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Bookworm's Sci-Fi Adventure!
Bookworm’s Sci-Fi Adventure
So, @Bookworm wanted a sci-fi story. I keep meaning to get to it, but always don’t. Coming up with a serious story, that I want to be, well, taken seriously with, can be emotionally exhausting, so for now, I hope a non-serious one will suffice. I’m just going to make it a serial, and will add further chapters as requested (or when I feel like it).
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination, or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Chapter 1
The annoying beep of a heart monitor filled Steve’s ears. He opened his eyes to the blinding glare of a panel of lights that were placed directly over him. He sat up and panicked. He was in some sort of hospital room. He ran his hands up and down his body. He was in a hospital gown and his hair was longer, but everything else was more or less the same. What the hell happened?
            A man in a white lab coat walked in. He wore a nametag that said Dr. Uranus. He smiled and said, “Aah, Steve, you’re finally awake. The operation was a success.”
            “Operation?” asked Steve. “What operation? What happened to me?”
            “You were in a coma for three-hundred years,” said Dr. Uranus.
            Steve scratched his head. “How could I have been in a coma for three-hundred years?”
            Dr. Uranus laughed. “You got lucky. Moon spice was cultivated just before your body would have otherwise croaked. You’re pretty much the same age as you were when you went into your coma. It was quite the freak accident. You’re lucky you survived.”
            “I’ll say,” said Steve. “Ugh.” He shook his head. “My oh my. Me, just waking up hundreds of years into the future? I must be dreaming.”
            Dr. Uranus chuckled. “Now, now. You won’t say you’re dreaming when you see your bill.”
            “Bill?” asked Steve. “The NHS charges copays for coma hospitalizations?”
            Dr. Uranus laughed hysterically. “Oh, the NHS! Oh goodness. No, the NHS was abolished centuries ago. Now, everyone in the solar system has the good, ol’, beautiful, American version of healthcare. No more of that,” Dr. Uranus put his fingers in scare quotes, “free healthcare nonsense! Pfft! Nope, we all have our freedom now to choose our health insurance.”
            “Um, okay,” said Steve, “so, ugh, what’s my health insurance?”
            Dr. Uranus pulled up an electronic tablet and scrolled through the screen. “Hmm, I’m afraid you don’t have one, and since you already had the operation to wake you up, you won’t be able to find one that’ll cover it. Anyway, your bill is sixty-million credits.”
            Steve’s jaw dropped. “Sixty-million credits?”
            “Oh, right. For your reference, one credit is worth about, mmm, around one US dollar or one-ish UK pound in the early twenty-twenties.”
            “WHAT?” screamed Steve. “Are you kidding me? Sixty-million pounds for an operation I didn’t even chose to have? You can’t do that to me!”
            Dr. Uranus put the screen of the tablet to his chest and made duck-faced lips. “Hmm, well, we can, but don’t worry, that sixty-million credits is your entire bill. It’s mostly for the centuries of spice your body needed to sustain itself.”
            “How am I suppose to pay it off?” asked Steve.
            Dr. Uranus rolled his eyes. “With a job, obviously.” The doctor checked his tablet. “Hmm, I’m sorry sir, but a twentieth and early twenty-first century education doesn’t count as much anymore. By today’s standards, you’re pretty much a high school dropout. I’m afraid the only place that’ll hire you are the Bezosian asteroid mines.”
            “The Bezosian asteroid mines?”
            “Well,” said Dr. Uranus, “if you’re life isn’t that valuable, I suppose you could also be a sewer for the Martian emperor, but the Martian rebels are always trying to poison King Musk, so it’d be a shame if you put three hundred years of moon spice to waste like that.”
            Steve closed his eyes and hoped it’d make him wake up in his old bed. He heard the doctor leave, and he opened his eyes again. Alone, he pinched himself and found it hurt. Great, he was finally in the future where people were living on different planets, but he’s sixty-million in debt. He’s considered under-educated, and the only job he has available is apparently that of an asteroid miner. Oh well, maybe it won’t be that bad. Maybe he can declare bankruptcy or something. He got out of bed and explored the hospital.
