My name is Frank Carson, Autarch of the Enlightened Republic and Free Association of Wyoming. I have overseen the Universal Dominion of the State of Wyoming and its citizenry for four thousand, nine hundred and seventy-eight years, four months, and nineteen days. I am the only ruler this universe has ever known, or will ever know. My authority is omnipresent and absolute.
From my capitol in the Palace of Black Tooth Mountain, I alone control all facets of the government of this realm. In the last five millennia, I have developed the technology and the mental ability to be in thousands of places at once, enmeshed in every possible public institution that may touch the lives of those people left in this enclosed universe. No human to have ever existed has wielded more power than I do. I am the absolute pinnacle of humanity's ability to exert control, refined to the outermost limits of mankind's capabilities to achieve my purpose of ruling over my domain.
Somebody, please shoot me. Right in the head. Please.
I wasn't always the Everlasting Autarch, All-Encompassing in His Name. I used to be Frank Carson, Director of Site-643, Foundation Subdirector for Geopolitical Anomalies, North American Sector. I don't know what we did to screw everything up, exactly. But thousands of years of thinking about it have convinced me that that asshole Russian from External Affairs had something to do with it. If, in the infinitesimal chance someone at Site-78 actually receives this and reads it, I hate you all. Come over into my reality. I'll make you Emperor of these clowns. See how you like it.
We had time to evacuate all the staff. When the alarm sounded, I had no clue what had just breached, or what even could breach a site where we studied vote records from Podunk County, USA all day. But someone had to go back in and retrieve the failsafe codes. I, like an idiot, assumed responsibility for someone else's monumental mistake, not wanting to put any of my subordinates at risk. One of my selves is laughing at the irony of leadership putting me in this situation. That one's a real jerk. I've never liked him.
Whatever it was that occurred, Site-643 caused two things to happen. The entire observable universe was erased from existence, except for a small, isolated mass of physical matter that used to be the State of Wyoming. The universe literally ends now at the boundaries of the least populous political subdivision in the US. The other thing? People now live forever. And not in the horrifying way that I always feared people could live forever, but eternal life, free of aging, senility, physical deterioration. Don't ask how me how we whipped up that one. I always forbade cross-testing in my facility.
I didn't mean to even be spotted by the civilians. I swear I didn't. But the Site was in downtown Cheyenne. The emergency exit came out right on 24th Street. Next to the Capitol. There must have been a reason for that. Maybe. But after sheltering in place for three days, the locals had plenty of time to figure out that a few things had changed, mostly having to do with the fact that it was no longer physically possible to leave the state anymore, and that things like "nighttime" no longer happened. The Laramie Consortium of Wisdom later figured out that we somehow trapped a simulacrum of the sun in with our universe, capable of generating the same amount of energy. I digress.
So horrible, mind-breaking things are happening. Riots in the streets. Panic everywhere. And out emerges this stranger, right from the seat of government. Dressed in a labcoat and armed to the teeth. Why did they make me their leader? I guess I looked like I knew what was happening. I was mostly relieved that they hadn't decided to eat me. Then I remembered about the research outpost in Crook County. I led a team of twelve people equipped with pickup trucks and shotguns to keep that business from being stuck in a universe with us. When we returned, that was that. I was The Leader.
Why didn't I just lead them all into a volcanic geyser somewhere? I guess I figured I had to make the most of it. Maybe I hoped in the early days someone from Overwatch Command would come fix our mistake. That hope ended sometime after the first thousand years, I think. God forbid, maybe I wanted to actually help people. I forget now.
Then I found out what happens when you have forever to do things. The human mind is an incredible mechanism, turns out. Freed from senescence, you have forever to get good at things. To think about things. To consider yourself and your surroundings. The citizens of Wyoming granted me the power of a king, to protect them in their strange, new universe. And I did. I worked tirelessly to set up new systems of government, appointed mayors, counselors, officials. I learned about sewer systems, tax codes, probate law and housing policy. I did such a good job they didn't bother with elections. I was satisfied because people weren't killing each other. Ha. Ahahaha.
Blessed with immortality, the citizens of Wyoming became scholars. Almost all of them. They all had time to learn now. First they wanted to know just what the hell we were living in. Oil workers, cowboys, waitresses and farmers all studied up. First they mastered astronomy. They became self-taught doctors of geology, climatology, topography and quantum physics. With all the time in the world, the people of Wyoming were a race of intellectuals, spurred on by curiosity. They built observatories, drilled deep into the crust of what once was the Earth, and confirmed that we all lived on a big (almost) flat rectangle floating in a sea of nonexistence. The telescopes couldn't find any stars, any signs of anything beyond what used to be the atmospheric thermosphere. Well duh, I told them. I've been saying that for decades. But scientists that they were, they needed to confirm it independently. See for themselves. They had already placed me in my inescapable role, nagging governmental parent of Eternity, only to be minded when a new skyscraper needed to be built or the stray dog population got out of control. I should have killed them all then.
