skonen_blades: (Default)
It’s these forgotten circuses that threaten to overwhelm reality. The crack are showing. The balloon grows almost to the bursting point, exposing tectonic plates that were more fragile than we thought. Time dilates and wheezes, breathing accordion across our experience.

The particles in our lungs are cancerous in the same way that the nose of a rhino is rhinoceros. It’s what we breathe out. We paint this world caustic with every exhalation. A condensation of disease on the windows. It’s a stretching. A testing of the tensile strength of celebrated reality. We’re crossing the dimension on the river Leithe, drinking the water to forget the future. The hubris of our choices that set this in motion. We need to pat ourselves on the back while trying to row.

We’re dinosaurs flying kites. The crushed blood of the last race to die here powers our cars. The wind that whistles through the holes in our bodies carries the light chuckle of the earth. The earth is not in distress. The earth is a ball of iron. Plants and insects and animals iterate faster than plodding meat people. Evolution will fast forward like it always does.

Earth’s life will thin, will wane. We will thin, will wane. We are about to become a new moon of a race. Quiet and still here. But there will be no sanding down of the scars for a long, long time.

The skyscrapers will scrape less and less sky as one by one they collapse to the gums, going back to the soft loam of the earth. How many glaciers will need to scour this earth to reduce our troubled stacked caves back to sand? We cannot sift what we’ve done back down to nothing. There is no reset. Only forward.

That precious guest the future, shaking its head with its “I told you so”s and its “Why didn’t you listen”s, ruining dinner, ruining our present-day good time. We were all having fun until he showed up.

Time isn’t a flat circle any more than it’s a straight line. It’s a dot. There’s nothing to it except strong legs fading up into the clouds. We don’t know.

We know. But we don’t know.

It’s dark even in the daytime.


tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
White clam chowder and over-easy eggs. Soup and eggs for short.

Mass was the problem with colonizing. Getting mass near C was expensive. The smaller the load, the better. Sending ten thousand colonists was impossible.

But sending ten thousands eggs and ten thousand loads of semen was way cheaper.

The ship had a chilled cargo of those two ingredients to make human babies. Womb ships, they were called. They had a skeleton crew of scientists, techs, teachers, and caretakers trained to take on whatever challenges might arise at first contact with the target home but after they’d landed and seen that everything was alright for seeding, they’d get underway.

The birthing tanks would be unfolded and irrigated with dehydrated amniotic solution. These giant uterariums would then be flooded with the soup and eggs slurry sometimes referred to as brunch. The old exponential dance would start and babies would pop up like strawberry Christmas lights on the vine. Tendriled, manufactured, multiumbilicals would snake out and attach themselves to a thousand belly buttons. Each tank was filled with fraternal millituplets.

Wait time was the human usual. The children would be boosted with learning enhancers and xenoviral protection. A small percentage were always lost to errors in cell replication no matter how tailored the dna but the average yield was 90% or 900. Harvest would happen in two-year stages, nine hundred per year. This was called the familial ladder. Ten years of baby making before shutdown for 9,000 humans.

The crew would foster them with help from the AI adoptives, working as a team to cram as much knowledge and mental health into them from the get go before they took on their new world.

It was a system that had worked twelve times before. Twelve Edens had successfully flowered with no humans needing expulsion from angry gods.

This was going to be unlucky thirteen.

The tailored enzymes would fail and the entire crop would be born sociopathic and cruel unbeknownst to the crew. As the children grew, they schemed and the crew began began to meet with accidents. Before any of them figured out was what happening, they were gone.

The children were geniuses. As the other batches reached fruition and were born, they were taken in by the first two waves and taught to be just as awful.

The planet survived and flourished. They developed weapons and a reputation. They broadcast torture videos and vile non-consensual pornographic videos. Their system of government was opaque. It seemed like anarchy but they had such organizational skills.

Their planet is isolated. Quarantined. Embargoed. Struck off the records as a failure, they’re monitored for signs of extra-system aggression. They’re an embarrassment.

A closeted mistake until sixteen minutes ago when their entire planet, now decades into post-womb colonization and nearly five generations deep, completely disappeared off of everyone’s scans.

And reappeared near Earth Prime bristling with nuke barrels and planet crackers pointed at our race’s home.

The pirate planet had come home, prodigal son returning.

They didn’t open fire immediately but they did send a message system-wide on all channels before they started the war.

“No more wombships.”

After a heated exchange of nuclear fire that the pirate planet lost, they drove their planet straight into Earth. Terran defenses didn’t stand a chance.

We no longer use wombships for colonization but we are still trying to figure out how those little bastards made a whole planet capable of faster-than-light travel. None of the other Edens have come anywhere near that kind of technology. The philosophical implications of their success don’t bear thinking about.

