Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Lucky #7

Earth Day was first celebrated April 22, 1970. America also started dumping toxic and radioactive waste out into the intergalactic voids on that day. 

By cosmic irony, or justice, on April 22, 1994, President Richard Nixon and his staff disappeared down a black hole, when their wormhole collapsed and evaporated in a flash of gamma rays and neutrinos. 

Nixon was in a foul fucking mood that day. He was back from the Soviet colony world of Moon #7. Luna No-mer See-yem. Lucky #7.  His last stop before Earth was here on Alterra.

“I go from the fucking Russian Jetsons to this shithole granola planet? Nixon said, “Somebody get me a drink”.

And they did.


“You were there?” I asked Claire.

“Nixon's accident? No. How do you think I got the station master’s job?” replied Claire.


Claire, Aaron and I were seated in the alien quarantine section of Sam's Pub, which was packed. Ever since Sam installed the robot bartender in there, everyone wanted to be served by a robot. It kind of defeated the purpose of the alien quarantine, as that section of the bar had been partitioned off to protect Sam's human patrons from the occasionally hostile or exuberant alien. I could see perhaps a dozen people in the humans-only part, though hard to discern through all the alien graffiti and obscene pictures scratched into the 4-inch-thick bulletproof plexiglass.

We were celebrating the end of the dimming of the wormhole network. All the wormhole apertures had grown back from sullen little cherry-red bee-bees to nice big blue-glowing soap bubbles. Traffic between worlds was restored, and everybody was back to their normal jobs and happy. There had been some tough and primitive times for a while, with all available electrical power used up just to keep the damned things from collapsing. The colony had been forced back to circa-1830s lifestyle.

“We were at the banquet,” Aaron volunteered. I gestured a suggestion for a refill. They shook their heads no.

“You met Nixon?”

“Oh yeah” Claire smiled. “He was like a drunken werewolf that could talk. Filthy. Foul-mouthed. Pretty horrible.”

“God, I wish I could have been there.”

“No, you don’t, man” Aaron said with raised eyebrows. "He was abusive, just a very unpleasant motherfucker". 


Lucky Number Seven. Lu-na No-mer See-yem. Moon Number Seven. Earth satellite of a warm gas giant orbiting a G-type star. Colonized by the USSR in 1974, it’s some 4.784 billion light years from Earth, in the direction of the Pleiades. 

The Russkies poured their heart, blood, soul into this world. They practically moved the entire Soviet Union there, with basically just paint shadows and abandoned furniture left on old Earth. And, of course, an operating power and wormhole station in the Urals, and eventually Moscow, Leningrad, Vladivostok. Smart fuckers, with only a minimal military budget, they devoted their time and energies to science and engineering. 

They leapt ahead a good generation or two ahead of Earth in technology. They even colonized the Earth world in closer orbit to their star with their nuclear rockets. Out of 19 Earth worlds in the universe, two of them were in the same system the Soviets found, so Lucky #7.

Ah, but progress is not without it's price. They managed to trash the environment and kill off nearly half the plants and animals with all of their development. Not to mention the nuclear and industrial accidents. They probably wouldn't have made it all had it not been for the Kraken.

"You know why Nixon was so sour about the Soviets?" Aaron asked. 

"Yes and no. I assume the whole triumph of collective central planning over free market capitalism had a lot to do with it. Plus, Nixon just hating Russians in general."

"That's part, but no. It was his fault the Russians managed to succeed, and that just gnawed at him. You remember the disclosure of how the chemical and nuclear industries were paying big bucks to dump all their crap out into the big voids?"

"Sure. That was big news when it broke". 

"Yeah, well. Turns out there were Things out in the voids that really liked our waste product. They contacted the Kraken, who in turn contacted Earth with the message 'More please'."

"Things? What kind of things? I've never heard of these things."

"Yeah, well, there's Things out there with a capital T. And the Kraken regularly supplied them with toxic wastes and stuff, but apparently ours was, what, gourmet? Fresh and new? So, when Nixon and Kissinger craft a number of deals with the Kraken, news broke about all the disasters on Moon #7. Place was just trashed and they were looking at an extinction event. Nixon, kind of half joking, informed the Kraken about their predicament. Next thing, you know, place is all cleaned up, and the Russkies get the same Kraken tech as we got. Lucky #7!"

"Oh man! That must have stuck in his grisly old craw".

"For ten years." laughed Claire "we always figured the wormhole aperture collapsed from an overload of bile!" And we all laughed and drank to that.

Happy Earth Day from all of us on Alterra!

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