Mark Ethridge’s Picture Choice: One
Title: If It’s Just A Dream, Let Me Dream (Part 8)
The tree stump was the last marker of the village Blue’s family once lived in. My wife and I placed a white ribbon on that stump, as a reminder of how our people behaved. “So like our ancestors in the 1600s and 1700s. Murder anything in the way of your beliefs.”
She held my hand, kissed my cheek. “My love. You know why we brought you here, through all the centuries.”
I knew. I was from a time of war. A time before one church, with multiple religions fighting for power, multiple governments fighting each other, while corporations quietly took over everything. A day when money as the only thing that mattered was beginning.
Money won. And the few who could fight the church and its corporations were hopelessly outnumbered. They were not helpless. They scoured the history of our Earth, looking for the right people. They found us. I was one of many. Trained by the US Military, with a record on social media of the time, of speaking out against going with the flow. I’d always known the dangers of blindly following anything, or anyone.
But I’d also known how easy it was to fall into that trap.
Her and her people found me. They pulled me through time. A hundred centuries, or more. It didn’t matter. They showed me what we had become. “We’ve murdered hundreds of worlds, taken countless billions of lives. We need to save the galaxy from ourselves.”
Since then, we’d been on dozens of planets. Saved a dozen worlds. Watched as the corporate church of our people deemed worlds too corrupted by Satan for saving. Then released a synthetic plague on those worlds. Invisible machines, nanotechnology, turned into a planet-killing weapon. Those machines destroyed all life, starting with proteins, moving to microorganisms, bacteria, and continuing up the chain of life.
What the machines didn’t destroy died because the plague destroyed the chain of life. We’d seen too many worlds cleansed of sin by the church leaders, and their actions. The worst part was their declaration, “By the will of God.”
“We both know where this will end.” I shook my head as I stared at the stump, and the white ribbon on it. “They’ll unleash the plague.”
She nodded. “What we do here could change everything.”
“If this works, we’ll save Blue and her people.”
“That’s all that matters to you, isn’t it, my love?”
I nodded. “I fight for life.” I looked at the red sun hanging in the black sky, with the flickering stars visible in daylight. “For all life.”
“The Christians don’t matter. The religion doesn’t matter.” She smiled. “You are free from them.”
She knew I was. She knew all of us pulled through the centuries fought for life. Not for religion. Not for God. Not for our Human race. We fought for life.
I smiled. “It’s time, isn’t it?”
I felt the tension in her hand. “Yes. It is.”
“I’ll tell Blue and the others what’s going to happen next.”
We, the rebellion, had found a way to fight back. We’d figured out the plague of nanomachines the Church used on worlds. We’d studied those machines, how they worked, how they communicated with each other, how they destroyed life on worlds. And we’d made a vaccine. Our own plague of nanomachines. Machines that destroyed the plague. Machines that protected the chain of life.
“The beauty of nanotechnology,” I hugged my love. “Once unleashed, once practical, once developed, it becomes magic available to anyone.”
“Even a ragtag rebellion?”
“Even a ragtag rebellion, with no cash.” We smiled, and I kissed her. “Make a handful of machines, and watch as they make as many of themselves as needed.”
She kissed me. “It’s time to tell Blue what will happen now.”
The Church was in for one hell of a surprise when God spared a world they claimed he’d condemned. I had to wonder what the Church leaders would think of that, how they would react. “We’ll need to ramp up production of the suits.”
“And the weapons.”
Yes, we would. The Church would not take kindly to the failure of the plague. There would be a Holy Crusade.
There would be blood.
As there had always been through the history of my people.
Like what you just read? Have a question or concern? Leave a note for the author! We appreciate your feedback!
Mark woke up in 2010, and has been exploring life since then. All his doctors agree. He needs to write.