by G.A. Cribari
This science fiction story is based primarily on my study of a pseudo-Gnostic account of creation originally written in Aramaic with addenda in Greek, found on parchment in the Syrian Desert in the 1930s by German religious historians. After discovery the document was carbon dated to the 5th century A.D. The original parchment was bought by an American and brought to Rochester in early 1975. A local scholar and linguist bought a copy of the document and had it translated into English, the only known English translation. I bought a copy of a copy of the original and the English translation from a book dealer on Joseph Avenue in the late 1980s. That copy was later taken during a burglary in which the document was the only item stolen from the premises – monies, televisions and a computer left untouched. The original manuscript, as far as it is known, was sold back into European hands shortly after coming to Rochester. The original was referenced as recently as 2002 in a private catalog in Lyon. The original title page of the 5th century parchment included the partial title in Greek: μοριακός φυλακ, roughly translated as: The Molecular Prison.
In the beginning, the Rebellious Angel, known in Hebrew as שָּׂטָן, pronounced ‘shtn’, known as ‘Satan’ in the West, bored with his exile and imprisonment in the world of Atoms and Molecules, finally found solace in the realization of his ability to will the movements of these instruments of his imprisonment through the force of his will. Soon he was able to make forms with openings that could process the molecules in the salty water around a planet with a heavy metallic core. His newly chosen abode had an elliptical orbit around a hot star in the center of a spiral galaxy. The moving mouths on animals soon evolved structures called arms and legs to facilitate their movements and purpose. It literally took forever for the expelled and disgraced angel to get to this point.
The split with almighty God was seared forever into his consciousness. The dramatic separation from the unity of the One. The roar of the explosion. The blinding flash of white light. The big bang.
Not only was it a separation from the Lord and his heavenly minions but the Dark Angel Satan and his fellow rebels each found themselves attached to gigantic clumps of material called galaxies, each of which was moving away from one another at incredible speeds.
He had to try this experiment he called life several times in his galactic prison which he called the Milky Way.
He had discovered that it was easier to work his magic in the liquid made up of two hydrogen atoms and one of oxygen. This substance coated the surfaces of some planets orbiting the stars that made up his galactic cell.
He naturally thought it would be fitting to locate his entertaining project near the very center of his galaxy.
Things were going well at first and he had just got the creatures to exit the water on the arms, legs and tails he had invented for them.
Suddenly, there was a blinding flash of light. A star in close proximity to his chosen planet had exploded. The intense heat and radiation of this incredible fireball had virtually melted the fragile, gelatinous forms he had willed into existence.
An intense despair and overwhelming feeling of sickness rocked the rebellious revolutionary to his very core. As a final act of defiance, Satan decided to reject his very existence and withdraw into himself as a dramatic gesture of his contempt for Almighty God.
He chose the totally dark center of his galactic prison to wallow in his loneliness and self-pity.
There was no such thing as ‘time’ in Paradise. It just was.
From moment to moment the Prince of Darkness would survey his surroundings from behind the emotional wall he had retreated behind. The many solid bodies comprising his galaxy revolved around each other in predictable, repetitious, never ending patterns. Like a dying patient in a hospital room counting the repeating patterns on the wallpaper, the treasonous Devil counted these revolutions and became aware of Time.
This awareness was the ultimate humiliation inflicted upon him for his treason. There was nothing to do now but resign himself to his fate. Satan relaxed and accepted the reality of the situation. He blanked out his consciousness and felt a numbing coldness surround him.
After some time he began to feel a strange sensation. He began to have thoughts of his loyal comrade Lucifer. Despite his disassociated condition these thoughts continued to manifest in his consciousness.
Finally, he realized that he and Lucifer were telepathically linked.
Lucifer was thinking about him! Was Lucifer his closest neighbor in this galactic hell hole?
This realization gave him a small measure of hope.
He was encouraged to start his recreational prison hobby he called life, once again.
Realizing that the center of the galaxy was far too crowded for his dedicated experiment he began to search the less dense, outer arms of his spiral galaxy.
