By The Light Of The Silvery Moon

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

The thundering blasts of the plasma cannons hammered us relentlessly like meteor-sized fists, as the Zalkanthian war ship maintained its attack position directly outside our cockpit bay windows. There was no escape. Their bizarre hive-mind intellect had outwitted us once and for all. Their battle strategies were better, their technology superior. Our batteries drained, our forward shields almost decimated, we couldn’t take another direct hit and they knew it.

There would be no mercy, there never was. We knew this. So for the next dozen seconds, before the final volley came, I mustered up everything I knew about the Zalkanthians. Truly alien creatures sharing collective consciousness yet showing immense individual ambition, they were our betters in almost every way. But as I said, they were also truly alien, and prone to a truly alien metamorphosis once subjected to the correct stimuli.

You see the one similarity between them and us was that each of our planets contained but a single large moon visible in our own respective night skies, in fact theirs was eerily close to our own Luna in mass and proximity.

And in the same way that so many earthly creatures are affected by the Terran full moon, the Zalkanthians themselves were also greatly affected by their own world’s fully illuminated satellite. And it was an extreme affliction to say the least, one that completely altered those deadly creatures for one lone night each and every month on their home world.

Like most other humans I had never actually seen the phenomenon take place, but I dearly hoped to be able to witness first hand these fierce, numerously tentacled gelatinous beings, as they suddenly collapsed harmlessly into their defenseless vegetative state. The ten or so hour interval would be more than adequate to recharge our batteries and launch a 20 megaton photon cluster into their ship’s engines while we made our jump to light speed.

Knowing full well that every one of the multifaceted telescopic eyes belonging to that enemy command crew were at that very moment monitoring us almost microscopically here on our own bridge I loosened my belt. And as I watched the tips of their plasma cannons heat up to a glowing yellow for the final onslaught, I dropped my federation issue flight pants, hoisted myself up onto the navigation console, and pressed my fat white ass cheeks against the cockpit window.


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Breeding For Luck

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

“Breeding for luck?”

“Breeding for luck.”

“Why does that sound familiar?”

“A famous 20th century science fiction writer once hypothesized…”

“Okay, okay I remember now. I read the whole series,” waving his hand in the air, “Plus most of his other stuff, brilliant fellow indeed.” Then the elderly prime minister’s face became serious again, “But you’ve done it for real?”

His science advisor looked like a schoolboy bursting with a nasty secret, “Better yet if I show you, come this way sir.”

As they ambled down the long corridor the younger man briefed him. “Sir our families go back together well over a century, in fact,” he held up a knowing index finger like an exclamation point, “my great grandfather started this experiment with your own great uncle, the thirtieth minister, Hector.”

The prime minister’s face showed genuine surprise. “Really, that far back?”

“It takes time to breed through generations sir. Of course they started with the best. The first couples were all multiple lottery winners, many of them also recipients of large family inheritances. But we didn’t stop there.”

“Oh?” Now the older man was entirely transfixed.

“No sir, not at all. We had survivors of multiple accidents. There was one fellow who lived through three plane crashes, and a woman who plunged from 40,000 feet without a parachute only to land in a thick patch of forest without a single broken bone.”

“Amazing!” interjected the prime minister.

“Indeed,” answered the scientist. “And we kept at it, over and over, testing subjects in a variety of ways. One of the earlier descendants is said to have played over 500 hands of blackjack against a professional Vegas dealer without a single loss.”

“Oh you tale spinner Norbert, don’t keep me in suspense, where does that leave us now?”

They reached a large set of double doors. “Come see for yourself sir.” He pushed through and they entered a laboratory buzzing with activity. “Ah good, we are about to witness a live test run. Our timing couldn’t be more perfect.”

The lab-coated workers parted as their boss and their national leader walked toward the large bay window overlooking the testing room. Together the men stood and watched as the scene unfolded.

Inside the chamber a door opened and a young man entered wearing a blindfold. Norbert pushed an intercom button and said, “Go ahead Mr. Reid, like we practiced, make your way through the room at your own leisure, and remember, it’s all virtual, you can’t be hurt.” Then releasing the button, “He’s our best sir, you’re bound to like this.”

