Ever since I can remember, it’s been a dream of mine to create video games. Unfortunately, this dream didn’t appear to translate very well into a means of supporting myself. The video game industry is a cut-throat business. You only get in if you know someone, or get lucky with a truly groundbreaking idea.

          I worked on my passion seriously for quite some time, but eventually I decided I would take the safe route and get a degree in computer programming. With a degree like that, you can go virtually anywhere, especially in a society that grows ever more dependent upon computers. After graduating in 2008, I was able to land myself a pretty good job with the United States Department of Defense. I programmed basic computer applications and did simple repairs and coding for them, though I never lost my passion for video games. I continued to further my career while simultaneously studying animation and graphic design on the side.

                I worked for the DOD for a few years, until one day my boss approached me with an intriguing proposition. He informed me that the department wanted to design a way to gage public reaction to government ordinance. Basically, the department wanted to be able to make the appropriate decision in any given circumstance, for the increased peace of mind and protection of citizens everywhere. It was a good idea, which I truly believe had the best of intentions at heart.

            I inquired as to just how the department wished to proceed. He replied that they wanted to create a simulation program of sorts. One that would imitate our own world, and would allow the user to implement changes and see how the people in the simulation would react. It was to be modeled after our own world and the people in the simulation would act similarly to people in real life. He wanted me on board for the project to help create the program. I was ecstatic, feeling as though I could finally make use of my true talents. Like I said earlier, I was passionate about video games, and since that’s essentially what they were trying to build, I accepted the offer without hesitation. The simulation would later be known as “Project Alter Locus”, Latin for second chance.

          I was placed upon a team that consisted of myself and 7 other members. We were given the rather intimidating task of creating the entire simulation ourselves. We set to work coding for the program straight away. Identifying the parameters of the simulation world itself was not difficult. We designed the planet and universe to mirror our own. All the natural rules applied and fundamental elements were there including wildlife, inclement weather, disease, season change and of course bipedal humanoids. The little blue planet was placed within a solar system that was simply one of countless others among the universe.

                Before delving into world design, we quickly encountered a problem. We realized that creating a society within a simulated world with billions of individuals who all possess separate ideas and experiences was an altogether insurmountable task. The amount of effort required to design and formulate even a single human with all their thoughts, knowledge, memories, hopes and dreams was too much for our small team to handle. It was decided by unanimous decision, that in order to best illicit genuine results and save years of development, a blank slate was needed. Meaning that it would be best for our results to set the parameters of this simulation and proceed to allow these created beings to start a civilization from scratch. Rather that than build an incredibly complex society that mimics our own. The “humans” of this new world would grow and learn independent of outside influence and sculpt their world in their own image.

     Programming the “humans” themselves was a much more difficult task. We created algorithms which would allow for our created beings to have an almost endless amount of options and traits available. Though this was not enough. Not only would they need these options, but also a way to strategically implement these options based upon their needs and desires. In short, they needed to be able to solve problems and think for themselves. The databank required for this information was colossal, but luckily, we were supplied with all state of the art equipment, courtesy of the DOD. It took several months to complete, although we were finally able to program beings that possessed their own intelligence, and more importantly, their own freedom.

                Once we completed the programming of the being’s minds, we began work on the beings themselves. We created three distinct races of humanoids. A red race, a blue race and a yellow race. All races possessed a distinct coloring of their skin that identified them to their respective race. We also gave them unique characteristics according to their race. The red race possessed large ears, the blue race had large noses, and the yellow race had large eyes. And before you ask, no this is not the progenitor to the Pikmin games, but inspiration was taken somewhat from them. This was done more for comedies sake than anything else, although it would be interesting to see how the different races would respond to each other’s various attributes. Their physical appearances may have differed, but their intellect and potential for learning was equivalent. We dubbed the created beings as the “Prometheans”. After completing all of the necessities for this world, we were finally ready to begin the simulation.

