You can find these Science Fiction Short Stories here:
- Mars Mission Wisdom (July 2017)
- The Resurrection of Mind-Eaters (June 2018)
- Galactic asylum – Gravitational Slingshot (December 2018)
More stories will follow.
Stay excited and just check back regularly to make sure you don’t miss any of the stories!
By the way, the episode »CAT-BASH« is also science fiction (suitable for children and animal lovers). Translation to follow.
Mars Mission Wisdom
KK’s square-shaped eyes look strenuously through the lens. “Hey, I thought there was a smoking ban on Mars!”
GG holds legs crossed with feet on the table for a short breather. “Does this mean that the cigarette factories have moved their headquarters to Mars?”
KK adjusts various wheels and once again determines with the greatest certainty what can be, but must not be: “There is smoke.”
“How can it burn on Mars when oxygen is scarce far and wide”, complains GG bored, and the crumbs fall into the already cooled coffee.
KK blinks. “I didn’t say it was burning. It’s smoking!”
“The heads of the astronauts, who crush their heads as they find their way back home,” GG makes fun of.
“The smoke rises to an estimated height of 90 miles and gives the impression of a narrow column of smoke from an Indian fire.”
“This should be more than just a little scout adventure,” GG acknowledges.
“… the current cartography of Mars”, KK reflects loudly.
GG laughs. “The green Martians are having a barbecue?”
“I had a hunch,” whistles KK triumphantly.
“What?”, grins GG. “That they only grill peppers because green men are vegetarians?”
KK remains serious. “26 miles high and almost 5 miles deep.”
Smirking gives way to an astonished expression. “Say that again!”
“The presumably largest volcano in the solar system is causing trouble.”
GG reaches for the communicator. “Mars Mission Control. GG here. Switch to the aLigo. Find out if Olympus Mons is breaking out in the next few days.”
The colleagues listen in disbelief, remain calm as usual and are already calculating any impact on the billion-dollar mission. The hundred most important brains are working.
The aLigo, also known as the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, first demonstrated the fusion of two black holes in 2015, thus proving that gravitational waves propagate in space at the speed of light, as predicted by Albert Einstein. GG’s order is confirmed and processed in a matter of seconds.
“And?”, asks KK. “Does the Mars Mission Wisdom lose its landing permit?”
GG swallows the last bite. “They’ll be taking pretty pictures for a few days. Then they’ll be happy with the boring northern hemisphere.”
“That means the boys return without having entered the Martian rock,” translates KK.
“Wait and see,” says GG. “The copilot is a volcanologist. BB has cracked the seismological code of the Californian problem.”
KK raises his right eyebrow. “Nevertheless, he will not be able to prevent the eruption.”
“The explosion of life. The pyroclastic flow alone must have apocalyptic proportions,” says GG happily. “They are lucky that we discovered the outbreak before the planned landing.”
“We?”, KK gives in. “I discovered it!”
“And I am your boss. Already forgotten? We will both go down in history.”
Mission Wisdom will take her name into account: systematic thinking, judging and acting.
Oh, forget it …
The Resurrection of Mind-Eaters
Victor’s nervous. The world’s highest-ranking president is waiting for his lecture. “Sir, we have some error messages, but the most interesting one by far is this one.”
“Come on, tell me,” replies the president impatiently.
“Of all people who use a man-machine interface, exactly twelve fall out of line.”
“Out of line?”, echoes President Zabidar.
“They don’t allow access to their thoughts,” explains the young assistant, who finds his discovery rather frightening than being proud of it.
The President shrugs his shoulders because he is obviously unsure of the scope of the statements. “What exactly are you saying?”
“Our project is constantly being improved. But there seem to be users who not only feel our top secret concern, but even actively resist it.”
“We call him User 42 – based on Douglas Adam’s science fiction novel.”
But the president doesn’t want to know. He’s waving off.
“Like the famous physicist Stephen Hawking, User 42 suffers from progressive bulbar paralysis and is confined to a wheelchair,” explains Victor. “He was implanted with a human machine interface, an HMI. With his help he controls his wheelchair, his home environment, the household robot and of course his computer with voice output. However, our customers are not informed about our little secret experiment. When registering and setting up the system, the customer is asked to think about all possible life circumstances and objects, and of course we record the EEG, i.e. the brain current curves, in parallel. The resolution of the latter examination is significantly higher with a brain implant. This means that we can analyse the content of the thought processes much better. Customers do not know that we continuously record the EEG and compare it with what the person is doing simultaneously. Meanwhile we can differentiate the basic emotional states very well. Anger, fear, affection, disgust, inner peace and balance, sadness and even complex desires such as desire to buy can be captured wonderfully. It enables us, by comparing all further data, to create a personal profile that is unparalleled.”
