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Siskiyou Writers’ Club Chain Story

“A Voyage to Lunar Science Station Alpha,”

Occasionally the Siskiyou Writers’ Club members engage in a fun and challenging exercise which we refer to as a “Chain Story.”  The rules are simple: One person starts the story and passes it on to the next, who then adds to it, and passes it along to the next.  Each contribution to the story should be around 300 words.  The last contributor to the chain has the daunting task of pulling it all together into some semblance of a conclusion.  Eleven people participated this time and the chain story was completed and read at the Writers’ Club’s September meeting.

Bob Kaster

A Voyage to Lunar Science Station Alpha

“Steve Amaral”
We apologize for the delay in leaving the International Space Station. We are using an android pilot to make sure we arrive at the Lunar Science Station Alpha on schedule. The sixty hour trip should be without any turbulence as the solar forecast for this sector is very stable.

In any event, we remind all humans aboard to be sure to take your radiation detectors with you whenever you leave your state room. There is a special menu now available on your readers that includes a variety of intergalactic delicacies not previously available on the space station and that we are privileged to offer along with descriptions and pictures. Two androids are available to assist you with your meal selection should you desire assistance.

The pilot advises me that we are about to deploy the solar arrays, and a slight shaking of the transport is common. Should this happen, remember there is nothing to concern yourself.

Private correspondence to Earth from this time point until we reach Station Alpha will be stored at the International Space Station. This has become necessary due to an unknown source tracking the flight to and location of Station Alpha. This is a security procedure. We hope to solve this breach quickly.

“Jeanne Baker”
Three decades later we never took the Lunar Shuttle as we are the third generation of humans to have been born on planet X. The moon was used for only two things. The science labs are located there as well as the penal colony on the other side.

We actually could not believe the stories about the primitive travel vehicles that were used in the old days on the earth and the rovers on the moon. The large giant metal shells known as cars then, amazed us. Why would anyone drag such a thing around with them? Today we simply put our hover shoes on, step outside and choose which hover track to use depending on where we are going. We decided to go to the Star Mall where we will meet up with our friends, eat and hang out together. One of our favorite thing to do was to play in the holodeck. We loved traveling backwards in time. The humans were so primitive then! They actually did physical labor with no aid from AI bots! We couldn’t even imagine this! They physically cooked their food and sometimes actually did something called “hunting”. Unbelievable to us! They gathered in groups to learn together in something called schools. Today we simply insert a chip temporarily and it downloads all of the information we are seeking within nanoseconds. It seems so much easier. There is no need to waste time reading. We are now able to communicate easily with all beings no matter which species they are, or planet or moon that they have arrived from. We do not kill or eat each other.

When we travel to other galaxies we go through whichever wormhole will take us there. The travel time is anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes!

“Alan Eddy”
It is now earth year 802,701 the very year the Time Traveler discovered elfin-like Weena and the Eloi, who through natural selection, had evolved into helpless infant-like creatures and were eaten by the brutish Morlocks that lived in tunnels underground. But we on Planet X evolved differently. With the invention of quantum computers and Artificial Intelligence, we progressed from Homo Sapiens to Homo Intelegenti and where genius IQ in old humans started at 140, our average intelligence is rated at 40,000.
We of the Intelegenti do not have physical bodies as it is easier to transport ourselves between the sextillion centillion stars we keep track of without the burden of hauling around a useless body. We have become the all-knowing guardians of all seven known universes.

“Duane K. Johnson” 
The Head Time Traveler duly elected from the inhabitants for life that doesn’t end for any of us in this universe or any other of our known seven universes, was shocked, provoked, sad, and started to feel emotions of sadness, worry, shame, anger, and hostility toward these mole-like Morlocks.

She realized her improper thoughts as all of these emotions had been eliminated by past Head Time Travelers.
Calling on the Council of Head Time Travelers, the ultimate duly elected Head Time Traveler ordered each elected member of the seven universes to put on their hover shoes, choose the proper worm hole to convene at the Star Mall in five seconds.  Meeting in the secure downstairs room with no stairs and all thoughts confined, their hover shoes placed in order, and each member sent telepathy exactly the same plan to the Head Time Traveler.  So efficient, no time lost, and each council member put on their hover shoes, chose their home wormhole, and instantly were home in their respective universe.

