As is typically the case with events that can be considered to have changed the course of history, through intense and diligent research, and by deconstructing the progression of individual tributaries that, as a whole, make up the entirety of the catastrophic or productive event in question, one can trace the series of cause and effect back to a single misstep, inspiration, or random improbability.
The event that currently warrants that flavor of excessive and unnecessary deconstruction, is, as is to be expected given the current state of the planet Earth, the total extinction of the human race, and the collapse of the civilization said race had built over many centuries of evolution.
The result of that deconstruction brings us, as predicted, to a single seemingly non-event in the life of one particular individual member of the race of Homo sapiens.
His name is Todd.
Todd was an unusual man, mired in his own pessimistic view of the world. One might say that Todd was the recipient of a particularly unimpressive hand and lacked the brazen obliviousness of youth to be able to bluff his way through it. On the contrary, our Todd was excessively concerned with the way the rest of the world perceived him, and, through personal reflection, had come to the conclusion that the rest of the world was more intelligent than himself, and therefore better suited to pass judgement on his actions.
Somewhere between the cities of Monterey and Morro Bay in the state of California, Todd was informed that his total contribution to the lives of the people that were dearest to him was exactly nil. He was given this information from whom he perceived to be a reliable source, a woman he had been traveling the West Coast with for several weeks. Her name was Violet, and in the handful of months he had known her, he had mistakenly assumed that he would be spending the rest of his life with her.
Violet left Todd on a dune somewhere in that area between Monterey and Morro Bay, as i have previously described, and as he watched her depart in a blue Ford F-150 that happened by at the right time, the assumed truth of his worthlessness crashed into his psyche as powerfully and noisily as the waves did surely crash into the rocky beach at his back. Several moments of mute non-acceptance of his fate culminated in a lackluster repositioning of his body – from its position facing the trees and hills bordering the road Violet had departed on, to its position facing the Pacific Ocean.
Todd, ineffectual as he was with dealing with rejection, buried the sting of loss, and, with a stony visage of some phantom determination I have been unable to discern given the data collected, he set to investigating the rocky coast for marine life.
It is at this point that I should note that both Todd and Violet were not alone in their travels. A man named Walrus Bill had been following the couple since their departure from Monterey, after a long, heated discussion with Todd regarding the worth of the American writer John Steinbeck. Both Walrus Bill and Todd had found their views agreeable and had become fast friends, taking the position that “Steinbeck’s a hack”. Walrus Bill owned the ’94 Mazda Protege that had been their mode of transportation from that point on, and sported a massively excessive growth of beard that has been the subject of much discussion among bird enthusiasts, who intensely debate whether or not the beard was used as nesting grounds for smaller species of owls.
Todd, as I have previously described, was investigating the area in a vain attempt to ignore the most recent disaster in his life. As will soon be seen, the combination of his subconscious obsession with the moment of his loss, and the treacherous state of the wet rocks he was traversing at the time, became the energy by which the event I now relate to you, being the single initial misstep that then led to the extinction of mankind, came to fruition.
Todd slipped on a rock and fell into the ocean.
The crashing waves tossed Todd’s body like a clump of seaweed on the black rocks of the beach. Morro Rock could be seen in the distance, intermittently, as Todd struggled to keep his head above the water. In a particularly violent thrust, Todd was thrown against a jagged outcropping and the black rock, sharpened by the weathering of the sea, cut a large gaping wound in his back, exposing a portion of his spine and ribs.
Walrus Bill, at the time, was urinating into a cormorant nest when he noticed Todd’s dilemma. He witnessed Todd suffer the gruesome injury, and, giving himself time to finish his urination without leakage into his filthy boxer shorts, quickly ran to offer his assistance.
The water had become quite bloody, and Walrus Bill was positive Todd had been killed by the blow, yet he still risked his own safety by traversing the slick rocks to find Todd’s body. To Walrus Bill’s surprise, a rather large wave deposited Todd on a level area of rock, just in front of him.
Walrus Bill, having no previous medical experience to speak of, quickly and ineffectively assessed Todd’s state and roughly dragged him by one arm back to the sands. Rolling Todd over, Walrus Bill had intended to get a look at the gruesome, if not fatal, injury his new friend had sustained.
To his morbid shock, Walrus Bill discovered a gigantic starfish had attached itself to Todd’s back, covering the wound. Mortified by the unusual turn of events, Walrus Bill prodded at the creature with a stick he found nearby. At that very moment, Todd took a deep breath and expelled a large amount of sea water and vomit from his mouth onto the sand.