“Fine,” the president interrupts. “But what’s different about User 42 from the rest of humanity?”
Victor makes a long sigh and walks around the desk before he continues. “User 42 initially allowed our activities as he initially had no desire but to set up the system to regain the freedom stolen from him by the disease. Little by little, however, we noticed that he was also emitting interference signals, which virtually erased the content of his thought processes. This behavior was mainly related to intellectual thought processes and emotional outbursts. If someone is angry ten times a day and then seems to have no feelings at all, something is wrong. Medication wasn’t the cause either. First, of course, we remotely tested the functionality of the implant, which worked perfectly. User 42 himself complained neither of malfunctions nor system errors. At some point we only received interference patterns without any statement. At the same time, the hidden cameras observed his actions. We often saw User 42 angrily catapult objects through the robot onto the wall without receiving the typical signals for this emotional quality. User 42 also has the habit of watching a porn movie every Monday at 10 pm. Where previously a hodgepodge of emotional clouds emerged, suddenly there was only noise.”
The President grins and is secretly happy that no one is able to read his frivolous thoughts, and certainly he would never voluntarily have an HMI installed, as it is already planned for prison inmates and psychiatric patients, for example.
Victor’s scratching his forehead. “Then came Day X.”
The president raises his eyebrows. “Day X?”
“User 42 sent us a concrete message via HMI and simultaneous WhatsApp. Very specific.”
“A message he communicated openly without feeling a single ounce of fear.”
The quote from User 42 appears on the projection screen. “You tried to read my mind and yet were unable to understand it a little. The game is over. Goodbye.”
Silence reigns in the conference room.
The president is visibly dissatisfied. “Where is User 42 now?”
“We don’t know,” and his voice sounds pitiful, “he disappeared before we could have sent lethal signals through the HMI.”
“Deadly messages via HMI?”, assures the president. “You can do that?”
Victor confirmes. “We mustn’t have developed the HMIs if these functions hadn’t been integrated, sir. That was the unpublished wish of the federal government..”
Of course the president is informed. After all, it was his idea and thus, so to speak, a prerequisite for the launch of the HMIs.
“Well. And how does the death warrant work at the push of a button?”
Victor’s pupils are dilating. He’s just a computer scientist, not an executioner. Or? “Laser coagulation, sir. The integrated laser is capable of destroying the nerve cells of the respiratory and circulatory center by heat.”
President Zabidar slips his huge teeth back and forth on his lower lip. The modern variant of the guillotine fascinates him. “How could User 42 have disappeared when the hidden cameras are recording everything?” he questions.
This is the question Victor was waiting for. “All cameras were deactivated when the message was sent. When the agents arrived at his house fifteen minutes later, all traces were vanished. He’s been lost for two days.”
“There is no question that the seals must and will find him,” answers the President. “We must regard all naturally occurring telepaths as potential enemies. What are you proposing, ladies and gentlemen?”
Even before anyone makes a statement, the assistant counters. “We can’t destroy them, sir.”
“Of course we can!”, the president slaps his fist on the table.
“No,” the assistant replies. “A legend from Sumerian times reports that every death of a righteous man is immediately compensated for by the birth of another righteous man.”
“What perception and knowledge tells you that it is the telepaths who are the righteous?”
Victor’s taking a deep breath. “The number of telepaths corresponds to the number of righteous.”
“This is not proof,” replied the president. “At best, a random correlation.”
“No, sir,” Victor replies. “There is another message.”
“Exactly at the moment User 42 wrote his message, the rest of the distinguished knighthood simultaneously cast a Sumerian spell.”
“Spell?” laughs Zabidar derisively.
“Which was used in the melting of tin and copper into bronze. From the fourth millennium BC. Impressive, isn’t it?”
But Zabidar doesn’t want to know. “What is this nonsense!”
Victor ignores the president’s outburst of emotion. “It’s symbolic, sir. Man and machine merge into a biological robot.”
“They added an attachment.”
“They demand to immediately stop the production of HMIs as long they can potentially be used as weapons. “The righteous know of the technology of the mind eater that automatically erases all deciphered thoughts and of the guillotine that kills in seconds.”
Zabidar shrugs his armpits. “So what! They can demand what they want. I don’t care.”
