Zack’s Work

Future Friendly, by Zack Umstead

“Thrift sale! Entire house must go! Any of you antique collectors out there, this is your opportunity!” The man’s surgically enhanced vocal cords allowed the sound to be projected throughout the entire crowd of two or three hundred people. Many were there just to take a look at a piece of history –  this was the oldest home in Santa Rosario. But others were looking to buy something from inside this house.

Steven Neal was one of these people. This house had belonged to his great-grandfather, Kevin Neal. After Kevin had died, the town had preserved his home as a historic one and made a museum for the early days of electronics. Kevin had been a vital part of the development of computers in the early 21st century, and it only made sense that his house would serve that purpose. (more…)

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Short story from my 13 yr old…

“We got you in our sight, you roaches.” The commanding officer turned around in his chair. “Shall we fire, Captain?”
“No. Hold fire. We do not know if they are hostile.”
“Permission to speak freely, sir.”
“Why in the name of the gods wouldn’t they attack! They’re Centaurians!”
“And they were once Earthlings. You don’t know they’re hostile.”
“Captain! A Centaurian has never come to Earth in peace!”
“And are we at Earth?”
“No, sir.”
“Then we have no reason to believe they will attack. We came to they’re planet. They probably just want to make contact.”
“Then why not use the the comm link?”
“Because they want to meet an Earthling.”
“Captain, these people aren’t human.”
The Captain’s hand slammed the armrest of the metal chair. “In the name of the gods, why would you say that? These people came from Earth! In fact, we were the very ones who sent them away! Pretty soon I’m sure you’ll being saying that we need to ‘exterminate’ them because they’re not like us!”
“Excuse me, Captain?”
“It’s a history reference, you pile of slime. If anyone besides me cared about history, we wouldn’t be here.”
“Don’t you get it? Humans forget! We go and blow up the world and then a few people write about it and then we do it again! Nobody remembers if it happened until it happens again and someone who can actually see that goes back and digs up some old record and goes ‘Oh, well it was there all along!’”
“Sir, I don’t understand what you’re trying to say.”
“History repeats itself. I’m sure even someone as lowly as you would have heard that.”
“I beg your pardon, sir.”
“You’re kidding. Seven thousand years of writing down everything and we’re starting to devolve,” he muttered. “My gods, they teach you nothing. Any history?”
“Only military, sir. And at the moment, it appears all of that points to the Centaurians attacking.”
“And what happens if the Centaurians have become better humans than us? What if they’ve found the way of peace and love that we should have found a long time ago? The gods never intended us to kill each other.”
“Unless you count Ares,” the officer added.
“And Ares was defeated in battle with Hades one thousand years ago. Yet we still continue killing. We have an addiction, and nothing can satisfy it but the drug itself. I feel ashamed to be a human. Take note in the Captain’s log that if the Centaurians do not attack and instead welcome us peacefully, I will join them on their planet.”
“Noted,” chimed the computer.
“Good. Now we wait for our friends the Centaurians.”
A single missile was fired from the Centaurian ship. “I guess humans can’t change,” the Captain muttered.
“Sir, it is a C missile,” barked the officer. The single most destructive thing in the known universe was celtium, and the Centaurians happened to have huge reserves of it in the trail of matter streaming from Alpha Centauri B to Alpha Centauri A. “It has locked on to us. Shall we fire all missiles?”
“Why? So that we waste thousands of lives in some sort of sick retribution for something we won’t even get to see? No, do not fire the missiles. Control your anger.”
“But sir!”
“Congratulations! You’ve been officially released from the Earth Starship Armada. Feel good knowing that the last thing that happened to you before you die was having your life’s work taken away from you. Try to control your emotions in the Underworld, or Hades might just make you roll a rock up a hill for eternity.” And with those final words, the former officer was sent from the deck.
“Captain,” said the next in command, “should we send out a distress call?”
“No. Send a single message to Earth and have it loop for as long as this ship stays intact.”
“And what will that message be, sir?”
“‘Do not hate. Love, for it is what the gods wanted us to do.’”
“Yes sir.”
The message looped for the minute it took the missile to reach the ship. There was no fantastic fireball as movies in the 21st century had portrayed it; only a little oxygen burned, with the rest escaping into the vacuum of space. The plasma tanks and engines scattered highly charged particles everywhere, adding to the radiation of the celtium. And any survivors from the initial explosion and extreme ionization soon died of asphyxiation.
They died hateful, bloodthirsty, and ignorant of all history.

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