"Questions" (Dystopian Science Fiction)

Questions what is life

Two questions had troubled mankind for millennia.

The first wondered what it was that had set into motion the tumultuous process of the creation of consciousness on Earth (or to use the old term, life). Was it a Supreme Being? A Universal Force? This question had remained unanswered even till humanity’s last moment of freedom.

The second wondered whether this Being or Force had also chosen other planets to impregnate. Two hundred years after first stepping on the moon, humans had created technology to overcome the limitations of their body to the point that groups could enter the dark vacuum of space with minimal threats of permanently losing consciousness. Evidence, planet-after-planet of nothing but emptiness, suggested to the humans that Earth was unique in its feature of hosting an eco-system. Unable to comprehend the vastness of space-time with their primitive organic hardware called the Brain, humans did not realize that their search for extra-terrestrial consciousness was as futile as two ants on opposite sides of Earth trying to find each other.

Unfortunately, the second question was answered on October 31st, 2184. Without any sign or warning (almost like a natural disaster), Earth was invaded by beings from a planet so distant that several generations of humans could live and die on a spaceship travelling there before reaching halfway. Of course, humans had no records of this event or any need to document it.

Technologically, the Invaders were aeons ahead. Their behaviour though was eerily similar to humans. Humans had a tendency to spread ruin wherever they went. They were Earth’s apex parasites, repurposing and destroying lifeless as well as conscious forms as they saw fit to meet their immediate needs. This was also an accurate description of the Invaders, the only difference being that their ruin spread much beyond their home planet. Having tapped out its resources centuries ago, they travelled the universe looking for new ones to conquer. Their idea of peace was to merely enslave beings instead of exterminating them.

Fifty thousand years post-enslavement, humans had been turned into pathetic creatures who had no complex thoughts, no desires, no language, almost no survival instincts and not even limbs that served a purpose. They were trapped within massive structures that the Invaders built, structures much more massive than anything humans had erected. The population of an entire country could be contained within one; despite the size, it was crowded. At first, the humans could do nothing about it and later they didn’t try to.

The Invaders had made so many genetic modifications that humans no longer had any resemblance to their old, free selves. Arms and legs were stunted but not entirely eliminated as they provided precious organic matter. In the early days, the stunted limbs were a precautionary measure to disable humans from escaping. Now they were vestigial; humans in their current form were far too unfit and unintelligent to have any use for them. The Invaders did however eliminate teeth. They were no longer needed as humans only ingested nutritional goop force-fed through tubes. The goop was a concoction of slaughterhouse byproducts, sedatives and drugs to keep them fertile. Another reason that teeth were eliminated was that humans often used them to kill one another while jostling for space, disturbing the careful calculations that the Invaders had made for optimal meat production.

The positive side to all this, was that humans were no longer troubled by questions about their own existence.