“And finally, we have a report from a forest project that started hundreds of years before any of us were born.”
Everyone in the control center turned their attention away from the head of interdisciplinary science and back to the monitor at the front of the room. A data analyst from the back row made her way to the stage.
She coughed and cleared her throat before addressing the room, the regional directors watching remotely, and the population of three planets.
“We’ve had an incredible response from film studios, academic departments, and even the Interplanetary Plant and Seed Society to acquire any level of access to the raw footage. And that’s just from the initial thirty-second clip. …
Few remember the moment of their birth. Yours was the same as every member of our species except for one minor glitch. You may remember it like it was yesterday.
Our stupendous DNA traveled the universe for five hundred million years before you awoke. A digitally enhanced brain pulsed to life and you opened your eyes as a #71EEB8.
We are bald, silver-skinned, middle-aged in appearance, born fully grown, and though strictly asexual, male. We share the common goal of immortality and societal advancement through population expansion, scientific discovery, and environmental symbiosis.
The ability to share information between the entire population instantaneously via neural transmitters dissolved the need for individual identities. When a new clone steps out of its chamber they are in contact with billions of others and join the superorganism that is the #71EEB8. …
The #71EEB8 Academy of Science wasn’t strickly an academy since the trillions of clones that made up the population could share information instantaneously. It was more of a research center for visiting species. On the rare occasion, a being not equipped with a neural transmitter had something to share with the collective, its twenty-five-thousand seat amphitheater was used as a lecture hall.
The director of matter transference research stepped onto the stage and addressed the packed house. A sea of identical silver-skinned bald heads floated above matching seafoam green flight suits. …
“Mom, open your window.”
“Ha, ha, very funny. You know I wish I could more than anything,” she replied over the holophone.
Dexter’s Mom didn’t look a day older than he but she let her hair turn gray during the monsoons. Dexter leaned out his seventy-second-floor window and filled his lungs with the delicate flowery smell that hallmarked the end of toxic air.
“Mom, they let the bees go. I can see them buzzing around the neighbor’s treetops. Open your windows. It’s great!”
“Honey, I’m looking at the news right now and they’re saying two more days.”
Dex waved to kids across the avenue jealously watching him from behind air sealed panes. They ran off to tell their parents. …
Battlecruisers anchored in orbit cast terror through the curved window. Dashboards blinked as the port and starboard gun turrets started firing.
“We got two on our tail.” An explosion later Lieutenant Commander Zorpia corrected herself. “Make that one.”
A second blast shook the ship and alarms rang out.
“That was the engine. Internal communications are down.”
The middle-aged grizzly looking Captain jumped out of his seat as Zorpia was already getting out of hers. “Check it out. I’ll take navigation.” He took her place next to the pilot.
“Why aren’t they shooting?” asked Doogë.
He wasn’t a year out of flight school and not a day over twenty, yet this was his third blockade run. The siege ships looked bigger by the second. …
Seven thousand years after discovering the secret of teleportation, Melock the Wise, the greatest conjuror in the universe, passed through the glass doors of the station that connected every cosmos with every other sphere of activity in all of reality. The barefoot old man in simple ascetic robes looped his long white hair up in a messy top knot, wiggled his toes on the cold diamond floor, and ran a hand down the length of his spindly Fu-Manchu mustache.
The ancient theory of the world floating on the back of an elephant that stood upon a turtle was assumed to be a myth. The question of what the turtle stood on was answered: another turtle. And what’s under that? …
Did you ever have a friend that you don’t see often, nor even live in the same city, yet you’re still instantly friends when you see each other again? Years can go by and you pick up again like no time passed at all. Daisy was one of those friends and in our case, we lived on different planets.
I walked into the raw food bar and he was already sitting at a two-person table. He immediately stood up upon seeing me for the first time in nearly twenty years.
“It’s too loud in here. Let’s sit outside. I ordered you a smoothie.” His bizarrely high pitched voice brought a smile to my face. …
When I walked into the temple holding a turbo blaster and a big magnet shaped like a square cricket bat, the monks stopped packing and looked at me. The Abbot gave me a smile of hope.
“Our warrior has returned. We are saved.” She placed a gentle hand on my shoulder. “We’re going to the catacombs. They can survive bombardment. If you’re going with us, would you mind carrying my trunk?”
At the feet of the Abbot sat a large steamer trunk. On top of it was a long scroll wrapped in an ornate red leather case. …
Two blissful days later I was feasting on the lush vegetation of the low rolling hillsides at the base of the mountain. My stomach hadn’t been so full in years. My grandmother used to say happier than a troop in a succulent patch.
I was laying on my back digesting when I saw movement on the next ridge. Two out of place colors caught my eye. I moved quickly through the brush on all fours and watched them through the leaves.
Two lizards. Females. One as blue as the sky with crayon red eyes, golden high command armbands, and a necklace to match. The other wore nothing but pure black and white scales. Their bodies were such extreme colors they didn’t even look real. …
Seven dead cops and a kid who didn’t deserve it, then I ditched the hijacked jumper on the edge of the sector. I’d be safe if I could get on the other side of the steel door. It was hardly noticeable on the epic wall of rock.
The miner backed up to the asteroid and clamped onto the entry point. Greedy eyes sparkled above his anxious smile. I handed him my turbo blaster; a military-grade weapon easily worth twice the price of his little ship.
I’d be unarmed from here on out.
Through the airlock, I pulled the door behind me. The miner’s craft detached, drifted away, and in a moment was gone. Only stars and asteroids remained out the small window as it slowly closed and left me in a dark tunnel. …