Skip to main content

Colony Collapse Disorder


The descent into the lightless shaft was accompanied by the rhythmic clicking from the steel teeth of gears. Every revolution of the cogwheels brought them lower and lower. 25 miners were packed into the iron lift. They drifted into the thickening darkness without a word.
The cogs abruptly locked into place as the bottom of the cart bumped against the ground. The sliding steel cage open with an ear piercing screech and the human cargo disembarked. They stood in a cavern that was at the hub four diverging tunnels. Without saying a word, they dropped their equipment into the dirt and disappeared into the lightless depths of the subterranean passages.
On the surface, the systems of civilized life were also facing similar arrest.  Everywhere people stopped whatever it is they were doing and either wondered off into the surrounding frontier or simply became stuck behind doors which they no longer had the wherewithal to open, or their bodies were seized by inescapable behavioral loops. Everything came to a stop.
Drifting along its orbital path just beyond the fringes of the planet’s oxidized green glow the Omega Printer was the sole observer of this apocalypse. Despite the grandiosity suggested by the name the Omega Printer was a relatively small vessel, but it had been there since the beginning of time, at least as far as human life was concerned.
It was a machine dispatched by celestial engineers who had mastered and tamed the planetary cataclysms that can alter an entire planet. Their methods were as such that a natural epoch could be condensed into less than a century.
The Omega Printer patiently watched the planet go through its turbulent transformation and when the time was right used the human genomes loaded into its memory banks and started manufacturing humans to extract the planet’s mineral resources.
Just like earth’s many god’s most people had no inkling of the machine watching from the sky. The machine that had created them and held their genetic blueprints was mostly forgotten. For nearly four generations it had all gone smoothly. That is up until this very moment.
Omega Printer was running scans on all the genomes looking for any defects that might precipitate such a crisis, but any answer eluded the cosmic mechanical intelligence. It would need to retrieve genetic samples from the most recently born descendants of the original settlers, the precise genetic blueprints it did not yet possess.
A lone nurse remained in the central hospital’s nursery. She stared catatonically through the glass. Numb to the persistent cries of the newborns. She didn’t even blink when a metallic bipedal machine walked past her and into the nursery.
The robot surveyed the heat signatures in the room. The rows of quiet incubators glowed a pale icy blue at their center. The machine passed over these useless samples. Only one of them still burned with firey red and yellow colors of life. The robot was drawn towards the faint cries and shallow breath of the sole infant that still clung tenuously to fresh life.
With its cold skeletal fingers, the robot picked up the budding biological form. Its small eyes were still too weak to open. Its rose-colored cheeks were inflamed, and it’s belly becoming distended.
The robot took a blood sample, and the infant screamed sharply from the pain of the needle's prick. The indifferent machine having carried out its purpose set the wailing child back in the incubator and left it alone in the empty gaze of the nurse still trapped in her waking coma. She never moved a muscle even as the piercing cries grew fainter and fainter before stopping altogether.
The blood sample was delivered to the Omega Printer for analysis. It found no significant mutations. With no other options, Omega Printer created more people and patiently waited to see if the process repeated itself.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Science and Semantics

Leonard Malcon Warner was one of the God’s that reigned over the modern industry of information. The dimensions of his wealth were such that if any of it shifted in any direction, it made ripples in the economies of entire nations. His investment decisions could irreparably alter the lives of the millions unaware their personal destinies were so bound by the whims of wealth. Aging happens gradually then suddenly all at once! Before he knew it, Leonard was leaving the middle years of his life behind. He repeated every futile attempt to reclaim his youth. The cosmetics, the surgeries, and the models were all expressions of the same tragic realization, Leonard was getting old. LMW hadn't become one of the wealthiest men by accepting any sentence handed down from fate, even if it was what natural law demanded. Warner had a panoramic view of the world, and he understood what moved it. People like him. Reality need never be an impediment to human will. Science is the most effective t

Ghosts in the Memories

It was a bright and mild morning. A few billowing white clouds drifted lazily across the ocean blue sky, the gentle sun reflected off the dew coated grass and flowers, giving the world a shimmer. A human stream filled the streets and sidewalks as the city rose to life. One lonely widower had a different reaction to the beautifully emerging day. Hibiki closed the shutters on his windows, locked the door, and sat his tired old body into a reclining chair in front of a blaring television. To Hibiki, the day’s crystal sky was a dark omen and a visceral reminder of that horrific moment all those decades ago when a flash of light took away 100,000 people. Hibiki had been there when it happened. He was a doctor at the time, and while the bomb canceled the workday for most everyone else for people in Hibiki’s line of work, there was an additional layer of hell to endure. “Please...Please..help my daughter!” Hibiki could hear a woman pleading from the street below. With a trembling hand, he

On the Eve of Extinction

The river was like a massive indigo snake coiling in the shadow of the canyons its eternal flow cut out of the very earth. Somewhere along the watery corridor, settled human life grew out of the muddy banks. The tribe sustained itself on the arterial river, steadily expanding and contracting with the rhythm of its flow like a beating heart. As far as anyone in the tribe knew no other arrangement had ever existed. The river had birthed them, molding sand and clay into flesh, and infusing the husks with its life-giving waters. Life under the desert’s smooth turquoise sky seemed safely stagnant. There was no inkling, no deciphered omens, absolutely no hunch of the approaching cataclysm lurking just out of sight obscured by the landscape’s jagged ridges. Not far from the isolated patchwork of green and brown earth settled by this tribe, the scion of ancient god well into his twilight years was on the cusp of fulfilling his divine purpose. Harmakar was sitting in the dust staring into t