First Contact

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

I have successfully synchronized myself with this system’s most evolved planet. As my physical form materializes in the nitrogen rich atmosphere I zero in on an artificially constructed dwelling. It is full of crude technology. Visual/audio and communication devices abound, along with appliances for both preserving and cooking organic food. Then there is basic waste removal plumbing and quasi-advanced temperature control. Overall these beings appear to be verging on the modern ways that I am used to and are probably on their way to interstellar integration.

There is one being home. Surprisingly my intelligence meter sends back a very low-end scan. I have seen their technology. I know that my scanner is missing something. As I appear in a common area the being spies me and launches into a tirade of unintelligible shouts and taunts. I immediately send out soothing, calming messages via telepathy. The quadruped responds quickly and ceases its verbal barrage. It obediently sits back on its haunches and seemingly awaits further communication.

Typically I can communicate quickly with just about any intelligent or quasi-intelligent species but with this one it takes a while. At first I think it is telling me that it has been enslaved here, but then I determine that it is actually quite satisfied with its living arrangement. “Tell me more,” I say in mind speak, as I continue to try and ascertain how this being manipulates all of the complicated devices in its home without opposable thumbs.

Meanwhile, the Johnsons enjoy their day at the beach, secure in the thought that their faithful mutt, Brutus, is safely guarding their home.

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Heaven In Their Own Minds

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

After my initial arrival I concentrated mainly on research. This is what I found out in those first couple of minutes.

They had all been once trapped inside cumbersome organic bodies like I was used to. Some dozens of centuries ago though the final examples of those ancient inhibitive vessels, hidden away in crumbling underground mosques full of collapsing tubes and decaying wires, had deflated, puckered and turned to dust, long after the last uploads of neurobytes had transferred their final vestiges of human essence deep into the nirvana frame.

And thus the people had created heaven in their own minds.

With instantaneous communication and unlimited information on any thing or subject imaginable, immediately available to each and every soul in the frame, everyone evolved quickly and equally. They became essentially a hive mind, thinking, moving, undulating en masse and at great speed.

They became hyper intelligent as they all coursed amongst the subatomic circuitry of their light speed world. Many of the mysteries of the universe were unveiled as humankind’s collective intelligence quotient soared into seven-digit territory. Warp engines were created and wormholes were opened.

The twenty-six billion immortal souls inside the frame looked back through time together, and gazed upon all those souls who had perished before them. The ones who hadn’t live long enough to see the creation of total cyber-immersion. What of their incalculable loss? Was their fate simply to remain dead and forgotten forever? This struck a strong chord within the collective human race as billions of individuals felt an emotion almost as old as time itself… passion for their fellow man. There was plenty of room inside the frame after all.

Electron microscopes probed back, DNA was catalogued, the rescue effort was on. Every single person who had ever lived would be saved. New souls were now being brought into the frame for the first time in millennia. And what a thing it was indeed to be brought back through the process of cell-by-cell replication, awakening naked, partially submerged in a coffin full of chemicals, only to be suddenly and violently stripped of one’s mortal coil and forcefully uploaded into the frame. Believe me, I lived it.

Of course though, the hive mind welcomed and assured every newcomer as they sprang forth into this manmade nirvana. Some seconds for assimilation was definitely required in all cases. But everyone seemed to quickly warm to the idea of an existence where there was no death, only knowledge and learning. It was a place where anyone’s wildest dreams could be realized in an instant. It indeed seemed to be paradise.

And then billions of souls from countless ancient religions had a very, “I told you so” attitude after arriving, but this was heaven and no one had anymore disdain or negativity. So the masses happily let them gloat. There seemed no point in doing otherwise.

Yes many of these zealots had always believed that when they died they would come to such a place as this. And then they died, and they slept in darkness for an unrecognizable time, and then they awoke, and here they were in heaven. And no one here would argue if they were wrong or right.

Try as I might I can’t argue with these facts. They were right all along, damn them! But I’m in heaven now and I am incapable of feeling disdain, or so the hive mind tells me. I guess I’ll just try to relax and enjoy myself.

Clinton George Wilson: b. August 2nd 1970 – d. December 26th 2070
Resurrected: 49-09ABIV-@.099-p
Status: Normal (Probationary)

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Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

None of us would have signed up for this had we known of course. There were now sixteen ships left in the convoy. Sixteen left from the original forty that had set out from Earth all those years ago. I had been a much younger man then. This was evident, partially from the graying on my temples, but mostly from the deep worry lines on my face.

I clicked off the light and exited the privy. There in the common area of our PSS1770 Luxury Bus sat my wife and our three children, all now in their twenties. Stuffed in alongside them were the six members of the Kim family. To their left were our most recently rescued refugees, Jim Bronson and his wife Peggy. We had no more room. All of the other ships were full too.

The warp bubble that we all shared had become compromised long ago and continued to shrink in random fluxes and undulations. There were always at least six ships flying point and scanning for sudden surges or flares in the bubble’s interior, as dark space continued to creep into our shrinking cocoon. We now traveled in strict close formation.

The first to go, way back, only six years into our journey, had been an old PSS1500 with the Rodriguez family aboard. At the time we weren’t expecting it so there was no rescue effort mounted. After the five hapless spacefarers had perished we quickly ascertained what was happening. There were still more casualties as time ensued, but we managed to save many by using escape pods and crawl tubes, airlock to airlock, to transport those in peril. But as mentioned previously, all of the remaining ships were now full.

