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CONFESSIONS VOLUME ONE

DIARY OF JOAN WARREN (NOW MRS. COMBS): Please take pity on what we do, and take care as to not become us. Its too late for me and my husband, but if you knew what we know, someone had to do it. Some may think this is all a joke. After all, I burned my children alive as if they were last years Autonome dresses. That has to be funny to someone. But they werent mine. I dont know whos they were. I was trained to be analytical and precise, and I can smell a lie when I notice it. Now, I see newspapers from the first to third quadrants saying Im something special; the first to be converted. Look, Im famous now. Thats the real joke. I remember what it was like to live there; addicted to the products they pushed. Everything is gone except the suit I ran in with and I dont know why, but I cant burn that. Maybe it just serves as a memory now. A memory of the world I used to live in. You know, the hype, the sense of entitlement, the incessant need to be an individual to be a One. As much as I tried to be more unique than everyone else, I never once realized that I was trying to buy my way out of normality by the same avenues that everyone else was. Urizen was my bible, and the shoes and dresses and products I bought were my atonement, my way of confessing the sin of being average to a priest made of paper and ink. I still cry sometimes. Im not as inhuman as they think I am. Matthew and I have been searching through the Core database, and we have a theory about the fall. The official

story is that, about 2000 years ago, the Schumann Resonance of the Earth collapsed without cause or warning, and left the consciousness of humanity without a natural safety net. This resulted in a mass global suicide that subtracted 96% of the population. With my access codes, the Peoples Church found a new archive that I wasnt aware of. We no longer believe that we have a clear sense of time. It sounds crazy, but somehow the Core convinced us that we were living 2000 years in the future. Matthew is certain of this. It is the opinion of the Peoples Church and me that the Core caused the so-called Schumann collapse by means of an object constructed at the South Pole, built in secret. That machine would then alter the resonance in such a way in order to make us believe that we were living in a future time so that we would more readily accept the catastrophe that apparently happened within the vaults of history; they would then use the excuse to build a new segregated society: the Zeros, the Ones, and the Twos, each having to ingest a pill in order to keep the nihilism at bay. Since it happened so long ago, it wasnt a pressing issue, but merely accepted as an apocalypse that we had no control over. And what about the technology, why does this seem like the future? The Core had all the gadgets in stock, and the Core distributed them, refashioned society and made it all seem like the distant future while we were all dumb from the wave collapse and the suicide and the panic. When we all finally woke up due to the thanks of the style Zero and One pills, we accepted the new world without question.

Now, if you think thats too farfetched, then you dont know anything about your own brain. But I do. My name is Dr. Joan Warren, former Core scientist and geneticist, and I am not a crazy person. Im not sure how they did it, but they set me up with an artificial life. They gave me artificial children, an artificial past, but because of my skills, they kept me inside of their organization. They had me scheduled for years on the Ark Project, an attempt at creating genetic monstrosities which they said would be immune to the Schumann collapse, and eventually lead us to salvation. We combined the genes from a vast collection of human samples and some animals as well to create what we thought would be a new, more evolved form of the human composition. A key to the mystery we felt could only be cracked by modern science. I regret to say that the Ark Project was a success. At first, we created an entity we called Key One within an artificial amniotic fluid, being a composition of multiple human genes, much more than the average DNA chain allows. The fetus grew quite exponentially, with only 3 months required until it; I mean they were of the appropriate size. For reasons we could not explain, Key One was a fusion of two beings; a boy and a girl. They were both beautiful. They were more beautiful than any celebrity or fashion model that human culture knew. The boy had a perfectly symmetrical face, and the girl bore a perfect body, small, slender and wellbuilt; perfect bust, perfect face, perfect everything. Since they were twins, we called them both: Key One. The first in

what would be a lineage of monsters. They both devoured their teachings as if it was life-sustaining water, and continued to learn and grow until there was an accident. They escaped. We dont know how, but our only guess was that one of them, likely the girl, had gained a set of pass-codes from her seducing of a lead scientist who she then killed. Killed is a strong word, but the autopsy showed that he might have been raped, all the same. After the incident, I protested the continuation of the Ark Project, but did they listen to me? Besides, the paycheck I was receiving allowed me to afford my culture addiction. I was just the same as any One-User. I had to be unique. I had to be recognized. I had to be connected to the only world that meant a damn, at the time. The Core assumed that Key One was dead after a preliminary search. I and Matthew arent so optimistic. I looked at both of those faces while I was nurturing them. I know that sort of inhuman perfection when I see it. We of the Peoples Church believe that Key One is alive and well, with the boy taking up the identity of Radius Null, a now prominent scientist, fashion model and political commenter, and the girl being Iva Vouise, the top female fashion model and pop singer. Again, you might say Im crazy, but I never forget a face. Still, the Ark Project continued through multiple failures until a being we called Key 5 let us know that we were in over our heads, who just might have been the smartest creature ever to visit the planet we call Earth. Just after him was Key 7, who was a most troublesome child, all the same.

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