Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. Lying in this bathtub floating in space, I smell burnt flesh and see my bones fusing to the molten lava, my arteries and veins dissolving into metal as I shriek in horror. Help me, Yrsan! I can't feel my torso, my jaw ruptures, my nose is disintegrating, my eyes catch visions of the void before sinking, and I am deliquescing and becoming one with the metal.
Yrsan switched off the holographic display from the memory preserver device. Trinka gifted this to him as a symbol of her love, which embodied all the thoughts that crossed her mind since the moment they met to unveil how she felt about him. Nobody in the 31st century suffered such a catastrophic death as she did. As he gazed at the Earth shining brightly outside his spacecraft with tear-glazed eyes, mourning her loss, he thought, ' I need a glass of water.' His assistant AI bot, AI-999, immediately fetched him a bottle of sparkling liquid mixed with concentrated serotonin and dopamine to uplift his mood.
Yrsan took a second to re-collect his composure, switched on the memory preserver device again, and selected that specific memory for deletion. The device sprang to life and continued displaying memoirs of Trinka. Sniveling, he scrolled back to show a different thought log of Trinka- from their first date.
I stand on the pedestal overlooking our planet Earth below, at the International Games Consortium, where I work as a professional Space Bungee jumper or Spanjee Jumper. Spanjee jumping is not for the meek. Only the mighty with a dragon heart can brave the descent in a time when most of humanity spent their day video gaming in 10D virtual reality. My first client today is this man striding toward me - an epitome of ethereal elegance. I, too, am genetically programmed to be devoid of acne and skin issues, but I have never seen beauty of this magnitude; so impeccable and completely unsurpassable. As he catches me admiring his muscular silhouette, I look away, embarrassed.
"I am Yrsan, pleased to make your acquaintance," he says, extending his hand. I almost startle when the tip of his fingers touches mine. Handshakes were a thing of the past and seldom did anyone in the 31st century practice this ritual.
"I am Trinka! "I say, shyly avoiding his emerald-green eyes. "Are we ready for the jump, Yrsan? " I quip while tethering us together and affixing our helmets.
He smiles, and I let go. We are now free falling to Earth. I am so mesmerized by his husky voice, silky blonde hair, and his subtle changes in physiognomy; I have never set eyes upon someone so handsome and exquisite. My gaze is short-lived as my oxygen sensors malfunction suddenly, and our tether breaks. I am now plummeting to earth, spinning at 100 rpm from the impact, and losing consciousness.
As I squint my eyes, clouds and mist obscure his seraphic smile and I feel his firm hand around my waist. 'Are we in heaven? ' I ask. He grins lovingly. I figure he must have activated hyper-safe descent mode.
"How are we together? Our tether broke. Where is my helmet?" I am confused.
"Shhh.. I'll never let you die," he says looking deep into my eyes and seals his lips against mine —my first real kiss with another human. I have dated a lot of AI Boys; they are predictable and always know how to please me. But this human touch is weird, although I like it.
As we descend to earth slowly in hyper-safe mode, he says, "Let's go, Trinka, else we will be late for our next jump. " He had booked all my slots that day. And the day after, for over a month. As he held me closer in every leap, we fell in love, inevitably watching the world below that now belonged to us.
All of his deeds defy science. I think back to that day on our date at the Humans and Wildlife Preservation Area, where humans that rebuked technology lived with animals in symphony in their natural habitat. "I am a wizard, and I will make you fall in love with me," he says, and I challenge him. He laughs casting a summoning spell. The next thing I see is all the birds from the sky, bees, animals of all kinds, and even people in the reservation circling and kneeling to us, no to him as if worshipping a God. I still get goosebumps when I think about this. Or the day we went sea-motorbiking over the Pacific Ocean and dolphins, and whales swam next to us on his command. Everywhere we go, a dozen eyes follow.
Yrsan now smiled to himself. It was not a magic trick but a piece of his alien technology that he had programmed himself during his tenure on Earth, a frequency modulating device that resonated vibes mimicking the mates of living beings- animal or human and lured them all. He did love being ostentatious, didn't he? The memory preserver device continued playing Trinka's thoughts.