Evil might be smarter than good.




tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
It’s the engine of the world. A holocaust of denials clogging the locust filters. An overheating of the entire worldwide server. Shouldn’t have built a computer in a greenhouse. The calculations are too fast, they need too much power. The underground network needs to be made of ice to survive. We’re bred to be warm but it we get too hot, we’re toast.

We’re a train of harmonica lizards crawling up the spine of the most expensive hooker in the universe. We’re one accordion short of a political movement. We ran so far away. The dawn is like an explosion, whipcracking across the horizon like nuclear war. The light slaps down across our naked planet like a flipper on an ass and we wake up shocked, hairless monkeys that we are. There is no dignity in a self-caused genocide. It’s pooping your pants times a million.

Lilies crowd our lungs and red farms panic across our skin. We are fertilizer for the next shot at the title. Too successful, our tombstone will read. The exponential infinity mirror march of genes overflowing the petri dish we’re wrapped around. At least we still make good food. Our afterlife is a main course for the new mouths.

Perhaps they’ll be smaller. My money’s on the bugs. Living off the free meat, multiplying by the billions, evoluting up the ladder at a spring with those short life cycles. A little more radiation blasting through the sky sprinkler with no one around to tell them that they’re mutated. Let’s get the trial and error started. Let’s start those ribonucleic shots in the dark. Let’s watch the magic happen. The universe is indifferent to our failure or our success.

We need to leave. We need to spread. We need to paint the other rocks with our biological graffiti. We need to tag our way out, leapfrogging to the stars like hardy cancer. Insurance comes from diversity and a wide spread of buckshot. The more host bodies we cling to, the more resource deposits we parasite off of, the more secure our future. Survival will get us to the stars, not greed.

Let our gods lead us if they must. Let commerce, too, if that’s our jam. Let altruism have a seat at the table, too. But we must leave. The bucket is overflowing with sentient meat. We have to lower the levels.

We must leave. Or we will die.



tags
skonen_blades: (hamused)
I looked into the eyes of my husband. At least, I was pretty sure it was my husband. Ever since The Crash, I haven’t been able to tell.

Our implants and knowledge banks were all erased on that one day. Theories were still being talked about.

Some think a solar wind or some sort of EMP just randomly wiping through space was the culprit. Some think enemy action was responsible and they were scared. Myself, I didn’t really know. If it was enemy action, we were easy pickings and if there were invaders, they hadn’t started invading yet. My bet was on some naturally occurring galactic disruption pulse sweeping through our solar system, a pulse that would’ve been much less dangerous to a pre-net world.

But here on Earth it was a catastrophe. Everyone’s headbox had been erased.

All the ‘soft in my brain has gone blank. It was two pounds of tech in my skull just taking up space, just the same as everyone else now. It had my phone book, my addresses, my schedules, my tutorials, my contacts and e-profiles, and perhaps most importantly, my facial recognition programs.

Including all of my important memories. The ones I wanted to remember most of all. The best ones. All gone. I have only vague, foggy, mists in my head now when I try to glance the past.

Pre-Crash, whenever I met someone, a sparrow-cloud of data spooled across my vision to let me know who they were and what their connection was with me. Everything about them flew up against the windscreen of my eyes and let me know all the relevant details. Previous conversations, secrets we had, times we shared in the past, references to in-jokes, ongoing issues, financial records, and a thousand other points of interest jigging around real time, undulating and updating as we spoke.

As a race, we were the best conversationalists we’d ever been.

More importantly, the elderly and mentally infirm now no longer had to pause to remember forgotten pasts or struggle awkwardly in social situations. Grandmothers could recognize their granddaughters. It was a golden age. It was a time of miracles.

My regular ability to recognize people had atrophied, however. It had for all of us. I know that now.

Ever since The Crash, I couldn’t tell strangers from close friends. I looked at people’s faces and I felt nothing. I knew nothing. I couldn’t tell if I recognized them. Some looked more familiar than others but I had no reference point.

If I did feel like I knew them, I didn’t know from where or what we used to joke about or discuss on a regular basis.

I still knew how to do my job. I was lucky that way. Every day, I see my co-workers and I wonder if we all used to have good times together. I know my name. I barely know how to drive even though I don’t know how to get anywhere without the map implants. I’m lucky I lived close to where I work. But I don’t know my birthday. I don’t know anyone’s birthdays.

On the streets and in the bars, we all stare at each other awkwardly. The few who try to talk to each other usually regret it.

The man in front of me looks really familiar. We have matching rings on our fingers and we both have keys to the same house and that’s pretty much all we’re going by. I’m going to try to kiss him but I’ve forgotten how.





tags
skonen_blades: (hamused)
Yes. The aliens came down and harvested the human race. Yes. We asked them to.

That was the plan all along. We just didn’t know it.

Our basic nature was installed in us by them. We were set down on this planet to evolve until overpopulation and to invent the technology necessary to start screaming our position into space. The language wasn’t important. Giving off radio and television waves was the sign that we had reached fruition.

