Science Fiction From Out There
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Wayne Greenough
Word Count :14612
Publication Date :2013-05-20
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-583-4
Here for your pleasure are six adventure stories shipped to you from a post office box somewhere in a remote corner of the universe.
A word of caution about the stories written by someone who is using the name Wayne Greenough. You might wish to live them, which he might have done. It is up to you to decide whether he did or didn’t. If he did, then you can do the same thing for adventure is everywhere in the universe.
An airbus thundered its noise to the night sky.
It landed and disgorged a passenger. Seconds later it lifted off to head for its next passenger drop off.
Silence returned to permeate the night with its unearthly sound and taste, until someone knocked on John Elwood’s door. He unlocked the door with an electronic key. When it swung open, shock electrified his body as the tall muscular man standing less than four feet from him came into view from the night’s darkness. He was Douglas. But it wasn’t possible for his son to be on the porch. Yet he was, with a pack on his back and holding a large leather bag in each hand.
The man spoke. “Oh God, dad, it’s been ten years. How are you and Mother?”
The leather bags dropped. Through a fog of disbelief John Elwood felt himself being grabbed and hugged. The man’s arms were herculean in strength.
He didn’t return the hug. Who was this man that looked and sounded like Douglas?
He broke loose from the stranger’s bear hug and shoved him away. “Who are you?” His voice was a knife-sharp demand that went unanswered.
John Elwood itched and sweated. The man looked puzzled and deeply hurt. “I said who are you? Tell me, or get off my porch.”
“I’m your son, Douglas. Dad, do you feel all right?”
Pressure throbbed in John Elwood’s head. Another of his frequent lightheaded spells. Thunder bolted through him. His mind raced. Struggle against it. Don’t be overcome.
“You can’t be my son. You can’t be.”
He saw the hurt on the man’s face deepen. It was the same boyish hurt Douglas used to show when he was in pain. How was that possible? It wasn’t. Unless…
Through a shock induced haze, John Elwood stumbled back a few steps. He turned to where he could glimpse the living room. His son sat on the davenport with Martha. And his son stood on the porch staring at him.
How? In the name of God, how?
“You can’t be Douglas. My son is sitting with his mother. He arrived two hours ago.”
The man who said he was Douglas turned white as he stepped around John Elwood to walk into the living room.
Martha was shocked into silence. Douglas wasn’t. He saw the other Douglas and said, “Good God. They’ve made a mistake.”
John Elwood joined the trio. The stranger who said he was Douglas took hold of his arm. “Dad, sit next to Mom. We have something to tell you.”
Douglas stood as John Elwood sat. “Somehow they made a mistake and processed two of us. We hoped you would never know. Now you have to. Shortly after the ship left the Orion System there was a reactor explosion. All seventy-five crew people perished. Your Douglas was among them.”
Martha sobbed and collapsed in John Elwood’s arms. Somehow, he used his voice. It sounded hollow. Not really his.
They nodded. “Yes, every deep Spacer has a copy of himself. We have an extremely high mortality rate that is usually kept from the public. Most of us prefer not to let our relatives know we’re dead.”
“Why aren’t you clones?”
“That was thought of. But you would have had a baby on your hands. When I left ten years ago, it was decided Mom and you were too old.”
“You would have been real. You know how I feel about Synths. One of them killed your aunt and uncle. Have you forgotten their brutal murder for the money in their pockets? Their lives were snuffed out for five credits.”
“He was caught, tried, and executed like a real person. We are real. We’re your son, an exact copy of him. We have all his thoughts and emotions. There isn’t anything he could accomplish that we can’t.”
Rage slashed John Elwood. Questions he already knew answers to roared from his mouth.
“Can you bleed? If so, is your blood red?”
“Yes, to both questions.”
“Can you feel pain like a real human?”
“Can you grow old and die?”
“Do you have a soul?”
“How can you know that for certain?”
“The same way you know you have a soul.”
“Can you reproduce?”
“We have a cell bank enabling us to have children.”
“You have a sham. You’re as shoddy and artificial as modern day society. You’re liars. I don’t believe you can feel anything. You’re nothing but puppets without strings.”