In the beginning, there was the Zero and the One.

At an unnamed point in the distant future, the species had developed and devolved to the point where all of its cherished attributes, the very things that made them human, such as love, belief, individuality, emotion and desire had been reduced to numbers, chemicals and mere brainwave signals, and eventually commodified after humanity became incapable of feeling or holding them on their own. The scientific, social and political movement responsible for this eventual cure referred to itself as The Core. The ability to believe in or feel anything at all, likewise, had been formed into a popular corporate product, the primary manufacturer of which was the Pill Corporation. The capsules which it manufactured served as the societal glue for the dissociated, broken world, now lacking any reason to exist whatsoever unless it was explicitly given to them by an outside source. Pill users were categorized as either a Zero or a One. A Zero made up the vast majority of the human population who could not afford the more desired life-meaning granted by the form of Style One pills, but this was hardly only a mere business decision. As technology and culture evolved, and as humanity devolved into its own imperfect creations by counterpart, the Pill Corporation observed that people would, by and large, revert to a complex buried within them which, if the conditions were right, would cause them to follow a mechanical herd mentality and merely emulate what they had been fed and grew up amongst by default – they would repeat any structure or system given to them if it was the only thing they had to rely on or hold onto, whether in the domains of career, culture, belief or any other primal function. Furthermore, this

mindset was detected to hold its own brainwave association held within a high gamma band, maintained out of fear and habitual compulsion. This discovery was later named The Zerox Complex, and a building was later constructed by the same name which served to transmit and maintain the required waves through the transmitters ingested when one inevitably becomes a user of Style Zero pills (nonpill users faced nihilism and eventual suicide, unable to accept the nature of their own existence). The Zerox Complex, as a white domelike building and state of the art wave transmitter would later be referred to as the pineal gland of the new humanity, and by the calmative and faithful response it produced, would begin to be treated as a technological religion of sorts with the de facto Sheppard-God being referred to, plainly, as Zerox. The Zerox Complex and religion, both, created the belief-driven glue for the majority of human persons, allowing the empty holes of meaning and purpose to be filled by the holy trinity of Copy, Commodity and Consumption, with the thought-form of Zerox being held as the Corporate Christ messiah which, although a mere unthinking machine in reality, was credited to have fulfilled humanities painful desire for meaning, purpose and belief, thus bringing the species back into a sense of community and belonging. A popular Zeroxism is, “the same shall inherit the same.” In the Zerox religion, the only sin is individuality, which is seen as a form of heretical pride and blasphemy, with the virtue of “to be made a copy of” being upheld as the thing which bonds the structure of human relations. After some time, Zerox was construed as the primal nature of life itself, as biology was logically observed to copy

itself into duplicates by the act of procreation, and that anything less would amount to disorder, chaos and anarchy, thus destroying the divine bond held between similar forms. Zerox has been praised as the savior of humankind by Zero style pill users as a result. On the other end of the spectrum were the Ones. These users ingested capsules only affordable by the wealthy elite, and although still providing the much-needed and nourishing ability to believe in a higher purpose and meaning as an antidote to the viral prophylaxis they had created, they offered a more significant amount of freedom and personal choice to the users, namely, that they were allowed to become individuals in private, although this fact was kept a secret from the cult of Zerox. This sort of freedom was required by those who served as the operators of society, and The Core, in order to both keep check on the progression of their machinations, and the Zerox Complex itself, and to conduct research into potentially new avenues of discovery. It was often said by the Zerox religious movement that Ones were merely those who had become closer to the mystery and depth of that which Zerox represents, though some Ones began to fear, despite being a creation of their own, what the Zero users were becoming, and how literally they were interpreting the machine called Zerox. A definite class system began to emerge, with the masses of Zeroes accepting their position as being lesser than, and further away from Zerox than their One counterparts. Eventually, and as the Zerox cult began to increase, Zero lineages were no longer permitted to purchase One Capsules, and bloodline soon took the central role between the two classes.

Although Ones embraced the religion of Zerox in public, most were well aware of the difference between the two, and the fundamental lack of freedom which the Zeroes were now bound to. Despite this, many Ones became religious leaders within the movement, promoting the budding faith as the one true path in order to promote societal and economic harmony. Likewise, culture began to emulate these newfound popular ideals, and with sameness as the path to virtue, education, jobs, fashion, music, lifestyles and life-goal structures were put in place to mirror it. The emptiness was thus kept at bay for all parties, and humanity as a whole appeared to have been saved, although the fundamentalist nature of the Zerox cult became more strict as time progressed, although this was also maintained, for the most part, due to the fact that, if a Zero where to deviate from the masses, even in his or her appreciation of Zerox, it might still be seen as a individualistic approach, and so was condemned by the faithful. The Zeroes were contained within a perfect imperfection of ideological adherence, with each new generation emulating the last in an endless, unceasing cycle of replication and pious emulation. It was not uncommon for The Core to open the Complex up to the public for a yearly celebration, whereby Zeroes would bring their newborns to be “baptized” by the wave-generator, allowing them to observe its code flashing before their eyes on a gigantic screen. Parents had hoped that this would become the first memory of their children, thereby symbolically allowing Zerox to enter them and guide them towards the virtue of sameness which held society together.

