Now tis in his throate! / I, I perceive it plaine. / ‘Twill out! ‘Twill out; stand cleere. See, where it flies!
And the world raged around them—incessant and malevolent. The earth howled and the wind shook and they thought this was to be their end. Mountains trembled and fell, oceans rose and crashed, sleet blew and the thunder spoke the death knell of the lives they once knew. All over chaos reigned and the people trembled in their skins. Those great cities, reified and pulsing, that fought tooth and limb—they were overcome.
In the early days their science brought them much comfort, hidden away in radiant fortresses, so revered for their responsiveness, so relied upon for their intelligence, and all the more hastened their destruction. To respond and react was one thing, then, but to cope was another matter, for the world had lost its agency.
Its populace had become harrowed and hamstrung, their ingenuity had escaped them and left them destitute. Further attempts at righting historic ailments were beset by despondence and overwhelmed by forces that had been neglected and forsaken. The people would gather in small bands, cowering under such structures as they could fashion designed to face the ends that each small group could fathom. Here an inhabitable instrument sheltered thousands, only to be torn asunder by elements outside of the instrument’s measure. There, a machine that housed a multitude, would only crumble in the face of powers greater than an automaton's programming.
And yet, life remained. Humankind was not of such an ilk to disappear quietly into the night. There were those who had harbored in themselves a quantity of themselves hitherto unknown. A smattering, spread across the globe, had crept silently among the rocks, gathering what they could salvage, using long forgotten impulses, to build small, earthbound shells against the onslaught. Squirreled away in the dark corners of this ill-begotten rock, they assembled their life rafts of an unholy sort. Bizarre compendiums of metal and earth, they lived on yet. A few of these managed to slip erstwhile into the sea and lay dormant and embryonic under heaving ocean waters; homunculi built up over generations. Escape may yet come to pass.
And the unending steam billowed forth in tumults of blue, ravaging what little land still gasped for the air above the waters. Drowned, this little mote of dust in the cosmos had returned to its most balanced state. The skies ceased to rumble in exhaustion and the shaking crust trembled no more. Equilibrium. At long last.
They burst from the firmament of that bedeviled earth, sailing beyond starlight, ejected from a mote of dust suspended on a sunbeam, off toward an as-yet fabled future that could haunt them all. Swaddled in fear, they grew dimly aware of the vast chasm of their alienation and commenced to rebuild themselves to a more Universal means.
And so, generations on, we overcame our neurochemical selves. We would feel our many mastered genomes coursing through new molecules into the singsong swelling of a new habitation. Our words and culture and technology would splinter and spin together substantiating a new individuation, billowing out into our new home between the stars.