Author: InformalSpoofer PM
Jon already knows how his first attempt at creating life will end. On the first day, He creates Man.Rated: Fiction K - English - Jonathan O./Doctor Manhattan & Walter K./Rorschach - Words: 920 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 13 - Published: 06-26-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5168066
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Jon has never created life before. He decides to begin with a plant, although he already knows exactly how his first attempt at creating life will end.
First, he creates a seed. Because that is how he begins, and because humans will come next. A human. A man.
He knows the name of the man he will create, and he knows that the soil of this planet will not sustain a seed if it is not changed. The first life of this new planet dies before leaving the womb that holds it, and Jon thinks of Laurie, of her insistence to bear no life of her own. There is no way for him to ever truly know, but he is sure that it was his influence that killed her maternal instincts.
Underneath the hard soil, the seed shrivels and dies. Jon is not surprised, but disheartened nonetheless.
Perhaps more complicated forms of life are not so complicated after all.
He turns from the place where his first life will never grow.
He lifts his hand and remembers disengaging each atom.
He undoes his last duty to Earth.
It is a remarkable success.
He remembers to sustain a suitable level of oxygen around his new human, naked and twisting on the ground like a newborn.
Jon knows that the man will demand clothing, and he knows that the request will appear menial in the grand scheme of things.
He can see the man ten years from now, bracing a hand against a tree and listening for something. He knows that the man will show his first signs of true gratitude when, for the first time in Jon's planet's history, an owl calls into the night.
For now, however, the man stills, and there are no tears on his face. He is stunned. He does not see Jon but past him, to the long, rolling emptiness of a planet that has been dead for millions of years, and that Jon will command back to life in time.
"What have you done?"
Those are the first words spoken aloud on Jon's planet.
Those are the first words of mankind.
Jon makes society progress in the way he sees fit. Men and women live in wooden homes that are serviced by quiet, crystalline robots, and around them loom trees that are not as ancient as they appear. Their rings show the truth when they are felled.
He has never forgiven Jon, although Jon has recreated little things in a vague attempt at geniality. When his face is off - which it rarely is, save in his fits of self-loathing - he openly glares at Jon. His words often arm to cut, when he's not tired. And he's tired more and more lately; Jon finds him bent double in prayers neither of them indulge.
"I've proven you correct, have I not?" Jon asks, because he has. The world is exactly as Jon permits it, nothing more. Nothing less. He never has an answer, only bows and trembles.
Sometimes Jon will not see him for months. Other times he'll show up at Jon's doorstep, exactly when Jon knew he would, like a mourner or a worshipper, committing neither acts and both at the same time with small words and insignificant actions.
Jon is no more drawn to him than he is to any of the flowers he's created, but inevitably they are pulled together. The sounds at night are not enough. They are the last of the first Earth and the first of this Earth. The last shall be first, and so they are.
"Take me home," he says, still, years later.
"You have no home there," Jon corrects. "You are but a memory to that Earth, just as I am."
Still, there is Janey, crying because he has forgotten that today is their fifth anniversary. There is Laurie, screaming at him for insisting on a clarity that she can't grasp. Jon knows he's done something wrong, but it is outside of his hands and he is disinterested in the reach it would take to understand.
This is nothing like what he had with them, but somewhere he knows that this is necessary. There is a way to apologize, and there is a need, no matter how the wrong has come about. No matter who is right in the end. Humans require it.
So Jon thinks of the way he looks at each new life, like something terrible and precious. Like a magician might, Jon folds a blanket in on itself. But he is not a magician; he is much, much more than that, and the bundle that he passes on is full of five eggs.
There are five twisting bodies inside, waiting to hatch.
He holds them close and says nothing.
Jon is impressed by his humans. They behave as humans should, and they move through their world with the quiet awe of children.
"This is all an experiment to you," he accuses.
He is right, but as before and as will come, the morality is irrelevant to the results. "Life is an experiment to humans as well," he counters. "You have had every opportunity to end your life on no uncertain terms. Yet you continue on. Is it not to learn? To study?"
"Have learned only that which I knew before. If there is God, he is cold to us."
"I am not God," Jon corrects him idly. "I am a scientist."