The world was made ideal for human life, and for humanity, cunning was competitive but it came with overconfidence. So although the world started as nirvana, it was cursed with consistency, and for a dominant species imbued with a Hey-y’all-watch-this bravado and an inability to not fuck with a good thing, any improvements were short lived.
Although they could have gotten around fine with wind, sun, and strong legs, humans contrived ways to go much faster, sometimes just to go faster in a circle. Although they could have controlled their population to a level commensurate with their resources, they were much too enamored by their genitalia and their DNA to trust in children that didn’t have their eyes. And although they could have gotten their calories directly from the earth, they conspired to pack as many calories as possible into synthetic foodstuffs, and built stationary movement machines to burn calories as their waistlines expanded.
It was self-evident that humans wuz crazy.
In fact, humans were really only extraordinarily good at one thing: waste production. Organic waste, heat waste, light waste, noise waste, hell they were the loudest, fastest, brightest, dirtiest, suicidal species ever conceived. They were the rednecks of the animal kingdom, and like all rednecks, despite the washer and dryer in the yard, they were proud. In fact, they were “damn proud.” This meant that they had an innate belief in the value of their insights despite any evidence to the contrary (any insights gained from the reading of this story notwithstanding).
So while they could not stop the exponential growth of waste, they could also not come up with a way to effectively dispose of it. Just as one would rather workout to lose weight than stop eating chocolate, well the world couldn’t stick with a diet.
The solution came with a space elevator, but just like that sugar-laden energy drink that people consumed while driving their fast cars on their way to use a stationary moving stairway to burn calories, it didn’t serve any purpose. It just moved junk from inner space to outer space. Of course because of the growing geosynchronous ball of shit that developed, the world got colder. The business of blocking the sun was the very definition of counter-productive.
One couple of geniuses, a young married couple (not actually geniuses), named Dude and his wife Arrow, contrived to build a massive trash compacter. Again, and this cannot be emphasized enough, Dude and Arrow were not smart, so much as lucky. They just knew where to go for an epiphany and how to package it as a religion. So when they heard from a friend building some new nanotechnology that those little nano-boogers could eat anything, well they just built a platform to ship those boogers to outer space. Their device could conceivably, in one fell swoop, consume and condense the entirety of all floating space garbage. They called it the “Turtle.”
Large, disk-shaped, dark, and slow moving – hell the shielding even made it look kind of like a turtle. It was actually pretty good with consumption, less good with compression: it swelled. That’s not say that it wasn’t better, with less crap falling on their heads from orbit and making it easier to send stuff up, people felt like they were doing the right thing, but in the end, that damned Turtle started to block the sun again.
As luck would have it, at the same time the Turtle’s frigid shadow was growing, the sun itself was starting to cool. So even if they could get it to move out of the damn way, people weren’t going to get enough of that good sun stuff to let them get back to their comfortable self-destruction.
As their final contribution to humanity, Dude and Arrow found a way to give that Turtle wings, solar sails to be accurate. They set the sails to tack against the solar current and drag our little planet closer towards that dwindling warmth, you know, over time.
Unfortunately, Dude and Arrow would not live long enough to experience the liberation of their Turtle. They would die together, one of heart failure and the other of cancer, but miraculously they died in the same room at the exact same moment, a completely synchronous death. They were bonded in that instant as they had been throughout their entire lives, where each moment was forever, neither one of them would ever live to be incomplete.
On a planetary timescale, the same was true of course for the rebel mayflies called the human race. They existed in the time equivalence of a quantum blink, too small to measure. They were all born and died together in an instant, but hey, they created a damned space turtle with a damn sail on it that was pulling a whole damn planet closer to their sun with the hope of resurrecting life. That wasn’t nothing.
Taken together, the sum total of the human race was kind of a poignant love story, full of incredible bravery, tragedy, hubris and a little misplaced manifest destiny.
The least you could do is give a little “wohoo,” raise the horns, give a cry for “Freebird,” and then, please, a moment of silence. A protracted moment of silence.
Who knows, maybe something will come back once this little rock warms up.
It remains to be seen in the remains.