Book I: Concerning Space Ships and Wizards
Chapter 1: The Year 3178
Humanity has accomplished some amazing things. They have conquered nearly every disease that has ever plagued them; including social, organic, and political. The government of this day is called The United Nations of the Empire. The whole world is subjected to the commands of Emperor Titus Brown. The very word of the Great Emperor becomes law has soon as he utters it. Although powerful, he considers everyone's viewpoint before he passes judgment. The Empire has no armies, no body of lawmakers, and no judges. All of the people's disagreements are solved peacefully through the aid of the Emperor.
"How can the Emperor be in every town at once," asked six-year-old Jed.
A smile came across Judy Moore's pretty face. "The Emperor has robotic copies of himself and each of these robots have an office in every town of the world."
Jed rubbed his head and asked another question, as the curiosity of a child is boundless. "Where does the real Emperor live?"
"In the capitol city of the world."
"Which city is the capitol?"
A look of puzzlement came across Jed's face.
"Mommy, why does the capitol city have two names?"
"Well, son, the founding fathers and mothers decided to let every country retain its old geographical name."
It was now time for Jed to go to school. Judy placed him into the tele-portal, typed in the location of the school, and sent him on his way. Jed's body turned into atoms and they traveled through a massive tube to the school building. At the school, there was a giant tele-portal where Jed's atoms regrouped. Billons of people could travel through the atom tubes and arrive at a common destination. It was an amazing piece of technology. Of course, it had its bugs in the beginning. People would be rearranged funny such as their heads would be between their asses, but now everyone arrived in one piece.
With Jed safe at school, Judy walked into the television room and started watching her favorite program.
"Good morning, ladies and gentlemen," spoke the elderly host, wearing the common gray unisex uniform of the empire.
"On today's show, I'll teach you how to make muffins. First, you walk over to your com-oven and say muffins. Boom! You have muffins in your com-oven. If you want to have chocolate chip muffins just say chocolate chip muffins. Take care and may the Emperor bless you."
The cooking show was finished, so Judy turned off the television and took a nap. After her nap, Judy woke up and commanded the robotic maid to clean the house and take out the trash. This completed her household chores; all that was left to do was to read a book. Judy picked up an audio book that resembled antique books, only without the ink and paper. Once opened the book started to read to her from the place where she left off. Judy got deeply involved in the plot, until her son materialized in the tele-portal.
"How was your day at school?" asked Judy.
"It went fine, mom. We talked about the spaceship that's getting ready to launch."
"That's good, dear."
At seven o'clock, Judy's husband materialized. He looked tired; it had been another tough day, because he repaired the robots that repaired the maintenance robots.
"How was your day, Glen?" asked Judy.
"Rough is supper ready yet?"
"Yes, I have it on the table for you."
Glen walked into the dinning room, ate his meal like a starving animal, and then went the television room to watch the news, which was filled with talk about the spaceship that was going to launch tomorrow. The young news reporter started his ramble about how the spaceship would change man's destiny.
"This spaceship will be a turning point for our entire race. Hundreds of years ago it was man's dream to explore space. And, after so many years of hard work, man's dream shall be a reality.
"Let us go back fifty years ago and discuss the events that have led up to this historic occasion. Emperor Brown realized that space exploration was a dream of our great ancestors. Their rockets were crude and required tons of fuel. Our beloved Emperor believed we needed to cut this expense, so he came up with the idea of using nuclear power, for it is the most cost efficient resource available. The nuclear power cells that we use to power our everyday machinery was not going to be enough power. In his infinite wisdom, the beloved one knew the spaceship would have to generate its own food, water, and other materials necessary to sustain life. In the middle of the ocean a gigantic island was built to serve as a launching pad. After the island was constructed, we built the spaceship. The interior of the great craft is a complete city capable of holding thirty thousand bodies. Of course only fifteen thousand people will be going; the rest shall be robots. Parents, children all over the empire wrote an essay explaining why they should get to go into outer space. A thousand children have been selected…"
Glen commanded the television to turn off, so he could think of this monumental achievement. After thousands of years of moving forward, humanity has reached the pinnacle of existence – stainless steel cities, peace for five hundred years, and a chance to conquer outer space. The spaceship had excited Glen and made him feel greater than the gods. His thoughts were interrupted when Judy, flushed face and wide eyed, came storming into the television room. Glen had never seen such a look of bewilderment on her face in all of their nine years of marriage. She started waving her arms and breathing heavy.
"What's wrong?" asked Glen in a concerned voice.
