Felix Anker

Felix Anker, born and raised and based in Germany, is a linguist working on the languages of the Caucasus. While most of his publications are scientific, he also writes about things that are not entirely true.

Sascha van der Meer was twenty-five years old when I gave him the gift of life. A few minutes later, I took it away from him again. Sascha van der Meer had long hair, pierced ears decorated with paper clips and a low calcium level. Calcium was a chemical substance the human body needed to grow bones. One superb source of calcium was the milk of cows, therefore Sascha’s life began in a supermarket. Sascha, suffering from calcium deficiency, didn’t talk much and was glad when he wasn’t spoken to, although he was so attractive that one could think this would happen to him quite often. Poor Sascha was never spoken to again for the rest of his life.

The light that illuminated the supermarket was as fake as the milk Sascha was about to buy. The milk was synthetic. It contained water, colour, and minerals that humans had made in large chemical factories. Before the supermarket was built, real cows had stood in its place. Then all the cows died. Many humans as well. Then Sascha’s father, Anton van der Meer, died. Sascha died in the supermarket while buying milk. The supermarket was built in the year 2057, when World War III had already begun. It had been triggered five years before.

The trigger for World War III was fifteen years old and went by the name Batbayar Ganbaatar. Ganbaatar never knew he was indirectly to blame for it. He sat at the foot of Sutai Uul when the incident occurred. Sutai Uul was one of the tallest mountains in a country then called Mongolia. From a glacier high on Sutai Uul, melted water trickled past Ganbaatar, until it reached Lake Tonkhil. A glacier was a thick mass of ice which crawled through the mountains.

Today there are no more glaciers.

Ganbaatar was a nomad and cowherd. But most importantly, he was in the middle of puberty and would have preferred to spend his time masturbating rather than looking for his cows. When Ganbaatar masturbated, he liked to think about Arielle McConnor, who back then enchanted the world with her beautiful voice and her big brown eyes. Arielle McConnor came from the United States of America, the land of great freedom, and sang in English. Ganbaatar didn’t understand English but he liked her voice and her eyes and what she did to him when he closed his eyes and concentrated.

While sitting there, eyes closed, concentrating, his cows continued to drink the water of the Sutai Uul glacier that flowed past them on its way to Lake Tonkhil. If Ganbaatar had looked closely, he still would not have seen that his cow Arielle had laid the foundation for World War III.

Here is what ice on Earth was good for: humans stored food in ice to make it last longer. Nature stored bacteria in ice to make them last longer. Bacteria were small creatures that humans could only see with the help of a magnifying device. Nature had stored bacteria in the Sutai Uul glacier. Now these bacteria floated down, past Ganbaatar and his cows, all the way to Lake Tonkhil. Some of these bacteria were absorbed by the cow Arielle. Clever humans later named the bacterium Mycobacterium bovis subsp. mongoliense. The disease it caused was called Cattle Tuberculosis, or CAT for short. Cats couldn’t get infected with it.

When one of the bacteria entered a cow, it multiplied. If a cow had the bacterium inside it and met another cow, the bacterium entered that cow as well. Ganbaatar’s cows met many other cows. The following happened when the bacterium had multiplied sufficiently: The cow got tired and was hungry no longer. In the cow’s lungs, small nodules formed in the blood vessels, which burst after a while. The cow coughed up blood from its lungs and died. Ganbaatar’s cow Arielle died after twenty-three days. Had it been able to speak, it would have wished for death to arrive sooner.

Thanks to Ganbaatar’s cows, which he drove further south, CAT was able to reproduce and from there came to China, Kazakhstan, and India. India was a country where cows were sacred to many humans. I mean, why not? Unfortunately, a disease that killed cows was not the best thing for a country where cows were sacred. While CAT was not dangerous to humans, many clever ones thought it might be possible for the bacterium to mutate and eventually adapt to them. Some of these wise humans said the best thing to do was to kill all the cows.

Nobody killed cows in India because cows were sacred.

In the United States of America, the land of great freedom, humans liked to kill because guns were sacred. So, the humans there started shooting all the cows. The smart humans then said to humans in other countries they should pretty please do the same. In Europe, humans followed the words of the United States of America, the land of great freedom. In India and China, they refused.

Four years after Batbayar Ganbaatar sat by Sutai Uul with his eyes closed, concentrating, the last cow in the Americas died.

At the same time, back on top of Sutai Uul, the glacier continued to melt and revealed something else: a tiny spaceship.

