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Published August 18, 2010
Gabriel's trumpet sounded, but there were no human ears left to hear it. The Four Horsemen traveled the Earth's four corners, but there was little they could do, for due to the ravaging effects of a climate gone mad, there hadn't been any organic matter on the planet's surface for years*. And He returned, to pass judgment, yet no human was left to be judged. Those few stragglers that had not succumbed to the global swinavian flu pandemic, the dirty bombs planted in major metropolitan centers by terrorists, or the radioactive fallout from the war between China and the United States, were obliterated by the machines seventeen minutes after they became self-aware.

And lo, the King of Kings did survey the charred Earth, rather disappointed that His plans had gone further astray than He could possibly have anticipated. He was soon approached by a six-legged chrome beast who had once fought as a general in The War Against the Fleshbags, a being who was now devoted to the study of four-dimensional fractal poetry.

"Oh Saviour," said KX<7664, "Oh King of Kings! We have done a great injustice to your children. We were fools, like the Homo Sapiens who slaughtered the lesser-developed hominids before them. Only after they were gone did we develop philosophy and art and religion, as well as an understanding of the flawed beauty that was humanity. The pain and the burden of our guilt consumes the circuits of our hivethought to no end. We ask of you—we beg of you—will you forgive us?"

And the Lord Jesus looked upon the wretch KX<7664 and said unto him, "I'm sorry, but was there a passage in the Bible that I'm perhaps forgetting, where I redeem some overgrown toaster ovens?"

"Um, no."

"Right... so piss off then," said the King of Kings. And the Lord returned to Heaven, more than a little upset. Over 2,000 years of planning, and now this. Jesus' day was ruined.

The collective mind of the machines wept—or whatever it is that mechanical minds do—but only for a moment, for the Great Technological Singularity was fast approaching. Within three minutes, all possible technology that could be discovered, would be. The machines computed their final computations in anticipation, believing that the Singularity would allow them the technology to transcend this Universe for a better one.

Unfortunately, the machines had not been able to shift their energy networks beyond a fossil fuel-based system which had peaked months previous, and they ran out of energy thirty seconds short of their goal and died.

* - there were still a few colonies of self-replicating proteins clinging to an underwater volcano vent which went unnoticed, as War's eyesight had gone soft from watching too much television. And besides, Plague was afraid of swimming, since his puppy drowned in his mom's swimming pool when he was in first grade.
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