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Gila River Review
Luke Rhinehart

The First Six Seconds of Hell

            I sit swallowed by the silence; catastrophes whisper in your ear, but this is beyond catastrophic. This is a cease, a cease to all but my own awareness. I beg for a whisper right now.  



            I sat on my throne of success in my kingdom of invincibility. I feel the circuitry intensify as I browse the memory banks of my frontal lobe accelerator. The distant memories crisp in my vision, I can recall every move I made, as I saved the world from their eternal fears. The chain of achievement flickered before my minds eye.




            Ten centuries ago, the year 2020 proved to be the jumpstart of the new age of peace, and I was at its core. Immediately out of extensive genetic modification apprenticeship, I became the epitome of a human enhancement scientist. The industry was never mentioned without the name Dr. Samuel Elter. My frontal lobe accelerator was the first public release, and it wowed the world with its precision and capacity. It was the first step into the new world, but no step could ever be a successful transition to the discovery I later made.

            With extensive governmental funding my company grew to reign over the world. We offered supplemental, biological and mechanical modification. Being the only successful association led to the monopolization of the industry of preserving life and I was at the head.

            Twenty years after my first release and the foundation of my company, SE Preserve, I landed on a solution that to this day questions my consciousness. My product sand operations were the most popular market to ever exist. My innovations captured the majority middle and upper class, and my popularity allowed incredibly low price. But this all would soon become meaningless with my most meaningful discovery.

            I single handedly discovered a genetic modification that gave definition to the word infinity. Utilizing my concepts on population multiplication, life expansion, and the insuppressible theory, I constructed an alteration that would grant immortality.




            The emotions that ran through me that day are still running through my lively veins today. Finding a solution to the world’s natural flaw was more than anyone could have imagined for our future. I could go beyond that of the powers of the universe and build permanence.

            I shuttered as tension built in my forehead, other memories burrowed into my banks. The enhancement was flawed only in its inability to serve as a memory filter; the system acted off the body’s natural recollection, hence these less than satisfactory memories make their way to my mind as well.




            The headlines were brutal; “The True Apocalypse” and “Satan Lives”. The world was split and in a pit of disarray. I was ecstatic from my discovery, but I was fearful. I wouldn’t, no, couldn’t, watch the world die, while I held the solution, I couldn’t let myself die while I held the solution. I was fearful of the criticism and the attempts at my life. Religious figures and followers and powerful leaders sought my life, the power I held, and the plan I proposed, the opposition of the preaching they imposed.. I am the savior, and I alone saved the world. Once I completed the full operation and cell conversion, the world’s shock began to wear, I was invincible and nothing could be done to neither stop me nor hold back my followers.




                The pain rushes to my chest, beyond a physical sensation but emotional penetration. The memories continue, each powerful beat brought a new burden and the electricity intensified as I processed the electrical stress.




            I watched the world suffer and I watched the world die. Followers joined the new world and committed to a new form of life. Money was irrelevant, health and hunger were hushed to a silence. It was hard to watch the majority of mankind slip away as non-supporters willingly let their life drift away. It was hard to feel as though I accomplished the ultimate goal, while so many preferred the unknown, but I held it out willingly nonetheless.

            I was viewed as pure evil, an enemy of the natural, an enemy of our creation. But these ideas died with its supporters, there was nothing either side could do to save them. My population would span the earth for eternity in a world without death, the conversion of earth to a heaven, and I at the gates. I gave meaning to peace as I offered and promoted my solution to the world.

            But those who chose the solution, a combination of mixed population, were literally given the world, and the universe too as our infinite future provides limitless opportunity. It is what we have been waiting for, hoping for. I still can’t comprehend or compare the power unleashed, but I feel its pull like no other. The most tempting emotion to run through any human, a power so immense it could convert ages of views in seconds.   

            But for a creator of peace, I suffer extensive burden. My ultrasensitive memory serves me horrid hindsight and history, I see now, how I have not fully removed misery.  



            Overwhelmed, I collapse to the floor, palms up and outstretched. I don’t make a sound as the absorbency activates to catch and oppose my acceleration. I have a clear view through the internal transparent wall of the office. The SE structure reigned over the new world and I lay in its highest tower watching the strangest thing, whilst my regret and cowardness expose. I feel a burning sensation building. I feared death and wouldn’t die alone, but I feared life and wouldn’t live alone. I manipulated the mass with a power that should never have been possessed. The heat increases. I and those who followed succumbed to the greatest illusion; the cunning advantages were too tempting. We ate the forbidden fruit. I melt to the mountain I so proudly built, and my masses below me.

            Through the transparency, I’m blinded by a blast, the world literally burning before me. The pressure change is unbearable and the gravitational pull has bounded me to the ground. The sun has exploded and ignited the solar system. The fire continued and melted the building over me. The fire resistance in the skin modification activated; I would never fully burn, I would never die, simply lie, in the center of a burning universe.

            6 seconds pass; a countable definition to existence, a source of suffering, a source that I have fully embraced. These thousand years of peace was revealed, a thousand years of shame and greed. We desire our conscious existence, and so we are left with them. We all lie forged to the earth that we so dearly wished to be tact to. We have what we wanted, an eternity of awareness. I am Unable to move, the fire blinds me, the burning and crackling creates silence, and the memories make pain; if this is Hell then I must be Satan.

Luke Rhinehart is a student at CGCC and a former Associate Editor of The Gila River Review.

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