"Our son, it's our son," shouted Judy.
Glen jumped out of his chair and screamed, "What's wrong with our son?"
Judy stopped moving, swallowed hard, and said, "He's been picked to go into outer space."
Glen could not believe what he was hearing. Could it be possible that his only son had been selected to be a future conqueror of outer space?
"This is wonderful, Judy. Our son shall be a part of history."
A look of puzzlement came over Judy. This was not the reaction she thought she would get, her motherly instincts had been working on her and she did not want to see her only baby going into outer space.
"I don't want him to go. I can't stand the thought of never seeing him again. I can't believe you."
Glen sucked in a deep breathe, while a sad expression came across his face.
"I never thought about it like that, but there's nothing we can do the Emperor's word is law. He must go."
The next day was a holiday. Everyone got the day off to watch the big event on television, except for the crew of the spaceship. Glen and Judy Moore watched the big event from their home. Judy held Glen's hand as the count down started.
"10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off."
The giant-sized spaceship blasted out of the atmosphere and into outer space. The thing that stunned the world was that it did not make a noise. Glen looked at his wife's clear blue eyes and found them to be expressionless.
That's funny, he could have sworn that he had uttered her name, but there was no sound. He saw her lips moving with no sounds issuing forth from them. Terror struck them both. Glen embraced his wife and they could feel each other's body heat. Judy looked into Glen's green eyes. She did not need words to see what he was trying to tell her. The world's atoms were coming apart – a chain reaction to the spaceship launching out into space. Sound particles had been the first to break down and now light particles were starting to go. They were fading before each other's eyes. Glen kissed his wife good-bye.
Soon the Earth's atoms floated off into space, leaving a dark void. Suddenly, the atoms came back together; a great force had prevented the Earth from being wiped out. Now the world was changed. Humanity had reached the height of its existence and lost it. Glen and Judy Moore were back. Glen looked around and saw that the stainless steel homes, roads, the tubes, the machines, and robots were gone. He looked at his wife. "I have never seen grass, trees, and dirt before. This is awful! The world has healed herself from the workmanship of man."
"The world is now an enchanting place, Glen. Don't you feel it? There is magic in the air! I feel that I could cast a spell."
Glen was bewildered. He was not sure what was going on, while Judy, on the other hand, was in tune with the world around her. The sun was bright and the forest was crawling with wild life. The evergreen trees produced a scent that made Glen feel ill. He heard a strange sound that caused him to jump with a start.
"What's that terrible noise, Judy?"
"A waterfall. You seem scared, Glen. Why is your mind still trapped in the old world? This is the world my mind was made for. There's trees, birds, animals, and magic, Glen."
Why did she keep saying that? Judy Moore had changed. She was wearing a long white dress with flowers in her hair and a green rock hung around her neck suspended from a golden necklace. Glen was still wearing the gray unisex uniform. Judy gave Glen a piercing stare. He could feel the anger emanating from her body.
"You want answers don't you? Well, little man, I'll give you answers, ask me some questions."
"What happened to the world?"
"The spaceship caused a chain reaction that reformed it. Life has not ended, Glen. I am now a mistress with magical powers. See this stone around my neck, it is the source of my great power. The gods have chosen me to be the Mistress of the world. I shall live forever."
"Is there anything left from the old world, Judy?"
"Bits and pieces of it. There are others like you who did not change when the Earth was reformed. Next question, little man."
"Why are you so angry with me, only moments ago we embraced and kissed."
"Our son. You did not stop him from going into outer space."
"I…I could not. The Emperor's word was law. Jed is in space now. If the ship ever comes back what will he do?"
"I'll take care of him when he returns. I am not evil."
Glen looked at Judy with tears in his eyes.
"Do you still love me, Judy?"
Judy looked him over. Glen had worked hard and provided her with everything that she ever needed.
"Yes, Glen, I still love you my anger has past."
Glen sat down on a rock.
"What shall I do? How will we survive?"
"I will survive with my magical power. Come here, Glen."
The dishearten man walked over to his wife.
"Would you like to live as long as I do? You will be transformed though."
"What will I transformed into?"
"Something useful to me."
"You don't need a man. I cannot provide for you in this new world, so make me useful to you, Judy."
"Come here and kiss me, Glen."
Glen walked over to Judy and she kissed him without embracing him. Suddenly, Glen turned into a mighty green stallion. The Mistress placed a saddle on his back, a bit in his mouth, and rode him hard through her new kingdom, the forest.