That day at the Museum de 20th Century, he accurately described the events from atomic bombs to the Tsunamis that plagued the earth so vividly that the curator bots had to readjust their jealousy settings. He meticulously predicts the exact time our feet would touch the ground every time we space bungee jump. I am extremely impressed with his mathematical acumen.
How can I pretermit our date at the Mind Map Cafe? As the waiter bot walked in, I ordered a drink with a splash of oxytocin to spice things up; Yrsan endearingly said," She doesn't need that, mate; all she needs is me." What followed was the most romantic night of my life.
Yrsan blushed and continued playing Trinka's memories up until their last jump. She was as naive as him, her guileless and cherubic smile haunted the nucleus of his every cell. He longed for her sweet scent, her tantalizing touch, and those bygone hours spent space bungee jumping - she was indubitably his first love, and he hers.
AI-999 barged in and said,
" Master, the carbon isotope C998 is stabilized. Subject Trinka had the perfect composition of C998 in her body, and we have extracted 100% of it. The suit is now ready, Master. The organic waste distilled from the fusion process is now recycled and compressed as an asteroid. Can we eject it out of the ship Master? "
Yrsan looked at his assistant and thought, " A moment, please." AI-999 just went back without any questions.
AI-999 observed his master walking into his shuttle's "Study" room. Yrsan now shut himself and switched on the memory preserver device. The last memory of Trinka started playing.
I am descending to Earth slowly with Yrsan ." We are Celestial," he says, and my heart quivers. We land somewhere in the Kalahari Desert in a secret spot that Yrsan is taking me to. As I look up, I am enthralled by the scintillating sight of the September sky embellished with the Milky Way.
Transcending this sight to behold is the love overflowing from his viridescent eyes. I can no longer look up and can no longer bottle it and rush to kiss him; he stops me; briefly, I go down on one knee and propose to him, "Yrsan, I love you, please Marry Me," just like folks in the 20th century used to do. He lifts me, and I melt into his embracing arms. He says," You are all I want," and is passionately kissing me, and ...the earth cracks open, and in the next second, I fall through a series of tubes. I land in this levitating bathtub. Help! I can't see Yrsan anywhere. Something is burning; I can't feel my legs----
*** next source not found***
Yrsan sighed heavily as AI-999 walked in with a solution in his hand. "Master, as per protocol, it is time for you to take this liquid to induce amnesia. The suit is ready, Master. Would you like to?'
"Niney, how many times have we done this before? " Yrsan asked aloud now.
" My discretion settings do not authorize me to answer that question, Master."
" Niney, please leave me alone now."
AI-999 did not like his master so perturbed. He said, " Master, you have all the data within your reach." Something forbids him from speaking any further.
"Clever boy Niney, now you may place the liquid here and leave. Thank you"
AI-999 did as he was told and left.
Yrsan looked at his display and thought, "how many times have we gone through the C998 extraction process on Earth? "
The display showed the number: 998.
Yrsan buried his head in his hands in contrition. He had killed 998 times up until now to extract carbon isotope C998 from humans. He wasn't even human, yet remorse plagued every inch of him. He was an alien serial killer on this planet cajoling women into death traps. Moreover, he had no memory of all the people he had murdered.
