The year was 2899 ...
37 Billion, The Crop
The year was 2899 and something amazing was about to happen.
There were two elusive occupations that the people of earth had not yet conquered: space travel and the study of the human brain. All was well on planet earth and its 37 billion people lived everywhere, even on the ocean floor.
Earthlings had survived five senseless world wars, and finally, the future of humankind seemed bright. Medical advances now prolonged life to nearly 150 years and most of those years were exceptionally healthy ones. Once, this was a world caught between hopelessness and despair -- and it was plagued by poverty, confusion, hunger, hate, and homelessness. Many men were the unwilling victims of various quests for power. Now, with the irrigation of every desert, food and flora were abundant and so was the invincibility of hope.
Mankind’s man-made insolent burdens had cost him over 5 billion lives. Sadly, mostly innocent people lost their lives between 2457 and 2487 in the 30 years of WW5. Had nuclear weapons still existed, surely the world itself would have ended horribly. After WW5, the world government took drastic steps to fix the problem.
Wealth and greed were completely eradicated with the elimination of money. Man began using a “world-wide point for accomplishment system” called Swell‘s Credits. The system was named after professor Josef Swells of Israel. This Sage & Space Age was an age of magnificence in the arts almost too incredible to believe. Man of old, the Me-Man, was long and deep buried beneath vast heaps of oppression and piles fleshy rubble. Man’s self-defeating obsessions with power and quests for money ended. The world seemed a virtual heaven for all its souls. bliss was spilling over for everyone.
It was a humbling challenge for … always curious man … to conquer the undiscovered cosmic cradle of space. Adventure lie just beyond the inner rim of the Milky Way galaxy. Space exploration was the obscure blackness and vast realm where most of earth’s brilliant minds toiled. Space, the great experiment, the fantastic journey, the symphony of joyous unknowns, the bursting unspoiled dynasty of color and confusion -
mankind’s thirst for knowledge and discovery. Perhaps, this thirst would be man’s undoing.
The other great test, and perhaps, the more tantalizing challenge was exploration of the human mind and the harnessing of the amazing power the mind produced. Man had learned to do amazing things with his mind. Music, science, and many other gratifying pursuits had long been amplified and refined. Man no longer needed to hold control and power over hordes of unsuspecting mortals. Both obesity and hunger were purged by science.
True challenge was within one’s own mind - mankind’s ability to use ever-increasing percentages of his or her mind brain power. Thirty-one year old Mae Ling Chang Fu Po Zibeline of Paris, France was Earth’s most advance human being. She had learned to use 37% of her mental abilities. Before Dr. Fu Po, no one had exceeded 20% of heir brain capability. Sure, Fu Po had 12 advanced degrees, but she rejected the space program four years ago to pursue the saxophone. Yes, Fu Po was content playing her saxophone and raising her two children with husband, tennis professional David Zibeline.
David, was now 33 years old and had won only three major tennis events. He had only 15-17 more years of tennis left and everyone wondered if he could win 10 titles before his productive playing years were finished. David was immensely popular and had earned sufficient credits from endorsements to comfortably support his family for the rest of their lives. Mentally, David too was intensely incredible and wise. He had a self-confidence that defied all logic and even his wife paled in his charismatic shadow. He probably used less than a third of his wife’s mental capabilities, but he had all the brain power he needed. He added balance to the relationship and loved his wife immensely.
Before she met David at a private function, Fu Po was desperately sad. Most men avoided her because of her mental abilities, and most people were afraid to talk to her, afraid, they would say something stupid. Plus, she had worked for the space program for seven amazing years since the age of 18. David changed all that sorrow seven years ago when Fu Po turned twenty-five years old. Two months later, Fu Po was both married and pregnant. After the birth of David Chang Po Zibeline, their son, the Zibeline’s were allowed to have three more children. This was a truly amazing situation in this strictly controlled population-censored era in time.
