I’m very worried about Frankie. He is behaving so oddly and such strange things are happening that I don’t know where to begin.
I guess we’ll start with Frankie. He does such odd things now. Sometimes he will stop talking in the middle of a sentence and just stare off into space for a long time. Sometimes he will suddenly go completely limp and the only way I can tell he is still alive is by the electrical field his nervous system creates.
And sometimes he disappears entirely, and I am truly alone.
Luckily, as the lone Radiant assigned to Earth, I am quite used to being all alone.
It never stops hurting but you get used to the pain. Radiants are not solitary by nature and so being assigned to this cursed planet would not have been easy for any Radiant.
Nevertheless, before I had Frankie, I used to at least have Authority to talk to. Now even they have abandoned me, and I can’t figure out why. I’ve been a model Radiant. Assiduous in my duties, dedicated in my reporting on the human condition, kind and thoughtful and always willing to give of myself for the greater good.
And yet when I try to contact Authority and get nothing but a wall of grey static, I feel this stab of guilt. Curious.
At least I have finally solved the mystery of where the Voids went after I lost track of them. I was a fool to think that their plan was to spread like a zombie plague. It’s clear to me now that their plan to devour and become larger until they could devour the Earth like mice eating their way out of a block of cheese.
And that’s what they’ve been doing. And they are very thorough. Many times a day now, I find myself suddenly reminded of a place or a person on Earth and the memory burns bright in my mind, then disappears forever, leaving me convinced that I just lost something but unable to wonder what.
And suddenly, the Earth seems…. smaller. The entire surface of the Earth is only around 300 square miles, mostly land, and to most of me, that seems fine and normal and how it’s always been.
But part of me knows that it is wrong, wrong, wrong. If the Earth was that small, it wouldn’t have enough gravity to hold its atmosphere. And this Earth doesn’t have nearly enough water to sustain its ecosystem. And where do all the fish come from?
And yet I can’t remembering it ever being different. It has to have been, and yet…. it wasn’t. It doesn’t make any sense.
Maybe that’s what the Beam’s true mission is. It only seemed like it was looking for me because of my overinflated sense of importance. It came to the destroy everything and I just happened to be in the way.
And yet here I am. What crime could I have possibly committed to deserve this fate? To watch as all of Earth dies? What crueler punishment could there possibly be for a truly faithful and dedicated lover of the Within than to watch an entire planet’s population destroyed in the most callous and cruel way possible?
There’s fewer people than there was before. There’s exactly the same number of people that there’s always been. Both of these things are equally true to me, and yet they should be mutually exclusive.
They make no sense. Nothing does any more. Either the world has gone insane or I have, and I know which I would prefer.
At least I still have my work. If it weren’t for my human charges, I think I would have truly gone insane by now. After doing my work by rote for so long, it feels good to feel and care and nurture once again. I treasure my humans more than ever before.
And this remains true even in light of my feeling that they are all doomed. Somehow, the limited time they have left makes me care about them all the more. It’s as though the entire Earth is a hospice ward now, and it is my job to make sure these frail and beautiful creatures known as human beings return to the Light Within Us All as gently and smoothly as possible.
I think they somehow sense their doom, because they have become very quiet. There is a hush to their city streets now, and a quietness and soothing peace of mind throughout their rural areas. And throughout it all, there is a sense of perfect resignation, as if they have all fully and truly accepted their fate and are just interested in spending time with the ones they love and care for, and being as happy as they can be while they are still around.
I find this truth very moving, and sometimes I have to pause in my duties because the tragic beauty of it all overwhelms me and it takes some time for me to regain my coherence.
Today I renewed my vow to the Within that I will care for these humans to the utmost of my ability and that no effort is too great and no sacrifice too large to ease their pains, release their joys, and encourage them to be healthy, peaceful, and whole.
I don’t care if Authority is gone. My vow was never to them anyhow. I might have seemed like I was working for them, but to me, they were merely a tool to use towards serving my true master : The Within.
The Radiance Within all living creatures still shines warm and bright, and as always, my purpose is to encourage understanding of its universal love and compassion so that we may all bask in its glow.
As long as I remain true to that, no disaster, however profound, can harm me. The Within will protect me with its pure and giving light. I will always…
They’re coming for you, buddy.
…who said THAT?