skonen_blades: (Default)
They came back every century to monitor our progress. Our benefactors. The Saviors. Once a generation they returned.

I was young the last time they were here. I barely remember it. I only have impressions: my four-year-old fingers in my father’s beard, the summer day pristine, a dog with wiry hair close to us that I found fascinating, and the giant silver ship at the top of the hill surrounded by the thousands of us. I remember the adults crying and rejoicing. I was confused but I felt safe.

Now I am 104. With the medical extension technology they’ve given us, I still have the body of a 60-year-old and should be good for another 20 years. There are few others here who were present last time. We’re guests of honor and have bright silver pins on our shirts.

Back at the same hill near Brighton. The mound is still green, the sky is overcast this time. I am here with my own children, Rebecca and Therese. They are in their forties and Rebecca carries my two grandchildren with her.

There’s a puckering in the clouds above the hill and gently, the clouds form an opening, a perfect circle to admit the craft.

It descends bottom first, the silver skin glistening with rain. A massive tower of silver with the anti-gravity stabilizers throbbing through our bones like a deep bass. It’s majestic. I’m crying and I’m not the only one.

They will come bearing technology and systems of governance they feel we’re ready for. They’ve already balanced our atmosphere and given us peace.

It took the eradication or adaptation of all the religions. If needed, they named themselves the second coming or the apocalypse or whatever end of times prediction was necessary for each religion. For those that wouldn’t comply, a rapture was arranged. If they could not be converted with sights of the universe and proof of technology, they were frozen. If they wished to be sent on to their afterlife, they were destroyed. An astonishingly high number of them chose death. Only the faithful remained on Earth after the culling.

And faithful we were. Lovers of science, trusting of the visitors. United for the first time in Earth’s history and it had been that way for centuries.

skonen_blades: (Default)
Coming home to your planet is always such a bittersweet experience.

Visiting simpler locales always leaves me feeling thankful for Karroway, my home planet. Simpler systems leave me in wonder at how the locals can even function. I had just gotten back from a recent addition to the galactic council. The inhabitants referred to it as Earth. I hate to call them primitive but they only had one mind state with a small percentage capable of two. The current minimum for intelligent life was at least five mind states but an exception was being made in their case because of their accomplishments. These one-state mammals had created basic silicate life, broadcast technology and even brushed with higher math. And not only did they suffer from one mind state, they had finite life spans! The definitions of membership and the galactic definition of life were being revisited. Earth was currently a pretty big tourist destination as a result.

That's why I went. I needed a distraction. Life on Karroway could be boring just with sheer noise. I turned three of my minds towards the porthole.

Karroway's four-planet heliod system came up bold and backlit by its three differently coloured suns. A red giant, a blue dwarf, and a yellow star sparkled brilliantly through the 8 ring systems interacting with each other. Our orbit-locked planets stood out beautifully. The gas-giant fuel center Leptus, the turquoise cloud-covered Reena, the temperate volcano paradise Cheng, and the startlingly Earth-like Rhoodus. Together the four of them orbited tightly around each other in traffic controlled ellipses and all four in turn orbited as one around the three suns. Each planet had a moon system of at least thirty moons, all inhabited. The rings collided through each other on the ecliptics, throwing sparkling dust out in constant rainbow fantails. Borealis sparkled along the gravitational bridgepoints between the four-bulbed shared magnetosphere. Unsuited travel between the four planets was possible as their atmosphere was also shared.

3 suns, four planets, 128 moons, and 8 rings. Overpopulated with complicated eclipses, dawns, and sunsets.

You can imagine my boredom at seeing Earth. No rings, one moon, one planet, and one star. Hard to believe complex life evolved on that rock at all. But my time there was relaxing.

It was contemplative. My multicolored body was of great interest to them. The fact that a good percentage of my biology inhabited the quantum was unbelievable to their scientists. There was a buzz of activity with every new alien that visited them. I was the first of my kind to be there, they said. My frilled tendrils blushed with the memory of how much I was fawned over.

