Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Asteroidian Dreams of Utopia - WEP Holidays 2016


Utopia? I wouldn't call it that. It's Someplace Else I dream about, A real planet. . .



Image 1, see credits 

Noises drifted into the corridor from one of the lab units. Loud voices. Aperture doors cycled open and closed with only a slight click.  Then, silence. A woman stepped into the corridor, paused for a moment as the door cycled close. She turned and headed for the marked surface exit. Two seconds later, a head popped out of the door which just cycled open again and a young man said, "Citizen Leta, excuse me Citizen Leta Buk!"

Leta tried to relax her shoulders and hands. Tension did that to her. Made her want to bite something hard. 

Keep walking. Ignore. Keep walking. Focus. That man can't tell me what I can do. My job is to study the surface, and I'm prepared this time in case the lurker I saw before is dangerous, human or something unknown. As prepared as a human can be. 

After a few minutes, the head belonging to the young man in an officer's uniform disappeared and the door cycled shut again. His name tag identified him as Citizen Dako Jon, Special Assignment Officer.

***


Image 2, see credits



Leta put on the custom surface suit she had bought for exploring the outer layer of the asteroid. One of the tailors in the colony made these for special request at a likewise special price. It was puncture resistant, had a longer airtime for its oxygen breathing tanks which were made with a lightweight composite, and included a built in deflector vest. No one asked the tailor how he managed to acquire the materials; they didn't want to know.

After cycling the airlock compartment closed, she left the re-purposed starship which served as the main administration centre. It was built into the highest level of the colony, stripped from the mother ship. Once she was out, where  no one could live without life support, away from the claustrophobic areas and recycled air, she felt more calm.  She checked the spot where the heat signature had appeared on her last outing. It was innocuous. There was nothing to indicate anything had been there.

She pulled out her constellation map copies to compare those to the multitudes of stars above and around her.  She wanted to map the constellations she could observe from this colony, and soon was absorbed in her study. With a special tool designed for her spacesuit -a little extra installed by the maker of the suit-she started to plot her own star chart. The flexible fingers and small manipulations she could do made the cost of the suit reasonable.

It's an investment. And it hides a very capable weapon capable of stunning or killing. I hope I can find out what was shadowing me last time.



Image 3, see Credits

The feeling of being watched suddenly came back and she turned quickly. There! She saw a flash of what looked to be a humanoid figure dart in the shadows in a different location than before. She activated the suit's weapon array and the transmitter inside her helmet. 

"Attention, intruder. This is Citizen Leta Buk. Show yourself. Identify your name and your purpose. My weapon is armed and ready."

"I acknowledge, Citizen Buk. I mean no harm. I have been shadowing you to see why you come up here, and I wanted to learn who you were. Not many ever come to the outside, not unless they have to. My name is Killian Max, I'm a historian."

He's no assassin. . .or I'd be dead. She disarmed her weapons. "Accepted. I don't remember seeing you before, did you transfer in from another part of the colony?"

"Yes, I'm from Level 8, transferred in a few weeks ago, but I'm a nobody really," he said. "But one day, that could change. I invent things, I create something new out of a bit of this and that. Like this suit I'm wearing."

"Your surface suit? You made it yourself? I couldn't get a heat signature from your suit the first time you stalked me."

"I don't know why I'm telling you that I make things, but it's my secret. I could get into more trouble if word gets out. And, I wasn't stalking. I was observing."

"It's illegal to create new technology? That doesn't make sense. But don't worry, I  can keep a secret."

"The council members fear that it was technology that derailed a lot of old civilizations, fear that it will subvert the human goals. Fear of the new. It's a way of controlling growth and it allows the council to monitor what it calls rogue citizens. . ."

"You don't seem like a crazy inventor. . ."

"I consider myself like those greats from Antiquity - Tesla, Edison, and others. I honour their memory from the age when inventions were heralded, not hidden. I like to dream about other places, planets rather than chunks of rock. Places where inventions are welcome. I want to see things. I don't want to stay here all my life."

"So, you're a dreamer like me."

"If that means dreaming of other places and better times, yes. In the meantime, I work on my inventions, test them covertly, and study our ancestors. Could I ask you something about your work?"

"Sure. I'm a mapper for the surface of this colony. I have begun to map the constellations in our system for my own interest."

"Is that what you doing with those sheets of film I saw you drawing on?"

"Yes. Mapping. This suit has been adapted for my work. It's what I do. Making star charts is like mapping the universe, or at least a part of it."

"I'll remember that if I run across any ancient maps in my work. There is so much of our history that has been suppressed here in the colony. For instance, have you ever heard of Christmas? It's an ancient Terran holiday that seems to have been lost from our collective memory."

"I've never heard anything about it. Why was it a holiday?"

