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Thu Nov 21, 2013, 03:54 AM

Matthew Kressel: "The History Within Us"

On a wrist-mounted computer, Betsy Haadama watched a six thousand-year-old silent film. It was grayscale, overexposed, two-dimensional, and chronologically jumbled. On the film: a mustachioed man doting over his young son at a crowded zoo. A woman vigorously combing the boy's white hair beside a large piano. A family eating a large meal, candles burning on a table, men wearing yarmulkes, bodies shivering in prayer. A river, people swimming, women in white bathing caps and full-body suits. Men on rocks by the shore, pipes in mouths, smoke drifting lazily upward. A park, the boy looking down at a dead pigeon. Staring. Staring. Father picking him up, kissing him. In the sky, a bright sun.

A young sun.

"Pardon my intrusion in this time of ends," a Twirlover said, startling her. The Twirlover's six separate, hovering pink objects like human knuckles danced a looping, synchronized pattern in the air. "If it pleases you, will you share with me why you watch that flickering device so incessantly?"

In some parts of the galaxy one could be killed for being human. Betsy wasn't sure if this Eluder Ship was such a place. But death was coming for all soon enough. So why fear it now?

--- Snip ---


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