stagnation.
Mercury has stopped coming to us and we are quickly depleting our stores. We will soon starve.
For eons my people had no desire for a scientist, in fact for no thinker at all. As Mercury fled them, they came to me crying and begging on their knees in their noble’s purple. ‘Save us’ they beseeched me, and to save them I promised.
I am dying now, though I have found my people their cure to death. It’s a simple answer we’ve held all along. Humbly, eternal life comes from things that grow and the animals we slaughter for sport. It comes in death; only then can we ascend to meet our makers. I will not go there, for I am not human, nor are any of us. Endeavoring to become like the Gods, we have mutated into beings they cannot recognize and so cannot love.
My people won’t be cured. I will die here and then cease to be. This is the sad result of Evolution.