After years of absence from this website... I bring to you...
An attempt at Sci-Fi
The Maccbee – X Chronicles
Venture Ship Down
The light of the city glowed a cold unforgiving bluish-white in the inky black night sky. The cosmos hung above like diamonds on black satin, but for someone in the city, the stars were invisible. The buildings were tall; a jungle of steel marked the center of the city. The skyscrapers jutted up like sharp teeth accentuating the raw animal feel that marred the cities flawless appeal. A jungle, the city was nothing more than an unforgiving jungle with its only law being the struggle to go up in the world. A polluted, brown fog wrapped itself around the buildings like a grimy necklace with far too may rhinestones around its edges. It draped over the upper floors of the tall structures causing a fuzzy glow around the sparkling windows. The sounds of the city echoed through out the surrounding landscape. Sirens, screeching wheels, horns, and shouts created a complex sound that was the city's concerto. This is what had become of the human race. 6125 years of advancement and we had only managed to bring around more hardships from our increased knowledge. We still had violence, injustice, poverty, though our society was far more advanced than the one we had at the turn of the 21st century.
In the deep throws of the crowded city, the civilian apartments were stacked on top of each other in an attempt to be sufficient. The neon signs of the complex's names were sported with jaunty colors outside the entrance of each one. "The Highlands", "Monterey", and "St. Charles'" each of the names were displayed in different fonts and prints in attempt to sell what little space they had left to any new-comer who was interested. Any open space within the city was usually filled within a few hours and if it was not, a few days more was all it took. People scrounged in this place for any small plot land of for any small apartment that they could call their own and form to a mirror of their personality. The air was stale and heavy. A few miles outside the suburbs area was the working district. By warrant of the President of the country, the Factories, that were one integrated through out the populated areas, were relocated to a designated plot of land away from the thriving city. Their steel towers spewed the exhaust from their industrial machines creating a gray-brown haze around their midst. These factories were the culprits of the smog that seeped its way in to the city skylines. The exodus of the day shift to the night shift at the factories had long since past and many of the workers had come home from a hard days work to a cramped house, a wife and a home cooked meal. The monotony of life was evident.
Within the suburbs was a house that stood out against the dull, drab gray of the city: A small, neat, Victorian-style house painted in a powder blue with white gables. It was different from all the ultra modern, hard-edged, square buildings that surrounded it. Its tall peaks of the roof reached their white points toward the night sky overhead and its paint color was unnaturally bright against the steel gray or earth tones of the surrounding houses. A white porch with ornate old-fashioned support beams ran around the entire base of the home and a similar color overhang protected the entryway. A small wooden mailbox with a tiny red flag on its peak was positioned just outside the porch's cover. A clean and tidy concrete walk path wove its way from the entrance of the house to the edge of the sidewalk. A patch of green grass spread its way over the yard, a swatch of color in the gray world of the city. A black car was parked in the gravel driveway.
Despite many attempts and many theories, cars, in the past 4000 years, had yet to leave the ground; instead, they had become far more efficient. The wheels had long since turned into sphere-like structures and the engine had been transformed form a rattling mass of gas-guzzling metal to a perfected, hydrogen-fusion based machine. Instead of learning how to make cars fly, the human race had found how to use Fusion in the engines and to their advancement. However much of an epiphany for the human race it was, the Hydrogen fusion cost far more to operate than it did in finding. It did not solve many of the problems that it had been expected to do so. Even though it provided a source of renewable energy, the output for each fusion machine was so minute that only a maximum of three houses could run efficiently upon their given source. And each machine cost billions of dollars to create and up keep that fusion was almost abandoned. The government did, however, come to a compromise from the discovery. Fossil Fuels and coal-like substances were now able to be produced in labs and were far cheaper for make and utilized than fusion, so the conclusion was made to leave fusion for vehicles and transports and use the fuels and coal for the factories. This split held the intent to cut down atmospheric pollutants to a bare minimum. For the most part it worked.
