A wisp of smoke emerged as the whirring became more persistent. It had begun with the first silo opening, but now each additional opening was cumulative with the wisp turning into a plume and the whirring becoming a cacophony of metal on metal.
First the animals on land heard it; but soon even those with more inadequate senses, such as women and men, noticed. It was an odd soft howl if they were far away from a launch site or an ear splitting raucousness that burned with fire and fury if they were unlucky enough to be close. Not long after that came the water based and underwater based expulsions of doom causing the sea creatures to hide or to swim with unintended suicidal results into their enemies. The birds in the air were the last to know and the quickest to escape, but were ultimately fated as the rest.
And the bombs rained down, extinguishing flesh as well as art, preacher as well as whore, and land as well as sea. We all realized, too late, that it had finally happened, just as predicted.
A darkened and burned husk remained for decades. The land was barren and coarse and the water acidic and murky. None the less, it is impossible to completely remove all essence of life. There are too many nooks and crannies, too much natural survival instinct, and certainly too much will and desire. And so the hard shelled, winged insect that could split granite with its acidic saliva crawled toward its hive. It began to spit and rub its wings together in a greeting so that a wisp of smoke emerged as the whirring became more persistent.