I felt aggrandized and god-like, sure, but I was also humbled. These backwater rock-dwellers had accomplished so much. What had I done with all of my gifts? All of my insight, all of my dimensional awareness? All of my engineered biology? I had the ability to move single molecules with my tentacle tips and zoom in to watch it happen. I was immortal, having my choice of when to ascend. I had the capacity to speed or slow time, to access higher levels of energy life and talk to them.

For what? Idle fun. For all my complexity, all my afforded privelege and advancement, I was boring and lazy.

I felt invigorated.

When I got back to Karroway, I was going to write a book.

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.

skonen_blades: (jabbadoubt)
I miss having Jupiter in the sky.

I know Earth is humanity's homeland and a pilgrimage to her is on everyone's bucket list along with seeing Olympus Mons, the Ganymede Borealis and Titan’s cryovolcanoes in person. However, I am underwhelmed.

This coffee shop is serving the purest coffee I’ve ever had. One sip of it has set my heart galloping and I feel like I’ll taste coffee for days. It would have cost a year’s salary back home on Europa. The unfiltered air here is stinky, layered, and confusing to my nose. Being outside without a faceshield makes me nervous on a bone-deep cultural level. The whole setup here seems oversaturated with smells and tastes. There's a complete lack of safety. People are walking around practically naked because there’s never been a violent, sudden decompression in their lives. It gives them all an air of terrifying naiveté.

Europa has no mountains. I should have gone to Earth’s prairies, I guess. Instead I’m in Switzerland, in what Terrans calls Europe. I just assumed that Europa and Europe would be similar. Rookie mistake, I guess.

“The food on Europa is bland. The coffee is weak. The air is boring.” That’s what I keep hearing from Earthers in passing. But to me, the air and food here seems unnecessarily complex. Designed to confuse and overwhelm. All native Earthers seem a little crazy to me with their bright eyes and their short attention spans. I think it’s the rich input of what they consume. Too many distractions.

But I guess they need it because the plain blue of the daytime sky makes me feel like this planet is unfinished. Like it's in a blue room. I have no perspective when I look up. It's unsettling.

'Jupiter watches' was our moon's Latin motto. The eye swinging around to monitor our lives, taking up so much of the sky. No interference but it was keeping a record. It was the basis of our religion. Here on Earth, it feels like no one’s watching.

Alone. That was it. The Earth felt alone.

One tiny pathetic moon haunting the night time while the Terran light pollution erased most of the stars and then the powerful sun bleaching out the entire universe during the day. No Jupiter hogging half of the sky, no family of moonlets, moons, and halfteroids peppering every afternoon, morning and sunset. No daytime ringstellations telling young lovers when to kiss or gamblers when they were at their luckiest.

Earth’s history had something called a sundial that stood out to me as a symbol of the tedium here. It was a flat, metal circle with a triangle set perpendicular to it, casting one single shadow to measure the march of time by tracking the one plain light traveling across the sky. Like a bare bulb in an empty room.

Earth and the moon had the simplicity of a hydrogen atom. A child's toy of a setup. A very basic protostructure of what a planetary microsystem could be. A blueprint sketch. A first step that had never been followed up on. I really didn't like the crushing monotony of it and I longed for the majesty and complexity of my home sky.

I could watch Jupiter's swirls forever, meditating on the storms. I remember reading that most people on Earth chose blue as their favorite colour. What a drab reminder of loneliness and simplicity. On Europa we had names for shades of orange, red, pink, and brown they didn't even have here.

