“The miracle of man is not how far he has sunk but how magnificently he has risen. We are known among the stars by our poems, not our corpses.” – Robert Ardrey
“It’s just… totally natural” remarked Sky in a breathy voice with a vapid smile. She was filming a commercial for Swan Song at their studio production headquarters in Manila. Sky was a mega-celebrity known across the globe; she was a government secretary to the NAU Council Corporation, a news anchor for Global Public Media, and an adult film actress adored by men, women, transexuals, asexuals, hermaphrodites, androids and non-gendered cyborgs alike. Nobody really thought it was odd that she played multiple, somewhat contradictory roles. This was how the world worked. She was the most recent person to endorse Swan Song for the North American Union campaign blitz, and these commercials were soon being shown around the world. Swan Song had already opened up two huge operations in North America, one in the Rockies and one in the Appalachian Mountains, processing tens of thousands of people everyday. 14% of the North American Continent had already been processed in the first year. “Swan Song will make sure that my soul avoids the void of dark, cold, deep space and arrives in paradise, in the everlasting warmth and happiness of the sun, shining forever” she said while smiling and flipping her hair and batting her eyelashes. She giggled and straddled a small rocket wearing a tight costume space suit that was unzipped midway down on her chest. The holograph showed a rocket that appeared to fire up and deliver Sky shrinking directly into a 3D representation of the expanding sun. This would be projected as a holograph in nearly every home across the globe. “See you here! So we can be together” she said as the sun grew brighter.
She was also very well known for her endorsements of Bio-Mushrooms, which was the “100% earth friendly, natural, green mushroom that can sustain life on earth!” She never ate it, but most of the world did in the frenzy of the mushroom craze. The giant global agricultural corporations had won the public relations war surrounding the genetically modified organisms debate. They called Bio-Mush, “organically enhanced, meta-natural, biological foodstuffs,” that were supposed to be the solution for the worlds food shortages and rampant scourges of starvation. Bio-Mush was in actuality, a super genetically modified, toxic chemical producing, spliced and augmented organism that had no real natural predecessor in the fungus family of plants. Sky had a long and illustrious career of championing all the latest “health” fads for the masses. Bio-Mush was supposedly the healthful, earth-friendly food that was all the rage these days, and allowed entire cities of people to eat and survive, because normal old fashion food such as meat, eggs, and bread, and truly organic vegetables were prohibitively expensive and very hard to come by, generally only being consumed by the wealthy and elites. The nefarious function of Bio-Mush, not told to the populace, was that it was a kind of neural tranquilizer and caused peoples endocrine system to shrivel up, making people essentially docile automatons who never dreamt, and exhibited very few emotions, imagination, energy or will power.
Massimiliano, or Max as he was commonly known, wasn’t buying it. He walked by a shop window in Rio De Janeiro playing the holograph of Sky’s latest advertisement and spat. He was one of the smartest people in the world and saw through many of the lies of the media-industrial complex and harbored a hot disdain for modern humans. He had just returned a from an underground black market feast up in the favelas. The clandestine warmth of his body digesting the food and drink he had consumed made him feel cautiously ecstatic. The military police were everywhere and would shoot any suspected criminals on sight. He was a connoisseur of old food, and was involved in an secret network of criminals who raised, butchered, trafficked, bartered and ate real food. He just came from a cave in the mountains where gauchos were roaming the dimly lit dining hall continuously offering exquisite churrasco of over 15 rotisserie meats including top sirloin, tri-tip, flap steak, brisket, lamb, pork, bacon, chicken, and sausage while traditional Brazilian drummers banged percussion sounds into the night. And there was dancing, soulful dancing. There, him and his band of like minded dissidents would talk about the corruption of the world while laughing and drinking. His nervous and endocrine systems functioned exceptionally well, and unlike the vast majority of earthlings, he was still gifted with the ability to perform critical thinking and feel the full range of human emotions. He stepped out on the expansive sands of the beach, and looked up at the moon, the stars, and the many satellites and drones criss-crossing the sky, and took a long, deep breath.
