Cargo Ship

More strange dreams, this one from last night. I’ve taken a few liberties to expand it from the original version.

A titanic interstellar cargo ship flew through the darkness of space for millennia at sub-light speed. The internal sensors pinged solar systems and scanned planets as it passed, searching for signs of life. Then it detected a G-type star surrounded by eight planets and an asteroid belt. The life sensors returned true for the first time since the spaceship was launched.

The spaceship adjusted course towards the small blue and green world. It activated its cloaking devices, rendering it nearly invisible across the electromagnetic spectrum. Neither visible light, nor radio waves, nor microwaves were emitted or returned. The ship eased towards its newly determined final destination in silence.

It was a cool autumn day in Australia, and a warm spring day in America when the ancient cargo ship arrived in orbit. Every 92 minutes it circled the planet. The full array of sensory equipment was online scanning the planet in depth, tracking everything from the subtle shifts in the iron core of the planet to every species and variation of plant and animal life across the land and water. Results were fed to the recently awakened supercomputer on board. The computer processed the results, then began tailoring its payload to accomplish its mission.

Three days after arrival, the cargo ship’s payload was ready. The ship began dispersal across the planet. Thousands of small vessels emerged from the five hundred meter long mother-ship. Each flew down through the atmosphere and sprayed needles containing a deadly virus down onto key populations. Once the vessels used up their needle supplies, they were discarded to crash with their fuel fully expended.

The virus was a retrovirus specially targeted towards each of the major species on the planet. It used its organic machinery to seize control of the host’s DNA and change it for its own purposes. The most common large living organisms by biomass were targeted: fish, cattle, sheep, blue whales, and humans.

The infection would enter a victim’s bloodstream, at first through the needles launched from the thousands of planetary vessels, then from other hosts. The virus would capture the white immune blood cells of the body, then red blood cells and turn them to mass producing more of the virus. When the virus penetrated the blood-brain barrier of a victim, the virus would seize control of the front lobes and command the host to attack its own species in order to spread the virus further. At this stage, the virus only had very weak control and only a tenth of the intelligence of the original animal. The result was zombies.

The Five Rivers Cattle Feeding was one of the first targets. With over a million head of cattle, it provided the virus with a billion pounds of the blood and meat and brains it needed. Thousands of cows were infected and began to maul cows around them with kicks and bites. In their mad drive to attack more uninfected cattle, stampedes were created larger than any seen in America since the buffalo were wiped out. The shocked and horrified ranchers died by the dozen, not from the virus but just from getting crushed under the hooves of rampaging beasts.

Manila was ground zero for the human plague. As the most densely populated human city, it fell in less than six hours. The zombies were idiotic, but with extremely active hordes roaming everywhere from the sewers to the skyscrapers, survivors didn’t have a chance.

The uncoordinated masses of human zombies spread out through the countrysides surrounding major cities. In America, farmers, rednecks, and preppers were ready and heavily armed. The human zombies acted with little intelligence and were easy to slaughter, though the sheer numbers still led to further spreading. The acting President Betsy Davos (former Secretary of Education) was finally after three days of bloodshed able to stop the spread by ordering America’s nuclear arsenals to be used on it’s own major cities. The surviving uninfected humans banded together in massive militias that were able to exterminate most of the infected by the end of the week.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and other countries nearby didn’t have the nuclear capabilities but used their heavily armed populations to fight back. Israel nuked Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, then used the rest of its arsenal creating a glass border around it. At the end of ten days, the Middle East had returned to a temporary peace.

Countries with huge populations, and little access to guns or heavy weapons in Asia and Africa were less fortunate. The few survivors were in very isolated places.

The day the plague hit, eight billion people lived on Earth. Ten days later, one hundred million uninfected remained. Two billion infected were cut in half to one billion in another two days. Humanity thought it had somewhat gained a grip on the situation.

Over these twenty days, the virus was actively rebuilding its hosts brains from the one tenth intelligence levels back up to close to what they were prior to the attack. The virus’s control of each victim ramped up significantly as well.

Then the virus’s true goal emerged. Every host had been growing a crude organic shortwave radio connected to their brains. These radios allowed hosts to communicate through what seemed like ESP; visual and audio and data streams could pass between nearby hosts. The data streams linked across species – cows, sheep, whales, fish, and people all joined together into super-organisms.

These super-organisms were mostly far apart and didn’t coordinate well internally. However, India with its vast populations of infected individuals and cattle provided billions of linked individuals in a vast neural network.

By the twenty-first day, the India super-organism was self aware and began organizing itself to take advantage of human digital technology in place. Twenty-five days in the India super-organism was dozens of times more intelligent than an uninfected human. Thirty days in the India super-organism enslaved the rest of the smaller infected patches of cattle, sheep, people, fish and whales to itself.

The hundred million uninfected human survivors made contact with the India super-organism and reached an uneasy peace accord with it. Uneasy because the India super-organism’s ambassadors were horrifying Frankenstein monsters with digital devices growing out of their spinal cords and heads, and that spoke every survivors language with flawless grace.

The survivors banded together and watched as the alien India super-organism turned its attention to bigger things. Every plane and satellite that approached its territory was shot down. In only ten days more, a twenty foot tall wall thousands of times longer than the Great Wall of China ringed India. No survivors knew what was happening behind it.

The India super-organism continued to evolve itself and add devices to enhance its network. Three months after the first day of the attack, it was a superintelligence millions of times more intelligent than an uninfected human. It now completely ignored the human uninfected survivors.

These survivors began to feel massive earthquakes that nearly continuously shook the planet. Around a year in, they gazed up in awe as a massive space elevator came online and started shuttling billions of tons of materials from the core of the planet to the interstellar shipyard past the moon. A couple of weeks later, the atmosphere of the planet collapsed, killing all uninfected and uninfected survivors. The India super-organism was not affected as it had long since moved onto computronium the size of islands.

The interstellar shipyard spent the next few millenia harvested the solar system and launching billions of titanic interstellar cargo ships to seek life in other solar systems.


Published by

Joel Gross

Joel Gross is the CEO of Coalition Technologies.