Tag Archives: sci-fi

Year: 7076

Year: 7076

Earth folk have decided it might be safe to crawl back to the surface after living underground for 250 years.

Auto-imposed exile was a result of the last war, which left radiation residues in over 90% of land surface.

The dwindled population’s government intends to send its top scientists to go explore the surface and then provide a report as to whether or not it is inhabitable.

These scientists, in turn, have outsourced their jobs to newly graduated scientists who don’t matter diddly squat in case something were to suddenly deprive them of oxygen on the planet’s sore surface.

This is where my team and I come in.

Dr. Jocelyn is the lead scientist. She graduated top of her class and has been working in biochemistry since she was eight. She was brought up by the government in a laboratory and has no known genetic family. She has dark olive skin, blue eyes and straight silver tresses. My brother dated her in college before his motorcycle accident. Otherwise I have never seen her show much affinity toward anyone.

Fil is an extraterrestrial from an uncharted planet whose family dropped him off on the surface when he was a baby, with nothing but a note and 6 bags of powder baby food which contained minerals no one has been able to trace. He would have died on the surface except one of the professors taking samples from the sky hole’s edge heard him crying 32 years ago. The professor raised him as his own son and was able to duplicate the minerals for his survival. There are no traces of radiation on Phil’s body, so he might be immune. He is 7’2″ and walks erect like a homo sapiens, but has ghost-like white skin, no hair and a tail he coils around his waist. His face looks otherwise human, sometimes more human than others I have seen. His intelligence spans that of several top scientists’, but he is quiet and mostly goes underappreciated. I wonder if he has a penis.

Xavier is an enthusiastic handsome lad who just graduated on a full scholarship. He comes from a large immigrant family who has worked for the underground farming industry these 250 years. If it were up to him, he’d be leading the team. (He likes to point out he has a penis).

I am just a senator’s niece who happens to have a minor in culinary arts. I graduated last year but have really just traveled the underground tunnel system since, popping my head up through an air hole every few hundred kilometers to graph air samples and then sell them to government and news agencies.

My team and a I aim to spend 60 days on the earth’s surface, photographing and taking minute samples of any plants known to be edible, as well as oxygen and radiation levels at different altitudes.

From the sky holes, I have seen blue skies and white and orange clouds, hills that to me look like mountains… but I have been denied this one privilege: I have never set my eyes on the night stars.

There are records and many computer images of beautiful star systems millions of light years away, but the stars have not been visible since the explosions that exterminated most of the land life. Some say God is punishing humanity. I think, that if God exists, he’s afraid we’ll destroy those too.

Our mission begins tomorrow at 5 AM.

______________

Log

Day 1:

Captain Jocelyn led us down a black valley between two active volcanoes. Fil offered to try my cooking before everyone else to assure them that it is palatable. I did not know Fil could eat earth food. Apparently, neither did he. Xavier insisted on pitching my tent and it feels like he didn’t entirely clear the spot of rocks. I wonder if this was on purpose or if he is just a dimwit.

Day 2:

We have found samples of Coffea plant! It turned out to be edible. That is, drinkable. There were Aloe plants nearby. We saw bird specimens of the Psittacoidea family. The earth here is an entomologist’s paradise. This was on the west side of the south volcano. No water in sight yet. I pitched my own tent tonight.

Day 3:

We found a southwest stream with a waterfall! The bugs are getting noticeably larger as we move forward- some as large as my palm. I haven’t seen any crickets, otherwise I would very much like to fry those and see if they taste like the underground crickets at fine restaurants. Fil has taken two of my food packs from off my shoulder while I made my way down the side of the waterfall. We each took turns bathing at the bottom. Xavier picked up my other backpack on the way out, without my consent. Captain Jocelyn then gave me two inflatable containers equivalent to twelve liters to carry water out. She is quite practical. Surface hot coffee tastes and smells like heaven! Still no stars.

Day 4:

Tonight we have reached a wall to a mesa and there are lots of potentially edible plants to sample. We will stay here a couple of days. There is a spring about 300 meters away. Xavier built a bonfire and I tried climbing up the mesa wall. I got stuck on a ledge and Fil, who has better balance, has climbed up to fetch me. Then he has carried me all the way to the top of the mesa on his shoulders. We had to climb through a low cloud at about 1500 meters in altitude. Oxygen levels were still good. We reached the top and there were stars everywhere. If you lie down on the grass and move your arms it feels as if you’re swimming in them. I asked Fil if there were stars on his home planet and he said there are stars across the whole universe. I wonder if he has always known this or if he just now realized it.

