Below is a small teaser for a science fiction book I have written. Read it and tell me if you are sufficiently enticed to read more.
It seemed like just the other day (a day is one revolution of our planet, when the planet has revolved to a point where the illumination from the base star hits the surface of the planet where one is located we call that “starbreak.” When the planet has revolved to the point where we can no longer see the illumination from the base star we call that the beginning of the rest period) when my friend Yazu Clynx and I were attending academy with aspirations of becoming Quark Management Engineers (QMEs). QMEs are responsible for developing basic life forms that can maintain the balance of life on a planet until such time as citizens need more space to adequately house our citizenry. We have to engineer life forms to ensure that oxygen levels and temperatures are ideal for citizen harmony and balance. After years of satisfactorily performing as a QME, the best of the best become Galaxian Superevisors. Once you become a Galaxian Supervisor, you literally have hundreds of QMEs ensuring plans you set for all inhabitable planets in that galaxy are followed to the letter. It is a position of great responsibility that is also highly regarded.
Back then, Yazu and I both had high hopes of progressing through the career and eventually becoming Galaxian Supervisors. Then, in our second trimester of our third year, Yazu dropped out and was assigned as a name engineer at the Registry of Citizens. He never told me why, in fact up until now, I had not heard anything from him since we last saw each other over 30 years ago.
One day he was in the academy, and then the next he was a name engineer. Nothing against name engineers mind you, but how hard is it to roll ten rhombic triacontahedrons (32 sided dice) with different letters on each side and then arrange all or some of them in an order that gives a new offspring an original name?
Now, after all this time of him working as a name engineer and me having finally reaching what was our original goal of being assigned as not only a Galaxian Supervisor, but the youngest to ever achieve this position and the very first Galaxian Supervisor for the Qanlan Galaxy, which has yet gone untouched by the citizenry. He contacts me and wants to talk?
Having not seen nor heard from Yazu, who used to be like my own brother, in all this time I was quite shocked when he contacted me and requested that I meet him for nutritional supplementation. I thought about ignoring the request, but there are so many unanswered questions I have to make this meeting.
As a name engineer, Yazu only gets half an hour for nutritional supplementation, so I volunteered to meet him at his office instead of him wasting time travelling to mine, as he has surely not kept proficient at travel through space-time bending. (A hour is a length of time that the day is divided into. On this planet, there are ten hours in a day.)
As I approached the door to his office I was appalled at the noise level. The volume of the containers shaking the dice followed by the clattering of the dice hitting the desktop was atrocious! I knocked on the door several times before I deduced that he could not hear me over the racket inside the room. Finally, I entered Yazu’s office to see that not only was it occupied by Yazu, but there were at least 10,000 other engineers stuffed into that space all shaking and throwing dice to name citizens. It actually took quite a lot of effort to locate my friend in section 37 row 74 desk 92.
I know at this point you are thinking “With the superiority of the Etherean race and all of their technological advancement, why would they have a citizen coming up with random names instead of assigning such a droll task to a machine, or even letting the Co-Primaries (Co-Primaries are two citizens of opposite gender that are united through an official ceremony for the purpose of providing more citizens) name their offspring?” I’ll tell you why. Back in the olden days we developed an automatic quasi intelligent name originator, but the machine kept coming up with totally unintelligible names like Barry and William that we determined machines are not worthy of naming us. With citizens, we are the ultimate species in the universe and with all of our responsibilities ensuring harmony and balance throughout the universe; we simply are above such a meaningless task for the most part. That duty is assigned to those who through no genetic fault of their own are not quite as capable at performing other jobs as the rest of us.
Anyway, as I neared him, I noticed he looked quite gaunt and his eyes seemed to have lost their luster. Every time he threw the dice out on the table he clenched his eyes shut until the last one had quit moving as if the noise of the crystal dice bouncing off his desk bothered him, but in this din there is no way he could distinguish the noise of his dice from any others. Then, almost like a robot he would quickly arrange the letters on the dice record the results into his retinal reader and load the dice back into the shaking container. I stood there watching him methodically performing his duties for 30 or 40 times before he finally noticed me.
“Oh, you’ve made it.” He yelled out. “I’ll clock out so we can talk.” I could not hear what he was saying over the deafening noise in the office, but it was easy enough to read his lips.
I watched him pick up the outdated communicator and punch in several numbers before he rose from his seat and motioned for me to follow him out of the office. As we gained enough distance from the office to be able to converse without shouting, I tried to make a little small talk. “Boy, the last time I saw a communicator that old it was at the antiquities display in the Ministry of Advancement.” Yazu’s glare back at me let me know I had hit on a sore subject, “I just got that upgrade yesterday”, he replied in a lifeless monotone voice.
Neither one of us said another word until we had exited the Hall of Names and were surrounded by the tranquil noise being broadcast by the speakers that were strategically placed all over the planet so no citizen would ever have to walk in silence. We discovered over the eons that silence can allow too many thought processes to all activate at once and cause us to lose focus. This is so counterproductive that it cannot be good, and it is rumored that it can even cause madness if forced to endure for any length of time. It has been so long since anyone has had to endure silence that no one really knows what it is like anymore. All we do know is there can be no good in silence.
We found a place where we could talk while he replenished the nutrition he had spent since his last supplementation. I looked at what he was having and thought about all the times we had skipped nutritional supplementation while at the academy when they served what we used to call “failure food”. You know the stuff that people who didn’t have quite enough aptitude to become one of the professionals ate. Here Yazu sat slowly in taking in that very glop without a sign of any disgust while doing so.
I asked him questions trying to get him to open up why after all this time he wanted to see me.
“She was approved for Primary Reassignment.”
“Do you own your own home?”
“Cohabitate with 10 of my co-workers.”
“Trying to find silence.”
“Why would you want silence?”
“Do my job for a day and you’ll know why.”
I could see this was going nowhere, so I decided to try a little more direct approach. “Yazu my friend, it’s been over 30 year since I last saw you. What did you want to see me about?”
“I heard you were assigned the Qanlan Galaxy.”
Wow! News really travels fast here! “Why yes I was. Just got the notification yesterday and I’m expecting to travel there in a few day to look things over.”
“Turn down the assignment,” he said in that monotone he has been speaking in since I arrived.
“Why would I turn down something as prestigious as being the very first Galaxian Supervisor in a new galaxy?” I asked quite shocked at his notion. Was this guy jealous of me for reaching what had one time been a goal for both of us?
“Just turn it down; they’ll give you another galaxy.”
“No one has ever turned down a Galaxian Supervisor position. Why do you have this desire to see me be the first?”
“My nutritional supplementation time is about over so I have to go back and name names. Just do what I said and turn down the Qanlan Galaxy.”
As he started back towards the Hall of Names, I tagged along with him trying to get him to elaborate on why he didn’t think I should take the position. He kept drudging along toward his office, head hanging down and not a word coming back to me to explain his request. As he climbed the steps towards the giant entryway, I noticed the engraving over the door “Through these doors, through intense deliberation every citizen is given his unique and well thought out moniker.” Even though I was still quite perplexed about my odd meeting with Yazu, I had to chuckle to myself as I walked away.
Were you duly enticed to want to read more? If so, why? If not, why not?
The Urbanized Rural Iowegian