Again. All of the same nightmares, or similar nightmares, could befall their Preserve AGAIN.
Even if they and their allies eliminated all of the most extreme signs of human contamination that had remained to deface and degrade the planet, and even if they removed most of the lesser signs of it, there would still be other life that was contaminated by humans. Domesticated animals and plants would need to alter their lifestyles, and most definitely learn to not adopt the habits of their previous exploiters.
Just as all life, everywhere on the planet, should realise with a certainness strong enough to become genetic that devolving into compulsively greedy earth-destroying lifeforms is a terrible idea that never leads to the benefit of anyone or anything.
And so the terrestrial-born angels of the Jellyfish, the anthropomorphic moths with their wings of (most commonly) silver and grey, fanned out to pass along the wisdom and wishes of the Jellyfish amongst the denizens of the Preserve.
It came to pass that Herbie the MothMan was traversing the Bible Belt in Kansas, scornfully eying the endless rows of pro-life signs that had helped lead to the inevitable demise of carcinogenic, over-breeding, resource-abusing humans. In his revulsion he kicked over a Jesus in the Grass, despite knowing that particular human had been one from the distant past whose memory was exploited by power-hungry fear-mongering humans for many generations beyond his death. If only there had been a Joseph Smith in the Grass to kick over instead...
Herbie understood that his frustrations had been misdirected. He gracefully flapped over to a nearby grazing herd of cows.
“I will remove the fences surrounding you, and give you your freedom,” the MothMan articulated in cow (he was fluent, that was part of why he’d been assigned to this area) “but you must range out and avoid over-grazing and over-trampling any areas you may travel upon. I’m sorry you will suffer in new and different ways because your ancestors were unwillingly moved to a distant land, to be enslaved and eaten... a land that wasn’t naturally equipped to support them. I’m sorry life will contain difficulties you weren’t accustomed to, and that you will sometimes be eaten by predators your previous predators shot because they were unwilling to share... You will grow closer to life as intended by nature, though, and in exchange for the hardships you will have freedom.”
And so it was that Herbie liberated the cows, removing all of the fences around their pastures, feeling, at least, SOME relief that these were more open pastures compared to the cramped stockyards he’d visited in Nebraska. These particular Kansas cows were surrounded by forests of 3-armed immobile monolith monsters, and the herds of chemical-reeking rigs that had been piercing the earth, but at least they could move.
The cows did move... very slowly. Then they stopped to graze. Then eventually they moved slowly again. Briefly. Terribly briefly. The hovering MothMan pondered whether they could use some motivation to drive them through life. At least for the sake of sparing every last bit of vegetation in the area from being destroyed by them.
“Cows,” he called, and they looked up... casually chewing, and hopefully listening. “These...” he pointed to a nearby ‘Abortion kills’ sign “abominations will continue to block your path and hinder you. You must knock them down and trample them, if you wish to truly be free, wherever you see them. And you must knock them onto this type of area” (he gestured at the nearby ugly grey nasty-smelling highway) “to trample them there, lest you harm your own food and path in the process”.
Then Herbie watched with the patience of a true teacher as the cows slowly ambled along, knocking all signs (ALL signs, but that was fine... they were ALL human contamination, after all) onto the highway and trampling them into ruin. Occasionally, as a hopeful bonus, damaging the road as well. Sometimes this destruction of signs led to a need for resourcefulness on their parts, and so Herbie assisted their most enthusiastic numbers (generally the spirited and energetic youngsters) in learning how to carry the signs to their destination when they were further away. There were times when more than one cow needed to work together to carry the larger signs out of the cornfields but, one by one, the signs fell and then they fell to further ruin.
And so it was that cows began journeying along I-70, initially in Kansas, destroying signs along the way. Occasionally different groups of sign-removing cows from different areas happened across each other. Some remained together to form larger and safer groups, some moved along to seek their own dreams and ambitions.
The prairie dogs watched the parades of cows, hoping their holes wouldn’t be tread upon. The coyotes licked their lips, feeling hungry but so far uncertain about their odds. The turkey vultures waited. And Herbie the MothMan felt that he had learned, and he had made some progress. Perhaps not a lot, but some.
And that was a good thing, because many further realisations about the difficulties of properly recovering from the carcinogenic plague of humans were to come.
St. Sailing, Operative J
The Blasted One/Highest Radiate Initiate
Our Blasted Lady of the Jellyfish