 

 

 

 

 

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Flash Fiction: Ruby Mothers a Claw-Child

Ruby tilted her head as she felt her stomach turn in the opposite direction inside her.

Her captor unlocked the cold metal cuffs around her wrists only to tighten them further.

She coughed a few drops of blood on his shoulder.

“That’s not very nice,” he grumbled, putting on a pair of latex gloves.
“You’re not allergic to latex, are you?”

Ruby clenched her fists and bit her tongue.

She really was allergic, but refused to address this sorry excuse for a man that had betrayed her.

She had fallen for Dr. Reynaldo two months earlier while interning at the clinic’s lab.

Another phlebotomist had introduced them on a rainy spring afternoon.

He took the blame for her when she mixed up two urine samples two weeks into the job.

Little had she suspected that Dr. Reynaldo was really a mad scientist hired by a South American socialist party to conduct evil experiments on cute white American middle class redheads.

Dr. Reynaldo put a pin sized flask on the tip of a screw-shaped set of rubber tonsils.

Ruby tried to kick her legs up but couldn’t move from the waist down.

She still cringed however as he flapped her robe up and put his cold bony hands between her hips.

“Don’t worry!” he snickered. “It’s nothing you haven’t felt before.”

She let out a cry as he jolted the device inside her.

She was, in fact, a virgin, though the experience brought back a repressed memory from her childhood… Something to do with her uncle Dale, perhaps?

Ruby fainted.

Seven months later, in the basement of an undisclosed location, she gave birth to three baby boys, all with football-shaped heads and scales along the spines of their backs.

The Russian midwife placed two on Ruby’s bosom while holding a syringe up to the third.

“No good,” she said, pointing to a claw growing out of the babe’s left leg. “Baby X.”

Then she made a hand gesture indicating some type of induced suffocation.

“No!” screamed Ruby, putting both infants into a glass crib and reaching out for the third. “Don’t touch him! Leave him alone!”

The midwife sounded the alarm.

Red flashes filled the dark operating room.

Ruby clutched the boy in her arms as the sirens induced all three into wailing.

The midwife turned around for the phone and Ruby stealthily reached for the syringe.

“Ruby? Are you ready to go home so fast? Stay and you can watch your sons’ contributions to science through a two-way mirror.”

It was Dr. Reynaldo- his dark stringy hair swept up and under his goggles as he pushed them over his head.

“Look Reynaldo! Look what we have made! You have made me a mother.”

She reached out her hand toward him beckoning an embrace.

As he reached for the claw-child, she pressed herself against his unsuspecting chest, emptying the contents of the syringe into it.

“Durak! What have you done?” exclaimed the midwife.

Dr. Reynaldo’s falling body coughed up blood on Ruby’s face.
She drew his pistol from inside his lab coat and pointed it at the angry woman.

As if collating her every move, the robust Russian drew her own gun, cocked it, and pointed it toward the cradle.

“Let us go,” Ruby pleaded, trembling. “You have done your job. The children are born.”

“Leave,” demanded the midwife. “Leave or I shoot!”

Ruby took two steps back.
She looked at her two children- the ones that were out of her reach- the ones she had feared loathing and for whom she would now do anything for.

She stood there like a headlight dear, holding on to the one child- the one she had saved, sacrificing the other two.

From outside that undisclosed location, some passing radioactive hamsters heard a demanding voice shake the structure.

“Leave!” shouted the voice, immediately followed by three deaf bangs.

The hamsters scurried along, leaving a streak of tiny red glowing footprints behind.

Flash Fiction: Fuzz-bot from Hell

Dr. Pillowcase set the timer on his new smart watch as he dipped the last necessary top secret ingredient into the catalyst for his latest mad project.

The liquid gurgled a smoky hot pink while the sawtooth blades came unlocked in a gear-like motion counterclockwise, making a screeching sound every 3.15 seconds, give or take a millisecond.

He set the Soul Generator to Potent and enthusiastically stirred the contents of the flask while humming a tune from “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

His fuzzy gray brow furrowed as the temperature rose.

He scratched his forehead but forgot he was wearing super-adhesive ultra grip gloves so his hand became stuck to his head.

