July 5, 2016


http://f.tqn.com/y/inventors/1/0/x/w/Solid_Propellant.jpgEach 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. ? z Z

Current Event: Astrophobia is an irrational fear of stars and space and may take different forms, from fear of aliens to fear of space exploration. (https://www.verywell.com/fear-of-space-2671680)

Harper Zakaria pursed her lips. She tapped them for a moment then said, “So you want me to revive this…criminal so that we can escape the dirty sandbox people like you have made of Earth?”

Abdelkader Mäkinen scowled at her. In the past, people would have said his high forehead and wide-set, almost entirely brown eyes made him look like an alien. “I had nothing to do with Anthropogenic Global Warming. My ancestors lived in Northern Finland and Algeria – mostly they were teachers and scientists, so they had nothing to do with AGW and in fact, my great-grandfather started the first windmill farm in northern California in the early Oughts.” He actually sniffed and as Harper rolled her eyes, he continued, “Now that we’ve established my credentials and innocence…”

“You didn’t establish any credentials, sir. You just absolved yourself from blame because of something one of your distant ancestors did.”

“Now see here, young lady! My family…”

“Credentials?” she said, smiling.

He actually harrumphed then said, “I’ve been on the UN Global Climate Reconstruction Committee for fourteen years and was recently appointed Chair because of my brilliance and based on the plan I’ve devised that will…”

Harper held up a hand, pursed her lips, shook her head, then looked up at the tall meta-alien in her office. “So you want me to revive one of the bad-boys from the mid-Twenty-first Century so you can fly him to one of the Martian Colonies and get the Prairiedogs back into space again, right?”

He started at her, his mouth actually open. She considered pointing out that he was a cartoon cliché in the flesh, but was pretty certain he wouldn’t be a buff of TwenCen flat animated cartoons. She let him sputter a few moments, planning on interrupting him if it took too long when he said, “How did you…”

“I don’t spend all of my time watching the sleepers, Senator Mäkinen. I have to have something to do in my spare time. I’ve read up on the astrophobia pandemic.” She smiled sweetly. “I confess that you wouldn’t be able to pay me enough to leave Mother Earth, no matter how filthy she is.”

The man wasn’t going to respond, instead, he scowled more fiercely and said, “You can mock all you want, young lady, but those of us afflicted are all that we have left behind. It seems that somehow the Colonists took the wanderlust gene with them when they abandoned the Mother World.”

 She shrugged. “Not my problem, I guess. So you still haven’t explained why you want to revive prisoner,” she glanced down at her ‘pad, then up at him. “AAA000200.”

“That’s not for you to question, young lady! I have here,” he flourished an opad at her. She took it, glanced at it, and handed it back to him as he continued, “An order from the UN GCRComm demanding that you revive and release the prisoner to me.”

“It wasn’t countersigned by the Secretary General,” she said, handing it back to him. She grinned a toothy grin at him, then turned off the effect.

“It’s not necessary…”

She cut him off, “You may think I’m just a button-pusher, Senator, but as I said, I don’t just sit here watching the sleepers all day. I have a BA in pre-Law from Columbia Online and I’m two thirds of the way through Columbia Law School. I have my MD from Brigham and Women’s in CryoMedicine with graduate studies in Revival Mechanics.” She stopped, smiling at him.

He held her gaze for several minutes, then finally began to fidget, still maintaining eye contact. Finally he looked away, pocketing him ‘pad. He looked back at her, a different look on his face. He studied her then said, “I was told you were young and idealistic. I was also told you were smart and stubborn.”

“Correct on all counts.”

“But we need…”

She cut him off, “I agree, Senator. You need this prisoner in order to get the rest of us off Earth again. But I’m not sure you know who you’re dealing with.”

His ‘pad reappeared in his hand and he glanced down at it, “Admiral Concepción Shimizu was decorated…”

Harper glared at him as he continued reading, unaware of her regard. When he looked up finally, his monologue faltered then stopped. “What?”

“She’s a thief, a murderer, and despite the fact that she single-handedly stopped the South African Resurgence from turning the southern half Africa into a new Apartheid regime, she still single-handedly also severed this world from its Colonies when she bombed the Elevator.”

This time he was prepared and flashed a false grin at her before he turned it off and said, “That is why my plan is brilliant. We will give her the opportunity to redeem herself in the eyes of all Humanity.”

Names: ♀ New Zealand, Somalia;   Algeria, Finland; ♀ Paraguay, Japan       

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