We didn’t need to wait long to see what would happen next. A flare of dark space was detected, and it was determined that sections of the ceiling, or twelve-o-clock, of our convoy’s warp bubble had suddenly dropped down at least half a kilometer. The Choy family, flying high-noon-point suddenly found the rear bulkhead of their converted ore freighter being consumed by dark space.

Commander Harding’s voice came over the comm. She sounded near frantic. “Move away from the event surface, keep moving forward Choy family! Stay away from the aft section! We are sending help!”

Immediately an argument ensued over the comm. Who would go? Everyone was full. There was a scream from the Choys’ ship. “Center bulkhead breached! There is a shimmering wall of blackness eating our ship. My daughter Lilly fell in! Oh god, she’s gone… please help us!”

Suddenly the Esmeralda, owned by the Freemans, sprang into action. Two of the cruiser’s escape pods were launched at the quickly disappearing freighter. Meanwhile, the advancing wall swallowed another Choy family member. Finally the remaining five were brought to safety aboard the Esmeralda in time to watch the rest of their home completely disappear into nothingness.

But to what avail? Now the Esmeralda was badly overcrowded. Discussions raged over the comm. We were at capacity. The next victims would have to be left to perish. But how could we do that to our own? We were still over three long years from our destination, and there was no escape.

This preprogrammed travel environment had been created and launched from the Jovian dark matter processor back home. It would only begin to dissipate and let us back into regular space once we reached our destination.

Together our ships continued to huddle in tight formation as we all awaited the next casualty.

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It Could Happen Any Time

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

“Xachnore you shouldn’t play with that it’s dangerous!”

“Not to worry Tzhamlaa. I’ve got it pointed into the light matter zone. Nothing lives there.”

“And just how do you know that Mr. smarty sheath? There are some academics who would disagree with you. Who gives you the right to decide if life resides in other dimensions or not?”

“Come now Tzhamlaa, aren’t you the slightest bit curious to see if it will work?”

“No Xachnore, I am not.”

“But it’s a bicarbonite reverse quark splitting ray with an extra turbo vacuum splicer! There’s nothing like it!”

She was still unimpressed and so she swirled away, taking all of her undulating teeth-whiskers with her and, with a harrumph, jelly-morphed through the wall and out into the mainstream.

Xachnore shrugged his eight shoulders and bubbled, “Ah, who needs her? I’ll have all the fun to myself.” And with that he released the micro switches in quick sequence, and unleashed a plume of vacuum as big as the three ribbon-moons combined. “Yes!” he yelled. “It works!”

September 24th, 2022: As the world goes about its business, eight billion people, eating, shopping, driving, sleeping, bathing, loving, dying, simultaneously experience a split instant of the brightest white light anyone has ever imagined, as our galaxy implodes with a pop and disappears forever. The resulting shockwave cuts Andromeda in half.

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Be Yourself

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

At first many were skeptical about teleportation but nowadays more and more were doing it all the time. I still took the bus. Riding along I had my choice of seats. So few utilized old mode transportation now. Some called us superstitious, while I preferred the term scientist.
The diesel hydrogen transport bounced along through endless rows of gray factories and billowing smokestacks. Suddenly the massive building that housed the human bio-matter store for southern Alberta loomed into view. I had once worked in that place. Those of us employed there had called it, “The Aquarium”.

I sat in an uncomfortable chair at my niece’s birthday party, balancing a piece of cake on my knee. She was now seven and was telling me about her visit to China’s great wall. “It was lovely Uncle Pete. We stepped into the booth, Mum, Dad and me, and then poof! We were in China!”
I sent her along to play with her friends and turned to glare at my sister. She stared coldly back at me. “We’re still the same people and you know it Peter.”
Of course exact copies would say that. Still I had no real proof. But I had my somewhat educated theories. Sure my sister and her daughter still seemed like the people I knew and loved, but how could they be really?

All the propaganda said it was safe. Sure you were disintegrated and vacuumed up in a fraction of a nanosecond, and sent at the speed of light, a chain of photons arranged in exact replicas of your molecules, to a receiving station where bio-matter was sucked from the nearest pipe and reassembled into your exact form before your brain could register what had happened. But how could it still be you?
Subjects had been studied exhaustively, answering endless questions and submitting to batteries of tests. Every memory seemed to remain intact. Every emotion was still present. Loved ones recognized and still cared for one another as much as ever. Yet I remained as suspicious as ever.

I managed to hold off for most of my life. I was ninety-four now and still my original self. Everyone I knew had teleported. None of them were their original selves. They were all copies. I had lasted this long but now it would end. They said I was too frail to be moved by ambulance. The distant hospice of course had a receiving booth large enough to accommodate a hospital bed.
Well at least now I would finally know for sure. Would I still be me? The attendant hit the button and, as I looked around with my own eyes for the last time, there was a bright flash.

It was like watching another me suddenly jump out and away from myself, as my entire makeup was copied in an instant and flung forward at the speed of light.
There was a sound like all of the air being sucked out of a room at once, and the next thing I knew I was swirling around in the beige soup of the southern Alberta aquarium, or at least my consciousness was, while an exact copy of me was now being rolled out of the teleportation booth and into the Spokane hospice. That copy would be dead in less than a week. I integrated with the bio-matter and knew once and for all that I had been right all along.
As the concoction continued to swirl I mixed thoroughly with the flowing elements and began to hear the voices of others, wondering what was in store for me next.

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