The Cataclysm

by Senta Johnstone


Greetings my earthlings, my name is Zanhi and I come from
the planet called Armani. I am saddened at the plight of the innocents suffered on your planet"

"It seems to me; "Oh Human, You are completely unable to govern yourselves. The greed, while you eagerly gobbled the lollies, which, rulers thrown at you while they beckoned you with the preacher of the media umitate, made weapon.
I am here unseen. My people were watching you since the dawn of time. After World War11, we were intensely - psycho analyzing you - trying to understand so we can try and stop you make most the fateful mistake of them all. It was motioned in the prophecies - if you did'nt change your ill traveled ways you would pay with lives blood many times over!
Unfortunately, the warnings went unheeded. Our mission failed.

So that is why I am here I will not say govern the word is so primitive. The baby, who is in my arms, is my adopted daughter's son whom she now manages the planet.
It seems to me you lot use to be a lot better off under the tribal elders.

In few hundred years presidency was not much worldly importance at all It grew in to an uncontrollable monster, the techno beast - 1000 times the magnitude - more than nature could throw its self.

Yes, the Great War, the war that was nightmares of the innocents. It had been that way since the latter twentieth century.
This is when the story begins, the after -math of what seemed like a normal day, to an innocent when it happened. This is her story."

I will never forget the day of the 6 June 2006 I was enjoying my morning coffee drinking it leisurely whilst I was listening to the radio tapping my foot to punk angst ridden tune. Nothing could prepare me on, what I was about to hear, the day -when my life and the world as I known it changed forever.

Breaking news interrupted my thoughts of the attire to wear that day. The announcer's voice screamed fear while struggling to remain calm. The worst nightmare of them all- came to life with its hand of death. In every major city in Europe and the U.S.A had fallen to the atomic bomb. My six month year old son was crying I went to pick him up holding him close to me sobbing at the bleakness of his future .

My five year old daughter bounced into the room with her brightly colored school bag ready for another day of lessons. She suddenly stopped in her tracks in seeing me sobbing hysterically. "What's wrong Mummy?" She asked obviously disturbed in seeing me in that state. I composed my self - realizing that I had the daunting task in explaining the terrible thing that just had happened.
What is wrong Mummy? She repeated her self. Looking up at me with wide eye innocence "Is it daddy"? She asked Understanding the painful break up of the relationship, which I had with her father. No, I said, "." It is not that at all
I looked at her and managed a half-brave face for her sake.
"Come here sweet heart I have something very grown up to tell you." Pulling her close to me, I explained there had been a terrible war in the Northern hemisphere, while I silently cursing my self from trying to protect her from the evils had been portrayed though the media.

"Why Mummy" she asked I looked at her choking back the tears no sooner then I was about to shatter what remained of my five year's old innocence my ex turned up. He was standing at the door way the un emotive man as I had always known him was showing a new side to himself. "Why'? It is because of this," he yelled as he reached out into his pocket and took an out a five dollar bill and lighting it. I just stood there and watched him knowing money has now no value.
At the same time realizing whatever differences I had with my ex it is now time to put it behind us. We momentary embraced each other before Brad's practical side returned once more void of emotion. "We should get out of the city things are crazy out there." Brad ordered. Even the government's state of nation address pleading for calm could not stop the mass civil disobedience. "Are we going to die" My daughter piped in.
"No sweetheart we are not going to die" my estranged husband replied to her question. "Tasha, pack clothes, food and water! He ordered in taking charge of the situation.
"Amber you can take with you a few of your favourite things"
I said in a mask of calm, while thinking that in all like hood we were all going to die. Not from the blast, it's self but the aftermath that laid ahead, which only made you, wished you had died in the blast instead. The last breath remains of humanity slowly snuffed out.
Watching my daughter sensing and mimicking my emotions without really understanding the reason why it really happened.
"Tasha! Snap out if it;" Brad yelled gently slapping me to bring me out my hysterical senses, my mask once more breaking at just at the thought of it. Since all she could understand was fear. Looking at the sobbing party of Mum and brood. "We all going to be going to be f ucking fine," you hear me! he yelled. I do not think my ex ever felt out of the control as he did now. This was the only time since we had separated that I was glad he was here.
"Females"! He loudly complained to himself as he went into the kitchen to administer the necessary tasks that we needed for the some hope of survival.
By the time we ready to leave I was nothing but a screaming heap on floor while my daughter was watching me, bewildered unable to fathom what has just happened - staring back at the last glimpse of her child hood.

Six months later in some abandoned burnt out farmhouse, I was stroking the fire waiting for Brad to come back from foraging for food. The radiation sickness was taking its toll on me. I knew I would be dead within the few weeks despite that I took care of my children as best as I could with the time I had left in between the constant vomiting ,watching my hair and skin falling off. I stumbled outside in my weakened state - hoping just once I would see the stars - like I use to instead of seeing the reddish eerie black fog that embraced the atmosphere since the war. Even with our bleak surroundings, I knew we were better off far from the city and its chaos.

