The Cost of Divinity

After Professor Usir solved human mortality by inventing a pill that froze you on a cellular level and stopped ageing, he had more money and time than god himself.

While the former was useful, the latter was critical to his ultimate goal: time travel.

In the background, the initial boom to civilisation from immortality began to decay the fabric of human society.

You see, the Pill–as it was colloquially called–solved for all non-trauma-induced death but also made humans infertile. A minor side-effect for some, but others refused to accept this cost and fought back against it. These people, though, slowly dwindled in number and went extinct as, eventually one by one, their ancestors took the Pill and ended their genetic lines.

That said, the majority of humans took the Pill as soon as possible. Statistically improbable events eventually do occur if given enough time and, the now-immortal humans, slowly began to die off due to accidents, murders and, increasingly, suicides.

None of this concerned Professor Usir as he had already left the planet.

After becoming immortal, he bio-hacked his own body into a cyborg that enabled him to survive most of the harshest conditions out in space. Following this, he packed up all the resources he thought would be useful into his private starship and set off to find his own galaxy where he could spend the rest of time pursuing time travel.


Thousands of Earth-years later, Professor Usir had both a working theory for time travel and a basic prototype. He had even begun testing on inanimate objects, though the objects kept disappearing and he could not work out how to return or track them.

At the very least, he consoled himself, he had solved for teleportation, which is a necessary component of time travel. Both use wormholes and, if one travels in time, it is also necessary to be able to travel in space as well. This helps the traveller avoid landing inside of physical objects and make sure not to end up in random parts of space as planets and galaxies have moved.

The fact that he was now the last human being alive barely crossed his mind, nor the steady creep of cyborg enhancements as he continuously improved and extended his body, and lost more and more of what his original form was.

He had been busy and surrounded his local star entirely with a cosmic solar-panel in order to efficiently harness all of its energy. He had also mined out most of the local planets and built robots that had then gone on to build better robots to do their bidding and feed his growing research-focused empire.

As this strange, centralized empire began to expand its search for resources, it began to encounter other civilizations and conflict began to arise.


Wave after wave of Professor Usir’s robot army streamed across the vacuums of space as lasers and small nuclear missiles tore into planetary defences. The defending alien forces became increasingly desperate and their intricate alliances with different–mostly now homeless–aliens began to fray and unravel in the panic.

Some tried to flee, others turned to make a last suicidal stand while yet others turned on allies and settled final scores from prior inter-galactic conflicts…

Sensing the advantage, the cold robot army surged forward raining hellfire down on the planet surface in fractal patterns to maximise damage and minimize the use of their resources.

It was genocide of galactic proportions.

A billion light-years away, in the cold, silent vacuum of space, Professor Usir’s screen blinked at him and he looked up from the small star he was plugging into his private energy grid.

The rebelling alien armies had been pacified. He nodded in satisfaction and blinked through a wormhole from his perfected teleportation device, and appeared in the galaxy that had seen the final conflict.

Chunks of planet and starships floated by, parts of bodies and buildings and a hundred different–now-extinct–alien species spread their debris and the ruins of their civilisations around him.

A part of him was still human and he paused at the sight of what his robots army had done!

But the part of him that was human was so much smaller and weaker now that the flicker of shock and guilt faded as he saw the prize: twin supergiant stars circling each other.

This was the prize! This was what he needed!

His galactic-sized, robot-body flexed and his robot army flooded back, clicking into him as extensions of his already massive, mostly-robotic form and extending his reach. He stretched out his inter-galactic appendices and began to induce each supergiant star’s collapse into supermassive black holes.

Once they were black holes, he would force them into a collision, generating the second greatest release of energy the universe had ever seen.

He had solved time travel Earth-millennia ago, but, unable to find sufficient energy to power it, his goals had shifted to attaining sufficient resources to enable this. Conquering vast swathes of civilized space had yielded only fractions of what he needed and, thus, he had formulated this plan.

If his form still had a mouth, Professor Usir would have smiled as the two supergiant stars began to supernova…


The moment Professor Usir harnessed the vast gravitational waves of two supermassive black holes colliding, the wormhole-engine that he had built into his body bent space-time bent to his will. At that moment, his constrictive physical form was shed like cosmic dust and his single point of consciousness was freed.

