Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Chapter 6

chapter 6

From the diary of the documentarian:

I received a strange letter in the mail today.  It was strange, first of all, that someone would send a hand-written letter, but that's not all.  It was dated about three-hundred years in the future.  

It's probably someone's idea of a joke, or someone hoping to get mentioned in the documentary.  Or it's from a conspiracy nut.  Lots of people did not trust the visitors.

Anyway, the letter, purportedly written on a remote multi-species research colony by a very old member of The Ten Thousand, said that magic was real.  Gods were real, too.  As well as telepathy, angels, vampires, and spontaneous human combustion.  

The letter goes on to explain that the visitors are purely 4th dimensional beings, actual gods and other mythological beings are purely 5th dimensional, and we are somewhere in the middle.  The visitors, of course, have suppression devices scattered throughout the universe to, "compress," things into four dimensions.  

It says the visitors can't figure out how the magic of the fifth dimension works, so they fear it.  They would fear us, too, if the suppression devices were systematically destroyed.  With magic, we may be able to save all of our race, not just ten thousand.  Don't trust The Watcher!

Blah, blah, blah.  Lots of amazing stuff in that letter, but there's no evidence to back up any of it.  Like I said, probably a bunch of crap, but still the most interesting things I've read lately.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

chapter 5

there's so much pollen that I get itchy every time I go outside.  so there's two chapters today as a result of being coped up.

Chapter 5

Interview with Dan, a Follower that stayed on Earth

"Is your name really Dan?"

"It is now.  You humans don't have enough teeth to pronounce my birth-name."

"Why did you stay behind?"

"Your planet reminded me of home."

"Why is that?"

"Clouds.  Weather.  The star rising every day.  I had grown to miss the sky.  There is no sky in space."

"What do you do here?"

"I'm a local attraction.  You humans pay to see me, talk to me.  I'm one of the few Followers that stuck around."

"You have told others that you are dying.  Don't The Gods have ways to prolong life?"

"We don't call them gods.  We call them gnoshkth, The Mighty.  They have a some eternal life... techniques, but it is not our way.  Our culture is full of conflicts, and fighting for life by yourself is the honorable death."

"Have your people been Followers for very long?"

"No.  I was young when we met gnoshkth.  We were an empire back then."

"There's no more empire?"

"No.  When gnoshkth came, they freed all of our slave races, and helped them in various ways, like they did for you humans."

"That must have been difficult, losing all the slaves."

"It let to... a disagreement.  There was war, briefly.  When our entire fleet was destroyed, we were impressed."

"That's when your people became Followers?"

"Around then, yes.  We have a saying, 'March with the strongest clan.'  That was them."

"Did your people start using slaves again after the mothership left?"

"No.  A Watcher was left behind, just like yours.  Also, we'd been given an automated workforce.  No more slaves, just robots."

"How did it feel when the empire fell?"

"It was odd.  We crave battle and conquest and domination.  I'm not the only one that misses being among powerful clans, fighting for supremacy.  But after gnoshkth left, we had no need to pillage.  All of our people had everything they required."

"I've heard that your people aren't as loyal as other Follower races.  Is that true?"

"For now, we follow The Mighty.  If we find someone stronger, we'll join them and go back to the old ways.  We are at, what do you call it, a cease fire."

"A cease fire with The Mighty?"

"A cease fire with everyone.  Even you humans.  Perhaps one day your people will bow to us, but I won't see it.  I'm dying.  It's really my only regret about death."

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

Interview with Sandra Cook, injured veteran

"So, you went to the visitors?"

"Yes, I did."


"I lost an arm and a leg in the war.  I had some prosthetics, but they weren't perfect.  People were saying that the aliens would help people who brought them gifts."

"Some people said they would answer prayers."

"Yeah, well, people said it a lot of different ways.  Me, I'm a Wiccan, and I think they just like to help people."

"What did you give them?"

"A bottle of wine I'd been saving for a special occasion.  Things didn't get more special than those days."

"Did you go on the mothership?"

"Oh, yeah.  One of The Followers took me up and fixed me up real good."

"What was the ship like?"

"Meh.  I didn't see much of it.  Hallways, doorways, lights... nothing very otherworldly about it."

"Did it hurt when they performed the, uh, procedure?"

"Not a bit.  I was scanned as I walked to the procedure room.  I only knew that because The Follower told me.  He was one of the weird ones, looked like a pine tree on tentacles."

"What did they do?"

"Well, first Mr. Pine Squid said me in an empty room, and he went off with the bottle of wine.  About ten minutes later he came back with an arm and a leg for me."

"Ten minutes?"

"Ten minutes.  I had my phone with me.  I'd hoped to take some pictures, but I didn't see anything particularly interesting.  Pine Squid apolgized that it took so long, said there was a line at the synthesizer."

"Then what?"