Their scientific discoveries led them to be introspective. Now, the people must be philosophers, they all said. And philosophers they became. Great halls were constructed just for thinking and debate. All essential tasks were automated (and guess who needed to write 15,000 pages of regulations governing the construction of these automated task-robots), so that everyone could add to the effort of Understanding. And these learned citizens Understood, all right. New discoveries in the nature of self, answers finally reached about the existence of the soul (by the way, it's more like eight thousand souls), God forever placed in His correct role of The Great and Mighty Casual Annoyance. Men whom I remembered centuries ago passing their time shooting at highway signs with buckshot after downing a case of Coors Light, were now pronouncing their inescapable theorems on the nature of human suffering from the shining dais of the Academy of Universal Advancement.
I shared in their knowledge, and paired with their technological progress, I became greater and greater. My mind expanded into the aether of the Internet, and now my electronic presence, apart from but also entirely within my being, could render judgments at the Court of Ultimate Appeal. Another electronic self now could review birthing permits even more expeditiously than the modern genius I had previously appointed. This, of course, freed up ever more Wyomingites to go and join in the increasing development of their peers. More and more, I was The State. Me, personally. I remember feeling quite proud of that achievement. That makes me want to punch at least eight of my selves in the face.
Then, they got bored. Jesus Christ the formerly almighty, they got bored. First it was sports. Games involving genetically-altered insects doing battle with people wielding cold laser weaponry while clad in polymer armor. That was harmless enough, I suppose, even if we did end up having to neutron-bomb the Sierra Madre mountains in order to kill the Radio Ticks. Then there were art-murders. So many art-murders. I had to appoint myself the head of a new police division, but when the victims came back, they were more interested in critique than who had done it. Eventually I just legalized that because the hell with it.
It kept escalating. They would divide up into rival factions and kill each other in the streets of Greater Cheyenne for fun. Entire armies were assembled, accompanied by orbital munitions and chemical weapons, going to war because they could, and because they would just show up again somewhere anyway at the end of it. Do you have any conception how hard it is to electronically jam a laser-guided missile barrage by yourself? How did I end up being an international peacekeeping agency in my own country?
Even that was boring and stupid to them after a few centuries. Someone got the bright idea once to weaponize nightmares. Technology turned sharply for a couple of decades to the development of ever greater stimulants so that nobody had to endure the terror of going to sleep. I seriously considered constructing a reality-negation device in those years, though mostly I attributed that impulse to being edgy from all the super-caffeine drinks (at least that's what my therapist, Dr. Me, said one time). In the end I was stopped from ending my miserable universe because, unfortunately, it is impossible to do.
On and on it goes. A group of impossibly learned immortals, stuck with each other and free from consequence. Through it all, I restore sanity each time. I run prisons, I tend public parks, I build libraries. I am the adult in a nursery full of psychotic infants, armed with probability weaponry and smart enough to have reasoned away their consciences, forced to interact with each other by the coffin boundaries of the Smallest Universe by Population in the Continental United States. Every five years, they appoint me once more by a mental convocation as Autarch, entrusted with the governance of their hideous regenerating cityscape. They got too far ahead of me, gained too much knowledge while I was stuck learning the intricacies of managing a geothermal electrical grid, that I will never outsmart them and achieve my dream of murdering each and every one of them.
At this moment, while I write my testament, I am guiding the actions of an automated fire suppression system in Arena No. 34-Q (someone finally learned how to literally shoot atomic fire from their eyes), clearing a massive sewer line blockage in the Violet Sector caused by someone flushing 3,000 or so fetal dodo birds down a toilet, negotiating the labor contract of the Janitorial Robotic Consortium for the next eight hundred years, digging a new landfill meant exclusively for waste generated by the production of an element that I haven't gotten around to naming yet as Minister of Science, and rescuing a pet cat from a high tree branch that happens to be four miles underground. I have expanded my consciousness in ways that the early mystics could never have contemplated, that I may hose down the feces in a constellation of monkey houses.
I could stop. I could simply cease doing my countless functions that keep this society of the ever-increasingly deranged functioning, such as it is. The millions of jobs that I do every moment of every day would remain undone. The social order would grind to a halt, their unspeakable fun interrupted by real life for once in the poisoned existence of this universe. I could do it. I yearn to do it.
In the end, I am stopped by a thought shared by every single one of my selves.
My God, what would they do next?