The Last Wilderness I: Hello and Goodbye

And so it was the illustrious race of man found themselves as pets.

I was in college at the time. Really you would be amazed at how little of a drama it was. They arrived in advance of their light stream hitting earth. World Governments were caught with their pants down, not that it mattered much. The obvious almost magical superiority of the Malflorians (so we call them as a dog barks the name of their master) made their total domination over Earth a conclusion before the question was even raised.

They wanted us to be good and took care of us as any good owner would. The Earth’s environment was fixed. The excess carbon became giant black monoliths in the middle of the great and, therefore, previously polluting cities of Earth. Rubbing our nose in it, as it were.

There is no war, no violence, no need to work, no hunger, no scarcity to speak of. No vibrant flicker of humanity remained. They made the world perfect, in a sort of sense, and so, they made it boring. No disease save old age. The Malflorians surely could have cured such a biological trifle, so it, like all imperfections that still existed, did so at the pleasure of our collective master.

Intercedent bots, at least that’s what I call them. Translucent silvery specters that appear bearing the continence of our betters apparate as soon as a human breaches the boundary of our designated role. Their appearance is a warning. If you persist in whatever it was you were doing, a synthol bar brawl, forcible assault, theft, yelling too much in an angry instead of excited fashion, then you will be teleported off the scene. No one knows exactly how the Malflorians manage to do all this, nor do most on Earth wish to think overly much about the reality of the constant surveillance. There is a bible of sorts though despite its hundreds of pages of thou shalts and thou shalt nots it can be summarized quite succinctly by “be nice, play nice.” The dolphins and cetaceans of the sea are no less loved by the Malflorians yet seem to have their freedom much more intact (perhaps they are the cats of this new age). This is not a story of scrappy human resistance against a superior alien threat. No human, not even myself, truly entertains such a notion. In matter of fact, I doubt if my conscience would let me do it even if it was so simple as pressing a single button. We had a good run.

I write this not on Earth, but instead a ship tunneling as it were through time. In the margins, you might see the pencil outlines of the intercedent bots. Unlike our masters who have some slight variance in their facial geometry, the bots have been found to be identical. Summon them too often, and you are faced with a choice, to be made fit for this new Eden or exile from it. To made be fit carries with it the horrible sort of brainwashing you might imagine from dystopias past. Nothing can be further from the truth. The procedure takes less than an hour and seems to confer with it a greater intelligence and a greater sanity. They cross and uncross a few synapses until you are sane enough to know the truth. That the world now was truly a paradise, a brotherhood of men, that old imagine song but with massive skyscraper apartments and luxury food for all. A good friend of mine submitted to treatment. I had honestly never seen him so happy, so logical.

For myself, then I chose exile. If there is one thing I covet and cling to, it is my misery, bitterness, and inconsistency. I ruefully leave Earth to its happiness. It’s better this way.

I suppose you might want details of my crime. Was I perhaps some xenophobic propagandist? A conspiracy theorist? No, first of all, any and all speech is allowed, hateful and ungracious equally so. Secondly, it should be obvious to anyone they are in every possible way our betters, proof that god was made in our image for if we could have instead possibly managed to think of them, to them our thousands of years of worship would have been drawn. Thirdly, related to the second point, it is sheer hubris to think there is anything of true advantage we could supply them with. If it truly was the case as some of the theories say, that man flesh was a luxury to them, there would be nothing in we could do against them, they who could just as easily reprogram us, each and everyone, to believe to be eaten by a Malflorian was a sign of a good and just world order. Perhaps it would be as we have dined upon cows and pigs for centuries. I would, of course, never myself commit such a sacrilege as to say that the difference between man and beast is as great as the difference between us and them.

The one thing we humans have over the Malflorians is sin. What tickles the hearts of men so heartily as delicious, wonderful sin? Was it not the devil in Paradise lost for who the reader finds excite amongst the boredom of angels? Or other classic characters that spout such fresh amusing truthful villainy as Lord Henry in A Picture of Dorian Grey? Was superman, a subpar alien truth told, not dull dinner conversation? It is darkness that gives meaning to light, shadows that present depth. Can there truly be goodness in the absence of the ability to commit evil?

It is only the relatives, not the absolutes, that we humans can feel. With vice and hardship vanquished in the past ten years, we have grown such a terrible thirst for them. Our fiction has been drawn to it. It is often said fiction is a mirror of reality. If so, this is only true in a queer perverse inverted way. The more comfortable and safe, the more miserable and violent our fiction becomes. The more equal and fair, the more loudly we can proclaim our victimhood. The more pointless, the more we can take joy in the most banal of crimes.

I am also not a murderer. Even if I had wished to be, which I did and do not, such things are quite impossible now. I am a forger and petty thief in a world of unlimited plenty. A petty thief on course for one of the terrarium worlds in the Malflorian domain. I picked the one that was least advised for humans, Graggazzit, a land of monsters beyond our comprehension. As for the name, I am indeed aware it is far beyond the human tongue to adequately pronounce, so you dear reader may call it as you like and are sure to be near to the mark as I.

I will be landing soon. Truth be told, I feel excited for the first time in almost a decade.

continued here

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