There is a gift and a curse in immortality, one that we cannot parse properly without considering one man.
In such a situation this man, let's call him Theo, finds that he is immortal to the long strands of time before him.
He started as a kid in New York at the turn of the 21st century and was very sheltered, not even being told of 9/11 or the long war on terror until 2012. His life was very simple compared to the world around him which simply hustled in high minded ideas and the next big innovation, as simply another consumer whose highest ambition in life was to make shoes for Nike. As he grew up even that dream failed to materialize as Nike went out of business and he found himself frequently unemployed like many of his peers in the devastating 2020's. The times of simple minded consumerism of the 2000's suddenly seemed so great compared to what now exists, a golden age under Bush. What was peculiar about himself was that he wasn't aging like his friends were, despite the stresses of watching everything go to shit as the capitalistic system that gave the US over a century of dominance simply didn't adapt to the paradigm shift that occured. Theo was requested by a long time friend to be around when he killed himself. Theo accepted this request and was put in prison for 20 years for assisting in a suicide. But he didn't age in prison at all, and not just because the term got cut down to 12 years due to long overdue reforms to the prison system that came about in 2038.
Theo hadn't but a wrinkle, it was as if he stopped aging at the age of twenty and this wasn't noticed until the 2040's when the genetic modification craze overtook the world and a biologically immortal man by the name of Theo garnered the interest of Chinese Scientists. (As such insights into the human genome were comparably underfunded and a bit of a hot issue for the Americans). These scientists played Theo well and got him to agree to sequencing his DNA... Only to find nothing unique about him. They still have him his compensation, but were deeply confounded by the whole event. Some of these scientists, mainly Xian became convinced of a super natural aspect to this seemingly ordinary man. The others however insisted he would die soon and that he was after all only a middle aged man- wait and see was what they agreed on. Xian however kept to his more unhealthy obsessions and superstitions and ended up in prison for 5 years over it, though was reinstated as a geneticist (a highly demanded field) shortly after.
By the year 2050 the world became something very different from today. Much more developed than now, the global village ideal finally was realized despite the economic disasters of the earlier decades and technologies now in their infancy today are widespread and very much matured. Yet it was still quite the mess as the materialistic outlook these technologies wrought clashed with the dualism and ideals of social equality that the century before held so dear. Theo wasn't really part of these political clashes despite being on the radar simply due to being a 50 year old man who has not aged a bit.
His nature however kept relatively obscure until the year 2085, the year of the sun. One of the greatest human disasters since world war 2 has struck in 2067 when a solar flare caused basically the whole global infrastructure to collapse and a long period of chaos reigned until 2084 when the system finally was repaired. Theo didn't age a bit during this two decade dark age and this was very well noticed- as by 2084 without any enhancements or any of the advanced nano-machinery he kept looking as if he was 20. His popularity grew highly simply because of this- the young ancient. The immortal man. Theo squandered 80 years of his life away, just like a living plankton of a man in the tides of civilization simply due to how otherwise unremarkable he would have been. His wife died, and later he would see his own kids and grand kids all die before he did. He would see the human species die off before he did.
In the 22nd century he finally had an accident; he fell off a cliff when riding around on a hover cycle. Falling 400 feet head first into the ground, he should have died. But he just got up and shrugged off all of it. This isn't the first time- Theo recalls starving and being dehydrated for months on end during the dark decade where his other cohorts in the camps died.
He still felt the pain- it's just that he didn't die from it. Theo didn't want to test what he can shurvive regardless, but other people wanted to. The "unkillable man" in his fame now undisputable would suffer multiple attempts to kill him throughout the 22nd century. All these attempts failed, that is until the provisional world authority found his existence to be the cause of a major cult group with roots going down to the philosopher Xian and the Xianist movement who believe Theo to be the inheritor of mankind and the immortal ruler.
Since killing him proved impossible, and burying him alive they feared would only make him retrieved in the foreseeable future they chose to shoot him into space, into the interstellar void just encase the heat of the sun isn't enough to kill him.
For thousands of years he drifted in nothing, sometimes hit by a speck that stung him or burned again and again by the radiation. The rocket he was in rigged itself to explode, but he survived that. Theo started contemplating just how invincible he really was before realizing just how Lonely he is. Once he had friends, family, children- all dead before himself. Now he is in the void of space perhaps forever. It would not be the first time. Why doesn't anything kill me? He wondered again and again in sheer frustration, hating the fact. He doesn't want to live. But yet here he is, living for thousands of years on end in a perpetual emptiness with only the distant stars gazing upon him. But they seemingly stayed static as the starvation and dehydration simply never ended for him. He felt like living jerky in time, but always looked the same. It made no sense to him, and in time he made friends with the stars. Giving them names and constellations and making a whole little land of his brother and for centuries it percolated into a elaboration too overwhelming to begin imagining. It was a mundane vastness however, like a story you made with your children that went on for centuries on end.
