Memories of the future. An eyewitness notes
ñêà÷àòü êíèãó áåñïëàòíî
ADDRESS TO THE READER (instead of introduction)
Mankind will survive and regenerate after weathering the storm of the Epoch of Major Changes. These changes have already affected people all over the globe: the rise in the World Ocean level, unstable state of the Yellowstone super volcano, uncontrolled migration of the Planet’s population, conflicts and wars, water and food supply shortage, destruction of the system of states. We can already see these and other processes going on nowadays. And it is only the beginning of a long chain of cause-effect relations.
The events described are based on the processes that are most likely to face the Planet, both socially and environmentally, as indicated in materials of analytical research and published statistical data that allow us to determine and describe the most probable future developments. Will people be able to survive under aggressive environmental conditions? And if so, can survival be considered as the ultimate goal of intellectual development on this Planet? What is the destination of each of us and of the whole Mankind? What is Collective Conscience and how does it influence future events taking shape right now?
All of us must bear responsibility for our common future! While writing this book, I got strong support of people who really care about the future of Mankind: scientists, experts, friends and relatives of mine who share my thoughts and Faith in the high purpose of mind and the creative power of Mankind. I am endlessly thankful to them for their help! It was them who expressed their thoughts on the future and consulted me on the trends in technological and social developments. It fell to me to shape all these in a literary form. All the future technologies depicted do really exist nowadays. In my opinion, science fiction authors should lay the basis for spiritual ideals and traits of the Man of tomorrow and have confidence in our wonderful future.
What will the man of the future be like? It will be a spiritually free person, clear of emotional and psychological problems with advanced mind, strong intuition and considerable life wisdom, who will be able to bring a new harmony into this world. The man of tomorrow will be physically healthy, free of lust, greed and envy. This new man will establish new rules of life on the Planet. The new race will care for the common good. Men and women will have equal rights. Concern for the new generation will become one of the primary objectives of Mankind. Labor will be VOLUNTARY, rewarding and creative. Mankind will build new cities and industrial facilities by means of advanced knowledge and technologies focused on maintaining the environmental balance. Our future environmentally-friendly technology will be based on the principal laws of the Universe.
Once we start living and loving each other in harmony, we’ll be able to explore distant stars and the depths of spiritual spheres, leaving far behind the primitive Homo sapiens.What we need is the SINGLE WORLD COMMUNITY, rather than the SINGLE WORLD GOVERNMENT! The Unity of thoughts of men who follow the path of evolution has the great potential for creating a new and perfect world.
“What do you want to learn about the future, Alex, while studying the past? How many times have we looked through your life record, starting with the point of the successful landing?” Although AI was talking in a calm voice, she captured a tinge of hidden irony in his words.
“Abel, I have a strong feeling that I am missing out something important in the past, which keeps me from moving on. Can you see a system in our logics that leads us into deadlock? This is some principle that escapes our understanding, isn’t it? Or this might be something else?”
“I am working on this, esteemed Head of the Council! The chronicles of your memory are the Minotaur’s labyrinth: things aren’t always what they seem.”
“Don’t call me like that, Wolf!”
“Okay, I won’t, senior lieutenant Bjorg, let’s start by repeating the brief chronicle of the Planet over the past two hundred years.
The year 2222 or 7730 according to the First Chronology. By the way, both these dates carry the Mark of Force!
I’ve selected the most significant events of these two hundred years’ period that determine the balance of power and motives for the war. Here’s the picture I’ve got:
– the Free People’s colony was set up on a remote planet;
– following the volcanic eruption, the continent got immersed and massive relocation of the cataclysm victims ensured;
– the Ocean level rose by 17 meters over 150 years;
– the Coalition resumed its struggle for global domination;
– the Planet’s population protested against the Coalition’s policy;
– a large-scale war with the Coalition broke out, the Free People determined to go all the way;
– the Planet’s system of states was destroyed;
– the family institution was eliminated;
– only two states were left on the Planet: the Coalition and the Free People;
– the Planet’s population embarked on a massive migration;
– the Free People abolished monetary relations, with priority being given to fostering creativity;
– weapons of radically new types emerged in all branches of the military;
– the population was annihilated by a new virus strain;
– The Planet’s environment reached a critical state;
– the Planet’s living beings were saved from complete extinction by means of cloning;
– a processor for human consciousness recording was created;
– a cyber body was developed as an alternative to a biological one;
– the perpetual energy source was generated from the Planet’s field and the surrounding Space;
– the super conductivity principle began to be used in flights;
– the Antigravity Principle was discovered.
