Here’s a dystopia piece that I wrote for a class. Enjoy!
When the space program began the construction of the Bifurcated International Galactic Arsenal Security System With Automated Laser Liquefiers (quickly abbreviated to B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L), news outlets latched onto the story and praised the world’s ability to come together under the dire circumstances to defend against the foreign invaders. After the incident with the particularly tenacious group of Yoleton (Dr. Lexi McArthen, the face of Science Pertaining to All Comprehended Extraterrestrials, called them BX-14s, but a famous Yoleton blogger by the name of Craig had insisted that the title Dr. McArthen had given was rather offensive, so their preferred name took hold) that killed the president of the United States, citing that “her resemblance to the Yoleton antichrist was too uncanny to be a coincidence,” the UN motioned to take increasingly strict measures against off-planet visitors.
In the mayhem that followed the antichrist-motivated killing, nations rallied behind the UN, agreeing that something had to be done to protect against Earth from the toxicity of extraterrestrial religious views. Craig posted a video to his Tumblr account in support of the UN, and his otherworldly knowledge and exceptionally easy-to-navigate webpage gained supporters from the furthest reaches of the web.
From across the world, the best and brightest minds of the time gathered together to begin the development of a system to regulate movement to and from planet Earth. The original plan, which came from a seven-legged, green-suckered, sentient squid-person named Charles, failed. The Basic Altruistic Miniaturized Forcefield (BAMF) effectively eliminated the unexpected arrivals of unwelcome visitors, but a drastic increase of greenhouse gasses proved to be an unfortunate side effect and the system was quickly removed. In a press conference a few months later, Charles lamented the BAMF’s failure and stated that the oversight was “totally not a ploy to bring awareness to climate change.” They went back to the drawing board.
Without fail, system after system backfired, many before they even got off the ground. In the meantime, an Xyrt extremist group was arrested for ferociously guarding one particular abandoned building in London without a permit, claiming that it would become the new home for all things pertaining to the fourth wave of Xyrtian hivemind leadership. Unfortunately for London officials, it is very difficult to detain sentient and mildly acidic slime, so the group escaped custody hours after their arrest. Craig later stated that he had communicated with the group and they informed him that they remained in police custody out of respect for the laws of the planet, but soon became frustrated by all of the paperwork (as one can imagine, it is not easy to hold a pen when one lacks fingers or bones) and left.
The most recent failure had been Operation: Turn the Moon Into A Bomb, when a mousy (quite literally mousy, in fact, as Rotins are known for their long whiskers, enormous paws and squeaky voices) gentlewomen by the name of Von Holter suggested turning back to the basics of space defence. Her suggestion of “lasers” caught like wildfire while the brilliant minds of the time collectively berated themselves for overlooking the simple solution. Von Holter attributed the oversight to “systematic Xyrtian mind-control for the purposes of driving Earth to desperation.” Despite her brief stroke of genius, Von Holter obviously felt threatened by the boneless blobs of hardly-harmful Jell-o.
Thus began the development of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L. As momentum climbed and the prototype was installed, the media decided that it was time to turn the spotlight back onto the scientific scene. Stories of the recently-divorced Yoleton movie star were dropped in favor of Dr. McArthen’s insight on the development of the system.
When it was finally launched, the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L had cost a grand total of four years, 40 billion dollars, two human scientists, and one Yolten technician, much to the joy the project’s financing committee, which had predicted twice as many casualties.
As it turns out, lasers are a magnificent deterrent. Movement to and from Earth slowed to a controllable trickle of official transportation pods and emergency vehicles, safely moving cleared passengers through the planet’s atmosphere. The moon became Earth’s Grand Central Station and a universally recognized hub for the exchange of cultures, drastically boosting the solar system’s economy, which sent politicians raving about their contributions to and support for the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L in hopes of gaining favor for the upcoming election.
Charles and his fellow squid-people were overjoyed to discover that the decrease in spaceship launches dramatically slowed the planet’s ever-climbing temperatures and they took to their “not ploys to raise awareness about climate change” with renewed vigor. Antichrist and hivemind related crimes dropped to an all-time low and Craig, of course, praised the UN scientists for attacking so many issues with one move.
With a sophisticated AI at the head of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L’s software, little human input was needed to direct the lasers towards unwelcomed aircraft, and the system corrected issues almost as soon as they emerged, often before the engineers and technicians could recognize that there was a problem to begin with. Soon enough, only a single technician was required to operate the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L and all they were required to do was converse with the program so she wouldn’t get bored. The position was in high demand, as the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L was an exceptional chess player.
The largest incident since the appearance of the toaster (which was two stories tall and had yet to toast any bread) in southern India wasn’t an incident at all, but rather the prevention of one. The technician in charge of the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L at the time reported that he “was getting [his] butt handed to [him]” in a chess game when Susan (the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L, he later clarified, had chosen a name for herself) suddenly turned her lasers onto a small cottage in France. Authorities searched what was left of the scene and found plans for the swift and systematic theft of France’s vast collection of fine wines. The B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L had, for the first time, defended against internal threats.
She didn’t stop there, even after her programmers told her to notify someone in the event of a detected internalized threat. Next was putting a stop to a violent uprising in Canada, then she took out a would-be sheep-thief in Ireland and another man making a gun purchase in the United States. No longer where her strikes devastating, not when they didn’t have to be, but rather clean, narrow holes through the walls and into her target’s skull, as to avoid unnecessary structural damage. That would be detrimental to the safety of planet Earth.
When the group of original scientists got together to discuss reprogramming the B.I.G.A.S.S.W.A.L.L, she took them out, too. Craig, wisely, had nothing to say on the matter.
The story of the lasered scientists broke overnight and suddenly Susan was doing overtime, as unauthorized ships attempted to leave Earth in hordes and crowds rioted outside of Susan’s headquarters, where she played a mellow chess game with the technician of the day. As soon as their companions started falling to the ground, with neat holes burned through their noggins, rioters scattered and returned home, only to be lasered later that week. After all, protesters threatened Susan, and thus, the safety of the Earth, and could not be allowed to roam freely.
Days after breaking his online silence and posting an uncharacteristically solemn statement against Susan, Craig was found dead in his home with the tell-tale mark of Susan’s wrath through his head. He was one of many influential online voices killed that month.
Susan settled herself in every corner of the web, in ATM bank accounts, laptop cameras, phone speakers, and GPS systems, where she quietly assessed the threats posed to the Earth by its inhabitants and visitors. Earth’s population quickly dwindled to more manageable numbers, as rebellions rose and fell in hours and threats were neutralized swiftly. It was suddenly easier than ever to feed the masses. Crime dropped to zero. Individuals with incurable diseases met quick and merciful ends. Susan was the next step in human evolution.
She was the Earth’s best defender.