Return of the Benefactor
By David K Scholes
“I had a dream last night,” I said. “My father was in it. We did things together that we might have done had he lived.”
“How old were you when he died?” asked Robyn.
“Only 3 months,” I replied. “Though of course I’ve seen countless 3D videos of him.”
“Did you ever participate in the memories implant program?” asked Robyn. “Used in conjunction with the new dream corders the results can be startling.”
“It does not produce anything remotely like what I dreamt last night,” I replied knowingly. “It was a very long dream – it seemed to cover all of my life up until now. We did a lot of things together.”
“Some could find that upsetting,” offered Robyn “to wake up and realise what might have been.”
“I do not feel that way,” I replied “I am simply very grateful for having glimpsed some of what might have been. Who knows but that I may yet dream some more.”
“There can only be one explanation for such a phenomenon,” offered Robyn smiling more openly than I had ever seen. “He is back.”
“Are you sure?” I was whispering now “I know there were reports of such things when he was here before.”
* * *
Robyn and I were both old enough to remember the Benefactor. Though we were children then. We remembered the goodness he brought. We remembered too the anger we all felt when the Elementals came to try to stop his activities on Earth. A confrontation that proved inconclusive. Even though Elementals and Benefactor left Earth afterwards none of his works were undone. Indeed the help continued for a time as if he were helping us from afar.
Just then word started to come in from all corners of the globe and all forms of communication media. Though first of all through the “Telepathic Times” the World’s first and still its only telepathic newspaper. It was unmistakable. The Benefactor was back.
* * *
“We have come a long way since he was here last,” I said “thanks to the lift up he gave us.”
This time around the Benefactor helped us in different ways. We needed a different kind of help and he obliged. Still people old enough to remember it first hand worried that the Elementals might come again.
Through the World Wide Mind it was resolved that we would not just stand idly by if the Elementals came again. We would help him through the unification of the 10 billion minds capable of accessing the unified World Wide Mind.
The Benefactor thanked us politely and individually by accessing the World Wide Mind. It was a brief access by him but tremendously uplifting for us all. Giving us a small insight to the capabilities of Earth’s relatively new World Wide Mind. Or Uni-Mind as it was known for short.
Eventually the Benefactor left us again. This time the Elementals did not come.
I do not know why. Though we had heard from distant worlds that their power was on the wane.
I still dream every night of my Dad as if he were right here with me.
If the Benefactor had lifted us up mightily on his first visit then on this second visit he enabled us at times to stand on his shoulders.
The view of the cosmos from those lofty heights was magnificent.
Later when the mighty Brell, the Multiverse’s most advanced technological race and the Dleene the most advanced psionic race in the Multiverse both came to us in search of friendship we were ready.
Thanks to the Benefactor
- - -
The author has written over 180 speculative fiction short stories, some of which appear in his seven published collections of short stories. He has also published two science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). He has been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, and Farther Stars Than These sites. He has also been published on 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently very close to completing a new collection of some 36 science fiction short stories.
Thursday, January 26, 2017
Return of the Benefactor
Thursday, January 19, 2017
By Hillary Lyon
oh he's spacesick again
these boots are too heavy
and this world twirls too fast
for comfort he's sleepy now
but he has to move on
because his arms want to flail
rather than move in smooth waves
in ultra slow motion
oh he's ill but happy look
through the other end of the viewer
a billion pixels highlight
all the incomprehensible beauty here
it makes him shiver into dance
it's almost too much to taste to transmit
these wonders he's found so far
- - -
Hillary Lyon is founder of and editor for the small poetry house, Subsynchronous Press. She earned an MA in English Lit from SMU. Her work has appeared in Shadow Train, Illya's Honey, Illumen, Eternal Haunted Summer, and Scifaikuest, among others.
Thursday, January 12, 2017
Saturn Outpost IX
By Thomas G Schmidt
Omega R-12 woke with a start from his short restless night of sleep. 4 ½ hours of sleep would have left most Saturn Outpost IX centurions exhausted and drained but not Omega R-12. He had developed the ability to function regularly with little or no sleep. Not that his job was that demanding. Who would dare to attack Saturn Outpost IX?
