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4 Weeks Ago
Thy Godlike crime was to be kind,
To render with thy precepts less
The sum of human wretchedness,
And strengthen Man with his own mind;
But baffled as thou wert from high,
Still in thy patient energy,
In the endurance, and repulse
Of thine impenetrable Spirit,
Which Earth and Heaven could not convulse,
A mighty lesson we inherit:
Thou art a symbol and a sign
To Mortals of their fate and force;
Like thee, Man is in part divine,
A troubled stream from a pure source
- Lord Byron, Prometheus Stanza III
Deities exist in every culture, the idea of something well beyond mortal comprehension dipping its fingers into the affairs of man. Since the first working mind heard the roar of thunder and thought, “God”, all that could not be explained became the acts of unseen powers. The unknown was their domain, and wherever man feared to tread, titans constructed their halls. Venturing into the unknowable was deemed heresy, a transgression that would surely upset those that resided in the space between stars, the bottom of oceans, and crawled through the deepest caves. Man had no right to enter the realm of the divine.
In truth, Viktor suspected these taboos formed not out of respect, but fear. More than the unknown, souls trembled in the shadow of truth. Pure, irrefutable data could pull away the veneer of belief and expose something far more terrifying than the wrath of a god: that the divine was not so divine at all, that man was alone in a vast and uncaring universe. For those who clung to their faith as an anchor in a storm, that a lifetime of tradition be rendered hollow by a moment of truth was horrifying.
As the light of an artificial sun burned from one palm to another, Viktor knew his discoveries would be met with doubt, if not outright hostility. They would not look at the arm he crafted from steel and copper and recognize its potential, only the cost. To them, the wires burrowing into his neck formed a noose, not a conduit. He did not wear the future on his face, but a funerary mask. He was a dead man walking, heresy in motion. There would be no benefit of the doubt, not as before with the Steam Golem; there was no alternative but to prove himself and his inventions. Viktor clenched his hand into a fist and the beam connecting two mechanical limbs disappeared with a crackle.
In time, the truth would come to light; metal was perfection, and this epiphany would be his gift to the world. Flesh succumbed to the passage of time, failing under the weight of decades. The beat of a heart always came to an inevitable, and often sudden, stop. A mind faded like forgotten memories until only instincts remained. Mortality was an infection that festered in every body, a countdown that began ticking from the moment of birth. Every living soul was shackled by death, and consequently, a slave to life.