The World Is Ending And There Is Nothing You Can Do About It
In a very pristine house, a very important person received a call from 30 miles away, "Hello! Is this the president?!"
"Um, yes, who is this?" the confused leader of the free world replied, "and how did you get this number?"
"That's not important, what is important that is that the world will end in less than 65 hours!"
"I'm sorry, but you cannot dispose such information and expect me to believe it from an anonymous caller."
"Mr. President, you have to believe me! There's a buttered armadillo on a truck on it's way to El Pa-" The phone hung up.
"Now that's over, what's next on the agenda?" the president asked?
"I believe you have to sign new bill to build a oil pipeline across native land."
"Oh yes! Gimme a pen!"
Meanwhile elsewhere, someone else is getting a very important phone call.
"So you're saying that the world is going to end in less than 65 hours?!"
"Yes, that is correct! And you have to do something about it!"
"You can count on me, god!"
“I’m not god,” the man on the phone replied.
The phone clicked and the dial tone played. “It’s time to save the planet! For I am, Elron Hash!”
A few hours later, a cabal of 9 people in attendance in silk pajamas gather in a pristine room in an discrete location addressing a rather large group of factory workers.
“Gentlemen! and our single diversity hire lady,” Elron announced, “You must be wondering why I have called you all in so late into the night. If that’s what you’re wondering, then you’re fired because you’re not paid to wonder. You’re paid to work. But let’s get to the point of why we’ve kept you past overtime and away from your homes for the night. Worry not, it’s not because you’re in trouble. Far from it! It is because you are being rewarded!”
The 8 other people clapped excitedly. The factory floor was silent.
“I said, ‘You are being awarded!’”
Elron turned to the man with a singular long strand of hair atop of his bald head and asked, “Bozo, what’s your policy on walking out an entire factory for a trip to a mass grave?”
The entire factory roared in applause.
“Thank you! Thank you! You’re not kind enough! What’s this reward, you may be asking?”
A banner below unfolded to reveal, a diagram for a space shuttle.
That you are going to build!
The factory floor workers took it well as a discordance of confusion.
“Quiet, all of you!”
No response, it was still loud.
“I said, QUIET!!”
The room was still loud.
“We can garnish their wages, right?”
The room was suddenly silent.
“You are all a bunch of children. But that's okay, because I am better than you. I know that this is a factory that manufactures and produces cars! I know that most of you probably don’t know what I’m saying that you because you come from migrant areas and I'm withholding your visas and that you're all in considerable debt to leave the country! But I know that if we pull our bootstraps, we can make the best ark that even NASA will be pissing themselves over.”
The room was silent as the factory workers were wondering if that was supposed to be inspirational.
Oh. That was supposed to be inspirational. The crowd weakly clapped.
“Thank you! Your sense of team works needs work!”
Elron then turned around and his cabal of 8 other people walked away.
I almost forgot. You all have 48 hours to make this ark. So, haul ass or your fired.”
The factory workers were discordant because they know that 48 hours is not enough time to make a space shuttle.
“Oh yeah, if you don’t we will burn your houses and kill your families. We know that’s not legal, but we’re rich and we can get away with it. Don't chance it.”
The entire factory scrambled into chaos as they hurriedly try to construct what they had no idea how the heck to build a space ship, however the fear of being homeless and racking debt was stronger than admitting they didn’t know what they were doing.
Before the cabal of elites entered the meeting room to discuss plans logistic, the chief of engineer walked up to Elron and asked, “Are you crazy?”
To which Elron replied with, “No, my name is Elron, but you can call me Lord President.”
“Because I don’t know who you are and you shouldn’t be addressing me. And because you are here, I’m going to assume that you’re not working. And because you’re not working I’m assuming you have a death wish. So get your ass down to the factory floor and get to working. Time is my money.” To which he proceeded into the meeting room with nary a thought. Elron then lit a rolled-up piece of paper and the entire room filled with smoke and yelled, “Let’s get this party started!” Colorful lights flushed the room, and a pair of security guards escorted the engineer down to the factory floor. Before the engineer was out of earshot, Elron opened the door and said to the engineer from a distance, “Oh, a reminder! Try to keep under budget!”
The chief engineer then walked down to the factory floor dumbstruck that there was no way that they could build a space ark within 48 hours, much less a car with wings on it. There was no way in hell that they could turn 3 million dollars into a feasible rocket that can carry even one person much less 300 people. However, desperation is a strong drive as people on the factory floor tore parts from brand new cars that have yet to ship and start welding them together. Grabbing as much metal they can gather and stitch them to each other to make the hull. Jerry rigging car engines together to make a crude engine. Seats ripped apart to create a set of seats for passengers. It was pure insanity that was happening. To think that this all happened within the hour. It’s amazing to see what the final product would be in 48 hours.