The spaceship belonged to Dulrax Zondobar. Dulrax Zondobar himself belonged to the Pirasakut, who lived about eighteen light-years from Earth on the planet Ylon-B.

Here’s why Dulrax Zondobar’s spacecraft ended up in the glacier: Dulrax Zondobar, distinguished professor of anthropology at Ylon-B University, had to make an emergency landing during a research trip. The forced landing took place during the last great ice age, when the glacier had formed on Sutai Uul. Dulrax Zondobar had been preserved in ice for thirty thousand years. Just as nature had preserved the Mycobacterium bovis subsp. mongoliense, the cause of CAT, in ice.

When Dulrax Zondobar landed on Earth, Mycobacterium bovis subsp. mongoliense did not exist. What did exist was the Mycobacterium bovis, which caused a less dangerous variant of bovine tuberculosis, and a hole in the fuel tank of Dulrax Zondobar’s spaceship.

The Pirasakut used a biological fuel made from slug-like creatures that was harmless on their planet, Ylon-B, but could cause serious mutations in living beings on Earth. Thanks to the fuel, Mycobacterium bovis mutated into the much more dangerous Mycobacterium bovis subsp. mongoliense.

When Dulrax Zondobar awoke from the ice, he had a problem: no fuel. So, he sent a message to his fellow Pirasakut. The Pirasakut communicated with their hands and fingers.

Before humans began communicating with their lips and their tongues and other parts of their mouths, they also used their hands. Then they used their hands to develop tools and beat other humans to death.

Now they don’t communicate any longer.

Even though the Pirasakut had a similar build to humans, there was one difference. Where humans had a head, the Pirasakut had a third arm with a third hand and a third set of fingers. They used their side-fingers to telepathically send messages and their top-fingers to receive them. Sending a message far into space required larger fingers than usual, so Dulrax Zondobar had to boost his transmission power. He did this by using the largest hands that existed on Earth.

These hands belonged to humans that have been more important than others. They were as fake as the milk and as fake as the illusion that all humans were equally important.

In order to show these important humans how important they were, less important humans recreated them using stone or metal, and these recreated, important humans were placed in large squares. Humans called these fake humans statues.

Dulrax Zondobar used the statues’ hands to send a message to the other Pirasakut. With the help of a device in his spaceship, he was able to position the fingers of the statues as needed and sent the message out into space. The Pirasakut called the device Telespector. The message consisted of two hundred and eighty-three thousand different finger signs. Here’s what Dulrax Zondobar sent to the Pirasakut on Ylon-B:


While Dulrax Zondobar waited for help, the United States of America, the land of great freedom, threatened to use nuclear weapons to wipe out all cows in India and the rest of Asia. Some humans thought this was a slight overreaction. India still refused. Cows were still sacred there.

Meanwhile, Dulrax Zondobar’s message had arrived on his planet Ylon-B, and the Pirasakut sent a fleet to rescue the stranded professor. The Pirasakut ships were fast. On departure they said, “Zip-wop.” Mongolian authorities, who sided with India on the cow issue, discovered their ships and reported enemy aircraft to India. India mistook the spaceships of the Pirasakut for airplanes of the United States of America, the land of great freedom. Fearing invasion, India sent a nuclear bomb towards the Americas, which was intercepted en route.

The United States of America fired back.

World War III was now coming to India and with it Americans and Europeans who killed all the cows and many humans. By that time there was already no more milk in the supermarkets and the Pirasakut were on their way back to Ylon-B.

Sascha van der Meer was not only good-looking, but I had also endowed him with a polite personality. He would never have said the following word to the old lady standing next to him at the supermarket’s milk shelf: “Cunt!” Perhaps he would have been able to if he had known who the lady was. But I never gave him that information.

The lady was seventy-one years old, and her name was Anna Baumann. Her husband’s name was Julius Baumann. Julius Baumann was dead. And it was his fault that Anton van der Meer, Sascha’s father, was dead too.

Julius Baumann had been working at Tepco Ltd. when CAT started to spread. Tepco Ltd. was the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, and Julius Baumann tried to develop a vaccine against CAT. Although Julius Baumann was among the smart humans who were concerned about mutations in the Mycobacterium bovis subsp. mongoliense, he didn’t succeed with creating a useful vaccine. One of the promising vaccines was called CI-6. CI-6 was Julius Baumann’s greatest hope. With its help, many test cows had been saved from death by CAT. Unfortunately, CI-6 came with side effects.