But eventually, however long it took, something noticed him. It was some horrible machine, unlike anything he had ever seen before. A massive thing too- hundreds of meters in size and with a surreal quality unseen. It shocked him deeply to see something after an uncountable amount of time and after knocking out he found himself in the company of some very strange beings indeed.
Ones who claimed to be human, despite their sperm-like appearance and projected limbs.
They looked over him and speaking through spheres asked him how he did it.
Theo didn't know.
Neither did these beings who immediately attempted to reintegrate him back into civil society after 17600 years of total isolation.
They first started by telling Theo the year- he broke down crying immediately. To know how distant the world he came from is in time and space simply shocked him. And space too- they didn't go to sol, instead they took Theo nearly 17 light years out to the K-class star ().
There they began to study him and try to reintegrate him to society after protest from the ethics council as Theo clearly showed a high enough intelligence to be treated with a dignity greater than that of an animal.
The history they told Theo however was such a convoluted mess that Theo had a very hard time connecting their time to his. They talked of the Terran Era in brief, and elaborated obsessively on the Hyadian Resurgence after a the long void when interstellar colonies existed in isolation and a few archetypical tales of horrible worlds or various machine entities that sought to unmake sapience for a Neo-Darwinian machine ecosystem to pervade the Galaxy with. Evidently the soul bound won out- as it is who Theo is talking to now. Theo throughout it all, getting past all the endless technical wonders their civilization had produced since the time humans lived on but one world hated it. He felt a sense that he shouldn't even be here, as if he violated existence itself. It literally was as if they were aliens- a thought that he would one day regret thinking. But for now in his youthful age of 17700 years he kept a delusion about him that things would get less strange in time.
They gave Theo quite a privileged lifestyle from his perspective. They gave him his own palace with hundreds of concubines and told him to procreate the human species. The situation seemed so weird to Theo that for a several years he refused until finally being convinced of it. In over a few centuries he made a several thousand children with his genes with hundreds of women. The truth of the matter is that after Theo failed to show interests in reintegration the councils convened to at least see if he could pass down his seemingly magical trait and convinced themselves what they did was something a human male of Theon's mental age could never find wrong. But Theo did, he hated it and stopped reproducing with others at the age 18270 and no more children came from him. None of them had his invincibility. Not a single one of the million people who share their genetics with Theo now had that special trait.
The soul bound seeing Theo's misery broke the reality to him. Humans aren't extinct, merely endangered (a several million humans) and his pampered existence was a means to an end. Theo lashed out at them and the councils started punishing those involved and the 'deceivers' who tricked them into seeing what they did as a good idea. In prospect the council chose a new Path- Theo would get a whole planet to himself, with a book of endless knowledge and be free to do as he pleases in nature. Theo was given a choice- to stay with them and perhaps find a way to forgive the soul bound for their treatment or to go down to that world and be free of their kind for the rest of time.
Theo chose the planet. He wanted nothing to do with these alien beings who claim to be human and had little of any attachment to his million children- he just saw the experiment in them and nothing else. Such negligence he had for real children of his that many of his kids and further descendants only knew him as "the father" and nothing else.
Landing on the pristine, virgin world similar to our own but filled with life strange indeed. Large creatures with many limbs crawling across fractal shrub lands, long crust filled coasts lined in a spongy material of a quality so wet to the touch. Theo would spend years living here, making a living space and always dreading he may get stuck somewhere, be it the bowels of a monster miles from the new home or a cavern kilometers deep. Dreading these possibilities, he kept very secluded and built out with spears, hatchets and all manner of tools he found information for in the endless book. The only advanced tech he had and he came to cherish it. Simply exposure to the sun energized it and he found data on all manner of things he once disregarded.
