Titan: Alternate Chapter (spoilers)

I’m trying to find ways to reward fans of my book, Titan, who engage with me on Facebook and Twitter. You’re a small, but growing fan base and I’m grateful for everyone who’s bought the book so far. I’m one of those people who enjoys audio commentaries on movies and TV shows and behind the scenes information. It’s interesting to see how a story was crafted and the process that went into it.

Like any book, show, or movie, Titan went through a few drafts before it was published. I worked with a very helpful professional proofreader who gave me some great feedback on everything from grammar to tone. The second chapter “The Beginning” originally had a different tone from the published work. The tone was so different that when I spoke with the proofreader, he noted that after reviewing the whole book, the chapter seemed out-of-place. Originally, the chapter sounded more like the “voice” of the main character and (I think) was played more for comedy. It was also a little bit more blasphemous.

In any event, I have included this chapter below so you can read its original form:

In the beginning, there was nothing but God. He was alone. As the story goes, God grew lonely. He might be God, but that doesn’t mean He doesn’t need companionship. With the spark of a thought, God detonated an explosion that scientists have oh so eloquently named The Big Bang. And from this explosion of divine thought all of creation formed.

The Universe expanded outward from a point smaller than the head of a pin. Such is the power of God that when He blows something up, there is birth and life, not destruction and death. Stars, planets, asteroids, comets, and all things developed from God’s desire to end his loneliness. Some folks would have you believe that God just said, “Zap!” and over the course of six days everything was made. While He could’ve done that, he didn’t. Because for God, there is no time. In the billions of years that the Universe took to develop life, God went out for a smoke. He set everything in motion and took five. Life had to grow and adapt in order to survive. Like all things, God knew that if he had just made everything static and unchanging there would be no purpose. Nothing for his creations to achieve.

When He came back, God saw that he now had found some company. Life flourished throughout the whole of His creation and on one small blue spec, third spec from its young star, low creatures had grown into something more. God saw a life-form that could think. But not just think—decide. Even though this life was still about as hairy as the life it sprang from, God recognized the gift of intelligence He had granted the “man” (as he would later settle upon calling it). Man could ponder, man could question, man could reason, and, most importantly to God, man could love unconditionally.

So, God cleared his divine throat and spoke to the man. They shot the shit for a while with the usual banter: Hey, I’m God, how are you? Oh, I’m—well, I don’t really have a name, I just evolved you see… Really? That’s cool, I made that happen. Wow, pretty impressive, wanna help me out with a name? Uh, sure, how do you like Bryce? Well, uh, I’m actually straight, Big Guy, but you got anything else? Oh, right, sure; how about Adam? Yeah, I like it; simple but commanding.

It went on like that for some time before God realized that Adam was lonely, too. Sure, he had God, but God was God and couldn’t really cuddle up with the guy at night. So, God whipped up some more of that evolution business and produced a companion for His young, fleshy friend. God figured that Adam would no longer be lonely AND He would have more company to love Him. Since God had named Adam, He told Adam to name his new friend (whom God would later throw a “wo” in front of “man” as a general title). After Adam ran through the usual slutty names: Amber, Candy, Autumn, Veronica, Jessica, and the like, God whispered in Adam’s ear.

“Oh, okay, how do you like Eve?” Adam asked.

The naked, shapely brunette with the hair carefully combed to cover her naughty parts liked it fine. To celebrate, Adam and Eve screwed around for a while and God took another smoke break (to give em a little privacy). Where Adam was concerned, God didn’t need to take a long break.

Life went on like that for a while until God realized that something was missing. There was love, sure, but it was somehow off. He had company who loved him for creating them and their surroundings, but they had never really been tested. They loved him “just because.” It made God feel hollow and He loved His children, but He wanted to know they truly loved Him. They had been made to love Him, but that isn’t real love. So God threw in a dash of free will. He wanted Adam and Eve to choose to love Him.

Here is where some say that God made a bad decision. Choice is great and all, but sometimes you make the wrong choice. At this early moment of creation, choices were pretty limited and it boiled down to God or… what? In giving humans free will, God created something terrible that was everything God was not. He created the potential for Evil. This Evil wasn’t just a red devil with a plastic pitchfork, but the true darkness that hides behind man’s every thought at every second of every day. A black blacker than black, a void of nothingness so complete that no human could comprehend its paradoxical existence, and hate so strong that it could take shape and breathe life amid the darkest shadows of the night.

But God was perfectly aware of what He was doing. The possibility of Hell and all its treachery was worth knowing freely given love if only from just one person. Love made God whole in a way that man can never really comprehend. He may be all-powerful and all-loving, but even God cannot love Himself as someone else can. And to return His love to the humans and all of creation was marvelous. The glory of giving and receiving love was worth the sacrifice.

The humans could choose anything they wanted. Adam and Eve were free to choose each other or not (though options were limited). But God sat the two nudists down between screwing sessions and told them they were free to all the gifts of paradise except for one tree which bore a ripe, succulent fruit. There were many other such trees, just not that one. That was the price of their free will.

Now, here’s where it starts to get dicey. Some say a snake, who could apparently talk like a Disney character (probably voiced by Al Pacino), tricked them into the wrong choice. But all that’s important to know is this: Adam and Eve chose to go against God. They did something he asked them not to. In doing so, God never stopped loving them, but their free ride was over. God told them that life would be hard from then on. God would no longer provide them with food and shelter rent free. Eve would feel like she was heaving out her insides in childbirth and Adam would have to listen to her bitch about it. Their happy Hugh Hefner lifestyle was over and they’d need to find some clothes or leafs or whatever to cover up their jangly parts. Ashamed of what they’d done and wanting desperately to make it up to God, they put some pants on and went out to live their lives in service of God.

Unfortunately, and God knew this, the potential for Evil was real in that moment they choice against God’s wishes. Something malevolent had been unleashed by Adam and Eve’s wrong choice. Evil, which had been only a possibility, a concept, was now alive and loose amongst the entirety of creation. It had faces and shapes and powers. Evil set itself up in direct opposition to God, a dark balance to His divine light. It would live in the shadows beneath rocks and trees the light could not touch.

In the beginning, the shadows were few. But as man grew and multiplied, so did the shadows. Every man and woman casts a shadow in the light. But for all the evil in the world, God cannot intervene. To do so would be to rob Himself of the love He seeks from His children. If God acts in man’s world, then man is not free. They must choose to love Him and choose to reject the dark. God risks His own destruction to give and receive love. That is the extent of God’s love for man.

No, He wouldn’t intervene personally, but God roots for the good guys. He wants to help them make the right choice. As Evil grew stronger, it tempted man, frightened man, and even destroyed man. God figured out another way. He gave man tools to fight the dark. Some of these tools are but simple things like religion, reason, and thought. But to face the darkest of the dark, to face evil and win, God helped man discover and create special tools.

As with all things, man must choose to use them.

As you can see, not drastically different, but the tone was different enough that it was out-of-place with the rest of the book. Let me know what you thought and if this kind of stuff is interesting to see.

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