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by Garry Dean
The Vastians were a remarkable species. Due to the unique structure of their brains, they could link minds, to form a vast collective intelligence. This allowed for a harmonious society, which knew no war or conflict. Focusing instead upon pure science, the Vastians achieved a high degree of technological sophistication. No problem was insolvable; it was merely a matter of applying enough minds to it. Driven by an insatiable curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, they ventured out into their solar system, and beyond. When the presence of multiple universes was theorized, they joined minds in unprecedented numbers. Here was a problem worth solving. In the end, it was simply a matter of engineering. A gateway, like a giant keyhole in space was constructed, and a ship made ready for the expedition. With great fanfare, the first Vastians to enter another universe were farewelled.
When the ship at last broke through into the next universe, its crew marveled at the size of it. It seemed not all bubbles in space-time were created equal. As luck would have it, they had emerged not far from a planet that appeared to have intelligent life. It was a blue green world, with an abundance of liquid water, and curious as always, they decided to investigate. As they approached, they saw evidence of an early spacefaring civilization, in the swarm of satellites that orbited the planet. With mounting excitement they broached the atmosphere, and began their descent through clouds of water vapor.
Although the Vastians were highly intelligent beings, they had failed to perceive the subtle nuances of the Multi-verse. The enormity of their error became apparent as the ship neared the ground. Seemingly out of nowhere, a giant hairy creature came bounding towards them. As it leapt into the air, its slathering jaws and bared fangs filled the ships view screen.
“Jet, come here,” yelled a man some distance away. When Jet failed to obey, the man noticed his dog had something in its mouth and was busily deconstructing it.
“Jet, no!” cried the man, approaching at a jog.
Realizing his fun was over, Jet dropped his prize and tried to look innocent. When the man arrived, he bent down to examine the remains of an object lying on the ground.
“What the?” he muttered. What he saw resembled a mangled Frisbee with flickering lights, or a half chewed model of a flying saucer. Little tendrils of smoke rose from the bite marks.
“Goddammit Jet,” the man exclaimed. He looked about, rather guiltily, but the park appeared empty.
“Come on,” he said, and headed off at a brisk walk. He half expected someone to yell out after them, but no one did.
When they reached the car, he let Jet in the back, and drove off. Glancing in the review mirror, he saw Jet contentedly licking his chops, and chuckled. Well, he thought, there were too many of those damn drones buzzing around anyway.
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