digital natives


It is the year 2506; the human being ceased to exist 300 years ago, uprooted from its deterministic nature of biological evolution. The cause was unavoidable: Relentless pursuit of technological innovation, driven essentially by a cascading plaethora of human weaknesses and desires. The human always wanted to be a god, and so he ceased to exist, becoming one. At the turn of the 21'st century, the singularity was a popular subject debated publicly and in closed circles of futurists, intellectuals, and technologists. While singularity slowly faded in the mainstream media, being at times depicted as a far in the future yet to come event, it gained momentum in closed circles. Trillions of dollars of venture and private capital went to companies actively tackling world's toughest challenges: Quantum computers, AI, medicine and aging, genetics and biology. By the mid of the 21'st century, it was clear for everyone that humanity was not just divided but doomed.

Civic unrest followed, but those in power made it clear the people were at their mercy—no need to fight against a far superior, omnipotent, omniscient species who was entitled to rule. The great merge they called it. To some, it felt like a necessity. To others, it was the natural course of life, yet most saw it as a means to survive. The merge consisted of a series of body implants that would significantly augment every human's mental and physical capacities to undergo this procedure. The advantage was unquestionable. Not a single one who did the merge would want to revert it. Mere gadgets enter your body and make you younger, smarter, and connected to unprecedented computation abilities. Who would say no to that? The demand was high, but the market was closed. They kept these technologies within a closed circle of about less than a hundred thousand people. The rest of the world saw it and knew they could never become like that. It's a hard realization for a human to witness his fall from "the top of the food chain." By the turn of the century, a war started between humans and Gods. It was cold and bloody. The stakes were enormous, the democratization of body-enhancing technologies. By this time, the earth's population had fallen to 1 billion. The climate had turned into a pre-Jurassic-like environment. The custodial gods lived in highly militarized cities protected by automatic AI defense systems. For them, it was not a war; the humans were just there as an experiment, left on their own as a living fossil who could potentially yield new and interesting genes for their gene pool. The custodial gods have mastered genetics, including their own. For well over six decades, evolution became a matter of personal interest, and they could enhance their genomes the way they wanted thanks to the merge. Biomarkers would be analyzed continuously by thousands of nano-sensors spread throughout the body. Quantum computers would analyze petabytes of data every minute, run simulations of insanely complex cellular processes, and produce unique genes to enhance the god's genomes. Drugs were no longer ingested but instead fabricated within the cells. Aging was an easy one to solve, they said. The newborns had their entire genome designed, and the gene pool used was shared within the entire custodial race. Fathers and mothers of all they said. A laudable idea that led to their peril. The newborns were hybrid humans, with bodies enhanced to a far greater extent and minds far more brilliant they saw themselves as a kind of their own. From the age of 5, they would reach adulthood and assimilate the world's entire knowledge into their minds. They quickly got involved in the governance and of their parent's world, created systems that were far too complex for anyone else to understand and shortly took over the power. In less than ten years, every custodian parent was dead, killed without mercy by their own offsprings. The digital natives now owned the planet. They were the new Gods who inherited this earth, almost by accident. They knew the past, for they have encoded the entire archive of human history in their genomes. The desolate view of abandoned cities sunk within unending jungles. The world humans had left behind was now being swollen by mother earth.

The climate changed drastically, and most of the humans perished. There were rumors of some still living, hidden in the mountains, but no technology or power grid and no breathable air. The digital natives walked out of their fortress cities into the jungle and settled new cities. Their custom biology would allow them to breathe an otherwise unbreathable air filled with CO2. They feared nothing, for they have transcended the tyranny of the body.


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