For centuries, the limit had been one child per couple, but Fu Po was a very special lady. Immediately Fu Po got pregnant with Kim Li Fu Po Zibeline their first daughter. Perhaps, if they were lucky enough, the children’s brain usage would not be much above 20%. But, one look at both children and Fu Po knew her children would easily break the 20% brain usage limit. The proof was in their brilliantly shining eyes. Later, when David and Fu Po tested their children, they found that they were both below 23% brain usage. Not good, but possibly not too bad. Overall, the Zibeline’s were very pleased. The world council probably would not seek to fishbowl and control the children as they had done their mother for the first 27 years of her life.
For over 300 years, man had sent robots called Imitation-Men (I-Men) in remotely controlled space ships known as Image-Collectors (commonly called I-Cans) to explore the planets and heavenly bodies far from earth. Information gathering, and perhaps even contact were the main objectives. Man had established both manned and unmanned stationary space relay stations as he pushed further and further from earth. Yet, after nearly 900 years, man was alone and without God.
World-War V had almost eliminated religions completely. The United Earth Council had decided all people would worship the same God, called, not surprisingly, God, but no formal meeting places, like church, mass, temple, or the like were allowed.
As David Zibeline sat at their self-cleaning dining room table, he could see his wife bringing an African dish to the table. Man, how she loved cooking the old-fashioned way by using ancient herbs and spices most of which Fu Po grew herself. Fu Po received special treatment and was given a tremendously large garden. The government also provided assistants to work the garden for Fu Po. Fu Po was considered to be something of a gourmet chef and could have easily made a living cooking ancient dishes for their friends. All foods were healthy in the 29th century and no one ever dieted. Dieting wasn’t necessary because of the many technological and medical advances. Pop a pill and disgorged everything except the needed nutrients. Eating was great and easy and ovens were rarely used. Fu Po had insisted on one of these antiques toys.
Fu Po had made eating a joyous thing in the Zibeline household. Friends and family often invited themselves to their home to see what Fu Po was preparing. Especially, David’s overbearing overly-aggressive mother. She was a doll really, but sometimes Fu Po had urges - like kill mother Zibeline. Mother meant well, but sometimes she put her foot in Fu Po’s mouth.
As they finished their meal, David felt oddly strange. Something was about to happen. He observed his wife glide across the room like a rainbow-wing-tipped swan on a pond and he was bursting with love for her. He knew they were taking an incredible risk having a third child, but he was greedy for a large family. A large family increased his chances for getting a tennis professional. Besides, there was something about a big belly that filed him with joy. Fu Po often called him crazy when he jokingly suggested they have 20 kids. Suddenly, their communicator activated and David’s heart dropped. He knew things were going too well.
“Hello, David Zibeline …” he answered activating the view screen, suddenly realizing Fu Po was in the sonic shower ...
David could see Paul Renault head of the French Scientific council on the screen as Fu Po joined him still in her satin robe.
“David, nice to see you again, how are you .. how‘s the family?” continued Paul. “Fu Po, something totally incredible has happened and we need you for a meeting in the council chambers at 8 AM tomorrow morning. We’ll send a Toyota Super 1 Shuttle Hover Craft to escort you to the meeting.”
“I’ll be there with David at 7 AM for a pre-briefing …” answered Fu Po without any hesitation.
“Good,” said Paul, “Its extremely important!”
When Paul hung up, David stared into Fu Po’s eyes worried.
“Are they coming?” asked David scared.
“Yes, I believe ‘they‘ are coming very soon.”
“How, how .. Uh how many will they take?”
“The world council thinks they will take 7 billion people.” answered Fu Po immediately lowering her eyes.
“How many do you think they’ll take?” asked David concerned for his children.
“I believe they will take at least 17 billion people between the ages of 16-67 years of age,” quietly answered Fu Po in a scientific tone. “These are the prime years for today’s humans and it is when they are fully grown and most tender. Man has extended life, but the skin and organs decay somewhat after 67 -70 years of age for most men and 75-79 for most women. Since the aliens seeded this planet with humans, they will know these facts. I believe they will take people over 6 feet 6” tall because they will believe these are the most healthy specimens.”
