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Four-thousand years ago, when we fled the Hate-filled Light aboard humanity's last surviving starship, we had much to think about. Such thoughts included: impressions of our species, burned to ash; our Foundation's dying wish; and whether our prospective, new world would hold promise.

Of those thoughts, two notions proved to grip our minds hardest.

First — we believed we were the gods' Fifty Immortal Children.

That hope, however, dashed: Our bodies were dying. But it wasn't the Light's hateful doing; in fact, severance from Earth-Prime brings mortality. Our bodies age, each well into our third century. Wounds never heal. Abrasion and scarring fight Pyrrhic wars on senescent skin.

In pain, we cried for Ninurta's forgiveness. O, Protector. Hasten our journey! Wrench the swelling sorrow from our lives! But he supplied no sign.

We vowed, then, to enter cryogenic stasis. We never knew if we'd wake; what we'd do…

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When we awoke at our destination, 1.6 billion light-years away, we learned of new misfortunes. We discovered fourteen among us had perished. They each rejected living for a few years longer in hibernation. They rejected being the Fifty Immortals humanity needed. They embraced their selfish desires of damning their souls, of wandering the Land of No Return in perpetuity.

And instead of pursuing their duty — our duty — we found their bare, dried bones sprawled across a lower deck.

And when we learned this planet — the only Earth-like planet in two billion light-years — could not sustain us?

We then believed — second — that we had carried death with us.

We thought this planet, rare to an aberrant degree, existed only to constrain us. To suck us dry — not the reverse. And now I can grasp why it pains us…

Some celestial malevolence must have placed this planet here to slaughter us. To lure us across the Cosmos, and when we are vulnerable, strike us down. The Hate-filled Light could do it if it spent aeons — but we, alone? Alone, we arrived quicker. Into the trap.

Beyond our starship's hull, novel bacteria germinate, letting off an abundance of O2 — toxic to our current bodies. We cannot breathe it. We hold the tools to repopulate — the equipment to construct a new human body plan and let it surge back, by the millions. We, commanding humanity to conquer Earth, all over again.

We could…

… But our hearts are heavy.

On the brink of letting civilization flourish anew, on this New Earth, we know in our hearts this is fleeting. Even if we fulfill our ultimate responsibility; even if we complete our work, even if we survive? The Hate-filled Light will come, again, and destroy all we built.

What is this, then, but a cancer? What slows the tide but thousands of wasted generations?

What if… We simply didn't build ourselves back up?

This is a question most of us arrived at naturally. Most. A few others among us have, unfortunately, continued sustaining hope.

But if we could correct that…

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One calm night — mere hours before we planned on activating Operation Thaumiel, powering up Aberration-2000, and sparking human civilization 2.0 — we decided to act against them. If we failed, their will would be done; if we prospered, we would inevitably die.

It was three-to-one. Of the thirty-six humans who remained, twenty-seven lost hope — I among them. The nine remaining — the hopefuls — did not scream. There was no bloody call in the night. There had been no struggle. Instead, while they slept, we considered their gleaming hibernal caskets…

… With our technology, those could run indefinitely — couldn't they?

We squeezed their arms and legs together and hurled them into the frigid maws of cryogenic stasis units. We reinforced the outer seals. We smashed the time-locks and concealed the units with tarps. Where they awoke terrified, seconds before, the floor now sat empty.

Our Founder, too, lies in stasis — but we will not release him. He poses the most significant chance at restarting our civilization — our Foundation — among us. This cannot be.

We demolished everything next. We burned all data files, ripped keepsakes to shreds. Our might against survival — against the continued survival of our species — was voracious. There is no going back.

Our experimentation subject, that vague reptile let skittering loose into the desolate continent beyond our landing site, will be the first — and last — to awaken on this planet, and one day, feel the Light return from the clutches of space-time. But, for us solitary few, we will not suffer the tragic directives that shepherded us here. That urged us to build a new Foundation, so our people might bask again in a harmonious shelter beneath a familiar golden sun.

This planet, if it bears fruit as the onboard computer detected? It will grow without us.

We are The Last.

We lost everything. Our bedrock. Our people. Our future. The gods paved the way forward, but treacherous we found it, and now we are tired. We have been ground down — a reflection of those fourteen who could not go on. We are fatigued, weighted by the despairs of billions lost to the Hate-filled Light.

But we will not have [DATA EXPUNGED] win.

The solution, I think, to eternal existence? Absolute Zero. For, inside stasis, we might finally reach the true demise the gods hid from us. We might finally contemplate on the tens of thousands of generations who got us here. And this, prolonged by our insuperable technology, will persist beneath a bed of rock and rot.

Until that final standstill of entropy; protected, while our cells sit frozen.

We are Human, and here we rest.

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