Challenge #01873-E049: Infestation Reformation

in fiction •  last year


Picture a Fallout style after-the-bombs postapocalyptic world, but we humans are extinct. Nothing but ruined buildings, leftover wreckage, wandering mutants of assorted types, and abandoned hoards of supplies like armor, food, tools, and weapons...
Meanwhile, on the other side of reality, the stereotype sword-n-sorcery fantasy realm gets so sick and tired of goblins - stupid, obnoxious, violent, vulgar little wretches that breed like rats on speed and can bounce back from just about anything short of incineration or wholesale dismemberment - that they create a spell to banish the entire species to some other plane, which turns out to be this post-apoc Earth. While in their old world, they were (and still are) a pack of greedy and self-serving cowards who tended to flee in disorganized panic if even slightly outnumbered or outmuscled, Goblins, it turns out, love this new world, since it's full of free food, stuff that explodes when you poke it, and no humies or elfses or such to harass them... sure, the land is packed with ravenous monsters, but there's exploring and adventures EVERYwhere! -- Anon Guest

Some argued that it was the ultimate expression of speciesism. Others held that it was pest control. But since they argued after it was a done deal, there was no skin in the game and the entire debate was philosophical. No matter what, they all agreed that the Goblins were the Goblins problem now.

Goblins are small. They are fast. They are greedy. They breed like flies. They stink because they think hygiene is a greeting for anyone named Eugene. And when they entered the world of blasted cities, their first instinct had been to run for cover. It only took them a few hours to realise that there were no other species to come after them. That all the places still standing were full of wealth.

Shiny things. Tools. Technology. Clothing. Food. They didn't even have to hunt, the food was so plentiful. Just lying around in packets. In boxes. In cans. They had access to so much that it grew... boring.

Some learned the meaning of the Before-people. The Biguns, as the Goblins called them. Owing to the size of their furniture. One Bigun chair was as good as a bed for a single Goblin. A Bigun bed could be a home for eight. A Bigun house? Why, that was practically a village. As they had the free time to do so, the Goblins learned.

They learned about all sorts of Bigun things. Growing food. Making things to do things. Goblinkind's first efforts were crude, but only at first.

Goblins were always assumed to be stupid. What they really were was fast to mature and quick to hit first and ask questions later. Here, in a world without any reason to steal or fight, they learned to slow down. They learned to think. They learned to learn.

And the Biguns had tons of information. The Biguns had learned to pull the very fabric of the world apart. And figured out how to put it together like building blocks. And, of course, how to blow things up.

Goblins liked to blow things up, but not so much as the Biguns had. They had blown things up to the point where life just... died on the ground the explosion had cursed. The Biguns called it radiation, and it made death come painfully. And still, the Goblins learned. They learned that sunflowers cleaned up the radiation, made the ground safe again. And the fields of death were full of yellow flowers. With seeds that made oil that the Goblins could use in their ever-evolving machines.

And the Goblins learned to think. Not like the Biguns thought, with their strange triple-god that told them to birth babies and curse children. They learned to think around the mistakes that the Biguns made. How to apply scientific evidence and figure out what was best for the most amount of people. How to use everything to its best advantage.

The Biguns had almost killed this paradise. The Goblins made it alive again. Healed it. Used it in beneficial ways, so that there was always more. Goblins liked having more.

The last lesson that the Biguns left was this: There is more in space.

So they took everything they had learned, everything they had made of themselves, and made rockets. Working once more from the things the Biguns started. Making mistakes. Making progress. Making it off their adopted world.

They found another message on the distant moon. Written in the Bigun words. Scratched and scarred my micro-meteors, but still legible.

We came in peace for all mankind.

By then, Goblins were no longer greedy and grasping. They were no longer nuisances. They were a people with nations and identities, with stories and histories and culture. They had Great Goblins and notable figures who made the world better in the Goblin image.

So they went out, ever outwards. Sometimes finding the messages left by Biguns who had thought further and longer than the ones who had blown up their world. And they came in peace. Just to see what was there. See if it was cool. And see if it could be traded.

Because, above anything else, a Goblin likes to have cool stuff.

[Image (c) Can Stock Photo / TsuneoMP]

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Poor goblins were just misunderstood all along! :O