He then looked up at Corcovado, the mountain where the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer used to be, and saw now how it had been converted into a launch pad for Swan Song. The giant mechanical slingshot sent a rocket up into space, carrying a few lucky people who really did get a ride up into the sun. Under the mountain, under the jungle, was the real operation where hundreds of people every day were put in the giant lava blender. Max caught on to this quickly by simply watching the amount of people that went into the main entrance of the Brazilian Swan Song operation and then calculated the amount of rockets that went into space, and found that only a fraction of their customers were actually going into space, into the sun as promised. Most of the people just went in and never came out, according to his estimation.
Massimiliano remembered not long ago when he was standing outside the giant edifice pleading with his mother and sister, and her daughter begging them not to go. He tried to tell them the truth, that it was a sham and scam, but they believed the lies. The wanted to go to heaven to be with Papa. They went into Swan Song and never came out. Everyone just thought Max was being paranoid, irrational, angry, and perhaps even mentally unstable. They mistook passion for madness. He lost three generations of the most important women in his life that day.
He then started going to the line of hungry patrons waiting outside Swan Song, and would give out Bio-Mush cookies that contained a large quantity of microscopic, nanotech transceivers. Later at home, he would watch a holographic projector recreate a miniature scale of the people and their surroundings, as the transceivers sent back millions of blips. Watching in disbelief as these people almost never went into space aboard a swanky rocket, but instead the vast majority of them seemed to go down into the earth, spinning, spiraling deep down, and then disappear.
Most of Max’s time lately was spent at a long messy desk, in front of multiple holographic projectors and semi-transparent glass monitors. Reclining in his chair or lurching around the house with a virtual reality headset, inundated with information constantly, he tried to make sense of it all, while most of the world thought he was just insane and paranoid. He was getting old, he once tried to save the world, but he gave up. As one of the best computer hackers in the world, Max had just completed his magnum opus. He had recently spied on a secret meeting that took place on the moon that outlined all the details of global depopulation project. All the the world’s most powerful leaders got together at the New World Lunar Parliament to discuss something else that was supposed to happen; something so huge and so sinister that even he had trouble wrapping his mind around it. In the coming weeks, all the bureaucratic elitists, bankers, media moguls, and government leaders (and about 6,000 genetically ideal interns) from around the globe were going up to the Lunar Parliament Compound to hide out while the caldera at Yellowstone National Park was going to blow its’ lid. Apparently, all the deep drilling into the earth was going to set off a number of massive volcanic eruptions in the coming months. This was going to devastate the world for many decades, and also cover the world in a thick black smog, causing huge food shortages, chaos around the globe and usher in another miniature ice age. The only area that could truly sustain any life thereafter was going to be a relatively narrow band of earth along the equator, which the elitists and government leaders knew they would need for production of real food.
After lots of hard work, Max had successfully hacked several satellites that orbited the earth and moon and were equipped with gravity-tractor beams to assist with the docking of space shuttles, pods and equipment. These satellites emitted a powerful infra-sonic sound beam that could generate a significant gravitational pull which when used in conjunction with precise trajectory calculations would assist in securing and docking various objects in space. Max had also discovered an incoming near earth object, Comet A-839292 roughly the size of the entire Floridian peninsula, with one of the lunar observatories used to protect the government compound. He immediately masked it with a cloaking code that infected every capable observatory. Then, he created a virus and program that simultaneously aimed 8 of the satellites at the comet and shot out the concentrated gravity-tractor beams, all at varying strengths, to pull the comet off of it’s original trajectory, and put on a direct crash course with the moon. It took him months to come up with the proper calculations that he would need to pull this off, utilizing the worlds most powerful quantum computers remotely. Each satellite shot out an invisible burst of gravity towards the giant space rock, tugging on it just enough to set it on a converging path with the large lunar body.
The comet would be colliding with the moon in 4 days, 5 hours, 32 minutes and 40 seconds. Nobody else on the earth or the moon knew this, only Max; it was his little secret.