And the children came to us.
And they had questions.
They asked us uncomfortable things.
“Why are things this way?”
“Why must things be this way?”
“Will things be this way forever?”
“Who is responsible for this?”
What could we say to such things?
How could we explain?
“Things have always been this way.”
“Things must always be this way.”
“Things will always be this way.”
“It does not matter who is responsible—you must simply obey.”
And our lips trembled, and our hearts broke, and our minds split, and war became peace, and slavery became freedom, and ignorance became strength, and we wondered how it could be this way.
How could it be this way?
It was not supposed to be this way.
And the sun was black, and the light was darkness, and the children came with unending questions, and we covered our washcloths with chloroform, and methane, and VX, and Po-210, and CO2, and U-235, and we held it over the faces of the children.
And they died.
And we looked around, and we found that there were no children left, that the unceasing questions would cease, and we sighed, for we could finally be at peace.
And we trained cameras and microphones upon their bones, in case they awoke. And we let the machines carry on the work, for we wanted only to play.
And as the chemicals ate into our guts and the machines stabbed our backs, we joined the children, with smiles on our faces, and the certain knowledge that what we had done was right.
And after 100,000 years, the smiles still sit upon our bones, deep under the water, at the bottom of the poison sea. And not even the monstrosities that scrape their bellies across the ocean floor can see our smiles, for they are blind.
Perhaps, we were blind.