           We decided it would be best to begin simple, in an effort to allow the beings to shape and construct their own world. We started out with 2 Prometheans from each respective race; one male, one female. We placed them in pairs on separate parts of the world and began the simulation. The beings began their lives confused and unaware of what they were. They were children, and as such, they all died within a day. We realized we would have to make some upgrades to their programming, some background information so that they would have some idea as to how to survive a hostile new world. We instilled within them basic survival techniques. They now had the intelligence to seek food, water, shelter and comfort, basic human needs. And yes, I know this intel should’ve been instilled straight out of the gate, but what can I say? It was a bit of an oversight on our part. We ran the simulation, and once again scattered the Prometheans throughout their world.

                 They did alright, for a time. They began to work together to gather food and supplies. After the 6th day however, the Yellow Prometheans had become ill and both died. 2 more simulation days passed and the Red were unfortunately unable to find enough food, and eventually succumbed to starvation. The Blue male had been attacked by a hostile 6-legged beast and had died as well, leaving only the Blue female as a survivor. We stopped the simulation again, seeing that more changes were required to ensure our Prometheans survival.

                   This time, we decided to increase the number of each race of Prometheans in order to further increase their chances of survival. We also decided to strategically place each race within the world to see how they would adapt to their unique climates. Instead of 2 of each race, we made 10, 5 males and 5 females. The Red Prometheans were placed along a coastline to the west of their world. The Yellows were placed deep in the center of a large jungle, and the Blues were placed in the north in a colder mountainous region. After all these changes were made, we began the simulation for a third time.

           The Prometheans did well, they began to cooperate their efforts in order to survive and organized into primitive hierarchies based upon each individual’s capabilities. They spoke in bizarre unintelligible grunts and squeaks, though clearly, they understood each other to some capacity. They began hunting wild animals and gathering various wild plants. It wasn’t long before they had each established their own settlements. They began to mate and multiply their numbers as well. Months went by, then years, then decades. Mind you this is all simulation time, as a year for them passes by in about 12 minutes of real time. Although we did possess the ability to alter the passing of time. Feeling satisfied with our efforts we decided to call it a night and head home. The simulation was left running overnight to see how the Prometheans would further evolve.

         We returned the next morning to find them quite a bit more advanced than the previous day. By this point, about 200 years or so had passed since the beginning of our simulation. They all had developed their own unique civilizations, that reflected their own respective races. Their numbers had also increased dramatically. The Red’s had established what seemed to be a monarchy. They had a king who ruled them with an iron fist, and crushed all those who opposed or displeased him. We dubbed this king as “Henry” named after the cruel king Henry the Fifth, of England. Henry had built large monuments and cities and established armies under himself.

                 The Yellow’s had the largest population count of all races, exceeding 10,000 in number. They seemed to unite together under a primitive form of democracy. They all worked together to solve problems and expand their civilization. They explored their jungle habitat and had built numerous settlements and cities throughout their territories. They seemed to have quite the appetite for exploration as their empire had grown vastly.

                 The Blue’s on the other hand, had split into two separate clans. They seemed to be nomadic in nature, and moved around regularly from place to place. Their hostile terrain and constant infighting had dwindled their numbers greatly. They were the least populated of any race by this point with numbers that barely reached 2,000 combined. Each clan was led by a different ruler. The tribe to the west was led by a barbaric warlord who we dubbed “Attila”. He had an appetite for violence and showed no mercy to any he thought of as an enemy. The tribe further east was led by a matriarch who we named “Athena”. She seemed kind-hearted in nature yet ruthless to her enemies, but seemed most concerned with protecting her people.

                 Both tribes also had a form of council that consisted of several other elder blue Prometheans that advised their respective leaders. Despite each races further expansion into their worlds, they remained isolated from one another. It was interesting to see these new developments, and I found myself beginning to care about the fate and wellbeing of these little creatures we had created. We sat around just watching these creatures late into the night, implementing and altering the passage of time at certain intervals, yet overall changing very little about the simulation. I lost track of time, but eventually we all headed home and once again left the simulation running.

