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Rated: E · Short Story · Sci-fi · #2251030
Invasion of the wood gatherers
Once upon a morning much like this; where dew drops newly born, glisten from the sliver of orange sunlight rising, a simple beam of light slips out, pops up suddenly on the vast horizon, already dancing with the many colorful flowers waving over flat lands full of life. To their surprise the day is well underway in its arrival.

Very few citizens in the remote village realized the significance of what was about to unfold. Partially because most of them are fast asleep at this hour and the rest of them were caught up in the indifference, the routine of living the mundane life where nothing really happens or changes in their lives.

Mother ducks waddled on in their awkward march across the black pitched street with their chicks lined up behind them as if strung together with invisible string. Woods and ponds would save them from catastrophe if only they could move a little faster on the open road. Traffic would soon grow cumbersome. It would be out of necessity to pick up the pace. That would or could create the potential for disaster, as people hurry off to countless destinations, in a panic and a fever so as not to be too late for work.

What makes this day different from any other? By simply looking up you could see the invasion begin.

There was very little sound at first but as they approached, you could feel the vibration of the gigantic air ships as they filled the sky with doom. Their cobalt blackness filled in an otherwise sunny day as the small population gathered, grew larger as the hours passed. Ordinary people watched the objects hang ominously, looming over the normalcy of nature, creating vast shadows of uncertainty before the afternoon could even come. On this day it could not arrive too soon.

The horror of their gargantuan masses, the astounding scope of their size and numbers was mind numbing to the point of madness. The aliens have now arrived on Earth.

Were they here to offer us salvation? Were they interested in trying out new cuisines of humans? Should ducks be scurrying a little faster? Are these aliens our new masters?

Suddenly the odd looking space machines maneuvered slowly down, hovered quietly, then came to a complete stop in total silence directly over the unsuspecting town. It didn’t take long for panic to set in with the inhabitants. Many of them fled screaming in the streets, waving hands and arms, flailing them frantically in all directions. Many sped off in buses, trucks and cars to near by farms and hills for protection from the visitors. Others gravitated more towards the big cities thinking they would be safe. They would be wrong.

When the sky ships arrived they simply became affixed there in mid air by some unknown forces. It was a surreal experience. How can such heavy solid objects just be suspended there in empty space?

This is where it gets weird. The aliens have not shown themselves. Four weeks have come and gone and not one word was heard from the aliens. That’s just not normal.
Why travel so many miles over such vast distances through time and space and then not announce yourselves or your intentions? Aren’t all sentient creatures curious by nature? Clearly these creatures or beings did not come from France.

From what we could surmise from the news outlets, the alien forces have already stationed themselves everywhere, in every community and every corner of the Earth.

They are probably observing us on the sly with sophisticated surveillance equipment, waiting to strike when we least expect it.

Machines Within The Machines

Several months into this ordeal, governments and scientists tried to communicate with the mysterious entities who come from somewhere else. Some countries decided to make a declaration of war against them for occupying their air space illegally.

The alien ships are stationed low to the ground, approximately less than half a mile from the surface at every location on Earth. Our new friends from space present themselves as easy targets for someone who might want to shoot them down. Several war like nations sent their best fighter jets, utilizing their most powerful rockets and missiles. They fired directly at them without warning, attacking relentlessly for hours on end. Our weapons had no impact.

With no success and no response from them, tensions began to mount. Needless to say, there were plenty of speculations and an abundance of theories being promulgated, presented behind closed doors and in public as to what this all means for humanity. Some of the more stable countries tried every form of communication imaginable. New religions and cults formed almost over night to honor and praise the new companions from space. Humanity was at a loss as to what to do next. Our science and technology hit a brick wall in the quest for solutions to these problems. Doing nothing was not an option.

Coping with, reasoning with the horrors that might come next kept everyone on edge. This seemingly dire situation was hard but it required, by necessity, a measured response, a plan to get us back to a normal life, even though these things, these unknown objects are literally hanging above all of us every minute of the day every day as a constant reminder that something ominous was about to take place..

On one ordinary morning above the little village where the invasion began, the spaceships suddenly came to life. Glowing bright blue lights followed by thunderous noise exploded on the scene. On display on the magnificent UFOs, were the creation of circular disks which appeared almost in an instance on the sides and bottoms of the large crafts. The transformation from a solid state into an energy opening, a pathway which could only be explained by first understanding the simple approximation in size as what is seen in the circumference of a 7 foot diameter circle as 21.991 feet: 263.89 inches: 21’11.89 feet and inches in relative calculations there about. These perfect circles were spaced about 3 feet apart from each other. The openings were altered from solid metallic material into blue energy beams where a fleet of blue solid globes exited the mammoth crafts one after another. The orbs flew down to the surface and moved throughout the community at a slow methodical pace. They would pulse and make a low frequency whirring sound as they made their way through the village.

The machines within the machines were beginning to come to life with new activity. Panic set in again as expected. People were naturally afraid of the unknown. Were these objects coming to kill them or take them back to their home planet for dissection? Are they radioactive or poisonous?

Very little is known about the objects at this hour. Maybe they are harmless. All that is known for the moment is that these newly dispatched orbs are about the size of a basketball. They glow and pulse with a blue shimmering light. They also appear to be solid metallic probes of some sort.

Over the span of 3 days the villagers discovered the hard way, some hard truths about the spheres. The glowing globes moved around and through everything including the villagers themselves. If you happened to be in their path while they were in motion you would be killed instantly as they pass right through you with no questions asked.