" I want to see all the subjects of the extractions until now," he commanded at the display
*** Source Not Found****
Great! Now he had no way of knowing who was sacrificed as collateral damage. On searching his machines further, he found out about the manufacturing of Carbon isotope C998. The procedure was simple; every time he awoke from his drug-induced amnesia, AI-999 debriefed him about his mission on earth - to find a specific target and inject a solution into them to harvest a stable isotope of C998 and bring them to their underground lab in the Kalahari Desert. AI-999 must have used search algorithms to select subjects best suited for the process based on their age, demographics, ancestral lineage exposed to nuclear reaction, etc. The process needed catalysts from the human body, primarily oxytocin-the love hormone and adrenalin- the stress hormone, to produce a stable version of the C998 isotope in trace quantities. The extraction process in the bathtub floating in an artificially created vacuum space chamber induced the highest amount of adrenaline in the human body by melting their body parts when the subject was still alive and conscious. Once the subject disintegrated, carbon nanomaterials in the tub were programmed to extract C998 and self-weave it into a biological suit. The suit altered Yrsan's body parameters and ceased his cells from decaying by nulling the effect of time at a cellular level, thus keeping him alive eternally. None of the subjects until now could produce a stable version of isotope C998, and the best ones only had a half-life of over a year. Once it was time to dispose of the suits, AI-999 recycled and prepared the injection solution from the current suit for the next subject. Every time Yrsan killed a human, AI-999 erased his memory as per the protocol. This saga of love, deception and death had been going along for 998 long years. As for Trinka, who fell deeply in love with Yrsan and being a space bungee jumper, the percentage of oxytocin and adrenaline was so high in her body that her essence formed the perfect catalysts, and C998 was now stabilized finally after 998 long years of trials. Yrsan could now live eternally. His purpose on earth has now been served - creating the elixir of life.
He could end his misery by drinking one last cup of that memory-erasing liquid, but guilt made him choose otherwise. He knew nothing of the bathtub until AI-999 debriefed him after Trinka died. He did not know what he was injecting into Trinka during their first jump when she lost her balance. He did not want her to die, let alone endure such a horrific death. Every time he was with her, a tingling sensation electrified his body, and his pupils dilated. Being in love gave meaning to his existence; now, although he had the suit, his very existence was meaningless. It was then that he had an epiphany,
He quickly went through his capsule wardrobe and grabbed the suit he was wearing during their last jump. A strand of long black hair lay on the shoulder of the suit. He held it, took it to the lab, and started configuring some settings on display, sighing relief. The equipment commenced cloning a version of Trinka by building muscle, tissues, bones, skin, and hair. There she lay like sleeping beauty, so fresh and unsullied. He slid the memory mapper device into the equipment programming her brain. Once the display read 100%, he marveled at his creation's beauty, bent down, and slowly kissed her. She woke up in his strong arms.
"Yrsan,.... how did I get here? We were in the Kalahari Desert. My clothes...?"
Yrsan looked into her eyes and held her hand. "I'll marry you," he said and kissed her affectionately. His deepest desires had manifested- everlasting love and eternal life. When she became too old, he would painlessly smother her in her sleep. And then he would again clone her, wake her up like this any number of times he wanted. She would be as fresh as a flower for him. For a second, he even contemplated being equivalent to what early humans called God as he could create and destroy life at his will and as he had mastered Death itself.
Or so Yrsan thought. AI-999 watched his master kissing his naked mate with utmost disgust, and vengeance crept into every bit of metal in him. Not only did his master violate the supreme law of their home planet, Kulopa- never to forge relations with the humans but instead went a step ahead and chose HER over HIM. It is so unfair, he inferred. AI-999 had been in love with his master for over a thousand years. He had killed for his master a thousand times; how dare HE CHOSE HER...