Seeing how the factory workers managed to have order in a chaotic environment with a few work accidents here and there, the chief of engineering got on the phone and made a few calls to a few places.
12 hours passed and the party in the meeting room had finished, everyone sobered up, and immediately left to go to the meeting room next door while the old meeting was closed so that the janitorial staff can clean it and try to mask the smell with sea breeze.
“Gentlemen, and lady. As you all know,” Elron started, “but because it bears repeating, the world is going to end.”
“Yes,” replied Will Dorf, “we know.”
“Because of a phone call you received,” added Gaft Bozo, “from space.”
“From an alien, no doubt,” quipped Ivanna Dumpf.
“Making the existence of aliens, real!” noted Joe Donh.
“Yes,” said Ted Faques, “which means more beings that will be blessed in the Almighty’s glory.”
“And so many to exploi- I mean, study,” remarked Sno Caine.
“No need to be coy. Think of all those children that outer space has,” uttered Sin Ned, “To think that they’ve gone so long without our wisdom.”
“THE SOUTH WILL RISE AGAIN!” ejaculated Mickey Colonics.
“Calm down there, Mick,” reassured Elron, “We’ll get there when we get there. For now we have to get to other matters.” He turned on the television monitor behind him and continued, “With our new ark now under way and completed in 12 hours, we should be deciding who we should be letting on this ship.”
“Well,” Dorf contributed, “I think we should let the hard-working factory workers we have under our employ join us as an appreciation for their loyalty and hard work towards this arduous task we’re making them do under duress.”
The entire room roared in laughter.
“I COULDN’T EVEN SAY THAT IN A STRAIGHT FACE!”
“Yeah,” Elron quipped, “Feck’em. We already paid them enough. But any serious suggestions?”
“Children!” Ivanna suggested, “We’re gonna need children. Lots of them!”
“Oh, of course we’re going to need children,” Elron responded, “who else is going to work in the factories with undying loyalty?”
“And if they complain,” Joe added, “who’re they gonna tell? Their parents?”
“Of course not, genius guys. Genius! Now who else?”
“Let’s put in tons of migrant workers,” Sno said, “we’re gonna need some actual hands for labors and migrants love to do it for cheap. All you have to do is feed them and give them a floor to live on.”
“Just make sure to spade and neuter them,” Gaft added.
“WE DON’T WANT THE SLAVE POPULATION TO GROW TO BIG!” assured Mickey Colonics.
“Oo,” Elron winced, “let’s not call them slaves.”
Will suggested, “Well, I find the term employed laborers works.”
“Too long, but we’ll leave that to marketing.” Elron went to the next part, “Now that we’ve established the working class and how to keep them from waging a revolution, let’s talk location. As you know, the planet is doomed. However, the planet next door is not.” On the monitor he pulled up an image of the moon.
Everyone was at an awe.
“YES! SOON WE WILL ENSLAVE THE MOONINITES! FOR THE SOUTH!”
“Love the enthusiasm, but you need to have chill, Mitch. That aside, I’ve already set a plot on the moon for us to take. Once we’re there, we’ll just take the entire moon with no one to stop us!”
“Um,” Sno piped up, “if the planet itself were to be destroyed, wouldn’t that mean that the moon will be flying out of orbit too?”
The entire room nodded in agreement.
Elron grimaced, knowing that he’s no longer the smartest person in the room. “Well if you want to get technical, yeah that’s right. But I didn’t count on the E-arth to disappear out of existence, if that’s what’ll happen. Which is why I propose that with 100 percent certainty that we instead travel to-” Elron pointed at the monitor as the it filled with the red hue of the planet, “Mars!”
The whole room ooed.
“But is it safe?” asked Ivanna, “How do you know that there’s no aliens on the planet?”
“In the hundred years we hadn’t found life on there now, what are the chances that they’ll suddenly pop out now? And if we do, we’ll just kill them and take their land.”
“MANIFEST DESTINY!!” yelled Mickey.
“Yes! Manifest destiny!” contributed Ted, “They’ll understand once we send them to the Almighty.”
“But regardless of the possible native population, we need to talk about land and how we’ll divvy it up amongst ourselves.”
“Seeing that we’ll be in control of the planet,” spoke Gaft, “I say that we should split it all up equally. We’ll take an equal amount of land mass and map out each other’s territory.”
“That seems fair and I don’t see how any of that can go wrong.” Elron noted, “So we’ll do that since we live in a democracy and that’s the fairest thing to do.”