The next thousand years of his life would be a maturation which he grew mentally and managed to learn of the nature of things by his 19000th year of living. All the time he spent in space resumed, the fictional figures anyways. All manner of ages passed as he began trying to make a civilization by guiding animals he called the "fluggo" and training theme. For many thousands of years they just were pets and kept him a sanity which he would otherwise have been without. Unwittingly however, he would guide the Fluggo to sapience in time. For the Fluggo had a intelligence level around Dolphins to begin with and being exposed to everything Theo had over time and generations led to them speaking Theo's language and making tools, villages and such with a mindless devotion to Theo. A insanely powerful world spanning civilization eventually developed before Theo's eyes as he became the god King of an entire species and didn't realize the kind of world he made. One of subservience. Not all these Fluggos thought the same and in the 3rd million year of Theo's life the Fluggos inexplicably rebelled against Theo and caged him. They attributed massive famines and plagues to him and wanted retribution. They realized how invincible their "God" was and a great sobering happened as they grew secular and simply saw Theo as the great enigma- the shepherd of civilization but not any god. However he still had a divinity or super natural force that actively was acknowledged. Theo, now so ancient was viewed as a dispenser of wisdom and frequently interviewed by the descendants of those who hated him on how he brought them to be. The Fluggos had gained access to his endless book and this caused a technological revolution Theo didn't realize even possible to gleam from the book and led to a global civilization that started looking for the civilization Theo came from.
Theo warned against the idea fearing what humans would be now, but they still persisted and again- Theo felt alienation as a lonely figure doomed to live forever. The father of a million humans and billions of aliens, what horrible fates awaited him next?
He didn't have to wait long to find out. The Fluggos did finally make contact with a civilization, but it was not a human one. It was a different beast altogether, a civilization of alien beings who are aware of humans and the mysterious "invincible hominid". One of the last descendants of Theo from the million kids was with the strange alien beings who were relentless in their slaughter of the Fluggo who they wiped out as per doctrine. The Fluggo it turns out were building up a massive armada and these aliens interpreted it as a perpetration of attack on them- so they struck first. The Fluggo genocide caused great dismay for Theo, being there in the incineration of city after city and surviving simply because he can't die. Radiation poisoning, thrown kilometers about and being buried alive aside, he was found by the hunting parties relatively unscathed and was abducted once more.
They experimented on him rigorously- but nothing killed him. All they could do was bring Theo great pain. Nothing more. After centuries one of Theo's descendants, the last one visited and just looked at him blankly. She hardly looked human anymore- a fraile grayish thing and evidently a loyal to the empire which wiped out the Fluggo. She notes how they live for thousands of years, but that is nothing to how long Theo lives. She than proceeds to reprimand him for his passivity and letting the Fluggo die when he had the time to prepare them knowing what was out there but instead let them foolishly try to make a empire of their own in the middle of long settled space. Now there is no Fluggo left because of him.
Theo would be pardoned and put through another indoctrination program. One that was truly alien this time, elaborating on the history of thousands of civilizations that have risen and fallen- neatly packaged into 28 epochs across 3.25 million years since the first space faring civilization appeared and the great rebellion against the hominid empire. The collapse of the soul bound occupied only a few sentences while the history of the Camusar went on for chapters. It they forced Theo to learn everything, not caring if he was capable of such things and just kept jamming more information into him.
Eventually they let him free as just another citizen of the Galactic Empire and kept his identity secret. As a citizen, loyal to the end he kept trying to fit into this new world where the Camusar brought galactic peace after eons of anarchy. He joined various associations, only to find himself alone due to being the only human around for light years. He ended up doing odd jobs only to nearly compromise his identity in a accident and spent thousands of years in a secret faculty before being pardoned once more (hard to hold a grudge over an accident). The Theo question these affiliates had never ended, for mortality was considered a defining characteristic of living. But Theo never died. It simply made him seem like unlife- something that just shouldn't exist and Theo agreed. Theo started engaging in increasingly decadent activities and using his immortality to explore the entire galaxy over a several hundred thousand years, only to end up bored after all this.
Things changed but he started seeing the patterns and all the attempts to kill him have taken its toll- Thrown into stars, buried alive in "unbreakable" prisons that get broken into a few million years later anyways, all matter of attempts to horribly kill him and every damned attempt to integrate or get into a relationship being a short lived success at best because nothing stops and in time Theo himself became a powerful lord in the Galaxy, since he had the most legitimacy by default and a cult which put him into power. At the bright young age of 74 million years old Theo became a galactic emperor!
