The auditorium at “The Laska Institute for Intergalactic Studies”, on Primus Seven, was packed to capacity. The place was filled with students, teachers, professors, scientists, and explorers; all who have come from different parts of the galaxy to hear the illustrious Doctor Eli Chook’s lecture and findings from his recent expedition to a newly discovered world and a lost civilization.
Doctor Chook was the leading astro-archeologist in the field that has no equal. He is a Thetazoid from the planet, Taro, in the Zelga System, who has spent the last ninety years roaming the galaxy for lost civilizations. His most famous discovery was the ruins of Delpha; a find that re-wrote the whole history of the Raki Empire; however, rumor has it that the findings that he is presenting tonight will be far more startling.
The sound of talking voices grows silent as Doctor Chook walks onto stage to a friendly round of applause; his green skin almost glistening beneath the spotlight. At one hundred and twenty years of age, he is considered long lived among his people; a Thetazoid’s expected life span on average is one hundred and ten.
“Thank you.” He tells the audience in his deep and heavy Thetazoid dialect. “You’re too kind.” The ovation lasts several minutes before quieting down. When it does, Doctor Chook gathers his notes and begins addressing the audience.
“I would like, if I may, to take you on a journey to a far away planet simply known as 125. I first became aware of this planet ten years ago when I came across a journal of a freighter captain, who spoke of a planet in the Alphus System, a world uninhabited, with many cities, deserted, destroyed, overgrown by fauna and wildlife. I was intrigued to say the least, and in my opinion the greatest thing we can ever experience is the mysterious, and this was a mystery that got my nose twitching.”
“Without boring you with the finite details, I pursued a line of enquiry into this fable, and although it took me another five years I at last found the location of Planet 125. And it exists for I have spent the last two years exploring this world, a world that at one time housed both an advanced, primitive and what seems to have been a very religious culture; and yet it was a civilization that encompassed the entire surface of the planet...and so, without further adieu, I give you the lost civilization of Earth.”
The large screen behind Doctor Chook lights up with images of this newly discovered celestial body.
“I initially assumed that the name of Planet 125 was Humanoid, so called after the name of its former inhabitants, Humans; although on further investigation I finally discovered the real name of this world – Earth. The first thing that strikes you about this place is the diverse landscape and wildlife and then of course you have the countless ruined and deserted cities across every land, in some cases vast metropolis’ with buildings reaching to the sky; which leads inevitably to the question – what happened to the population of this, in my opinion, most enchanting and beautiful world?”
“First off, there is no real indication that the humans of Earth achieved space flight in any true sense of the word; there are signs that they made crude attempts to reach their moon, but beyond that, no; which is strange as they did seem to reach quite a high level of technology. In any case we can rule out the possibility that they left their planet. In which case we are left with the possibilities of extinction through either, war, disease or some form of natural disaster and there is much evidence to suggest that all three such calamities occurred frequently on this planet Earth. However I found no fossil remains of humans in any of these fallen cities, to be sure there are large burial grounds, called cemeteries, but there is no indication of any recent burials in the last hundred years.”
“The anthropological record of these humans is a hard one to ascertain and piece together, it seems that they had both an animatism and anthropocentric belief system. And yet I’m sorry to say that I have no idea what became of the Humans, beyond speculation, I feel that it will go down in history as one of the greatest mysteries of our time.”
“But where there were no fossil remains there were in abundance, their cities and relics. As you can imagine, with so much to choose from it was like a lottery which one to explore first. But there was one building, ruin, temple, that I came across in just about every one of their lost cities, which indicates a global unified religion that must have crossed the multitude of cultures that once populated this now deserted world. And these holy places of worship are easily distinguishable by the symbol on their façade, that of two golden arches, and the name of the deity they worshipped was apparently called McDonalds.”
“Furthermore it appears that sacrifices to their God were also made in these churches, sacrifices which they also ate, after whatever ceremony was performed. The names of these sacrificial animals were many, but to name a few, there was Cheeseburger, Big Mac, French Fries and Thick Shake; strange names in any dialect, to be sure. But as eccentric as such a barbaric practice and religion seems to us, to the humans it was a ritual that took place three times a day.”
“But it also seems that the followers of McDonalds had a rival religion to contend with, known as KFC, for like the temples of McDonalds which were also found all over the place, so to were those of KFC; whose patron saint was apparently called Colonel Sanders. And here too, sacrificial offerings were also made and eaten; offerings with such names as Chicken Burger, Chicken McNuggets, Twister, The Bucket and of course French Fries, which must have been a very popular food of the Humans.”
“As for the capital of Earth, there seems to have been many, but out of them all I discovered one that seemed to have many replicas of other cities in it and from this I extrapolated that this place was their main capital, or their great holy city, and its name was Vegas. It was a place of pilgrimage where they brought gifts of gold and silver to place in shrines known as slot machines and casinos. And it was also in Vegas that I got an idea of the sort of governance that the Humans had, which appears to have been a monarchy, for I came across ancient relics belonging to a King Elvis.”
“This king must have been well liked, for like the McDonalds and KFC Temples, his name and image was also found in virtually every city on the planet. But he wasn’t the only monarchy to reign over the Humans; in point of fact, it seems that the city of Vegas was the ancestral home of the kings of Earth. For instance, there was a King Wayne Newton, Sinatra, Martin-Lewis, Davis Jr. and a Queen Dion, who lived in huge palaces known as Caesar and Circus. And the humans would fill vast auditoriums and arenas to see and worship them on Fridays and Saturdays.”
“In fact it would appear that these two days were truly holy days to the Humans. For on these days they would dress up and congregate in places called night clubs to celebrate with food, drink and sexual contact. The actual mating rituals of Humans are just as bizarre and peculiar as the rest of their existence. From sacred Human texts, entitled “Mills and Boon”, I can state with certainty that sex and romance was very much a part of the Humans everyday life. I mean the sheer volume of these books that were printed is literally in the billions.”
“Books that speak of lust, sex, desires, romance, jealousy, rage, anger, S&M, bondage and profanity, which also played a role in the way that Humans spoke to each other. As an example, a few greetings I have unearthed can easily demonstrate the use of such language; such as: “Hey asshole”, or, “Yo’ dickhead”, or “You rat bastard” and “Hey, you son-of-a-bitch”, but perhaps my favorite is: “Hey, shit for brains”, truly a colorful array of words to simply say hello.”
“The time I spent exploring Planet 125, aka, Earth, threw up more questions than answers about the culture and ways of the Humans; questions that I intend to get answers for. Already many governments are talking about sending mining expeditions to Earth to dig up the many deposits of rich minerals beneath its surface and oceans. Something we must not allow to occur, because doing so we run the risk of not only destroying a pristine world but also losing all knowledge of this complicated and mysterious race known as Humans, and that would be a travesty of the gravest kind, as I feel that there is much we can learn from this forgotten civilization.”
“So I intend to go back to this Earth and unlock even more secrets, for tonight I have only given you the tiniest glimpse into this lost Human civilization. And so I ask you, who wants to come with me? Who wants to turn the key and unlock the mystery of the Human race?”
Doctor Chook is greeted with a thunderous round of applause.
Copyright © 2011 by Peter Jessop