This is the fourth in a series of posts about some of the 2012 readings I did last year. I recommend reading the earlier posts if you haven’t already. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
This one is similar to Part 2, in that I fictionalize what it would be like if the crazies were right. Also, I begin from the same place, so the first few paragraphs will be identical to the story you read in Part 2. This post is a fictionalization of Part 3. What would happen if there really truly was such a thing as the Galactic Synchronization Beam?
Now, let’s pretend. Let’s imagine that Arguelles is right. What do you think is the Galactic Synchronization Beam’s true purpose? Who is sending it, and why? What do you think will happen to our friends from Drake University?
If It Were True
The snowy streets of Des Moines on a cold, blowing December night would not be the first place you’d think to look for a party. Well, it’s your decision whether or not to look, but you’d find a party, nonetheless. Drake University was in the midst of finals for its first semester, and a group of friends were gathering at their favorite pub on a Thursday evening to let loose after finishing their tests. The night sky was clear save for a few high, wispy clouds, and the wind-blown snow shushed against the large window panes
Kate and Nina already had a head-start on the festivities. The half-full moon was a few hours away from breaching the horizon, signaling the beginning of a new day. The Court wasn’t packed, but they stayed open late during Finals Week. Most of the other students were waiting for Friday night after the very last exam, or they were too young to be served the pints of ale and lager that The Court was known for. The wait staff had posterboard signs hanging on their bodies with “The End is Nigh” or “Repent” written on them. It was the evening before what some people claimed was the end of the world as we know it. The Ancient Mayan Calendar was going to run out, and the last day was Friday, December 21, 2012.
Kate sloshed the last of her first pint of the night around the bottom of her glass. “Did Phil say if he was gonna make it tonight?” she asked.
“Can’t say. He’s probably spending another night with Liz. I swear, those two are welded together,” said Nina.
At that moment, the pub door swung open, allowing a gust of wind and snow to swing the paper decorations and flicker the candles set at each table. Doug slipped in with the wind, while his roommate Sam followed, looking extra-bulky from lugging his backpack full of schoolwork with him. Doug scanned the room and spotted Kate and Nina sitting in the far corner booth. As he approached, a waiter with the sign, “Abandon All Hope” was taking their order.
Nina looked up and smiled at Doug and Sam. “And two more porters for these gentlemen,” she said to the waiter.
“I don’t know how you talked me into coming,” said Sam, “I’ve got my Thermodynamics final tomorrow at noon.” He shuffled his body into the booth, not knowing where to put his bag.
“You’ve been studying for that for a week,” said Kate. “You’re not going to learn any more. Besides, if you take it easy the night before a test, you have a better chance of recalling important bits of knowledge. I read that somewhere.”
“Really?” said Sam. The others nodded, showing they knew this was a proven, indisputable fact. “That makes me feel a bit better.” Sam’s shoulders relaxed, and he maneuvered to pull off his parka.
Their pints arrived just in time for Phil and Liz to cram themselves into the last remaining places at their corner booth. More pints arrived, and the table was all smiles. Everyone was looking forward to the winter break; peaceful days of not having to wake up at 8 AM for an early morning class, or Kate and Nina’s trip back home to their hometown in Wyoming to hang out with their High School friends.
As the clock crept closer to midnight, Liz brought up the End of the World and how it was going to happen tomorrow.
“I might prefer that to my Thermo test,” said Sam.
“No, I’m serious,” said Liz. “There’s a lot of people out there who think tomorrow will be the end of the world.
“But you’re not one of them, are you?” said Phil. “Those people are crazy. I’ve known you for a year already. You’re not crazy.”
“Don’t worry about it, Liz. Phil will protect you from…,” said Doug. “What is it that’s supposed to happen anyway? Isn’t it the Mayans or Aztecs that said that time would run out?”
“It’s the Mayans.” Liz took a swig of her stout, and ended up with a foamy mustache. “Their calendar ends tomorrow. They must have known something was coming, and that it would be coming today.”
Phil wiped off her mustache. “Or maybe they figured having a calendar go 500 years into the future was plenty good. At some point you can stop making calendars. You’ll have enough time to make another one in the future.”
Each of them around the table discussed whatever they knew about 2012; the beer making each of them ever more lucid and eloquent. All the while, the clock approached midnight.
“Look. It’s beautiful,” said Kate, pointing out the window. The six friends turned to look as the moon rose…
At the rising of the moon, each patron of The Court felt a jolt, followed by a lingering body-wide tingle. A colorful arc slithered and danced across their skin, humming in a resonance that the people had never heard before but was immediately recognizable to them. It pulsed in time with each person’s heartbeat, eventually making its way to their heads where it sunk into their skulls and embedding into their brains, subtly rewriting their DNA.