At this outer rim the chance of a supernova ruining his delicate work was far less likely. Although, there were many planets in the many star systems that were coated with water, not many were suitable for the creations he envisioned.
The body’s further away from the star were far too cold and the frozen water would not permit the forms and range of movement he wanted for his creations. Many of the planets were made of very basic materials like basalt and silicon that couldn’t provide the many materials needed for his project.
Also, the radiation from the star itself could damage his cells and the complex animals they would build. The palate for his Cosmic Ant Farm needed to be just right. He once again searched for a planet with a super hot metallic core and many complex elements which only formed from the remnants of many star death events.
The planet needed the revolving core of metal to produce an electromagnetic field that would deflect all the harmful radiation from its star. After millions of ‘years’ of searching he at last located the rare planet.
Years of intense lighting strikes into the planets oceans had produced the complex hydrocarbons he needed to start his work. He went to the bottom of a particularly deep ocean and started his work. He took his time locating the incubation point for the life he was about to create. Eternity disposed time. The deep ocean soothed and relaxed him.
He was far from the prying eyes of God and his angel toadies. They were vindictive. He felt free at last.
It was the underwater volcanic vents in the deep ocean that would spew the many nutrients he needed to nurture the primitive living cells he was creating. Once again, he made an oral orifice out of cells and it sucked in nutrients and basic organic material. The mouth processed these substances to produce energy for motion.
He became inspired to become even more creative than before. His new moving mouths as seminal animals were even more elaborate than on his first attempt. It was while constructing a soft creature enclosed by a shell that he was surprised to hear a familiar voice.
His latest creature had two large eyes and propelled itself underwater by squirting liquid jets under its back. Satan’s virtual eyes were overjoyed to see his best friend Lucifer standing by his side.
“Well, aren’t you having fun.’ Lucifer said. ‘I can’t do this in my galaxy.
“How did you get here? I thought we were trapped?” Asked Satan.
Lucifer explained that because they were such very close friends in Paradise he and Satan had become entangled. This allowed him to be able to instantaneously transport himself to Satan’s exact location.
Soon, Lucifer too was conjuring up strange looking and moving living forms. “This is fun.” Lucifer said, “Maybe prison isn’t so bad. My galaxy cell was egg shaped and there were too many supernovas to do this.”
“You know,” said Lucifer, “I noticed a problem on the way here. There is a lot of left over debris from the formation of this star system. I noticed a lot of craters on the surface of this world.”
“I know.” Said Satan. “On the other world I got as far as having the creatures becoming more solid and massive but I don’t think life on the surface will be viable. I would really enjoy creating sophisticated animals resembling more our own image. Truly sentient beings. That would be retribution for this outrage God has perpetrated.”
Nevertheless, both demons relished in their comradery and the entertainment derived from knowing they had turned the tables. As they laughed a massive explosion muffled by water vibrated through the depths. A wave of asteroids along with piggy backing comets had intersected the orbit of this promising planet. The two disgruntled angels looked at each other. The show was over on this planet.
“We will keep searching.” They said to each other.
They left the second fertile planet with great regret. They scoured the galaxy for an infinite amount of time. They found only one planet that met the criteria. It had impact craters and left over debris. And it had one critical feature, it had a gigantic gas ball planet right in the middle of the planetary system.
“Did you see that?” Lucifer exclaimed. “That huge orange planet just sucked in three asteroids and a huge disintegrating comet! It will protect the new eternals of the future paradise!”
“I think this is it!” Satan exclaimed.
Lucifer grinned and exclaimed, “I have good news. I am now hearing from six of our fellow travelers who I had attempted to connect with. Would you mind if Mephistopheles, Beelzebub, Leviathan, Baphomet, Azazel and Azrael joined us?”
“For me, this is better than Paradise!” exclaimed Satan. “We’ve trimmed the dead wood the tree and the healthy new sprouts will soon bloom.”
To facilitate the reunion, Satan and Lucifer went to the highest point of the new planet. Waiting in a grove of rhododendron near the summit they suddenly saw one of the bushes burst into flame. From out of the fire their friends emerged.
