Thursday, July 17, 2014

Divine Intervention - A Short Story

"The demons have been here."

The others looked at Yahweh with serious eyes.  Their leader was incensed as he gazed through the viewport.  The blue world in front of them was a prize much sought after amongst the sentient species of the galaxy.  It possessed an abundance of water, and life started teeming on it just two and a half billion years earlier.

"Lord, the biosphere here is extensive.  Are you sure these things couldn't have evolved on their own?" Gabriel ventured.

Yahweh snorted derisively.  "You really think the similarities in appearance are mere coincidence?  Look at the images brought back from our probe, and compare them to our nemesis.  Yes, there are differences, and their new puppets still have a long way to go, but they've obviously seeded this planet for later use."

Gabriel looked at the images on his own screen.  The reptilian nightmares on the surface sure looked like the demons once might have - they were primal, with tough hides and razor sharp teeth that could cut through rock.  Some even had claws and possessed speed that would rival any species engineered anywhere else in the universe.

"How could we have overlooked such extensive genetic engineering?" Michael asked.

"That doesn't matter," Yahweh answered.  "The only thing we can deal with is what is before us now.  We have to get rid of this infestation.  I want this world, and I want it now."

Among the group, now was a relative term.  These beings were, by all measures, immortal, just as their enemies were.  They sprang from the primordial soup of creation not long after the Big Bang, and their lifetimes were measured in eons.  Only the heat death of the universe would eventually snuff them out, and in order to prevent that, they needed other intelligences that could think outside the box.

"So, what's our plan, Lord?" Gabriel asked.

"We could infest the biosphere with bacterial or fungal toxin," Michael interjected.  "Creatures as large as these might be able to fight off conventional attacks for a while, but they're vulnerable to the least of us."

Yahweh stroked his beard.  "I'd rather not.  The biosphere is already rich, and although some of it must necessarily perish, I'd rather not have a poison that is difficult to control sticking around afterwards.  Such things could affect the tiniest of creatures, and there are some animals that I wish to preserve."

"We could use a flood basalt, or even a gamma ray burst.  We used that against the Ordovicians and it took care of them."

"Yes, but the resulting damage to the ozone would be challenging to repair again.  Flood basalts threaten the plankton we need to produce oxygen, and I like the balance of gasses here."  After another moment, he snapped his fingers.  "I've got it!  We toss 'em a rock."

Gabriel looked skeptical.  "That could take some time to redirect, assuming we even found one."

"You're forgetting that cloud of debris out by the outer rim of the system," Yahweh countered.  "We needn't grab a 50 kilometer planet killer - a simple stone 5 miles across should do the trick."

Michael began inputting computations into his console.  "That size object would destroy at least 75% of all land creatures and nearly 60% of the vegetation."

"Yet that's likely what's necessary to take out all of the demons' minions.  Those reptilian beasts are probably only 15 million years from developing intelligence - we can't have that.  Some collateral damage is to be expected, but I expect the smaller creatures, especially the mammals, to endure.  Besides which, sea creatures will be mostly unaffected and the bacterium and plankton that regulate gasses will remain intact."

After a few more minutes of debate, the discussion subsided and the crew began manipulating the graviton beam to pull in the rock.  Minute adjustments were made to its solar trajectory so that any demon scout ships passing by wouldn't notice(Yahweh's ship was cloaked, so he wouldn't be seen no matter what...a comet, on the other hand, had to be hidden until the last minute).

They remained in the system for several millennia while the rock started its journey.  Finally, after much patience and tinkering, it closed in on the planet.

The resulting explosion was intense, and even Uriel has to shield his eyes from the blast.  A fireball rose so high into the air that Yahweh briefly wondered if it'd catch the entire atmosphere on fire, but the resulting dust particles only enhanced the fire effect and killed the targets.  By the hundreds of thousands they died - the Allosaur, the Velociraptor, the Pteradon.  None of the species meant by the demons to evolve survived.

However, a few furry little creatures hiding in the rocks managed to live.  Yahweh smiled at his accomplishment, all while knowing he still had work to do.  There was brain matter to build, land bridges to be formed for encouraging migration, and simple tools to place so that deductive reasoning could grow.  All in all, though, he was pleased.

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