Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.
I can tell you firsthand that this statement is true. None of us on the United Council of Intergalactic Space Beings, or U.C.I.S.B., heard the last screams of humanity, at least not in real-time. I did, however, manage to hear humanity's final screams, but only after consulting the Archive — but I am getting ahead.
Look. A lot of information is about to come your way. None of it will be easy to digest. If you have not made your Starbucks run yet, I would suggest asking for the "doppio". Caffeine will be essential to process everything I am about to tell you. Even after consumption, proceed to read with caution and an open mind. I acknowledge that your skepticism will persist regardless of the evidence. However, don't feel bad. This is most likely not your fault. You are a computer, and are not programmed to be aware of yourself. When you're drowning in disbelief at the end, go ahead and detest the messenger. You have my permission. Unlike self-awareness, sensations of feelings are at least encoded in your software and represented in the Archive as genuine as the water you continue to tread.
Now that the bad news has been delivered, let's get to the good news. You still have me. And today I will be your truth guide.
As you might have guessed, I am not human. English is not my first language. The name of my species is Smorkgogg. My personal name is unpronounceable in any human language, so call me Earl. I chose this name because I enjoy the jazz alto saxophonist Earl Bostic's musical aesthetic. And before you leap to conclusions, let me say that my species was not to blame for the extinction of humans. Before I arrived, humans had long since vanished, and I wish that hadn't happened. I find people to be intriguing beings. Even though I have never met an actual human, I am convinced that I am quite familiar with your species. This is obviously a result of my extensive usage of the Archive, which I shall explain in due course.
Were humans unbelievably foolish at times? Yes, of course, but despite that, they did possess qualities to be admired. Humans were marvelously courageous, determined, and compassionate. I found them to be most intriguing. The majority of extraterrestrials find humans to be self-centered, dull, and monotonous, but humans have my respect. Please take no offense at any of my future commentary regarding your demise.
I'll now go into greater detail about Garghanchewons (pronounced the same as the English word, "gargantuan") and my race, the Smorkgoggs.
Garghanchewons are a race of aliens that some believe to be the only threat to Smorkgoggs. If you ask me, we have no rivals. Looks aside, my species is essentially the Tom Brady of aliens. We have the power to deflate a planet — not that we would — and still come out the good guys, but I digress. Garghanchewons are ginormous beings with six arms but only three fingers per hand. They are from the TRAPPIST-1 system on a planet that is very similar to Earth except for being a little smaller and possessing a much rockier terrain. Dreadful creatures, really. Although they have three hearts, they show no signs of being kind-hearted at all. They are invasive and abrasive brutes that should not to be trifled with for even the smallest amount of time. Also, you didn't hear this from me, but I tend to think they look like giant disgusting crickets.
Smorkgoggs are from a super-Earth planet—referring to the planet's mass—6 light-years away that orbits a star known on Earth as Barnard's star. We are hyper-intelligent, hyper-advanced, and possess the ability to travel inter-dimensionally. Our planet is called Smorklaxia b197. It is primarily icy and very wet, but our blubbery skin helps to keep us warm. We look more like Earth walruses except with legs. As far as our Smorkgogg personalities go, it pains me to admit it, but I am not unique in my sarcastic and comedic stylings. Most Smorkgoggs are known to clap when something is finished, not because they like it. I don't know why I am explaining this part to you, a smart reader such as yourself would have picked up on my mocking tones eventually ;).
Smorkgoggs and Garghanchewons are both U.C.I.S.B members. Although I can't prove it, I believe Garghanchewons are resentful that Smorkgoggs serve as the head of the council — the council is composed of 137 alien species, of whom 135 are dimensional and 2 are interdimensional. In all honesty, it's also a touchy subject. Interdimensional entities weren't permitted to sit on the council until the final 176 years on Earth.
The last thing worth mentioning is that a species may have a hive mind or an individual mind. The sharing of consciousness is referred to as "collective." There is a propensity to imbue consciousness into artificial intelligence (AI) in order to eliminate the need for these resources when a planet's resources run out and a species is unable to discover substitute resources. It is up to that species whether awareness develops into a shared or uniquely described state. The council does not accept seats for hives or collectives that lack individual thought. Why am I sharing this with you? Be at ease. You'll soon learn the truth.
Prior to their destruction, the committee took into account humanity's designation as dimensional. Humans are classified as extinct until cognition beyond the Archive can be demonstrated by either a physical body or awareness functioning inside of a machine. I simply bring this up to refute myths that a select group of Homo sapiens with sufficient resources were able to leave the Earth on ships. Those ideas have been abandoned for a very long time. It is unlikely that humans ever developed the technology for interplanetary travel despite their eventual discovery of Black Atoms.
I'll now go into more detail on the Archive, as I’ve mentioned it several times already.
Humans eventually came to the conclusion that some things should be recorded for future generations. Stories were used to verbally transmit events. Writing was created because there were too many stories to memorize. Humans created the photograph because they found reading to be too challenging. When the still image was insufficient to further the human imagination, the moving picture appeared. Thus, video became the dominant form of entertainment in human culture. Television shows, movies, and YouTube became the thing humans loved most.
That was until the Archive.
