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I was completely bewildered, so I questioned, "If God is the victor in your story, then why did it go wrong so badly?"
"They," the Devil corrected me.
“You need to say ‘they’ not ‘she’, because God is not gender specific, and 'they' don't like the way the world has made them masculine."
"Why are you claiming there is more than one god?"
"Yes and no. They are all-present; they are all of us and we are them. But that's not why I said you must say 'they'... It's because God is nonbinary, so you can't use 'he' or 'she' to identify them."
"Well, yes, I know the term nonbinary," I retorted scornfully. "But last I heard, 'they' went by 'she', so that's why I often used it – and 'she' had been mad for two thousand years that humans were making her seem masculine?"
"From what I understand," they informed me, "It is very fluid for them; they really don't like any of the terms, just as neither do I. That's why it's easier to refer to them as 'they'.
"All right then," I continued, "but 'they' certainly blundered totally, didn't they?"
"In what sense?"
“So, preachers and prophets said God would bring the world to an end, that something better would come afterward.”
“But it didn't happen like that; there was death and destruction, but not everything was lost, and then God vanished leaving us here in this limbo with nothing to look forward to except for empty capitalist dreams of the past because we can't find peace in our present.”
“Well, sure, when the Bible was written back then they may have thought so.”
“Maybe so, but the point is it didn't turn out as they had predicted.”
“It could have been one of many possibilities, right? So just because it wasn’t true here, who says it wasn’t true in another reality?”
“No, I don't see that. If it was taught here, then it must be true here.”
“Things aren't so straightforward; everything isn't black-and-white. Also, people only see what they want to see. ” They paused for a moment. “Things are never what they seem.”
“I know our reality is filtered through our own maps, that we delete, distort, and generalise based on our worldview, but my job is to manipulate that in others,” I said.
“Yeah, but there’s more to it than that,” they replied.
“I know even on a quantum level things only appear in the forms they do because we observe them. And the way two people see and experience the world could be different as it’s all subjective.”
“Yeah, but it’s even more than that,” they persisted.
“All right, what do you mean?” I asked, already bracing for a wild theory.
“To some people, both in and outside of this reality, Armageddon happened. It actually happened and then again it didn’t.”
“What are you talking about?”
“It's tough for the human mind to comprehend simple things like time not just going in one direction,” they explained.
“I’ve heard of that theory.”
“Yeah, but for mankind, it’s just a theory.”
I couldn't argue with their point. They always found a way of diverting me onto another topic without allowing me to drill down into their answers.
“Humankind," I said.
“What?” they asked, confused.
“We don’t say mankind anymore—not for at least 50 years. It was declared unlawful in 2025 due to it being seen as sexist and a remnant of the patriarchy.”
“How can words be illegal?”
“They can arrest you for having the thought itself, even if you don't speak it.”
“How do they catch you thinking it?” They seemed baffled, and I was curious why this was news to them. For once, I had successfully diverted their train of thought and I couldn't help but grin.
“Trust me, they know how to. People have been arrested for pre-thinking far less than this, and they get sent to a virtual prison.”
“Oh, my goodness. But we just said it—does that count?"
“Firstly, you are no longer living, and I am a programmer so I have immunity from the law, free thoughts for creativity, as well as an already hacked system that ensures this house and my mind is off the grid - undetectable to anyone.”
“Really? No one can see or hear here?”
“No one! Although they might be able to get in, it would take some effort to do so without me noticing. Just saying - your skull was already on my land as kind of a trophy, so I let you in.”
“But I.. .”
“Yeah, I know, but you are not exactly human and maybe I should re-hack the system to detect anything metaphysical too and terminate it before it comes back to life.”
They appeared startled and stayed quiet. I had silenced the Devil.
Music in this episode - best played whilst reading - Tricky - Hell is Round the Corner
This is a live book series writing/story art graphic novel cyberpunk, dystopian fantasy project. Written by Sam I Am Artwork by Wonder Ai directed by Sam I Am. Copyright is protected. It is a first rough draft work in progress so will change over time. This project is part of the SleeplessDystopian.com writing projects.