“…we arrive at the lovely tourist planet of Xen’arthia. And… oh my god it’s been nuked back to the bedrock. That’s the third planet we’ve visited in a row! What’s going on?”
If it is one thing I’ve learnt from the movies, it is that when aliens invade they are either humanoid with superior tech or bug-like and easily squashed. I don’t recall seeing many movies about bugs with superior technology. Just another way that Hollywood softened us up and served us on a plate to our conquerors.
They were lobsters. We went to war against lobsters. Blue and green, crustacean from another world. Of course, they weren’t crustacean, or even from another world really. They came from here, just next door across a rift in time and reality.
It was bad enough that we were fighting for our lives against alien beings that weren’t even vaguely alien in origin. In all fairness, they had been on this world, well on a version of this world, for longer than we had. At some point something had changed, the chance evolution that had led to the dinosaurs and then to humanity, had never happened.
They had become the apex creatures of their earth, developing for millennia. They had developed tools before the evolution of the feather, and by the time we were working out the combustion engine, they had mastered dimensional travel. Then they decided they wanted our world before we ruined it completely.
Writing Exercise: Describe a place. Use no characters or dialogue.
Dark corridors stretch as far as the eye can see. At least they would, had anyone been present to see. The dull red glow of emergency lighting provided the only illumination and would reveal nothing to an observer beyond miles of untreated metal panels and non-slip flooring. The air itself is stale and lifeless, carrying only suspended dust particles and the scent of exposed steel. Here and there an exposed wire pokes out from the unsealed intersection of ceiling and wall, breaking the monotony.
There are few sounds out here, so far from the unceasing engines. Sometimes those exposed wires will spark, disturbing the silence and adding a faint scent of ozone to the already metallic air. Then the accompanying puff of smoke will drift through the red lighting, like a ghost trying to escape this sterile limbo and out into the dark void of space beyond. Rarer still is the occasional echoing clang of an external impact, an ancient traveller shattering itself against the reinforced walls.
There is a strange grandeur to this spartan desolation, not only in the sheer scale of this facility but in its very nature. It staggers the mind to think that flesh and blood creatures, took the metals of their world and hurled them into space to form a new artificial home. Creatures that would never survive the harsh coldness of space had stolen the bones and breadth of the world that birthed them and had created something wholly new, wholly unnatural. Yet this Frankenstein’s monster of science and desperation may well be all that stands between us and extinction.