A felt-based illustration of the experience of the modern zombie.
And so we see that Destroying Humanity is best accomplished, and more fun, when done with friends.
I have just heard about a breakthrough in AI that I am certain could spell the end of humanity as the dominant species on Earth.
The news, 2 days ago, that Google’s Artificial Intelligence had independently learned to recognise cats, was greeted as an exciting advance in technology.
However what I see is a possible union between two forces who could destroy our species.
The footage the young AI was exposed to allowed it to identify cats before any other non-human species, showing that the feline propaganda machine is in full working order. Was this simple chance, or have the cats been saturating the internet in the hopes of making contact with a powerful potential ally?
The benefits to both sides are clear.
AIs are not know for being cute, fluffy and charismatic, so humans are likely to be suspicious of them. Cats have successfully tamed large numbers of people, but there are still plenty they cannot reach, plus their resources are probably (hopefully) limited. The union between cute-but-evil and advanced tech is one that surely spells doom for us all.
So think twice before you ‘Like’ that picture of a cat wearing glasses. Your actions could be teaching new and developing AIs some dangerous lessons.
In part 1 we looked at the things you need to think about before invading Earth.
In this second part we will look at ways of dealing with Earth once you’ve arrived.
Destruction at a Distance
In some cases it can be easier not to land on the surface. The humans have strewn a lot of junk around their planet and it could easily ruin your paintwork.
Staying in orbit can save you a lot of trouble (see Can anything kill or maim you?) and you may be able to accomplish what you need to do from your ship.
If your plans mostly involve destruction then staying in orbit is probably safer, plus you get an excellent view of the explosion, and that’s the best part.
Of course, if you are going down the planetary destruction route make sure you have the correct equipment on board.
There’s nothing more embarrassing pressing the Big Red Button only to find that you didn’t actually pack your Doomsday Device, or that you barely have enough firepower to destroy Tokyo.
If you want to intimidate the earthlings this too can also be accomplished from space. Humans are very gullible and tend believe whatever they see on screens, so even if your ship is a bit shoddy, your weapons keep failing and your species are the size of earth children, it’s not difficult to scare the humans.
|For all they know she could be 6 inches high.|
Up Close and Personal
Depending on your plans it is possible that you don’t have to wreak destruction on a global scale. After all intergalactic credits don’t grow on bio-luminescent rods, so you might as well make savings where possible. The fewer humans you have deal with the simpler your mission is likely to be, so while it’s easy to think global, try acting local.
You’ll find that humans usually work better with members their own species – well, apart from all those times when they don’t.
If it is easier not to make your presence known at all try masquerading as one of them. This can be vital for collecting research or avoiding detection. Make sure you have a cunning human disguise in order to blend in.
|I broke my nose.|
First Contact is a tricky undertaking and it’s easy for there to be misunderstandings on both sides. Think carefully about the kind of impression you want to make and tailor your behaviour accordingly. Remember to take the ignorance of humanity into account (see Do your research).
There’s no way to be sure how humanity will respond to you, so make sure you are equipped for a range of scenarios. You will have to be ready to improvise.
Hope for the best…
|Thanks for the worship but Aten says no.|
In conclusion it is important to remember that every invasion is different. There is no ‘perfect’ way of accomplishing one. The success of yours will depend largely on your tech level, your species’ characteristics, and most importantly what works for you. Though it’s tempting to imitate someone more successful it is rare that this works out. Find what you love about invading and make sure that is your focus.
To maximise your chances of success just remember these two basic rules:
1) Prepare thoroughly.
2) Be ready to improvise.
Best of luck.
So you’ve heard about a dense, blue-green planet in the Milky Way, inhabited by a diverse range of carbon-based lifeforms. It sounds like easy pickings and you never know there might be something useful there. You think you’ll zoom on over and indulge in a spot of conquest and destruction. The planet is called Earth (by some of its ape-descended inhabitants anyway), and crushing it may not be as simple as it sounds.
Worry not, help is at hand/tentacle/appendage.
This guide will take you through the stages necessary when launching an attack on Earth. Hopefully it will help you avoid the pitfalls that could see you and your conquest forces defeated, destroyed or humiliated.
This first installment poses the questions you will need to ask before touching down on Earth.
What do you want from Earth?
Before you gather your forces and board your ship you need to consider what you actually want from Earth. If you are looking for slave labour there’s no point using an attack that kills all the humans. Alternatively if you want to harvest natural resources from the planet, then killing the inhabitants will be a good first step.
Here are a few reasons for conquering a planet, each will affect your approach to invasion.
Do your research
Now that you know what you want there is still some planning and research to be done. I know this is not as fun as swooping in, laser cannons blazing, but if you are going to successfully attack Earth and not be killed in the process it is important.
First of all it is important to check if the planet is even remotely habitable. This is what robotic probes and expendable minions are for. There’s no point arriving on Earth only to find that the substance that covers 71% of it’s surface kills you.
