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Blog 2: Sci-fi thumbnail

Don Rogers

(Blog 2 aims to write the book from before the idea through the final work.)

Earth is an oasis in the desert. Far, far from civilization. Elsewhere, truly far away, life has populated lots of planets. Their inhabitants travel, barter, form unions, occasionally war much like Earth’s nations. Some offer tourism. Others are better known for their natural resources.

Earth, it turns out, is just this spot in this dust cloud of dead planets and blazing suns. Almost impossible to find. It’s two years full years from civilization even at the beyond light speeds they travel at.

An exploration ship near the end of a five-year mission finally bumps into Earth and is amazed to find a civilization. It’s primitive to be sure, but shows potential. Out here all alone, so far from anything. How did this happen?

The crew studies the planet for about a month and takes a few samples of Earth life. Some plants, some animals. A couple of humans, the dominant species.

One of the humans is Our Hero. The other is a teenage girl from Pakistan. These scientists don’t have enough of a clue, or much care, really about the importance of family. Our Hero has been married for 22 years and has two teenage children. The girl is the middle child of a large family in the Kashmir region. She’s around the age of marriage in her culture.

The crew plucks Our Hero from a single car crash late at night. He’s injured but repairable. They burn the car. They take the girl after an earthquake. It’s less that they knew or planned these things and mainly that they were in the right place at the right time. Their approach to discovery is to reap samples without attracting attention. They are good at it. As far as their families and communities are concerned, Our Hero and the girl have passed from this world. And, indeed, they have.

Their cell on the ship is comfortable. It’s arranged as a Western apartment. A little smaller than Our Hero’s home, much nicer than the girl’s living quarters. There’s a library of about equal size with a decent sampling of books, mostly in English but others as well. The explorers also have downloaded everything of Earth and made that accessible to Our Hero and the girl via computer and television screens.

Another room of about the size of the apartment is full of exercise equipment. Their rations are utterly foreign and tasteless, but nutritionally calibrated for their species health. They never see their captors throughout the journey to civilization. Two earth years in a cage, however well appointed.

Our Hero and the girl do not know the purpose of their captivity, anything of their journey’s destination, what will happen to them when they arrive. They don’t even know they are in space, at least not at first.

In the girl’s culture, it’s not unusual for teens to be married to older men the age of Our Hero. But Our Hero sees the girl like his daughter of the same age. There’s one tension point. Sex and sexual attraction is palpable. Their captors have put them together, Adam and Eve in a way. They have feelings. But they don’t act on them.

There’s a few chapters. Then they’ll arrive. They’ll be studied though not dissected. They’ll be zoo creatures. But they are clever, these humans. They’ll escape. They’ll be captured. Eventually they’ll be emancipated in this enlightened culture. They’ll eventually come home to Earth. And probably locked up again as loonies. When they get back, Our Hero’s children will be grandparents, older than them.

Earth will have become stranger than the strange places they were taken.


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