David hoped Fu Po had estimated high, but in his heart he knew his wife was correct. How would they chose their human crops and would there be any chance to fight? “No,” was Fu Po’s definite answer. At first, the government resisted Fu Po’s advice and tried to devise a plan to combat the aliens. But, when the aliens transmitted detailed food supplements and instructions for a space gate transporter, the council knew they were dealing with a much more advance culture. If the people of earth resisted, all of earth would be destroyed. It was hopeless.
That night, David and Fu Po slept in their sonic regenerators to remove all stress from their bodies. They activated their nanny robots Parisa and Londonia to care for their children during the night and to wake them at precisely 6 AM. David’s mother Eve would arrive at precisely 6:10 AM to assist the robots with care of the children. She was a 50 year old perfectionist who was never late. The robots were fully functional artificial intelligence units specifically designed for David and Fu Po by the government, but David’s mother, Eve was old fashioned. She had made Fu Po promise to never leave the children with androids. The shuttle journey to the capital city of Hong Kong would take exactly 27 minutes. The robots would have their morning supplement ready when they woke.
The next morning David was oddly silent. He had no focus and his mind was racing. His palms were sweaty and his heartbeat was wildly racing. The only time he felt this excited was during sex. Normally, it was Fu Po who was the silent shy one, but today Fu Po was busy gathering her notes and giving final instructions to her Eve.
Fu Po had insisted that David be briefed on the aliens. She believed, he could share her burden and help to ease the tremendous tasks she would face in the coming weeks. She had been chosen to be primary liaison to the aliens. For ten years, including the four she had worked at home, Fu Po studied the aliens, known as the Qua’pians, their language and culture. Well, at least she studied all the information they had transmitted. She knew them better than anyone - except maybe, one of the other ten geniuses that had also been selected to learn the alien culture and language.
As they traveled to the council chambers, Fu Po wondered if the aliens would take all eleven translators on their return journey. She believe they would take them all to learn French Chinese - the official Earth language. She had not told David this, but David was intelligent. He probably knew, but was afraid to discuss this ominous possibility. There was another possibility too.
When Fu Po and David arrived, they were escorted to the pre-brief room and Admiral Kim Lin Po Chang Young was waiting. Admiral Chang Young was the highest ranking member of the space council and one of Fu Po’s mentors. Also present was Admiral Stephen W.E. Jones, deputy to Admiral Chang Young. With Admiral Chang Young’s guidance, Fu Po had developed into a somewhat disciplined disciple of science and a real human being instead of a freak. He was a very wise man who had served the government and space programs for 70 years and was nearing retirement age at 93. Chang Young had encourage the studious Fu Po to pursue cultural and artistic endeavors like the saxophone. He believe balance and laughter were the keys to a successful life and on more than one occasion, he encouraged Fu Po to actively seek them. Unlike most of the day’s leaders, Admiral Chang was short. He stood only 6 foot 1 inch tall. The average height for men was 6’11” tall.
“What would you like me to tell the council?” asked Fu Po as she glanced at the other 10 translators seated around the conference table. They were all staring at her as if he had been appointed spokesperson. They were all geniuses in their own rights, but even they were not in Fu Po’s league. All the translators had been given all the same information and had corresponded daily via secure satellite telephone practicing the alien language.
“Iythc Ahkya Szxyklo” answered Mario Sanchez of El Salvador. “We’ll tell them the truth!” immediately translated Fu Po.
“That would be best,” answered Admiral Chang Young, satisfied with the team of geniuses he had assembled. “We want the council fully aware of EVERYTHING relevant. Don’t hold anything back. Let them decide our future based on only the facts as we understand them. Remember the council is the best and brightest from our society. Together, these 13 world leaders have over 600 years of combined leadership experience between them. They have completely studied the report we prepared and just want to finalize their plan for contact and subsequent appraisal of the Qua’pians.”
“Who will they select to make first contact with the aliens? Asked Laura Davenport of san Francisco.
