Rendezvous – sci-fi short story

This is my first attempt to write a science-fiction short story (the couple of them are still in progress 😙). I must acknowledge that I’m no Douglas Adams to hit a home run with the first story 😄. Nonetheless, it was exciting and tough as f***. My grand salute to all those science-fiction authors who have been writing countless pages with the integrity and the soul of the real science in their writing.

Please star or comment to provide your valuable feedback, whatever it may be. I’m immune to anything hurls at me 😅.

WE ARE ALONE IN THE UNIVERSE was the faith deeply rooted in as the planet earth became a utopian world. The world without poverty, corruption, wars, and maladies. The world now run by Gods called Humans.

He woke up to the silence for the final countdown. His body was numb and furthermore, the ticking wall clock seemed deliberately obtuse. Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock, Tick, Tock – Ten seconds have passed. The clock on his right glowing blurred and continuously blinking as if someone was around him that could not be seen with naked eyes. But he can sense it, feel it, believe it. Few minutes have passed but all he could hear was a ticking clock. Suddenly, lights splashed on him from all angles. He was lying on a bed in the hospital. Yuvon is dying!

Not a similar death by old age or illness like ancient humans. Going through euthanasia by his own will. He had lived prosperous life for straight 3 centuries. Today is his last day!

His best friend and a renowned scientist, Fa, who had worked with him earlier on many revolutionary projects sat next to hear his final words before Yuvon rests himself in peace. Yuvon’s last invention was a disgrace (according to him) that forced him to end his life. But he is still believed to be influential and his opinions are still taken seriously. He was gathering thoughts to search for the answers within, confusingly blabbered. “Fa, Have you ever thought of having some kind of life around us…?”

“…unseen to our blindfolded eyes?”, questioned to himself.

According to Fa, he was literally exaggerating things at hand, but that’s how he has been since eons – no one believed in him until he achieved the impossible and became the greatest of all. Yuvon is one of the brightest minds on the planet, was born as a child prodigy. He has been the proponent of genetically improving human mortality and cognition to make them real gods, rather than making humanoid robots. He believed imitating body functions is far easier than mimicking conscience. And consciousness to be exact. Later he led the massive massacre event in the late 21st century where all poor, ailing, corrupt, and incompetent people were genetically massacred. The only motive behind such gruesome act, unlike none, had been seen in the ancient history, was to reboot the humanity with a controlled population of the smartest and brightest humans only. With such appalling rules, within few centuries, the danger of existential crisis became the trouble of the past and humans were throned as Interplanetary species.

Since childhood, his inquisitive mind was occupied with mysteries of our existence in the universe and restive to find answers. The theory of evolution levied upon the humanity since ages were the little white lie to him so he always opined to find extraterrestrial civilization to prove himself wrong for a long while. For that matter, it turned out to be his life’s only mission or rather a fixation. With Yuvon’s sheer will, his team worked on the clandestine project for many decades. But consequently, his latest obsession to contact alien life in the vast and somewhat mysterious sea of stars had emerged as a complete fiasco.

While generations of efforts exhausted to make humans immortals, Yuvon’s move to meet the death – considered to be a disease nowadays – is unsettling for Fa’s befuddled brain. Before Fa reacts, Yuvon continued, “…We may not be aware of their presence.”

After a long silence hoping Yuvon has to say more. “What made you come to that conclusion?”, interrogated Fa by refuting the possibility, phlegmatically.

Yuvon knew that he was insane but not enough to let go, at least not when he has mere 10 minutes left. “We sent high-frequency radio signals, made mammoth machines to tap on to cosmic changes, detected hundreds of Earth-like planets within reach, propelled human ships there to look for some life forms. Indeed, we left no stones unturned to find alien life in outer space. What have we found so far…” He choked out of breathing. Then breathed deeply to confess further but decided to restrain himself.

Fa tried to console Yuvon’s franticness, “Nothing. But Isn’t that commendable what you have achieved so far? I have not seen you so desperate before. Where is your perseverance? If you choose to stay alive, who knows, we may find success in our research.”

Yuvon regressed, “It’s not about persistence. It’s about perception”. A spooky looking flying robot with chimpanzee-like long hands followed by sprawling fingers entered the cubicle. It had no legs or a torso. It literally flew over Yuvon’s lying body, a digital prompt popped up after scanning his face. While checking background details of Yuvon on the screen, Silicon-based eyes of the bot widen when he acknowledged Yuvon as its creator. With its spidery fingers, it initiated euthanizing Yuvon. His breathing returned to normal as the doctor prepared the preliminary procedures.

He continued impatiently, “As you know we humans can not live in water like Marine animals do. Would we ever have found marine life at all on earth if we had forgone searching oceans for life just because our own characteristics falling flat there? The whole problem with our research is we reckon that other life-forms may not exist in an environment where we can not survive. We have always looked for an alien planet that exhibits somewhat similar characteristics of our own planet, and that is the problem!”

Fa smiled and said evenly, “Certainly! But that’s the fastest way to find extraterrestrial life on billions of habitable planets around us?”

Yuvon stopped to ponder but swivel the debate to bring it on the track, then said firmly, “What sounds right is not always right. Ever thought that why there are so many different animals, insects, what not on this planet? It’s amusing not to think of having no conspiracy here.”

Fa bestirred for the first time, “What do you mean?”

“Maybe. All the life-forms including us that we see, touch, smell, and feel are artificially created by some sort of higher beings.”

“Why would they do that?”

By pointing his finger towards the doctor, he said thoughtfully, “Why have we created these bots? To help us right? I highly doubt that they left us here alone because no creator builds something that’s not useful to him. We must be useful to them somehow and presumably, they must be here around us in a different form. Watching us, Controlling us.”

“You mean, demigod??”, Fa questioned reluctantly to accept what Yuvon was trying to sell him.

“They may be ancient civilization, advanced themselves to be non-human, for the better or worse.”, rebutted Yuvon.

Fa desperately wanted to speed up the meaningful consternation knowing the less time at hand for Yuvon, “Why would any civilization do that? What does it have to do with your death?”.

Yuvon sensed his urgency and said confidently, “Once you invent a technology, there is no fun being a caveman!” Yuvon questioned rapidly to the perplexed Fa as he sensed his brain and heart about to shut down within a minute, “When you do a certain thing the same way, over and over again, you run by your muscle memory which makes you boring, monotonous, and essentially the owner of whatever you are doing because muscle memory was built on experiences you had in the past. But when you do the same thing differently each time, you run by your intuition which makes you interesting, creative, and essentially the puppet. Because suddenly some higher energy comes into play that feeds you that intuition you are no longer in control. Our senses are too restrictive for us to see them. Or we are not meant to see them. For a Shark to comprehend the vastness of the sea, it has to leave the box it is trapped in and come out only to perceive the grandeur of the seas.”

While Yuvon began to enter into the eternal slumber, the elfin grin emerged on his face as if he had solved the mystery, “Yes, Fa. What we can not see, does not deny its existence!”.

Before Fa reacts, Yuvon’s brain is about to halt forever. The tongue slipped, shuddered, faltering his words. He could not continue further as his heart stopped pumping permanently, but his brain was surprisingly spry. “Will Fa pursue what I devised? Will humanity heed my advice after my death? Will humans ever learn to see things differently? Or Will my words be forgotten forever?” He thought to himself while his brain went black.

His eyes shimmered for the last time and cool breeze took over his entire body, making it cold rapidly as if someone touched him.

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