Sunday, July 1, 2012

Saving Earth



For James

Prologue

Roswell, NM. July 8, 1947

Twenty minutes too late! Can you imagine? The entire area where the spacecraft crashed has been cordoned off. It's like a scene from a late 1930s science fiction movie! Bright lights, cops, military, journalists, suspicious looking men in black suits, suspense. This could have been the greatest story ever told. If only I got a hold of the rancher. But Mac Brazel was nowhere to be found...

Moon Base Luna Alpha One.

Mission Commander. Personal logbook. June 29, 2378 (Ancestral Time System).

I am a third generation scientist here on the Moon. There are twenty five thousand of us. We are the only humans in the entire universe, although our ancestors would probably call us "trans-human".

Here on the Moon we outlived the humanity which was obliterated in three consecutive atomic wars in the 2020s.

We can see the earthrise, but the Earth we see is not the blue-green planet our grandparents watched rising when they first came here in the year 2018. The planet we see is a dead, scorched, inhabitable sphere that resembles Mars rather than the image I remember seeing on my father's personal computer.

As a child I always wondered what life must have been like on Earth. I visited the Gaia Park as often as I could, but I was never sure that the holographic images we created at the touch of a button were what the Earth was really like before the destruction. You could immerse yourself in any landscape with all its scents and sounds, temperature and precipitation for the most authentic earth experience. And yet, I was never fully satisfied. I always wanted more.

This is why I decided to develop the time travel technology. I wanted to go back to the world my grandparents loved so much.

Like every child at Luna Alpha One I studied the old masters. They had so many interesting concepts, but they seemed to never agree on anything. Out of hubris they would dismiss the truth in order uphold their own faulty theories. Can you imagine that they would kill those who disagreed with them? And yet, not even one of them ever came close to the Truth.

Discord seemed to permeate all aspects of human existence. They were so rich and yet, so poor. Maybe it was their fear of dying that made them so hostile.

I remember reading my grandmother's diary. Since the young age she was terrified of getting old. In the 1990s she studied human genetics and the orthomolecular medicine. She hoped to discover the Fountain of Youth. She made some progress when she stumbled upon the telomerase research. With this knowledge she was able to considerably slow down the aging process, but was not fully satisfied. The real breakthrough came when she met my grandfather. They combined her research with his progressive nano-technology. Together they were able to extend the lifespan of existing humans to 140 years, but the embryos they created were immortal.

We are the new humans. We grow older, but we do not really age. Senescence is unknown to us. And we do not die. Those who wish may withdraw from life and enter the state of Permanent Awe, but most of us prefer to remain active for hundreds of years. There is simply too much to do in this vast universe.

We can synthesize our own nutrition accordingly to our individual needs and are able monitor our somatic processes. Nano robots are mobilized to repair any damage to a tissue or an organ and we can upload the latest longevity software into our mitochondria.

We live in our trans-human paradise and no one even thinks of changing the way we coexist. We do not use money and consider material possessions meaningless.

The only wealth we care about is our knowledge. Although any of us can upload any information to our brains, the real wealth comes from our ability to use that data. Unlike our human ancestors we use our knowledge to create, not to destroy.

It is difficult to imagine that most of them believed they were alone in the universe. Those who considered that there was life in the outer space believed that contact was impossible with the technology they possessed. What they did not understand was that it was their mindset and not the lack of technology that prevented them from making a connection with what they called non-human entities.

I look out and see Earth. It must have been such a lovely planet. Pity, really. But maybe not all is lost. If my mission is successful we may be able to turn things around and prevent the disaster that destroyed all life there.

Our space-time ship is equipped with a state of the art technology. We have transformed my husband's Vega 123 vehicle. Jim designed it for our honeymoon in outer space. He even received a Moebius Prize for her! An unbelievably clever trick and a state-of-the-art technology prevents molecular disintegration upon the entry into a black hole. We named her Gaia 1, of course, and I cannot wait to board it.

We plan to land on Earth at a place called Los Alamos/35°53′28″N 106°17′52″W moments before the first atomic test on July 16, 1945. I studied the Manhattan Project materials. Some interesting stuff. Clever minds at work. But no one there seemed to understand that there were so many other uses for the nuclear power.

If I could only persuade those involved to abandon the thoughts of destruction we could alter the flow of events on Earth...

Epilogue

Moon Base Luna Alpha One. Mission Control Center. Newsroom. July 7, 2378 (Ancestral Time System).

Something went horribly wrong! The last message that came from Gaia 1 indicated a serious change in space-time coordinates. The craft seemed to have crashed at Roswell/33°23′14″N 104°31′41″W/July 7/1947. Connection was lost after impact. We suspect that the blast at Los Alamos altered Gaia's landing coordinates. A rescue mission is being considered by the Council. Our hearts and minds are with the brave crew.

By Dominique Allmon 

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Saving Earth by Dominique Allmon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.