Apr 1, 2008

The Space Bro's

I had a sort of "automatic writing" experience a few weeks ago. Not that I was actually writing it down, but it felt like I imagine automatic writing to feel like. I was suffering from insomnia due to a bout with what I suspect was food poisoning, and between the stomach cramps and frequent trips to the porcelain god, I was in no mood to sleep. By the second night I was pretty sleep deprived but still wide awake and suffering, so my subconscious wrote a story for me to keep me occupied. It was as if I was writing in my journal, and the entire story just flowed out of me. Too bad I was too weak to actually get up and write it down, because like a dream, it has begun to fade.

The aliens arrived in December, 2011. They came in twelve immense, shining, spherical ships that hovered over earth's twelve greatest cities. Technically, they weren't actually aliens, but said they were men from the future - our future children - on an urgent mission of mercy back in time. They came from thousands of years in the future, where they'd learned to live in peace and evolved to manipulate space and time - giving them free reign over the cosmos. They had been visiting us for millennia, shepherding their own "fathers" first as "gods", then as enlightened masters, through various secret societies and cults, and finally through the electronic mass media, preparing us for their imminent arrival.

The reason they finally showed themselves was because earth was in imminent peril, and if they did not act to avert a looming catastrophe, then they themselves would cease to exist. This "alien intervention" event had occurred in their own history, and as they later learned, it was their own future selves who had intervened.

The catastrophe they had come to avert was the appearance of a massive planetary body in the solar system, called variously in our own myths (the seeds which they themselves had planted) the Second Sun, Planet X, and Wormwood. This body would appear in exactly one year in the future from the time of their arrival, and would cause such great planetary devastation that human civilization would perish, and so also their birthright. So they came to save us, and themselves.

The downside was that they had no technology capable of budging this massive body from its relentless course. The only option was evacuation, and they had brought 12 ships (their entire armada) as lifeboats to carry the human genome and civilization to a safe shore - a pristine, class M planet in the Vega system. These great ships could carry millions of souls, but of course the earth carried billions, which meant that many would not make the trip.

This news caused a great hue and cry, but in the end, the people of earth were adult about it, and realized that the good of the future of mankind overruled every other concern, even personal self-preservation. The great debate then began about who would be found worthy to make the trip, and who would be left behind. The Space Brothers (as they had become known) had a solution, which at first seemed heartless, but eventually made good sense. They said that because the survival of the human race was at stake, and because the earth was a money based meritocracy, those people with the most money were quite obviously the best survivors. Tickets aboard the "new arks" would be available for $10 million dollars each - American dollars only - no substitutions.

This solution naturally pleased the wealthy and powerful, and the media went along, as it always did. Some of the wealthiest people could afford many tickets, and they were allowed to select who would join them - family members, scientists and engineers, artists and musicians, whoever they felt would be an asset in creating a new earth. Genetic diversity and close genetic ties to the "root races" were also a plus, so eventually, people of all races and creeds were included in the Chosen.

You can imagine the effect this apocalyptic news had on the financial markets. Everything lost its value, and people doomed to remain on the planet were in danger of descending into barbarism and anarchy. However the Space Brothers had advice and solutions for every problem, and the transition from a speculative, capitalist economy to a new kind of moneyless system was made relatively painlessly. Once the elite realized that their future lied on another planet, they were happy to relinquish the control they had wielded for centuries, in the name of mercy for the "Left Behind".

It took a whole year, but eventually the sorting out was completed. The earthquakes heralding the arrival of Planet X grew stronger and stronger, with great loss of life and property. The Space Brothers used their advanced medicine to save many thousands of lives and to cure many incurable diseases and ailments among the Left Behind, again in the name of mercy.

