October 7, 2014

IDEAS ON TUESDAYS 177


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Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

SF Trope: Advanced Ancient Humans

Current Event: http://edge.org/conversation/why-did-human-history-unfold-differently-on-different-continents-for-the-last-13000-years, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pygmy_mammoth, “Just think what the course of world history might have been like if Africa's rhinos and hippos had lent themselves to domestication! If that had been possible, African cavalry mounted on rhinos or hippos would have made mincemeat of European cavalry mounted on horses. But it couldn't happen.” Jared

Doba Hrafn shaded her eyes from the sun. To her left – east – the Mississippi glittered like aluminum chaff in the light. Beneath her, her mammoth, Li trembled. She patted the hairy neck. She’d no reason to love the ride north. She’d have preferred to fly, but negotiating a treaty with the Iroquois Confederation required that she appear in traditional garb.

Overhead, a ‘thopter hovered. She tapped her headphones and said, “You’re ruining the effect.”

Maza Blaska Hunt, her aide and mixed blood interpreter, replied, “I’d love to let you ride into Minnesota Polis on your steed alone, but the terrorist alert is high today. You need tight cover.”

Doba sighed, “Who is it this time?”

Maza paused, then said, “Two groups: the Free Chinese negotiating team is threatening to scuttle the talks if the Japanese Emperor is allowed to land and the President of India wants to get going, but Pharaoh Elect Djau Nedjes is taking his own sweet time on the tarmac debarking from his Wright jet.”

Shaking her head, Doba prodded Li and the mammoth lumbered onward. At least she didn’t have to worry about the dumb trumpet wandering off the trail. The pavement was well-maintained and arrow straight. A faint shimmer in the air indicated that a force barrier of some sort would persuade her back on the ceremonial trail if she fell asleep while walking. It would take at least four hours for her to reach the Conference city. Sighing, she said, “Are we doing anything fun when we get there?”

She heard the shrug in Maza’s voice, “Only if your idea of a good time is endless meetings.”

Doba sighed. “I thought I saw somewhere that the Iroquois Space Council was supposed to be meeting.”

There was a longer pause, then Maza said, “You saw correctly.”

Doba stood up in the saddle, waking Li who muttered and slowed down. Dob settled down, patted her mount and when the hairy fool was back up to speed, said in to her headphone, “And when were you planning on telling me?”

“Never.”

Doba sighed, “That’s ridiculous! I would easily qualify for the program! I graduated from Cambridge in New York! I got a Bronze Medal in the Marathon in Athens! I’m Anasazi for heaven’s sake! I’m a minority! Why would they possibly reject me?”

“You’re the only daughter of the hereditary Ruling Council and as far as I can tell, you’re not planning to settle down any time soon and make some heirs.” She fired a rude, derogatory, racist, sexist, and entirely un-ladylike string of invective at Maza. When she finally ran down, he said, “Finished yet?”

“I’m done for now, but as soon as I think of something else, I’ll add it.”

“Good. Now, back to reality, when we arrive in four hours…”

She answered in monosyllables as he droned on about meetings, parties, conferences, and the other details she’d retained him to handle. But her mind wasn’t in the details. All she could think of was the red planet Heng and the colony rumored to be in the planning stages. There were already orbitals, and she’d heard the Aztec and the Zulu had habitats on the moon. Her burning desire was to be the first woman to set foot on the planet named for war…


Names:  Navajo, Old Norse;  Dakotah, European

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