The Leviathan Spine - Badlands, Utah.
In the year 2076, an ancient race of Leviathans arrived in orbit around Earth to take our planet away from us. Having used up all the resources of their home planet, they scoured the galaxy looking for another habitable planet. They sent out millions of drones in every direction, searching for the perfect combination of atmospheric gasses, magnetic fields, and metallic ore.
After over 1000 years of searching, one drone reported back information about the 3rd planet orbiting a yellow dwarf star in the backwater region of a relatively uninteresting arm of the Milky Way. They gathered their forces. Mined the last of their minerals. And prepared for their centuries-long journey.
At first they appeared to be just specs of light in the nighttime sky. Stray comets from the Kuiper Belt perhaps? Somehow blown out of their original orbit around the sun? As the months went on, Earth pointed her telescopes at the new celestial objects, which got brighter with each passing day.
They are not comets the New York Times headlines read, along with countless newspapers, blogs, and websites from across the world. We don't know what they are, but they are not comets. Soon, the religious fanatics came out to worship these new heavenly deities. Millions of people from across the globe joined hands to sing praises and dedicate their lives to welcoming our new friends. An equal number of people cast doubt and fear towards these new visitors. "The end is near!" they cried, "Repent now!"
Every government capable of sending signals into deep space tried to communicate with these new...whatever they are...once we noticed they were actually slowing down. Saviors or destroyers? Are we to finally find out that we are not alone in the universe? Is an advanced alien race finally making contact with us?
Then The Leviathan War started. Governments and militaries scrambled to organize their troops and weapons. The United States issued draft orders for millions of young men for the first time in over a hundred years. But our guns, our missiles, our ships, our jets...all useless. This war was not like machine guns vs laser guns. No, it was more like sticks and stones vs nuclear weapons. Like the Wright Flyer vs an F35 Lightning II. Humanity was hilariously outgunned. Earth's best and brightest were recruited to find a way to stop the onslaught. Every nation's borders fell as we united as one to prevent our own extinction. The Russians, the Chinese, the Americans, the British, the Iranians; everyone finally working towards one goal: to not die.
3 months later and nothing we tried could stop the barrage of rail gun darts launched at our planet at relativistic speeds. Entire cities were swallowed up in craters and melted to slag as magma from beneath the Earth's crust filled in the voids. These new aliens had no weakness we could exploit. The physicists at CERN had one long-shot of an idea. "It probably won't work," they said, "but if it does, we don't know what exactly will happen. The math doesn't exist yet." With our only hope lying in a hail mary, the new Earth government gave the green light.
While studying particle physics, the CERN scientists accidentally discovered the creation of ingress and egress apertures of an Einstein-Rosen Bridge. In other words, they stumbled across creating wormholes. After decades of what amounted to fooling around with the math, they were able to somewhat control the creation points. With some modicum of accuracy, an entry point could be created at one end of a room with a small margin of error. A matching exit point was also created at the other side of the room, but due to a lot of complicated math that even our smartest nerds didn't understand, the margin of error was much greater.
The terrible idea they proposed was to create a ingress aperture inside the sun's corona and an egress aperture, well, right over our planet. We'd try to point it in a direction that blasted the Earth tangentially instead of directly. We hoped, somewhat naively, that the unmatched power of the sun's atmosphere would kill the Leviathans and that the wormhole would collapse before it killed us all.
We succeeded in killing the Leviathans. More than 3 dozen beasts were instantly incinerated, their dense carapaces buckling under the immense heat and radiation. They started to fall to Earth, being pulled out of their orbits by her mighty gravity. Earth became dotted with the charred and decaying husks of of a once great species.
But no one on Earth was around to celebrate it. They warned us that the math simply didn't exist to predict an outcome. The blast that killed the Leviathans also ignited our atmosphere. Within a few seconds, every living thing was turned to dust as the almost 6000K solar wind blasted against our small blue marble like an 8 year old with a magnifying glass over an ant hill. But there was no pain. One moment there we were. The next, there was nothing.
Earth now lie a desiccated rock, peacefully orbiting a yellow dwarf star in a backwater region of a relatively uninteresting arm of the Milky Way. The only evidence of any life existing on the planet are the 3 dozen or so hulking Leviathan Spines half buried in the sand and dust of a once verdant and thriving planet. No one is around to tell how they got there or what happened to them. If anyone finds our hundred year old Voyager probes and tracks them back to Earth, they will have quite the mystery on their hands.
But our planet's core is still active so her magnetic field still works. Slowly she'll rebuild her atmosphere and maybe in a couple hundred million years, life will start to grow and thrive once more.