I mean, I guess I'm glad I came and all but I can't wait to go back.

skonen_blades: (hamused)
The universe is full of life but we’re the aberration
Because we are insane I MEAN we have imagination
Evolutionarily our instincts have propelled us
But soon I fear what made us strong will be the thing that felled us
You see the me in me I think of when I think of me
Is my own brain attempting to achieve duality
When I’m thinking to myself, who am I talking to?
WHO is talking when I DO that? What does my brain do?
People talk about a soul that lives inside our cells
All I know’s that inside me more than one person dwells
The inner fight that haunts our haunted bodies is our fate
Because from birth to death I think it is our constant state
For even though we think a peaceful tribe is our ambition
We cannot help but TO alWAYS succumb to some division
Religions start to have their sects and tribes that form cohesion
Base it on a hatred of the other for some reason
I look down on people who look down on people so
I must look down on me as well but then where do I go?
Each one of us wants fun, belonging, power, freedom, too.
We need to feel included but don’t tell us what to do
We need laws and rules so that we know that we can break them
We give all our emotions names so we know when we fake them
In nature nothing dies of natural causes, it’s ironic.
The old and weak are eaten and to us it seems demonic
But that’s a system working. A systemic ecosystem.
That’s a system that we are destroying with our ‘wisdom’.
Economics don’t exist in forests or the seas
But economics are what’s causing these catastrophes
We have one mouth, eight billion strong, and all it does is feed
It’s bottomless because we’re built with hunger and a need
To live and if I said I didn’t want to I’d be lying
But here’s the truth; that not enough of us on earth are dying
I think the truth is out there and that there is life in space
I think there are planets filled with life that fill this place
Our WAVES and messaGES we spew out to the galaxy
Are noises that will not be understood by any ‘me’
Just card tricks for a dog or television for a cat.
Sure, they’ll stare but they won’t know what they are staring at.
WE might BE uNIQUE beCAUSE we HAVE duality.
A freakish sense of self we call the personality
We put the self in selfie. We just want someone to see us.
But the universe is filled with things that just can’t be us
“To be or not to be” there’s that duality right there
“I think therefore I am” might be a lonely cross to bear.
The truth that I think stands out stark is we were built to spread
Because of our unending need to need our daily bread
We need to go to other planets and to eat them, too
We need to spread like mold spreads spores because it’s what we do
Or else we’ll end up suffocating here on our own gasses
The co2 emissions and the methane from cow’s asses
We’re great at spreading, great at eating, great at rationalizing
We’re great at thinking that we’re great and I’m just realizing
That if the world is a stage and we’re all playing roles
The capability for greatness LIES within our souls
For our duality is what is causing us to die
Because we cannot become one, we always have to lie
There’s one way that we can help the Earth that I believe
1: We have to change and cause we can’t we have to leave.

skonen_blades: (dark)
We’re not part of the circle of life.
We’ve turned the process into a straight line.
Our mouths are the tunnel at the end of a railroad track and everything is going in.
We are a mutation that isn’t succeeding.
We are an aberration.
We are not doing what we’re supposed to do.
At first we were benign. Now we are malignant.
We think we’re succeeding but we are aggressively failing.
I wonder if cancer would feel the same way if it could think.
Would it try to say “Look what I can do! Look how successful I am!”
Economic growth has metastasized.
We do not march with nature.
We actively march against it.
We’ve drawn our line in the sand. And in the forests. And in the ocean.
This is a war where even if we win, we lose.
We are going to run out of food.
We are going to run out of water.
We are going to run out of air.
And when we die, Earth will compost our civilization into a new chapter.
Strange new plants will break it down. Strange new animals will adapt to the new settings.
The worst part of it all is that we had the capability to be in tune with our surroundings but have chosen not to.

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.

skonen_blades: (haBUUH)
The creature standing in the white house oval office was quite tall and seemed to be made of flexible wood. Glowing holes dotted its body. It didn’t seem to have a circulatory system. It did have eyes and a mouth but they gave the distinct impression of being put there for our benefit. Right now, the eyes and mouth were facing my direction.

I was the White House’s pet xenobiologist, David Randerson. Up until now, my services consisted of debunking Area 51 rumours on public chatboards and ordering my staff pizza for lunch. And by ‘staff’ I mean me. I was a team of one. A just-in-case employee that every administration wanted to cut but somehow kept renewing my position through three two-term presidents. That means that I was twenty when I got this job and I’m forty-four now.

I can tell you some things: Men in black do not exist. Stealth technology, Velcro, CD/DVD technology, and everything around on this planet was invented by humans. The aforementioned Area 51 houses failed Air Force experiments. SETI continues to scan seemingly empty skies.

No aliens have contacted us and we do not have a dialogue with them. However, I was having a conversation with an alien right now. Security all had their guns drawn. The president was behind his desk, sweating but trying to look like he had a handle on the moment.

The alien had appeared in the oval office three minutes ago. All attacks on it had failed. Bullets lay flattened around its feet. The air had the tang of taser and laser fire. It looked at me and repeated itself.

“I am what you call Gliese 667c. I am here to talk to you. What are you called?” said the creature to me.

I pushed my glasses up my sweating nose and answered.

“My, uh, my name’s Dave.”

“Planet Dave. I am pleased to meet you. You must come to me so we can talk.” The creature said.

“No, no. This is Earth. My name is Dave. I am a human. I live here.” I answered.

“That is disappointing. You are saying that you are not one with your planet. That you do not experience oneness. That your voice and the planet’s voice are different things. Does everyone on this planet consider themselves to be and individual?” asked the alien.

“Yes.” I answered. I didn’t like where this was headed.

“Then you are broken. Planets evolve a voice when they achieve maturity. We supposed that you were your planet’s voice. I am not FROM Gliese 667c, I AM Gliese 667c. I will leave.” It raised its arms as if to trigger a transportation.

“Wait!” I shouted “Don’t go. We can learn from you.”

“If an alien showed up and demanded that you speak with its toenail, proclaiming that its toenail had intelligence and authority to speak for the whole, would you take that alien seriously?”

“Well, I’d think that alien was crazy, probably.” I answered.

“Exactly. You do not speak with a unified voice. Your planet is mute. You are a passing phase, a disease, or maybe the beginning of a voice. But you are not yet Earth. We will return when you are.”

And then it left. No flash of light, no big explosion. It just…wasn’t there anymore.

I got a raise for averting the apocalypse. I didn’t feel like I deserved it.



1 July 2011 12:22
skonen_blades: (Default)
“It must be because they have such a short life,” chittered the softly glowing centipede pilot, easing back on the throttle near the viewscreen as it maintained a discreet distance from the planet. “With almost no time to experience life, the need to see life end must be strong. Why else would they kill? They seem quite bent on it and quite good at it. Look. Entire sections of their organizational structures are dedicated to it. Even the smaller organizations. Armies, they call them.”

The box-like creature with too many eyes in the chair next to the pilot hummed in thought before speaking. “I’m not sure I agree with your findings, Pilot. If that were the case, they’d all be dead by now. Mathematically speaking. There must be some that want to live with others and not see the end of life.”

“Maybe you’re both right.” vibrated the translucent skein of cells wafting on the air currents near the bridge vents, colours rippling across its surface. “Maybe there are factions of people devoted to death and factions devoted to living. Remember, they wear out quickly. No section of their population is long-livers. Perhaps the ones that want to live must kill the ones that want to kill.”

They all paused to consider that.

The green, moist creature with the huge mouth near the back spoke up. “Seems pretty confusing. Killing to protect yourself from killers. Can’t quite get my head around it. Surely one must be one or the other.”

“Well, you are rather binary, aren’t you?” whispered the cluster of feathers monitoring the radiation feeds and power levels. Some of the other creatures chuckled. The green, moist creature turned black with confusion and embarrassment.

“Shut up, here comes the captain.” said the eyeless red octopus lobster on the ceiling.

The doors from the lift parted and in walked the impressive bulk of the captain. “Well, how goes the findings? Does it classify?” the captain asked, beaks quivering with anticipation.

“It’s borderline, captain.” reported the centipede. “I don’t think we can start the procedure yet. We’ll have to leave a marker and come back.”

“That’s too bad. Well, proceed. We’ll return in two turns of the rim.” said the captain, visibly disappointed.

A marker left the ship and detonated high above the planet, leaving behind an invisible anchor in timespace after two weeks of drilling.

Far down below, three kings on camels saw it glowing and followed it.



24 May 2011 14:59
skonen_blades: (Default)
I picture an office full of dancing bears kept at their desks by the memory of chains that are no longer needed. Clown noses bobbing in their hot chocolate, humming circus music to themselves as they debug spreadsheets and enter data, claws filed to blunt nubs so they can work the keyboards. It’s unnatural to see a bear sitting in a chair. It’s unnatural to see a bear typing in front of a computer monitor. Pterodactyls would look more at home there. Ancient. Age. It’s an overhand pitch of mortality straight into your bank account.

We are entertainment for someone. Maybe God created us out of sheer boredom just to watch us dance. I know I’d have a grand old time seeing the messes we get ourselves into. It’s like a rom-com with frequently fatal consequences. This spinning rock has been a theater for too long. Finance has driven us to a cliff and it must drive us into the sky. Money must make us go the distance and walk the spiderweb tightrope to other planets. If we are a disease, they let us spread. If we are able to overcome out greed, then let us spread. Either way, we need more than we have. If we have a failing, it is that.

Let the grass be greener on Mars. Let it be greener on the moons of Jupiter. Fly me to the moons. Bears can dance ballet in low gravity and flightless birds will fly. We need to places to be able to flee to. We need places farther away to dream about again. We need adventure on a massive scale. We need trips that take months again. We need colonists conquering lands with no indigenous peoples.

We have no clear way of staying here but we have a very clear way of leaving. Up. Out. We cannot loosen the belt of the equator. Fly away.

skonen_blades: (Default)
This was the punishment chamber. They called it the ‘wish list’. The new multiverse viewer made it possible to view into alternate dimensions. A search engine had been set up to map these infinite possibilities. You could enter ‘cancer cure’ or ‘faster than light drive’ and see what came up. The holographic display would light up around you, putting you in the room with what you’d searched for.

The punishment chamber was reserved for the worst offenders. The people in the lab who refused to follow the rules, the ones who thought they could choose their futures, that all things were possible. These scientists were a problem to the experiment.

If they weren’t necessary, they were fired. If the necessary and they refused to accede to a number of demands, they were brought to the punishment chamber.

It was no secret what was in the chamber. All of them thought they could handle it. None of them could.

The best possible version of you exists somewhere. It’s a version of you with the best possible upbringing, the best possible diet, the best possible planet Earth. Health you didn’t know was possible radiates from a version of you at the peak of physical perfection. An earth where life expectancy is measured in centuries and your body stays young for the whole time. There is a love of existence in your eyes and only the suggestion of lines on your face. That furrow between your eyebrows is missing. The lines that show up when you frown are missing, too. A lack of worry and sadness has caused that.

The best you in better than you could ever be. It has advantages from the very beginning that you lack.

That’s what they show you in the punishment chamber. It’s the smart ones that come out cowed right away, ready to work and humble. The dumb ones laugh it off but it eats at them day and night until they also end up haunted and pliant.

skonen_blades: (Default)
There was a minimum of 42 parameters to create a viable world simulation. The maximum was infinite. In this class, the basic 42 were used to give the students a feel for it. Questions were best answered in this way. The larger philosophical questions were easiest to answer by creating these worlds.

Jared left them at their defaults.

What if life on Earth had developed with a silicate base instead of a carbon one? Would religions exist if a meteor strike had taken out the entire Middle East before literate humans lived there? What if the ambient temperature of Earth had left us with no ice caps and mostly tropical flora? What if Earth wasn’t on an axis and had no seasons?

Jared left these at their defaults as well. Carbon, five major religions, ice caps and seasons intact.

To get more specific answers to questions like ‘what if Hitler lost World War 2?’ or ‘what if first contact didn’t happen in 1985?’ you’d have to juggle upwards of 2000 variables.

Jared changed those.

To create an exact replica of the Earth as it was today and make variations on your life was a form of self-abuse. Seven hundred thousand variables or more. Masters Doctorate level stuff.

Jared was extremely intelligent.

He was possessed by the idea that a perfect Earth existed and that he could create it. This was a documented mental illness called Thuringer’s complex. Like most people in the grip of an obsession, he denied that he was a victim of it.

He also thought he could make a self-aware Earth, an earth that noticed it was being manipulated. This was a documented mental illness called Forenzi’s disease. Like most people in the grip of a mental illness, he was unaware that he was experiencing a mental illness.

Jared believed that first contact with the aliens had not saved the human race; that humans could have come through the hardships themselves unscathed. This was merely an unpopular opinion.

The combination of the three was a new form of madness.

Currently, he had six Earths functioning in his lab, spinning away at a half-decade an hour. The faculty members had already questioned his motives. He was on the verge of being shut down.

Jared was waiting in his lab for the paperwork that would force him to destroy his experiments. He was looking at the Earths through tears, realizing that the paperwork wouldn’t even be necessary. Earths 1 through 4 had extinguished themselves in war. Earth five had hit a renaissance the likes of which had never been seen in any recorded simulation but had devolved into savagery almost instantly afterwards.

This sixth Earth, however, was balancing on the verge. Technology was mixing with the economy to form a global awareness. An ‘internet’ had formed, surpassing all borders and making the idea of countries seem quaint and dated. The number 42 has surfaced in the literature as relevant to the meaning of life. Films talked of false worlds kept within computers. Conspiracy theories abounded about alien sightings and lizard-men running the governments and banks. They were so close!

On the plus side, medicine had raised the average life expectancy from 30 to 85 in a few short centuries. A growing damnation of greed was starting to war with need for constant expansion.

On the negative side, the Earth was crowded and there were still no plans for solar system expansion. Left to their own devices, it was unknowable if they’d be able to create viable terraforming and space-travel technology fast enough, before they ran out of materials and air. No guiding alien hands to help them.

Jared sat in his lab and watched his Earth spinning. Another fifty years in there and another hour out here before the student/teacher council reached a decision. He wondered if the shut-down papers would have an effect on his experiment by the time they showed up.

His Earth-6 felt him watching.

skonen_blades: (borg)
Built by the bearded. I have the heart of a butler. Let’s ravage the moon together. Let’s speak the language of fire alarms to the bird-gatherers. Let’s heat-vent the brick chimneys and fool them into thinking that rain is love. We’ll enjoy lizard-skin purses on the Riviera with no one the wiser. I have a suitcase full of Christmas stocking for your well-deserved vacation from punishment. Together, we’ll gather all the leashes in the world in one big pile and have a bonfire. Not so much a rebellion as an unhooking. A throwing of society back into the water.

People who live in glass elevators should not throw stones. Our dependence on video-game solutions will give us all helmets before too long. The old-school deep-sea diver uniforms with portholes to let us kiss. We’ll become mixtures of air conditioners, stereos and trigger fingers looking the wrong way through telescopes at our regretted past. Life’s only short if you’re having fun. Our garbage cans are overflowing and it’s the seeds of demons that we’re planting in the ocean. We’re writing a suicide note for whoever finds us in the future.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Together, we can change. Technology has the answer and is the problem all at the same time.

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.

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.

skonen_blades: (borg)
Telescopes were trained on the part of the universe that was missing. Just as scientists had figured out that seventeen per cent was missing, they found out that nineteen per cent was missing. Then twenty. All of Earth’s telescopes were focused there.

That’s when the scientists saw the lights. A collection of what looked like around twenty stars heading in our direction. It was kept a secret from the populace. Wild plans were thrown around for evacuation but between the bickering and the expense and deciding who would get to go, nothing was accomplished in time.

Just as they entered our ecliptic, one of the stars kept heading in our direction but the other nineteen veered left and right, heading to other parts of the Milky Way. Nothing could keep it a secret anymore. The star heading for us could be seen with the naked eye during the day.

As it settled over our own sun, turning it into a lopsided figure eight for us, a smaller star detached from it. It was a ship.

Earth turned its eyes towards that ship as it settled over the equator. We launched our weapons at it and it used the explosions for fuel. We were obviously not going to win this war but we were going to go down fighting. We seemed to be united in that.

“We are sorry” came the voices. Every medium capable of carrying a soundwave twanged with the words. Water, air, glass, wood, paper. All of it resonated with the words translated into every language on the planet. Later, people would remember those words as if they were in a dream. Not exactly their language but they knew exactly what was meant.

“We are sorry. We have started the end of the universe. We cannot stop it. But we can collect you and keep you ahead of the wave of destruction. It will take billions of your years before it eats the entire universe. On our ships, your race can survive. You can adapt. We can take you far in front of the wave and leave you on a planet not unlike this one. A planet that will not be affected for thousands of your years. We are sorry.”

Then the transmissions came. Co-ordinates on Earth. Latitudes and longitudes. These were the evacuation points. Blue beams stabbed down from the sky to those points and waited. Anyone that went into one of those blue beams didn’t come out. No zap, no pile of ash, but people went in and they didn’t come out.

Later, their loved ones would hear them in much the same way that they heard the first voices from the alien ships. The materials of their apartments would reverberate with the soft voices of the loved ones that had walked into the light. “It’s safe.” The voices would say. “Come on up.”

The cities emptied out. The blue lights took most of the populace. It’s taken a year but the Earth is now almost entirely deserted. The voices in the sky have said that they have two more days to collect people but that after that, they’re shutting off the beams and the Earth will be left with mere centuries before destruction.

The Earth is echoing with the voices of the people up above in the ships, calling for those who are afraid of the beams. Every piece of paper, every bell, every wine glass. They’re all softly calling for the ones that don’t want to go. It’s like the Earth is haunted with pleas.

skonen_blades: (didyoujust)
“It was our own fault, you see,” said the queen, “we were given rules and we broke them. The Galactic Council didn’t believe in a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ policy. We had stringent guidelines for inclusion and like the prideful, stupid race that we are, we broke them.”

Queen Charlotte Decidua was being interviewed on national television as part of a History Channel documentary detailing Earth’s fall from grace. She was the grandchild of the queen that was in power during first contact and later, inclusion into the Galactic Council.

“Those days are still looked on as the apex of humanity’s existence. Faster than light travel, diplomatic, commercial and scientific missions to other planets, and exposure to new cultures. The periodic table grew by sixty elements in as many weeks. We were gods, we thought. Picked because we were special. Boastful and proud. Well, pride goeth before a fall as the bible says.”

Queen Charlotte was walking through London’s exhibits of our time during The Inclusion. Her fingers brushed over the historic photograph of the American president shaking the main appendage of Kroldu Septo, the junior GC Ambassador assigned to Earth.

“That should have been our first sign right there that this was only the first rung. Junior ambassador. We didn’t even rate a full ambassador. It was only later that we found out that our race’s adoption into the Galactic Council was a matter of some debate. There was a ‘there goes the neigbourhood’ feeling amongst some of the more advanced races. We were too impulsive and primitive, it was thought, despite our surprisingly advanced level of technology. Not ready yet. Apparently Kroldu was trying to further his own career by championing us and fighting for our seat at the table.”

The Queen looked up at the replica of Kroldu’s head with its shimmering helmet of balconite from his homeworld. His gill slits glimmered with the iridescence of hummingbird wings. It was a fantastic reproduction of the original that still sits on its spike in a refrigerated display case in the Louvre.

“They really didn’t take anything into account when they shut us out. Anybody that was offworld on a mission or just on vacation was there forever as soon as the council passed the edict. Our planet was thrown into a sub-light doctrine by a vote of 295-1. That one vote was cast by Janet Foulger, the only human on the council as her last act as a representative of our planet. She knew she would never see Earth again unless she wanted to freeze herself and make the three-hundred year sub-light trip from the outer border of our newly deemed zone to Earth. Who knows? She may have done it. Maybe two hundred years from now she’ll show up on our radar.”