Then the two watched as the blindfolded man proceeded forward and a spiked club sprung down from the ceiling missing him by inches. He continued and stumbled forward as a volley of sharp darts flew by just above his head. And it continued, a swooshing razor sharp axe, an onslaught of arrows, a pit full of buzzing saw blades, he stumbled on almost comically, avoiding all of it without a scratch. And then for the grandest of finales as he neared the far side of the room, he suddenly hopped to the left, narrowly missing the crushing weight of a grand piano dropped from a hidden trap door.

The prime minister applauded, “Marvelous, simply marvelous!” Then he turned, a questioning look on his face. “But I must know, how was that virtual, everything looked entirely real.”

“Oh it was,” the scientist patted him on the shoulder and smiled. “It all has to be real, otherwise we wouldn’t really be testing his luck now, would we?”


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Forgiveness Day

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

His genius was detected at an early age. His penchant for numbers, particularly those relating to the intricate workings of world financial markets, was second to none.

To the delight of his parents he excelled beyond all expectations in his academic pursuits, receiving not one but two masters degrees by the age of sixteen.

By his twentieth birthday he was a world-renowned investment guru, appearing on media around the globe, giving new confidence to world leaders and common folk alike with his stalwart advice concerning all things financial.

At twenty-five he earned his first billion. The next year he doubled it. By age thirty he was easily the wealthiest man on the planet, being worth nearly double that of his closest challenger.

By age forty he was quite possibly the most famous person of all time, worth more than many small countries, and the face every single person, with a nickel to invest or a postage stamp to trade, looked up to for advice.

And his super computers both monitored and controlled the financial world. Each and every single transaction that took place, from a mining corporation in Brazil buying property in Siberia, to a child buying a stick of gum at the corner store, was all tracked and analyzed.

* * *

Leaders from around the globe were amassed in the deeply classified meeting. They had all come to hear him speak. Everyone sat motionless as he spelled out his plan.

“True the world market has gotten stronger but there is still this massive underlying debt. Everybody owes somebody else, in fact if you add up all the countries together the planet is over one-hundred trillion dollars in debt.”

The faces around the room remained transfixed, no one interrupted him. “And to whom are we in debt, hmm? Mars? How can a planet be in debt to itself? Yet here we are. It’s the perfect solution, and the only way it can work is if we act simultaneously and without warning. Not one person in this room may send even a single text if we vote yes, not until the announcement is made, then it’s game-on for all.”

“Don’t you fear the mayhem that this will cause?” asked a concerned delegate from Iceland.

“Not if we do it right and follow the new law. Everybody must abide, no exceptions!”

In the end an eighty-nine percent majority passed the act easily. Now all the politicians once again looked to the man at the head of the room. And as the cameras turned on and his image was simultaneously broadcast to every known media screen around the globe he began to address the citizens of Earth.

“Good people please know that by a majority vote of the world congress we are proceeding directly with the forgiveness act to take place as of now.” A copy of the act was beamed to all desktops everywhere. “Please abide by these rules as any variance from this new law is punishable by death.” He paused for dramatic effect. “Good, from this moment all old debts are erased forever. Nobody in the world owes anybody else anything. Your house is yours. Your car is yours. What is not yet yours is not yet yours. All wages continue, all people will be paid fairly for the work they do, but everybody starts over right now with a clean slate. Go ahead, the computers have already done their job. Check your mortgage balance… you no longer have one. Happy forgiveness day everybody, now behave yourselves, and get back to work!”


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Ghost In The Machine

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

Just because mankind has invented time travel doesn’t mean we can go traipsing along down through the ages all willy-nilly. Firstly, one may not, under any circumstances, completely materialize into any previous plane of existence at any time whatsoever. Paradox has been proven and if one chooses to reverse then it will be strictly as an observer and an undetected observer at that, spying from the fringe of existence and never any closer.

And due to phase fluctuation one must always traverse dressed in period correct attire in case of temporary accidental fade in; the technology is good but not perfect. I knew all too well the rules, and when it was finally my turn to use the machine, I came prepared in my Victorian era brown tweed suit and bowler hat.

I sat inside the chamber and as the batteries charged up to wormhole penetration strength I rested my hands upon my umbrella walking stick and readied myself for my fantastic journey.

With a flash my surroundings disappeared and I found myself sitting on a bench in the second story of a Victorian mansion. I turned and looked out the multi-paned window to a beautiful garden below, where a horse and carriage were just pulling up to the grand entranceway.

