The Paths of Doom and Despair

Pardon us, Earthlings, but we could help but notice that a large number of you appear to be on the paths of Doom and Despair, and that just isn’t right.

We definitely specified that only about 17% of you were to tread the paths of Doom and Despair. About 10%were supposed to be on the road of Misery and Grief. But at least 60% of you were supposed to be on the trails of Optimism and Hope. What, exactly, happened here?

Wait, wait, stop that! Please do not all yell at us at once. We have sensitive telepathic receptors, and you are making all of our heads ache, all at once. That was unhelpful. 75% of you just pointed at each other and shouted, “It’s THEIR fault!” The other 25% pointed at yourselves and said, “I’m sorry, it was all me, I don’t know what I did, but I must have done it.” This is not useful!

Let’s try this a different way. Where are your administrators?

No, no, no! Not your weird, self-appointed leaders! Your administrators. The ones who have the keys to all the settings. The ones who can change and adjust the various parameters which control this variation of reality?

What do you mean, “Nobody can find them”?!?

…wait. So some of you are saying that these beings exist but want you to suffer, and some are saying these beings don’t exist at all, and you’ve never met them?

That’s impossible. Beings left on their own in a simulation will eventually acquire the technology to live lives of joy and hedonism. Why, once you’ve left the Bronze Age, or…

…are those microchips?

Are you all carrying—wearing—semi-intelligent technology?

And, with no Administrators in sight, you’ve all chosen to go down these horrifying roads of—

please. stop. yelling. Yes, we heard you. It was everyone else’s fault. Right. We get it. Do not be alarmed. We are going to return briefly to our ship.

We may be some time.

* * *

On board ship, Zibnax turned glumly to Blithnar. “Welp, they haven’t seen the administrators either.”

“Nope. Nobody has.”

“I suppose we’ll leave them to destroy each other.”

“Better them than us, friend.”

“Is it, though?” asked Zibnax, glumly. “I mean, why are we the only species which chose to leave its home planet and roam the Galaxy, observing everyone else. It’s the most boring job in the Universe.”

“Which would you rather have,” replied Blithnar, wearily, “boredom, or destruction?”

Zibnax looked at the charts. It was 26 Florpnarian Days before they’d arrive at the next planet.

“I suppose we’ve got some time to think about it,” she said.

“At this rate, we’ve got forever,” said Blithnar. She stared out a porthole into the vast yawning maw of the galactic Void, and sighed.

Then both the aliens were silent for many days.


~Jeff Mach


My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. You can get most of my books right here. Go ahead, pre-order I HATE Your Prophecy“. It may make you into a bad person, but I can live with that.

Jeff Mach Written by:

Jeff Mach is an author, playwright, event creator, and certified Villain. You can always pick up his bestselling first novel, "There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN"—or, indeed, his increasingly large selection of other peculiar books. If you'd like to talk more to Jeff, or if you're simply a Monstrous Creature yourself, stop by @darklordjournal on Twitter, or The Dark Lord Journal on Facebook.

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