Victor takes another deep breath. “Sir, the righteous can log on to our HMIs and reprogram the system.”
“They’re getting ahead of us. They are able to read our minds, but we cannot read theirs.”
“You said to log in and reprogram. What happened?”
“The intruder needs no IP, no PC, and certainly no interface to log in. How this works is unclear. But once they’ve infiltrated the system, they can configure it as they please.”
“How do you know?”
Victor sighs: “User 06 and 07 were our first colleagues who voluntarily had a test version of the HMIs implanted.”
The President blushes with anger. “Are you saying… we lost two of our best agents?!”
Victor nods. “Yes, they’ve changed fronts.”
The president snorts. “This is a declaration of war!”
Imaginary laughter materializes on the projection screen. “We’ll never allow you fucking mind eaters to steal our freedom of thought!”
Galactic asylum – Gravitational Slingshot
A few people on Earth were desperate. In the reflecting telescope, they saw the bringer of death approaching. Since they had to keep secrecy, they were not allowed to reveal to the public that the approaching poinsettia was actually a death messenger.
The days of the Earth were numbered. Twenty-four days remained.
The scientists decided to send a distress signal into space, even if the probability of being heard by an alien civilization was close to zero.
A few months earlier they had met at a conference and happily speculated on various scenarios of the end of the world.
Among other things about how the Earth could be saved from the inflating sun in about seven billion years. What to do before an inferno breaks out on Earth; what to do if the mother threatens to eat her children – the sun her planets.
Although the scenario only arrives billions of years later, and the survival of mankind is seriously questionable until then, they thought about how to give the Earth a push towards Jupiter with the help of nuclear power. Then the Earth would become the satellite of the gas planet and find temporary protection. But even this would not save the blue sphere. At some point, the red giant would collapse into a white dwarf and bitter cold would seize the solar system.
They also considered whether one could influence the course of passing suns to let the Earth be captured by a distant sun, whose burning duration would be considerably longer than that of the home sun.
All this sounded ridiculous now that only a few days were left to save the Earth. They admitted to themselves that no technology in the world was able to avoid the cosmic ping-pong game.
One of the scientists didn’t seem at all desperate, and they asked him why.
»When I was nine years old, grenade fire hailed from the sky. When I was ten years old, there was nothing to eat. The poorest of our people starved to death. When I was eleven years old, I lost my parents to prison and my five-year-old sister to cholera. Only I was to survive. Then came a stranger who had resolved to save an abandoned soul. His choice fell on me. Whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world, he said. I went with him and promised to do it like him at some point,« Asiel replied.
»What are you trying to tell us,« his colleagues asked.
»We submit galactic asylum. We politely ask for immediate admission to another solar system.«
His colleagues laughed.
Asiel smiled at himself. »Just do it.«
They complied with his request because there was no chance of rescue anyway, they said.
In addition, the range of the signal would be from the shortest distance. One could not expect that the neighbours would listen at all, if they were so far technically, and, and, and …
It came as Asiel had wished.
A superior neighbouring galactic authority, which actually wanted nothing to do with the Earthlings themselves, received the asylum application just in time.
Shortly before the fireball, which corresponded to a lost dwarf sun, would collide with the Earth, the Earth was transported together with the moon into another solar system. The divine marble game was over in the twinkling of an eye. For a short time, Earth and Moon got stuck in a waiting hall like a train station and were then transferred to a suitable system. After the poinsettia had confused our solar system, clean-up work became necessary. When this was finished after about a month, the Earth with its moon was moved back to the place where it should have been according to the calculation.
The galactic authority had tacitly accepted the asylum application. The galactic neighbourhood aid went almost unnoticed by the majority of mankind. Many remembered the cosmic event of the approaching poinsettia. The associated physical events could not put them in the correct context.
After saving the Earth, Asiel and his colleagues worked on the new spellbinding technology they called the »Gravitational Slingshot«. Sometime in seven billion years, when the Earth would have to leave the solar system again – … yes, by then they would have found out how it works.
The real magic, however, was that the unknown authority, which revealed itself only this once, had taken mercy on Earth to help it.
The Earthlings have never experienced that Human Rights are essentially identical to those of Galactic Individual Law. The Earthlings were also not informed that to facilitate cosmic communication, all radio signals were diverted with the help of mini-wormholes. They circle at the edge of a solar system and absorb all signals reliably. The Galactic Council is up to date within a few hours. Only the galactic administration took a little longer to process the application. That seems to be a cosmic problem …