Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the SCIENCE FICTION genre (05/10/07)
- TITLE: Solar Wide Web
By Sue Dent
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It had been so long since he’d seen a keyboard or even a computer for that matter. At least, not like the one he was looking at now, buried deep within the belly of the space station. He couldn't believe no one knew about it.
Yet he knew because he was the chosen one.
Such a fancy title, he thought. He didn’t feel chosen. But then, how was someone who was chosen supposed to feel? Yet that’s who they kept telling him he was, the chosen one.
Yet he wasn’t supposed to tell others. No one was to know.
A noise from behind a pile of metal startled him and he jumped, hit his head on the low ceiling. A door hissed open, voices could be heard off in the distance and then the clatter of something being tossed into a pile.
He laughed to himself after they left. Even if they’d come as far back as where he was, they wouldn’t have found him. They didn’t know where this room was. Nobody knew.
Even at that, it was soundproof. He could’ve jumped around, yelled out the star station’s Pledge of Alliance at the top of his lungs and no one would’ve heard him. Yet he was still nervous. He absolutely couldn’t mess this up.
There was a worn chair near the archaic computer and he pulled it over, settled into it. Odd, he thought. This is absolutely the perfect chair for me. It was almost as if it molded to his form. And to think that my great-grandfather sat here and my father as well; did their part so I could do mine.
The mind-sensor he took from a larger jacket pocket, he'd re-designed to work with this old computer. He looked for the port to plug it into then smiled when the LED’s flashed red, yellow then green. The system had power.
He paused before sliding the unit into place though, hesitated before locking the visor over his eyes. This was no small thing he was about to do. It would affect so many. And he wasn't used to this older computer. He had to get a feel for it.
Once the visor was in place, however, it didn't take him long. He was a natural. He found the password and the login he needed with very little effort. Right where his great-grandfather left it. He manipulated it and was immediately on-line.
Again he hesitated though. Still tentative. Still very nervous. Though the action he was about to take would ultimately benefit everyone, it would first cause great chaos. They wouldn’t know what to do. They wouldn’t know how to act.
But they’d let it control them, manipulate them, mold them. It was no longer working the way it was designed to and things were only getting worse. They were blind. They could no longer see the danger. The best hope now was to destroy it--completely.
His father was human but his mother was quite definitely Meldorian, a race known for their ability to communicate with their thoughts. They were the ones who designed the visor. They were the ones who knew how it worked. He knew too and what he knew could kill him.
But it was his destiny. He would do whatever he had to do, no matter what the cost.
Mentally he began to prepare himself, prepared for the surge of power he must generate to destroy it. Readied himself for the ultimate sacrifice.
There was a flash then a voice, “Ray, I’ve been waiting for you.”
He gasped, almost threw the visor off. “Mom?” She’d died when he was seven. He’d missed her so.
“Yes, son. It’s time. You can do this. We’ll do it together.”
“B-but what happens afterwards? What happens to us? What happens to you? I've already lost you once. I can't bear losing you again.”
“We go home, son. You and I will go home together.”
A slight pause, “are you ready?”
A confident nod, “I am.”
* * *
Thousands gathered in the dark streets stunned and confused. The constant whir of atmosphere fans from high above filled the massive void of silence. A child's small voice could be heard next.
“What do we do now Daddy? What do we do? The Solar Wide Web is gone, what do we do?”
In dismay he stood and stared. Every computer had been affected. None of them worked.
"I don't know," he said his face blank, his words empty. "I don't know."
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