“We will find out when we meet the council,” advised Admiral Chang Young. “It will most certainly be two of the 11 translators we have trained as directed by the aliens. I suspect Fu Po will be one of the two, but that may not be the case because of her pregnancy.”
“Yes, and the aliens may select the translators based on reports we have been sending them,” continued Admiral Jones. “It is best that we all keep an open mind and be prepared for the worst. What we do in the next few weeks may determine the survival of all of mankind.”
“What military options has the council planned?” asked Terrance McQueen of New Zealand. “I am certain, they have planned some type of attack.”
The whole room went silent. Both Admiral Chang Young and Admiral Jones knew they were talking to the best and the brightest. They had anticipated this question.
“We can not tell you what the council has decided because we do not know which translators will be selected by the aliens,” advised Admiral Jones.
“Did you really think you would get an honest answer to that question?” laughed Laura Davenport. Forty-five year old Laura was the group’s wise guy and next to Fu Po, the smartest person in the room. She had worked for the space program since the age of 16, never married, and never led a normal life. The space program was her life and everyone in the room would have liked to dissect her brain to determine what make it function.
Suddenly, a Space commander entered the room: “Admiral Chang, Sir, the council is ready to start the meeting.”
“Lets move out,” ordered the Admiral.
As David entered the council chambers, he saw some of the most highly regarded earthlings of all time sitting facing a room full of chairs. The room was full of 5000 world leaders, and high ranking space officers. In the center of the council members, sat Supreme Leader Rhaladda Mira the 120 year old council leader from India and essentially, Earth’s current leader. She was the first female to hold this post. Fu Po held her breath each time she was in her presence. To Rhaladda Mira’s immediate right was Ike Churchill of London. He was the charismatic deputy council leader. The meeting came to order:
“The council has read your report,” said Mira. “We decided to stand down any military offensive against these aliens. At least, we will take this initiative in the beginning. It is clear to us, that they are far too advanced to attempt to stop or to delay militarily or scientifically. Will the 12 translators please stand?”
Twelve thought Fu Po, who was the twelfth translator? It was just like the military to throw in a ringer. She quickly glance around the room. On the far end of the front row of seats was a relative young man standing with her and the ten other translators. Who was he she wondered? Some high school or college student?
“It is the decision of this council that Mario Sanchez of El Salvador and Darrell Ebling of Canada represent the Earth as translators. Mario Sanchez has demonstrated a continual aptitude for languages and currently speaks 29 languages. Darrell Ebling has also demonstrated an aptitude for languages and hold 7 advanced degrees. He also has scored 30% on the brain ability test.”
The room went silent. Fu Po knew it, she knew it. They had been training a ringer all these years. Who was this relative child of 21 and what experience did he have in this world?
“Darrell is also an orphan without any known family,” continued Rhaladda Mira. “We believe he will be a perfect translator for the aliens. David Zibeline was relieved that Fu Po was not selected. Besides, her dedication was suspect because of the husband and two children with one on the way. Still, Fu Po was somewhat disappointed.
“We have selected Terrance McQueen of New Zealand and Laura Davenport of San Francisco as alternates,” continued Ike Churchill.
Fu Po imagine what Darrell must have gone through over the last 10 years. He must be almost a machine.
“How long do you imagine Darrell has been training?” asked David.
“Just over ten years,” suggested Fu Po a little sad. “I’ll bet his 7 degrees have everything to do with science, physics, medicine, agriculture, robotics, mathematics, and space and nothing to do with the arts. He is what our children will be if they score over 25% on their brain usage tests. I’ll bet he has no girlfriend or wife, has seldom, if ever had a date, has never had a friend, or even anyone to sit and talk with. I doubt seriously if he was even allowed to live at home with a foster family.”
“When will the aliens arrive?” David whispered to Fu Po, head spinning, heart pumping too fast.
Immediately, Fu Po raised her voice: “My husband wants to know when the aliens will arrive?”
“In one week,” came the immediate answer from Leader Mira.