And everything changed. Or did not change. Or changed back…

You see, we are all trapped in time and stuck into an eternal moment: the present. The waters of time carry us steadily towards the inevitable ocean. Past, present and future each appear to our perspective as trees on this cosmic riverbank, appearing on our horizon as the future, moving up to us as the present and moving by into the past while we remain trapped in the flow of time.

And there is little more than that, from our perspective.

The moment Professor Usir’s immortal consciousness could travel through space and time, he could not only go backwards and see all of history, he could also do so from any physical point in space too! From the big bang itself to seeing life evolving on multiple planets at multiple times, from each individual planet’s story to each individual lifeform’s perspective on these planets…

For, what is the difference “omnipresent” and an immortal, time-travelling consciousness that can also teleport?

From our linear perspectives, Professor Usir was now god.

But being god comes with a cost, and Professor Usir began to pay that cost.


As a space-time travelling consciousness, the being that called itself Professor Usir, saw himself being born. He saw his parents loving himself and wept as he saw each one of them both being born and dying, as did all his ancestors.

He saw himself growing and ageing, as he saw each of the lives around himself both being born and dying. Each and every human being alive that had lived and would live until the end of the species was a unique and beautiful thing; sometimes tragic, sometimes violent, sometimes loving but always beautiful.

He wondered why he had never seen this beautiful before? Had it always been there? How had he missed it?

Friends and strangers that the young Professor Usir encountered were each living their own lives. He saw his influences on them and theirs on his. He saw the ripples forward and backwards. All of them were being born, living and dying at the same time from his consciousness’s perspective.


He saw the bullies picking on him at school. He saw himself lose his virginity in college and then he saw the girl break-up with him. He saw his parents each dying shortly after each other. Again and again, each time he watched it. And he saw it all together while he watched himself slipping further and further away from his friends and family and more and more towards his pursuit of time travel.

He saw the pain around him and watched human society disintegrate from his immortality Pill. He watched each human life’s light slowly dying out while he fled off into space to pursue time travel until the very last and final human being flung himself from a tall tower and ended the species.

Yet he was nowhere around to see the damage he had done to his ow species; his own friends and family! He watched himself not caring. He noticed himself not noticing. He was far out in space losing his own humanity, and he watched this horrific progression too.

Again and again, he watched himself slowly morph into the galactic, world-eating monster that he would end up being. And was. And would be again and again, each time he watched it.

He watched as his robot army built up around him. He watched himself discovering the basics of wormhole generation. He watched as he depleted his original galaxy and moved to the next one, and then the next one. He watched as his robot army started to plunder world after world, galaxy after galaxy.

And he watched the birth and dead of each of the species he had consumed. Each of them from each individual life’s own beautiful, tragic perspective. Again and again…

There are no tears when you have no physical body. No one hears your disembodied screams in space-time parallels or soothes your guilt-ridden consciousness as you see all the damage and destruction left in your wake.

Again and again.

Professor Usir wanted to shout out to himself! He wanted to apologize to the aliens’ worlds he had destroyed. He wanted to hug his parents and tell them he loved them. He wanted to forgive the bullies and the girl. He wanted to call off the robot army’s attack. He wanted to slap himself and beg the victims–all his victims across all the worlds!–for forgiveness as he watched them both being born and dying, again and again.

Each and every one, again and again…

And then–amidst unimaginable existential pain–the Being that would, had and might still call itself Professor Usir knew what It had to do. Perhaps It had always known this? Perhaps It had already done this before? Again and again? Perhaps…

Pushing through space-time It found a small, faint little heartbeat and, like a god stepping on an ant, snuffed it out.


“I am so sorry, Ma’am,” the Doctor said, averting his eyes from the woman and her husband, “We do not know what went wrong. Going in, everything looked fine. It looked more than fine! I really don’t know what went wrong but you are young and can try again…”

His voice faded out but he still lingered, absentmindedly flipping through some charts. He cleared his throat gently, nodded and then stepped out of the hospital room closing the door behind him.

“At least you are alright, my love,” Mr Usir said, squeezing his wife’s hand, his voice shaking slightly, “We can always try again. I know how much you want a baby and, you know, these things do happen, but we will try again. I promise. I love you so much.”

Mrs Usir smiled and squeezed her husband’s hand. She was sad–devastated!–at the stillbirth of her son, but–and she could not explain it–a part of her was also relieved.