Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Microstory 1693: Dreamscreamer

After fascism finally fell to war that ended the world, only a few hundred people were left standing. Most of them were upgraded to become immortal, but many chose to stay completely normal, and then die in the next few decades. A couple of centuries later, nearly everyone else followed them to this end. They tried to restart the population from here, but their way of increasing their lifespans provided them with about a fifty percent chance of conceiving healthy offspring. The species experienced diminishing returns, and those who failed later gave up on life altogether. Eventually, only one man was alive; a child of one of the lucky couples. His name was Dreamscreamer Bryant, presumably because no one was left to make fun of him for it. It’s unclear what exactly happened with his parents. Perhaps even having a kid wasn’t enough to pull them back from the despair they felt in this empty world. After he buried his parents, Dreamscreamer went out to look for others. He figured it was possible that some branch of humanity managed to hang on somewhere. He went to every single old city in the whole world, and he scanned the countryside for signs of new life, but he found nothing. He was pretty much finished just under a hundred years later, so he chose to quit, and move on with his life. He spent the next few years just hanging out, and enjoying the peace and quiet, but that grew to be incredibly boring, so he decided to make it his mission to clean up the world. He started deploying robots to tear everything down, all over the planet. He went back to those cities, dropping off the automated deconstruction starter kits. Then he left for the next location. Around and around he went, releasing the ADSkits, providing maintenance to the failed machines, and even continuing to look for friends. Some of the raw materials were recycled, but most of it was launched into the sun.

Nearly a whole millennium passed before the project was complete. Dreamscreamer launched a passenger ship, and entered orbit. From here, he looked down at the clean planet, and admired his work. You would have to be pretty desperate to come here and find any evidence that a species capable of modifying its own environment on a massive scale had once called it home. It was then that the Ochivari arrived to find out whether this version of Earth was a candidate for the sterility virus. When they found Dreamscreamer in his little orbiting home, they guessed that he had been responsible for the destruction of the species, and they congratulated him on the effort. He was baffled by this. He knew what it was like to be alone, and could not imagine doing anything to jeopardize that if he had been given the opportunity to be part of a community. Still, he understood that there were other worlds in other universes; some even alternate versions of his home planet. He still wanted that community, and apparently, the only way he was going to find it was if he played along. He had to pretend to be a radical antinatalist, just like them, in order to convince them to take him somewhere else. Of course, he could easily see the flaw in his plan. There was a strong chance that they were just going to take him to a world that they would choose to destroy anyway, and that wasn’t what he wanted. It would defeat the whole purpose, and it was intrinsically terrible. Still, he maintained the act. He let them take him to a new home, and then he personally killed all of the survivors. He then dropped their ship onto the planet, and tried to warn the natives of what might come if they weren’t careful.

No comments :

Post a Comment