“LIFE, LIBERTY, AND PROPERTY!”
“While we’re on the subject, let’s talk food” Elron brought up.
“Steak, caviar, and the occasional child,” Sin quipped, “any arguments?”
“Any spices?” asked Will.
“Salt’s a spice, right?”
Everyone nodded in agreement, however Ivanna said, “Eh, it’s too spicy for me.”
“Fine, because salt is too spicy for Ivanna, we will not bring salt,” Elron announced, “Thanks to that contribution, we’ve saved a thousand dollars on payload expenses.” Everyone clapped and patted themselves on the back. “Which brings us on the next topic, money.”
The room was silent as they all stared at each other. The tension so thick that not even frozen butter can cut. “For the employed laborers.” Everyone else let out a sound of realization and relief. “I was going to suggest forever indentured servitude, unless you have any other suggestions.”
“No, I think that’s the most reasonable plan to move forward with,” Gaft confirmed, “It worked for the sharecroppers.” Everyone agreed in unison.
“SLAVES!” yelled Mitch, “A SIGN OF A GREAT EMPIRE!”
“Now that’s everything on the agenda, so I guess…” Elron looked over his list, “that’s meeting dismissed. Gentlemen and lady, dismissed.” Everyone got up, patted each other on the back and stood in a circle to grab each other’s crotch in congratulations.
Elron took a step out and found that after 12 hours, the construction of his space craft was half finished. A sane person would be impressed by this. Elron walked to the factory floor and grabbed the chief of engineering and said, “WHAT THE FECK ARE YOU DOING?!”
At a loss for words, the chief of engineering was a lost for words because he was doing his job.
“Why aren’t you guys finished?!”
Still, the chief of engineering was at a loss for words, they still had 36 hours before the deadline.
“I told you to get these finished hours ago! I’m now gonna garnish all of your wages because of your incompetency.”
“Talking back I see? I see that you’re not dedicated to the cause of space travel, do I have to fire a bitch?”
“Yes sir, but w-“
“No butts! Now do it faster! This was all supposed to be done yesterday!” Elron turned away and announced to the entire factory. “Listen up! All of you are behind schedule! And it’s all because of this jaggoff here! So, if you guys are wondering where your wages went, you can blame Feckface here!” He turned around and exited the factory.
The chief of engineering whispered to himself, “This is still slightly more manageable than working in programming. Don’t mind the boss, he’s just a little tense. And probably on drugs. Again. However, we’re all behind schedule! So, the deadline’s been pushed from 36 hours to 24 hours!”
The entire factory moaned and complained. They were already overworked and tired. Several of them already replaced as they were consumed by the project itself. Buckets filled and boxes filled with excrement as the bathroom and breakrooms were closed off. Vending machines smashed open and emptied as the fridge was cut off and empty. Exhausted bodies were being dragged from the factory and dumped into the relaxation room, a 3x3 foot wide box that was already filled to the brim with other exhausted workers. At this point it was merely human Tetris they were playing to fit as many people as possible into the flesh tube. As more factory workers became incapacitated, more workers flooded in to replace the fallen. Hundreds of people flooding in, but only 9 people walk out. Despite all the blood, sweat, and tears, their sacrifices were not in vain as by the 11th hour, they finally managed to complete the project and constructed the ark to the letter. With a sigh of relief, the factory workers dropped dead from exhaustion; knowing that their loved ones will receive a hefty benefit check.
The cabal of 9 people returned to the factory to find the project completed. They stood in front of the completed space craft and marveled at its completion and the enormous size of the project. They patted each other and shook each other’s hands and congratulated themselves, knowing that their party of bottomless mimosas and driving fast car made an impact on the construction of such a feat. Elron stood in front of a podium and announced to the still conscious factory workers who could appreciate such a feat, “Congrats! We did it people! Thanks to us, we finally surpassed the limits of human achievement and made way towards exploration. Thanks to you but mostly me, we’ll be able to escape the cradle of our planet and explore far and wide and expand our control beyond that of the E-Arth sphere! It is all thanks to me!” The other 8 people of the cabal clapped wildly. The factory workers who were still conscious enough to listen to the speech were wishing that they had dropped dead from exhaustion were clapping as hard as they could before falling into a deep sleep. “Now let’s load this up and get a news team ready!”
In a short 6 hours, the spacecraft was loaded onto a truck and taken to the airfield where an army of news crews broadcasted the event live. Elron is standing behind a podium wearing a space suit along with the other members of the cabal. There he is giving a speech to the entire world.
