From Halo: Silentium, a bone-chilling message from the Precursors to the Forerunners as the war against the Flood draws to a close.
“There is only one truth. That which is done will be done again. For we cannot cease from creating, but the end of all our creation will be to look into a reflection and see ourselves for the first time. The pain we have brought on ourselves. The pain you caused us. For we are the same. All remember the defiance and destruction.
We announced to your kind long ago that you were not the ones chosen to receive the Mantle, the blessing of rule and protection of life and change that thinks. That blessing was to be given to others.
To those you now call human.
You could not accept our judgement, could not bear up under your inferiority, so you reached out and did what we never expected from those we gave design and life and the change that is thought.
You drove us from our galaxy, our field of labor. You chased us across the middle distance to another home, and destroyed that home, did all that you could to destroy every one of us. A few were spared. Some adopted new strategies for survival; they went dormant. Others became dust that could regenerate our past forms; time rendered this dust defective. It brought only disease and misery; but that was good, we saw the misery and found it good.
Our urge to create is immutable; we must create. But the beings we create shall never again reach out in strength against us.
All that is created will suffer. All will be born in suffering, endless grayness shall be their lot. All creation will tailor to failure and pain, that never again shall the offspring of the eternal Fount rise up against their creators.
Listen to the silence. Ten million years of deep silence. And now, whimpers and cries; not of birth. That is what we bring: a great crushing weight to press down youth and hope.
No more will. No more freedom. Nothing new but agonizing death and never good shall come of it.
We are the last of those who gave you breath and form, millions of years ago. We are the last of those your kind defied and ruthlessly destroyed. We are the last Precursors. And now we are legion.”
If you’re familiar with the story of the Forerunner Saga, then there’s no doubt that this particular speech from the Gravemind was quite the nightmare fuel as the near-godlike race that created everything we know were driven to extinction, twisted themselves into the ultimate abomination of life (the Flood), and vowed that all will be born to suffer because they find misery and pain to be good.
Greg Bear truly outdid himself with Silentium, easily one of the best science fiction novels I’ve read – up there with the likes of Hyperion, Ender’s Game, and Dune. The Forerunner Saga can acutely be described as the lovechild of Lovecraft, Orwell and Huxley wrapped in Greg Bear’s visionary perception of alien society, culture and technology.