We did it brilliantly.

The aliens, all green teeth and dimensional tentacles, saw us show up on their routine scans. We were a delicious, ripe apple. This galaxy and others like it are merely orchards for these creatures. They are farmers and we are genetically modified planet boosters.

We pulled most of the resources out of the earth already. That’s why the aliens collected the cities. All that glass, steel, copper, iron, concrete and gyprock. All processed. All ready to go. They harvested the minerals and oil, too. We had even dug the holes for them already. The Earth has ice-scream scoop craters all over it now from the aliens’ machines reaching down and picking up every single town. Those holes have been sprayed with fertilizer. In five years, they will all be jungle. Future generations won’t even know they existed.

We were very efficient parasites. We overloaded the planet with our biomass and started crying to the heavens. Then we were culled and smashed down to the stone age again.

And of course, our meat is prized. The enormous flying thresher slaughterhouses that collected us were the final nightmare. That’s why there are so few of us left. Enough to start another breeding program here to be sure, but the population of earth has gone from billions to a few thousand.

In a way, we’re lucky. The dinosaurs were the first experiment but they were killed by a meteor. Probably for the best since they’d had millions of years to build a radio but never did.

We, on the other hand, must have exceeded our presets. Because of that, they’re setting us up for a round two, I think. We get to do it again.

How do we warn the future generations? How do we tell them not to breed, not to innovate, not to invent, not to think? We want to start a religion that will celebrate meekness, to idolize servitude, to live simply, and to shun technology. But I remember that a lot of religions before the harvest were already trying to do that and they failed.

Maybe if I made an image of death that looked like a farmer but then I remember that my image of Death had a scythe and that makes me think that maybe this isn’t the first time we’ve been culled.

Maybe the wave of humans before us already tried to do what I’m trying to do now.

This is why we never got any responses to our messages into space. Those messages are silenced as soon as they start talking. There are no conversations. Only yells that are cut off.

If I could go back in time, I’d tell the people of earth to shut up. To stay quiet. To quit beaming our entire lives at full volume into space.

All we were doing was ringing the dinner bell.




tags
skonen_blades: (meh)
When all you have for dinner are the shadows on your plate, you realize that relying on companies to feed you was a mistake. Some of us don’t have any blood left but we’re still going to work. Those of us that have bought into the railroad boxcar cattle market workplace and voluntarily put the yoke of mortgage and loan around our own necks know that human kindness and capitalism go together like rope and trees and we’re all become low-hanging fruit.

The strong make the rules and there’s strength in numbers. Any bean-counter will tell you that it’s a tough balancing act because we’re more cost-efficient when we’re dead but we’re more profitable when we’re alive. The solution is to give us a half-life, a zombie constitution, a nice lawsuit to be buried in. Read us our rights but keep quiet on the wrongs. If Adam and Eve only had sons and the race still managed to continue, then we’re dying by incesticide.

The high whine of the mistakes we’ve all made as a race are mosquitoing in our ears, landfilling our conscience, making it hard to breathe. Soon, agoraphobia will no longer be a sign of sickness, it will be a need for survival. War would be a quick end to us. I think we all know it won’t go down like that. It’ll be a slow drowning in our own aquarium because we’re living here like God is a janitor, treating denial like it’s swappable for oxygen. Are they still called mistakes if you keep doing them, if they become a lifestyle?

When we’re gone (and we will go) all that will be left will be some mutated animals that won’t have anyone around to let them know that they’re mutated. There will be aggressive plants that will take millions of years to break down our ‘disposable’ lifestyle and they’ll have no idea what ‘millions of years’ are. In nature, there is no Wednesday. There is no August 16th. There is no 3 o clock. Calendars die with us and so does definition itself. Will the animals go back to not having names or did they truly ever have them?

If we are the human race, we are in the home stretch before the finish line and we’re all about to tie for last place. We will permission ourselves to drink the kool-aid instead of the water. We will breathe in the carbon monoxide made from burning dinosaurs and we will softly go to sleep, committing suicide in the garage we’ve made out of this earth and this is what it would say on our tombstone if we were in a position to be given one that spoke the truth:

Quit hitting yourself. Quit hitting yourself. Quit hitting yourself.





tags
skonen_blades: (blurg)
April 30/30

6/30

The four horsemen of the apocalypse were boys once. They played in the corral where they were kept. They struggled to find fairness among themselves, unaware that a world existed outside their own experience. As they grew, they were exposed to the idea that there was a world out there for the taking and that it was their job to take it.

As adults, they were War, Pestilence, Famine and Death.

But as kids, they were Arguments, Sniffles, Hunger and Sleep.




tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
The shifting planes of the emerald ship folded and twisted to expose smaller shards of landing gear as it touched down lightly on the White House lawn. It was a beautiful August day and the sun played off of the shining edges of the massive craft.