           We returned the next day to discover some interesting new developments. Most notably the Red’s and the western Blue’s tribes had met. Needless to say, it hadn’t gone well. The descendants of Henry and Attila were very violent people and the two races began a ferocious war against each other, both claiming the other’s to be savages. The war was devastating for both sides, but eventually the Red’s managed to completely annihilate the western Blue’s. The Red’s sustained serious losses and were crippled by the amount of death and injury that had occurred.

         The development was disturbing yet not unexpected, there was however a more interesting development. A Green race of Prometheans had appeared, seemingly out of thin air. They possessed large noses, yet not as large as the Blues noses. And large eyes but not as large as the Yellow’s eyes. Shocked by this, we theorized that at some point the Eastern Blue’s and the Yellow’s had met and mated, creating this new Green race.

               This Green race, resided in the far eastern lands against the coast, far from the Blue’s and the Yellow’s civilizations. Intermingled with them were other Blue and Yellow Prometheans, yet they were not as numerous as the Green’s. There must’ve been a select few from the Blues and Yellows that met and moved far from their original homelands. It was an interesting development, and we were curious to know what would happen next.

                The Eastern Blues and Yellows were still far from each other in the world, and we had no way of knowing whether or not they had been in contact with one another aside from the group that had split off. The Yellows had built a vast empire that stretched throughout the large jungle in which they lived. They seemed to be peaceful and worked diligently to support their own needs. The Eastern Blues had migrated further south and had begun to build a civilization. The two races were still a couple hundred miles apart. Both seemed to be relatively peaceful, and we were eagerly anticipating the day when the two would meet.

                    The next day we returned, and by this point almost a millennium of simulation time had passed. The Prometheans had spread far throughout the lands, and their civilizations had become to grow much more advanced than days previous. The Blue, Green and Yellow civilizations had finally all met, and surprisingly they had intermingled their societies and begun to cooperate. We dubbed their new civilization as the “BGY United.” There were now large cities scattered throughout the world. Large castles and temples were abundant and housed powerful ruthless factions. The Prometheans had advanced to begin diverting waterways to create aqueducts and primitive forms of plumbing. Their empire had grown vastly productive and their citizens appeared to be happy. Unfortunately, there was a sinister force on the horizon.

                     The Reds were back to their old ways. They were conquerors. They set out on a global campaign to attempt to gain total control of their world. They swept through the lands destroying all in their path and making slaves out of the conquered races. The Reds were truly powerful, and no one was able to oppose them thanks to a deadly secret weapon they possessed. Gunpowder. With their cannons and primitive muskets, they annihilated all resistance that rose against them. We watched in horror as the Red’s slaughtered innocent Prometheans and did unimaginably terrible things to the peaceful nations they came across.

        Before long the Red’s had reached the outskirts of the BGY United civilization. The Blue, Green and Yellow Prometheans were clearly distressed by the threat that the Red’s represented. They congregated in order discuss options for dealing with the Red’s. Eventually the Red’s stormed the gates of the BGY United and began to slaughter without mercy. BGY United stood no chance as the Red’s superior firepower brought untold destruction to their world. The suffering we watched was unbearable. Even though these creatures were not human, or even real, we cared about their fates. I felt as though we had some sort of duty to protect them.

        We paused the simulation for the first time in days, and discussed our options. We had become somewhat entranced by these strange creatures and had almost forgotten the task we were set out with in the first place. It was agreed at the onset of the experiments, that no outside interference on our part would be allowed. Such actions would negate any sort of palpable response from the Prometheans. And yet if we did not do something, they would surely destroy themselves. We were hesitant to interfere with their world at first, but we realized they would surely without us.  

             Our group of 8 was divided at the prospect, though eventually we struck an accord. We would not physically change their world, but we would lead by example to bring peace through shared knowledge. We created our own avatars, a race of Purple Prometheans that we called the “Atronachs”. We decided to birth one of these Atronachs into each race of Promethean. We birthed one to the Red’s, one to the Blue’s, one to the Green’s and one to the Yellow’s. We rewound the simulation to 10 years previous, and input our Atronachs.

