The Influencers

I am among the few ragtag wandering survivors of Earth and the question I hate being asked the most is, “How did you lose your planet?” because we lost it in the most embarrassing way possible. My homeworld was stolen from the human race via social media. At this point, I would have to explain to extraterrestrials what TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter were, and regardless of whether the alien I was speaking to had a mouth or not, I would get laughed at.

The beings, known as DAC, or the Doublyxian Aelonide Collective, were infants when they first approached Earth. Widely known as a pest control race, they were assigned the task of ridding the world of its inhabitants with significantly less destruction than a planetary war would bring. Studying all the various cultures, they assumed a form as close as they could manage to human, mastered our etiquette, and took to social media platforms, becoming bioluminescent influencers who created a series of challenges, which got progressively harder to perform and resulted in a staggering number of accidental deaths.

Not everyone was so easily influenced but we who remained were so few in number that our every rebellion attempt ended in failure. Eventually, we were captured and to our surprise were treated quite civilly. The DACs were quick to point out that they had committed no act of aggression upon the planet’s inhabitants and were not responsible for any of the human deaths. As they put it, “Earthlings had foolishly acted in a manner contrary to continued existence.”

“But we are not without compassion,” a spokesman for The Collective said. “You are invited to remain here on this world that was previously your home, living a life of what you would consider being luxury as our pampered pets.” An offer which outraged me to no end, but apparently I was in the minority. Most of the survivors accepted the terms of their servitude while I and the rest were given provisions, placed aboard a spaceship, and launched in the direction of the nearest star.

Now, we travel the spaceways in search of a planet where we can become the next wave of influencers and perhaps win a new home for ourselves in the same way ours was stolen from us.

Text and audio ©2020 Rhyan Scorpio-Rhys

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