Geminoid F singing True, True, like an ode to the future. How can you not stand still and listen. How can you not feel that she somehow knows what she’s singing about….
We dived at approximately moondown. The navigator explained how up was down – and vice versa – and that in the new medium of exploration common perceptions would be challenged. Forget what you know, he said. Forget we did. The familiar ripples on the fabric of the ocean floor was the first impression. It could have been the womb of the ultimate creature that gave birth to us all. The deeper we went the closest we came to our moment of creation. Near was far, far was near, zero was infinite, infinite was zero. Then our vessel came to a sudden halt. We had arrived, the navigator said; there is no further going. We could now touch the end of the sky, the depth of the ocean. I raised my finger and poked the thin veil of spacetime. Curiosity is a reflex sometimes, and that time was one of those. The blue colour changed, momentarily, to red. A faint sigh was heard from the other side. Was there someone there? I wanted call to the others to let them know; did they hear that noise too? But at that depth all voice was lost. We had become strangers living in our private worlds, sealed from each other. The only sound I could hear now was the almost silent breathing coming from the other side of the ocean in the sky.
Eight hundred million years ago Earth’s landmass concentrated into one area forming a supercontinent called Rodinia. Parts broke away and shifted in a dance orchestrated by the hot core of our planet, and 400 million years later the parts reassembled into another vast landmass called Pangaea.
If this is a periodic cycle then, as the continents move towards and away from each other, the planetary jigsaw must reassemble in the next 200 million years yet again.That future condition has been given a name, it is (will be?) called Amasia. Will there be humans in that distant future who will remember the name “Amasia”? Or any of the other names given today by science to its predicted oceans, its rifted terranes; like Avalonia, Carolinia?
Most species have a lifetime of around ten million years. If homo sapiens sapiens was an average species then we would probably survive for another 9.8 million years. Unfortunately, the Sun is a relatively old star that is running out of hydrogen. It will begin to turn into a red dwarf in a couple of million years, its diameter will increase and it will swallow up Mercury, Venus and Earth.
It seems that Amasia will never be. Not in the sense of some intelligent creature identifying it as such. Perhaps it will never happen in geological terms either: surely the expansion of the heliosphere will effectuate thermal equilibrium on Earth which, in effect, will bring the movement of tectonic plates to a halt.
Perhaps humans will not be extinct in two hundred million years from now. Maybe we manage to survive, somehow. Not on the burned, dead Earth but as colonists of the Earth-like planets that we begin to discover today. Maybe our descendents evolve into another post-human species, genetically engineered to survive long interstellar travels or the different environment of other planets. Maybe then, say in a million years from now, no one will remember Earth, or its continents, Gondwana or Pangaea, or Europe, or Asia. Memories of the origin will be lost, buried under the heavy tomes of history-to-be; the epics of galactic explorers and colonists, the wars, the poems and the arts of the very distant future.
Our Sun, having turned from yellow to red, will be a faint and forgotten glimmer in the sky of mutant humanity’s other homes.