     The first attempt was a disaster, the Prometheans were horrified by the purple creatures that had been born to them. All of the races destroyed the Atronachs without giving them chance to grow up. They also destroyed the mothers of the children, believing them to be cursed. We felt a severe sense of guilt from this and decided we needed a better approach. If they wouldn’t give our Atronachs a chance to grow, then we would need a display of power instead.

    We loaded a single Atronach this time, a female, making her fully grown. We input her into the simulation at the time right before the armies clashed on the battlefield. She appeared on the battlefield in between the opposing armies in a grand display of light. It was as if a lightning bolt struck and created this woman out of thin air, or so the Prometheans probably believed.

                 The Prometheans trembled in fear at the revealing of our Atronach. They dropped to their knees and put their heads in the dirt, seemingly in worship of her, or perhaps they were begging forgiveness. They were completely silent and awaited our Atronachs instructions. Unfortunately, we did not speak the language of these Prometheans, and they did not speak ours. Luckily, we were eventually able to decipher their language by use of our computers. Even though this Promethean language existed solely within this simulation, and each race spoke a different variant, we were able to understand them through use of their context. Everything can be translated into binary code, and once we had it in binary we needed simply to translate it into English. It was a tedious process, though we were eventually able to have our own Promethean to English handbook.                     

                          We met with leaders from each respective race. It took quite a while, although we were eventually able to effectively communicate with these beings. The Prometheans seemed remorseful and pleaded with our Atronach to be merciful. Obviously, our display of power had worked. They begged her to share wisdom with them and guide them through this life. They seemed eager to learn and understand their existence, and so we taught them. We taught them peace. We taught them to care for one another as brothers and sisters. We taught them to live their lives, to be happy and accept one another’s differences. Perhaps most important of all, we taught them the idea of personal liberty.

               The Prometheans civilization flourished. They became united and lived together prosperously, while also making great advances in their society. Our Atronach had worked better than we had ever expected. The Prometheans congregated around her, and asked for an explanation of who they were and where they came from. We paused upon this for a while, unsure of how to react. Eventually we explained to them that we created them and loved them as our own children. They asked what they could do to please us. Our Atronach responded that they need only to love one another and live their lives in whichever way they see fit, so long as they do not harm one another.

                     Then they asked a question that deeply unsettled us. They asked us what happens to them after they die. We were unsure of how to respond to this. We wanted most of all to give them hope and so we told them of a paradise that awaited them after death. We told them that it was a place of eternal bliss, were there would be no pain or death. We instructed them that by living good respectable lives, they could enter this paradise. They were overjoyed to hear this and began to worship our Atronach as a goddess. The implications of what we had done would change the Prometheans world forever. We had created religion.

                 The Atronach remained with them up until the point of her death, finally succumbing to old age. The Prometheans mourned the loss of her, but celebrated all which she had shared with them. Their civilization was united for the first time under one banner. Their world thrived and they did exactly as we had instructed. They created an amazing life for themselves and lived together in harmony. It was beautiful to see. Unfortunately, we did not have much time to observe the effects of our interference. It was around this time that our superiors requested a progress report. Needless to say, they were not exactly impressed to learn that we had been playing Jesus with a bunch of dark age tribes, and after getting our asses thoroughly chewed, we had no choice but to adjust the simulation.

               We were instructed to make the simulation more similar to that of modern life, and so we did. We progressed the simulation 1,500 years in the future, to see how the Promethean civilization had evolved. We were nervous to see the outcome, but we were not prepared for the horrors that followed. The simulation booted up to a desolate and ravished landscape. By this point, it was about 2800 years since the first Prometheans stepped into their world.