The machine carried on while he used his left hand to pour the contents of a previous flask into a small steel lifeless robot that had a screen for a face.

Just then, the new puppy- the one he had recently bought as a surprise birthday present for his only child- quietly snuck up behind him.

It was the puppy’s purpose to chew up the scientist’s shoelace, just as he had chewed up the cord tied to the door of his pen.

Dr. Pillowcase felt an itch on his lower left calf and reached down to scratch it.

The puppy yelped as his fur and the hand became one.

Just then, and as one would naturally expect under these circumstances, poor old Dr. Pillowcase lost his balance, tumbling backward and hitting the nape of his neck on the vasectomy machine he was in the process of patenting and that was inconveniently located two steps behind them.

He lay there for hours, the anxious puppy licking the half-dead man’s face while whimpering and pulling the left arm to and fro.

Hours became days and the only person on earth who knew of Dr. Pillowcase’s secret lab, his ex-wife Verna, was off in southern France having the time of her life sun bathing during their son’s extremely expensive private swim lessons.

Meanwhile, the gooey hot pink liquid transformed within the Soul Generator into a deep fleshy red with an odor hinting of fresh blood.

A shrill beeping sound gradually grew in strength overpowering the intermittent screeching of the Soul Generator’s gears.
It awakened the puppy from his slumber of desperation.

It was the doctor’s timer.
It had been set to 60 hours and 33 minutes.
The robot also awakened, having been synchronized to the watch.
Its screen lit up and had the puppy been able to read, it would have read:
“Date: February 20, 2015
Time: 14:34:01
Temperature: 102.5° Fahrenheit
Humidity: 42%
Battery Life: 8%”

This last part had a yellow exclamation mark next to it.
The robot’s screen portrayed the puppy staring into its shiny glass.

“Detecting… Detecting… Components:
98% Organic Fuzz
2% Skin Cells
Enter name: _____”

The robot waited for half an hour but it wasn’t wired for patience so it made up a name: Fuzz-bot.

“Battery Life: 6%
Immediately find a power source.”

The robot scanned the room for resources.
It found the doctor’s notebook on the table and processed the information.
It poured the dense liquid that had dripped back into the flask into one of its robot holes while the puppy barked visibly agitated.

At this point, it would have been very convenient for the puppy to have been able to read.
The robot’s screen read, “Eliminate source of disturbance…
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy.
Eliminate source of disturbance.
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy.
Eliminate source of disturbance.
Fuzz-bot convertible to energy…”
and so on and so forth in 9 point type throughout the entire screen.

The robot picked up the puppy, put it through a special door in the Soul Generator, and waited another 60 hours and 33 minutes in sleep mode for the machine to finish.
But of course, since the puppy was attached to the doctor, they became one for all eternity.

Now, both were still alive when they got shoved in, so when the machine stopped, neither had died.
They had simply become liquid, sediments and vapor.
The robot woke up right on schedule, gobbled up its main course and dessert and proceeded to call itself Fuzz-bot.
It immediately gained a wealth of intelligence, not to mention access to all of Dr. Pillowcase’s assets, and a very mischievous, playful approach to its new life.

On top of this, Fuzz-bot had a seemingly instinctive sudden obsession to find and protect the boy.
It wasn’t free will and it sure as hell wasn’t fate.
It was nature.
But what is nature to a newborn robot?

Fuzz-bot, now father and guardian, called Verna on its new smart watch.
Her voicemail said she was busy taking private swim lessons of her own.
Fuzz-bot felt jealous.
But what is jealousy to a robot?

He accessed her messages and figured out which hotel they were staying at.
He shipped himself to Marseille because it was cheaper than flying coach.
Then, while Verna was busy with her swim instructor, he swam after the boy only to find out he hadn’t been designed to swim.

The DNA of puppy and man had battled it out within the robot’s infrastructure, and Puppy DNA had won.
Fuzz-bot had grown fur, only he kept shaving off the part that grew under his screen.

The boy saw something like a shiny mammal drowning and swam over to try to save it.
It was too heavy and he cried, “Aider! Aider!”- “help” in French.
The swim instructor, who for the sake of this story we will describe as having had smooth, tanned, impressive biceps, quickly swam over to help.