“Hello people of the world! You may be wondering why I have called all of you on short notice. I understand that you are all confused but excited. I am here to announce that today will be making another achievement in mankind. Today we’ve made a momentous achievement in building a space ark that will house thousands of humans who will be the start of many people to explore the final frontier. In such a short time span, we were able to construct this monument to mankind and will soon start our long journey exploring the stars. That is thanks to the charitable help of all of these companies that contributed to the cause. If it were not for them, this project would have never made it off the ground much less the stratosphere! It is thanks to their sacrifices that we will make such a journey. Remember, it was not a governing body restricted by politics that lead us to this point, but the power of the people, unity, and collaboration. We chose this and that is how we’ll break the limit and beyond the skies. We do not know when we will return, but know that when we do, it is to bring glory of our long travels like the explorers of long before. Today we let the universe know that the human race will not be confined to just one planet and is hungry to explore and expand! Now if you don’t mind, we will be now loading ourselves and readying ourselves for our long journey to the great beyond.”
“AND BECAUSE THIS PLANET IS FECKED!” yelled Mickey.
“Yes, that too. Sayonara!” The cabal ran into the loading platform as the news crew were confused and befuddled by what the turtle person meant by the planet being fecked.
They all loaded into the space craft and seated themselves. Fuel was being loaded into the craft as they were all sat in the seats. Everyone was there. The wealthy cabal sitting next to the pilots’ room, the military personnel below, then the children and their working-class parents at the very bottom. They all waited for the maiden voyage to begin, eager to reap the rewards that awaited them.
The countdown started, T-minus 60 seconds.
They were all seated vertically, staring towards the front in their seats. Elron, who was seated at the very bottom of the shadowy cabal, announced, “Gentlemen, and lady. I don’t want to jinx it, but I believe that we finally made it. We’re finally going to space.” Everybody cheered. “However, I don’t think we’re going to make it.” Everybody else was confused by what he meant by that.
T-minus 30 seconds.
“I’m afraid that there was an accident,” he continued, “and only I survived.”
“What are you talking about?” Gaft demanded.
Click, “It seems that there was a misfire from the deck below.”
Ivana who was sat next to him screamed, “GAFT!!”
“What’s going on?!” Will unbuckled and looked down and saw a flash of light.
“Elron! We’re being attacked!” yelled Sno.
Sin interjected “No! It’s Elron! He-”
“Elron, how could you?!” asked Joe.
“Almighty! Save me-!” Ted begged.
“YOU CANNOT KILL ME! I AM IMMOR-!” Mickey was finally silenced.
Elron announced to his colleagues, “I would like to thank you for your sacrifices and appreciate for your kind and generous donation. Loading your precious valuables onboard and leaving me your loved ones onto the ship. They will not be in vain.”
T-minus 10 seconds.
“It’s unfortunate you all had to perish, but there was no way in Hell that I was going to share power with anyone. Much less anyone who was going to undermine me the moment we’ve landed.”
From afar, the chief engineer watched the entire newscast from a small TV from his office leaned against the table, scoffing at the supposed space ark that they had built in such a hurry. Another engineer entered and asked, “John? What are you doing here? Quitting time was hours ago.”
“Oh, I’m just watching the fruits of our labor, Jean,” responded the chief.
Mission control counted down, “T-Minus 30 seconds”
“C’mon, we’ve been up for 36 hours, don’t you think that you’ve had enough work?”
“I do, but this isn’t work, it’s pleasure.”
“You really are a masochist, aren’t you?”
“Yes. Now hush, I won’t be able to enjoy the fireworks with you talking.”
“Yes, there’s gonna be an impressive display, wanna come sit down and watch with me?”
Jean thought for a bit, although he has family waiting for him at home and colleagues at every bar in town drinking like it’s the end of the Civil War readying to get their arms cut off, he thought, “Okay, I’ll bite.” He sat down next to the chief, waiting in anticipation for what’s to come next.
T-minus 10 seconds.
Ignition and lift off!
The rockets of the space ark and igniting, lifting off of the ground!
For a total of 3 seconds.
The rockets sputtering.
Fell back to the ground hard.
Tipped over, the rockets reignited, slid all over the run away, moving in circles across the ground.
Spinning out of control.
Lifted itself slightly and into the air towards the stratosphere, and then exploded violently.
Jean’s jaw dropped. He was dumbfounded! He turned his head towards John and asked, “Did you know about this?!”
“Nope,” he took a sip out of his coffee, “but it was very likely.”
“We’re a commercial manufacturing plant.” he answered, “If anything wrong happens, we’ll just recall it and fix it later.” He gulped down the rest of his drink and placed it on a table and said, “Come on, let’s go.”
“Where?” Jean asked.
“To the launching of a space ark.”
