Vishnu – Oppenheimer’s famous words are haunting to hear. Unrelated, and thought-provoking rather than haunting, is the following from Carl Sagan as he reflects on an image, shot from the distant Voyager 1 spacecraft, of the Earth suspended in a light beam,
Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar”, every “supreme leader”, every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there–on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam… Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot… Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.
I thought of this passage, its powerful words describing our rock, as I created a supernova that consumed countless planets, stars, and solar systems, with many similar to ours. There were numerous home worlds just like the one Sagan described above, which have now become consumed in the fires from an indifferent star’s death (caused not by Raven, but by a capricious Creator). Innumerable beings, species, and life forms perished in this comic. The scope of destruction and tragedy is nearly unimaginable, what I think of is everything described by Sagan obliterated many times over. One may ask why or for what was this supernova for. To which I can only reply there was no reason. It just happened, and for fear of developing a god complex, I too can now say “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” I can only imagine that Stoke wishes to have been engulfed as well and returned to stardust. – Zachary