Ergo, what was the plan?  Do you remember when we were mere humans taking lunar trips to Station Alpha?  Gosh, what a stupid question.  Of course, all of us remember.  Back on Earth in the Milky Way Galaxy in the early two thousands when four areas were about to have a nuclear war, we saved Earth.  We were so impressed when the Time Traveler of their universe was developed and simply reversed time and made all of the nuclear arsenals inoperative and the devises which propelled a projectile to harm someone inoperative.   We will do exactly the same to save Weena and Eloi.  Let the Morlocks eat worms.
“Sandy Johnson” 
Oh, what a wonderful day it is to enjoy Weena and Eloi. Some of the seven universes with their Head Time Travelers have allowed their members to time travel to the future.  They are able to see their future children and enjoy a short visit.  This event in traveling to the future isn’t really a problem.  Generally, all works well.  The Head Time Traveler in each of the seven universes allowing to travel back to their present time or to their past time from the present time must first limit the number of participants.  As the old saying goes while the members are away some will definitely play.  
Visiting a past can be unpleasant. As the Head Female Time Traveler, I ask if there are problems traveling back in time?  Everyone knows the answer to this question.  Of course. What if a member desires to stay in the past?  A member might meet their father, mother, and child all deceased in that past time period.  Do they choose to relive this past and suffer again those funerals or memories of life at that time! Circumstances might be altered such as preventing parents from meeting each other. Does this mean you will not be born? A time traveler might be exposed to bubonic plague, smallpox, cholera and other diseases. History could be manipulated. Which world events would you choose?

“Don Janssen”
           You may choose which ever universe you wish.  You can wear what ever kind of space suit you think will keep you safe in space.  But, you will never escape from my clutches.  For I am the Meumenix and I lie in wait in dark, dark places.  I  am always ready to spring upon the unsuspecting and the unaware. Always ready to rip and tear a body and absorb his or her  precious bodily fluids, be they sacred or profane.
        Ah, this night as I contemplate the wealth of tasty morsels across the starry ways.  I reflect  upon the rise of the Meumenix race.  We were created by a crazed scientist deep in the lair of the caves of the Morlocks.  He mixed and matched boots and bones and skin and hair until we emerged, the best of all horrors.  So, we ate the scientist and spread across the universe, unchecked.   A rumor has spread from star to star that a greater horror  than the Meumenix has been created in a laboratory on a star far away.
       I must be careful.  I must be sneaky and  cautious..  Wait… Listen… Beware…I  think something is behind me…..

“Mike Grifantini”
Gradually, we all began to realize that the unknown source tracking us while traveling on the International Space Station has been this overwhelming horror.  The one that eclipsed the terror of the Meumenix.  And, it has been tracking us slowly… patiently.  Its predatory nature on display in its finest evolutionary form.  We all began to realize what it feels like to be the prey—prickliness along our rudimentary backbones (those things that had disappeared zillions of years ago); sweat-like sensations within the space suits that we could all remember from our genealogical past. We all felt the fear of the cornered beast, deep within our evolutionary memory.

How do beings, such as us, that have no bodies or feelings respond to such notions of terror?  Each of us has chosen our own way—to choose our own universe of thought and perception. Our tremendous level of intelligence, even our development as Inteligenti, has allowed us freedom of “thought” but has not fully prepared ourselves for this feeling of being the hunted!  And what to do about it?  And whether to do anything about it?..  Or just …

“Carol Amaral”
Keep things the way they are. NO WAY! My name is Magenta and I travel around the universe, in my neon purple spaceship. I work for Intergalatic Services. My job is to try and find the formula that was developed by Sean, the head scientist, who was working at the Lunar Science Station Alpha, with his colleagues, to develop a molecular formula to destroy the Meumenix, before they destroy anyone or anything else.

He knew they had been following him since they left the International Space Station, and knew they were trouble.

He kept the formula in a safe, secret place, but he was killed before he could tell anyone where it was.
Now, It was Magenta’s job to travel to all seven universes to try and find the formula, to no avail. “What to do?” “What to do?” She knew Sean left several clues, but which one was the right one? Time is of the essence.