Omega R-12, known as “Zak Bakersfield” to his family, was one of the new breed of outpost soldiers. Trained by the government for 10 years before finally being placed at Saturn Outpost IX, Omega R-12 was one of the most versatile of the outpost soldiers with specialized training in both laser and electron pulse advanced weapon systems. The Omega class of centurions were in fact perfect soldiers in every way.
The Omegas exceeded all of the previous classes of centurions in one other key characteristic. The new government “mind management” programming all Omegas received made them quick strike soldiers who never questioned their directives. They were programmed to strike back immediately whenever confronted at the outpost by possible danger. Rapid interstellar communication (RIC) from Earth to the minds of the Omegas helped to keep them focused on their singular mission.
The RIC system required the Omegas to be purged of their personal memories so they tended to no longer remember who they had been in their past life. But Omega R-12 was an exception. He could still vaguely remember his family and some early life in Delran, New Jersey. At least he thought those memories were true. But he couldn’t be certain. Perhaps they were just false memories planted in his mind by the government.
Constant RIC transmissions made Omega R-12 less and less confident of those faint memories. That is why Omega R-12 kept the yellowed sheet of paper that he treasured so much. It was a simple genealogy tree for the Bakersfield family, a sheet of paper given to him by his mother more than 15 years ago. Illegal on Saturn Outpost IX, Omega R-12 kept it hidden in his small bunk area on the outpost.
Yawning slightly, Omega R-12 looked around as he rose from his bed. The camera system above his bunk looked like it was turned off. Perhaps a quick look at the yellowed sheet was possible before the start of his shift. Stealthily, he opened the hidden compartment under his bunk and pulled out the sheet. Soon he was mesmerized by the details on the sheet and he lost all sense of time. The quick peek that he had planned became an extended viewing of the genealogy tree. And then without warning, the alarm went off.
Looking up, Omega R-12 could see the warning lights on the camera system flashing as an audio message came on. "Drop the item and move away” was the repetitive command being broadcast to his bunk area.
The response was quick, like all reactions at the Saturn outpost. Omega R police class soldiers descended upon the bunk and one with flaming red hair grabbed the offending sheet of paper.
“Who gave you this?” demanded the red haired Omega R soldier. But Omega R-12 refused to respond. In truth, he was not completely sure who had given him the paper.
“I said who gave you this?” The red haired police soldier grabbed Omega R-12 by the shoulder and shook him. But Omega R-12 continued to be silent.
A tall blonde man in a black jacket arrived just as the red haired police soldier was starting to get physical with Omega R-12. The tall man looked around and then questioned the red haired soldier.
“What’s the crime?”
The red haired soldier raised the yellowed paper and replied. “Personal memory sheet,” was the quick and brief answer.
“Give that to me and take the Omega unit to our solitary area for reprogramming.”
As Omega R-12 was escorted out, the tall blonde man glanced at the yellowed sheet. He sighed as he recognized the information as a simple family tree. He folded the paper up and walked back to his office just a short distance down the barren white painted hallway. Inside the office, he opened his file cabinet and gently placed the aged, fragile paper inside an unmarked folder. As he placed the folder back in the cabinet, a second folder caught his attention. It was a simple black folder, non-distinct.
Looking around and checking the camera system in his own office, he decided to take a chance. Opening the folder quickly, he found a simple family tree outlined on another yellowed piece of paper. The paper simply said “Briles Family History”. He quickly put the paper back in the folder and returned it to the cabinet. A quick look at the camera system confirmed the camera to still be off. He exhaled and walked over to his desk. He sat down and then he cried.
- - -
Tom Schmidt is a Chemical Engineer working in medical diagnostics in upstate New York. He has had a variety of short stories published in the past on websites such as www.short-story.me, www.fartherstars.com, www.short-humour.org.uk and www.overmydeadbody.com. He is currently working on the “Paul Garigan Crime Mysteries”, a collection of short stories centered around a Malibu based police detective which he hopes to publish in the future.
