The Space Gypsies
Published by: eXtasy Books
Author : Wayne Greenough
Word Count :75216
Publication Date :2012-08-24
Series : #
Heat Level :
- Product Code: 978-1-77111-297-0
Is there a world, anywhere in the universe, for The Space Gypsies?
The Valdarian Double Star System will go into a black hole in two Tian centuries. Because of that, ten billion people will enter The Beyond. Is there any escape for them? Derek Rawn thinks so. In fact Derek Rawn knows so.
As Derek paused, Bbril Aaeronus spoke. “What you have said about some of us living to see our solar systems being trapped by the black hole is mind-boggling, unless the entrapment is two thousand Tian years away. That is the current belief of many Celestial Wisdom Finders who just finished conducting their own research. I’m sure you also discovered the same along with your two hundred year conclusion.”
“True, I did. So which one do we accept? Dare we to wait to see if we become trapped in two centuries?”
Small, excited Darlk from planet Damal spoke with a disquieting hiss. “I would like to say that Damal has traditionally studied the stars and planets. We have recorded all the asteroids in the twin solar systems and know that Valdaria A has a larger asteroid belt than Valdaria B. But what is the consumption rate of your shipworlds? And define consumption for us. How do they eat?”
“The shipworlds dissolve the asteroids then absorb them until they reach a certain programmed size. At that time, all growth and body functions will become dormant, giving us a chance to enter the shipworlds to begin our work.”
Derek paused. He sipped water and hoped he was being understood. Clearing his throat he continued.
“A secondary power supply will be installed first, not only to propel the ship for solar system travel, but to act as a highly regulated and unlimited food supply for the shipworlds. At first, fuel for this secondary propulsion system will be the type we now use. It will eventually be refined from the deuterium used in the main reaction engines when they become installed.
“From the asteroid calculations you sent Tia some months ago, Tia’s Celestial Wisdom Finders were able to conclude that the asteroid belt encircling Valdaria A would be an adequate food supply for a thousand shipworlds.”
For the next few seconds, Derek studied the doubtful expressions of the seven. “I know you think this is nothing but a wild theory spawned by a young Head Council who suffers from more than a touch of madness. Well, perhaps you are right. But thanks to my ingenuity, we have shipworlds growing from human cells.”
“Human?” Bbril Aaeronus interjected. “Whose, might I ask?”
“Ego,” mumbled Dak Marr.
“I agree. But they are hardly my cells anymore. Energy beams have sliced them into sections again and again. Each time the organism matured, it had altered into something else. I altered my cells, thousands of times, then millions, until I achieved what I wanted—a cell that would grow into a shipworld.”
“And the many pitiful organisms you did not want? What of them?”
The question came from Hannell Arvella, and he should have expected it. Sweat bathed Derek’s armpits as he admitted, “They were taken care of.”
“Taken care of. Those are polite, proper words for cold blooded termination. You used Valdaria B as a dumping ground for your failures.”
Mentally Derek used a paragraph of ancient oaths. How had Hannell Arvella learned about Valdaria B? Was it from a leak in security? Definitely, that had to be it. Blast his pious sanctimonious beliefs. “Yes, it’s true. The quickest way to eliminate my, as you called them, failures, was to dump them into a star. That way, they were instantly vaporized. They were not failures. They were successes. I gained much wisdom from them. I learned. I perfected.”
“It is still termination. And all life is precious.”
“Oh Lord! We all terminate.”
“I do not. I never have. I never will.”
Bbril interrupted. “Gentlemen, your philosophical argument is pointless and stupid. Derek Rawn, you have an interesting hypothesis, growing shipworlds from cells. Perfected, you say. I find it impossible to believe the word perfected.”
“Perhaps you are right, Bbril Aaeronus. Near perfection is perhaps a better description of the accomplishment I am about to show all of you.”
Derek led the way. It was a brief walk to a huge red square, surrounded by superb Tian architecture. The delicate appearing but incredibly tough crystal buildings reached upward to claw aside the sky, to declare that Tia was a world of super cities, the technological center of the ten planets.
Derek spoke into his wrist communicator. “We are ready.”
A claxon sounded, then a voice. “Clear the area. A ship is about to land. Clear the area.”
“A ship, landing here, when it is so populated?”
“Yes, Bbril Aaeronus, in less than a minute. We are ready, Pagan. You may land now.”
With a roar that threatened to rent a jagged hole in the blue afternoon sky, a spaceship streaked into view, to hover briefly like a giant bird searching for a roost. Then down it came, a gleaming silver needle with wings and tail fins. It belched fire and thunder from its braking rockets as it made a weightless landing.
“Gentlemen, what you see before you is Pagan, a tiny, but nonetheless, perfect example of our future spaceships.”
“Thank you, Derek.”
Bbril Aaeronus’ voice was saturated with awe. “It spoke to you! And you named it Pagan?”
“As a matter of fact, he named himself.”
“You called this ship a he?” protested giant sized Besmart Tou, from planet Bela. “Next you will be telling us, he is alive.”
“I am,” said Pagan. “I started out as one cell. Just as the Galactic Lord programmed your cells into becoming you, Derek programmed my cells into becoming me. Furthermore, if I am damaged I have the ability to heal myself.”
Bbril Aaeronus stared at Derek. “That is very interesting, Pagan’s healing ability. Can that be developed for us?”
“I believe so. My Wisdom Finders feel certain an injection can be perfected which will allow us to heal faster and resist diseases better. They are also experimenting with a form of immortality. At the age of three hundred and fifty, we enter The Beyond. One of our cells could be thawed out and stimulated into growing. Think Gentlemen, everybody could live over and over again, for all eternity.”
“Surely, you do not mean cells for everybody,” said Bbril.