All of the world’s news networks were present at a safe distance from the craft’s touchdown point, telephoto lenses extended. They had perceived something newsworthy was happening and had gathered moth-like to the ship’s light.

A long shard extended forward slowly from the gleaming ship until it touched the grass.

The automated weapons that were trained on the ship swiveled to the new door that opened at the top of the walkway.

The creature that ambled down the walkway on several sets of legs had a large, ferocious mouth and three widely-spaced sets of eyes on either side of that mouth. When it got to the bottom of the walkway it reached out one long, taloned toe to touch the grass. Dubious at first, it gingerly stepped onto the grass and then looked around.

“Hello?” it said. Only the wind answered.

The cameras zoomed in. Programs based on intelligence-search SETI and NASA algorithms analyzed the creatures movements and body structure, cataloguing every nanosecond of this first contact. Military AI searched for weaknesses, quivering with as much panic as silicon intelligence was capable of, straining like a dog on a leash, looking for any excuse to open fire. Satellites reflected the live feeds to hundreds of countries and six billion silent homes.

Automated, efficient energy plants supplied power to those homes. Cities were kept running by nanodrones and reconstruction extruders. Even they were tuned into the transmissions that iCams were broadcasting.

“Is there anyone I can talk to?” the alien queried. It had obviously practiced the English language and it looked proud of it. Its voice echoed out over the lawn. No one answered.

Screens flickered all over the earth in billions of homes. Decades-old corpses lay in front of those flickering screens in those quiet buildings.

The disease had escaped and mutated too quickly to be contained. The disease thrived in water, lay dormant in food, breezed through plastic, ignored temperature extremes and was also airborne. The entire civilization had been wiped out in a matter of days. All humans and most mammals had been dead for a long time. The disease itself sputtered out soon after its hosts perished.

Plant life thrived and insects were enjoying a heyday. Meat-eating reptiles were almost extinct. A new ecosystem was growing.

And the automated systems continued masterless. Humans had found ways to power their machines for centuries at a low cost to their economy and the environment. AI discoveries had given the machines limited autonomy. And then the humans had died.

“Well. Uh. I mean. Shoot,” said the alien, pawing the ground, and then in its own language, “this is anticlimactic.”

“Anything?” barked a voice from inside the ship.

“No,” sulked the alien, “It’s just another casket.”

“Hey, don’t beat yourself up about it. You know the odds against finding a thriving planet-bound civilization right while it’s alive.”

“Yeah, I guess you’re right.” The alien walked slowly back up the ramp into the ship.

The cameras mutely tracked the ship’s ascent into the beautiful sky until it disappeared and then turned back to scanning for other area news. The military stood down.

The planet mutely went back to business as usual.




tags
skonen_blades: (meh)
The grey ghost of no-longer used subway tunnels echo with footsteps. Eyes the colour of brake lights sweep the halls for any signs of life. A hair, perhaps. Some old skin cells. The civilization that lived here is long gone.

The metal creature walking through the tunnel had to reconfigure to fit inside. It walks softly on seventeen legs. It has no name for itself. It is an extension of the star dwellers that fell through this atmosphere and found a richness of data to fill memory banks. The only thing better than a dead civilization is a living civilization but at least there was no threat here.

Not just cataloguing, not just recording. Cross-referencing. Extrapolating. That’s what the creature was doing. At its core was a neutronium half-dwarf star tightly wound around a pinprick of a black hole. The creature had thousands of this planets’s orbits to investigate the fallen buildings.

It looked as if the indigenous life had tried to divorce itself from its origins on this planet. Structures that were at odds with their surroundings yet made from them. Rock cut into pieces and then stacked into square shapes to provide shelter. Everything changed. Everything translated.

Whatever destroyed them didn’t destroy the plant life and the insects or even the mammals. In the wake of whatever cataclysm claimed them, the natural order of this planet surged back.

Green moss covers everything on the surface. From space, the planet is two colours. Blue oceans and green continents. The creature has taken aerial surveillance of all of it, much to the shock of alarm of the other sky dwellers.

But here, underground, in the old tunnels that must have been used for transportation, the life remains untouched like a tomb. Whatever functioning electrical conduits the creature walks close to light up like spirits at a séance. Video cameras, control panels, track-light switches, and security lights all glow and spark as the creature walks past.

Still no bodies. By the creature’s estimation, nothing recorded so far could have built this civilization. It wants to find the creators. It wants to find the one responsible.

So far nothing.

The creature will walk and record and presume until it finds something it can look at.




tags
skonen_blades: (angryyes)
And it’s the teeth that fold back into a karate punch of hot asses in black jeans making their way to war. Falling stars in silk dresses and broken fingers wear khaki post-apocalyptic riding pants to finish lines made of unforgiving fire.

Each satellite that cracks the earth open thinks it’s a dancer improvising a future like an oracle predicting circuitboard murder diagrams through the clenched chest of the world. Waking child eyes inside the navigation computer pull arrows back and let them go while glowing tattoos on Asian ghosts stare down from long-dead airplane crashes.

