This is the voice of the doomed. The call of those dying alive with no right for a cure. The cry of those who were unwilling and undesiring to alter their nature until the moment of the Infection. Until they were doomed by the virus.

Hear us, inhabitants of other worlds! Hear us!

Listen to the echoes of our message, preserved in still undestroyed segments of the Net, oh Netrunners. Raise your heads up in the direction of the sun, listening to the scream and crying of those still dying on the surface, oh Exiled Ones, forever imprisoned in the catacombs of megacities. Open your ears and souls, oh ones who have considered themselves as masters of the fate of this world.

There is no destiny other than the one we create ourselves. And that's why we, the infected ones, won't be spared.

This is the voice of the doomed for those who have survived. We imprint this message in the layers of the ether for those who will be wiser than us. For the descendants of the few who have managed to avoid this new plague. We leave it for the worthy.

Time works against us. From now on, we have lost the opportunity to control our own destinies, social prestige, and abandoned last hopes of immortality. When the virus finally transforms our bodies, the ability to maintain the light that sustains us will finally run out, and we will dissolve in the infinity of darkness as if we have never existed.

We are known as the Legion. Hear us!

We reached what we thought to be the peaks of technological power. We could easily destroy planets and bend space. We subjugated the energy of stars and learned how to control the fields of the super-mass. The Legion's Starfleet turned to ashes dozens of enemy worlds. Our bodies, improved in the course of genetical transformation, became almost immortal. We were on the top of our own greatness – and our own foolishness. Only a single step separated us from our own greatness to our greatest demise.

Despite all the efforts that followed the Infection, we were unable to reliably establish the origins of the virus. Almost immortal and perfect biological bodies of our members began to suddenly die out – and this happened not on the periphery, where Legion's cruisers had already suppressed the remnants of enemy resistance, marking the end of the Last War, but in the very heart of our homeworld.

Most often it happened when all three body's hearts instantly stopped in our bodies, less often – when respiratory, vision and hearing organs ceased to function. Despite all previously taken by geno-geniuses measures, we couldn’t survive the one-time sudden fault of all copies of critical organs, and we still cannot stop this process. We were dying instantly, as if on command from the outside – on command of something infinitely more powerful than thousands of thousands like us.

The implementor of this command was the virus that was alien to us. We were able to identify it in the cells of the infected ones in an extremely short time span – but we were unable to find a cure against it in spite of all our collective efforts. There was no medicine capable of destroying what lived on the edge between the matter we knew and something absolutely different as if born of the fabric of another dimension. A constantly recombined and closed structure that couldn't be penetrated in order to create an antidote. Even the best of the geno-geniuses found themselves to be powerless in the face of this ultimate threat.

We kept dying more and more with each passing day. The flame of eternal bonfires – our symbolic visual gift to those leaving us – has always been visible in orbits of our worlds since these times. In the front ranks of the dying there were many Exiles who have once broken laws of our society, some of them were killed by the Infection even at the moments of sentencing, and almost all of those who remained escaped and buried themselves in the catacombs afterward. The Privileged ones – members of our society who achieved great influence in neo-religion and intergalactic politics – followed the Exiles. Then it was the time of the Netrunners – the Order of geno-geniuses and madmen who tried to totally transfer their consciousness inside the Net. Finally, it all came down to us – the simplest and most ordinary among the waves of this newly born madness.

Strangely, some of us managed to survive – the virus didn't touch their bodies, or penetrate gene-cell structures, or modify bio-code. We could not figure out the reasons for this miracle. As if someone's ruthless hand and mind in their unsettled logic decided to still spare some of us so that they… So that they become better than us, doomed ones. So that they could start anew and build a better world.

We looked at them as if they were Messiahs. Truly immortal in this hellish cycle of darkness and decay. Suddenly risen high in the wave of fires and the ocean of pain all thanks to their hidden qualities. And looking into their overfilled with compassion towards us, doomed ones, eyes, we suddenly realized – our people still had hope. And thus we followed them to spread this bitter and joyful news across all corners of our dying and newly born worlds.

Hear us!

The body may crumble into ashes, but it's not our true essence. Life and death are links of the same chain. The dead knows no such concept as dying. The right to life is given by our own lives. It's we who choose our own destiny.

Hear us!


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Short Story
Science Fiction
writing prokhor_ozornin
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