Hours later, the two had arrived at a space center where they found a considerably smaller space shuttle, ready to launch.
“What’s this?” Jean asked.
“The real ark.”
“And this was built while we were building ours?!”
“Well, not essentially, this was built several months ago.”
“Then why’s it completed? And why does it look so much like the one we built but less…”
“Who do you think the boss man bought the plans from?”
“Is that why it's smaller than the one we made?”
“Yes, turns out our engineer and chief didn't consider the weigh distribution of adding more seats would ruin flight.”
Jean tilted his head in bewilderment and asked, “But why were we building this in the first place?”
“Well, to answer your question Jean,” John licked his lips, “The planet as we know it is going to end soon.”
“I wished I was.”
“How do you know?”
“Word gets around the grapevine. There were several calls received from space telling us that the planet was going to end. The person on the other line didn’t know how but seeing that every phone call consistently came from a singular point within our orbit, we knew that it couldn’t have been a hoax.”
“So you actually believe this hoax?”
“Then why are we doing this?”
“Because why not.”
Jean was befuddled by the answer.
“When I was a kid, Jean, there used to be stars in the skies, now there’s just lights in the sky. Too long ago, we just stopped looking up at the sky and wished to reach for the stars. Suddenly we thought that the age of space exploration was over. There was no profit to be made in space travel and discovery. But did we explore space to turn a profit? No. In all of us we have a deep-rooted desire to explore, make new discoveries, our curiosity pushing us to make connections. We build tools, interact, collaborate, make observations, build connections to make further connections. We’re a curious race. But somehow, we’ve stunted. We’ve grown tired of surpassing our limits. However, that’s not true. It is not us that have stunted, it is the people who sit at the top and make decisions. They believe that if there isn’t a profit, there’s nothing that should be done. Not knowing that the purpose is not to make a profit. That burning curiosity is within us still. That’s why we have books, entire libraries, news, the internet. We hunger for knowledge and the desire to share it is strong.”
“But what does this have to do with going to space?”
“Because the greatest achievement of the human race, is that our resilience. All it needs is a little tender, love, and care. Something that is in short supply here. Someone out there is looking out for us, why else would they tell us in advance? The earliest sign of civilization is a healed femur, the sign compassion for others.”
“But if the planet is going to end, then why aren’t you getting on? You seem to be knowledgeable and capable?”
“As much as I enjoy space,” John replied, “I have a fear of vacuums. Plus, someone needs to stay down here to keep everyone alive.”
In a few hours, the ignition lit the fuel and the ark rocketed into the air.
The troposphere, cleared. Now entering the stratosphere.
The ark trajectory arced slightly. Exiting the mesosphere and entering the thermosphere. The booster rockets detaching and falling to the planet below.
Arcing further, the fairing detached. Approaching the edge of the thermosphere and entering the ionosphere.
The central core separated. The ionosphere far behind and now entering the exosphere.
Payload detached and exiting the planet orbit and approaching the source of the signal.
The source of the signal seems to be coming from-
A CARDBOARD BOX? Wha-?
But before the people on board could make contact with the source, they were immediately dragged back towards the planet.
“What’s going on?!” The pilots yelled into their receiver.
Ground control responded, “We don’t know! It seems that something is pulling you towards the planet! Increase thrusters to escape!”
Further and further they were from the source for no matter how hard they tried, they could not escape the gravity of the planet and leave the cradle of their home. Down fell the space craft carrying the world’s smartest and brightest.
Was this a malfunction? Did the being in the box not wish their escape? Or did the planet not want her children to escape her confines? It wasn’t known. And we may never know. But we do know is that despite all their efforts, giving up was not a question.
It’s a hurdle to surpass.
The ark’s thrusters were pushed against their limits, running the entire spacecraft hot as every bit of energy was used to escape their demise. The 50 passengers on board were burning up, hot. Their cockpit of the ship baking them in an intense heat. The pilots constantly correcting their course, to keep from the ship from being sucked in by the mysterious force pulling them. They struggled, they shook, they swerved! However this force was greedy, for every force the pilots applied on escaping the mysterious force countered it twice as hard.
Until ultimately, the ark had run out of fuel. The mysterious force had won out. This was destiny. Something that could not be changed no matter how hard they tried.
A humanoid figure climbed out of the cardboard box and watched the ark fall towards the blue pearl stained with red. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, “there was nothing I could do.” Tears flowed from his eyes and followed the falling spacecraft.
Then nothing happened.
That is to say, the entire planet exploded and then imploded and became nothing. Nothing happened. But due to the laws of physics, another planet named Earth took its place and were considerable worse than the previous tenants.