Two people lived inside that two-story Victorian house. An older couple, these two were gifted with the memory of the old ways of the human beings and they knew what the species had done and gone through to survive those times of hardship. They remembered the conflict that had arisen over the planet and what had happened to be rid of it. The mail box at the end of the driveway held the symbol of the UN government which ruled over the planet and their house number, 312127. The picture of the world encircled by the olive leaves was nothing but a farce in their minds; the UN had failed them many times, but it only took one time, when it collapsed on its own principles, for the couple to turn away from their own ruling body. They confined themselves to be as far away from the government as they could.
A white suburban was driving down the street adjacent to the one the house was located on, its windows black against the night preventing anyone from seeing inside the vehicle. The license plate was blue with white letterings and sported the UN symbol next to the eight digit letter and number combination which distinguished it from other cars. It ran almost silent for Hydrogen fusion was a silent process, the excess water created from the chemical reaction was collected in the car and recycled for washer fluid and for cooling the engine if needed. The movement balls were all rolling forward along the black asphalt road which was strangely devoid of other drivers, even at this hour of the night. Inside the vehicle were two rows of seats with an expansive trunk area. The radio played a soft crooning type of music and was turned down so low that it was difficult to hear. The Driver's seat was occupied by a fair skinned woman who was small of stature. Her straight jet-black hair hung lightly from her head and ended just above her shoulders. Her dark eyes were set wide on her rounded face and slanted gracefully up at the end. The white UN uniform that she wore was pristine and spotless; it was piped in red suggesting that she was in a doctoring field. A blue patch on her left breast was embroidered in white with a picture of a heart on top of an 's' shape specifying exactly what type of doctor she was: a heart surgeon. Behind her, strapped into a car seat, was a young girl that looked to be no older than five years old. Her skin was just as fair as her mother's, but her hair was of a tawny brown color. Her eyes were of the same elegant almond shape like her mother's but instead of being near black; they were of a muddy brown color. The woman's young daughter slept peacefully as the car engine's thrumming gave her a lullaby.
The lights of the car illuminated the road and the sidewalk that framed it. Every so often a steel mailbox would grow up out of the darkness and flash by the car as it continued on its way. They had been driving for nearly two hours as they had fought with the commuting traffic. They had been trying to leave the city when the shifts changed and this only caused them to be at a snail's pace for nearly two hours. In that time the little child in the back seat had fallen asleep, her head lolling from side to side as the congestion on the roadways slowly dispersed. The woman driving kept her seat slightly reclined as her hands were placed on opposite sides of the black leather circle. Because of the lack of other vehicles on the road, the woman kept her high beams on so it flooded more light to make things more visible. A cold chill snaked its way down her back as she shivered, she made a small sound and took one of her hands form the wheel. She quickly turned off the soft flow of air conditioning that streamed into the car and let the heat slowly return. It did not seem to bother her daughter as she slept. A road sign flashed by in the darkness and the woman quickly took note of the name, "Hayward Ct." She blinked as her cerebellum instantly knew that the next road would be the one that she was going to turn on to so she could get to her Parent's house.
The turn suddenly came as the headlights fell across the street sign that sported the name "Marina Ct." She had put her blinker on and now she rotated the wheel to turn the sedan onto the street. It would only be a matter of minutes now until they reached the house. Then she saw it, the glow of the light upon the old Victorian building's porch that they had left on in anticipation of her arrival. She smiled, that was just like her parents. She could have easily found her way there without the light but it was the concern of her parents about her that made the action the sweeter. She pulled into the driveway and brought the car to a halt. The engine thrummed even more intensely as she put the car in park, it ended abruptly when she pulled the key from the ignition and opened the door causing the light to go on within the car. Her daughter stirred in the car seat, She turned around to face the young girl, a smile tugging at the corners of her mouth.