They will pick up the two delegates at a secret location and begin the negotiation, if you want to call them that. They will tell us the implementation plan and specify pick up locations.
“Who will they take?” came a voice from the crowd.
“We do not know!” lied Ike Churchill.
“How many will they take?” asked another voice.
“Originally, we believed they would take 7 Billion people,” continue Leader Mira. “Now, we believe they may take 21 billion people.”
“Why so many?” screamed another voice. “What are you not telling us?”
“We do not know how many people the aliens will take,” answered leader Mira honestly. “We pray it will not be more than 21 billion.”
Twenty-one billion people selected for transportation to an alien world where they will probably be slaughtered like cattle and used as alien delicacies. How absolutely awful thought David. Is that what such advanced being do? Surely, surely, there must be an alternative food supply for these beings. Once again, he whispered to his wife: “Can’t those damn aliens find an alternative food that is more nutritious to human flesh?”
Immediately, Fu Po raised her voice: (This time David was a bit embarrassed.) “Have we suggested an alternate food supplement to human flesh to the aliens. Our ocean and seas flourish with a wide variety of supplements. Perhaps, we should offer the aliens a wide sampling of non-literate fleshy alternatives like fish or cattle.”
“Yes, we have considered that possibility,” answered Leader Mira. “When they seeded Earth, they never bothered to check the ocean and seas for possible foods.”
“We do not know if the aliens will consume our citizens for a fact!” continue Ike Churchill. “We just assume that because they always refer to their retrieval of Earth people as crops. We have automatically assume the worst when that may not be the case. We must be calm and the citizens of Earth must be notified.”
That night, Leader Mira made an announcement. She told all the people of the alien’s plans to take an unknown number of citizens for an unknown purpose. They advised that translators had been trained to communicate with the aliens. The citizens of Earth did not riot or take to the streets. Instead they quietly discussed the situation among themselves. How could this happen, they asked? Why? Why now? What had they done wrong? And most importantly, what would the government do?
Only a few people knew, like Fu Po that the space probes had alerted the aliens to check on their “crop” on earth. Man in his quest for knowledge had inadvertently notified the aliens with I-men and I-Cans. Sure, perhaps the aliens would have come sooner or later, but certainly the probes had expedited their arrival. It was an honest mistake.
The week passed slowly and heavily for the people of earth as if in slow motion. David and Fu Po savored every moment with their two children and wondered if they would have a future with them. Nobody ran, but rumors were everywhere. There was no where to run. Many believed they would be eaten. Fu Po was nervous and baked various dark breads and cakes. For some odd reason, meat substitute was not on any menu.
Fu Po cooked meals from six different cultures including Russian. Mother Zibeline came every day and so did Fu Po’s mother and father. Fu Po’s father was a tailor and Fu Po’s mother was a teacher. Both were successful, but neither ever showed signs of being genius. For years, the scientific community probed to see if they had done something different while Fu Po’s mother was pregnant. To no one’s surprise, they had not. Fu Po was just born special.
When the two translators were returned to the council chambers, they announced that they could not understand the aliens well enough to relay their plans. They let the council know that the aliens were interested in the citizen call Fu Po Zibeline and indicated that it was imperative that they make their plans clear. Fu Po was asked to work with the aliens. David was understandably concerned, but he knew she could not say no. if she did, would earth be destroyed? No one knew!
When the aliens beamed Fu Po from the council chambers, David’s heart fell. Would he ever see his wife and third child? Perhaps. A week passed and Fu Po sent only this message every day: “Working steadfast with the Qua’pians and the survival of earth is at stake, please be patient! Will explain everything soon.
Ten days later, the aliens beamed Fu Po back to the council floor. Fu Po immediately addressed the council:
“The Qua’pians are our parents, our past, and our future. They have come to warn us of an impending solar eruption on the surface of our sun. The sun flare will last exactly 3.7 of our years and destroy most water based life forms. The Qua’pians have offered to collect samples of all living things and place them on a safe planet for four years. They will also place all 37 billion of our citizens in temporary suspension for four years. At that time they will return us to planet Earth along with the water from our lakes, oceans, and seas. They estimate that another solar eruption of this magnitude will not occur for another 572,000 years. They say should we survive that long, we will be capable of handling the situation ourselves. They await our answer.”