"It celebrated peace, and was entangled with several religious traditions that seem like legends to us. People would sing, give gifts and try to help those less fortunate. There was a feast using some type of avian species which was unique to Terra."

"Interesting. So many things died or were lost when Old Sol, the Terran sun went nova. Will we ever find the remnants of the human race, scattered as it is? That would be a good reason to bring back some of the old ways. I'm ready."

"I've been ready for some time. I'm glad we have met. It gives me hope that there's more out there. . ."

"Yes, this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, Killian."

"That sounds like something I read somewhere before. Well met, Leta."

And so, another link in the chain is formed. A chain which will eventually pull these two scientists in training away from their birthplace and toward other colonies and planets. As the circle turns and twists, what was old becomes new again.

***

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND BEST WISHES FOR 2017!

***

WEP, aka Write, Edit, and Publish




Thanks to Yolanda and Denise, co-hosts of Write, Edit, Publish for once again stirring our minds to create! We all have dreams, the fleeting kind that can end up being nightmares or the ones about what we would like to achieve, but for the Utopian Dreams Challenge, we want to know about that secret desire, the something you spend time daydreaming about, talking about and maybe even secretly planning for. It can be anything that will make your life seem perfect, or utopian. However, reality is rarely ideal. Let's talk about as we end the year 2016, and look forward to perhaps getting a little closer to that dream.

The challenge: Create an interpretation of your own choosing: a poem, a flash fiction piece, a non-fiction piece detailing an experience, or write a script, draw your dream, or find photographs to show us the essence of the dream and enhance the story. It's up to you. Have fun and don't forget to visit all the participants on the list who are sharing their ideas.

***
Can you imagine how it might be to live underground on an asteroid? Do you think traditions can fade away as centuries pass? 

Thanks for visiting, and please leave a comment to let me know you were here. I'll respond. I also want to thank everyone who has been a regular visitor here or just occasionally drops by. I will try to get back into my own posting routine after the holidays.

***

References:

NOTE: this story continues as Part 2 of Asteroid Stories

Previous WEP story: If I Wish Upon a Constellation, Part I

http://dghudson-rainwriting.blogspot.ca/2016/10/if-i-wish-upon-constellation-wep.html


https://writeeditpublishnow.blogspot.ca/ Write Edit Publish

***

Images:
http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/the_universe

1st Image via Hubble
Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration

2nd Image via Pixabay

https://pixabay.com/en/space-asteroids-planets-cosmos-1422642/

3rd image via Hubble
Credit: NASA, ESA, CXC and the University of Potsdam, JPL-Caltech, and STScI

***

32 comments:

  1. Oooh.
    Traditions do morph. Sometimes into almost unrecognisable shapes.
    I do hope that this excited and interested *and exciting and interesting) pair have a future. Utopian or not...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, EC, I always like that you see the theme. This could become a longer short story. . .another side story development of my second scifi novel, in the works of course. A constellation mapper and an inventor sounds like a good combo, doesn't it?

      Delete
  2. HEY D.G. This was very interesting. I recognized it s a continuation of the previous 'WEP entry. I like to concept of retrieving what is lost, especially traditions.

    I would tell you I was confused for. Moment when Killian first appeared. I had to go back and read that ection a few times. It could just be me, but thought you would want to know.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and a Joyous New Year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the heads up, I'll look that part over and see where the 'disconnect' is. A suggestion is always welcome. To these young adults, the familiar is boring, and reaching for the stars is possible.

      Delete
  3. What I enjoyed most about your story was the feeling of hope I received while reading it. I felt Leta positive vibes coming from Leta's character and her meeting Killian sealed my positive thoughts about her. I especially loved her thought, "he's no assassin or I'd be dead." Nice line.
    You have written a very engaging story,.
    Have a Merry Christmas and a beautiful walk over into the new year.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Pat Garcia

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That line sounds like something out of a hardboiled detective story, now that you mention it. . .Glad you saw the light in the story. Best wishes to you for 2017!

      Delete
  4. Sci-fi is a great addition to the WEP challenge. Love your story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I use scifi when I get the chance, as it's my preferred writing genre. These WEP challenges help me broaden some ideas that otherwise would just sit and brew.

      Delete
  5. Merry Christmas to you and your family!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Merry Christmas back at you, JoJo! We got snow here, in case you didn't hear. The balmy Pacific Northwest was cold for the first time in years, and it's the usual heavy wet kind of snow. Messy. Best wishes for 2017!

      Delete
  6. "What was old becomes new again"... I think that phrase best encompasses the hope I sense in this piece, DG. Forgotten, but not lost—sort of. I like this. The story has much potential for further development, and I look forward to reading more :)
    Guilie @ Quiet Laughter

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Guilie! Hope is what keeps us invested in trying. I am considering adding to this story. Appreciate your comments regarding that.