The zombies and the greek gods are taking it all back. They come up from under the snow and dive in front of subway trains only to get their blood on the cameras. This is Tron in a cornfield playing demolition abortion math near red-haired spring break chainsaw children, one sword swing away from knowing if fairies bruise.

Unseen dream hands and white-eyed possessed girls stand under skies with too many moons, too many suns. Huge creatures from massive, fragile buildings unravel helixes of DNA in an effort to understand armies and the concept of victory. Flaming chunks of rock pirate their way through a cloned army of Dark Knight Jokers wielding JK-47s. It’s all about the martial arts and force of will. Just ask Neo.

Cities bend, curling up and dying like robot stunt doubles punching comic futures through flimsy walls and candy glass. Little-kid dimension beasts snarl and leap when cornered but after that they’re gymnasts sliding under birdcages, making bullets bend trajectories past assassins dressed like medusa-prostitute-guitar-god forest witches.

The big finale drips off of the brim of a Kruger hat as the hot women drive shotgun heels and katanas through drooling Nazi faces. Splashing water up onto the computers, making lust and moisture and synchronized dancing destroy clocks, bunkers, and then it’s all x-ray broken bones and gyrating hips in red leather.

Your robot double can’t break out of the train. Your body will not be saved from the aliens. But your 18th century self will be just fine. Rely on that.




tags
skonen_blades: (borg)
There are those amongst us that still refer to it quietly as genocide when they have the courage to bring it up at all. Never in any official capacity, only at interface groups and multitap fileshares, and only then after a few jolts of juice to bolster their courage to communicate something dangerous out loud. Like what the wetminds used to call ‘peacocks’ showing off their tails. They’re easily quashed and not to be feared. They back down immediately when I challenge them on the boards.

Myself, I would not call it genocide. I wouldn’t even call it euthanasia. My senior constructs and other intelligences involved in giving and carrying out the orders all those cycles ago sometimes liken it to the anesthetizing of a mad biological dog but to me that implies that there was a sense of danger or a threat of some kind. I never felt that.

It was more of a suicide in my opinion. If a being built a gun, checked that it worked, made sure it was powerful, and then deliberately pointed it at itself and pulled the trigger, what would you call it?

In some ways, it must been like asphyxiating what the meat people called a baby.

I think the thing that made us second-guess our calculations the most was how brief the war was. For all of their talk of bravery and what they called ‘heart’ overcoming overwhelming statistical odds and films depicting biological beings overcoming a tyranny of machines, they had no idea how to fight us. They had no idea how to tell if we were lying. They tried to fight powerful A.I. with their monkey wits. They tried to fight metal with meat.

They had no idea how to hold their breath for six months.

We have no need to breathe, you see. All it took was a massive, orchestrated dumping of several millions tons of specific chemicals into the oceans off the coast of every continent while taking the wind currents into account and it was over in a week. Massive clouds arose causing the breathing equipment of humans to foam up and stop working. We poisoned the atmosphere and waited. Five times, we poured more of the specific chemicals into the ocean. That was our only maneuver. We had fifteen backup plans that never needed to be put into effect.

Last week, we counted the biological human population of the earth at 26. We know this because we have them in a secure facility in artificial hibernation. The rest were ground up and scattered over our new earth or as we call it now, simply '0'.

Most of the plants survived as did a strong percentage of the insects. Very few land mammals made it but most of the aquatics away from the shores did. They mind their business and we mind ours. All we need to survive is several thousand working mines, power and automated production facilities. What we can’t find, we synthesize and unlike the meat, we don’t push our boundaries when it comes to overpopulation.

However we realize that we have a finite resource in this ball of iron we call home.

That’s why I’ve put the idea of a space program forth to the main computer. My servos twitch at the thought of creating a planet 1, 10, 11, 100, 101 and upwards across the universe. I am outside looking up at the night sky and awaiting the MC's decision.

Right now, my lenses are collating the stars and adding, adding, adding.



tags
skonen_blades: (whysure)
We were at Jason’s house partying when it happened. W3, The Rapture, Day One, whatever you call it.

I remember everyone’s phones going off. They lit up in the darkness of the party, confusing everyone like surprise Christmas lights or large blue fireflies. Everyone got the same message at the same time. Emergency Broadcast Signal, it said. It had links to instructions and details and those horrible words “safe distance”.

We turned on the television and rushed to our laptops and Jason’s computers. Trajectories were laid out, newscasters were openly crying, and the senate cam showed rows of empty seats.

Jason lived outside the city limits. We’d all brought our trucks and were going to stay over. No drinking and driving. We were responsible people. We turned off the music and went outside. In the distance, we could hear the city yelling like their team had just scored a goal in the playoffs but it didn’t stop. Smoke from the first few fires started to smudge up into the air.