"The body parts he brought fit perfectly.  It didn't hurt at all, they just sort of adhered to my stumps."

"Were they real, you know, muscle and bone?"

"I don't know what they were.  Or are.  At first they were cold, rubbery, and albino-pale.  But!  They worked just like my original limbs had.  No more hook hand or teeter-knee for me!"

"I can't tell where these prosthetics are attached."

"They're more than just attached, they're permanent.  After a week, they had the same color as the rest of my skin and started growing hair."

"Are they any different than your other limbs?"

"No, mine aren't.  I know some people asked for super strength and stuff, but I just wanted to be whole again."

"What do you think happened to the wine?"

"Haha... they drank it?  They synthesized it?  I hope they enjoyed it.  They helped me get my life back, and I'm thankful.  I pray for their safe journey."

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

chapter 3

the last story I worked on, I looked stuff up.  My characters followed actually highways through actual towns.  I figured out travel times, checked out weather averages, and looked up other stuff like filtering radioactive water.  it was somewhat tedious.  

it's a lot quicker when you just make everything up.

chapter 3

Interview with Claude LeBlanc, former bishop in the Raelian church

"Can you tell us what the Raelian church is?"

"Raelians believe that humans were created by extraterrestrials, who guided us with messengers such as Buddha and Jesus.  One day, if our society becomes peaceful, the extraterrestrials will welcome us."

"You no longer believe in that?"

"One of the first things our visitors established was that they were not the creators of all things.  They made it quite clear.  For me, this was too much at odds with a basic Raelian tenet."

"But a lot of Raelians were enthusiastic.  They were among the first to apply to be in The Ten Thousand."

"People of many religions, not just Raelians, chose to emphasize part of their beliefs and ignore others to link the visitors to their faith system.  Judeo-Christians pointed out that their God lived in the heavens above, and liked the promise of salvation, even if it didn't quite line up.  For the Hindus, several of The Followers resembled gods and demigods.  And so on."

"Tell us about The Ten Thousand."

"The visitors determined that a population of ten thousand humans would be genetically sustainable.  They had a lottery for those that were interested in leaving Earth with them, to act as missionaries and to bring humanity with into the next universe."

"The next universe?"

"Yeah, that's another thing that got twisted around to fit different ideologies.  The visitors told us they came from a previous universe.  When it was nearing its end, they found a way to remove themselves form existence, and re-emerge in the middle of the following universe.  Buddhists glossed over some of that and called it enlightenment.  Some Christian groups mashed it up with eternal salvation."

"Previous universe?  How can they, 'leave existence?'  How old are they?"

"They claim this is their fourth universe, and they started taking Followers with them in their third universe.  This would make them billions of years older than we are.  As to how they could leave existence, well, you know how they are."

"How's that?"

"They don't get into the details.  Powered by thousands of stars, and blip!  They disappear, and then blip!  They come back in a younger universe.  It's like the technology they left behind, we were shown how to use it, but not how it works."

"I think we might be straying off topic with all of this.  Did a lot of Raelians leave the church when you did?"

"Yeah, I wasn't the only one.  We'd been visited by, 'The Gods,' and dozens of races in The Followers, and not one of them claimed to have created us."

"Did you seek to be one of The Ten Thousand?"

"No, I didn't.  I'd just lost my religion.  I figured I needed to find something to believe in here on Earth before I had any business heading to Heaven."


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Chapter 2

here you go, in all its unedited glory.  I couldn't think of a cool thing to end on.

Chapter 2

Interview with Mike Blum, Professor of Neurobiology

"So, Professor, did the were the aliens really telepathic?"

"I... don't care for the term, 'telepathic.'  It's been popularized in comic books and science fiction as an evolved method of communication, but The Gods achieved this strictly through advanced technology."

"Is that like a universal translator?  Like Star Trek?"

"No.  The Gods said they will learn our languages as they travel to the next sentient planet, but they didn't use translation software.  In our own history, when two or more groups interact, the language of the dominant group is learned.  When Rome ruled Europe, everyone spoke Latin.  Native Americans now mostly speak English.  And so on."

"Has anyone learned to speak the language of the visitors?"

"I'm not sure.  That's not really my area."

"So if they didn't speak our language, we didn't speak theirs, and they didn't communicate with some evolved telepathy, what's left?"

"Technology we can comprehend but are not advanced enough to replicate.  You see, when I speak, your ears hear it.  Your brain attaches meaning to words and phrases and tone of voice.  The Gods sent minute electrical pulses directly to our brains, bypassing the ears and the brain's interpretation of words.  Communication in the most direct form, freed from language entirely."

"Electricity to the brain?  Is that dangerous?"

