discaGabriel had a plan for humanity.
In his plan, the veil lifted from the world to reveal a furious, boiling mass of mostly-hairless apes who had been asking questions for upwards of two thousand years and getting no answers, every last one of them growing steadily more pissed off each time an answer failed to materialise.
They had been told that God would take care of them, guide them, judge them. Once upon a time it might have been true, but it wasn’t the case anymore. Humanity had come to realise, painfully slowly, that the repeated mantra God is watching you was being said by other human beings. They had come to realise that at some point, the Big Voice had gone away and a lot of opportunists had rather seamlessly started to say the same crap in unison so you could barely see the join, and then a hundred generations had gone by and spray-on cheese was invented and suddenly everyone went, “hang on…”
And they’d gotten cleverer, and meaner, and more creatively spiteful. They’d had to, because there were so many of them that ‘just being the same species’ wasn’t enough to make them all get along anymore. There wasn’t enough stuff for that to work. Besides, as far as they were concerned, there were no other species so all being the same was a meaningless distinction upon which to base a concept of universal harmony.
So they got meaner, and they fought like rats in a sack, and they casually poisoned their planet and killed one another with gleeful malevolence, all the while protesting that they were the good guys, and basically crashed back into the howling-monkey darkness of prehistory even while clawing their way towards technology, enlightenment, and unspeakable creative beauty.
They were, in short, human beings. And oh, Gabriel had a plan for them.
Yes, the world would be a burned-out car by the time the doors opened. The stink of it, the cloud of filth as the sack opened and the rats hit fresh air, would be stupendous beyond belief. Eyes would water. Scented wossnames would be held up foppishly in front of offended noses. There would probably be fainting. It would be glorious.
And then humanity, teeth bared and patience long since gone, would swarm off the Earth like a great plague of locusts in fantastical cobbled-together machines that they had wrung from the very stones of their suffering, dying shit-hole of a planet. They would discard their homeworld like a sharted-in pair of boxers and stride boldly into the universe, genitals out and arses shedding the caked-on filth of two millennia of imprisonment and neglect.
And the message they left behind on the scabby, reeking, sobbing chunk of rock they’d been left clinging to, the message they had in answer for all the fear and uncertainty and loneliness, would be resounding and unequivocal. It would summarise everything that was horrible and magnificent about the human race, and the way they had survived, and rebuilt an attempted semblance of the world from which they had been unjustly cast. It would be the ultimate expression of independence and scorn, the final word to the deadbeat Father who had abandoned them.
Dear God, it would say.
Fuck all Your laws. We’re leaving.
Of course, to get to this beautiful, eye-misting pay-off, Gabriel accepted that he would need to keep humanity from completely eradicating one another or ruining the planet to such an extent that it just burned them off its surface altogether. And that wasn’t going to be easy. In fact, considering it was a sentient, environment-controlling species contemplating its own extinction, it was going to be disgracefully hard.
That was why he needed help from them.