Great Being Five had been twiddling her thumbs for too long at the Academy for Wisdom¹. Over the decades she’d re-educated many recalcitrant Great Beings and re-engineered their wrong-doings. She’d set them all back on the straight and narrow, repentant of their misdeeds in the management of their planets. But now she was bored.
True, she still retained responsibility for two planets, but one was still at the ‘rocks and slime stage’ and the other, Orea, the one she used to love so much, with its pretty pastel colours and cute, fluffy life-forms, was… well, just a little bit dull.
Five was missing her beautiful blue planet. Planet Earth, which she’d finally decided to delete² back in Earth Year 2033, before the greedy, selfish little humans destroyed it themselves and took off to infect another planet.
She missed those fallible little creatures. Back in the day, before they had too many technical toys at their disposal, they were such fun. So creative! Five sighed as a wave of nostalgia broke over her desk and splashed off her Universal Viewing Screen.
Back in the day. The thought crossed and re-crossed her mind.
It lingered while a plan formed.
She’d done it before, and she could do it again. As a top official in the Academy, she had both the authority and the autonomy. All she needed to do was turn back Time in that small solar system on the edge of the Milky Way.
Once before she’d re-set Planet Earth, but sadly it hadn’t had much effect; soon the arrogant little inhabitants were back on the road to their inevitable existential fate. This time needed to be different. A planet-wide change of mind-set must be effected.
She knew just the Being to help her.
Five dropped a mind message to her first re-education subject, the one she knew best and her greatest success. She immediately sensed his enthusiasm for the project. He was primed and ready for action. She would take care of the Time-Grid and he would set up the means for a mind-set change.
He warned her it would be radical.
He warned her it would be tough.
He warned her it would take time.
Five aligned the Time-Grid: 01.01.2020.
A nice round number; not long before The Total Tipping Point.
She sat back. Watched and waited.
Planet Earth reappeared in its old position. The little humans had ceased their scurrying. They’d hunkered down and huddled in their homes. Five was saddened at the sickness and the suffering; the deaths of the elderly, the poorly and the poor.
The Earth turned and turned again
day after day
month after month.
Skies cleared. Rivers ran clean. Nature thrived and re-asserted itself.
The planet cooled down a little.
When the scourge passed, the little humans emerged. They had changed and the change came from within; a new understanding of their beautiful blue planet.
Five mind-melded with her colleague: thanks, Nineteen.
She hoped her little humans would get it right now.
Photo credit: watercolour painting by Elena Mozhvilo