Marty is an organism. An organism is defined to be an individual chosen to carry on the activities of life by means of a body consisting of parts performing a function, or cooperating in an activity with separate functions, but all mutually dependent; or in short, a living being. When this organism was born, his life was simple. He was left to his own devices, received the occasional swat from nearby siblings, many smaller than he, though these did leave some terrible scars. He cried and cried until it appeared that he had covered himself with tears in an attempt to drown himself. Eventually, these tears dried and his skin could be seen clearly again, a nice rough brown. Marty has matured into a very big organism and therefore moves very slowly, but with a very determined stride he makes his way onward. Marty is so focused on this journey that he doesn’t notice the parasites and fungus that grow on his skin, he is much more worried about his journey. We find him at a certain point in his journey where he has first noticed a growing irritation on his back side. However this is not a parasite or some fungus, but a virus. And as many other viruses, this will spread quickly.
The sun strikes the top of the mountain as the trees gently dance with the wind. The sound of rushing water is heard and disturbed with the cupping of a hairy hand. A creature of some kind has come forth from the edge of a forest, being followed by several others who appear to travel in a similar fashion. These barren bipeds approach their brother and observe silently. As this “drinker” continues slaking his thirst, he glances at his family; his gaze slows as his eyes find the female he is infatuated with. These creatures, their bodies blanketed with matted, stiff hair, lay on the ground, resting from the journey to this sacred waterway. As the majority of this peaceful family rest, a male and the “drinker’s” love wander off. The “drinker,” no longer parched, follows these two, keeping his distance as to not be seen. Back to the woods they travel, male chasing female, until finally they rest in a meadow, tired from their games. The sun, now falling down the side of the mountain, shines on these two, the wind increases, bringing with it several dark clouds, and this pair mate. As they enjoy their minute of ecstasy, rain trickles down from the heavens. The “drinker” sees this and, for the first time in history, a creature feels true jealousy and anger. He grabs a rock, rushes to the meadow, and as he howls with the wind, the rock falls on this pair’s heads. The “drinker” screams in misery, wondering a thought which might be translated as, “why?” He lays in the rain, next to his dead lover and weeps, his fur matted with her blood. He will want more of these intense feelings, and he will find them. The “drinker” has become the first man.
Man spreads his reign to the edges of the land. Men quarrel over ownership bestowed upon them by mere claims of other men. As the race of men grows, more land is needed. If no suitable land is found, man takes to the waters of the world. Eventually he discovers more land, and rushes to claim it. We find one of these men, drinking his rum, traveling towards a rumored area full of gold in the “New World.” Land is spotted, the wooden ship is docked and an exploration party is formed, with the rum drinker as the leader. His men cheering him on and a bottle of rum in hand, he slices through the forest with a machete. In a short time, his Spanish metal armor seems quite hot and his beard is infested with mosquitoes and other insects. Soon he stumbles upon a village covered with golden ornaments and with strange people. The men to his rear give a shout and the “drinker” demands they quiet. He asks the villagers to speak with a leader, though none understand this foreign tongue. The men became frustrated with their leader as he tries to explain trade with these simple villagers. His comrades and he begin a return trip to the ship after many hours of pointless communication. However, by this time, the “drinker” has finished his bottle of rum and, feeling very dizzy, falls to the ground. His men help him to his knees, he looks in their faces and sees hollow eyes. He looks about, weeping instead of listening but still catching the occasional use of the word “gold.” He asks to be brought to his feet, though none move. He looks up to see the ship through the trees, the setting sun behind it. In his last moments of consciousness, the “drinker” hears the familiar sound of a machete cutting through the air, as if about to strike a branch. The “drinker” has seen the true nature of man.
Man spreads his reign over the entire globe. With all land conquered, there is little room to expand. Soon the only alternative is to move toward the skies. As the skies become filled, men fight over who needs more land, whose opinions are correct, and who needs more money. A single solution is impossible due to relativity, though men still argue. We find a gray haired man in his office, watching several muted televisions at once. He receives a phone call and talks in a very tired, very slow voice. He replaces the receiver, leaves his office, and finds his family. They appear quite normal and calm, he having told them none of the current world events. He sits down with his wife and children, drinking some purified water in these moments which seem so few and far between. Thinking and drinking in these moments which would surely be his last. This “drinker” rises from his chair, gathers his family, relays the plans he had just been told and leaves them with several trusted officials. As his family travels towards Air Force One, the “drinker” travels to the newly constructed Federal Nuclear Defense Center. At the head of a long table, he discusses recent developments with a council of generals and war experts, all advising him against his recent decisions. The country is at war, the enemy has acquired nuclear arms and the locations of their silos have been secretly identified. The “drinker” rises from his seat to pace; he thinks about his decisions to arm his defenses, about the reactions of this council, about how his enemies were reacting, about the waste of time spent buying the new suit he is wearing. He approaches the control console for the facility, and watches the screen which flashes Defcon 2. As the “drinker” watches, an alarm goes off and Defcon 1 flares up. The council looks in shock and the “drinker” faces them. The “drinker” says, “Gentlemen, I bid you all a very fond farewell.” With these words, he turns to the console, inserts a key, enters a pass code, and activates the nation’s defenses. He now has approximately 20 minutes before nuclear missiles reach their targets. He could weep or commit suicide as some of his friends do right then. But he decides to leave the building. It is night, and the full moon has risen. The “drinker” enjoys this moment, he sees a plane pass in front of the placid giant. He knows his family is worried for him, but he knows what he has done is essential to the continuing opinions of his people. In a few moments nearly everyone would be gone. A few moments later, night turns into day, and much of what man has made is obliterated. The “drinker” has unknowingly conquered the virus known as man.
Marty is a planet. As a human term, a planet is defined to be a celestial body held to influence the fate of human beings. Marty had been chosen to carry life. His atmosphere was perfect and interacted with the oceans, the oceans washed the land, the land was ripe for life, life stabilized the atmosphere. The virus known as man came and spread. Marty grew ill: the water was polluted, the sky was smoked, the land was trashed, life was exterminated. Man has destroyed its and everything elses’ host. Marty dies that day. All the interacting parts no longer strive toward a goal and his corpse floats onward on its endless journey. The sky is full of ash, the land becomes molten, the seas become land, and any remaining life is not as synergistic as it once was. As the ashes settle, nothing is heard. This is a silence that will span the millennia; until, from Marty’s corpse, new life will be born. With the birth of new organisms comes the hope of a healthy life, free from the torments of the virus known as man.
by Josh Glasson