You Shouldn’t Touch That

Prompt

They used our planet as a battlefield for their war. Technology so advanced it bordered on magical. Ten years of fighting, and one day they left. No communication with us, no reason why. They just left our planet a battered ruin with bits of their tech lying around.


Response

Two kids, who looked to be around ten or eleven, were dumbstruck at the scene before them. They were standing on a bit of a cliff, just on the edge of the forest. Or, at least, what one would assume was the edge of the forest.

In reality, they were still in the middle of the forest. Before them, was a massive crater. The entirety of the plant-life that had once been in this spot was wiped away, refusing to re-grow. All that remained was a crater in the earth full of dirt and scattered parts of what had been some sort of ship. The wreckage spanned across the crater, grouping in some locations more than others.

The two boys had heard stories from their parents and grandparents, but had never actually seen any proof that the stories were true. Now, right before them, was that proof. The proof that long ago, the earth was invaded by alien creatures with technology that dwarfed the humanity’s at the time. The aliens weren’t there for earth itself; they were there to fight.

Earth, long ago, had become a stepping stone in a massive intergalactic war. Two mighty alien races clashed upon the surface of the planet and left devastation in their wake. These aliens saw the native species inhabiting the planet, humans, as nothing but bugs. They didn’t go out of their way to attack the comically outgunned human race, but if they got in the way, or got caught in the middle of a fight, they were indifferent about their death.

The war, which drove humanity to the brink of extinction, was known as the “Lost Decade”. It was named for in those ten years that the aliens raged war on Earth, humanity was all but lost. They were forced to retreat into more secluded locations of the planet, and hope that they weren’t caught up in the fight.

As the name also suggests, after ten years of constant warfare, one day all of the alien invaders vanished. Without warning, they were gone. They left all of their destruction behind. Landscapes were left changed forever by the conflict. Ships that happened to be destroyed during the war were abandoned.

The children were only the third generation after the catastrophic war. Humans were surviving, but barely. Without the assistance of technology, people had to quickly adapt to living off the land. Many perished simply because they could not adapt to such a world without readily available food and technology. As a result, there were only small villages scattered far and few between that were surviving.

The children, still looking in awe at the crater, were from one of those small villages. Having finished their chores early, they ran around the forest exploring. They weren’t supposed to go far, but their sense of adventure drew them to push farther and farther away from the village.

They found and saw all sorts of things on their adventures, but what they had just discovered topped it all. After recovering from the shock, the two boys quickly descended down the small cliff that was the outskirts of the crater. They slid down the dirt siding with amazing balance, and soon found themselves up close to wonderous objects they had never seen before.

Metal wasn’t something that was readily available anymore, so it was considered to be a rarity. However, in front of them, in fact all around them, there were sheets of metal. What once was the hull of the mighty shipped that crashed could be found all around them.

They picked up pieces here and there, examining them. It was the first time either of them had even held such a material. Despite some of the pieces being quite large, they were oddly light. Even though they were covered in dirt and dust, they still gave off a silvery glow.

As they made their way through the crater, progressively finding larger and larger remains of the ship. The two boys stared in awe as the pieces of ship quickly dwarfed them in size. It was mind boggling just how big this ship would’ve been if it had been together still.

That’s when a glint caught the eyes of the boys. There was something shiny in the dirt ahead of them, even more shiny than the pieces of metal they had been collecting. They quickly hurried over and fell to their knees next to the mysterious object. It appeared to be mostly buried, after a momentary glance to each other, they both started digging it out with their bare hands.

It was some sort of tube. Though the boys wouldn’t of known, it resembled the shape of a lava lamp. The top and bottom were made of thick chunks of metal, each side slimming out its rounded shape as it moved away from the center. The center of the piece was some sort of glass; fully transparent. Within that glass was a light blue-ish liquid. Inside that liquid there was a round ball being held in the center by thin rods.

The ball was as black as could be. It seemed as if any and all light that dared look in its direction was consumed. It reflected nothing. The boys marveled at it as they held the piece in their hands. It was heavier than it appeared; heavy enough that it needed at least two hands to carry it. They couldn’t take their eyes off of that ball, which appeared to cut a pitch black hole out of the world instead of actually being an object.

Their eyes, filled with curiosity and marvel, quickly grew concerned as a spark raced across the inside of the tube. At first, they thought their eyes were deceiving them, but then it happened again. And again. It was happening more and more, as if this device was activating or something. Soon, the blue-ish liquid inside seemed to be glowing as sparks flew threw it. The boys instinctively let go of the object, letting it fall to the ground. It couldn’t of been more than a foot to the ground, as they boys were kneeling, but that was all it took.

The boys lives were gone the instant it brushed the dirt.

Back at the village, all of the villagers looked in the same direction at a strange, bright light that burst through the trees. Before they could even comprehend what the light was, they, and everything around them, was vaporized.

The entire forest was erased in the blink of an eye that day.

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