"Lisa…" the woman cooed as she reached over the seat and the girl's tiny hand. "Lisa, we're here…"
The girl slowly blinked her eyes and used one hand to rub the sleepiness out of her eyes, "Hi Mommy…" she said drowsily
"Wake up, hon, Great-Grandma want to see your happy face" A weak smile wove its way across her daughter's face as she nodded. The women slid out of her seat belt and opened the car door; she held the keys in her hand as the lights within the car brightened illuminating the ground surrounding the vehicle. She came round to the back seat and slid the door open, "C'mon, dear." She leaned in and kissed her daughter's forehead, "We have to hurry, Great-Grandpa might be asleep already." Although she said that to her child, she new very well that they would waited until she had come through their doorway, even if that meant they would stay up all night. The woman unbuckled the harness from the girl's car seat and lifted her daughter to her shoulder as she slid the car door behind her. Little Lisa's head rested gently against her mother's shoulder, her tiny hand gripping tightly to the cotton cloth of her mother's shirt. The woman smiled as she walked around to the back of the car and opened the trunk. She grabbed the first bag which contained all of the items her daughter would need for their weekend stay and she slung it over her free shoulder; she then grabbed a second bag and placed it on the ground outside the vehicle. Closing the trunk, she let out a breath into the lukewarm night air. She paused for a moment as she looked to the house of her grandparents.
The woman picked up the second duffle bag and holding her daughter tight, she made her way to the front porch.
"Grandpa!" Lisa called, as she sat up in the bed, her pink blanket pulled around her head and shoulders. She wore her blue pajamas adorned with unicorns dancing among gold moons and shooting stars. She moved her feet back and forth under the covers as she waited out.
The old man leaned his head back around the room's Doorframe. The gold-rimmed glasses rested on the bridge of his nose, obscuring the bright brown eyes that still, despite his age, glowed with youthful defiance. The lines etched upon his pale skin spoke of years past, good times and hardships over come that would remain forever untold within his mind. His gray, almost white hair was short and close to his skull. He smiled as he looked to his great-granddaughter. "Grandpa," she pined again, leaning forward and putting her elbows on her knees. "Grandpa, tell me a story." She asked, her dark eyes alight at the excitement that awaited her in the words of her grandfather and his stories.
The old man raised an eye brow in her direction, "It's late, you should be asleep young lady," he said in a gentle tone," and you've had a long day"
The Little girl's entire demeanor fell at the words of her grandpa, "But," her face changed from one of excitement and joy to one of sadness and deprivation. Her hands fell to her side as she straightened her back and stuck out her lower lip, "But I'm not tired." He small frame wiggled out of the confines of the blankets, she crawled to the edge of the bed on all fours, her eyes pleasing for her grandfather no to go. "Please, Grandpa tell me a story… I'm really not tired." She drug out the syllables of each of her words for emphasis on the point she was trying to make.
"Yes you are tired," her grandfather said as he came back into the room and herded Lisa back to where she had been sitting before. "Time to tuck in, young lady." He said, as he started to pull the blanket and sheets back up around his granddaughter.
"But Grandpa, my finger hurts!" the child suddenly said as she held up the index finger on her right hand to him, it was covered by a smiley face, yellow and blue band-aid.
Her grandfather's face suddenly filled with concerned. He lowered himself onto the edge of the bed, his bones creaking with age as he pushed the glasses up the bridge of his nose and took hold of her hand so that he could get a better look. "What happened there?" He raised an eyebrow at the child as her dark eyes watched him carefully, "Did you fall and hurt yourself at school?" he asked her.
Lisa shook her head, "Nope, Zippy got my finger when he was playing with me."
"Zippy," her grandfather paused, "Who's Zippy?"
Lisa's excitement suddenly returned as her face started to glow again, "Zippy's my new kitty." She smiled at her Grandfather.
She nodded her head vigorously, "Yeah, he's my new kitty, he's black and white and he's about this big," she held her hands a few inches apart illustrating to her grandfather exactly how big Zippy the kitten was. "Zippy's so cute, Grandpa, mommy has a picture of him to show you tomorrow." Her smile widened, "And he's really smart too, he's learned how to open drawers." Lisa then tilted her head, "He meows almost like he's talking to you too."
