Terrarium
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The date was September 15th, 2025. The news that morning was about how terrible of a state the planet was in.

“BREAKING NEWS: EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE, AND THAT’S NOT AN OPINION.” read the headline.

It was true that the planet was in terrible condition. The bees were nearly extinct, the forests nearly gone, the oceans nearly dried up, the landfills overflowing, the economy in shambles, no job opportunities anywhere. At this point, we were all just waiting for the end.

And then, the end came. Or so we had thought. Aliens were a myth, we’d always said, but I guess we were wrong, because that morning, the sky was full of crafts. Crafts not of human design, crafts that hovered, crafts that moved too fast, were too large, too advanced for us to understand how they could even fly.

The military of many countries tried to fight the attackers off, but it was to no avail. They abducted us all, the entire population of the planet, and flew us off into the deepest reaches of space.

After what seemed like mere hours, we’d arrived at a new planet. The crafts all landed in a large space station in orbit around the planet. We were rounded up, herded out, like cattle. We were quivering in our boots. What were they going to do? Children and grown men alike cried in fear. It was the end of the world, the end of humankind, and we were powerless.

But, nothing happened. They didn’t kill us. They led us all into an area that looked similar to a zoo. Oh god, what if it was a zoo? A big, galactic zoo, full of humans for aliens to gawk at.

We were provided food, water, and shelter. We spent a good month on that space station. The aliens never spoke to us, never told us what was going on. A few of us were selected for “testing”. We shivered in fear at the sound of that. Who knows what terrible experiments they would do on us?

But, the people selected always came back looking the same, if not better than they did before. The sick returned healthy. The disabled returned in a more able condition. It was a very confusing time for mankind.

Religions sprung up around this time as well. No one knew what the aliens were doing, and so we began to dream. Some of us had good dreams, such as the followers of Velux, whom believed the aliens leader, who they had affectionately named “Velux”, was there to save all mankind and enlighten us, ascend us to heaven. Some of us had nightmares, such as those of the Seventh Ring. They believed that the aliens were here to trick us, to deceive us into thinking we were safe, and then betray us, slaughter us all.

It turned out none of those religions were correct. A month after being brought there, we were escorted off the space station and flown back to Earth. We were surprised to see that everything was back in healthy condition. It looked as though mankind had never lived there before, as though nature had reclaimed its planet.

The oceans were back at a normal level, the forests were immense, the bee population was steadily increasing, as well as job opportunities. The planet was cooler, ozone holes repaired, all the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses were cleared out of our atmosphere.

The aliens dumped us off in a hurry, it seemed. We all ended up in the wrong countries, the wrong places. Some of us settled where we ended up, the majority of us, found our way back home. Once we had all got there, it seemed as though everyone was in a state of shock.

No one talked about it.

No one was excited, or upset.

Life continued as normal after that, and that was that.

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