Aphelion Issue 293, Volume 28
September 2023
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Learn from Our Extinction

by Jonathan Snyder

In retrospect, all of the screaming about racism, the horrible things that countries did to each other seems rather petty after they came. Honestly, who cares what your skins color was when their ships entered orbit and started to systematically bomb our cities. They did not see us as German, Japanese, White, or Black. They saw us all as an infestation and free labor. They especially loved the free labor part, enslaving ninety percent of us to do all their work.

To watch a world burn because we were too busy pretending that we were better than each other really showed how far we failed to recognize the true threat. Instead of learning and trying our best to co-exist, we preferred to destroy each other; removing any chance we could have repelled the invaders when they came. Our country lines kept us from uniting even when the first fusion canons opened up on the surface.

So much of our world fell in the first weeks as we were not ready for their attack. Our nuclear arsenal was a joke and when it came to ground combat, it was even more ironically hilarious. Two or three of their alien soldiers could take on companies of us. I think we only killed one or two and that cost us dearly.

The invaders had a love of water and of precious minerals, which they were more than happy to have us dig up for them. I watched as my own species was forced to dig up the materials and collect the resources that kept our planet alive. I was lucky to escape most of the hard labor due to being proficient at the nuclear sciences. I was only considered worth more because they did not want to waste time themselves preparing fissionable materials for transfer to their vessels in space. I barely had time and those poorly prepped containers killed so many of our own.

I might sound harsh on my people, but they deserve it. From the view from where I sit in my cave, I can see the smoldering mines now abandoned and filled with the ghosts of those who perished when they were through. The silhouettes of the burned out cities long evacuated in the early years are etched in to the green-gray skyline due to the air being polluted with toxic chemical and processing byproducts. To smell the putrid odor of Sulfur and chemicals in the air that once held the scent of blossoms is gut wrenching. Our world is dead, our species gutted, and all they can do is put the humans in their control out of their misery and return to their ship. At least those people get a quick death. The rest of us will have to slowly suffocate on the poison air around us.

I leave this note to anyone who comes to this dead world in the hope that they learn from our mistakes. Do not get caught up on your own internal stupidity. You and your people, united, are the only thing that can make sure your world lasts and that you can stand up against the monsters that inhabit the stars. You have to find a way to co-exist together because death is only waiting for you in the black and it is coming for you. My people will not get a second chance, so all I can ask of you is that you, whoever you are, learn from our extinction. Because it is our last lesson.

Archeology note: This document was discovered in a hermetically sealed container on planet 4575b in the south arm of galaxy 257. The planet shows no signs of life or structures. The only proof that this barren rock was once inhabited is this paper. Send to the department of cultural affairs for dissemination to the science caste to see if we can find the validity in their statements.

Personal Note: Pity they all died.


2016 Jonathan Snyder

Bio: Mr. Snyder has been writing stories since his mother handed him a college typewriter at the age of twelve. With a love for stories and the written word, he has continued to share his work with anyone willing to hold still long enough to be caught by it. His publication credits include Aphelion, JukePop and Gateway Science Fiction Magazine. http://www.jtworld.net  His last Aphelion appearance was Hitchhiker in the Storm in our December, 2015 issue.

E-mail: Jonathan Snyder

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