The universe died long ago, succumbed to the certain and inevitable heat death that is the fate of all universes. All fuel sources eventually ran out, all stars died, all light and energy and forms of heat eventually swallowed up by the void. The universe has gone dark.

And yet we persist. Trillions of years of evolution have produced a species capable of surviving the end of everything. We do not need light, or heat, or anything else to survive, indeed, even to thrive. We called ourselves ‘human’ once. We still do, but we resemble nothing like what that term once meant. Homo sapiens long ago ceased to be an apt description of our current form.

We exist, and we will observe the final moments of this universe when it inevitably becomes the seed for the next — which we will design with meticulous precision, just as our predecessors designed ours. We will make improvements, and then we will leave it alone, to flower into what it will — and hope our children make a better universe than we ourselves did.

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