Before the long journey

Rachael

 

From the gate it was a short walk to the ship, under the high protective dome which had been erected on their arrival the year before. The leader could see his crew was excited: they would find back their cubicles, their personal possessions, holograms, books, games, even the small pets they were allowed to keep on the journey. They would also find, for the lucky ones, messages from family and friends. He looked at each of them, smiling, as they stood before the door, at the foot of the small elevator. They exchanged jokes and greetings. Over half of them were humans, fourth or fifth generation colonists who had volunteered for the reconnaissance of their old world. The others were replicants, but an uninformed observer could not have guessed. He thought the replicants tended to be smaller and somehow more fragile looking, many were women for whom it was the first long range spatial experience. From what his first officer had told him, he knew already that it was them who had been the most agitated until his return. Now they were all boarding slowly and orderly the big ship.

He found the size and glow of the hull pleasing. Two thirds of the vessel were taken up by the drive, the giant fusion reactor that allowed the ship to achieve trans galactic speed. But they would use the much smaller magnetic drive to leave the earth. The leader had several hours of tests and preparations to work through before their departure. He was looking forward to this work. Himself a replicant of the twelfth generation, cosmonauts and navigators, he would steer the ship into orbit, and then out of the solar system. The entire crew, bar himself and the first officer, would then be sent to cryogenic sleep for most of the journey. This would happen about a year after their departure from earth.

As he initiated the first test programs, the leader reflected on their mission. It had been a great success. They had plenty of recordings and measurements. Non-human life was now again plentiful on earth. The machines the previous mission had left to roam the oceans had done  beautiful work of removing and destroying the plastic and other noxious material that polluted them. The atmosphere was clean.

There was more. One of the replicant ladies expected a baby. The first human being conceived on earth for three hundred years.

Picture: Rachael, Blade Runner

Glow #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

frosty-dawn

 

“He said he would come this morning, so have no worries!”

“Without him we are lost, we won’t ever go back home…”

“Just watch the light, soon you will se him, coming down from the top of that hill!”

The valley was still in darkness, but soon it would be dawn. Soon, the leader would be back with his flock. He would guide them to the gate, he would open the gate for them.

After so many months of searching and waiting, they would see it, in all its glory.

They would see the glowing spaceship that would take them home.

 

writephoto

#AtoZChallenge: April 26, 2013 ~ Women

La liberté n’offre qu’une chance d’être meilleur, la servitude n’est que la certitude de devenir pire.” ~ Albert Camus

Amazons

A wall painting by Franz Xaver Simm from the Caucasus Museum in Tbilisi. The original painting has not survived. Date 1881 Source Hermann Roskoschny, 1845-1898. Das asiatische Russland, Leipzig: Gressner & Schramm, 1884

Perhaps one day – how far in the future is a matter for speculation – it will be suggested that parthenogenesis is the way forward for the human species on its way to the Stars.  In my novel, The Page, the alien race poised to colonise Earth, offers it to the female gender, arguing, with some reason, that exterminating the males would be a favour to the Universe in general, Earth in particular, and free them from the kind of slavery no law or feminist revolution has so far succeeded in doing.  The unanimous reply is: “Please go – and clone yourselves.” This may be yet further evidence supporting Paulhan’s idea of “bonheur dans l’esclavage”…

Yet you are irreplaceable, even if we might be.  Not only are we hopeless at bearing children – pace “mummy” Schwarzenneger – let us banish for ever the thought of a male only world, even if biologically such an enormity was conceivable: it would be hell, even for the more softly inclined among us.  Who would we copy, whose lingerie would we try with rising emotions?  Whose panties would we rub our stubbled cheeks with, dreaming of the thousand and one nights delights? Whose lovely ways of walking would we try to emulate, us, the primates, occasionally goose-stepping morons, of otherwise poor artistic tastes?  And, worst of all, whose slender necks would wear those sober collars, emblematic of our deepest dreams?

“Neanderthal rising” is an hallucination lurking in my “writer-in-learning” ’s mind: an apocalypse of primal beasts rushing back to the stone age in a flurry of females being dragged by their (long and gorgeous) hair… and frightened mammoths…

But there are biological and physical facts: a different – but then, are two brains ever similar? – wiring of the synapses, longevity (a crucial quality for deep space travel)… and of course the potential for asexual reproduction.  If a (presumably female) Columbus of an unfathomable future wished for “peace on board” the proverbial ship, what would be her best bet?  A mixed gender crew soon rioting into roman orgies and muscular hand to hand fights, or a spartan and disciplined amazon crew of jar-headed female warriors, athletic, evidently lesbian, and, well… just tremendously sexy to this Neanderthal’s imagination. Peace.