Shocked even further, Walrus Bill knelt beside Todd and rolled him over, regardless of the sea creature’s comfort on Todd’s back.
Data gathered indicates that Walrus Bill then said, “What the fuck, man! That is the craziest shit I ever saw. Are you okay?”
Walrus Bill neglected to tell Todd of the starfish at that moment, or at least avoided the subject while he made sure that his friend was okay. Todd indicated then that he felt fine, even going so far as to mention that he was surprised he had not suffered serious injury from the catastrophe. It was only then that Walrus Bill revealed to Todd the truth of his accident, and the mysterious appearance of the starfish.
Todd, as shocked as Walrus Bill initially, is recorded as having said in a desperate voice: “What the fuck, man, get it off!”
Walrus Bill then tried to remove the starfish using a stick. Though it seemed impossible to move the starfish at first, Walrus Bill had a rather strong right arm from excessive masturbation, and soon pried up one of the starfish’s five arms. To his horror, Walrus Bill discovered that the creature’s tube feet were embedded in Todd’s flesh, bring Walrus Bill to the sudden realization that he would not be able to remove the starfish at all.
Todd, concerned by the news, but completely unable to cope with it, then asked Walrus Bill what they should do. Walrus Bill then asked Todd if he was experiencing any pain from the wound. Todd then replied, as his eyes began to glaze over, that, in fact, he was beginning to feel quite euphoric.
Walrus Bill then suggested that he take Todd immediately to the hospital.
Data at this point becomes difficult to assemble into a believable series of occurrences, but, to the best of my knowledge, Todd then opened his mouth, and extended a tangle of tube feet out of said orifice towards Walrus Bill. The tube feet quickly found purchase in the tangle of hair that was Walrus Bill’s beard, and before Walrus Bill could scream in terror, the tube feet filled his mouth. Sketchy reports say that Walrus Bill was then turned inside out and devoured by Todd.
Our data on the events that immediately followed the disappearance of Walrus Bill are incomplete, but the next several events are well-documented.
Todd disappeared for several weeks before being photographed at a rally where several thousand environmentalists were protesting the modernization of the Dynergy power plant, which was later closed down. In interviews with several of the attendees, as recorded by a local newspaper, it was indicated that Todd was an important member of the leadership of that particular activist group. That data has been confirmed, as it was only a few months later that Todd publicly became one of the most influential environmental activists in Earth’s history. This may have been made possible by the mysterious disappearances of many of his rivals both in activism circles and in the United States government, who were the only roadblocks to his rise to power.
During this interim period between Todd’s accident and the extinction of mankind, it is supposed that no one knew the truth of the starfish on Todd’s back and its manipulative influence on him.
A decade later, Todd was noted as having an extensively intimate relationship with several of the largest marine biology and microbiology research groups on the planet. His excessive fortune, a result of success in fundraising across the globe for an ecologically intelligent populace, was enough to allow him to dictate the direction theoretical research was to take in these fields.
It was around this time that the bioweapon, codenamed Walrus Bill as a memorial to the last true friend Todd had as a human being in control of his body and mind, was released into the environment, ultimately killing every human in existence, and leaving all other species alive – with the exception of marmosets, a particular nasty species that deserved its fate along with the humans it so effectively mimicked.
The last recorded appearance of Todd, in our records, is widely accepted as the moment of his death, though several groups still profess that Todd is alive and well, living somewhere near the Mariana Trench with a clutch of xenophyophores who worship him as a deity.
As is recorded, on a cloudy day in May, many years after the last true human being perished on the surface of the Earth. Todd returned to the beach just outside of Morro Bay. He quietly removed his shirt, revealing the starfish that had been living there for nearly three decades. The starfish, who we now know was none other than Our Most Holy Veni’thropteris Vec’henrysketh, removed itself from Todd’s back, revealing the scar from the wound Todd had suffered. Todd collapsed to the sand quite dead, though this is a matter of some debate, and the starfish made its way back to the sea where a few weeks later it revealed that the Great War was finally over and that at long last the virus called man had been destroyed.
Let us take a moment to remember all the members of the marine world that have died or suffered so that we might live free of the obliviousness and reckless greed of wicked humanity. May their souls be flayed eternally in Charybdis.