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How it Started

Title: How It Started

Author: Amata le Fay

Story: Omni

Flavor(s): Peach Pie 13 (let it be perpetual), Pomegranate 5 (setting the mood), Flavor of the Day (makebate: a person who causes contention or discord)

Toppings: Butterscotch

Extras: None

Rating: PG

Word Count: 1,355

Notes: Concrit welcome.

It all started with a lonely boy standing on a bluff looking out over the forest below, a lonely boy who only wanted to belong to something.

He didn't care much about what. It was the belonging part that mattered, the feeling of being one of the group, a part of the larger whole, surrounded by a web of people who support you and love you and know who you are, what your role is, why you matter. An identity. Yes, that was it; he wanted—no, needed—an identity. He was lost without one.

As he looked out over the forest, the cogs of his mind whirred into motion, classifying things, noticing how they fit together. How easy it was for nature to make niches, to balance everything out like a simple equation, unfettered by the limitations and complications of human society. The plants and animals and bacteria all had an easily identifiable place. Why couldn't he?

Years passed, and that lonely boy on the bluff turned into a discontented young man.


It all started with a dream, a subconscious glimpse into the deepest desires and fears and needs of one reclusive man. It was almost prophetic in nature, and even though his belief in God was shaky at best, in his mind this had to count as some sort of sign.

He had been reliving memories as he lay in the dark waiting for sleep to overcome him. He had revisited that boy on the bluff who watched the wildlife and yearned for a place in the world. Had anything changed, really, in the twelve years that had passed between then and now? He'd gotten older, learned more about life and nature, but his grasp on his identity was even shakier than his religious beliefs. Who was he? What was his purpose in life?

His dream was this: he was standing inside a room made of metal, staring at a screen on one of the walls. On the screen flashed words and images that he could not see but resonated so deeply within him. After a moment, he realized that the metal room was somehow tapping into his brain and finding thew perfect answers to the questions that had troubled him ever since he was a boy. His dream-self was filled with joy and moved to tears, finally happy, finally free, finally belonging.

Hours passed, and that discontented young man turned into a man with a mission.


It all started with an argument between a man who had suddenly found faith in an idea and a woman who couldn't see anything except flaws.

“You don't understand,” he said. “Haven't you always wanted to know what you were meant to do, who you were supposed to become? This would tell you. This would tell you everything.”

“What if I don't want to be told?” she snapped back. “I really don't, you know. Maybe you're content with getting the meaning of life from a giant computer, but I'm not! We're human beings. Complex. We have feelings and opinions and most importantly, free will. I don't want to be told who I have to be by a machine!”

“But it would take all of that into account! It knows what you want, sometimes even better than you do-”

“Excuse me? Um, no. Just no.” She sighed. “Look, you can go around spreading the word about this utopia of yours, that's completely fine by me. Just don't you dare start telling me what to do and what to believe in.”

“All I want is your support,” he said quietly. “I'm your husband-”

“Not for much longer,” she replied, and promptly walked out the door.

Months passed, and the man with a mission became lonely once again.


It all started with a proposal to the council of ministries, a proposal for a grant to research and build the greatest computer the world had ever seen.

There were a fair amount of doubts about the project's feasibility. Many of the council members felt that it would be a spectacular waste of money on something that would probably fail in the long run. Others were of the opinion that they would be funding an idealistic and delusional lunatic who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about. But there were still others who saw the gleam of extraordinary determination in the young man's eye and envisioned a world in which this machine existed and knew that it would be a better place. They would be making the world better. They would be making people better.

It took a lot of convincing, of course, and there were still those who would not budge, but somehow after months of fiery debate, the grant was issued. It was a small grant, not enough to cover even a third of the costs, but those who supported him knew that there were others who would feel for his cause and lend what they could.

Lifetimes came and gone, and the lonely man turned into an accomplished and widely-recognized elder whom many considered a genius.


It all started with the cutting of a ribbon and the opening of the Machine known as the Omniscience. This was it. This was the day he had worked and waited for all his life long.

The Machine—capital M, to show its prominence—towered over the crowds, glistening gold and copper in the midday sun. All members of the council of ministries were there, as well as the governors of Slane and West Essex and the mayor of this city that was named after him. Edgerton. He always glowed with pride when he heard its name spoken. He'd finally found his place in the world. He'd finally found his niche, his home. And it was all thanks to this Machine.

The actual use of the Machine would start next month; this consecration service was only a formality. And yet it was mandatory viewing for every man, woman, and child in this country, as the Head Minister declared this the beginning of a new era, a golden age of mechanics, a second industrial revolution. The ribbon was cut, the crowd cheered, and the old man's eyes darted to the southwest corner of the Machine, where words engraved into the soft metal read, “Let it be perpetual.” His Machine would stand forever. Generation upon generation would come seeking advice from it for all eternity.

Moments passed, and the accomplished genius became a figure in history.


There are so many labels one could put on Kyles Matteo Edgerton, some of them conflicting, others not. They called him genius, legend, Renaissance Man; they called him visionary, prophet, and even god; they called him politician and philosopher and psychologist and mechanic. They called him an idealist and a fool and a narcissist, a control freak, a sociopath. They called him lonely. They called him obsessed. The called him an artist, a tragic hero, an outcast. So many labels and so many opinions and so many points of view.

People fought over him, bloody and terrible revolutions, centuries of turmoil crushed by enforced peaces. But people bonded over him, too, and benefited from his wisdom. People who struggled to find out exactly where they belonged felt a wash of relief upon stepping into the Omniscience. The world he created wasn't a utopia, nor was it a dystopia—it was merely a world, half empty or half full depending on what you believed in.

And here is a truth—he was very, very important. Without him, so many events in history would not have happened the way they did. This country would not have been what it was without him. Kyles Matteo Edgerton found his place in the grand design—he was a makebate, the cause of contention, dissatisfaction, and change for centuries after he lived. He caused history to move forward. He spurred people to action. He influenced people's thoughts and minds and set the mood of the nation, so that even when his world came crashing down, he and the Omniscience would be remembered forever.

And it all started with one lonely boy on a bluff.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jun. 26th, 2012 04:21 am (UTC)
I can't help feeling sorry for Kyles. He found his purpose, but it has such a cost. A lonely boy and lonely man, who created a machine to help and advise everyone, except himself. Interesting tale :)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


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