Phil reached over to Liz, grasping her hand. She turned to him and smiled broadly. “I knew it!” said Liz.
“Yes, you did foresee this,” said Phil. Phil was tranquil, despite what was going on. The world around him was becoming transparent, like a veil being drawn away. The flames from the candles on each table slowed their flickering, looking like a tattered, glowing flag flying underwater. The information from The Beam was being translated inside his brain a thousand times over and each time it revealed a new truth.
Phil and Liz glanced around the room. Doug was grinning and staring at his hand. The DNA transmutation from The Beam was giving him the ability to remember the lyrics to all of the songs by the Dave Matthews Band. Next to him was Sam, who was now completely calm. Not because he could perfectly recall all that he needed for the Thermodynamics final, but because all of this meant there wouldn’t be a Thermodynamics final in the morning.
At that moment, everyone noticed that the initial resonance was actually the singing of the Earth. Their alpha waves were attuned to it, and the singing sounded like rejoicing, and the singing became a choir. The choir was everyone else on the planet, singing along.
Kate and Nina were were also experiencing the new evolutionary shift. Kate turned to Nina and said pointing to her ears to indicate the resonant sound, “It’s a frequency of some kind.” Nina nodded her head, knowing since elementary school that sound has frequency. The chorus ebbed and flowed. Some people in the pub were dancing together. The servers had taken off their poster board signs and laid them against the wall.
In a nearby apartment, a man lay awake in his bed, utterly confused. He swore he hadn’t taken any LSD today, but there he was, tripping balls. Also, he wondered why there was singing this time.
Meanwhile, everyone else was tripping balls, too. The music continued, as did the dancing. Eventually the sun rose and it was a new day. The sun was still in line with the galactic center, and everyone was able to actually see The Beam. Though, they could only see it out of the corner of their eyes because they would also be looking right at the sun. It pulsed with information, and it seemed to have a kind of alien intelligence at work behind it, as it seemed to pulse more frantically.
People danced in the streets of Des Moines. Phil and Liz laughed, intoxicated by their new-found knowledge of the workings of the universe. Sam and Doug let down the barriers between them that they had so foolishly set up between themselves. They stumbled and staggered in the frigid slippery streets together. Kate and Nina built beautiful snow sculptures of structures that had never existed before on Earth.
Then came the day that The Beam finished its passage over the Earth. Everyone stopped to notice the passing. It had been like a gentle rumbling in the chest that nobody noticed until it was gone. They could only hear themselves and the resonant harmonies from everyone else on the Earth. The melody from The Beam’s beautiful resonance stopped. Some people wept, souring the harmony. Phil and Liz returned to their small apartment to attempt to continue on with their lives, knowing what they knew and what they experienced.
Complex equations swirled in front of Phil’s vision. He could name each of the stars in the galaxy. He could feel their inner workings and the tug of planets and comets swirling around them. The mournful drone of the people of the world crashed into him from every direction. He was so hungry. Brilliant visions and flashes of insight came at him unbidden. The cacophony of humanity crashed against him like waves. He could see the galactic clockwork in motion, but that left him unable to concentrate long enough to make oatmeal.
The gift from above became a curse, for it was not just Phil, but the whole world struggling to do the most basic task. Every brain became more closely linked to every other brain into a network of consciousness. Humanity evolved into a single mind with seven billion bodies, and it had no idea what the fuck to do or how the fuck to do it.
A constant lingering thought in humanity’s shared mind was “ow” because there was always some body somewhere running into something or dying by some sort of tragic yet hilarious accident where the body temporarily didn’t know how to walk. This was particularly treacherous for the bodies that lived near cliffs.
Unknown to humanity, there was a fleet of aliens called the Pharzons on its way to Earth. They knew exactly what had happened to humanity, and had in fact planned for this to happen from the beginning. The Galactic Synchronization Beam was a tool used by Pharzon military commanders to synchronize the minds of the sentient races of a planet. It had worked like a charm on Earth.
The Pharzons had been monitoring communications on the planet for many years ahead of time, and they worried that the human species had found out about the beam. A benevolent alien race called the Mayans had landed on Earth and tried to warn the humans, but fortunately, no human had any idea how to read their language until very recently. The Pharzons had sent a scouting mission to get rid of the Mayans, but by the time they got there, the humans had already done the job for them.
The Earth was now helpless. All of humanity was a brilliant hive mind with a mass of bodies that could only drool at this point. The Earth was easily conquered.