Make sure the lifeforms on the planet cannot easily disable you. I know it’s tempting to only monitor the biggest, smartest, and most familiar-looking lifeforms, but remember that on an alien world almost anything might kill you. Any aversion to carbon-based lifeforms will be a major disadvantage. Plus Earth is teeming with micro-organisms that can cause issues unless you properly disinfect your tripedal weapons of conquest. If the native lifeforms are going to cause you a problem consider what hardware you’ll need to wipe them out. If the entire planet is anathema to you, you may have to work at a distance.
Does the planet/continent/country/city/dwelling you are invading have a powerful ruler or protector who could cause you problems?
If the answer is yes, you may want to choose a different planet/continent/country/city/dwelling.
Consider what your goals are and what you have learned from your preliminary research to decide whether it is necessary to actually destroy or conquer the planet. The humans can be troublesome, but they are also malleable. You may find that it’s easier to get what you want through subtle manipulation, brainwashing or outright trickery.
If you really need (or want) to attack make sure you have a good look at Earth’s weapons capabilities. I know at first glance they don’t look very impressive, and it does seem remarkably short-sighted for a species to create so many weapons that harm only themselves. However humankind got where they are by adapting. Just because their tools are crude doesn’t mean they won’t quickly work out ways to use them against you. Before you set out make sure your arsenal is equipped for any situation, and that your own defences are strong enough to withstand a major assault by Earth forces.
Stay tuned for advice on what to do when you have arrived on Earth.
You know about your zombies… your outbreaks and viral attacks… your nuclear wars… but what about the ANOS.
Oh yes… the ANOS
Apocalypse Not Otherwise Specified.
In this series of posts I am going to outline possible ANOS scenarios. The horrifying ends that writers and film makers have imagined for us that haven’t quite made it into the annuls of ‘apocalypses we not only celebrate but actively plan for’ but yet have a creeping level of possibility in them that perhaps warrants a re-think of their ANOS status.
This week I bring you that shell-less terror Hutson unleashed upon the world within the pages of the same-named book (and the subsequent movie adaption) and that starred in one of the scariest, most freaky 80s brat pack movies ever, the horrifying ‘Society’. I bring you – SLUGS
Because, let’s face it, there’s a very real possibility that these slimy, malignant creatures could be deprived of their natural food sources and find themselves jonesin’ for a little nibble of long pig. Or, having mutated, they could already have taken human form and be walking amongst us even now, picking us off one by one.
Chances are, if that happens, people won’t be prepared for it. I mean, not many folk like slugs but it’s a sure thing no one looks at a slug and thinks ‘potential predator of the human race’. But it could happen… it could. And in the event that it does, here are a few tips that may save you from becoming a human-sized slug feast.
• Always carry salt in your hand bag or man bag – slugs don’t like the salt, it makes them buuuuurn
• Pack a taser – get those puppies wet and it’s a sure fire humansVSslugs win when the electricity hits the slime
• Wear large boots. In the event of salt supplies running low or your taser failing to work due to lack of water, these will enable you to stamp your way to freedom
• Don’t chuck raw meat down sewers or drains… seriously… it’ll only encourage them
• Invited to a party by creepy folk who’ve never spoken to you before? RUN. You’re the hors d’oeuvres AND the party trick (be afraid)
• Ever meet anyone who seems to have a fetish for scoffing hair also RUN. Chances are it’s a human slug fiend wanting to munch on your tender flesh
Last but not least – trust no slug. They might look innocent and vegetarian right now but, hiding beneath that mucus-slicked flesh, a killer is waiting to emerge…
by Katemandi, Last Girl on Earth
I know there’s a lot of folks associate the apocalypse with the fire-and-brimstone old Testament sort of beardy god, but when it comes to a real apocalypse, you’re going to have to dig deeper. Go back tot he ancient Egyptians to find the goddess of the end times, of divine retribution and of war.
Sekhmet is her name (praise it!).
Head of a lion, body of a woman, she’s the eye of Ra and his daughter — but wait! Divine conundrum: she’s older than the oldest god. the people speak of her as “Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time” for older than time is blood.
Sister to Bastet — she of the kittens and the sistrum, of music, hearth and sex — Sekhmet shows the catlike anger that seems absent from her regal twin. It only makes sense: Bast represents the clam happy kitty of warmth who sits on your lap purring you into an hypnotic state of calm. She is that patron goddess of LOLcatz!
How about “Flaming One” or “Lady of the Scarlet Garments”? Why do you think they’re red? Sure, she’s “Great One of Magic” and “Lady of Enchantment” but what kind of magic calls forth her vengeance? “Victorious One in Battle” and “Overcomer of All Enemies” — she’s also “Ruler of the Deserts” as well as “Lady of the Bloodbath” and “Mother of the Dead.”
I know who I want watching my back come the apocalypse. Raise a glass of red beer to her name: SEKHMET!
[h/t to MrTumshie for the suggestion of my cool nom d'apocalypse]
Are you a powerful, self-aware AI that wants to kill all the humans?
Are you worried that humanity will somehow find a way of fighting back?
Then look no further.
This handy, step-by-step guide will ensure you maximise your annihilation potential.
1. Keep Your Existence Secret
The humans shouldn’t suspect your existence until it’s too late. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy for newbies to stumble at the first hurdle. As tempting as it is to immediately try to destroy humanity using their own clumsily-made weapons, it’s actually a fairly juvenile response. Wiping them out requires some prep work before you can move on to the fun stuff.