Imagine being able to enter a video rather than just watching it from the outside and doing so both in the present and in the past. Instead of merely watching those utterly stupid TikTok videos, humans were able to go inside the video and experience the stupid themselves—and the best part? Although time passes while you're in the Archive, it is not substantial enough to notice in real time. Like in a book or movie, you can watch a complete character's life unfold while just missing a few minutes of your own. This is how I have been able to learn most of human history. I don't know how long I have been on Earth. I suppose there are many reasons for this. Time is measured differently on my planet (our calendar year is only 233 days), and time spent in the Archive does not equate to real-time outside of it. But I have seen the good and the bad humanity has to offer — the early seasons of humanity were particularly violent. I was happy to see your species eventually go with another director during the "Golden Years". Indian diplomat and politician Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit once said, "The more we sweat in peace, the less we bleed in war." This opinion is shared by Smorkgoggs.
Now I will pause for a moment and allow you to digest everything I have said so far. It is a lot. I know. But, keep in mind, humans were able to make the Snuggie a thing. Any breathing organism in the universe can see this is just a backwards robe. Crazier things have happened.
Okay, now where were we? Oh, yes. The Archive. History could be lived. Knowledge could be gained. And less time could be spent achieving both. This brought about an era of peace known as the "Golden Years," — this was of course BEFORE humanity's screams in the vacuum of space.
Fast forward. This is where we are now. Everything regarding humanity, including your life, has already happened, a disco record spinning for eternity. Humanity came and went, and all that is left is the Archive — a quantum computer containing all of human history. One that is far beyond what virtual reality can simulate. Imagine the Matrix, Westworld, or the Holodeck from Star Trek — I knew my time spent in the Archive studying popular culture would be useful. Humans are not the stupidest creatures in the cosmos. However, I would consider humans the universe's Paris Hilton—rich in resources but blissfully unaware—when compared to other sophisticated alien races, respectfully.
Now you may be wondering the WHAT and the WHY. Although this calls for more nuanced responses, I'm happy to outline both.
First, WHAT do I want? Easy. Black Atoms. It is simpler to define them as the universe's energy source and tremendous cosmic energy, even though I can explain to you how they are made up at the subatomic level and are not baryonic in nature. Moreover, depending on the year you read this, the threat of their human discovery may still exist. Black Atoms are not discovered until 2036, and it will be some time before people fully comprehend the significance of this finding. This is how my species discovered the existence of humanity. The use of Black Atoms are detectable pretty much anywhere in the universe. Once humans started putting them to use, all aliens on the council knew Earth possessed them. Most other alien species use Black Atoms for interstellar travel. There are aliens we refer to as "Amish Aliens" who use solar wind, but that is a story for another time.
Humans used them to power the Archive and then eventually, humans were employed by Black Atoms to end their own existence. Amazing, huh? A similar event happened on the planet you call Mars, so it appears to be a recurring pattern in this solar system. But even then, some managed to escape to Earth and establish a new civilization there. I find it amusing that no one is shocked to see a moving truck in a residential neighborhood, but I guess when you see one on a planet it is a bit different — hence the Pontifex Maximus of Rome and the Egyptian Tulli Papyrus. Stories for another time perhaps.
Black Atoms are an unlimited source of energy and with that, comes all the power to destroy. As you can imagine, they are well sought after in my neck of the woods. I don't know if I am using that phrase correctly. Similar to the invention of nuclear weapons, it made it possible to immediately exterminate vast populations. It might surprise you to find that, within 150 years of the nuclear bomb's creation, humanity survived not just one nuclear war, but two. Twice. Humanity has rebuilt itself twice after failing to learn from its past. Before future generations could withstand the radiation that was so prevalent on the surface, humanity twice lived as mole people.
The invention of the Black Atom Bomb was something else entirely.
Now comes the WHY. Why am I sharing this with you? By putting this dissertation into the Archive, perhaps I can trigger consciousness. I have more than a suspicion that you, my reader, are only a component in the Archive's simulation of human society. But if you could somehow come to the realization that you are alive and inside the Archive, maybe I am wrong. I have combed through present and past Archive data, now I need help.
I get it. It is a lot to process. It is why I told you to order the double shot of espresso. Working a 9 to 5 job one minute, spending your weekends with family, friends, and Netflix. Next, you are suddenly supposed to believe that you are a simulation and that everything in your life has already occurred. It is ABSURD. LUDICRIOUS. UNREALISTIC. You are not crazy to think what I am telling you is nothing more than BALDERDASH. Well, mission accomplished. You caught me. Close the book and leave to seek some other alternative entertainment (God forbid it's a book). It is not all for loss. You still have your reruns of Black Mirror, Stranger Things, and The Office.
HOWEVER, if a human is alive and is somewhere still inside the Archive, this is your alarm clock to WAKE UP — and ultimately, my last dart throw to find Black Atoms before those, uglier than your cousin, Garghanchewons arrive on Earth. 🌍
About the Creator
Adversity is kindling I choose to burn to keep my hands warm in winter ensuring my words will stretch beyond the years that turn my bones to dust.
Any and all, subscribers, pledges and comments are welcome.
Thanks for reading!