Not with a bang

As the massive space craft broke the cloud cover of an overcast October morning in London, there was no furore, no armed response, no public out cry or any form of recognition of its arrival. This was not the only craft, there were many. Every major city in the world had its own visitation, and in ever major city the human response was greeted with the same level of nonchalance from its distracted population. For over two decades the world had been hypnotised, infiltration in to humanity by the visitors had been very subtle, almost unnoticed, up to the point of their landing on terra firma. They had taken up positions, not in the corridors of power or armed forces, they had taken jobs in the media, technology and some forced the human dependence on social media as ‘Influencers’ and bargain basement television channels, with their media sites and intellectually stunted programming, that would run endlessly, or be replaced by more uneducated drivel, that by 2015 had become a torrent.

We revelled in the easy watching, we believed all the fake news, we spouted our hatred for groups, religions, political party’s and venomous personal views. While our concentration was diverted by the white noise of public opinion zipping through fibre optics in to every home, it was now unavoidable, when ever the cathode ray tube was humming in the corner, or distracted when we opened our computer devises to do our daily banking tasks or complete our daily duties given to us by the bosses, we were bludgeon by notifications of maunder. We knew what John from Derby had for breakfast, we knew Helen from Manchester was failing in her fight against cancer, Jill from Cornwall had found her husband was playing the field or many other trivial parts of other peoples lives, that were kept behind closed doors before our grasp reached worldwide in to a billion different homes, now we were drowning in the sea of effluent that streamed in to our lives twenty four seven, spending the day treading water just to stay afloat for fear of offending people with our lackadaisical response.

Meanwhile, the alien race plotted our doom, unnoticed by all but a few, who we would generally refer to as crackpots, as we sniggered at their stories told again and again, they did love a camera and accompanying documentary team, complete with the tin foil hats and stories of molestation and experimentation, although we never found out if their abduction stories were true, as our visitors were less than communicative. Maybe we would have done better to have listened to them, heeded their warnings, instead of just writing them off as attention seeking. The visitors were set on their goals for our dying world, silently and effortlessly completing their tasks, making us feel safe, taking care of our wants and imagined needs. They had come for our Co2 and other greenhouse gases, they had waited and watched, investigated our world, and once our toxic emissions were at breaking point, they arrived to push it further, exploiting our need for trinkets, technology and possessions, to keep our inherent greed fed, keeping us happily distracted, while forcing more toxic gasses in to our atmosphere, killing our world with our own demand on the materialistic desires. More flights abroad, cruises, children, the need for more intensive farming and food production as our population grew beyond this planets limits. We were told we were less than human not to have the latest phone, watch or laptop, our old ones discarded, obsolete. No sooner had we bought the newest, brightest and shiniest trinket, than it had been replaced by the time we finished its first charge cycle, we didn’t understand why it had been replaced, or how it was different from the one we had, all we understood was that it had to be one of our possessions. All driven by faceless internet bloggers and tweeters, telling us what we wanted, even if we didn’t understand why we needed it or what we would use it for once we had it. Computer chips more powerful than those that sent man to the moon, in our hands, so we could buy things online, tell the world what we had for breakfast and follow ‘influencers’ recommendations, just so we knew what we had to have, or look like, or wear. We surrendered our free will to these faceless minions. We did cry out, we didn’t want identity cards to let the authorities know anything about us and called it a an invasion of privacy, but we carried GPS locators is our pockets, cars or on our wrists, and we paid for the privilege. We had become a population of lambs to the slaughter, with every new contract we were signing on for euthanasia, giving the visitors permission to cease our existence.

By the time the craft broke through the clouds on the 31st October 2025 it was far to late, like feeling a little under the weather and going to the doctors to find out you have stage four cancer and weeks to live, too late for a cure. There was no response, no all action hero from Hollywood, no magical space craft, no Noah’s Ark, within days we were under a curfew, their troops swarmed through our streets, taking control, the few who protested, or tried to take advantage were given no mercy, executed on the spot. Factories, production plants and any other producers of Co2 were turned up, now running twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, planes flew continuously over head, full or empty, it mattered not, ships sailed the oceans so frequently now, the seas of this planet started to resemble the M25 on a bank holiday weekend, burning through the fossil fuels as quickly as was possible. Smog returned to the big cities, so thick you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, some days it was so thick you could almost cut it with a knife and even felt its solidity as it seemed to slow your progress through it. Bodies of the dead would burn in piles on vacant lots, car parks and playgrounds. Cars would burn on the streets, the thick clouds of burning rubber would stain your nose and palette for hours, the acrid smell never forgotten. Yet, still we remained silent, constantly lost within our preferred device, too busy planning where to go next with our own digital empire, telling all we were unwell, unhappy or unbroken, dodging the venom of those who were suddenly given courage by the anonymity of it all, re-writing our stories to sound more cool, trendy or heroic. We could not get enough of it all, our entire planets progress through their individual lives, documented, filmed, snapped, posted and commented on. This planet had been around, through many changes of occupants, for around four thousand five hundred billion years, but in just a mere two hundred thousand years homosapiens had pushed this beautiful blue and green jewel of the solar system to it’s breaking point.