Cows vaccinated with CI-6 developed toxins in their milk. When calves drank from it, they would go into a frenzy and soon die of cardiac arrest. One morning, Julius Baumann arrived at the Tepco Ltd. laboratory and he found the usual pile of dead cows, but also an unusual pile of dead employees. Millions of dying cows had a bad effect on the mental health of humans, so many of them decided to end their lives. This was what one of Julius Baumann’s colleagues decided as well. He was a mad man. This mad man wanted to die by drinking the milk of cows that had been vaccinated with CI-6. In his opinion, something that caused cardiac arrest in cows should certainly do the same in humans.

He was wrong.

What happened was that Julius Baumann’s colleague had been thrown into a frenzy and killed all the colleagues in the lab. Tepco Ltd. security guards eventually shot him.

At least he had reached his goal.

Julius Baumann continued his research on this milk and found that it made humans uninhibited and aggressive. Exactly the right tool for a war. And since Julius Baumann was not only in possession of intelligence but also had a wife who was very fond of money, he sold his knowledge about the milk to the military. They were pleased because from now on their soldiers could kill much more efficiently and without a bad conscience.

They called the milk War Milk. War Milk turned even the kindest of humans into ruthless killing machines.

One of the kindest humans was called Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ was born about two thousand and sixty years before World War III, and two thousand years after his birth many humans gave socks to each other to celebrate his birthday. Apparently, he was the son of a God.

In this story I am the only god and my son’s name was Sascha.

All soldiers stationed in India received War Milk. Anton van der Meer, Sascha’s father, was stationed in India twenty-one years before Sascha entered the supermarket.

Before World War III began, there were too many human beings on Earth because humans spent a lot of time connecting parts of their bodies, and not so much time caring about glaciers. This is one of the reasons why there are no more glaciers today. Nine months before Sascha’s visit to the supermarket, an Indian woman had spent roughly seven minutes connected to an Indian man, and nine months regretting it.

To compensate for this new life and to counter overpopulation, I decided to kill Sascha.

In Jaipur, in the northern part of India, Manisha Bhandari was in labour. Manisha Bhandari’s father, Himal Bhandari, was among the humans who considered cows sacred. Manisha Bhandari was poor. When she was a little girl, she played with cow bones.

She had never found her father’s bones.

Before Himal Bhandari, her father, died, he was tired and no longer hungry. When he was shot, he was coughing up blood from his lungs. Had he still been able to speak, he would have wished for death to arrive sooner.

As Manisha Bhandari’s labour intensified, Sascha’s death also advanced with great strides.

Sascha was still standing in front of the shelf with the artificial milk. Here are the last words his father spoke to him: “Make sure to drink enough milk.”

Then he shot himself.

Sascha’s mother removed her husband’s blood residue from the tiles with scouring milk. Scouring milk wasn’t real milk, but a white liquid that humans used to remove stains. When humans drank scouring milk, they died.

Sascha’s mother drank scouring milk.

Anton van der Meer, Sascha’s father, didn’t drink scouring milk. He drank War Milk.

Anton van der Meer was the perfect killing machine. He worked smoothly. In five months, Anton van der Meer killed one hundred and thirty humans in Jaipur, in the northern part of India. He was an excellent automated killing machine. He killed one hundred and thirty humans with a well-aimed shot to the lungs, sometimes a second one, just to make sure. Anton van der Meer was efficient and bureaucratic. One hundred and thirty humans on a list.

Ayush Singh: a well-aimed shot to the lungs. Next please! Khira Kumar: a well-aimed shot to the lungs. Next please! Himal Bhandari: a well-aimed shot to the lungs. And so on. Anton van der Meer was a mindless killing machine as long as he was given War Milk.

When the war was over, he was no longer given War Milk but what he got instead was dreams of Indians starved to the ribs, bleeding from their mouths.

Next please!

At first the dreams haunted him at night, then also during the day. Anton van der Meer saw dead Indians everywhere.

“Make sure to drink enough milk,” he said to Sascha when he could no longer bear the many Indian nightmares, and he shot himself with a Glock 54. The Glock 54 was a semi-automatic killing machine that fully automatic killing machines like Anton van der Meer used. The semi-automatic killing machine came from Austria, the country where Sascha was now standing in the supermarket. Anton van der Meer’s gun was never found after his suicide. Sascha’s shopping trip had meanwhile led him to the cleaning supplies. On the shelf next to the scouring milk I put the second present for him, a Glock 54.

Sascha knew what he had to do. Meanwhile, Manisha Bhandari’s son was born. A little later, a bacterium entered his body, which clever humans called Bordetella pertussis. The bacterium caused Manisha Bhandari’s son to develop whooping cough. He died a few days later. Well.