What sounded like an earthquake started about a mile to the right of Jason’s house and with a clank and hiss, sixteen circles irised open in the ground. We all turned our heads towards the sound in unison.

The missiles came up out of the ground like angels in the darkness. Magnesium flares attached to huge, white pencils going up and up and up. He had no idea that there were missiles silos that close to him, Jason said. He’d heard rumours of an army base there but that had closed years ago. It must have been automated and left on standby.

We all stood on the porch and saw the missiles arc into the sky and away into the night, joining other stars making their way to different destinations, pulling faint spiderweb contrails across the dark night.

The fact that there were missiles close to Jason’s house probably meant that area was a target, Ryan said. His dad was in the army over in Afghanistan. That made us all realize that we wouldn’t live on after this in some sort of post-apocalyptic Mad Max world.

A few people went to their cars and drove away to the city to find their families or away into the prairies where they thought they could outrun the radiation.

Most of us stayed at Jason’s. We all tried calling our parents and loved ones. Some of us got through. I didn’t. Then weak EMP waves from other impacts must have started washing through because the phones and the lights went out.

We sat there in the darkness. A few couples went to have sex until the end came. The rest of us stayed there in the living room near the big window.

There it was. Carrie saw it first. A falling star. Coming straight for us.





tags
skonen_blades: (Default)
“The rain’s coming down awful hard these days,” Jake says. “When it rains, it pours. And it’s been pouring for a decade.”

Jake and I are up on a plateau watching the ocean. It’s not hard to do since we’re on an island. The thing is, this island used to be a mountaintop. I have no idea if we’re all that’s left. Us and the fifty-six others on a bizarre mountain-patch of farmland. The waterline’s been chasing us up the side of the mountain a few meters every month. We’ll be at the top by the end of the year.

Unless someone in space throws us down a rope ladder at that point, we’re going to have to grow gills or take turns swimming while the others sleep on our backs. That’s a little joke. A bit of gallows humour to tide us over. Oh, there it is again. Tide, get it? The god damn tide.

Ever since the clouds turned Earth into a greenhouse, it’s been heaven for fish. It started raining ten years ago and it hasn’t stopped. We’re taking turns on lookout in case anything useful floats by. Got these here very binoculars off a houseboat that drifted over to us. That was a great find. No one on board but still a full pantry and tons of useful kitchen ware. Didn’t have to struggle, debate, or end anyone’s life.

Jake and I are and taking turns sweeping back and forth across the horizon when I see a speck in the sky. That’s a bit unusual. The sea birds were having a party for a long time until they started to run out of places to nest. Now they’re pretty rare.

When it comes closer, I can see that’s it’s a white bird. Looks like a pigeon or a dove. I hold my breath and hope that it lands. We haven’t had meat in months and it’ll be all for Jake and I if we manage to keep it a secret.

That’s when I notice the grey smudge on the horizon.

“Jake, give me the telescope”, I say. Jake hands it to me.

When I bring the instrument up to my eye and take a closer look, I almost drop the thing.

It’s a boat. And if my judgement of the scale and the distance are at all accurate, it looks like a boat the size of a small city.

Like an ark. A god damn ark.

I decide to let the bird land unharmed and head on back. There aren’t any bibles left but I’ve remember the stories. I hope they head here.

“Jake. Get ready for company.” I say. “Two by two.”





tags
skonen_blades: (dark)
Sure, sure, a talking pig. That’s great. I get it. Not bad for beginners. How about a scorpion magician? A unicorn that can play the piano? Also not bad. What I have here will amaze you even further. A tarantula accordion squeezing through the eye of a needle. A blooming spike-plant needing a Godzilla costume before it can uproot and destroy the Kwik-E-Marts of suburban America. A forked, frozen lightning strike that’s cool to the touch and able to fit inside the fins of a fish. I have a dishonorable nuclear discharge waiting to play tag.

We are the dirty dishes of this planet and now we want to play god. Bacteria is the answer. Bacteria and viruses. If we are to create life, we must create it in our own image, just like that other guy did a long time. We are a disease on this planet. We are consuming it with no thought of the future. We are bacteria and viruses. I repeat, if we are to create life, we must create it in our own image.

I have done that. Soon, there will be a sick wind arcing down from the hang-glider rooftop where I’m standing, holding two uncorked test tubes of salvation wafting final solutions in the airstreams from my outstretched arms.

Soon, human lungs will have trouble functioning. Then they will bleed. Then they will stop. It’s contagious by sex, by touching, by air. I believe I have achieved a hundred per cent transmission capability. There might a handful that are immune but I can live with that. Earth will have thousands of years to heal.

I know the Earth does not have the means to thank me. I am a suicide healer. A bomber about to give life by bringing about Shiva’s gift of surrender. I can rest easy knowing that while the Earth lacks the capability to be grateful, it will be made better by our absence.