Blue ice acrylic click pen. More can be found on Bespoke Woods Facebook page.

We had become so self obsessed, pre year 2000, it was considered bad form to take even one photograph of yourself, by 2020 it was considered odd behaviour if you were not taking daily pictures of you own visage, or you breakfast, lunch or dinner, you could even now airbrush your own blemishes away. We could no longer believe what we saw before our eyes, narcissism had become the virulent plague we believed that was coming to wipe out mankind, you could even buy a stick to set your phone on, just so you could appear in all your holiday pictures. Pictures were enhanced to surpass nature, colour, saturation, contrast or vibrancy splashed out to fulfil beauty in our minds eye, poetic licence, its terms and conditions exceeded. Life was becoming artificial, tampered with beyond recognition. In a intense determination to reach a level of perfection beyond perfect, we wanted to become godlike. We were consumed by the electronic world, some even lived a ‘second life’ in a world made up of tiny coloured pixels, which now had a real world value. The deeper the visitors took hold of this world, the more they would drip feed us this poor facsimile of the real life, keeping us eager for our daily fix, like strung out junkies.

The production of Co2 became more important than the pursuit of power, cash or dominion over us, to the visitors, and new devices were replaced on a six monthly basis for free, the production became the goal not the sale price. With this we let them in further, pre-produced foods were in abundance, we thought we were lucky to have such generous beings looking after us. We forgot the byproduct of the processing of all these riches, we forgot about the welfare of our planet, how could something so right ever be so wrong, and leaving the eco systems health to those in charge who knew better than you or I.

We never ask how or why, it was outside of our blinkered vision, and by 2030 there were no rainforests left, our planets lungs ripped out for the ever growing population to have paper, pencils, furniture and objet d’art, water levels rose as glaciers disappeared without a trace. We saw the memes to raise our awareness flicker across the screens of our preferred computers, and we swiped past with little or no emotion, it just was not cool to let anyone see our distress about things we could do little to help, or that were beyond our help. We became insular, glued twenty four seven to our screens, living the virtual life, if it didn’t happen on line, it didn’t happen at all. By 2040 the outside world was uninhabitable, temperatures would daily run to high nineties, the air was unbreathable when unfiltered, the worse it got the more aliens appeared, they were breeding like rabbits in what to them were perfect living conditions, while the procreations of the human species dwindled. Woman carrying life within them were worshiped like the old gods of this world, that had now abandoned us. Murder and mayhem no longer filled the news sites, births now took centre stage, little did we know at the time, but one of the additives to the foods we were supplied with, was a chemical castration. For some it did not have an effect, but not enough for our species to survive, as the planet grew more toxic, the population having reached a peak of ten billion, began to plummet, some of the rare births were born deformed, and either did not survive, or did not survive for long, and even those healthy children that were born, did not grow to the stature of the 2020’s. Most were weak and sickly, due to the environment, foods, a lack of sunlight caused jaundice and poor diet brought on rickets and malnutrition.

With the fossil fuels being completely depleted, production slowed down and stopped, and having created as much Co2 as this planet could supply, by 2050, the visitors left this world and us to fend for ourselves. There were no more food deliveries coming, and until we ventured beyond our digital worlds we had no idea that this earth could not longer produce food, eco systems were totally destroyed, we few were the only life forms left. Our hypnosis broken by the sudden awareness of the wider picture, we no longer knew how to take care of ourselves. We had no idea on growing crops, raising livestock or producing the energy to prepare them. We finished our life on this earth like toddlers left home alone, lost, confused and bewildered. As the planet disappeared from view in the visitors rear view mirror, the planet blinked out, just another dark brown rock wizzing around the solar system. Maybe in a few millennia life may re-emerge on this rock, in what form we will never know, will they fall in to the same excesses of the homosapiens, will they be an improvement, homosapien 2.0, or will they become the earths seventh extinction, just another rejected incarnation as this planet looks for the perfect occupants. All that can be said about us is that we went out with a twitter storm, and not with a bang.

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