Author : JT Heyman
You, who read this, remember us.
When the Senneela arrived, there was panic, at first. People forgot that. I mean, what would you expect when an eight foot saurian biped in silvery vacuum armor suddenly appears in the middle of the United Nations Security Council? The panic lasted for months.
Then the Senneela ambassador broadcast her apology to the nations of the world, offering a gift to show their remorse. They offered the cure to everything … every disease. Viral, bacterial, parasitic, it didn’t matter. The Senneela Cure changed human physiology so that disease was instantly defeated by the human’s own immune system. They even offered genetic resequencers to eliminate the genetically transmitted diseases.
There was a side effect, the ambassador warned. It would quadruple the human lifespan and change it. Childhood would be accelerated, the children achieving physical maturity in less than twelve years. And the detrimental effects of old age would be pushed off until after the person reached three hundred years, after which they would deteriorate rapidly, usually dying within two years. The world’s leaders laughed and said it was something we could live with.
The damned Senneela knew.
With their newfound immortality, people cashed out their retirement plans and the rest of the economy collapsed. As the population ballooned, resources dwindled. Mobs roamed the countryside like locusts, searching for food. Countries which were already overpopulated began spilling over into their neighbors’ lands. Armed vigilantes guarded the borders of the wealthier nations, killing illegal immigrants on sight.
The other shoe dropped when Pakistan launched nuclear weapons at India, claiming that India was using its higher birth rate to force a claim to the long disputed Punjab region. The weapons never detonated. The Senneela teleported every nuclear weapon on the planet away … “to prevent accidents,” they said.
After all, an exterminated human race was of no use to them. They needed us.
More than three hundred million lined up on the day the massive Senneela transport ships first arrived. Earth’s billions followed. Some ended up as servants to Senneela nobles. Most ended up as foot soldiers in an interstellar war. There are darker rumors of the uses to which some of the human volunteers have been put. For many humans, though, they decided it would be better to be well fed slaves than to starve as free humans.
Eventually, there were perhaps three hundred million souls left on Earth. With the removal of the population pressures, very few humans lined up willingly.
The Senneela refused to take “No” for an answer. Already, the continents of Australia and the Americas have been emptied. The Senneela are moving westward across Asia. Within, at a guess, three years, they’ll reach us here in Rome, where some of the world’s last brilliant scientists have been working feverishly, if you’ll forgive the pun.
You see, we’ve managed to reverse engineer the genetic resequencer and use it on The Senneela Cure. A group of us have been deliberately infected with a particularly virulent strain of … well … let’s just say it’s something nasty for which humans are just carriers but which, to Senneela, is invariably and swiftly fatal. We’re going to go volunteer to serve the Senneela. I’m sure we’ll be killed once the Senneela realize what we are but, by then, it will be too late. With luck, they’ll never get the chance to finish depopulating the Earth.
The human race will live, grow stronger and maybe even have an interstellar empire when we’re done.
Morituri te salutamus.
You, who read this, remember us.