For an instant her grandfather froze, a strange flood of memories flowed into him; ones that he had kept and repressed for years suddenly came back to him in the words of his grand daughter. A new glow became apparent in his eyes as he leaned forward and kissed her on the forehead. "Why don't you tell me all about Zippy tomorrow, right now, you'd better get some sleep." He started to get up from the bed, but suddenly, his granddaughter's hand caught hold of his sleeve.
"Wait Grandpa, please tell me a story." She asked, her eyes looking straight into his, a pleading tone in her voice.
"Please, Grandpa, please, please, please, pleases, please? My finger won't stop hurting without one" she tugged gently at his sleeve, urging him to stay. Her grandfather paused, thinking about it and about the earful that he might get from her mother the next morning.
"Well, I don't know…" he said, his voice gentle and playful as he strung out his words.
"Please, please, please," Lisa begged, "I'll go right to sleep afterwards… I promise."
"I promise," the child nodded her head frantically, her entire being filled with anticipation for his answer.
Her grandfather let out a chuckle as he turned back to his granddaughter. "Alright, you win." He adjusted his position on the edge of the bed as Lisa pulled up the pillow against the headboard so she could lean against it, her entire body focused on what her grandfather was going to say to her. "Which story would you like to hear?" he asked. The girl paused for a moment, her head tilted as she thought, she than snapped from her concentration with a shrug. "Martin and the Robots?"
"Nah," she said as she shook her head, "Not tonight,"
"Not tonight…" Her grandfather parroted back as paused to think again of another story, "How about Legs the Grasshopper?" Once again her head shook back and forth as she forced her grandfather to think of another option, "A pirate story?"
The girl shook her head again as she slid out free of the sheets, "tell me a story… about Ace!" her voice filled with enthusiasm.
"You want a story about Ace?"
"Yes please!" she bounced up and down slightly with anticipation.
Her grandfather laughed quietly, exaggerating his surprise, "You want a story about Ace?" She nodded her head, still bouncing up and down with excitement for the impending tale that she was about to hear which would take her mind far from the bedroom she was in to far away space adventures. "Which one would you like to hear?"
Lisa shrugged, "I dunno."
"How about the Ace and the Asteroid field?"
Lisa tilted her head, "You've told me that one before," a cheery smile played across her face
Once again her grandfather embellished his surprise, "I have, oh dear, I must be loosing my mind." He said as he put a hand to his head.
His granddaughter suddenly looked frightened at the sound of his words, the prospect of a story slowly disappearing like her grandfather's memory in his old age. "Oh no," she spoke with concern, "find it Grandpa!"
At this, the old man, chuckled again, "it's only a figure of speech, Lisa." He said the smile on his face widening. The young girl looked dejected, she still wanted the story, but she still was concerned about her grandfather. She took hold of his sleeve once again as she silently urged him onward in his quest for a new story that he hadn't already told her. "Ah!" he exclaimed, "I have it," he turned toward his granddaughter, "Have I told you the story about when Ace discovers a planet"
Lisa suddenly went still, her face widened with awe and surprise, "Ace discovered a planet?"
Her Grandfather nodded, "Yes he did"
"Tell me, tell me!" she said her eyes wide.
The old man gave her a sideways glance, "get under the covers before I start."
Almost instantly, the girl was back under the sheets, her dark eyes gazing at her grandfather eager for the story of how Ace discovered a planet.
"Now…" The old man paused as he rubbed his nose with the back of his hand, "where do I begin?" he asked more to himself than to anyone else. Little Lisa waited patiently for the words to come from her grandfather's mouth. Finally, after a few minutes pause of preparing his introduction, he began: "Deep within the 4th sector of the Andromeda galaxy there was a planet that was not so unlike out own. There were great oceans with blue waters, teeming with fishes of sizes and colors, on the land there were great plains and rolling hills, with forests that were inhabited by creatures beyond your wildest imagination. There was a vast golden desert in the south and in the north snowcapped mountains grew out of the ground. This planet was a paradise in a vast and barren universe. Ace and his crew had traveled from earth and were nearing the orbit of this planet…"