      Delete
  7. Love the possibilities of future adventures and the creation of new traditions, based on the old or new altogether.

    Great addition to the WEP Challenge! Truly well done!

    Wishing you a joy filled holiday and a successful New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like to write about far future times when all our current ills are forgotten, too. Best wishes for the holiday to you too, Yolanda!

      Delete
  8. Thanks for this quality entry, D.G. This short story-ish story is progressing. Keep going, won't you? I must admit I was worried that Killian meant Leta harm, but I was so glad when you diffused it through Leta's thoughts: 'He's not assassin...'

    Love how you've used constellations and deep space as a setting for your story. It's very intriguing. Loved the references to Christmas and Old Sol. Maybe new traditions will be forged now.

    Thanks as always, D.G., for your enthusiasm for WEP. I hope you will find the time to join us again next year.

    Meanwhile, Merry Christmas. Happy New Year. Mayb 2017 bring you and your husband blessings.

    Denise :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the WEP format (freestyle), I like the ideas for challenges and this is keeping my writing going when I don't have time for more in-depth writing. I appreciate the opportunities you and Yolanda present to us. I do plan to continue in the new year. I also do love reading all the entries when there is a common theme. It shows us how alike and how different our perceptions can be. Hope 2017 will be a great year for you and your family as well. Merry Christmas! Now I must keep reading . . .

      Delete
  9. I always enjoy your writing, DG. And this is lovely on two separate counts - because it is the continuation of the WEP Constellations entry, and because it's a Sc-fi Utopia!

    Liked the reference to the Christmas traditions, and absolutely love the ending line 'As the circle turns and twists, what was old becomes new again.' Because life is totally a cycle, even off Terra and even when Old Sol goes nova...

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a happy, blessed 2017. May it be better than the previous ones, for all of us.

    Nila.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the kind words from such a weaver of words as you Nila. I, too, wish for better times on this world and into the future. Hope is always there. Not all of mankind is bent on destruction. Many of our scientists have a more positive outlook. Maybe mankind will save itself, if it looks outward to others and tries to quell petty differences. Wishing you the best in 2017 and hope your holidays are merry!

      Delete
  10. I'm always fascinated by encounters of strangers in a strange land--in this case an asteroid. I think you're creating a story of two "people" coming together in a new world and already I'm interested in finding out how that will work out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. you have seen my intent. These two characters may show up later as a full blown side story for the novel, second in a series that I'm writing. They have lots of promise and hope. A good start. Thanks for visiting during the challenge, Cleemckenzie!

      Delete
  11. That would be sad to think Christmas and its beginnings would be lost to mankind. Although some people try hard now to bury it. Well done, DG.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it would be sad, too, the children would suffer the loss of that particular magic, and the adults lose beliefs that help carry one through life.
      Hope your Christmas is merry, Alex.

      Delete
  12. Nice to see hope still exists in such a world, where conditions are so dire (cannot go outside w/o a special suit). We seem to have this love/hate relationship with technology - is it good or bad? Definitely glad to hear that this is not all of the story!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technology is good until it gets bad, meaning it's controlling us, rather than the other way around. Be careful what you give up for tech, robots can get out of hand. (But I do like robots. . .)

      Delete
  13. As farawayeyes said

    A story from an ending
    not to long ago
    about a kid on a rock
    around heavens he flows

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the way you transform words to a lyrical flow, desk49! Hope your holidays are merry!

      Delete
  14. Interesting writing. Good story. I love the pictures you used.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thank Hubble and pixabay for the beautiful images. It's a side story of one of my novels, glad you like it. Merry Christmas!

      Delete
  15. Hi DG - wonderful ... just loved it. Certainly the making of a brilliant story, or as your creative mind takes you off ...

    I've recently inadvertently gone to a few talks on black holes, dark matter and galaxies etc .. and where we come from ... so to 'listen' to your story while I read it is great ... adds to interest and your intent. Very clever to construct ... and feel your way along with Sci-Fi ...

    Loved reading it - and hope it will be continued on ... cheers Hilary

    PS Have a peaceful and blessed Christmas and festive (even if quietly) time ... then a reasonable year ahead ... H xoxo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Merry Christmas to you too, Hilary! I'm glad you like the gist of the story and I would love to attend talks on astronomy and the galaxies - lucky you! I watch many science shows with hubs: Star Talk, Cosmos, etc.

      Delete
  16. Traditions sure do get lost throughout the years. Some just don't seem rationale anymore and others are forgotten through the ages. But they can be brought back. I'd want to invent too and get off a stinkin asteroid haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think living on an asteroid would be even more confining than living in a small town. (some like cities and some like that small town atmosphere) But to be limited as to when you can be 'outside' would be very hard unless you were used to it. . .Even so, I agree, I'd want to see other places.

      Delete

Comments will be reviewed before they appear.