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The Ant Farm
12

From the first and only speech of Sebastian Alexander before the end of the world:

“A long, long time ago—a few billion years ago, I mean—the ancestors of humanity—and of every other sentient life form—emerged from the sea, developed lungs, crawled around.

“We always thought that space was the final frontier, but now as the final moments of Life As We Know It approach, it seems as though instead of leaving her behind, we are tucking ourselves back into the womb of our Mother Earth.

“Now, after an admittedly good run as Ruler of the Planet Earth, humanity has unintentionally orchestrated its own great Return to the Sea.”

***

Sebastian Alexander was a True Genius. Before the Return to the Sea, a “normal” genius could be described as a person who was much more intelligent or creative than his peers. Sebastian Alexander wasn’t a normal genius. Sebastian Alexander was a True Genius. In that respect he was a delinquent.

True Geniuses were rare—rarer than normal geniuses by far.

There were problems all over the world. People were starving, and were killing one another over imaginary Gods, and were exploiting one another for personal profit, and so on.

Geniuses everywhere were working the hardest for their own personal benefits. And they were succeeding. One genius in particular, Christopher Chenoweth, had perfected a weapon that would help him annihilate his country’s enemies. Even the threat of this weapon would make other countries do whatever his country wanted. This would help Christopher’s country become the most powerful country in the world, and that in turn would make Christopher Chenoweth a very, very rich man. It would probably make him the richest man in America.

The hard work that normal geniuses were doing generally ended up causing more problems for the planet, or amplifying those that already existed.

True Geniuses, on the other hand, weren’t working hard to make the world a worse place than it already was. True Geniuses, in fact, weren’t working to change the world at all.

True Geniuses—the few that there were—knew the solutions to the problems that the world was facing. In their minds, they could envision the courses of action necessary to make the world a peaceful place—one that was easy to live in, and fulfilling, and so on. And the situations they envisioned were possible, with a little explanation.

The only problem was, True Geniuses didn’t share their solutions. The only problem was, having the kind of knowledge that the True Geniuses had made them extremely cynical and depressed.

Ten out of ten True Geniuses committed suicide by the age of seventeen—before they were even adults.

Sebastian Alexander was an anomaly—a broken True Genius. He possessed all the knowledge of a True Genius, but the knowledge didn’t depress him in the same way it depressed the others.

At the age of seven, Sebastian’s father gave him an ant farm.

His father, incidentally, didn’t know that Sebastian was a True Genius, or a genius of any kind. The genius was still buried in Sebastian, and he had barely begun to scratch its surface.

Sebastian adored the ant farm, and he would look into it and say, “Do these ants know there are other ants outside the box? Do they know anything is outside the box?”

When he was twelve, Sebastian became very rich after receiving the life insurance payment for his father’s death. Instead of spending the money—instead of using it to survive at the time—Sebastian invested it.

At that time, his True Genius had been tapped, and he used math equations and what he believed to be common sense to turn the lump sum from his father’s life insurance into billions of dollars.

The salvation for humanity, incidentally, began as an ant farm.

The idea had been constructed before in the minds of many men, but it had been constructed in real life only by Sebastian Alexander. He drew up the plans himself, hired all the workers himself, and personally oversaw the construction of the Bio Bubbles. It was intended as a brand new ant farm, except on a slightly larger scale.

There were only two hurdles involved with the construction of the Bio Bubbles. One was their location, and even that only slowed Sebastian Alexander for a moment. When he really considered it, the place where he needed to put his new ant farm was obvious. This adjustment only necessitated slight changes in the blueprints of the Bio Bubbles.

The other predicament Sebastian faced with his ant farm was the means with which to populate it.

***

At the time of the construction of the Bio Bubbles, Christopher Chenoweth was putting the finishing touches on his weapon. The weapon’s key ingredient was a small as-of-yet unnamed ice-like crystal. It had been found in an expedition to Antarctica, and divided in half. Half went to the United States government, who had organized and executed the expedition. The other half had gone to a young billionaire named Sebastian Alexander, who had assisted with the funding of the expedition in return for half of its findings.

Sebastian Alexander, a True Genius, analyzed the crystal and realized its amazing properties in an instant. He also recognized its tremendous power, and quailed. He knew exactly how much to use to achieve his goals, and how much was too much.

Christopher Chenoweth, a conventional genius, examined the crystal for months before he realized its amazing potential. It was another month before he understood how he could use it as a weapon, and another month before he designed the plans for that weapon, and another month before he began construction on the weapon, and another month before the weapon was complete.

Christopher Chenoweth never even considered that he may be making his weapon too powerful, or that he may be making his weapon much too easy to use.

***

Francis Rhododendron, who was born long after Christopher Chenoweth was dead—but during the prolonged lifespan of Sebastian Alexander—never heard anything about the unnamed crystal that was both the fountain of youth for Sebastian Alexander and the fountain of death for the rest of the world.

***

The solution to the problem of filling his ant farm solved itself before Sebastian Alexander could solve it.

Christopher Chenoweth, with his sub-par conventional genius, accidentally created a weapon which was too powerful, and which was too easy to use.

Christopher’s weapon was intended for threatening other countries into submission, in order that the United States may control them and have access to their resources and so on. Christopher Chenoweth himself, when interviewed, claimed that he had created the weapon—which he created knowing that it could kill millions and millions of people all at once—in order to prevent any more deaths due to war. Many geniuses made it their life goals to create better, more efficient, more lethal weapons under the supposed guise of preventing killing.

It was a very short time after the finishing touches were put on this weapon that someone even more simple-minded than the genius Christopher Chenoweth put his hands on it and used it against another country.

The man who used the weapon was a general in the United States military. As far as intelligence goes, he was dumber than Christopher Chenoweth—the father of the weapon—who was in turn dumber than Sebastian Alexander, who never would have created such a weapon in the first place, although he could have made it more efficiently than Christopher did.

Before the Return to the Sea, the dumber a person was, the more command he had over more people.

After the Return to the Sea, one person had command over everyone else:
Sebastian Alexander.