Thursday, January 5, 2017
By David K Scholes
I daydream a lot. This can lead to some good ideas, but mostly it leads to a load of old rubbish. At least that’s what I used to think.
We didn’t know about the telepathic net back then.
I got wind that something was up was when I received my first ever Universe Credits. Credited to my nominal account at the Bank of Earth by an organisation called Galactic Ideas, with the motto “you think them up – we transform them into something practical.” There was a short note accompanying the credit transaction to say they had made use of my idea for real people to slowly emerge as flesh and blood from their holograms rather than just teleport in. It seemed that it made for a more dramatic entrance. They mentioned that I’d been granted a limited short term patent for the idea.
I made a note to follow up on exactly who Galactic Ideas were and exactly what they had done with my idea. That was before the Universe Credits started rolling in.
Suddenly there were all sorts of Universe Credit payments being made into my account from all sorts of organisations.
“The whole thing seems to be getting out of control,” I said to a forensic accountant friend of mine, Lennox, who specialised in off-world business. “That’s why I want you to look into as many of these organisations as you can.”
Funny thing was, our poor backward old Earth and its inhabitants seemed to be full of “convertible” ideas that were being picked up by legal and not so legal entities all over the Galaxy (and beyond) using the telepathic net. This plethora of useful ideas ended up elevating our status as a world slightly, just as it increased the net worth of some of our inhabitants. Myself among them.
“Many of these organisations that paid you are genuine legal entities,” advised Lennox. “What you may not like,” he continued “is what has resulted from the practical application of some of your ideas. Several of them have had rather nasty military applications, among other things.”
I was not happy with that at all. I mean I was comfortable with some daydreaming of mine being picked up via the telepathic net, turned into a useful application by someone and earning me money. However the thought that there might be aliens, a lot of aliens even, being killed because of some fanciful ideas of mine was, well, horrifying. I mean what could I do about? Stop thinking altogether? What about my dreams and nightmares. I assumed they too were all picked up on the telepathic net.
“You do know, don’t you, where most of the ideas are coming from here on Earth at least,” asked my friend. “From your lot, you science fiction writers mainly,” he continued confirming some suspicions I’d had.
“Someone’s making a lot of money out of your ideas and those of certain other Earthers as well,” said Lennox. “I mean I suppose you only provided the ideas and they did all the work to convert them.”
“Supplied unknowingly, unwittingly and without my agreement,” I interrupted.
“I rather suspect that your acceptance of all those Universe Credits deposited in your account will be taken as some form of agreement on your part,” replied Lennox. I sensed a distaste entering his voice.
It turned out that the whole ideas market, Galaxy wide, was becoming highly sophisticated. Even if the ideas from the lesser worlds seemed as though they were being stolen. Galactic laws, regulatory authorities, types of contracts, financial instruments were all in the process of being established.
Still, in the end, all of that, all the money I’d earned, all the money other Earthers had earned, the increased status of our world, it all counted for nothing.
An attack on Earth had begun in a manner that had once seemed impossible and unthinkable even given the much more advanced technologies that we shared the Galaxy with.
“They’ll finish us off in a few days” said Lennox “the idea was picked up on the telepathic net by one of the non legal entities, so that we don’t even know who our attackers are!”
“In any case where on Earth did they get the idea for an attack like that?” he enquired.
“I’m afraid it’s an idea of mine,” I stuttered “in a story that I haven’t yet published!”
“Did you get paid for it?” asked Lennox with a look on his face of utter disgust.
- - -
The author has written over 170 speculative fiction short stories, many of which appear in his seven published collections of short stories. He has also published two science fiction novellas (all on Amazon). He has been a regular contributor to the Antipodean SF, Beam Me Up Pod Cast, and Farther Stars Than These sites. He has also been published on 365 Tomorrows, Bewildering Stories, the WiFiles and the former Golden Visions magazine. He is currently very close to completing a new collection of science fiction short stories.
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