“All right, Abel, that’s enough for the analysis. Now put together a system and principles common to all these developments. Then search for something that unifies the factors of the Planet’s live environment, social medium and scientific achievements. Draw a system-based Principle out of all these and then transfer the obtained system-based Principle over to THAT period of my life. What do you get? Put the semantic and graphic aspects up on a projection. I see there is an imagery aspect as well. I wonder what this image is?”
“It’s a Spiral, Alex, shrinking into a point.”
(a conversation fragment)
“She lived under the Sun, in a place abounding with bright stars.”
A piercing howl of the falling jet fighter broke the silence of the desert; the aircraft crashed, raising a plume of dust and smoke. Its forebode nuzzled into the sand, with engines still turning by inertia before falling silent forever. In the sky above the crashed aircraft, a parachute canopy was seen. A pilot’s figure was hanging somewhat awkwardly on the cords without motion.
On approaching the land surface, the canopy swayed in the hot air and speeded up its descent. Hardly had the pilot’s body touched the ground, when it dragged him off across a sandy dune slope, hastened by the wind, towards remains of the abandoned town walls. The pilot had crawled along the ground like a floppy doll for some time before the canopy fastened onto a fixture sticking out of the sand and fell off sharply. The world seemed to have come to a halt again. A minute had passed before the pilot moved slowly, clumsily sat down, unfastened a pressure helmet and threw it aside. A shock of blond hair swept over the shoulders. Then her fingers began to glide on the clasps, releasing her from the straps. She examined herself and groaned in pain. The torn suit began to slowly darken in the area of her stomach.
The instruction prohibited to stay long at the place of crash.
Having unfastened an emergency set, she rose and slowly went off, pressing her palm against the wound.
A long while ago, it used to be a small lovely town with fountains and squares sunk in greenery and surrounded with thick woods. Now only dry tree trunks, half-covered with sand, and remains of structures reminded of the past.
Following the global warming, woods gave way to deserts with their stinging winds and dust storms. Life had long forsaken this place… Pieces of stone walls and some iron structures poked out of sand dunes.
Although the midday heat slackened a bit, the dust-filled air burnt the lungs. With her feet raking up the sand, she toiled along what used to be called a street. She had to get as far as possible from the smoking aircraft before she could fix up the wound. She gave a farewell look at the wreckage of her combat aircraft she had already become one with.
Ragged rifts were seen all over the aircraft body. Over there, in the warped metal pile, Eol, her Artificial Intelligence friend and navigator was left. His body was not fit for relocation, and so she was unable to save him. The navigator was obviously damaged or shattered as he failed to response to her calls.
There is a first time for everything. She had never believed the worst before, but now it happened to her. She was knocked down. She was wounded. And still she could not escape the feeling that the whole thing was unreal.
Her arms still remembered the hand wheel jarring before catapulting.
She was playing back in her head the fight details: the aircraft shaking under shell attacks, emergency mode lights flashing on the control panel, a smell of burning wiring.
Her worn outdated multi-purpose fighter was finished off by a missile from one of the enemy military groups deployed in the quarantine zone of the Wastelands. The flight had already accomplished the combat mission on ground targets and was proceeding towards the turning point, when suddenly the radar displayed missiles on pursuit course. Then the fighter shook up a few times, and everything changed. She even managed to divert the out-of-control fighter and retrace its course. The once obedient hand wheel was now trembling and raging in her arms, the engines capacity dropped sharply. At a critical height close to the ground surface, she had to catapult from her doomed "brother in arms".
Now her task was to reach an old radio tower located in the east. She knew that a reconnaissance unit was still operating in that area and hence a life-support shelter was supposed to be there, but she did not know for sure where it was. Then the “Red Wolves” squadron operator
would track her down and send help to the navigator Eol. That’s how things were meant to be according to the instruction, but in reality this is usually not the case.
