Sunday, July 08, 2012

Chapter fourteen... the plot revealed...


Chapter Fourteen
A Sad State Of Earthly Affairs

“What’s going to happen to us?” said Pamela. Tear tracks lined her cheeks.

“Us meaning this group here or your human race?” said Admiral Bleeekxpritzle.

“The human race,” said old Bill Blake.

“I meant me,” said Pamela.

The Admiral looked at each of them in turn.

“Don’t you think you owe us an explanation,” said Philbert as he approached the group. Bunny and Mickey sat huddled together about fifteen feet away. The pedestal’s diameter would afford no greater separation.

The Admiral’s three eyes seemed to examine each of the three humans individually. He nodded. “I suppose I do. You deserve to know for what you are paying this price. Though I can not promise you’ll find any of it believable.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” said Philbert, looking around the strange cavernous room. “My horizons have been somewhat widened today.”

“Very well,” said the Admiral. “I’ll be blunt. Your race of humans is the most notorious in the universe. You are infamous. There are more than nine billion super-intelligent civilizations in the O.U.C.H. and all but one-”

“O.U.C.H.?” said Philbert.

“The Official Universal Community of Humanoids.”

“Ah.”

“And all but one civilization is united in wanting humans exterminated.”

“Ouch!” said Pamela, frowning.

“Was it something we said?” asked Philbert.

“Basically your essential numbers are just way out of whack,” said the Admiral.

“Our essential numbers?”

The Admiral nodded. “Your procreation and territorial sprawl rates are out of control; right off the charts. It’s like all you humans want to do is screw and travel.”

Philbert shrugged. “Is that unusual?”

“More importantly your Blyxwhipple Ratio is two thousand and eighty nine to one favouring technological evolution to evolution of consciousness. Two thousand and eighty nine to one! It’s the worst ever recorded.”

Philbert frowned. “Exactly how bad is that?”

“Well, the second worst Blyxwhipple Ratio in the history of the universe was three to two. And every other intelligent species in the universe has evolved in favour of consciousness.”

“Pretty bad then.”

“Practically inconceivable. God knows how you’ve managed it.”

“How the hell do you measure something like that?” said Philbert.

“Easy. They just examine a package of standard possible evolutionary milestones. You’ve got nuclear bombs, automobiles, alarm clocks, the Nazi holocaust and two thousand and eighty five other atrocities versus… Woodstock.”

“What’s Woodstock?” said Pamela. The Admiral shook his head sadly.

“I’ll explain later,” said Philbert.

“Your Gazoo Equation is running an even fifty-fifty and the crux is drawing near.”

“What does that mean?” said Philbert.

“It means that your chances of self-destruction versus PTA is an even shot. And you’re not far off from doing one or the other.”

Philbert sighed. “PTA? Parent Teacher Association?”

“Post Terrestrial Ascension. What it all adds up to is this: By intergalactic standards you are at the eleventh hour. You’re either about to kill yourselves off through native resource depletion-slash-destruction or you’re about to make the interstellar leap, continue to furiously multiply and swiftly deplete the resources of the entire universe and kill us all. Understandably, seven hundred million trillion responsible universal citizens would prefer to limit your options.”

“By blowing up planet Earth?” said Pamela.

“Goodness child, of course not!”

“How then?” said Philbert.

“Oh, probably just a few covert interventions to ensure you stay on the wrong path. Divert your remaining major oil reserves to make them more accessible to you. Bankrupt the U.S.A. and, if necessary, any other nation that threatens to sufficiently back a useful space program and that would pretty much clinch it. You’ll have the biosphere destroyed in no time at all, with nowhere to go. You’ll be extinct and the universe will be safe from an incurable plague of zombies and psychopaths.”

“Oh please. You flatter.”

“Is anyone on our side?” said Pamela.

“There is a very slim majority, in just two galaxies in the entire universe, who would prefer another solution: To, in effect, make Earth into a stable but guarded asylum, so you could rot here indefinitely without threatening the rest of us; a position of extraordinary generosity if you could manage to see it from our perspective. They are the Twin Dwingeloo galaxies. That is who I represent.”

“Wait a minute,” said Philbert. “Why aren’t we part of the Official Universal Community of Humanoids?”

“It’s only for sufficiently intelligent humanoids. If it’s any consolation though, you’re current intelligence ratings place you high enough you’re on the official watch list for possible promotion.”

“Well this is all bloody insulting.”

“And so are your dolphins, actually.”

“Dolphins? They’re on the list too? Seriously?”

“Very much so.”

“How far behind us are the dolphins?”

Bleeekxpritzle winced. “I’m sorry.”

“They’re ahead!”

“I’m really sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”

“The dolphins are ahead of humans! They don’t even have feet! Okay, wait now! Wait. How can humans not be part of a group whose very title includes the word humanoid! It comes from the word human!”

“The actual word is not humanoid, Philbert. I’m translating all this into English in case you haven’t realized.”

“Oh,” said Philbert. “Damn. I guess I should have figured that out for myself.”

The Admiral shrugged.

“We really are stupid, aren’t we?”

“Hey now, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’ll always have Woodstock. Oh, and facebook.”

“Facebook?” said Philbert.

“The other reason humans are infamous. There are tens of trillions more users than Zuckerburg knows about. If he was getting the royalties he really deserves, he could buy half the Milky Way.”

“Mister Bleek - ah - I mean, Admiral?”

“Yes, Pamela?”

“What’s going to happen to us?”

“Oh, you’ll just continue to graze and die as always. You’ll be completely unaware of the existence of extraterrestrial intelligences and their covert tinkering with various cause-and-effect mechanisms here on Earth or that your ultimate destiny is controlled by powers you have no means to relate to. And if by some miracle you start to evolve consciously and your Blyxwhipple Ratio reverses, well, you might one day be invited into the interstellar community and learn how to live meaningful lives. There’s always hope, I suppose, slim as it may be.”

“No, I mean… what’s going to happen to us - here on this pedestal?”

“Oh. Well, personally, I’m up the creek, frankly. They will certainly assassinate me. But there are others who will carry on with my work. The rest of you will probably be let go after your memories are erased; once they realize how dumb and inconsequential you all are.”

“Thank goodness,” said Pamela. “I feel so much better now… I think.”

“Actually it would be less trouble for them just to cut you all loose in a 4D exactor loop. It wouldn’t cost them a single Unero and you’d never get out. To a 3D creature it would just seem like an eternal empty labyrinth. You wouldn’t age but you’d eventually die from the consequences of extreme insanity.”

Pamela and Philbert looked at each other.

“Yeah. Now that I think about it,” said Bleeekxpritzle. “I’m sure that’s what they’ll do.”

“Couldn’t you - I don’t know - call someone? To come rescue us? Your green alien friends?”

“Got a telephone?”

“Yes!” Pamela pulled a device from her pocket.

“I’m kidding. It won’t work here.”

“It’s always worked in grocery stores before.”

“Darling, we’re on a spaceship; not in a grocery store.”

Pamela pushed a couple buttons and held it to her ear. She frowned, hit a couple more buttons and listened again. “You’re right. I cant get through to anyone.” She sat and fiddled some more.

1 comment:

Andy David said...

Hello.
Just stopping by to say hi. Visiting from the Post A-Z Road Trip - I'm on a quest to visit all 1,718 people who took part in the A-Z Challenge!

Best wishes & thanks for sharing.

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