Mar 11

Fate's Fire

Fate’s Fire

The irrelevant sun had just risen from its cavity in the dark green, forested mountains, following its cycle of rise and fall, rise and fall. Its pattern was so predictable that no one cared to pay attention to the sun anymore. The Zoafurians would look at the day’s light but never at its source, for their ancestors had already predicted that the sun would rise and fall everyday and move through an eight in the sky every year. Now, it was up to them to predict the path of human lives, and the entirety of their city. Elvar Dellacroix was walking to get groceries, in accordance with his life path for today. His feet did not have to touch the cold, wet pavement, and he hovered using his P.L.D, his personal levitation device, which took him to exactly where he wanted to go. He came upon a mural, and written in black and gold were the words: To know all lives, is to live all lives. However, one of the v’s were fading, so the mural looked like it said: To know all lives, is to live all lies. The P.L.D. slowed, and Elvar turned to the mountains. He was the only one that did so. All others in the city square were looking down or straight. What was the point of looking up or at the mountains anyway? In the distance, Elvar could see that the sky was a bit darker, with a small gray spiral-shaped cloud. Some trees had fallen on the mountain and were going to be replaced.  The governing congress had shared the data from the algorithm. All that Elvar knew was that the city-republic would not crumble for another 2000 years, and the algorithm was correct in all aspects of its predictions. 

“Boy! Boy! What are you looking at? Don’t you have somethin’ to do?” A man dressed in leather which couldn’t have been from this star system, walked back into the crowd. Elvar hastily grabbed his bags, and hopped on his personal levitation device. He did not lose sight of the strange man, and instead saw where he went: he sat down in a chair, blending in with others in the marketplace, although not doing any work. He had a huge long beard, like all the elders of the city. It seemed like it was dry enough to light the whole city on fire. 

Elvar heard lightning in the very near distance, but everyone else kept walking, and looking straight down. Then, another scintillation. Boom! That is too close, he thought. Elvar remembered another saying in the city: Trust the algorithm and the algorithm will trust you. A voice within Elvar told him not to look at the mountains. Elvar, consequently, demanded himself to look straight down. He could almost feel the orange mass, creeping and raging towards the city.

When Elvar arrived at his house, his parents were playing a game of chess to a Beethoven symphony. “A relic from the old universe,” they would call it. The storm was still dumping rain on the city, and the downpour caused the hyper-evaporator to have a clunking sound. “Mum, why don’t we look at the algorithm for all future events?” 

“Because, if we knew all of them, we would try to change them. But we would fail! Only the council can know.” She moved the knight to take Elvar’s Dad’s rook. “There is only one possible outcome for this chess game. There is only one possible future. If we knew the total future we would make living futile and miserable.”  Suddenly, Elvar looked to the mountains, the rain had ceased completely, and was replaced by a colorful palette of orange and neon blue scintillations, paired with a swirl of black haze.  More trees had been added to the pile. Elvar’s parents followed his gaze to the mountains. 

“The firemen will take care of it in an hour or so. They told us what would happen at the monthly reassurance meeting.” Elvar’s father firmly stated his belief in the algorithm. His marble-eyes blinked compassionately. On the wall furthest to Elvar, was a gold and black clock. In gold and black letters were the words: Time, our Savior. A thought suddenly formed in Elvar’s mind. 

“Can I see the algorithm’s predictions, just for the rest of today?”

“Elvar, how could we possibly get entry to the complex?”

“You have friends!” In the distance, the hot-tempered, fierce orange mass ranged on. It was eager to consume the Zoafurians, with all their dry beards. 

“This life is simple, Elvar! Find your niche and trust the algorithm! The streets are wide enough for us to look down.” 

“How can you see in the dark! I need to know for sure!”

“Sillion, just let him see. How could it harm him?” Elvar’s mother deescalated the argument.

