I toyed listlessly with my Waldorf salad. Life had little to offer me in the way of challenge, it seemed. The storytelling machine run out of steam – it was offering us nothing but reruns of old plotlines at this stage. Nobody spoke because nobody could speak – we stood in rows, rooted to the ground, trapped in frozen postures of fear and defeat. We were the reusable soldiers who had been used just one too many times; we were the tragic victims of a Cosmic Jest. No one spoke and no one could speak – our mouths were full of the dust of the Sterile Millennia. No one spoke and no one could speak – red spider mites swarmed in our nostrils in their untold millions. We were the Soldiers of Fate, led to our doom by the fickle play of Chance.
Outside the Survival Dome the entropy war raged unchecked. Nothing could check the entropy war. Nothing could and nothing would. Nothing ever would. No life stirred within the sterile confines of the Survival Dome – the price for survival was death, as we had all learned a long time ago. We had paid that price. The ultimate gambit had not paid off and now there was no one left to mourn our passing. Not that anyone ever would have done anyway; no one mourned us and no one would – we were the dregs of the universe, we were the scum of the earth.
Inside the Survival Dome nobody spoke. We had been debating Kantian metaphysics when all of a sudden the mood had turned ugly. We had all retreated deep into terminal passive-aggression and no one was going to be the first to talk. We had been like this for weeks and the atmosphere was super-saturated with toxicity – it was crystallizing out in massive clumps everywhere. Homunculi were incubating. It wasn’t as if there was anywhere else to go, after all – we were all here for the long haul. Outside the rusty orange windows of the Survival Dome I could see strange shapes gathering on the horizon – sometimes I fancied I could see giants with flat malign faces battering tirelessly at each other with clubs, at other times it was dragons that I saw, dragons with long baroque snouts that chased each other ceaselessly across the sky.
Nothing mattered at this stage – we had gone beyond that. To survive or not survive made no difference – both alternatives were equally absurd. The absurdity was as thick as custard in both cases – to wade forward would be as hard as wading back at this stage, as Shakespeare had once said. When all alternatives are absurd as each other then there are no more decisions that can be made. This is the End of all Decisions – even thought itself had gone stale. There wasn’t any point in me thinking about how stale my thoughts were because that thought, too, had gone stale. It had gone mouldy. The story-telling machine wasn’t even making sense anymore; most probably it never had done but in our gullibility we had never realized this fact. In our gullibility we had believed everything it had ever told us and now we were paying the price…