Omnipotence Konstantin Ravvin

Kneeling before an alter, heads bowed in submission, our limbs grasping towards the heavens; outwardly praiseworthy to subdue our inward desperation. A miracle; an act of god, in violation of all that is plausible. The odds of faith are never in our favor, but who among us only entertains that which is always fruitful? So we prayed. When we received deliverance, we were humbled with gratitude. When met with silence, we presumed a higher purpose. Our hope was not extinguished, for every doubtful drought would once again be met with an intermittent rainfall, and thus our faith restored. Before The Event, our traditions had meaning. Our superstitions were our spiritual safeguards. We were defined by our culture and its standing amongst the many tribes of our planet. Cultivated in a value system and ripened with indoctrination. It began as a series of isolated incidents. A man, in a small suburb in West Essex, an hour outside of London, brandishing a kitchen knife at the gut of a local postman he found sleeping with his wife in the broad of day. Cornered against the pantry, the bared postman pleaded for his life, his hands clinging to his hollowed chest, the halfnaked wife behind her husband, begging haplessly for restraint. In the commotion, the knife wielding husband lunged at his target. A climactic screech followed by what was documented as the first act of Omnipotence. The wife collapsed where she stood, her head colliding against the side of a kitchen drawer. The postman cowered for several moments, his eyes shut in agonizing anticipation of the sharp blade that swayed erratically inches from his skin. Nothing. The husband lunged once more, and yet again the blade had come to a sudden halt inches from the postman’s belly. Confounded, the man directed his blade at the wall paper, a loud thud resonating with each confirmed blow. He turned towards the postman once more, this time raising the blade carefully towards the man’s throat and directing it across its parameter. Yet again, a small tug had restricted the weapon inches from the man’s artery. Nothing. Enraged, the man began to sling the blade at the contents of the pantry, dispelling coffee, beans, sugar, and dry oatmeal all over the postman’s body until once again he flung his knife wielding hand towards the man’s chest, again coming to a grinding halt. Nothing. The postman fell to his knees at the feet of the husband, a stream of urine cascading

down his right leg. He embraced the nearest shelf and bawled for mercy, unaware of his assailant’s confusion. Soon the incidents became more sporadic. A bank robber in Los Angeles drew his gun to the temple of a hostage bank clerk, his finger tightening around the trigger. Nothing. No gunshots permeated the blood curling screams of the policemen stampeding towards the bewildered gunman, only to be stopped in their tracks as they attempted to wrestle the man to the ground. Nothing. There was no definition for the phenomenon. The first media reports in the United States began to surface when state executions scheduled in North Carolina, Texas and Utah were ‘temporarily postponed’ as a result of an ‘equipment malfunction’. The poison destined for the inmates’ veins simply collected at the edge of the IV tubing, defying the concentration gradient. Nothing. States opted for alternate measures to execute their condemned, and all failed in equally astounding ways. The rifles of firing squads jammed instantly as their sights wondered across the convict’s body. Fumes of gas chambers cascaded across their faces but never entered their nostrils, and every noose strewn tightly to prevent breakage lay torn in the gallows. Within weeks, countries in civil chaos descended into an uncharacteristic stillness, incapable of carnage. Incidence rates of malevolence plummeted; bullets no longer pierced flesh, knives were no longer capable of stabbing, even stones, thrown in anger, failed to land on target. Scientific inquiry was futile, conceding that the laws of physics had somehow been suspended in association with harm. No sooner did violence become an extinct vestige of human existence than corruption. A mass exodus followed. Political positions had no longer been associated with power. Budget managers, senators and executives were no longer able to syphon public funds for their own interests. Their methods became obsolete; an earmark taken from the education fund to line the pockets of a parliament member in Croatia would simply reappear in its intended fund pool once again. Declarations of war were infeasible: explosives did not detonate, cannons would not fire, and drones were no longer capable of launching missiles.

It soon became a pressing international matter; global conferences, emergency UN sessions, congressional hearings, none of which produced answers. States of emergency were declared daily but to no avail. The governing body was powerless to impose its will on the people, who were equally incapable of taking advantage of the situation. Rioting made no difference. In Brazilia, a small military faction attempted to seize control of the country’s political structure. Armed vehicles approached the steps of the capital building as fully armed personnel attempted to breach the offices of the president. Nothing. Strength no longer made a difference. Brute force had seized to be the currency of political power. Middle Eastern protests soon dwindled. Effigies no longer caught fire, projectile bottles no longer broke against their target, and tear gas canisters refused to fume. Life became uneventful. The ambitious among us sought to circumvent this phenomenon relentlessly. Billions wasted on technology designed to inflict harm, to preserve the status quo. Nothing. The human race was no longer able to antagonize itself, with no exceptions. The Event became known as Omnipotence. Lying soon followed, causing widespread embarrassment and backlash. Government agencies were forced to reveal their most clandestine operations to global media outlets that, in turn, covered global events objectively. Fall transcended into winter, and winter into spring. The world continued to function, but with more efficiency. Death from disease and accidents was still a possibility. Outdated global initiatives, once assumed to be purely ceremonial, were enacted with efficacy, producing higher living standards across the globe. Militarization became a moot concept and politics was associated with serving to enhance the public interest. Within four years, malfeasance was completely eradicated.

Political science and economics seized to be academic disciplines as they relied on postulating optimal strategies for resource management under the pretext of corruption, loss and waste. Advancements in the medical field grew exponentially; funding became properly allocated and emphasized the eradication of societal illnesses. Within a decade, Omnipotence eliminated world hunger, procured global peace, and projected humanity into an era of scientific exploration beyond the realm of possibility. And then there was… Nothing. Faith became an archaic notion. Faith implied uncertainty. Omnipotence guaranteed. Religious dogma was soon replaced with Omnipotence, diluted to an unrecognizable form. Moral wrong was extinct, replaced with technical failures and accidents. The word ‘evil’ was demoted to mean ‘less than accurate’. Mistakes were still made, but never intended to harm. When all had been accomplished, we simply sat at the alter. We could not pray for ‘good’ because we did not understand ‘bad’. We did not understand anger. We were not aware of contempt. We had no identity. Our predecessors were not blemished with the agony of war, the disparities of a corrupt society, the instability of political anarchy. We had inherited a world without contrast. Without disease, we did not see the need for cures. Without deception, we did not see the need for trust. And without hate, we did not see the need for love. We only saw purpose in life with death. So delicately does suffering defy us.

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