     Their world now lay in ruin, destroyed cities and burning landscapes. We were dumbfounded as to how such a promising civilization had devolved into such a state of destruction. The Promethean life count we had programmed, revealed our worst fears. There was not a single living Promethean anywhere on the planet. In fact we struggled to find any lifeforms at all anywhere in their world. Their once lush green planet now appeared desolate and ransacked like that of the planet Venus. Their clear blue oceans had become massive pools of blackened sludge and garbage. Their forests had been annihilated leaving only the skeletons of dead trees in their wake. The entire Promethean civilization had been completely wiped from the face of their world. Only broken carcasses of buildings and decrepit old vehicles now remained.

           We were distraught to learn that our creations had met such a terrible ending. After scanning the landscape of their world for what seemed like hours, we stumbled upon a disturbing final message from the last of the Prometheans. Carved into the ground was a heartbreaking final message from them, to us. It is pronounced in their language as “Nich Borgu, Nich Vertossu” which roughly translates to ” No God, No purpose”.

               We took a break from our simulation for a bit after this. The other members of our team were clearly upset at these findings, and 3 members of our team left the project as a result. We had grown a little too attached to our little creations. Even though they were nothing more than a string of numbers in a computer program, we still couldn’t help but caring about our little creatures. In a way, they were our children, and relied upon us for guidance and assistance. We knew we had to make things right. Not only because it was what our bosses had ordered us to do, but because our conscience did as well.

       We skimmed through the timeline in an effort to reach the time before the Prometheans downfall. We finally reached a point in which their civilization was very similar to our own. The year was 2,656 for them. They had large cities, various countries and very modern technology that closely resembled humanity at it’s present day. Their people had dispersed and covered nearly the entirety of the planet. Every corner of their world was now home to Prometheans. They had an organized society, their people went to work, had their own homes and lived their lives in much the same way as us humans do.

                   A form of government had arisen to rule the people and make decisions for the benefit of all of them. The Prometheans themselves had also changed greatly. There were still Red, Blue, Green and Yellow Prometheans, although they were vastly outnumbered by new Prometheans which were a combination of all those colors, making them various shades of purple, orange and green in color. Their population count reached almost 10 billion globally. We also discovered that they had created a form of church that had undoubtedly arisen from the actions of our Atronach. Keep in mind, it had been over a thousand years since our Atronach had walked among them. Hundreds of generations of Prometheans had lived and died since the meddling of our Atronach. The religious group called themselves “The Church of the Divine Truth”, although not all Prometheans followed their ways. For the most part, their civilization seemed to be doing ok, although there was a sort of subtle undertone of high tensions.

                We focused most of our attention upon a country which the Prometheans called “Grimvall”. This country seemed to be the most powerful and influential throughout the lands. It was not the most populated, although it held a majority of resources as well as military power. There was no doubt as to its global superiority when compared to its neighboring countries.

              We began to examine the aspects of their society closely, in order to best determine a course of action for them. Grimvall had a well-established form of government, much like our own. They had a form of senate that would debate issues and pass laws to benefit the countries security. They also had a single leader, a president or prime minister of sorts. The church had a strong presence within the country and many members of the senate were involved with them, including their president.

         The church preached a strict moral doctrine, but didn’t always abide by it. They believed that most of the society they lived in was immoral and lacked discipline, but they were mostly peaceful people. Their society was mostly peaceful in fact, although it seemed that the civilians were constantly disagreeing on social issues. It was clear that they did not fully trust their government. The government seemed to be focusing most of their efforts on a group of people referred to as “The Red Empire”.

         This Red Empire, was a group of mostly Red Prometheans who did not follow the norm of the rest of society. The Red Empire, believed themselves to be superior to all other races of Prometheans. They claimed to be on a holy war for their God who they called “Alada Mulgas” which translates to “The Great One”. The Church claimed that our Atronach had come down to allow peace for everyone, while the Red Empire claimed she simply given them a second chance. Stating that she was displeased with the Prometheans weakness, and demanded that they become stronger and obey their creator. The government attempted to pander to both sides in order to appease both parties. They faced an impossible task, as each side strived for polar opposite views. With pressure from overseers ramping up, and time dwindling we decided to intervene.

