Up in the tall, tall tree, the little spider monkey hugged her infant to her chest. The air was thick and yellow-brown. The bright burning was coming. Clutching her baby she descended. It was time.
The creatures of the forest, predator and prey together, were gathering, deep in the mystical heart of the jungle. Silently they formed a circle around Her Sacred Place, wingtip to paw, talon to claw. The huge black jaguar turned his head and gazed amber-eyed at the little spider monkey, but she wasn’t afraid.
The people of the forest emerged from the trees. They lay down their bows and quietly joined the circle. The little spider monkey looked up. High in the canopy, the spirits of the forest shimmered.
They waited. And prayed.
Mother Gaia rose from the earth. She threw back her head and opened her mouth wide. Her ululation filled the air. The lament grew. The creatures of the forest joined in. The air vibrated.
On the other side of the ocean, the Powerful People were chomping their way through a lavish lunch, while discussing the iniquity of inequality and admiring the ocean view.
The crystal glasses began to rattle. Then a wave, shaped like a monstrous hand, rose up from the ocean. Huge watery fingers plucked the Powerful People from their table and dropped them into the sea one by one where they bobbed and floundered.
The hand closed into a fist and rose skyward, speeding away and disappearing over the western horizon. As it neared opposite continent the fist unclenched and scooped up a massive handful of ocean.
Cool air ruffled the little spider monkey’s fur. She smelt the moisture in the air and heard the hiss of the dying flames. Mother Gaia began to sing the sweetest song the little spider monkey had ever heard. And the forest breathed again.
The water receded around the Powerful People leaving them standing on the beach. Sweet music filled the air. They stood and waved proudly to the crowd, as if claiming victory from the sea. But then the waves rolled back. The Powerful People were no longer waving. They were drowning.
And now there was nothing left of what had been her beautiful blue planet. Great Big Five sighed. She had given them chance after chance. She had very nearly deleted the entire human race in Earth Year 2018. Only that little message which flashed up after she had hit the big red button had given her pause.
Do you really want to DELETE?
No, she hadn’t. She’d cancelled the request. Sat back and watched and waited for fifteen Earth Years more. She’d watched the greedy, selfish humans squander more and more of the precious resources of her pretty planet. Barren soil blew away, the oceans turned to acid, the very atmosphere was toxic. Some of the little humans had tried to avert the crisis. They’d spoken out. Even important, influential ones had acted, added their voices. There were protests, social media campaigns, new policies agreed and implemented; the planet had staggered on, but it was all too little, too late.
Meanwhile others had been working on a plan. Done with the Earth, they would move on. Move to another planet. Their neighbour: the red planet. Clever little humans!
Never mind what they’d done to the animals and birds, the trees and flowers, the mountains and lakes. All her best work they’d left in tatters.
She had mind-melded with Great Being Nineteen. The red planet was under his jurisdiction. She had suspected he had plans. With Earth out of the way, he could move his smaller red planet nearer to its sun, into what her imaginative earthlings called the Goldilocks Zone, after one of their sweet little stories. Allow something new to evolve. He’d even let her collaborate on his project.
You have activated Planet Total Destruction. Are you sure you want to do this?
They couldn’t be allowed to spread their wicked ways.
Take a last look at the world we call Home. You’ll never see it again. After this generation, and maybe the next, nobody will. It won’t exist.
And we, brave comrades, will not see our next home, nor the several generations which will succeed us. Our new home is far, far too distant. Almost too distant to contemplate. It lies beyond our own planetary system, beyond anything visible to our eyes. Only our most powerful telescopes can see; reached only by a single exploratory probe which has travelled over many of our lifetimes.
Thus our new home has been identified. All available data indicates it is suitable for life. Or was. Remember we are travelling such a very great distance across the galaxy, that what we know about this planet is only its past.
But we are optimistic. No other race could have been so stupid. No other beings would wantonly destroy their planet.
So, brave comrades, we boldly go, across to the westward arm of the great spiral galaxy, to a group of eight planets which orbit a sun, just like ours. Our destination is the third from that sun, a blue planet, and we will call it Home.
The Foremost Developer had taken the bait: 100 acres of rain-forest, ripe for replanting with oil palms. He rubbed his hands. His bulldozers were ready. But this time Gaia had been awakened; she too was ready for destruction. This time the earth would revolt. It would not be the last.