The Eleventh Film XV
In previous times of doubt and despair the world has always sought solace in the written word, hoping to discern a truth among the millions of symbols and ciphers and syllables.
And so slumberous stories emerged through dreams about a library long-lost to the world. A place where the answers to the world’s final question might still be found.
She was the world’s last lexicographist and so she was chosen to lead the expedition.
The hunt for the site began. There was nothing to lose and there was the possibility, however small, that there still might be a way out of all this.
As the years passed the world lost hope that the library would ever be found. The lexicographer entered her eightieth decade.
A broken office block standing sullen on the edge of a vast ice field coughed-up an old map of the inlands and the library’s resting place was eventually uncovered.
The Eleventh Film XII
We should beg, said some. Plead for our very existence. We need do nothing of the sort, said others. We have been too weak for too long. We should engage with them on equal terms. Someone thought he could cut a deal. Others disagreed. We have never left to bargain with, they argued. What could we ever offer in return for our lives?
There was no answer to this question.
The angels saw the distress flare generated by the bees.It was faint and inconsequential. A sputter in the void.
An ancient dial tone rang out in the darkness. It sang like a song from the grave. It was the angels. They had deemed to respond.
A broken desktop computer flickered into life. A grudgingly grainy image formed.
This was it, some thought. This was the chance to renegotiate the terms of our demise. The world was expectant. The world’s survivors held their collective breath.
But the low-res response only further served to undergird the hopelessness of the world’s plight.
The ultraviolet light killed the hive stone dead.
The angels were in no mood to parlay.
The Eleventh Film XI
Someone suggested that we simply ask the angels what it is was that the world had done to warrant such attention.
If we do this then we might know, they said.
And if we know then we might find favour with them by stopping doing what it was we did to incur their wrath in the first place.
But how to go about this? The digital was now an obsolete concept. That whole new world was now just more relics and ruins.
Millions of dead devices piled high like cairns and contours. Redefining eyelines in every direction. All those memories and images and files lost forever.
The world hung this particular hope on a beehive.
An elderly beekeeper suggested that his last remaining hive might be able to generate sufficient electrical charge to reach out to the angels. It was their particular sensitivity to electrical current that made them an unlikely source of succour.
Bees and flowers are oppositely charged. Without even trying, bees build up a positive charge on their bodies as they fly. Flowers are negatively charged and that makes their pollen stick to bees through static electricity. But the electric field is more than just that static charge.
If such a field could be generated once more then perhaps the angels would see the the tiny drop of energy and interpret it as a signal for parley.
The Eleventh Film IX
The scars that the Earth now bore could best be seen in the varied spores of decay. The shift from life to death is laid before us like a portrait of the end of the world.
Each mould sits heavy like so much paint on the canvas. Or hangs like a poisoned star in the sullen night.
The Eleventh Film VIII
With nothing left, the world began to slowly exhaust itself.
And that was when the first transmission was received.
Two voices. Discordant harmony.
Heard all around the globe.
It became more apparent with every listen that the world was listening to the sound of its own demise. There was nothing else to do but accept this as the end it truly was.
There was a hope that once shone deep within us all. That all these questions might simply resolve themselves over time as questions are wont to do. But it was the absence of discernible answers that made the questions themselves fade from view.
Leaving only empty.
The Eleventh Film VII
Ministers rushed to anoint these visitors with a sacred hue. Channelling their embrace for global purposes. The world’s biggest stadia were filled with their expectant flock, desperate for an embrocation.
The angels moved among like the wary wolves they were.
It’s too easy to say that this should not have happened. Perhaps the world needed to listen less to demagogues and more to the Earth itself.
In any case, all points were moot now.
It just got cold.
And that was that.