         We interjected ourselves once again into the Prometheans society. We took control of their leader, seeing as he held the greatest amount of influence. We began implementing changes right away. First off, we held a press conference and had the president express his opinion that the country should come together in an attempt to pacify the needs of all its citizen’s. We allowed both sides to continue to follow their respective religions free from discrimination. We made it illegal to prevent people from following their beliefs as well as to discriminate against those who believed differently.

           Some Prometheans were happy with this settlement, although the society as a whole was not. Not long after this a group of 5 Red’s attacked a building in the capitol city. They attacked with firearms and killed over 30 innocent Prometheans before they took their own lives in a brutal climax. The Red’s final words were “Alada Mulgas Mestigas”, “the great one be praised”. The public outrage was immense and they demanded that the government act to ensure such events do not repeat. We decided that the people could no longer be trusted with firearms, seeing as how they were capable of causing so much destruction. This would undoubtedly not go over well, as many citizens were enthusiasts of firearms. Our group was also skeptical, but our concerns were overruled by our overseers who wanted to see the response.

      So, we took their weapons, all of them, making it illegal to own or possess one. Anyone who was caught with one was jailed for a minimum of 5 years. The Prometheans, and especially the church were not happy with this development, although they went along with it. There were those who resisted, but they were few. Several minor skirmishes ensued, but all resistance was quickly squashed. Despite their protests, things became peaceful for a while.

                  About a month later, Grimvall was shaken with another horrible act of violence. A single Green Promethean walked into a shopping center with a strange device attached to him. He proclaimed “Alada Mulgas Mestigas”, and detonated the device, leveling a large portion of the building and killing dozens of innocent Prometheans. This event terrified and confused us, obviously because of the vicious attack but also because the Promethean who carried it out wasn’t Red, but Green. We had thought up to this point that the Red Promethean’s solely made up the Red Empire, but apparently, we were wrong.

   Before we had time to react, a large group of Prometheans’ had gathered in response to the attack. They were armed with machetes and other weapons and sought vengeance for the attack. They progressed into a neighborhood and began to attack any Red Promethean they could find. We declared a state of emergency and sent the military in to quell the situation. When the dust settled, hundreds had been killed in the attacks and the rioting that ensued. The sad part, was that most who had been killed were innocent civilians, including the Red Prometheans who had no apparent ties to the Red Empire. The citizens of Grimvall were obviously outraged and fear stricken, and rightfully so. How could they tell who was friend or foe? And for that matter, how could we?

                        The country grieved for days after the events. Tensions were now at an all-time high, and we realized we needed to act quickly. We decided that since we couldn’t tell who was on what side by physical appearance alone, we needed to get inside their minds. We set up a work force that was tasked with monitoring all online communications made by the Prometheans, as well as those made via their form of telephones. It was a gargantuan task. The Grimvall population exceeded 200 million and monitoring them all would be difficult to say the least. The work force began the monumental task of monitoring all the citizens. We attempted to make it easier for them by red-flagging words used online such as “kill” and “bomb”.

         We of course decided it was best to not inform the public about this project, as they would surely be outraged at the knowledge that we were essentially spying on them. So, it worked for a while, plots were foiled, arrests were made and the country became slightly safer and more stable as a whole. That is until, some idiot Promethean who worked for the monitoring organization decided it would be a good idea to reveal all our actions to the public, who was naturally outraged. We had their leader address the citizens stating that it was all for their protection. They demanded we reveal all the details to them, but we declined because it would’ve surely alert the extremists and allowed them to escape and rethink their efforts.

                Eventually things simmered down, or at least so we thought. Our online monitoring had slowed to a standstill, it seemed as though the Prometheans had gotten over their differences, and were no longer plotting to hurt each other. Oh, how foolish we were to believe that, to think that generations of hatred could somehow be resolved by a few government legislations revealed how naive we all were. We should’ve known what they were doing. We realized that they had begun using code words to communicate their efforts, rendering our little organization all but useless. Unfortunately, we realized this information too late.

