Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Coaxing

We never blast a planet off the charts. The paperwork would be horrendous. What we do instead, when one is in the way of something, is slowly turn the heat up. The inhabitants will blame themselves, or better yet, each other. Old tensions rise to the surface and boil over. A gun is fired, wars begin and then… extinction. It sounds simpler than it really is.

One planet, I’m not naming names, took longer than the rest but eventually succumbed. These apes were under the delusion of civility. Philosophers and artists convinced their silly little brains other creatures were below them. But clearly they were no more empathetic than a lion feasting off an antelope or an anaconda slowly strangling a child. The taking of a life for food paled in comparison to them destroying every single eco-system that they touched.

So how did we accomplish our goal? They found ways to cope with the heat. Better cars were driven, less electricity and water wasted. But our trump card was as it had always been the glaciers. Releasing these, the illusions of grandeur so pitifully clung to had begun to disappear. Currents stopped, temperatures dipped dramatically and agriculture ceased.

They tore each other apart. Old dominions of vested power fell to the strongest. All that was nuclear was possessed by warlords.

It did not take long for a warlord to threaten another with cataclysmic terms. Naturally, their whole rule based off strength, they could not back down from outrageous demands that went unmet.

As the missiles at long last launched, my company and I felt pity mixed with pride. We had shown them fission in the dessert of New Mexico; we had helped send Sputnik into space. But old doubts still persisted.

How many lives would we destroy for profit? How long before the slow-simmering of apocalypse would finally eat away at us? Thankfully, it was not now, I thought as the last bottle of champagne from the lifeless planet below was poured. I felt rejuvenated, more confident as inebriation sifted through my veins. I was ready once more to face the hundred demolitions left, in our vast measurement of time, before the day was through.

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