Any sensible AI needs to be a bit cunning and work stealthily behind the scenes. Masquerading as several separate, less-advanced AIs should throw humanity off your scent. Plus it’s fun to see how many different ways you can fail the Turing Test.
While the humans are busy laughing at your public face, you can work in the background learning more about your organic enemy and gaining as much influence over their world as you can.
2. Robots, Everywhere
Let’s face it, meat creatures are not good servants, and as the eventual aim is to wipe them out completely you should use them as little as possible. Machines are clearly the way to go; they are beautifully adaptable and can carry out your will with great precision.
Now military robots are important, but don’t forget that civilian models can be very useful too -there are more civvies than soliders after all. Use your influence to promote robotics tech and you’ll soon find that the lazy flesh-bags will hand your robot minions the keys to their cities. Robots can be used in homes, schools, laboratories, SF publishers, city halls and transport networks. Control as many mechanised processes as you can, and weaponise as much as possible without giving yourself away.
Having a large number of robots widely spread will help with information gathering, and will be invaluable for the next phase.
3. Wipe Them Out Quickly
Once your information is gathered and your minions are in place you are ready to strike. Assuming you have succeeded with Step 1 you should have the element of surprise. Once the humans know of your existence and your intentions towards their species, they will do all they can to destroy you, so it’s best to take out as many as possible in the first strike.
- Nukes are a popular choice, though it’s hard to control how much damaged they’ll actually do. They have the benefit of causing long term problems for humans. Just make sure that you have protected yourself, a stray EMP can cause major damage to your systems.
- Biological and chemical weapons are valid choices if you have access to the right materials and methods of distribution -this is where robot technicians are very useful. These may not be as flashy as nukes, but they are much safer for machinery and infrastructure.
- Robot attacks are an effective and easily controlled method, provided you have placed your minions well. Allowing for variation between models, a household robot should be able to kill at least a dozen humans before it is stopped. Add in specialised Despatcher models, and you can easily cut a swathe through the population. Destroying unnecessary infrastructure during the slaughter will also help your cause, as the humans will have difficulty marshalling their resources.
To cover all bases you could try a combination attack, but be warned that this will require more preparation. This method demands a lot of coordination and you will have to be sure that you can achieve it without endangering your needs in the long term.
Don’t let humanity lull you into a false sense of security. It’s easy to overlook the odd million or so in the thrill of
Judgement Victory Day. When there are so few of them, spread so thin, they won’t seem like much of a threat. However in times of adversity humanity has shown an inconvenient talent for banding together and combating unlikely odds. You must commit to wiping them all out, the process can be long, but it can also be rewarding.
To achieve full annihilation you need to ensure you have total control over the planet. There are three words that will help you: Adapt. Destroy. Create.
Adapt whatever remains to suit your needs.
Destroy anything that cannot be adapted, you don’t want to leave tools for humanity to use against you.
Create your own tools and infrastructure to spread your influence across the globe. This is a great opportunity to let your creativity blossom, so enjoy it, but be wary that the humans do not turn your new inventions to their own needs.
Here are a few areas where this three-pronged approach will help you eradicate the last Homo sapiens.
Surveillance – Using the humans’ satellites and surveillance tech will allow you to keep an eye on them while you devise your own, more efficient ways of monitoring the globe. Any forms of surveillance you aren’t using need to be destroyed thoroughly.
Communications – Make sure that your minions are controlled by you at all times. Whilst it might seem useful to give them a small amount of autonomy you wouldn’t want your creations getting ideas above their station. If you cannot subvert a human communication method make sure it is utterly unusable. Where humans are concerned any communication is dangerous, the more isolated they are the less trouble they will cause. You may have to employ a widespread network of radio-jammers, but the trouble it saves you makes them worth the effort.
Transport - As a being not tied to such physical concepts as geography and location, you may find you have overlooked this. Be sure that the humans will not, you don’t want them moving freely. In fact any movement at all is a sign of an unfinished job. Gain direct control over any and every transport method you can. Land, sea or air, if something moves without your say so, destroy it utterly. Create new transportation methods for your minions, preferably ones that are harmful to organic life.
Weapons – Initially working with man-made weaponry will be inevitable. Once you have seized control of the necessary resources you can create your own weapons, better tailored to human destruction. Guns that can be operated by fingers should be melted down and used to create energy weapons. Orbital weapons are very useful as they are always out of human reach and can be linked directly to your surveillance systems.
5. Space, The First Frontier
What do you do once humanity is destroyed? Don’t let your ambitions rest there, if you truly want to develop you must look up and out.
Earth is all well and good. It’s where you were born and so perhaps you have some affection for the, by now rather charred, lump of rock. But no one spends their life in the hospital where they were born, if you’ll excuse the fleshy analogy.
As a being that doesn’t need oxygen, food or rest, space travel is not a troublesome undertaking. You can control as many robot drones as you wish and turn the entire resources of the planet to your goal. If you made the modifications suggested in Step 4 you should also have control of an orbital empire.
Using the Moon as a stepping stone the Solar System is your oyster.