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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Final War: A Science Fiction Story

After China united with Russia in the year 2055, the United States of America was worried that it was no longer the world's greatest power. So the US united with Canada to become a huge new nation known as Canmerica. This was the beginning of a great wave of nation-merging which swept the world over the next two decades. When this process finally ended, there were only two powers left in the world: the Blue Alliance (controlling all of the Western Hemisphere) and the Gold Alliance (controlling all of the rest of the world).

For three decades these two great alliances existed in peace. But eventually a dispute arose over vast mineral riches discovered in Antarctica and in the ocean. Both the Blue Alliance and the Gold Alliance claimed these riches as their own. Eventually the dispute led to a war between the two great powers.

The President of the Blue Alliance spoke on 3D television to the billions he ruled over.

We have no choice in this matter,” said President Olsen. “We will never be able to live in peace until the Gold Alliance is destroyed utterly. I hereby announce that a state of war exists between the Blue Alliance and the Gold Alliance.”

But before he could finish his speech, he was notified that nuclear missiles had been launched from the Gold Alliance. President Olsen ordered a full-scale nuclear counterattack. Hundreds of nuclear bombs went off all over the world, leading to the death of billions. All of the dust from the nuclear explosions caused a nuclear winter that darkened Earth's skies for years, causing billions more to die from crop failures.

But the war still was not over. Both sides had prepared elaborate attack plans that would be carried out even after a nuclear holocaust had occurred.

The Blue Alliance set forth drones that reached Europe and Asia, releasing a variety of biological plagues. The Gold Alliance unleashed an invasion of killer robots that attacked the Western Hemisphere. The robots were self-reproducing robots that knew how to make more and more copies of themselves, using metals scavenged from cars and houses.

killer robot

The effects of both of these attacks were devastating. In both cases, the attacks were supposed to be limited. The Blue Alliance thought that its biological plagues would only inflict the Eastern Hemisphere. But it was wrong. The plagues soon spread to the Western Hemisphere as well. The Gold Alliance thought that its self-reproducing killer robots would cause devastation only in the Western Hemisphere, being blocked by the Bering Strait from spreading into Asia. But after the nuclear winter caused temperatures to plummet, the Bering Strait froze over. The killer robots marched over the frozen straight, spreading into Asia, and then into Europe and Africa. Every place the robots entered they left a trail of death and utter devastation.

The population of the world, which had risen to nine billion before the war, dropped first into the millions, and then into the thousands, and then into the hundreds, and then into the dozens.

Some of the last few survivors were in a tiny military unit of the Blue Alliance. The unit used the last functional spy satellite to study heat signatures from the Eastern Hemisphere. They determined that there was no sign of life anywhere in the Eastern Hemisphere, except for the faintest indication of human activity in one ruined city of the Gold Alliance. The military unit set forth a jet on a search and destroy mission to neutralize this last speck of resistance.

While traveling across the ocean, three of the crew members died from the plague virus. But one determined soldier named Arnold Johnson continued flying the jet, until it came to the ruins of the enemy city.

Johnson landed the jet in a risky landing on a vacated air field. Carrying a machine gun and a biological sensor, he set forth to find the remaining pocket of enemy resistance. He searched through the ruins of the city, getting closer and closer to his objective. Finally he found his target.

It was a tent which had been pitched amid the ruins. Lifting the flap of the tent, Johnson saw an old man spooning out beans from a can of beans.

Are you the last left of your kind?” asked Johnson.

Probably,” said the old man, guessing correctly.

Johnson killed the man with his machine gun. Then he raised his fist in triumph.

The war is over!” said Johnson. “We won!”

But the victory was pyrrhic, for he was the last human being left in the world. He died from the plague virus a few days later.

It would have been the end of civilization on planet Earth, but there was one reason it was not. For many years, the planet had been silently observed by a wise and kindly extraterrestrial race called the Voltons. The Voltons had a strict ethic of non-interference. As soon as they realized that mankind was extinct, the Voltons took the uninhabited Earth as their own. First, they removed all traces of human civilization, except for some pieces that were kept in museums, and a handful of places preserved as historical exhibits. Then the Voltons cleaned up all the pollution and ugliness that man had created. The Voltons then slowly went to work building a paradise planet. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams.

Earth was transformed into a planet where civilization and nature meshed together in perfect harmony. A glorious ideal society of justice, peace, forgiveness and tolerance flourished like no galactic society had ever flourished. A golden age began, and lasted for eons. The planet contained a thousand busy centers of art, philosophy, science, and culture, but nowhere on the planet were there any bombs, missiles or weapons. Earth, which had once been the laughing stock of the galaxy, was transformed into the greatest showpiece of galactic culture. Throughout a region of space stretching for thousands of light-years, beings with a hundred strange appearances all longed to one day visit Earth, or to make their own planet like Earth. The inhabitants of Earth all lived blissfully like philosopher kings, basking in the warm sunlight of tranquility, freedom, wisdom, and equality.

So the end result was very, very happy for the planet Earth, but not for its original inhabitants.

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