            As he roamed the halls, he was shocked by what he saw. There were holograms that projected three-dimensional maps, healthcare instructions, and ads. Doctors and nurses healed cuts by simply shining some sort of laser beam on wounds. Wheelchairs weren’t even wheelchairs anymore, they were wheelless pods that floated through the air. But the most shocking were the people. Everyone had bizarre outfits and body modifications, from giving themselves unrealistic anime faces to real cat ears. He asked a young woman with fox ears if they were real, and she acted offended and said that yes, they were real, she had, in fact, spliced her DNA with a fox!
            Steve went to a hospital shop. He was told whatever he bought would simply be added to his tab, so without looking at the price, he bought a new outfit. He was already millions in debt, so whatever he adds now was a drop in the bucket. As he roamed the halls, he came across a young man who was arguing with a robot at a kiosk.
            “What do you mean you don’t take payments in spice?” said the young man.
            “I mean we don’t take payments in spice,” said the robot in a very human sounding voice. “We accept all forms of currency that are listed on the Lunar Exchange, including Amazonian Credits, Royal Martian Musk Coins, and of course, Dogecoin.”
            “Well then fine,” said the young man, “I guess I’ll just have to sell my spice and pay you in your stupid credits. Your loss, Luna pays the highest.”
            “Well then,” said the robot, “in the name of our emperor, Lord Bezos, I sure hope you pay all the tariffs and VIT taxes first.”
            The young man rolled his eyes, “oh, of course,” he said, unconvincingly.
            As he walked away from the counter, Steve approached him. “Excuse young lad,” Steve said, “could you please tell me what all this ‘spice’ talk is all about? I just woke up from a three-hundred year coma and have no idea what’s going on.”
            “Young lad?” said the young man, “I’ll have you know I’m over three-hundred years old with no coma in-between. I just eat a lot of spice, okay?”
            “Well then,” said Steve, “I guess that makes you the world’s cutest grandpa.”
            “Sir,” said the young man, “I don’t have time for this. I’ve got spice to sell. Unless you think you can help me bootleg it, we are done.”
            “Bootleg?” asked Steve, “does it pay?” Steve explained his situation.
            “Well,” said the spice trader, “that’s quite the predicament. The Bezosian asteroid mines are a living hellhole. They give you the tiniest of morsels of spice for you survive, and make you work with no machines, because to them, working you to near-death is cheaper than using robots that could do all the work for you. Also, just declaring bankruptcy has become a thing of the past. I hate to say this, Steve, but quite frankly, you’re fucked.”
            Steve grabbed him by the collar of his shirt and said “Well help me get the fuck out of it then! I want to live in the future, but I don’t want to live if I have to use spades and pickaxes on some freezing cold asteroid!”
            “Fine then,” he said. “You can help me sell spice, and I’ll ask the ghoul if you can join the syndicate. I’m Chase, by the way.”
            Steve took a deep breath. The ghoul, the syndicate, spice, who knows what the devil this all is, but at least another path is opening up. “Thanks Chase,” said Steve. “Say, a three-hundred-year-old Chase – are you by any chance the same Chase from GS in the twenty-first century?”
            Steve and Chase caught up, and together, they left the hospital. Outside, Steve’s jaw dropped at the sight of what he saw. Above them in the sky was Earth. “Oh my god,” said Steve, “is that Earth? Are we on the moon?” Steve looked around the landscape: there were flowing gardens of planted trees and flowers. Villas with vineyards dotted rolling green hills. In the city that they were in, spaceships landed and departed from the rooftops of skyscrapers.
            “Oh yeah,” said Chase, “I forgot to tell you. Earth is a shithole now. The anti-vaxxers ruined it. You see, they never got vaccinated, so the virus from our time just kept on mutating and crossing back into the vaccinated population. They were ruining it for us, and we just couldn’t stop them. So, eventually, everyone who was vaccinated left Earth for the rock planets, moons, and asteroid colonies, leaving Earth to turn into an apocalyptic wasteland.”
            “So I’m on the moon now?” asked Steve. “It’s so green, did we terraform it? Well, if all of the responsible people escaped to space, I’m sure, at least out here, things are safer.”