Under his own breath, Sillion mumbled, “he needs to build trust.” The wind started picking up and 5 miles away a unit of 10 famous firefighters teleported to the burning mountain. That's all the town needed with the algorithm. “We leave now!” The blinding sun had returned, and the city became fuel for the burning fire. The Dellacroix family hoped on their P.L.D.’s. The Zoafurian race had forgotten how to run, and were starting to forget how to walk.

“Look down Elvar, look down,” Elvar’s mother demanded. Within all layers of the mountain forest life, the fire raged. Suddenly, Elvar thought of an old poem recited by an elder. She was a kind woman, and a bright spot in a street brimming with old, bearded men. The poem was by someone who had the surname of Thomas, though his first name had been forgotten. It went like this: 

Do not go gentle into that good night 

Old age should burn and rave at close of day

Rage, rage against the dying of the light…


The sun had begun to set back into its little cave. The sky and sun were made orange by the newly transformed atmosphere. Slowly, more and more people started looking up at the sky out of fear, not curiosity. They swirled on their government-issued devices, almost crashing into each other. Elvar and his family finally arrived at the complex housing the algorithm. In gold letters were the word:


“State your purpose,” said an artificial voice. Its clear and mellow tone almost sounded supernatural to Elvar. 

“We would like to talk to a supervisor,” Elvar’s Dad declared with a hint of hesitation.

“Access denied”

“What? We just want a human supervisor!”

“Access denied, sending security.” The android’s blue pixels formed an upward curve that barely resembled a smile.

Elvar and his family were met with a foreign greeting: “Oh, hi!” Finally a human had come out to talk with the family. “Come inside, please come inside!” After he passed the shape-shifting doors, Elvar stepped over a sign that pointed down and said: machine 2. Elvar looked up at the supervisor, wearing a navy-blue suit. “What can I help you with today?”

Elvar and his family sat down in brown leather chairs, flanked by sculptures on all sides. “We saw a fire on the mountain, and it's been burning for all of today.” Elvar’s mom pleaded with the supervisor for some sort of response. So you did know about the fire, Elvar thought.

“Weren’t you at the meeting last week? We told you what was going to happen, so you would not get worried.” Somewhere, someone told the wind to change direction, and it did. The wind then told the black cloud of smoke to shift directions, and it did also. Slowly, the black mob raged its way to the Dellacroix’s house. “The firefighters will put the fire out and--” A loud thunderous boom interrupted the supervisor. Elvar looked straight into her eyes, and saw thunder striking the floor of her eye sockets. “The city will still be standing, don’t worry.” Elvar still had a questioning look in his eyes. “Here, take a look at the algorithm’s predictions for the rest of today.”

“Impossible,” Elvar mumbled. The algorithm showed the city untouched with blinding lights flashing and going out at 10:30.

“It’s not impossible at all! See, nothing to be afraid of. Nothing to be afraid of at all.” Elvar’s Dad’s voice faded as his eyes searched for a definitive solution to the conflict.


    Elvar, eyes still twitching, thought how that small of a firefighter unit could stop the fire’s rage. Elvar pretended to go to sleep, and then tried his best to get up and walk. In two rooms next door, Elvar’s parents slept peacefully. Elvar, after practicing his walking, closed his eyes. He could not go to sleep. It was past midnight. Inside his fingers was a strong tingling sensation. He could feel the fire and all its rage. Abruptly, Elvar opened his eyes. The glass windows were now orange, and smoke had crept into the room, raging against the invariably clean scent of all the rooms in the city.  Elvar told himself to get up, so he hobbled outside. Slowly and carefully, the picky and arrogant fire picked its part of the house to engulf. But the fire chose not to spread. Elvar’s eyes were glued to the burning house, and out of the corner of his eye, Elvar saw the dullness of the other houses, unconsumed. Soon only two rooms were left of his house. A voice from behind Elvar was too recognizable to startle him. “It was the only way.”

Suddenly, Elvar turned to the navy-blue suit inhabited by a human robot. “This is your fate which you have chosen to let alone. This is your fate which you allow to govern you. This city will burn, because you will let it!” 

20 miles away, the famous unit of firefighters had the most peaceful sleep they ever had and would have in their lives.