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Updated: Mar 12, 2023

They came in the night and in a matter of hours had dominated the world’s major cities. After that, it was only a matter of time before the smaller settlements followed suit. Disturbingly, not a single drop of blood was spilt, and no destruction caused. At the sight of the ships people just, gave up. Their arrival presented a hopeless task. A task that no one dared raise a finger to. Nations stood down in unison, laying down arms with heavy hearts and broken spirits. Resistance was futile and everybody knew it.

It was unsettling to witness how millions of fresh POWs marched without signal or orders towards the great steely ships. Great hordes of defeated souls lined up outside the doors to await an unknown fate. Days of tortured silence dragged by before the ships revealed their intentions. Just as folk began to fall down out of sheer exhaustion, the harbingers of doom opened their doors and members of the crowd were selected. An invisible hand was cast out and plucked out the unlucky ones. An unseen force compelling the selected to walk through the masses and through the great doors. At first, those chosen walked on with their heads bowed as if some great shame had befallen them. There was no anxiety or panic in their steps, no rush or resistance. One foot after the other until they had passed the threshold and into the darkness of the ships. Soon however, the placidity turned to fear as the invisible force dragged the selected kicking and screaming through the crowds. The selected fought tooth and nail, all the while walking forwards as if they had no control over the direction their body took them. It was a sorry sight indeed. Man and woman fighting and screaming, doing all in their power to stop themselves from walking though the doors that silently beckoned them.

The time that came next was somewhat of a refreshing change of pace to the one before. It was a period of joy. A period that celebrated the selection. Days before a selection took place, the same invisible force that dragged the selected to their fate, encouraged others to go out and forage, to gather goods for a celebration. When the selection came, those that were chosen needed no hand to push them through the doors. They walked without persuasion, holding their heads high, smiling from ear to ear as members of the crowds cheered them on. Patting them on the back, passing food and drink as they made their great journey.

Each ship had attracted 10,000 individuals and until the age of joy, the folks outside the ship had taken no interest in getting to know the comrades around them. It had not occurred to any of them to ask the fella in front his name or the lass behind hers. Each soul was entombed in their own mind. Thoughts only on themselves. But with the age of joy came the great change. Conversations began to happen, and hope was reborn. The grey shrouding the ships began to dissipate and skies of blue revealed themselves once again. The rate of selection slowed down until eventually, they were forgotten entirely. In fact, the presence of the ships was no longer acknowledged, so it came as a surprise when one day the remnants of the once great crowds, looked up to see that the ships had disappeared entirely. And although their disappearance had left an irreplaceable hole within those that remained, ultimately there was a feeling of completeness that had not been felt before.

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