As emperor he acted so painfully like he did with the Fluggos of times ancient that it is simply revolting. Over 70 million years of living, yet he did not learn a single thing in regards to running things. For this man, in all his invincibility it turns out is more plankton than man, and thus ebbed and flowed with everything as it hit him carelessly. He accidentally let a several species die, neglected to handle a rebellion before it grew into a faction all of its own within the empire and spent much of his time locked away in a planetary palace lamenting and lamenting endlessly. Pictures of his millions of years of life all around, even a Fluggo skeleton in the foyer all adorned his palace but still he felt lonelier than ever as the last human alive. And he has been the last human for millions of years now, the descendant line he once had all now dead and attempts to clone his genome leading to stuff that just was not the same, they just lacked the humanity which Theo so clamor red for and never saw on the endless carnival of alien beings which surrounded him day in and out in all their strange forms. Administrating a whole empire is something Theo never desired- he only agreed because the cult that put him in power conquered the whole galaxy for him since they believed in his divine status as a means of making the galactic project once and for all a eternal prospect instead of simply a short lived rise and fall like the last thousand attempts in the 80 million years. He did well only when he just let the bureaucracy handle things and just kept to himself as nothing more than a symbol. Thousands of years of being the most powerful person however caused him to be exceptionally ornate in demands- he started making all manner of requests for huge sums of artifacts and toys from around the Galaxy and the administration complied. He just played with toys, the most powerful man in the Galaxy. The prospect of ruling a whole civilization simply proved too daunting to poor Nike shoe loving Theo, who simply wanted to die at this point but never could.
Finally they came- the rebels, after nearly thirty thousand years of what in Theo's mind was a extremely short rule. A immortal man couldn't stop the cycle after all, and the Rebels seemed to embrace the cycle, believing such permenant control is a curse more than a advantage and when they got to Theo tried doing anything they could to kill him. They fed him to unspeakable monsters, tortured his mind with every drug, incinerated him in sulfuric acid chambers, crushed him with a entire planet and like all those before them, could simply not kill Theo. So the rebel now emperor decided to just have Theo systemically suffer for thousands upon thousands of years on end- contests to think of the most creative way to make Theo suffer were held as ritual and what once was viewed with reverence now came viewed as a joke. The Immortal Man, what a curse! It would seem these rebels reveled in their mortality, and tragically would dissipate as a force before long while Theo remained stuck in a box for years on end. As per usual, something eventually found him.
By the 81st million year however, there came a emperor who decided to finally do the unthinkable, avoided out of fears of what may happen if the invincible man fell in, but this emperor didn't care- he presumed his ephemeral rule would come and go either way and thus gambled the whole universe on throwing Theo into a black hole.
Theo begged against this, for he knew this was the one thing he couldn't be retrieved from but the emperor's will was made and Theo was dropped en, ever so slower.
Theo knew trillions of years would pass but didn't know how slow it all would be in the end. He watched the Andromeda and Milky Way collide, he watched the stars fizzle away and finally felt a burst of radiation against his insanely noodle body as he flung out into the endless vastness of space. They launched Theo into the future with no way back and they knew what they were doing.
Amazingly enough, after just 37 million years something did come along, perhaps for the black hole, perhaps for Theo. It was a strange colony of small organisms that landed on Theo, using his body heat for energy and noticing that it never ended. A endless energy source from the heat of Theo powered them, and they spoke to Theo of their long story and existence, of the desperate Virtual Imperiums and the vortex wars or the pitiful attempts to reignite the universe that ended all in failure. All that and more within a octillion years- all stuff Theo never will experience. And he felt almost happy about that. This society became a individual perpetually attached to Theo, making their matter from Theo's body heat in a method Theo had no understanding of- virtual matter is what they mentioned to him along with all manner of linguistic babble that isn't even worth stating. Either way the stars were all gone and there was practically nothing but Theo and the Last Civilization as it liked stylizing itself as- not like either of them would know given the infinitely rapid rate the universe was expanding at.
Trillions of years had gone by and Theo barely felt it, neither did the Civilization. The only other immortal in this universe; the Last Civilization couldn't kill Theo and Theo couldn't in quadrillion a of years figure out any way to destroy it if he even wanted to. Long times past in nothingness and eternity felt exceptionally long even for a being as infinitely ancient as Theo, in the total void. The Last Civilization had stagnated but never truly died- the Last Civilization had managed to exist in a state of total perfection and immunity to the cycle of civilizations that existed before it. This Last Civilization had made a infinite space within itself powered only by the body heat of a human. Not like there was any other heat source for gig alight years anyhow. The Last Civilization in all its vibrancy never saw any reason to stop living while Theo kept wishing to die already, even at the cost of the Last Civilization he helped keep alive simply by being warm in the frigidity of space.
One day on the distant, distant future that day finally came as the acceleration of space became so rapid that it ripped apart everything, even Theo. What happens next? Not even Theo knows. A nothingness or a new something? It is just not worth contemplating!