The Ones, however, upon the peak of the homogeny offered by Zerox, were conducting experiments via their own allotted freedom of thought. The primary of these was a classified operation being conducted by the Pill Corporation in its search for answers to the belief-problem which required that they ingest pills filled with nanoreceptors as the cure. As a possible answer to this, they utilized genetic engineering to create to a set of, what they hoped, were genetically superior beings, comprised of genes collected from a vast sampling of humanity, along with some animals. They well understood that the beings being created would hold brains and thought patterns radically different, and alien from their own, though this was precisely the thing sought after, perchance they might model reality as it existed for these beings so that they might, by result, regain even more of their past ability to individualize themselves. Some say that the growing popularization of Zerox as an anthropomorphic machine-God by the masses had contributed to this worry and the resulting experiment. Indeed, the Ones began to fear that they too would be swallowed up by the growing fundamentalism of the religion they had themselves created as a control measure. It was said that some Ones, despite holding the ability of freedom and individuality, seemed to have accepted Zerox as a literal God, savior and shepherd via some faithful retreat, despite being fully aware that it was only, at the end of the day, a machine. The Pill Corporation succeeded in creating a set of five specimens which held longer DNA chains and gene counts than most humans, all of which were grown in liquid filled tubes within a clean setting. One of these, which went by the name Key 5, went onto assuming the role of a Zero and then a One, set up to become a cultural icon

which could be used by the Corporation to gain the affection of the cult of Zerox, and eventually lead them as a holy religious figure. Key 5 held within him the epitome of human intellect, able to discern between multiple belief-systems and did not require the use of the capsules which were keeping humanity safely away from mass suicide and global nihilism. Although alien and often animalistic in nature, he held the keen sense of an empathic ability, and a forlorn kinship with the creatures he was created to misguide and control. The other specimens, equally as confounding to their creators, were sent to assist Key 5 in the goal he has been assigned to. The Keys eventually gained the trust and support of the Zerox Cult, although unbeknownst to the Core or the Pill Corporation, began to conspire against the system which birthed them. The Keys observed within humanity the slavery which was imposed upon them, and the false idol, Zerox, which was being upheld. Although some say that this was the main contributing factor in their eventual revolt, others are of the opinion that it was the Keys’ ability to truly think and feel emotions on their own as unique, individuated beings, which led to a sort of disgust which their creators couldn’t identify with or comprehend, given their own reliance on the capsules they had to continually ingest in order to subdue the emptiness. Eventually, they used their status as cultural icons to assault the Zerox Complex, itself, and took over operations at the Pill Corporation, although covert, in the design and distribution of a capsule Style 3, which attempted to drive the brainwaves of the masses away from their former location and to mirror their own

unique bands. During this, Key 5 began to deconstruct humanity through his intellect, and began a counter-movement based around a concept he called Zillion, which was to be a God and religion for his own vision of what humanity should become, based around a nearinfinite expansion of numbers and unique individual units. This is, however, merely speculation, as no human being as they existed could comprehend exactly what it was that Key 5 had in mind. Key 5, along with the other Keys, would eventually take the role of Zillion itself, fooled into thinking, perhaps by his own pride, that he could become the incarnate thing which he thought could save humanity from its attachment to self-slavery (in stark contrast to Zerox), and offer unto humanity a new reason, purpose, meaning, and freedom of choice. However, he eventually came to realize that many of the species he was trying to free, when given a clear choice, soon reverted back to the default of Zero, and began to treat his new religion as the latest version of Zerox. The philosophy of infinite difference characterized by Zillion soon became the new sameness. This resulted in either the Keys heightening their efforts with Zillion, or backlashing on human society as a whole, now seen as something to be eradicated if ever there was to be any real semblance of freedom in the world, opting rather to destroy everything and start over, start a new race, instead of attempting to placate a species which had grown to be, at its deepest core, oriented towards selfdefeat, emulation and copy-mentality, forever destined to be children of the sterile, default pathology called Zerox. Even despite the physical generator being destroyed, they had evolved within chains to eventually embody the religion and it’s now dead, though beloved mechanical martyr. What happens next is up to Chaos.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful