At Least You TriedSubmitted by electrictoothsyndrome at 2005-07-23 18:47:20 EDT
Rating: -0.66 on 3 ratings (3 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
The year is 2089. Creation breathes a sigh and watches as her most beloved and troublesome son, the paragon of her intelligence experiment retreats back into the sea from whence he came so long ago – chased there by the rising temperatures and radiation in his earth’s atmosphere – the cruel consequences of 300 years of unimpeded industry, warfare, and modernity.
He was supposed to rule the universe; he was supposed to find the ends of space and time; he was supposed to live forever…but now Creation finds him limping backward into the protective burrow of the sea floor in bubbles of plastic and steel – the holy grail of balance and harmony with his natural environment having eluded him.
74 million miles away on the planet Mars an army of computerized, solar-powered, autonomous vehicles scrape into the polar surface of a rocky planet. They are melting ice into water and setting up cultures of photosynthetic bacteria. To their south, a host of other solar-powered robots artificially breathe in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen into the atmosphere. They are all the remnants of a forgotten dream – one that was supposed to save the human race and every other species of life that shared his planet – but now they serve only as a moving, silent tribute, an everlasting epitaph on the headstone of humanity - ever-vigilant…never changing…always searching for the end of the program…
The year is 2091. The last two human beings to ever share a conversation, or shed a tear, or hold a hand, or say, “I love you” take their last breath together just before a small fissure in their sub-oceanic capsule implodes under the weight of 100,000 semi trucks.
The ocean, the earth, and the universe all fall silent.
Fast-forward 265 million years …
A small piece of titanium alloy bearing the carved letters “N.A.S.A.” lies peeking from the Martian soil as a young humerion female inspects her find with great curiosity. Much has changed on the Martian surface since the robots began terraforming the planet all those eons ago. What once was a noxious, arid wasteland has been transformed into a veritable Eden.
All manner of strange creatures populate this world, all evolved from the few species of bacteria brought to aid in the terraforming, and a few accidental stowaways aboard the robotic rovers. Most are unique to anything that has ever existed anywhere before. The ‘tourquadat’, for instance, has a sleek, eel-like body with four powerful legs that help it run at high speeds. With an elongated face, he ‘sternotet’ is a tree-dwelling creature that lives in swampy areas and possesses webbed claws for both climbing trees and swimming underwater in search of food. The ‘bagog’ lives in the loose soil and sand on the rocky plains and lies dormant in an air-tight cocoon until conditions are favorable to come out and breed. Behaviorally similar to the locust back on earth, the bagog is actually the only survivor from a previous epoch of life on the Martian planet, before this latest wave of evolution.
Still, some animals might have been recognized had humans survived long enough to see them. The ‘plixnie’ is very similar to the mosquito; the ‘anteoclisp’ is like a combination between an opossum and an armodillo, and the ‘vitnar’ bears a striking resemblance to a small tiger, complete with orange stripes.
The humerions are a shorter, leaner version of a human, similar in their features in that they possess four appendages (two arms and two legs), bipedal mobility, opposable thumbs, and large frontal lobes. But one remarkable thing separates the humerions from their predecessors…
The humerion’s skin is composed of cells capable of doing something no animal that has ever existed could do until now: convert sunlight into molecular energy. Through the same process of photosynthesis used by plants, their skin can produce enough carbohydrates to sustain the organism indefinitely. As a result of this evolutionary oddity, the humerion’s skin is green and rigid in appearance.
Their average lifespan ranges between 80 and 700 years, depending on how they get their nourishment.
Surviving on sunlight as a primary energy source, a humerion can greatly increase his life expectancy. Sometimes, however, when sunlight is scarce, humerions use their digestive organs to process an all-vegetable diet.
Being an intelligent and civilized race, the humerions have become highly advanced technologically. They have independently discovered the scientific method. They have gone into space and have sent probes into its depths. They have reinvented the computer. They even have microwave ovens and air conditioning.
For all their technological advances, the humerions are still a highly religious race. Not only do they refrain from eating animals, they treat them as equals. They believe that animals possess the same ancient force that dwells within them, and they are careful not to offend this force by intentionally destroying any animal, no matter how insignificant.
There are very few cold-blooded creatures on the planet perhaps because the climate is fairly stable year-round.
The humerions are not a warlike society, and they solve their disagreements with constructive debate rather than high velocity, sharp objects…but for all their progressive thinking and gentle ways the humerion’s days are still numbered.
Somewhere in the not-too-distant asteroid belt, a collision has just taken place that has catapulted a mountain-sized chunk of mineral and ice toward the Martian planet.
There is no amount of prudence or virtue that will ever guarantee one safety in a cold and unfeeling universe, and on a sunny spring day, the humerions would look up from their perfect utopian world at their beautiful blue Martian sky, see a flaming-red chunk of imminent doom hurdling toward them, and know that this was the end.
The universe once again falls silent and, again, Creation weeps.
58 million miles away, a group of roving vehicles explores a desert-like terrain beneath a thick atmosphere on a planet 3/4 covered in water. Within each vehicle are the seeds and eggs of an entire world – a miniature Noah’s Ark.
In the nexus of the universe, there are no tears and there is no laughter; there is only an eternal sigh that radiates outward and inward, breathing and blanketing everything it touches in the warmth of one trillion galaxies. Here, the Mother of all Creation looks down as two spirits kneel in front of her – on the left, the Spirit of the Humerion, humble and pure – on the right, the Spirit of Humanity, flawed and passionate.
With eyes full of wisdom and love and a voice overflowing with compassion she begins to speak: “My most beloved children do not fret; do not feel ashamed, for this is a day of rejoicing. All your woes will not have been in vain.”
The two spirits look upward in awe to see the radiant face of Creation as she continues to speak.
“Though this be the end of your journey, your legacy will never die. So long as there are intelligent creatures in the universe, the echoes of your existence here will live on inside of them. Every time they see, you will see. When they hear, you will hear.
Every time they gaze upon their own reflection or look outward into an endless sea of stars and wonder, so will you wonder, for the same ancient force that dwells in them also dwells in you. There is no such thing as failure in this world. Everything is as it should be.”
She then turns to the Spirit of Humanity and sees his eyes are welling up with tears.
“You cry now because you think you’ve failed. You think you could have done something to save your race. The truth is, the only thing that could have happened is what DID happen. You tried to survive, but in the end you perished. This is the way of things. Everything must eventually come to an end. One day even this universe will burn out, and all will silent and frozen.
But, it’s not the end that matters, it’s the journey. And though your lineage has died away, all that matters is that you tried. You survived. If it were not for you, all would have been lost.”
Then the Mother of Creation pointed down from her celestial throne toward a planet floating in the loneliness of the void near the edge of the Milky Way, “There, you see? You have not failed. The force that dwells within you both will live on.”
The two Spirits turn to see a planet 2/3 covered in water; it is Earth.
Somewhere upon it, a humerion child is opening its eyes to a strange new world.
welcome to earth.jpg