"It could be, but The Gods seem to have mastered the use of it.  No people or animals are known to have died as a result of speaking to the followers or The Gods.  I've personally studied dozens of brains and could not find a hint of damage.  Our bodies send out electrical signals to do just about everything, and The Gods found the perfect amount of volts and amps to interact with us."

"Okay then, how did they understand us?"

"Sensitive sensors did the same thing in reverse.  They could scan our brain and interpret the electrical signals it made as we formed sentences.  They did the same with elephants, dolphins, primates, crows- anything they deemed intelligent enough.  Again, communication without language to get in the way.  It's really quite remarkable."

"Everyone remembers when one of The Followers was invited to a talk show and said, 'The Gods can see through your eyes and ours.'  Do you remember that?"

"Yes, I do."

"What did that mean?  Did they mean it literally, and is that even possible?  A lot of people felt a little uncomfortable, like they lost their privacy."

"Yes, I think it was said literally.  If they can understand what electrical impulses in our brain mean as far as communication, then it's quite possible they can interpret the electrical signals in our optic system.  It's still a matter of debate, but that's what I think they meant."

"Does the thought make you uncomfortable?"

"I find the idea more fascinating than uncomfortable.  They might have looked through the eyes of every living creature on Earth without any of them feeling a thing.  I think it's a bit intimate, in a way.  How can you know someone better than to literally see through their eyes, or hear through their ears?  Could they feel our pain, or share in our joy?"

"That's all good theory, but what about it?  The visitors left lots of gifts behind, do you think we'll learn to use them soon?"

"I don't think those of us on Earth are going to be able to reverse-engineer anything in our lifetime.  There are a lot of brilliant people working on it- I've even taken a crack at those scanners they used- but it's way beyond us."

"What about The Ten Thousand?"

"Who knows?  They left with the mothership.  They might have already been taught all sorts of amazing things.  You'd have to talk to The Watcher to know anything like that."

"Do you think The Watcher is alive?  As a neurobiologist, do you have any theories on how it thinks?"

"I've never talked to The Watcher.  It doesn't sound alive from what I've read, but no one's sure if its partially or entirely robotic, or some sort of lifeform we simply don't have locally.  I have no ideas on how it thinks.  This stuff The Gods left behind is going to take a long time to figure out.  We're going to have many generations of people asking the same questions that you are today."

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

new story, chapter 1

I'm starting a new story today, and should be adding a new chapter about every week.  I'll say that it's loosely similar to World War Z in that it's transcriptions of oral interviews.  The subject matter is completely unrelated, and since I only read World War Z once (eight years ago), there's probably not going to be many similarities in style.

Anyway, here's the first chapter.  I don't have a title yet.

When the aliens came to Earth, there was no invasion.  They weren't interested in body-snatching, or laying eggs in our stomachs, or plundering the planet's resources.  They did not enslave humanity, secretly infiltrate our governments, or blow up the white house.  The aliens, in their myriad shapes and sizes, came for a completely different reason.  They came as missionaries.  

I have taken in upon myself to create a documentary about our year with, "The Gods," and their followers. I will interview people from around the world to show the different ways that people reacted.  

Interview with Barbara Henkel, asteroid hunter for NASA

"Hello Barbara.  Thank you for meeting with me," I began.

"Yes, of course.  What did you want to know?"

"Were you the one that spotted the mothership?  Did anyone have any idea what it was?"

"Yes, I was the one that spotted it.  It was crossing the solar system very fast- and it was huge- and headed right for Earth.  You must remember how big it was; once it entered our orbit it was like a second moon."

"Yes, I remember.  What did you do after you spotted it?"

"I think I said, 'Holly shit!'  If it had been an asteroid we'd all be dead.  There was no time to do anything about it; that Bruce Willis moive was all nonsense.  Then I called a few people; we have to report that kind of thing."

"Then the emergency broadcast went on, right?"

"Yes!  The window before impact- what we thought would be impact- was about fifteen minutes.  Me and my colleagues spend most of our time looking through telescopes at nothing, and suddenly I reporters were on the phone asking questions, and it was live on television!  Every station!"

"What did you say on the broadcast?"

"Not much.  I could say that something huge was coming at us fast, but there was no time to speculate on the composition of the object.  I couldn't offer any advice to survive the impact, because that would have been impossible.  I know NORAD hiked up their threat level; but that was just for show.  The reporters asked a lot of questions I couldn't answer, and then the mothership decelerated at a fantastic rate shortly before it would have struck the planet."

"Did you suspect aliens at that point?"

"I didn't know what to expect, everyone was excited and scared that day.  Once it stopped moving everyone could look at it, and the reporters moved on to other experts.  A lot of people figured it had to be something alien, but me, I didn't care, I was just happy it wasn't an asteroid."

"What did you do after the ship was in our orbit?"

"I went back to work.  Something amazing had just happened, and I didn't want the moment to be ruined by some rogue asteroid that no one had eyes on."