The female picked up the battered copy of the old and revered script, and read:
“In the beginning, if there was a beginning, we don’t know what there was. We don’t know if there was a time before the beginning, and if there was then the beginning would not have been the beginning. But there was a time without us, and without even the older ones, at what we do call: The Beginning. We don’t know if there were, or now are, creating or guiding beings or just one such being because, being unaware of this, we cannot know if they, or it, are, or were, there. We may call them gods, or god, and some do swear that they, or it, or she, or he, control the fates, but we don’t know. But in the beginning there were things that moved, with what the older ones called energy, heat, light, all powering vibrating things that we cannot see, or something. Things we do not understand that somehow come together to make the rocks and rivers and wind and rain that we think we do understand, partly. We know the words once used for all these things through the fragments of script left by the older ones - those people before the destruction. The people of the once tall towers and far wide roads. The people of the sunken ships and vast lands of rubble. The people of the remnant rusting metal machines. And the tales of the people before the destruction - perhaps their myths - tell us that all things are made of smaller things, with even smaller things within them. They called them atoms, molecules, ions, protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks… until they got deep down to using just symbols and numbers that we cannot understand. But the people before the destruction had many names for the many little things inside other little things that they said could combine to make the big things, and the living things like them, and us. And they did claim, those people now long gone, that things made of what they called matter, when all hot and mixed and left for long ages became stars and rocky worlds, all unassisted. And that somehow little bits formed, emerged, unassisted, that became able to encourage the formation of replicas of themselves, but imperfectly, in a replication that made errors. And the errors were most often bad, but just occasionally good, they claimed. And the things made by good errors were better at making replicas of themselves - better at making more of themselves - and so they did make more of themselves. But they still made errors while making more of themselves. And many ages passed, of things getting better at making more of themselves, but still making errors that created different things, and living things, all powered by the energy of sunlight dispersing through the stuff of the world and kicking some of it up into the temporary self-replicating defiance of decay called life. Energy dispersing inevitably through matter, again and again creating things that made more of themselves and diverged into different more complicated things, until, somehow, some things began to think. And the thinking things looked around and began to wonder about it all. And the thinking and still ever-replicating things began to make other non-replicating things out of the stuff that they found around them. And the thinking things multiplied, and built great citadels of high stone and travelled far and fast in
ships of metal and wheeled vehicles powered by fire and soaring tubes with stiff wings carrying hot engines of smoke and flame. But the thinking things also fought. They fought, not to eat or survive as we may do, but the tales tell us they fought because they thought different things about how their lives should be lived. And the thinking and replicating things built many unthinking things to destroy each other, forever making bigger, better, bigger, better things to kill and blast to dust. Until the time of great destruction came, in a way we cannot truly comprehend from the fragments found when our own originators came down from the mountains into the wastelands that were left. And the sun still shines and the rains still rain, the wind still blows and the things that live, including us, make more of themselves, again, all powered by the dispersing energy of the sun and made from the materials of this spinning ball that is set alone in... somewhere. And while we make more of ourselves, our mechanisms of reproduction still make errors in their replication. Many errors, of twisted limbs and half-formed heads and mouths that cannot speak but sag, agape, then quickly die. And we see little sign of errors that make any of our youngsters better than ourselves, like the errors talked about in the tales left by the people before the destruction. But sometimes, rarely, the miracle of the errors that make things better does seem to return. And so we wait for the benefits of the errors. As we should wait, and as we should hope. So we continue. We carry on.”
And the female cast the old script aside as she had done many times before, and her thoughts turned again to the ever-present need to find some sustenance. She raised her gaze to the sky, and wished that there might be some god out there to offer her assistance. She then called out to this god, to any god, or to any thing, for any help that could be given. But she heard no reply. And the sun still shone, even as the rain began to fall.