Finally the great day arrived when the space arks were to ascend and depart for the new homeland. There was great sadness among both the Chosen and those Left Behind, but both sides felt they were contributing to a higher good - the preservation of the human race. The massive spheres, which had been grounded for the past month in order to take on their fortunate passengers, slowly and majestically took off, among great music and waving of flags. Like silver soap bubbles, they ascended into the atmosphere and grew ever tinier. They were nearly out of sight when the unthinkable occurred. The first great ship suddenly burst into flame, and became a giant fireball hurtling back to earth! One after another met the same fate, and the Left Behind watched in shock as the last hope of humanity died in a fiery inferno.

All except one. The ship that contained the poor people who had been purchased by the super wealthy remained floating in the sky, and eventually it settled slowly back onto its landing cradle. It's great doors opened, and one of the Space Brothers stepped out. Looking rather sheepish, he apologized for the disaster. He explained that it was entirely intentional, and that the whole Planet X thing was a ruse. There was no Planet X, and earth was not, and had never been, in any danger of destruction from a planetary body. What it WAS in danger of was destruction by the elite. So they had concocted a plan of separating the wheat from the chaff, with the elite self-electing themselves for destruction. The meek inherited the earth, and they and the Space Bro's partied for a thousand years.

J. J. Abrams, I dare ya.


aferrismoon said...

Gr8 stuff, esp. as one may choose .

Michael said...

When I was "writing" this, I had hilarious scenes going where the elite Chosen were complaining about the size of their accommodations aboard the New Arks, and they were trying to buy another ticket so they could expand their quarters to resemble their private yachts.

Anonymous said...

This is great. If I ever make it to the pacific northwest, I'll buy you some good tea.

You also fooled me because I was like, damn, with $10,000,000 dollar tickets, I can only buy 7.

Just kidding.

This was a great parable.


Joshua said...

Very enjoyable read,
thanks Michael

Sophie L. Thuther said...

Wow, great!

Of course, my instant reaction was, "What if somebody bought tickets for some worthy poor people, and they blew up, too?"

...and then I made it to the next paragraph and was like, whew.
Way to write a riveting story!

What I really, really wish, though, is that we could all survive in peace without destruction. I know. It's what all of us wish (all of us on these blogs, anyway).

Great stuff.

Michael said...

Thanks for the nice comments all.

Sophie - I had this alternate ending going where the Chosen actually DO make it to a new earth, and from there the whole nasty cycle of hierarchy, domination and war begin all over again, finally culminating in the same scene 10,000 years later. The Chosen never figure out that they got the booby prize.

But I chose the exploding sphere ending because I was in love with the image of exploding space arks. Go figure. :-)

Sophie L. Thuther said...

Ooh, love the alternate ending, too!

But I can't blame you, man. Explosions are cool.

Atlantean Times said...

Im not kidding about here when i tell you that I have had that dream.

I have had that exact story run through my head except that they all die by passing through a fake stargate that was just designed to kill them...

That is truly fucked up...

thanks gav

David Stewart said...

Michael - this should absolutely be made! I completely loved how you figured out the justification for selling seats - perfect!.
I can imagine a sub-set of selectees as well - Shortly before the ships leave there are violent riots in places by people that are afraid of being left behind. IN the aftermath the space brothers explain that since the entire thrust of evolution is survival of the fittest, those who demonstrated their willingness to kill to secure a seat also proved what worthy exemplars of human DNA they are and are also allowed on board to be saved . . . .
Like the alernate ending of them being sent away and never figuring out they are the ones that were culled - but wonder if that doesn't hit too close to home - maybe it already happened and we live on that world . . .. . T'would explain a lot!
Thanks for showing me the link to this

Michael said...

Hi David, I'm tickled pink that you liked it. Your scenerio is awesome! Roman gladiators AKA football! I just now thought that there should also be a Chosen/Left Behind love story, with perhaps a talented Indian software engineer being Chosen by a wealthy benefactor, but his "worthless" girlfriend (or maybe boyfriend?) not. A Russian epic for the 21st century! :-) thanks for commenting.

Cheers, Michael

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