The situation was aggravated by her bleeding wound and dizziness after hard landing.
It was forbidden to use in-flight safety belts in the Wastelands, since their ion radiation was easily detected by patrol drones, which reduced chances for survival to zero. Now she had to find a safe place. And the main thing was not to panic.
Having summoned up all her strength, she headed to the north-east, where in two hundred meters the town ruins boundary ended up. The sand-colored flight suit with heat control function effectively protected the pilot against overheat in the Sun or overcooling at high altitude. This time, the system was working sustainably, preventing body dehydration. A multi-purpose communicator on her left hand sent a slight vibration signal. She looked at the display. The Communicator’s Artificial Intelligence showed the body health condition: decreased bioenergy potential, light wound in the stomach area. In the opinion of the “Personal Physician”, she could sustain high physical activity for some forty minutes.
“That will be enough,” she decided, “outside the town I will find a sheltered place and heal the wound. And then we’ll see. I’d better steer away from the walls”.
GMA or genetically modified animals, dwelling in this place, attacked silently, in packs and usually from behind.
Pilots normally fit out their standard flight suits with complete emergency sets by themselves. But with her it was a different story. She never really though all these "indispensable devices" were any use, especially, taking into account their huge weight, which only hindered movement. For that reason, most of her emergency set was simply missing.
To distract herself from monotonous motion, she began recalling all staff in her possession: soft water bottles fit into the rear of her suit close to the kidneys; flexible electric battery inside the rear part of the suit, that was presumably charged and securely embraced her back, protecting the spinal cord; however medical capsules for a multipurpose injector built in the suit were missing, as well as a nutrient gel, which she never took along. The pistol inside the pants holster with ammunition was there!
Having reached the town boundary, she looked around watchfully for any motion or danger. Everything seemed to be stiff, only the aircraft body was emitting smoke two kilometers behind. Suddenly, she saw two fresh deep dents on the plane sand surface, which meant that someone had been there not long ago and watched her from that point.
The girl grew wary. Having followed the direction of movement, she detected a two-fold trace going off the side and then abruptly turning towards the north-east. Judging by the distance between the traces, that was a huge animal moving in big leaps.
"It’s a GMA,” she thought, “Good thing that’s not a pack. I wonder why it is alone.” The genetically modified animals were known not only for the large muscle mass, but also for their highly sophisticated predaceous mind. The presence of a sole species could mean only one thing: she had been hunted by a highly dangerous enemy.
Having passed about a kilometer from the town boundary, the girl decided to finally fix her wound. For that purpose, she climbed to the top of a small hill which provided a good view of the surroundings. Wrinkling, she slowly set down, once again looked around the stiff landscape and started examining the contents of her emergency set (first aid for light wounds healing).
She immediately caught hold of a nano-gel barrel for quick healing of light wounds. Having unclasped her suit, she saw an open rough-edged wound that she had received while being carried by the parachute canopy along ragged iron pieces sticking out of the sand. Wasting no time, the girl applied some gel from the barrel on the wound edges and then began waiting. Undoubtedly, the wound had already got infected, and the gel could only stop the bleeding and relieve pain for a while. But that was not too bad either. By nature, she was a buoyant optimist.
"What if I find a medical capsule? But then again, I don’t have a slightest idea of how to get into the abandoned base’s biological unit.” She could not let go of thoughts about the animal and its traces. “Some monstrous beast has gotten hung on me, and – to make matters worse – seems to be moving in the same direction as I am.”
In forty minutes, the pain remitted and the wound stopped bleeding. The girt clasped the suit, took out a water tube nozzle from the collar. The sweetish fluid contained a stimulating agent. Having made a couple of large gulps, she took a deep breath and exhaled so as to increase the blood oxygen level. Now she could go further. She thoroughly fished trough her pants pockets and, having found her hair fixer, she combed her golden sand-colored hair with her fingers and scraped them into a ponytail. While doing her hair and adjusting her suit, she noticed some movement on the hill at a distance.
"The beast might have holed up and is watching me. It’s best to walk in an open terrain. I wonder what such a huge beast feeds on. And why didn’t it attack me in the town? It was the right place for that. And how come it does not attack at all?” she was thinking.
