by Stewart Wilson
I'm an old man now. Forty thousand years is a long time even by posthuman standards. The only reason I got this old was the first Rapture, when I wished for immortality and a perfect memory.
I've been cursed with both ever since.
I'm the human-divergent species only contact historian, my memories encoded with the history of humanity from shortly before the first Rapture on out. I've visited worlds that no longer exist, danced on the shores of Mirablis, kissed more beautiful orthowomen than anyone else, met politicians and figureheads long gone. I've seen what you take for your history, and it makes me want to break down in tears. I want to cry out 'I was there!' I want to tell people what really happened. But it doesn't work.
And now, I want the one thing that didn't seem possible. I want to die. Let me explain.
I've loved a number of women, and it's never gone right. Not sexual desire, I hacked my bollocks off and shot them into a black hole aeons ago. But that didn't help. I'm incapable of expressing feelings, of relating to people and articulating what's in my head in mere language. So I fuck people up. Doesn't sound like much, but over my lifetime I've ruined more people than I care to think about. It's a side effect of my condition, I'm the foremost historian of any time, I know almost everything there is to know. I truly am the best at what I do, but I'm a fucking terrible human being. I'd think that this was just a recurrent depression, but any malaise that lasts more than a milennium is a sign of a deeper problem.
What happens now doesn't interest me. I've run from more cultures undergoing more Raptures than anyone will ever know about, fearful that they would record my state-vector and bring me back if anything happened. I don't want that. I've never made a backup — for most of my life there wasn't any point. But even now, I refuse to. My new wish for death includes a proviso that I am not to be resurrected.
My considerable resources have let me get close to a small sample of antimatter. Only when every particle of my being is destroyed will I stand no chance of coming back. Even grey goo isn't infallible in killing me, as I found out ten and a half thousand years ago. This time, I'm not coming back.
An extreme response? I know now with certainty that nothing more can change. It's all a cycle, everything gets re-done, and I don't want to go through it all again. The wars and destroyed civilisations and heresies and religions, yes. But also the personal pain. The shouting, the arguing, the long nights spent drunk and alone. In the end, this is me being selfish. I'm doing it all because I've never been able to say "I love you".