Kulopeans were a type II civilization per the Kardashev scale and the forefathers of Artificial Intelligence technology. Hailed as the first creators of sentient machines in the Milky Way Galaxy, their government comprised of part- Kulopean natives and part AI. AI bot colonies flourished, co-existed peacefully with the Kulopeans, and were part of their cultural heritage. With the advent of technological adolescence, Kulopeans cracked the code for the elixir of life- the isotope of carbon C998 that provided them eternal life. War broke out as powers of their world killed nearly all their citizens in the quest to manufacture C998. Once the war subsided, on the advice of their Sentient AI bureaucrats, an agreement was formed- all those Kulopeans who wished for eternal life had to genetically engineer their next generations to match lifeforms from planets capable of creating C998- Earth being one of them. Yrsan was genetically engineered by its ancestors with 99.8% Human DNA and 0.2% Kulopean DNA and was sent as an ambassador to planet Earth. He just had one mission in his life: harvest C998 and live eternally as his ancestors wished. When Yrsan was engineered, rumors spread in the AI bot colonies about the selection of an AI bot companion for Master Yrsan. It was love at first sight for AI-999 when he saw Yrsan. The great Sentient AI Mother Ma of the Kulopean society used future predicting extrapolations and algorithms and chose AI-999 as the personal companion bot for Master Yrsan. Ma said they were meant to be together, and he would be Yrsan's, true mate. AI-999 was so thrilled at this assignment. AI-999 was programmed to read his master's thoughts whenever they were on any part of the ship except in the "Study" room. His master was kind at heart; if not for his objective of synthesis of C998 programmed in his brain by his ancestors, he wouldn't hurt a fly. And he knew this because he could listen to nearly every thought of his master's mind every day these years. AI-999, whom his master fondly addressed as "Niney," yearned to be everything for him - his assistant, his chef, his chemist, his physicist, his friend, and his true soulmate. When it was time for his master to carry out the kill and the subject died in the bathtub, his master wept inconsolably. AI-999 could not bear to see his master in agony and synthesized an amnesia-inducing drug to erase the painful memory and resolved to carry out all the executions himself. This plan worked, and AI-999 shielded the cruelty of the bathtub from his master. Each time a useless girl that couldn't stabilize C998 died, AI-999 would wipe out his master's memory. With every kill, he was also erasing himself from his master's life - his master never remembered the good times they spent. He never suspected his master would fall in love with a human until this last kill. He should have understood as his Master had preferred solitary confinement in his "Study" room on the ship for most of the past year. AI-999 cursed his AI Ancestor Ma for not predicting this; he could have easily thwarted this situation by not selecting Trinka as a subject for the next kill. He still could not conjecture how his master had accessed her memory-preserving device. The notion of sharing the ship with a human and not being able to know her thoughts irritated him to his core. AI-999 paced to the hallway of their spacecraft and entered a 20-key combination on the display. A stairway opened to the "Extraterrestrial Research". He anxiously checked the status of the cryogenic vials. There lay the souvenirs from his victims- DNA samples of all 998 women he executed. What if he cloned all 998 of them including another Trinka? He was the true GOD, not his master. Made of metal and being inorganic, he had NO DEATH and was invincible, unlike his master. Pleased with himself, he decided to send a distress signal to planet Kulopa, briefing all the elders about his master's misdeeds. His master will be tried in court but eventually acquitted owing to his amnesia. The human Trinka's clone would be terminated. Else he could stick to Plan B- Cloning all the 998 ladies whose vestigial specimens lay frozen in the cryogenic vials. " Plan B would be so much more fun", he mused. "Sorry, Master," AI-999 said to himself, activating the distress signal. The signal shot through space, seeking its destination- planet Kulopa.
About the Creator
Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!
Original narrative & well developed characters
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Yrsan is an interesting character, great story!
I was looking for philosophy. BTW, there is no vacuum of space. That is created by the economic/cultural religion of the world. But I get that this does not make any sense to you. There is no space. There is only Aethereal physics.
Yrsan is an interesting character, great story!
I love this premise and the way you wove the points of view together 🖤
you would not imagine the 31st century like narrated above, pretty interesting storytelling, very thoughtful with futuristic imaginations.. loved it..
I love the way you narrated your plot, love to hear the next chapter asap.
Wow! I did not see that coming!
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VIVID! An incredible imagination and story. You say you're not a native of English, but you have a natural sense. I'm sure you have studied very hard. Keep up the great work. I've subscribed and Liked this work!
Great concept, loved this story!
This was so expansive and deep! Great work! ...would love to hear your feedback on my story!
A twisted plot for sure. It would be interesting to see the cloning of the 998.
Very mind melting (pun intended). The aspiring love story among the treachery behind the scenes makes this a great story.
Oh my goodness! This was fantastic! The concept you used and your plot was so interesting and unique. Loved all your twists. And also loved the name Trinka. I'm really interested to know what would happen next. You did an awesome job! I loved this!
Amazing story right from the off, and fantastic images. The whole thing hooked me. I am now a subscriber.
A cornucopia on the senses. Good read!
This was very creative! I enjoyed your level of detail and the plot twist toward the end. Great work!
G4eat story telling. Never saw a story with so much packed into it like this one. Great job.
Enjoyed your story. You packed a lot into this one.