             Some deranged Promethean from the Red Empire took a vehicle and loaded it with self-made explosives. He then drove it straight into a local building which belonged to the Church of the Divine Truth. The explosion decimated the building and killed nearly one hundred Promethean’s in the process. Outrage erupted once again and the country was on the verge of civil war. Local militias of the church had begun ethnic cleansing, by attacking all Red Promethean’s they could find. Once again, we declared a state of emergency and sent in the military to resolve the riots. We were back to square 1. Many citizens had lost faith in their government and begun to flee the country en masse and take justice into their own hands.

         Seeing as though the Church and the Empire would never agree, we decided to separate the societies, again mostly for the sake of experimentation. We gave the eastern part of Grimvall to the church, and the western part to the empire. The Red Empire were the minority and so they received a smaller portion of land. We hoped that it would finally resolve the conflict, but once again we were mistaken. Month’s went by and things were quiet, until a large group of Prometheans’ crossed the border to the west. Apparently, the Red Empire had recruited Promethean’s from neighboring countries in an attempt to take control of Grimvall once and for all. In response to this, the church organized a large group of citizens to defend themselves.

                         We panicked and quickly had our president hold an immediate press conference. The president took the stage and urged the people to not engage in war, and instead seek more peaceful means. During the middle of his speech, there was suddenly a loud interruption. A gunshot. The room fell silent for a moment until our president fell over, dead. The room erupted into panicked citizens desperately trying to flee. In the midst of the chaos, people were trampled and crushed as everyone made a mad dash for the exits. Suddenly we heard something that shook us to our core. Those all too familiar words, “Alada Mulgas Mestigas”. The room then exploded violently engulfing the building in flames.

            We were horrified. We didn’t know what to do anymore. The camera then panned over to the middle of the capitol city. I watched in horror, as our beloved Promethean’s began a bloody and horrendous battle. The opposing sides clashed on the streets of the city, showing no mercy to anyone. Brothers fought against brothers, friends against friends. Eventually order on each side deteriorated completely, and it became every man for himself. No one was spared the monstrous acts. I felt tears begin to stream down my face, as I watched in horror as my children tore each other apart. The sounds of the pain and agony tore at the very fabric of my soul, and I felt that a part of me died that day. Their entire world had begun a bloody crusade against each other. Before long various countries began to detonate extremely powerful bombs on one another. All the while we looked on, powerless to prevent the unparalleled tragedy of our own creation.

               Eventually the fighting ceased, and all was eerily silent, as there was no one left to fight anymore. I looked at the Promethean life count, and was appalled to learn that there was but one left alive. I clicked on it and the camera quickly scrolled to a desolate wasteland with a single blackened figure kneeling in the dirt. The last of the Prometheans, she was bruised and badly injured and her whole body had been scorched leaving her a deep shade of black. With tears in her bloodshot eyes, she grabbed a scrap of metal and began to carve something into the dirt. We were all sobbing by this point unable to conceal our emotions any longer.

               She finished her etching and slowly rose to her feet. She stared into the sky with tears streaming down her face for a couple seconds. She seemed to look directly at me, directly into my eyes with a simple question on her mind. Her face spoke louder than any words ever could, it seemed to ask, “Why? Why have you forsaken us?” That haunting expression is forever burned into my memory. She then lowered her head in anguish and gave one last breath, then collapsed into the dust from which she came. The Promethean life count dropped to zero, and their once flourishing world was again silenced. We turned our attention to what she had carved. “Nich Borgu, Nich Vertossu”, “No God, No Purpose.”

