Saturday, May 10, 2014

Cat Planet!

To understand how cats could have taken over New America and subsequently committed interplanetary genocide, you must first grasp how an Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grande functions.

Earth borne viruses and infections had been nearly eradicated by the 23rd century, or at least relegated to the lower levels.  This was a dark time in the humanitarian history of Earth.  Society was divided between the upper classes who enjoyed sunlight and all of the amenities that could be crammed into their vast network of sky cities, the lower classes endured a damp shaded life filled with hard work, mold, and the very real probability of being shat on by their betters in the heavens.  The Poors relied on rainwater for cooking, cleaning, and drinking.  Unfortunately their view of the sky was severely limited due to the fantastic sky cities, and so it was very difficult to tell whether or not it was cloudy.  The Poors of this sad and gross world had a saying, "Don't trust the rain and watch out for turds".

Of course the raw sewage rain was a problem for the lower level, but an even bigger problem was all the disease.  A paper cut was a death sentence for a Poor.  The infant mortality rate was through the roof and long defunct diseases had made an impressive comeback in the muggy bacteria nurturing environment.

The 23rd century was also when the people of Earth first met the Fralzbs.  This race of gentle genius arthropods from the Walmart Galaxy brought with them a method for unlimited clean energy that utilized a dimension bleeder so simple and tiny that it could be handled by a child, space-bend travel technology, and a virulent disease that wiped out all of New Dallas.

The sky city people weren't used to becoming ill and they certainly weren't used to dying in ugly or dirty ways.  They had their own saying, "If the universe wanted me to get shat on and gang-raped and murdered before my tenth birthday, it would have made me a Poor".   The Fralzbs's disease wasn't given a name.  Unlike the lower level where disease was rampant and it was useful to know how many and what you had, this was the only thing going around up there.  If you were sick, you had "It" and if your family didn't kick your flaming corpse loose to bump and thud its way down the scaffolding to the dark world below as quickly as possible, they would also get "It" and be dead soon enough.   When this disease hit and bodies started dropping, Earth's top sky city scientists got to work immediately along with the Fralzbs to find a remedy.

This is why the Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grande was invented. 

And now for the how. 

The initial Taj Majal sized device and subsequent much smaller versions function by identifying and altering a creature's stem cells.  In a normal body, the stem cells are master copies from which all other cells are made.  The Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grande causes the stem cells to meld with the disease cells.  In this way, the creature infects the disease rather than vice versa.  Then the creature and disease are forced to go through a few billion new cell cycles along with an evolution binder, technically creating an entirely new species every time.  This would be a problem were it not for the evolution binder, which is a clump of stem cells that are kept sterile so that they might do battle with the new cells for the rest of the creatures' life, creating a sort of stalemate, or evolution stall.  In a very real way, the treatment works by letting the disease win.

When word got out that a cure for all disease was making life on the upper level even more spectacularly wonderful than it had been before, the Poors began to get restless.  They were also dying at phenomenally fast rates now that the Fralzbs's disease had made its way to them through the hygienically inspired dumping of flaming diseased corpses from above.

A cautionary council of 99 upper level kings and one representative from the Poors were called together to discuss whether to lend the Poors some of this new disease fighting equipment.  Of course the Poors representative, famed autodidact and president of old New York Jim Reefer, was in favor of sending down a few dozen of these infinite energy utilizing machines to aid his misery addled fellow petri dishes.

The primary argument against sending machines down was that the Poors hadn't contributed to the development of the remedy.  A secondary and more sinister point was that it might be scientifically useful to have a live catalog of these now cured diseases.  Jim Reefer spoke up valiantly for the Poors and after a while the upper level housewives and romantic university students began to fall in love with this eloquent and handsome man.  Reefer knew how to work a crowd, his passionate speeches often ended in wracking coughs as he spat blood and spittle against the inside of the plastic bubble he was forced to wear to council meetings.  Reefer reminded the upper kings that while the Poors hadn't developed the cure, they were certainly still dying at record rates from a disease that had been literally dropped on them by the upper level.

By far the most popular of Jim Reefer's statements, and perhaps the most revolutionary, was the simple question "Why not?".  Why not help?  Why not cure all disease everywhere?  Why not share the good?  "Why not?" shirts and hats began appearing on campuses and spreading into music videos.  After months of heated debate, 52 of the 99 upper level kings relented and the "Why Not" initiative passed, beginning the process of sending a dozen Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grande's down to the surface level.  Jim Reefer succumbed to a brutal combination of syphilis, shingles, the flu, tuberculosis, and an infected hangnail two days later.

These machines all had built in dimension bleeders and could be used around the clock, and they were.  It wasn't long before one of these impossibly huge and complicated machines began to periodically fail in a most spectacular way.  To be fair, when you're dealing with altering biology, any failure is going to be spectacular.

Machine 12 was installed in old Houston, an area hit particularly hard by the Fralzbs's disease.  The aspect and timing of machine 12's malfunction was a perfect storm.

Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grandes were designed to run themselves.  You step in and press the button, step out when done.  One at a time, idiot proof.  The first few months required around the clock guards to keep diseased and dying people from rushing the machines, however, after the majority of the population were either healed or dead these behemoths of alien technology mostly sat around collecting dust.

Nobody was in or around machine 12 when a newly healthy shit covered small boy gingerly approached with his gasping cat, Janet.  For several months, Janet had been dying of feline leukemia.  These machines could heal any creature, provided it had stem cells, so it was not unusual for Poors to bring their pets for treatment.  What was unfortunate about this particular day was that machine 12's evolution binder was just about to malfunction.

Without the evolution binder function to maintain the evolutionary stalemate between old cells and new, any creature in an Evo-Virobac Sterilizer Grande would evolve rapidly.  This is exactly what happened when Janet was placed inside of the machine.

History from that point on is a little sketchy.  Who can say if the small shit soaked Poor who cared enough for Janet to use machine 12 to save her was rewarded with a fast death.  We also can't know how quickly after gaining a significant boost in cunning and intellect Lord Janet hatched her plan.  We can only guess at the machinations of this brand new creature, forced into artificial evolution to emerge reborn.

In four years, Lord Janet had used machine 12 to hyper-evolve millions of cats.  Within just ten more, Lord Janet and her army of vicious brutes had bested the lower and upper levels, and had enslaved the gentle Fralzbs's in order to use their ships to conquer the burgeoning moon colonies.

There were two options under Lord Janet's rule, slavery or death.

The end.

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