Scientists and scholars were thrilled at the opportunity to discover something new. Anything new about the visitors would be an improvement or so they thought. They soon discovered that a small plane or helicopter could fit through the newly opened entrance where the blue energy portals were just created. They learned quickly that the alien ships had no life forms on board. They were operated completely by automated machines. That is not to say there were no intelligent entities on board. The ships were navigated and controlled by sophisticated androids who communicated by a complicated mathematical language utilizing light signals, blips and beeping sounds.

Scientists were eager to take them back to their labs for dissection but the robot aliens and the other ancillary thinking machines would have nothing to do with that. Our equipment and weapons had no effect on them. The military tried to remove some of the androids from their work stations but without success. They were met with protective force fields and other deterrents were employed to discourage such activity.

Some interesting observations were rendered and refined by some of our leading scientific minds and intellectuals regarding our friends from space. It was speculated that the builders or creators of these androids must be humanoids.

Their commentary and theories went as follows: Scientists base their hypothesis on the looks or construction of the many thinking machines and workers found on board the ships. They do not have faces. Clear translucent globes are affixed above what appears to be shoulders on a human like torso or body.

The glass like “heads” seem to be filled with electrical yellow pink fluids with waves of a thick viscose substance swirling in odd configurations; a kind of fluid memory energy which operates the entities bodies and machinery quite efficiently. There are 2 long arms on either side of the androids. They have normal looking hands but with 8 long extended thin fingers on each hand; perhaps to multitask a variety of switches and buttons. They have two legs and feet which allows for bipedal movements, freeing up the use of hands and arms for other utilitarian and construction applications. Most of them tower over 8’ tall but they were, generally speaking, harmless if you didn’t get in their way. There were a sub species of androids which stood 3’ tall. They were mostly box shaped, simple functionaries designed for the smaller, simpler tasks on board.

Another immediate observation by the human investigators was the fact that most of the space crafts were basically empty. They were like giant vacant warehouses or storage areas in the sky with no products or items inside. This fact puzzled them to no end. Why is there so much empty space on all the ships?

Intergalactic Termites or Construction/Deconstruction Workers

Large, torpedo shaped shuttles began to leave the main ship through the newly opened portals. They were very long cylindrical containers with built in compactors designed to compress material. Giant earth moving equipment followed them out and down to the surface.

They began the next phase of the operation. It is all about Wood and Cellulose. Cellulose is the most abundant organic polymer on Earth. The cellulose content of cotton fiber is 90%, that of wood is 40-50% and that of dried hemp is approximately 57%. Cellulose is mainly used to produce paperboard and paper on Earth. God only knows what the aliens have in mind.

It was and is all so very simple, all so very clear. Wood. They were here to collect lumber and everything made of wood and cellulose. That included forests, houses, and buildings constructed of wood, bushes, shrubbery and the entire contents of all jungles on Earth.

It was a systematic stripping away of all the wood resources on the planet. If people happened to be in the structures while they were being collected, they would be killed in the process. Nothing could stop the machines from their job.

It took several months of working around the clock to remove all the materials from the rain forests and major jungles on Earth. (Machines don’t sleep. They never stop) Once the hulls of each and every ship were filled to capacity with wood, they would leave our world at near light speed and return to their place of origin.

A signal had already been sent back to their home world with the information that Earth was filled with plenty of materials to be collected. A whole new fleet of millions of giant ships were dispatched, already on their way through the distant void. Somewhere out their in deep space the new fleet of UFO’s were racing towards us to finish the job of taking our resources.

The ships returning to their home world, filled to capacity with our products, passed the empty ships, headed towards us for the sole purpose of depleting our resources and destroying humanity in the process.

In the depths of deep space, the new invading fleet passed in close proximity to the returning fleet with no acknowledgment of the existence of one another. The collective respective obligations of both fleets and their android populations were to not collide with one another and to do their pick up and delivery responsibilities efficiently and effectively as possible for the good of the collective.

Phase II - Collect All Humans

After several years of depleting our planet of its forests and all wood products and after so many trips to and from the respective worlds, Phase II began. The people of Earth were doomed to die anyway. They need trees and vegetation to create nitrogen and oxygen to survive. The latest fleet of invaders to arrive came closer to the surface than the previous ones. They came so close that it appeared as if they might land.

They released a green yellow gaseous fog on the ground and into the atmosphere. Scientists and military operatives were still entering the space crafts through the blue lighted portals and still trying to figure out any weaknesses of their adversaries. They were the first to die because the gaseous substance was released on board the ships. The gas had no effect on the androids but the substance or virus got into the humans lungs and systems and instantly transformed them into wood. While still retaining their normal shape, they became frozen on the spot, looking like redwood or mahogany structures; now dead people ready to be collected by the machines.

Once the poisonous fog reached the surface of our world there was very little the people could do to save themselves. If you were not already in a hazmat suit and living in it 24/7 you would be transformed into wood. Only persons living in bunkers deep underground or in hermetically sealed rooms, concrete or metal living quarters might have a chance for life in the short run.

On any given morning, perhaps like this one, you might not know what is to be found around the bend. You can only hope it is a friend as you turn the next corner.

It only took several weeks for over six billion people to be changed into wood. They were quickly scooped up by the giant land movers and deposited into the compactors for delivery.
Anyone who might have survived would not live for much longer. The blue glowing globes could penetrate anything and go anywhere. There were millions of them and they were always on the move searching for you.

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