The Queen laughed at her own use of the ancient technique of mass detection that we had reverted to in the absence of the alien technology. Most of the hardware the alien races had lent The Earth had vanished or self-destructed when the edict was passed. The bits and pieces that had stayed in one piece were pored over by engineers and then donated to museums like the one the Queen was walking through right now.

The heyday of Earth was on display around her. Photographs of levitating cities that no longer levitated, transporter pads that no longer worked, miracle cures that used technology we hadn’t yet deciphered a century later, and artificial intelligences that sat brooding and silent inside their shells. They still drew power but they no longer talked. For fear that they were somehow gagged yet aware, power had not been cut to them.

skonen_blades: (saywhat)
I’ll tell you about my planet.

I’ll tell you about acres of space between bumper cars and electrons. I’ll tell you that by any sane person’s definition, we are barely here, regardless of collisions. I’ll tell you that sunsets are great and confoundingly useless. This mystery with a glass eye stares us down. We’re sock puppets making shadow puppets on cave walls in the light of the fire we’ve stolen from the gods. Jokes and love are the only things that keep us from losing our minds.

I’ll tell you about the freefall of reason past the event horizon of our own denial. I’ll tell you about the inherent streams of dual-core insanity whirring away inside of all of us as we work for a living and dig in the bedrock for purpose. We grasp at straws and when we catch some, we draw them to see who gets killed first.

I think I’d call you a snowfall. A cooling death knell to plants and insects, a soporific lullaby to fat, sleepy mammals, an alarm that shoos those with the ability to fly down south. Sadness increases in the damp darkness but the snow muffles the sound and erases the world. Pale reward of summer’s exertions, you are a season with help on its cold breath. Icicles on eaves and promises given.

I’ll tell you about our need for life, our absence of peace, our gene-deep addiction to conflict. I’ll tell you about our awesome recipes for cake and that while we are basically not here if you measure the distance between our electrons and our nuclei, a kiss is still amazing. I think that if a record of my planet could be made, it would be sound a child’s foot in a hot country slapping the side of a dusty soccer ball.

I’ll tell you about my planet because I am an extension of it. Made from it. About to go back to it.

Tell me about yours.

skonen_blades: (blurg)
Deep in the subterranean tunnels of Earth’s jawbreaker heart, loneliness boomed. White and orange Cadbury-crème-egg lava swirled by itself. Bored and horny, the earth decided to send up a flag. A little “I’m here” personals ad for any other planet out there to hear.

Round one. Dinosaurs. Good golly, those creatures were never going to invent radio waves or television or teleportation or space travel. Erase. Start over.

Here we are. Humanity. Pumping information out in the universe on a loudspeaker. The content doesn’t matter. It is a mating call. A shout-out to the dance floor of the universe. We are pollen that yells. We are the sex organs of this rock. We are the perfume and bright colours that Mother Earth is using to get noticed.

Far away, a sentient insect species that has almost exhausted it’s own planet by turning it into one giant hive will need to hear us. They will never have developed radio waves or television. They will have no dishes set up to receive Earth’s hail. They will not hear us and they will die, that planet will have to start over. Alone.

Earth created us to yell. Let’s do it. As loudly as possible. And let’s leave Earth when it gets too crowded. Let’s go to Mars. Let’s populate the asteroid belt. Let’s turn up the volume.

Let the life of other planets hear us and come running.

The idea of ‘Earth’ will spread to other alien civilizations when we meet.

Every human man, woman, and child in our culture will know the name of that other race’s planet, whatever it’s called, after we meet.

That is why we are called cultures. We are mold that turns into spores.

A planet develops an ego and wants to spread its fame across the universe. It wants to make children that it can be proud of. It wants the idea of itself to spread beyond its borders, to become a story, to ascend from rock into legend.

skonen_blades: (365)
Hey there long-time listeners. This one's for you. A tale of music and daring, a tale of inclusion and alien races, a tale of tunes and beats. Find Earth at 633 on your AM dial. Check out Radio Free Earth.




skonen_blades: (Default)

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