She abandoned her first aid set as no longer useful to free her hands. She took out a pistol, pensively weighted it up in her arms, but her face noticeably darkened as she envisaged the beast’s size corresponding to the trace. She looked at the communicators’ display. The "Personal Physician" suggested injecting an ultra-antibiotic to clear out her blood from infection. The living indicators were slightly below normal. But that was not too bad in her position.
"The rebel base. Direction,” she ordered to the communicator in a calm voice. The latter switched into the “Guide” mode. A pulsating spot on the display located the destination point in some three kilometers to the north-east.
The terrain was predominantly flat with small hills. The once fertile lands were increasingly turning into a desert, and the dull landscape evoked despair. Still it was the beast that she was concerned with.
“The beastie should be smart. I think it’s unlikely to go at me in the open. Looks like, it’s up to attack after sunset. I will have surely found an entrance to the base biological unit by that time. But what if there is no longer any entrance left, as well as the base itself?” she was reflecting.
As a matter of fact, the whole territory of the Wastelands was under constant radar scanning by the Coalition military forces, and surveillance drones were occasionally seen in the sky. Therefore, any radio broadcast, the use of pulsed weapon, or any electromagnetic surge were instantly traced down, with a combat drone being sent to the identified coordinates to annihilate anything that moved. Drones were sent either by a human being’s or the Artificial Intelligence’s command.
Abandoned bases long left by their dwellers presented the biggest threat. In such places, the AI took charge and continued to keep watch off-line. It searched for and identified new targets on its own, sending drones and surface-mobile intelligence modules. In accordance with the program, the AI arranged assemblage, repair and dispatch of drones on combat missions. There was no one to cancel the program, and only complete defeat could stop it. Multi-purpose factory-bases managed either by the AI or human beings were normally located in heavily-protected bunkers. It was exactly such mission that she had been sent on together with her flight and where she had been knocked down before reaching the turnaround point.
“How I am supposed to fire at the beastie, if I will be instantly spotted by the shot impulse and then a drone-hunter will come for me in just a couple of minutes? Judging by the trace, this is not an ordinary cat. I wish I had a bullet gun on hand with more firepower!” She started thinking out loud, which usually had a calming effect on her.
The operators might have seen a thermal wake from the turbines, the missile-target encounter point and the aircraft crash spot from the satellite. The flight team will also report all details. But the base is unlikely to send out a rescue flight, because the crash area is heavily scanned and teeming with drones. And as long as she does not switch on any radiation source, drones will be taking her for a poor little marauder dragging his gain towards a bunker. Any biological object drifting along the Wastelands that did not emit any electromagnetic impulses was overlooked by drones. Therefore it would be suicide to enable a radio beacon.
The “Guide” sent a vibration signal and the display screen featured the pulsating destination point, which meant that it was nearby. She watchfully looked around the terrain: piles of sand-covered construction blocks and iron structures sticking out of the ground; dune tops producing dust under the wind, rusty iron structures and remains of obsolete machinery.
There were no signs of motion. But still she could not let go of the feeling that she was being watched and that someone’s intense eyes were following her every move. Her inner voice suggested that the observer was now very close. She was well-aware of the fact that invisible suits were able to entirely conceal an enemy, tough they were not perfect. At a closer look, one could discern a light abnormity. That’s why she started peering around in search for unusual light effects.
All of a sudden, just a short distance away, near a shapeless bunch of stone blocks, some twenty feet from her, a huge body moved and began growing darker, turning from sand-colored into reddish brown. The light spot was gradually shifting its shape and assuming a form of an enormous animal, lying in the sphinx position. Soon the girl distinguished a huge animal that looked like a wolf or dog at least ten feet long from nose to tail.
Its watchful yellow eyes were placidly gazing at her. Having studied her face, it shifted its glance to her personal bar code on the suit and then again fixed its eyes on her face. Suddenly she felt his presence in her head as a clear impartial voice uttered as though reflecting:
"Chief Lieutenant Alexandra. Nickname: Bjorg*. "Red Wolves" squadron. The Free People. I am an AI standalone unit designed for information compilation, processing and storage. Nickname: Wolf Abel. Division: "Athena". The Free People,” he reported as required by the Statute and accompanied his thought form with a nod.
*Bjorg – Scandinavian: Defender.
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