“Carolyn Anderson”
Too much time had elapsed with no results in finding the location of the Station Alpha and the molecular formula. All search avenues in the galactic universe turned fruitless. During our meeting in Star Mall it became clear to me, Commanding Flight Engineer of the International Space Station, that we must pursue the parallel universe to procure the answers to our quest. We must explore the deep subsurfaces of a virtually unknown area deep beneath the ocean floor to look for clues. So, after much decomodification, security clearances, etcetera, we traded in our space suits for wet suits and began the laborious task of transitioning from outer space to sea life. Our plan was to inspect the ecosystem under the sea to see what we could find.

To formulate our plan, we donned our oxygen tanks and met at the exclusive underwater seafood buffet, OctoStar, with amazing coral reef views. We traded our space palates for sea palates and dined on plankton and hagfish and albatross as we conferred. We deduced it was greatly possible the clues were hidden in the strange microscopic holes of the basalt rocks hidden deep in the ocean.

Were we on the right track, or would we have to time travel back and begin exploring the seven universes all over again? 

“Bob Kaster”
The turbulence jarred Sean awake in his state room on the shuttle.  He nervously looked at his watch – still ten more hours to go on his 60-hour journey.  Instinctively he reached over with his left hand and reassured himself that the top-secret briefcase was still handcuffed to his right wrist.  What he had going for him was that everyone in the universes believed he was dead.

To pass the time he had been watching four-dimensional videos available to him on his hologram reader – time-space travel sci-fi shows, based on the fictional accounts of the Head Time Travelers of the Seven Universes. Some stories were quite good, portraying time-space travel centuries into the future, when travelers could go from one galaxy to another, or into the past or future, in mere seconds, by simply levitating themselves into wormholes using the sheer energy directed from their brains.  Sean was enjoying the heart-warming tales of future beings, like Weena and Eloi, and recoiling from the horrors perpetrated upon the galaxies by the likes of the brutish Morlocks and the dreaded Meumenix race.  He particularly savored the adventures of Magenta, who traveled the universes in her neon purple spaceship.  He thought she was hot.  Also, he enjoyed when their adventures took them to the parallel universe hidden deep in the oceans of the planets.   Eventually, Sean had dozed off…

But now he was wide awake.  He was an experienced traveler, and accustomed to the normal turbulence that came with the deployment of solar arrays and other common maneuvers of the shuttle.  But this was different.  It was more violent … and had a strange pulsating rhythm to it.

He knew there was a force out there that would stop at nothing to gain access to the contents of his briefcase.  He also knew that the futuristic sci-fi shows he had been watching did have some factual basis.  He knew that the Meumenix race actually existed … and that they desperately wanted the formula he was carrying.

“Danielle Crofford-Fetters”
Sean’s thoughts were interrupted by a loud rapping on his door. He hurried over and quickly swiped his hand to unlock it. Outside was a frantic steward who told him the ship had been boarded by a hostile force who were ripping it apart and taking out anyone in their way. The ship’s crew and passengers were being told to evacuate immediately via the escape pods.

As Sean was preparing to leave, the weird pulsing vibration he had felt earlier increased a hundredfold. Just then the steward took off screaming and was immediately struck down by a beam of light. Sean looked in the direction the light had come from and saw his worst fear striding toward him, the Meumenix.

Sean knew it was pointless to run so he stood his ground. He heard a voice in his head that said, “It’s you who hold the secrets we desire.” Sean quickly glanced down at the briefcase and was dismayed to see the handcuff had begun to unlock by itself. Once the Meumenix had the secret formula the inhabitants of the galaxy would be doomed. With a clunk the briefcase hit the floor and instead of the secret formula, out rolled three stinky tube socks, a dirty t-shirt and a rotten banana.

“What’s the meaning of this?” roared the Meumenix, “You do not have that which we seek!” With that the vibrations ceased and the Meumenix disappeared.

Sean breathed a sigh of relief and wondered how he had ended up with the wrong briefcase? It must have happened as he was waiting for his transportation. There had been a weird old man sitting next to him who had a sign that said, “They Come” and a cart full of junk, including an old briefcase. Somehow that old fellow must have exchanged briefcases while Sean was struggling to get the handcuff latched onto his wrist.

For now, the secrets of the universe were safe… as safe as they could be in the cart of a dirty, self proclaimed prophet somewhere in Toledo.

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