Fu Po advise the council to accept the Qua’pians offer. What else could they do. Nothing would survive on earth and all indications of man’s existence would be forever lost.
Six months later the Qua’pian transport ships arrived and collected its crop. They transported them all to storage planets using intergalactic gates. These gates allowed them to traverse huge distances in seconds.
All humans were placed in suspended animation for the duration except one family - the Zibelines. Fu Po had her second son and second daughter on the Qua’pian home planet which was too beautiful to explain. Basically, it was a swirl of the most beautiful colors intermixed on a canvas of glowing energy. The Zibelines were never sad in this environment. That emotion didn’t exist. Since the Qua’pians were now pure energy, they created an artificial environment for the Zibelines. In this environment, the Zibelines were never bored. They could even fly in this environment, and best of all, they were given an enhanced Pleasure Room that allowed them to randomly create various artificial settings from earth.
Here they could ride horses, fish, picnic, and even visit artificial Earth settings. The Qua’pians explained that for centuries, they monitored development on earth. Fu Po learned that Earth had narrowly escaped regeneration due to their once incredible violence tendencies - especially their weapons of mass destruction.
Often the Qua’pian children, and even some adult Qua’pians, would change into human form (with a brilliant glow) to imitate humans and learn from the Zibelines. David taught them tennis, which became the universal sport amongst all superior life beings. To make the sport competitive, the Qua’pians put limits on the amount of energy they could use. All the Zibeline children where taught how to change form. They could not change at the level of the Qua’pians, but they could change their faces and become someone else. It made an interesting g game, but somehow, David and Fu Po always knew them. This place was a school and an amazing playground. Incredible!
Fu Po and David were both well rewarded with amazing knowledge of the universe for helping to save Earth. Later, they found out that the solar eruption would be at its peak for 40 months. Then, the Qua’pians informed them that it would take another 200 years to replenish the earth. All stone buildings would be preserved, but the environment needed time to regenerate.
Fu Po and David asked that their four children be placed in suspended animation for these additional two centuries and exactly 204 years later, all 37 billion earth inhabitants were awakened. It seemed to them that no time had passed.
The Zibelines were sworn to secrecy. For Fu Po that was no problem at all. She knew the government would put them in a fish bowl if they found out.
It turned out that their third and fourth children each had over 40% brain usage. Later, Fu Po would tell everyone they were both 17%. They returned when they were three and four years old and Fu Po trained them to hide their level of intelligence to protect themselves. She always believed the Qua’pians had enhanced her children’s capabilities somehow. Also, she and David never got sick or looked old.
They both died the same month. David was 210 years old and Fu Po was 205 years old. They wrote incredible stories about travels to far away exotic planets. They had them transformed into brain implant infusions for everyone to enjoy. David and Fu Po were determined to give their family normal lives. And they did.
Best of all, no one was eaten!
All was well on planet earth!
The above text is copyright © ShyPoet1 ~ 2004,
and may not be reproduced without permission.
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|Reviewed by BILL ISAACSON
|surprising character,story line and plot depth in such short space....truly the work of a craftsman using a vast excess of the average brain power.....at least 10%....well done SHYPOET1 !|
|Reviewed by Mark Rockeymoore
|what an interesting conception, that has some analogie in the early mythology of many of humanity's traditional cultures, from the dogon to the maya. the scenes that you set were astounding, the world completely envisioned.
i read this as an outline of the book that you will write, where you will flesh out these general streams of thought with details and conversation and action. i look forward to it!
|Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson
|Man Shy I am a sci-fi lover
but never to the point of machines
it's like aliens scary type...but i really enjoyed this
it is so well put together and i love the way you break it down in section makes it very easy to read....not what i was expecting
but this is a winner in sci-fi you should summit somewhere