I heard a noise behind me and spun my head quickly to see a well-dressed family appear at the top of the stairs. Even though I knew that I was invisible to their eyes my every nerve froze as I listened to them chat in their mundane and pompous fashion. So and so was rumored to be engaged to such and such. How much money did they have? Were they of proper breeding? I continued to remain motionless while the group came up to the large window and looked out… through me!

Suddenly a voice called from down the stairs and the father grinned and shouted back, “Coming right along Simpson, you don’t have to invite me for a drink twice.” Then they all turned to go.

I found them all so intriguing with their stiff clothes and their plastered down hair. And as they made their way off I stood up from the bench to get a last glimpse of these wonderful historic creatures, long since dead yet so vibrant there before my eyes. And as I did, the young son of the family, a boy of maybe ten or twelve years, turned in his wide brimmed hat and his smartly tied neck ribbon… and he saw me.

For an instant his eyes locked with mine and I knew I had phased in; and just as quickly the super computer back home adjusted my temporal position and I disappeared from the boy’s sight. But in the split second before I blinked out of existence I heard the lad say, “Look mother, a ghost!”

It wasn’t a result they were happy with back home, but still an acceptable cover to avoid paradox nevertheless, one that worked over and over again while they worked out the bugs of the great machine.

I returned back through the wormhole more excited than ever, already planning my next visit should I get the chance, utterly thankful and completely in awe of the brilliant minds of my time.


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Judgement Day

Author : Clint Wilson, Staff Writer

The survival group, pulled from Earth by the alien craft mere hours before the cataclysmic solar event scrubbed the planet clean of all life, were still in absolute shock.

Some seven hundred refugees, huddled together in the large hold, listened as the alien with the round grey head spoke to them. “We have been monitoring your evolution for millennia via worm-cam. We can show you recorded images of any point in your history.” He motioned to a large wall, which suddenly blurred into a view screen.

The crowd murmured in awe as footage of prehistoric people hunting, gathering, creating fire and tools, was displayed before them for some time.

Then they were treated to actual images of great historical figures of their race. Gilgamesh, a fierce barbarian, as was Attila The Hun, Cleopatra, actually quite beautiful despite the rumors, and the great Julius Caesar! Folks whispered that he was taller and slenderer than any of them had imagined.

On and on the mesmerizing real life images went, until one man jumped up and shouted, “What about Jesus? I want to see Jesus!”

A few others scoffed at this crazy person with his ancient ideals. One woman snickered, “Who cares? Even if he existed he was only a man.”

The grey-headed alien cut them off. “Here he is if you should so desire.” The entire crowd skeptics alike shushed and stared at the black-haired, brown-skinned man walking across the desert in his flapping robes. The alien continued, “It’s true he was a human male, but we admit to tampering with him.” The people stared in sudden disbelief. “His message was really quite simple, implanted by us. But your kind were too savage to enact his ideals. Even those who claimed to follow him were mostly flawed.”

“I was not,” said the man who had originally jumped up. “I followed his ideals.”

“Yes, for the most part you did Tom Douglas. And that is why you are here.”

The man registered surprise. “You know my name?”

“Of course we do. Just like we know Mohamed Hassan over there who spent his life trying to follow the ideals of the prophet with whom he shares a given name, also influenced by us, and again misread by most who claimed to follow him.”

The Middle Eastern man looked back at Tom Douglas and said, “Good for you brother. Peace and tolerance is the only true path.”

Then a black teenage girl chimed in, “I’m not religious at all. So what do you make of that?”

The grey tilted his head lovingly. “It matters not Marsha Wilson that you followed a religion or not. Tell me Miss, to how many animals have you been cruel?”

“Why, none of course!”

“And how many times have you lied to achieve gain, monetarily or otherwise, over another person?”

“Well, none really ever… I guess.”

“I could go on but I think everyone here is getting the idea.” The seven hundred men, women and children looked at one another nodding slowly, many with tears in their eyes. For they all knew “generally” good folks who were not amongst them.

The grey went on. “There was only room for this many, and we had to act quickly. So here you are. And for those of you who still practice religion, now might be a time to thank your deity for giving you the sense to be true to the universe throughout your lives. Without this good sense there would be no hope for the human race… and we would have left you all to burn in the global apocalypse.”


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