“Well, someone had to say it.”
Those were the last words spoken as the last few remnants of the human race passed into the silent oblivion of death as the non-corporeal yet strangely expansionist alien force surged into their bunker beneath the ancient stronghold of London. London, of all cities, had survived that far less because of its strategic importance or financial wealth and more because a man in Peckham had, some 50 years earlier, started ‘digging for victory’ in his allotment. Creating, single handed, a vast system of tunnels deep enough beneath the earth to keep the then ageing digger and his nearest, dearest and most pressing neighbours. Their survival had been short lived though, the aliens having wiped out the entire human population of the planet in somewhat less than ten minutes. The chimps, however, survived – as did a great many of Terra’s native beings who appeared to enjoy either greater grace or greater use in the sensual faculties of the invaders. Indeed the only non-human extinction experienced during the few minutes of the annihilation wasn’t at the hands of the strangers from space but at the hands of a student from Delaware, USA, who managed to tread on the last specimen of a very, very rare insect species. It’s to be noted, however that the student, a young man of 20 years, felt genuinely bad for the minute and a half that remained to his life, beating himself up for an act of immediate, inevitable and yet wholly intentional violence that made no sense even fractions of a second after it occurred. The aliens noticed that, using certain mind reading tools available to them, but the man’s remorse was deemed irrelevant, their reasons for genocide being rather more to do with their accidentally spreading a virus that they attracted, an impressively unfortunate coincidence which seemed unlikely enough to be ignored by all parties involved.
The last humans were wiped out and their history and culture generously recorded by the non-corporeal beings, who were if nothing else sympathetic to the fate of their matter-bound brethren, they also recorded the most recently extinct insects culture and history, although they conceded that was marginally duller than the humans copy but no where near as intriguing as the vast back catalog of creative, political and cultural concepts and ideas explained to them by the Sloths who, apparently, had been thinking very deeply up in their trees.
A few billion years passed before anything recognisable to the long gone humans as civilization appeared on earth. Left to their own devices, free of overt alien influences, the dogs had done the largest chunk of evolving – first blossoming into consciously associating tribes before going on to form global empires and wondrous space faring parties of adventurers, the first of whom was shocked and impressed to find Laika, the Soviet space dog floating around in an eternal and untouchable orbit trapped in her steel tomb. They concluded, not unreasonably, that any ancient civilization on their home planet was surely founded by their doggy ancestors, primitive though they seemed to the scientists surveying their remains. It was a belief which pushed the canine masses around the globe to ever greater conquests and colonisations around the galaxy, although they came to a final sticky end as, once again, those non-corporeal aliens passed through carrying yet another improbable virus, this time wiping out pretty much all matter based life in the region, whose histories and cultures were then suitably recorded. The few survivors that there were moved to another galaxy, cursing the name of those formless bastards who’d killed everybody and ultimately founded a whole religious system based on the denial of the abstract and a fervent hatred of anything that threatened to be non-corporeal. They got wiped out by a load of fundamentalist Philosophers who held no truck with denials of higher realities.