The Dark World

Pandora has been Colonised for unimaginable lengths of time, and as such, the pollution from its factories and mines has blocked out its dying sun. A father and a daughter sit in the total darkness, and think about their world.

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2. A Dark World

It is a curse, to be touched by the gods. To see as a god sees, to know as a god knows. This sight, this knowledge, tore him apart. The cybernetic man sat silently with his child on his lap. The scientists, the gods, who had changed him had saved his life, replacing the weak organic, the sick, the living, with the incorruptible steel. He was more robot than flesh now. But it was his enhanced eyes that terrified him the most; he had been granted sight in a blind world, and was now no different from the gods that had made him. Only he, the man touched by the gods, could see. Only he could see his mutilated self. Others could rely on the mundane senses; they could smell the bread in the bakery, trace the outline of their lovers’ face, hear the laughter in another’s voice, and taste the food that they lived off. But he, wounded as he is, has to rely on sight. It was a torture beyond imagination, beyond any other. It was a torture he could not even cry about. The gods had even taken tears away, deeming them useless. They were, of course, aware of the emotional aspects of this; they just did not care. Sometimes he would sit and watch, and try to weep, and wish that the formlessness would come back to him. Like the namesake of the planet, his curiosity for sight had destroyed him.

The cyborg’s daughter looked up at her father’s outline. She cannot see her father’s mutilations, and she never will. Similarly, she cannot see her own face, will never know her lover's eyes, will never have her child’s features ingrained in her heart, as her features are in her father’s. To her, everything is formless, and shall forever remain so. Unlike her father, she has to rely on the outline of a face and the laughter in another’s voice. How she longs, just for a moment, for the fog to lift and for an image to solidify. She yearns for the gift of eyesight that belongs to her father, if only for a moment, so that she could see the world.

Far away, the cyborg sees a family having a picnic. To him, the scene is clear; two blind parents sit with two blind boys, laughing with such joy that only blindness can bring. To his daughter, the scene is different. Without sight, all merges into one; she hears the laughter, smells the food, but to her they are neither near nor far. They could be right next to her or a thousand miles away. After all, who can judge a distance without sight to aid them? The only thing she felt for certain was the mechanical murmur and electrical heat of her father's chest, just as he feels her organic one.

In a pitch-black dormitory at the bottom of a mine, a father and a daughter sit, a cyborg and his child. In a momentary silence, they each contemplate the nature of the darkness, and unknown to each other, each one wishes for the others’ life.

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