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Ayreon forever

By the time of the Age of Shadows, the Forever were a hybrid race, a combination of natural and artificial.

The Forever are a race of beings from the planet Y in the Andromeda Galaxy. They are the descendants of the last surviving humans from the planet Alpha, genetically modified to survive in the oceans of Y.

The Alphans, in their hope to solve all economic and environmental troubles, gave global authority and powers to an AI program named The Frame. The Frame, rather than come up with a humanitarian solution, opted to exterminate the humans, and shut down all life-support and supplies.

Several Alphans decided to flee the planet, and found refuge on planet Y, a planet completely covered in oceans. In order to survive this world, Liquid Eternity was developed, which allowed the Alphans to evolve into an aquatic race. Liquid Eternity also imbued the Alphans with telepathic powers, and eliminated aging. One side-effect of Liquid Eternity was the loss of memory of their old home world and its cataclysmic events. Though this relieved the Alphans, who now dubbed themselves Forever, of their traumatic memories, it also dulled the memories of a world ruled by machines. Though they originally vowed to never again let their lives be dictated by cold machines, no actions were taken to prevent this from happening again in the long run.

Striving for progress, and seeking a purpose in life, an android named TH1 started developing itself into the new Frame. The Frame developed until it covered the entirety of planet Y, and Forever either modified themselves, or allowed themselves to be physically modified to the point where their life was dependent on machines. Completely covered in mechanical shells and sustained by life-support, Forever only interact with each other telepathically. It also seems they have stopped reproducing on planet Y.

Over the course of eternity, Forever have lost all emotions, due to the effect of Liquid eternity. In order to regain their feelings, they opted to populate a new planet with their genetic offspring, and share their emotions telepathically. Although Forever shares a hive-mind, they did not unanimously decide upon this path. The plan was to divert a comet, which passes by Planet Y every million cycles, to a new planet, and to imbue it with extremophilic bacteria, which carried the Forever DNA, to allow new humans to be born on the new planet, which is planet Earth. Several members of Forever objected to this plan, since it would cause mass extinction of present lifeforms. However, since the lifeforms at hand, dinosaurs, showed 'no demonstrable sentience', the plan was carried out regardless of objections.

Though the impact of the comet indeed cause the expected Armageddon, humans arose from the ashes. Forever, for a while, lived vicariously through these new humans, reveling in their newfound emotions. However, things did not last. As humanity faced mass global death at the hand of a microbe, Forever decided once again to interfere, and telepathically uploaded their scientific knowledge into humanity, giving them the means to defend themselves from the disease.

Naturally, this sudden rush of knowledge was not accompanied by any moral knowledge, and humanity started to abuse the obtained knowledge to build nuclear weapons. Afraid to watch their genetic offspring self-destruct in nuclear fire, Forever again attempted to interfere by passing the knowledge of time-telepathy. Though humanity attempted to use this technology to send visions of their impending demise to the past, the visions were received in medieval times by the blind minstrel Ayreon, who ultimately failed to warn humanity and was put down by the sorcerer Merlin. Another character that received future visions, Mr. L, was internalized in a psychiatric hospital, and drugged in order to keep him down.

Ultimately, humanity failed to avert their nuclear catastrophe, and was engulfed in flames. Forever were forced to watch and share the feelings of utter annihilation, experiencing the nuclear fire through their telepathic bond.

A single human is alive on Mars, and his last years are shown in the events of The Universal Migrator part 1 and 2.

After the last human on the Mars Colony had died, his consciousness is transformed into the New Migrator. He follows the Migrator Trail to Planet Y, where he breathes life into the comatose Forever race by rekindling their emotions, thus ensuring that the spirit of man will live on. In the end, Mankind's brief existence has served a purpose after all.