Rise and Fall – A short story.
Despite warm temperatures and all the nutrition that could possibly be needed there was negligible life to speak of. It was only when primitive life forms were introduced from above that a new era of living, consuming, organisms began. The life that was deposited by the hidden hands from above took to its new environment. The conditions were perfect to flourish and soon it was as though the party of all parties had begun. The competition to thrive and stay alive was so much more greatly reduced than if life had simply arisen here by chance. Many other organisms or creatures would have died rapidly in this environment but the hands from above had been careful to choose the perfect colonists for this little world. The native residents of the little world, such as pre-existed the invaders, had made little impact on their environment; it may have been that little change would have occurred for some time from their presence.
The new life that had been delivered to settle took so well to their circumstances that soon they overwhelmed any few or little signs of life that had been here before them. They pushed all aside in their conquest of the entire sphere of their existence. The nutritive qualities of this place were exceptional, and the growth of the new residents was exponential. As they developed and spread they interacted with their environment, changing the balance of all that was around them. Soon the culture was thriving and things were rapidly developing. The general gases given off by the living escaped into the air in vast quantities as their numbers grew. Still they thrived and consumed, enjoying their existence in the limited ways that were available to them at their current stage of evolution.
They saw no reason not to do what came naturally. This was the way they had been made. They had evolved, to consume and grow, as had all living things; what sin could there be in living by their biological programming. Soon the community had spread to all limits of the available space. It was certainly crowded compared to the way it had been when they had arrived. All lived closely entwined with all; to an outsider they looked like a swarm, perhaps even a single being, intent on consuming all available resources. Still the gases billowed into the air, at ever increasing rates; belching up into the atmosphere in ways that surely could not be sustainable.
The height of the culture was rapidly reached, and for what seemed like the longest time the production of gases into the air continued. The speed at which the atmosphere was altered was alarming and palpable. Perhaps to one who lived within this world the change would not seem so rapid and extreme, but how would it look to one who saw the arrival of the settlers, and did not return until the peak of their success. Given the overwhelming spread of these visitors, dropped here by an intelligence far beyond their own, and given the dramatic manner in which they spewed gases into the air above them, could it be that there was any way to view their lives as being anything other than akin to that of a virus, eating up all that surrounded it, without a thought for the consequences.
Eventually the effects of all this high living began to be felt. It had been proven. The conspicuous and furious consumption was not sustainable. The environment began to be poisoned and the life within it began to die. Where there had been so much joy before, now there was death and sickness. The new inhabitants of this brave new world no longer had the blessing of the ideal surroundings with which they had been gifted. The irony was that there was still nutrition all around, but it was all now far too poisoned to sustain the visitors. The world had been reformed, and where they had once thrived and spread with almost limitless vigour, they now began to die.
The toxic environment began to still. The production of gas into the air gradually ceased, marking the death of all those who continued, striving to endure the existence of living in this impossible place. Eventually all were dead. Life was over. The colony was no longer a colony, it was a morgue, a wasteland. Desolate. All was silent, nothing breathed, and there was nothing left to consume the nutrition that still lay there for whoever wished to take it.
The outsiders returned to see what had happened to the colony they had deposited here. They saw that the outward signs of life that had been spewing into the atmosphere had stopped. They looked down from above, into the little world, and there were no longer any outwardly visible signs of the beings they had brought and delivered to this place. The outsider reached down into the little world drawing up some of the substance of the environment and testing it to see what had become of it. The wine was definitely ready, he would bottle it up tomorrow and everyone could have some for Christmas.