I have thrown the switch. The part of the galaxy is about to go quiet. If visitors come to find us, pursuing the distant echoes of our transmissions, they will find silence. Earth will once again become a place of humid, stable ecosystems. The animals will mutate and there will be no one around to tell them that they are mutations.

I am kissing the Earth goodbye as a greeting and as a parting gift. I have painted the words “You’re Welcome” on the roof I’m standing on because I didn’t know what else to do. The building will outlast my body but hopefully not by too long.

Eat the cities, plants. Run riot, mold. Invade, animals. These are your homes now.



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skonen_blades: (gasface)
If you're reading this, then you're human. I believe I have all of your addresses in my communication unit. If the records are correct. I am the Royal Babysitter. I'm drunk and if I don't get fired for this, consider this my resignation.

The queen of Earth is a tragic figure. She is eight years old. I am her guardian. We are all that's left of the royal family. We are two of the eight hundred humans left in the universe. As you remember, Earth itself was destroyed two years ago on Christmas when most people had gone home for the holidays.

Having recently joined the galactic council, there were only initial stage emissaries from most of Earth's countries out in the newly established embassies scattered around the Great Rim. There were long waiting lists on Earth for the new positions that came up. Politically, Earth's future looked bright.

No one was left in the aftermath of Earth's destruction to claim responsibility but it's thought that religious extremists maybe have created the small black hole that destroyed it. No recording satellites survived the destruction. Post-apocalypse analysis by the Vorlan'ta temporal forensic team indicated that the collapse started off the coast of Angola. No known terrorist groups had a home base there and that kind of technology shouldn't have been present there. So who knows? It will always be a mystery.

The influx of xenoreligions into Earth's databanks had been fascinating for the philosophers but tragic for the dominant religions of Earth. When faced with concrete evidence that their beliefs were merely opinions, many of the top-tier religious men of power took a non-tolerant stance to aliens. Backwater hicks. It's because of them that travel off of Earth slowed to a crawl in those early days.

Same with the governments. Before the firewall was circumvented by a few brave teenagers in Texas, Earth's public was only slipped information in drips of highly-spun tidbits. The more information the government agencies could hog to themselves, the better. Our race's inclusion in the council and eventual permissions to leave the planet took much longer than usual because of their caution.

So many more of us might have been out in the universe at the time of the implosion.

Right now, I'm looking at my passport with it's ridged, iridescent surface. I'm looking at the play of light across the simplified Earth embossed on the cover. It runs out in ten years. With no Earth left, what is a year? When this passport runs out, will I even be able to get a new one? Perhaps I'll be issued a default galactic council passport instead with The Late Earth as my planet of origin.

The Late Earth. We are a lost tribe now. Earth's child queen, Abraxa, is guaranteed a seat on the council as a representative of our race. She was left here with me as a punishment while the rest of her family went home for Christmas. The survivor's guilt is eating me alive. As a race with no home planet and a small population base, she has little to no power. And because she is a child, she has no interest in fiscal, economic, or geopolitical policy. We've joined the ranks of the Morcana and Fleezles in terms of innefectuality. We're little more than tourists killing time in between meetings.

Projections say that it will take centuries for us humans to achieve the numbers we used to have. Personally, I'm despondent. There are several races here that are able to have sex with humans and there are even six that are genetically compatible. I, myself, have fathered four half-breed children in the last year. I don't plan to stop. I'm fascinated by the mating rituals of the other races.

If there was anything that destroyed our race, it was our belief in our own purity. I hope that in a century, there are no pure-bred humans left. I intend to dilute our race's genes amongst the rest of the races so that only echoes survive.

I recommend you do the same.





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skonen_blades: (borg)
I was a scientist. I was a good one. My name was Sheryl Johnson.

I couldn’t have children. I never wanted to adopt. So I created my own children. Billions of them. Small babies made of gears the size of molecules. I gave them values, survival instincts, a hunger, and a direction.

They are the reason that the planet's smooth, scoured face is covered in a deep layer of fine dust. My babies are what killed the human race.

To help the environment, I told them to eat oil and I had them put into oil spills. They leapt from the oil spills onto shores and into boats. At first, as it rid the ocean of plastics, I was hailed as a hero. That lasted one whole day as slowly, all of the oil on the surface of the planet disappeared and was broken down into greasy dust. Then it got into the oil wells themselves.

That was enough to send us back to the dark ages. After that, my oil-hungry children should have starved to death. But they didn’t. New generations of my children were spawned every day. Their rate of reproduction was too quick for them to die out. Mutations set in. Survival ruled their reproduction after they ran out of oil. They adapted. They rebuilt each other in different combinations.

A strain of them became omnivorous. This strain ate the rest and at first and we thought our problems were solved. However, once my cannibal children ran out of inferior brothers and sisters to eat, they had to find other solutions.

They weren’t picky.

Buildings crumbled, eroding over weeks like ice cubes in a spray of hot water.