As soon as Fuzz-bot could stand up, he bit the instructor and kidnapped the boy, while the ex-wife Verna ran in vain after them.
Fuzz-bot barked behind a Mini Cooper and then hijacked it.
He made the driver take them southwest down a rural road til the car ran out of gas.

All the while, the boy would not stop complaining.
The robot part of Fuzz-bot wondered if he could feed the boy into the car thereby solving two problems.
His curiosity at this point took precedence over his bitter possessiveness and he focused his screen on the boy’s face.

“Detecting… Detecting… Components:
43% Organic Fuzz
57% Skin Cells
Enter name: _____”

“My name?” asked the boy in the voice of a little girl.
“My name is Duke.
What’s your name?”

The robot swelled up inside with a feeling comparable to love.
But what is love to a robot?

“My name is Fuzz-bot.
Duke, I am your father.”

The boy’s face reflected confusion and then glee.

“Cool! I always wanted a robot for a father!
Let’s get outta here Fuzz-dad.”

Fuzz-bot left the car’s owner, who appeared to be in a state of shock, 500 euros in the cup-holder for all her troubles and suggested she install better speakers.

Then he took the boy by the hand and they hijacked a sailboat off the Atlantic coast of France, where they spend their time fishing and chewing ropes to this day.

The Ultimate Answer

How to get over a crush?
That is the question.
No, really, I’m asking.
This isn’t the answer; it’s the inquiry.

I know, I know, with all the problems in the world, not to mention what’s going on in our beloved Paris, how can I concentrate on this one little obstacle in my more or less irrelevant life…
Trust me, I can go on and on for hours about freedom of speech, tolerance and fanaticism, but in the end, what difference does it make?
It’s how you live that speaks the loudest.

So back to the question.
Oh yes, speaking of “the question,” I finished reading “The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” this week.
In the stories, “42” is the answer the mice’s super computer gives as being the answer to life, the universe and everything in it.
The author Douglas Adams never quite clarifies what the question is.
So in my head I made a mock Jeopardy round where “42” is always the answer.

I now have a number of theories as to what the question is.
42:
How many years should life last in order to feel satisfied?
(I found Marvin the robot to be the most relatable character.)
42:
How many dimensions are there?
42:
Which dimension are we in?
How many lives do we get in the video game of Life?
How many times do we need to pray for something before God hears us?
How many people can there be who look and act exactly like you?
How much should the most delicious burger in the universe cost?
How many cats can a person own before going completely crazy?
How many back up pencils do you need during a two-hour written test?
How many frames should you use in a 3-second animation?
How many bars of chocolate does a kid need to sell in order to win a decent prize?
How many times should you punch someone just for the heck of it?
How many minutes does good sex last?
How many years does it take to get over a crush?
How many soul mates does a person have?
How many times can a person get their heart broken before they are beyond all hope of recovery?
How many friends should you actually follow on Facebook?
Which is the best year of your life?

image

As I wrote this, my boss came in and gave me his point of view on the Paris tragedies and told me about No-Go zones in Minneapolis because Muslims pretty much self-govern there.
One of his family members has a permit to carry a concealed weapon in that neighborhood.
My boss is Adventist but I don’t know about his family.
Like I said, it’s how you live that speaks the loudest.

I’m still unclear as to the question but I venture to say Love is always the answer. Love and chocolate.

prompt du jour

Daily Prompt: When Will I Be Loved?

Never!
D:
Must you rub it in?
<runs away crying>

(10 minutes later):
Ok I’m back.
Let’s try again.

When will I be famous?
I thought I already was.
I mean… if I add up my followers I have like… 126.
And I’m not even counting the ones on Tumblr (64).

Ok seriously now.

My friend J. and I used to talk a lot about this.
We’ve always had this idea that one day we’re gonna save the world from something catastrophic.
Somehow.

Not sure what.

Zombie apocalypse?
Alien invasion?

I don’t know.
We’ll probably just play air guitar and the monsters will telepathically be able to hear us.
But we’ll play so bad they’ll wanna leave.
Then one will come back and kidnap me.
And J. will die trying to stop it.
On live television.
Yeah.
That’s it.
And that song from Whitney Houston, “One Moment in Time” will be playing in the background.
The news station will set it in.

So… buy my artwork now before I die saving you and then it goes up in value.
If you don’t like any of it you can always commission me.
But no porn please. I don’t do porn. On either side of the camera.

So we can rule out porn star for now.

Written in response to WordPress The Daily Post prompt.