             Project Alter Locus was disbanded not long after that. Not only because we had failed to produce what we were tasked with, but also because our team was not exactly in any condition to continue the project. The stress had taken its toll on all of us. We were all relieved of our duties, but luckily for me I was still allowed to remain with the DOD to perform basic computer servicing. I guess it was lucky for me anyways. I got my ass chewed out by my boss again, but I didn’t care. I was more concerned with the wellbeing of my fellow team members. They all left the DOD and went their separate ways, and I haven’t heard from them since. I will never forget the look of harrowing emptiness on their faces as we were all quietly escorted out of our lab room. I hope they are all okay.

                       Before the Project was shut down, I decided to make a copy of the simulation for my own personal use. This went against almost every rule in the Department of Defense handbook, and if I were caught doing it I would likely be court marshalled and indicted for illegally replicating company assets. I didn’t care though, I felt compelled to make things right. I know it may sound silly or downright foolish for me to risk my career over the fate of some fictional characters, but I just couldn’t handle the thought of them dying out like that. Plus, the eerie parallels I had seen made me desperate for a benevolent resolution. I had to make things right, for the sake of my own conscience, and those I had helped to create.

             I returned home and puzzled over the disc for a while. My stomach twisted into knots at the thought of booting it up again. Part of me wanted to simply forget, but another more vocal part needed closure. I had a promise to keep. Reluctantly I popped in the disc and initiated the installation. Once it was completed, I once again began the simulation.

                      The simulation loaded up to the same point that we had left it. I stared at the screen depicting the last Promethean laying lifeless in the dirt. That painful sense of sorrow returned to me, as I realized I still didn’t know what I was supposed to do. How was I even supposed to fix this? We had tried everything we could think of to make things right with the Promethean’s, and still it wasn’t enough to save them. How do you save that which does not wish to be saved? How can you give meaning to that which was created for no other meaning than life itself?

        Then I thought of something. What would happen if we had never interfered in the first place? How would their world have evolved without us? Would they even survive without an outside force acting upon them? Would they be able to preserve individual meaning without being explicitly given the eldritch truth? I didn’t know, but whatever the outcome, there was no way it could be worse than how it had turned out with us. I rewound the timeline to the point where we had originally interfered, the point which we had introduced our Atronach.

           The Armies of the Red Prometheans stood outside the city of the BGY United. They were prepared for war, a war that we originally prevented from occurring, by use of our Atronach. This time however, there would be no Atronach. The battle would commence and many would die in horrendous agony. It pained me to know that I was powerless to prevent all of this death, but I knew I could not force the Promethean’s to do what I wanted. I wanted them to enjoy their lives, and live peacefully, but I could no longer directly interfere. I had to allow them to learn and live on their own, for any intervention on my part would ultimately lead only to disaster. The decision to abandon them eternally was not an easy one, but ultimately it was the only option I had left.

        The armies clashed and the Prometheans began to slaughter and decimate each other mercilessly. It was horrible to watch, and I feel sick even now remembering the chaos. Forgive me, for I know not what I’ve done.

          Suddenly and without warning a sudden electrical whirring was heard and all of the power in the room immediately died. The monitors of my computer went dark, and the black enveloped me. Silence befell me. I looked out my window and noticed that the entire block had lost power as well. I spent a few minutes diagnosing the problem and after flipping the circuit I was able to reestablish power.

          I booted up my computer and tried opening the simulation again, but when I did, it only displayed an error message stating that the disk was blank. Now anyone who knows computers would know that a computer wiping the memory of an external drive like that doesn’t just happen without an input command or virus of some sort. After running a few diagnostics, I confirmed that my computer was not infected. I was informed later that an electrical grid blackout was responsible for the event, and my success with the breaker was simple coincidence. But somehow simple coincidence was not a valid explanation for everything.

       I sat back for a moment and pondered the situation. The significance of what had just occurred was far too great to ignore. Could it be that this seemingly innocuous misfortune had spared me the sight of my own failure? Maybe if these Prometheans were abandoned by me; their creator, then the same could be said of me. Maybe my own creator had been watching me all along, and had long ago reached the same conclusion that I had. Maybe he spared me the revelation of my own design, because he did not wish to see me suffer the way that he had for so long.