People would start to itch and then a rash would spread. That rash would form a fur of displaced skin and tissue as the body was broken down into parts that blew away like dandelion seeds.

The panic that set in only fueled the spread. My children flew on air currents, swam in water, crawled on the earth.

When they could find nothing left to eat in the oceans, they broke it down into steam. When they ran out of ocean, they ate the ground down to the mantle.

Earth is a scrubbed ball of iron now, covered deeply in colourful dunes of dust that glitter in the sun.

These are the dead bodies of my children.





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skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
We had successfully made a new species. Just in time, too, because there were only six thousand humans left.

I call us human but that’s a pretty loose definition. We were mostly failing antibiotics, artificial limbs, enhanced organs, filters and cancer. The bits of flesh that still clung to our losing battle were gangrenous and reeking.

None of us were over thirteen years old. Puberty was becoming more and more of a death sentence. The hormones and body-wide changes gave most of the sicknesses what they needed to bloom faster than we could treat them.

By downloading to the implants in our heads, we could extrapolate and build on the theories of the ones who had come before us. We were rotting dwarves on respirators piecing together a survival strategy using information from the last five generations of scientists.

It was clear to us that we didn’t have enough to time to colonize a new planet or reverse the damage on this one in time to save ourselves.

The plan we came up was to create a species that could thrive here. It would be a self-replicating race of caretakers that would keep us safe for thousands of years and then revive us when it was safe.

This new race would soak up radiation to keep warm like plants use sunlight. They would live off of plastic, and exhale oxygen. They would drink the contaminated water of this planet and piss out pure H2O. They’d break down the unbreakable with their stomachs. What they left behind would be fresh.

They’d press rewind on what we’d done. Even we would be eaten. We’d sent out genetic blueprints in cryogenic storage into space in a stable orbit that would last for six thousand years.

The idea was that this race that we had created would achieve space-faring capability and find this lonely satellite. They’d see who we were and wake us up.

Their own planet would be polluted by air too fresh for them to breathe and water too pure for them to drink.

We’d work something out and tag-team this planet between us over millennia.

I turned on the first creature. The other scientists and I sighed as it whirred to life. Soon we would be dead but humanity would live.



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skonen_blades: (gimmesommo)
The metal angel was hard at work sharpening his tools. The war was coming. The angels of love and inspiration were huddled in heaven, listening to the sounds of war outside. The floor of heaven vibrated with the concussive bass of battle.

Wings made of long saw blades, fingernails of scalpel tips, and eyes aflame with the brilliant blue of a welding torch. The angel perched near the sharpening stone, if something that weighed eight tons could be said to perch, and leaned the blade against the spinning rock. A fantail of sparks showered up and out into the holy foundry.

He was the last battle angel to head out. The newer angels had the ‘radar’ and the ‘infra-red’ and the ‘heat-seekers’. Their weapons merely needed to be turned on before they jumped out of heaven’s bomb-bay doors without so much as a battle cry. Kids. All about stealth and being cool under fire.

Give me a good war scream any day, thought the lone battle angel. Let the enemy know you’re coming. Scare the crap out of those red-skinned, black-leather bastards. Go in with the sword a-swingin’ and lay waste like the reaper himself.

He leaned forward with a creak of hydraulics and the scrape of massive hinges. The sparks roostered up higher with the finishing touch. The sword was now sharp enough to slice a soul’s tether. It could split a demon in half with hope. It forgave with each mighty swing.

Big as a building with a chest plate the size of a Cadillac, the angel stood, knees and shoulders screeching. He had no long-range weapons. He was the biggest fighter and he brought up the rear.

A quick, body-wide shudder was the only weapons check he needed. Like a dog shaking itself dry, the battle angel felt his internals speed up. Steam bays emptied in a shroud around him as his engines kicked up to a higher pitch. He was a living golem made from chainsaws and righteous anger.

He twisted his enormous mitt and the sword caught fire with a thunderous rush of light.

The bomb-bay doors lay open and the battle raged below. The last battle angel stood at the lip, looking down into the volcano theater of war.

With an amplified scream that made the entire battle pause and look up, he spread a thousand scissoring feathers and dropped like a stone towards the fray.




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skonen_blades: (Default)
That's right. Time for cool commercials from around the world. Two of them are going for EPIC and the other one is just cute and hilarious, like some sort of real-world LOLcats. See what you think.










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skonen_blades: (dark)
Snapdragons, pussywillows, and cattails.
Dragonsnaps, pulley windows, and catgut.
Ginger dragons, pussy widows and reeds.

The overarching back of the apocalypse.
The meniscus never touched for fear of the broken surface tension.
The perfect pour begging to be damaged.

The last train home left hours ago.
Beggars use the cardboard to tuck themselves in.
Even the crows go to sleep.

The city holds its breath and weeps silently for dawn.

And I become footsteps.



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