Adrift

A youngling cast eyes skyward upon birth. Energies entered its being, strengthened its mind, its heart.

That youngling grew, phased, loved, laughed. Built together a house-family, welcomed partners and friends, life happy and full.

Years on, now-grown, they lay ready. Every village eagerly awaiting the next youngling’s birth on the morrow.

Eyes closed now, their mind drifted.

No longer amongst their house-family’s hearts, but rather above, looking down upon sprawling villages-turned-cities.

How they’d all grown.

Life flowed onward.

A new youngling cast eyes skyward upon birth, its mind and heart strengthened by an ancient energy.

Unseen, yet deeply felt.

© 2021 Rebecca Glaessner


This challenge is for a Special Collection over at the Ranch, to honor fellow Rough Writer Sue Vincent.

January 28, 2021, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less), write a story about life as a river of consciousness. Think about the possibilities of the prompt. Go where the prompt leads!

Submissions now closed. Read the full special collection here.

Strength in Peace

Leaves swayed at the ship’s landing. Its team stepped out onto the alien world, fully suited, protected from its thick atmosphere.

Deep violet vegetation sprawled toward the horizons ahead. Behind, an ocean of scarlet brine swelled and oozed.

“Mission here is to survey, we need to claim this world before the enemy,” the commander said.

Rustling leaves distracted the Earth-born galactic soldiers.

A creature approached.

“That’s a-”

“It has a horn.”

“Should we apprehend it?”

“Commander?”

“It’s-” said the commander, transfixed, “a unicorn.”

It eyed them, silently inspiring them to kneel in surrender.

“Stand down,” the commander said.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


I tapped run and the robotic creature shifted smoothly through the commands I’d coded. Satisfied, I packed it up for the presentation.

“Gonna tell me?” someone said, “somethin’ fierce, I bet.”

“A dragon, ya think?” another said.

Head held proud, I made my way to the platform.

“I chose to create something of legends,” I said, “something of the first world, something that inspired billions.”

Murmurs rippled through the crowd.

I revealed the creature.

Several scoffed, others laughed, “ridiculous.”

I tapped run and the crowd hushed, transfixed. The life-sized unicorn awoke.

“Something that’ll inspire peace through these wars.”

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Raven

> 2237 – 03 – 07

Starship Raven.

Departing Earth orbit.

Onboard systems reduced.

Power rerouted to propulsion system.

Maximum acceleration.

Destination arrival time: 42,327 Earth years.


> 44,564 – 07 – 23

Destination reached.

Asteroid mining drones dispatched.

Planetary entry sequence complete.

Metamorphosis protocol activated.

Generational fleet arrival: 27,424 EY.


> 57,309 – 04 – 14

Sea levels 62%.

Atmospheric composition: 12% oxygen, 81% carbon dioxide.

Surface vegetation 77%.

Habitation modules 4%.

Fleet arrival: 14,679 EY.


> 71,988 – 10 – 17

Ecosystem 100%.

Habitation modules 100%.

Human fleet population 72%.

Starship Raven shutdown.


> 73,651 – 03 – 07

“Raven, help, activate.”

Systems rebooting.

Ecosystem: critical.

Human population 2%.

Repair protocols activated.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Carrot Cake

“Scanning; water, sand. Beach.”

“Correct. This?”

“Turbine engines, winged structures. Aircraft.”

“This?”

“Two humans. Arms around eachother. Content. Hugging.”

“What else?” The human watched the Android ponder.

“Unable to ascertain without further details.”

“Guess.”

“Scenarios with highest probabilities are a need for warmth, or pressure to ease physical discomfort.”

“Anything else?”

“Physical fatigue; a need for postural support.”

The human glanced up at a surveillance camera.

“Emotional comfort?”

The human paused.

“Physical contact creates a bond, a feeling of worth. Like ingredients in the carrot cake we made. Individual ingredients gained deeper worth through bonding.”

The human grinned, “exactly.”

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Ice

“It’s ready. Transferring now,” says the VR technician.

“Thanks,” I say, studying the new data floating in my vision.

I equip a well-worn headset.

Ripples of code give way to a silent darkness, only a lone light shines from behind onto icy ground. I’m pulled along by a gradual acceleration, subtle but present.

A chunk of ice breaks and passes by amongst shimmering dust.

I watch it disappear.

Behind, I see the ship, my body somewhere inside, on the bridge, watching this drone study this icy world.

“Now we can walk on comets,” I say, taking a step.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Boots

I searched his spaceship quarters for his favourite brown pair amongst the futuristic interior.

But I wasn’t supposed to be here, authorities had my signal logged.

My team gained access to locked drawers via external game code changes.

Highly illegal.

I sped up my search.

Proximity alarms sounded as I found the pair beneath some spacesuit underclothes. I scanned their size, colour, scuff marks, everything, and uploaded the data.

“Now,” I said, via comms.

My external team deactivated the program, waking me before authorities gained a visual.

His real world funeral was perfect, replica in-game boots and all.

© 2020-2021 Rebecca Glaessner


This piece was inspired by the Carrot Ranch’s Jan 18th Flash Fiction Challenge.

I dedicate it to my Father, who passed away Jan 24th, 2017. It was inspired by his love of gaming, and how he was the first one who, through Dune, truly introduced me to the world of sci-fi, a genre which soon became my utterly consuming creative life’s passion.

Thanks Dad.

Balloon

“Parcels, games, entertainment. Done. Got the coding for decorations? I still couldn’t find it in the system.”

“Found something better. But I’ll need help.”

We finished everything just as guests arrived, entry pad scanning in each individual.

The VIP was en-route, guided by my partner.

We all hid.

When they arrived, the room scanned my partner in first.

VIP in second, “why is it night-time?”

“Surprise!” we said, jumping out.

Atmospheric party lighting activated as our VIP squealed in excitement.

“I’m three now?” our VIP stared, stunned, “are they real balloons?”

“Sure are!” I said.

Everyone laughed.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Fireweed

My private aug showed ages beside every face in the room, but maintained each digitally overlaid, customisable appearance.

“Miss-“ the one hundred and forty-three earth-year old who didn’t look a day over twenty.

“Doctor,” I corrected.

Doubt flashed across all faces.

“Project Fireweed will be swift and precise,” I announced to the group, “replacing current programming with our new system. Individuals deserve privacy once more.”

Everyone sat up in outrage.

“A complete overhaul is insane-”

“Do you even know if it’ll work-”

I raised a hand for silence.

“Can anyone see my age?” I asked.

None could.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

Black and White

“Rise in adulthood aggression and medieval pre-twenty-third century Earthen ideals.”

“Thought we coded them out?”

My research partner and I watched the latest group of toddlers through the window.

A parent entered, giving their child a new battalion spacecraft toy in place of its baby doll.

“You’ll be stronger than the last,” the parent said, leaving the room, “I’ll make sure your toys won’t hold you back.”

I looked at my research partner.

“It’s not really that black and white, is it?”

“We’re innately drawn to gentle things, until-”

Parent and child passed us in the hall.

© 2018-2021 Rebecca Glaessner

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