Last Man Standing

X is a philosophical idea concerning the existence of oneself. It is quite wacky to say the least an thus has been referenced in many works(read satirized). In Iain Banks’ Against A Dark Background, a hovercraft full of Xist mercenaries makes an appearance. Their philosophy however keeps them from being a cohesive unit.

“I used to be called Elson Roa”.

“Elson Roa”, she repeated.

“But then I became God”,he nodded. “Or rather realized that I always had been God. God in the monotheistic sense that I am all that really exists”.

“But if you’re God,” Sharrow said to Elson Roa, “why do you need the others?”

‘What others?” Roa said.

Sharrow looked exasperated. “Oh, come on.”

Elson Roa shrugged. “My apparences? They are the sign that my will is not yet strong enough to support my existence without extraneous help. I am working on this.” Roa coughed. “It is, indeed, in a very real sense, an encouraging sign that we lost six of our number at the Log-Jam, as this indicates my will is becoming stronger.”

“What about the others? Do they – the apparences – all call themselves God, too?” she asked.

“Apparently,” Roa said, without the hint of a smile.

“Hmm.” She bit her lip.

Roa looked suddenly confused. “Um, apart from one, who’s an atheist,” he said suddenly.

“I beg your pardon?”

“We all call ourselves God except for one apparence, who is an atheist.”

“Ah-ha,’ she said, nodding slowly. ‘And what does this person call themself?”

‘”Me.”

“Uh-huh.”

 What is X?

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