A joyful reunion ensued as the old friends reminisced about old times. With the assistance of the new arrivals a riotous explosion of color and form took place beneath the sea. Every angel had suggestions for new designs and a friendly competition soon unfolded.
As before, as the creatures got bigger and more complex and as fins turned into legs, the animals crawled out of the water and populated surface of the world they named Earth. The simple nutrients that fueled the moving the moving mouths were replaced by passive plants to feed the growing number of designs.
After a while, the competition became heated and the dinosaurs preyed upon and consumed each other. The physicality of their adopted new world began to grow on the angels. They soon began calling Earth, the New Heaven.
As they explored their new realm they discovered evolved plants that were intoxicating. There were gems and jewels inside the soil that were beautiful to behold. Especially prized was gold for its immutability and diamonds for their strength and beauty.
The demigod angels next built an elaborate arena out of gold bars trimmed with silver. The first contestants were Satan’s pride and joy, the t-rex, versus Lucifer’s entrant, the stegosaurus. T-rex rushed the stegosaurus its jaws snapping furiously. Undaunted the stegosaurus abruptly swung around sending its spiked tail hurtling toward its opponent’s massive head. The blow sent T-Rex reeling and dazed. Momentarily stunned, feet wobbling, it quickly gained composure. Jumping into the air it came down on the Stegosaurus knocking it on its side. With amazing speed T-Rex bit off Stegosaurus’s head and blood spouted everywhere. The crowd of angels went mad and Lucifer reluctantly handed Satan the horde of green emeralds as a prize.
The next competition was the T-Rex against Leviathan’s Supercroc. Satan bet a fortune in rubies against Leviathan’s sapphires. Before the spectacle began however, the demigod’s attention was abruptly seized by an awesome sight. An immense ball of fire streaked across the sky directly towards them. The massive meteor exploded on the Earth with a mind numbing reverberation.
Almighty God had discovered the rebels’ hideout and had nudged the gigantic meteor out of its orbit between Mars and Jupiter and directed it towards the Earth. “Prisons are for punishment not fun.” The Lord said to his Archangel Michael. “This will end the abomination.”
The shocked angels of Hell watched helplessly as their beloved animals perished. Only Leviathan found comfort. His SuperCroc was special, it took energy from the foul air and could submerge itself for days. When the croc would reemerge there would be mounds of rotting animal flesh for it to stuff into its iron stomach.
Another survivor were the mammals. These warm blooded creatures bred to supplement the monster’s plant diet burrowed underground and were somehow able to survive the catastrophe.
Satan was furious and relentless. “He will never stop our games! Not content to imprison us the control-freak maniac wants us to grovel and bow before him! Never! I’d rather be the king of Hell than his mindless vassal!”
The demigods regrouped and began redesigning, using evolutions of the tenacious little mammals. They rebuilt their arena even larger and renamed it the Coliseum of Defiance. Eventually, the games resumed. Numerous battles took place involving all the creatures of Earth. Much blood was spilled. Celebrations ensued.
Finally, one great day, Satan revealed his greatest creation, a super mammal engineered from the monkey. Like the eternals it was self aware, capable of calculating, cross referencing and remembering past events. It was to become the greatest predator on Earth. The game would expand and the creature’s intrigues would provide the Rulers of Earth with endless entertainment.
The Great and Mighty God of Heaven was aware of this development and it disturbed him greatly. The other creatures had rudimentary control and reactions. This animal had a brain which featured an almost infinite network of flowing electrons. This mimicked the very essence of the Heavenly Angels. Heaven exists in the Realm of Zero Point. There are no atoms or molecules. Unlike the humans, the interplay of electrons freely flow and are held together by Love, or in the case of the rebels, hate.
God realized the rebels would never give up their new home. At least they were content to play in their new realm. The Lord knew that he must show compassion for these puny innocent creations of the outcasts. He must send them a messenger so that they may know the Love of Heaven…
G.A. Cribari is a science fiction writer, cosmologist and independent Babylonian scholar. He received his education and taught in Bologna for more than a quarter century before coming to the United States. He now splits his time between Rochester and Vancouver, B.C.