In the Shadow of a Broken World

Our hubris has finally caught up with us.

Friday, April 24th, 2090

            Humans have always believed themselves to be the pinnacle of evolution (or God’s greatest creation, depending on your views). I, personally, gave up my views when we lost Earth, but believe what you like. Anyway, our hubris was undeserved. The fact is, we are very poorly designed. With fragile skeletons, long gestation periods, and long intervals between birth and maturity, we are poorly suited for most ways of life. The only reason we rose to the top of the chain is that we were the only intelligent species in the solar system. For that reason we believed ourselves omnipotent. And when Arata Daisuke and his team of physicists learned how to bend space, we simply began taking what was believed to be rightfully ours.

            Unaware of Galactic Territory Law, military forces seized planets at random, killing innocent civilians of worlds that were not ours. And when told of our wrongs, we showed no humility, no remorse. Only a foolish sense of invincibility. Fleet Admiral Howard Earnshaw of T.I.C.A.F. (The Interplanetary Coalition of Armed Forces) is quoted as saying “The threats we have received are of little consequence. These simple people are of little hazard; It is time that we, as humans, take our god-given place in the universe.” It was at that time, I believe, that our race went mad with power.

            Arata Daisuke’s noble research had also ushered in a new era of weaponry, one that granted us unimaginable might. Black holes. Antimatter. Invisibility. Wormholes. All at our disposal. And with them, we devastated galaxies. There was no longer honor in the military; it had become an unstoppable force of automatons led by insane, trigger-happy imbeciles. When attacked, we simply destroyed what we could not have; our weapons were too powerful, and our hubris too great. In a short time span of just twenty years, we destroyed over two thousand worlds.

            At first, most intellectuals were puzzled by our success in war. Surely there must be other powerful entities out there in space; somewhere there must be someone who can match our strength. Then we uncovered a startling fact: We were one of two races to have developed the ability to manipulate space.

            The other race, a virtuous and evolved minimalistic society held the ability as the highest presentable honor, reserved only for the most noble of races, in order to prevent things like us. Idiots with too much power. So they began to regulate us.

            For little over a year, the news was flooded with reports of colonies begin taken down all across the galaxy, glorified with stories of mindless slaughter and mayhem, the killing of innocent civilians. There was also news of victories that never happened, triumphs designed to gain public approval. But I knew the truth. We were losing. Badly.

            The one-sided war waged for seven years before it came to our doorstep, leaving countless millions of dead colonies in its wake. I remember being angry that they were simply destroying as we had done, fighting fire with fire, but I understood that it was the best course of action; they were regulating our population so that we would be unable to spread. And they were slowly making their way to the center of the empire, the beating heart. Earth.

            They reached us on October 14th, 2077. Fleet Admiral Earnshaw had gathered the entirety of our forces around Earth in the hopes of one great, final battle. Then, at 3:37 PM, a single, immense star cruiser dropped out of warp and decimated our fleet of 300,000 warships in less than thirty seconds. For a moment time seemed to slow as we took in what had happened. But only a moment. In an instant the sky lit up with rocket trails as hundreds of thermonuclear and antimatter cruise missiles blasted out of Strathmore Valley and various other locations around the globe. It was a futile effort, however, as the missiles simply collided with the massive debris field and destroyed themselves uselessly.

            After the barrage had finished itself off, our supplies exhausted, the cruiser moved in, bringing with it a multitude of smaller ships the dropped into the atmosphere and landed on the surface, three in every major city on the planet. From there loudspeakers boomed forth, issuing a message in clear, plain speech : “BY ORDER OF THE GALACTIC FEDERATION, YOUR RACE IS BEING PLACED UNDER QUARANTINE UNTIL FURTHER JUDGEMENT CAN BE ISSUED. YOUR CRIMES ARE AS FOLLOWS: THIEVERY, IMPOSED LITANY, SLAUGHTER…”

            And so the human virus was contained.

                                                                                               

            For thirteen years I have looked out of my window upon a broken world. From my little house on the bluffs over Strathmore Valley at Maranatha I gaze over hundreds of rusting rocket gantries and decaying missile silos, not only remnants of a once proud species, but reminders of mistakes that should never be made again. Mistakes that I should never make again. These hands have wrought terrible things, unspeakable destruction. The technology that my colleagues and I worked so hard to perfect brought about the demise of our species. Every day I run my hands over the framed photograph of our team, always landing on Daisuke. If he were here now, he would be torn apart by the upheaval our work had created, though for that I blame myself. He had never been interested lending our technology to the army. He believed that no good could come from limitless power, and he was right. But I was only interested in money.

            I can no longer bear to live in this world. I am too ashamed of what I have done, and of the endless cruelty of our people. I aided in the destruction of billions of innocent lives, and I can no longer live with the guilt. I am only leaving this behind so that there is some record of what happened, in the hope that it may lighten my conscience. I have done awful things, and I expect no mercy from God on my behalf. I simply have a debt to settle with him, one that can only be paid with my life. I bid you farewell, sweet Allison. I pray that this finds you well. 

The End

24 comments about this story Feed