With ‘Just Do It‘ as my current motto, I woke up at just gone 3am with a story punchline in my head. So I got up and Just Wrote It. Glad I did — if I’d gone back to sleep another story idea would have been lost to me.
Here ’tis, hope you like!
FADE IN ON Dark. Silent. It feels cold, though of course, being space, it's actually neither hot nor cold; it just is. There are many lights, shining, a long way off in the distance. At least, it feels like they're far away - it's hard to tell. Shh - here comes the OMNISCIENT OBSERVER (O.o). He mustn't realise we're here, or it will spoil the plot. Don't look at him directly: with luck, he won't see us. His first words don't bode well. O.o I have a bad feeling about this. The view pans slowly, and the far-off multicoloured lights, untwinkling, drift serenely past. This will continue for a while, until we've come full circle -- or nearly so; it's hard to tell exactly with no reference points. We won't have time to get dizzy, anyway. Not that we could, as there's no gravity out here to upset the semicircular canals that we don't have. Well, I don't have them. I can't speak for you. O.o Is there anybody out there? It looks like there's nobody home. Maybe we should have a look around. As OMNISCIENT OBSERVER stops speaking, the pan ends. BRIEF PAUSE ZOOM TO A universe, expanding fast in the view. It looks like a marble. We realise that this is just one of the many far off lights we've been looking at. The marble gets bigger, and bigger, and bigger still, until finally we can't get any closer or we'll hit it and then we do and-- CUT TO Dark again. More lights in the distance. We've entered one of the many universes, at random, and the lights we now see, though they look much the same as the ones we saw earlier, are actually galaxies. It's all very perplexing, even for the OMNISCIENT OBSERVER who doesn't really know what just happened, but is forced to act as though he does. It's his way. O.o Ah, we're past the event horizon and exploring this universe. Maybe there will be someone to talk to, here? ZOOM TO One of the far-off lights grows to reveal a double spiral of bright dots, seen from the top, looking down. Or perhaps from the bottom, looking up - it's impossible to tell. The object rotates in front of us -- or perhaps we're orbiting around it -- and we can see that what at first appeared to be a flat structure is in fact lens-shaped. In the middle, there's a healthy bulge that it feels good to me to describe as 'pregnant', though I accept that this has connotations that may not sit right with you. The edges taper gently off, in a pleasing way. It feels peaceful, restful, somehow. As the rotation ends, we're again looking at the galaxy from the top (or bottom) and we begin to move towards the centre of one of the spiral arms, at a point about two-thirds of the way out from the middle of the bulge. The dots forming the structure don't get bigger -- they're still too far away -- but there are clearly a great many of them. They sit majestically, surrounded by a seething quilt of fine multicoloured silt. And now, two odd things begin to happen at the same time: -- one of the things is that more dots become visible, seeming to appear from nothing (but what's really happening is that the light emanating from them is too faint to be seen from farther away) -- -- the other thing is that the dots seem to be accelerating as we approach them (or as they approach us) while in truth we're actually slowing down. It's a question of scale that's far beyond anything we're used to. A different level of reality, if you will. It's all very odd. But only from a certain point of view. The OMNISCIENT OBSERVER is about to speak. What he'll say isn't really that important, but we humour him: he feels that he's been quiet long enough and he needs to qualify his existence. Or something. O.o It's very quiet. Wait, what's that? No, it's just imagination. We can think of it as the sound of one hand, clapping. And now one of the dots has clearly decided that it wants to be centre stage. All the others slowly begin to drift away, disappearing one by one out of our view, almost politely, perhaps a little sadly, as though there's an admission of lost potential. As the winner of this somewhat strange silent struggle draws nearer, it's clear that it's a star. O.o What's this? A sun. But where are its children? Oh, we're still too far away. Perhaps when we get closer, we'll see... And now it's apparent that the other dots are also stars, much the same as this one, except for the fact that they're being relegated to secondary status for the purpose of this visit. Not all of them have moved out of view; there are still a great many forlornly hanging around, unaware that they're providing a magnificent spangled backdrop as we continue our approach. The pinpoint star grows larger, and larger still, until it's close enough to see it as a disc. It's bright, and white, and yet, not quite; it has perhaps a hint of rose. The sentient beings -- we'll call them 'homo fatuus brutus' -- who live on one of the planets in orbit around this glorious sensation think of 'their' sun as a 'yellow' star, for reasons of their own that probably won't become clear. The brightness swells and swells, and now it's becoming harder to see the other stars; but they've served their purpose as part of the attendant multitude. This time is not their time; perhaps next time it will be different. The OMNISCIENT OBSERVER is getting a little puzzled. He's expecting to see a whole bunch of planets in orbit around this star, but what he fails to appreciate is that planets, even the big gas giants, are but tiny specks of dust in comparison to their vast parent. And as they have no light of their own, they are much too faint to be visible at this range. The OMNISCIENT OBSERVER almost speaks, but changes his mind. He doesn't want to risk saying something that would show himself up. Not as stupid as he looks, this one. O.o (rushed, a little breathless) -- And here we see a pale blue dot. Ah, err, yes, he's right: we're fast approaching one of the planets in this solar system. I was too busy talking, a bad habit I must correct one day. It's not easy, you know, this job. I'd like to see you do better. O.o (confident) The dot becomes a point; the point becomes a disc; the disc grows, and grows, and grows and grows-- -- yes, we get the picture -- O.o (waxing lyrical) And now we can see that what did at first seem flat does turns, and it is clear that what we see's a sphere. -- technically it's an oblate spheroid; though local topography deviates from the ideal spheroid, on a global scale these deviations are so small as to be inconsequential -- O.o (getting cocky now) The sphere is a planet. A world. And, perhaps, just perhaps, it's more: it's not bare rock, there's water here, and that could mean life. Our long search may be nearly over; we've found what could be, for some, a home. CUT TO A view of the planet showing mostly water, with some islands. CUT TO A view of the planet showing mostly land masses, with oceans between. The planet be-- O.o (breathless) Yes! There's, pollution in, the, air, oh, joy!?: someone's here. A muffled sound, like someone gagging -- or being gagged. The planet below us fills our view now; a marble, similar to the one we saw earlier but entirely different, too. This one presents layers of bluey-grey and... grimy yellowish cloud above, partially obscuring a mix of blue-green ocean, with... peculiar patches of red bloom? And land. Land that's almost all being used in one way or another. The forests that at one time, not so long ago, covered most of the land are almost entirely gone -- Oh, I see. We've arrived at a very special point in time, it's quite lucky for us, as it happens. Here, let me speed up time, just a little-- There, that's done it. It's all over, now. Just to fill you in: what happened there, specifically, was that one group of the planet's inhabitants were playing with something they call a 'HAARP'. The name sounds musical but, when it's played this HAARP sort of, well, 'twangs' an important part of the atmosphere. They were doing this just to see what happened. Bit silly, really. Especially since another group of the inhabitants at a place called 'CERN' was doing more experimental stuff with elementary particles. While the two groups, separately, knew that they didn't know what they were doing, what they failed to realise was that when you create a particularly rare thing (a thing that these sheeple for their own reasons called a 'Higgs boson') at the same time that you're playing a HAARP, the interaction of the two creates a kind of a blip in space-time that is inimical to life. They were, in short, doing what all sentient life eventually does: playing god. They're all dead now. Naturally. O.o You heartless basta-- (muffled sounds, as of a struggle) FADE OUT
If you’ve got this far — your critical feedback would be very welcome, good or bad. (I can take it. Honest.)