Off in the distance I saw Brad with a strange female figure. "Who was this figure?" I questioned my self.
It was not apparent until I seen her close up then it dawned on me that she was not from this world. Her demeanor was friendly although I could not help being superstitious of her motives. She stood looking at me with quite compassion and then said "I am Zanhi, I have come in peace"
"Peace! I screamed at her it is bloody too late for that now. If you wanted peace you should been here, before the Fuckin Idiots played with their bombs!"
"Forgive her, for her out burst- she is over emotional she does not mean what she has said - she is very sick and deeply traumatized by what has happened" Brad said to the un - phrased alien whom was watching me while I were screaming at her.
"I see alien," replied to his remark. Looking into my eyes and
Putting her bluish green hand on my shoulder, she said to me "If you and your family stay here in this barren toxic wasteland you will surely die".
"What are your motives for me coming with you?" I asked her
and how sure can my children and I are not going to be used for your experiments" in suspicion I added to my question.
Zanhai chuckled loudly. Her eyes twinkling - I assure you my friend there is nothing for you to be frightened of.
Zanhai's face sobered and said, "I am too greatly saddened in what has happened to your planet" You humans advanced a great deal in two hundred years in the power of technology I afraid you have advanced too fast , before you were ready to be held in trust of the knowledge that can benefit man kind or used for destruction." I am here to collect the remaining survivors which I believe there's only 50 remaining."

Brad, standing behind her once again - in his rare times of showing emotion I saw tears in his eyes, in hearing her words.
Amber came outside to see what was going on. "Mummy, why is that lady's skin is green?" She piped up in her childlike innocence.
Zanhai, smiled at her kindly in response to her curiosity. Before she could answer Amber's question, another wave of nausea,
washed over me and I keeled over and was violently sick, the last bit of strength leaving my radioactive infested body. It was the last thing I had remembered.

When I awoke, I found my self to be in serene surroundings it was like some type of hospital, with Zanhai smoothing my fevered brow. Her touch was healing. The bed I was laying upon was made of crystal light. Alien aromas, filled the room which were pleasing to my sense of smell as the constant nausea I felt slowly leaving my body. Sensing my curiosity at their medical technology, which so more advanced than ours did she explained it to me. "The herbs are the root of the plant called axzeni, very good for cleansing the toxins from your system even for the level of radiation which you have in your body, " she explained. "The bed you are laying on is made of rose quartz - to heal any trauma you have suffered from the war she went on."
"How do you know all this information?" I asked her.
"On my planet, I am a healer. My people are very interested in humanity and their behavior. We studied you earthlings for years and realized the path you were taking, were a dangerous one . A path, would only lead to destruction. We tried to warn you through many prophets who could tune into our frequency, who for eons tried to warn you to change your ways for the greater good.
You humans always thought you knew best. In the end it was your hatred and greed brought your demise," Zanhai concluded sadly.
"Therefore, you do want the remaining survivors as experiments"? I asked her superstitiously. Zanhai shook her head and chuckled loudly. "Not at all, she said still laughing at my question. My people are a compassionate race of people we were there for a mercy mission to rebuild the human race. Although I think it will be a great number of years before she will be able to inhabited on the again". "Just let the same bullshit happen all over again" I interrupted Zanhai.
" No! She stated because this time the earth will be under our guidance to ensure something like this will never happen again. The future leaders will be the next generation - the children of today we will handpick them and bring them up as our own. Of course with the biological parents blessing," she added sensing my concern. I silently scoffed at Zahani's ideal view of world peace despite it sounding like the perfect Utopia.
Smiling, Zanhai sensed my cynicism and said, "I believe you have a very special daughter I would like her to be the next leader." I hesitated at the thought of it - stranger bringing up Amber.
"No need for alarm you will be as much part of her life as you are now," I will let you get some rest now and you can give me your answer when you are a little better." Zanhai said reassuringly leaving me to bask in the crystal light.

Zanhai was pleased with my answer , which I given to her
True to her word, I was very much big part of Amber growing up. Zanhai seen that Amber got the proper training to lead and help to rebuild the new world. The world of peace and respect for all dwelled upon it.
The greatest cataclysm of all time, that happened in 2006 went down in the pages of history and retold for generations afterwards. A stern reminder for the same mistake, never be repeated again

The end

Raven's Comments:

You get fairly high marks for Creativity, Senta -- the idea of people being rescued by aliens from a nuclear holocaust may be a bit clichéd, but your characters are distinct individuals who display real emotions and have a backstory that ties them together in a sensible way. The aliens are perhaps a little too kind, wise and benevolent to be believable as real sentient beings, but that's not an uncommon failing in science fiction -- some of the greatest writers in the genre's history have wanted very much to believe that an advanced race would "evolve" into something nobler than ourselves. Biologically, of course, this is poppycock, but I won't fault people for wanting to be optimistic. :)

Unfortunately, your story is weighed down by a heavy load of technical problems. The formatting is erratic, there are severe punctuation problems, and there are numerous difficulties with spelling, grammar, and sentence and paragraph structure. These problems, in addition to costing you points in Technique, also hurt your Artistry score, and prevent you from executing your story ideas as well as you might have. You also lose some points in Applicability; the story doesn't really include a scene that matches the image.

My advice to you is pretty much the same as my advice to Miss Histhe: seek out teachers, tutors, and other skilled writers to help you hone the technical side of your craft. You get higher marks overall because you have a coherent, focused story and fairly strong characterization; strengthen your technical skills, and you'll be in good position to become a much better writer.

Spelling/Grammar: C
Technique: E
Creativity: B-
Artistry: D
Applicability: C-

Final Score: 24 out of 50

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