            “Nope,” said Chase. “The Martian emperor, otherwise known as Space Karen, is an anti-vaxxer himself. If it wasn’t for the armistice that was signed after World War III, Earth never would have been quarantined. Anyway, we need to sell my shipment of spice so you can make your first interest payment on your hospital bill, otherwise an arrest warrant will be issued for you, and you’ll be dragged to those asteroid mines.”
            They walked through the streets of the lunar city. Steve just couldn’t believe they were actually on the moon. From time to time, he looked up at the sky to see Earth. He squinted his eyes and made out Scotland. He couldn’t believe it – Scotland, his homeland, now, along with all the rest of Earth, an apocalyptic wasteland.
            They came to a spaceport. Chase pointed to a spaceship that was a long, clunky cylinder on pegged legs. Two rocket boosters jutted out on the sides like lobster claws, and smooth rings were hooped around the front and back. A ramp came down and they entered. They loaded crates onto a hand trolley. The crates had a powerful aroma, it had to be the ‘spice.’
            They wheeled the crates outside and into a dark alleyway. Chase knocked on the door, and a horrifying, despicable-looking creature emerged from the darkness. A strange, foul-smelling, dark goo leaked from various folds of the figure’s body. The creature gave a deep raspy laugh and said in a deep, New York accent, “Ahh! Chase my boy! My favorite spice trader! How are ya?”
            Chase tried to stop himself from gagging as drops of the tar-like liquid splashed in his direction. “Mr. Ghouliani,” he said, “I see you haven’t fixed your leaking yet.”
            “It’s Guiliani,” said the leaking man. He laughed, “I’m not a ghoul!”
            Chase rolled his eyes and said in a sarcastic, non-believable tone, “Right, my mistake.”
            “Oh my god,” said Steve, “is that Rudy Guiliani? He’s still alive?”
            Guiliani laughed, his raspy, ghoulish, laughs like slivers to Steve’s ears. “Ah ha ha ha! Yep! Still am! It’s my goo! It helped keep me alive until spice came along.”
            “Just give me the money, GHOULiani,” said Chase, “I don’t have all morning. In crypto so I don’t pay the Alexa Tax. And oh, this is Steve, he’d like to join our syndicate.”
            “Is that so?” said Ghouliani. He stared into Steve’s eyes, smiled a big, vampiric, Nesferatu smile, and said, “Welcome aboard! He then squirted goo from his forehead right into Steve’s face.
            Steve screamed, “Aah! It burns!”
            Chase handed Steve a handkerchief and Steve wiped off the burning tar-like goo. Chase then brought up a hologram projection from a watch he was wearing, waved his fingers around a bit, and said, “There, all set. Steve, you have a long way to go, but I at least got your bill to stop going into default.”
            “Ahh,” wheezed Ghouliani, “you’re working for the syndicate to pay off debt too? So am I! I raked up so many legal fees defending myself when they got me for defending the president! He’s going to be in office again one day, mark my words!”
            Chase sighed. “We’ve been over this, Ghouliani. There isn’t even a USA anymore.”
            Sirens filled the air. The three looked up and saw a swarm of ships barreling towards them. “Uh oh,” said Steve, “who are they?”
            “Looks like they’re coming from Earth,” said Chase. “Plague spreaders. We need to get out of here.”
            “Hmm,” said Ghouliani, “I might be a disgraced lawyer and crackpot conspiracy theorist who leaks goo, but if you ask me, there’s no way Earthlings could’ve escaped Earth’s gravity well on their own.”
            “Shit!” said Chase. “You’re right. They’re probably getting helped by the Reefers. I bet this is their way of making a distraction so they can clear us out. Come on Steve, we need to get off Luna asap.”
            Chase ran off. Steve chased after him. “Chase,” said Steve as he ran, “who are the Reefers?”
            “A rival syndicate,” said Chase. “They’re trying to get a monopoly on bootlegged spice.” He pulled a mask over his face. “Mask up, we don’t know what variant the plague spreaders are carrying with them.” He pulled a mask from his pocket and handed it to Steve.
            Steve masked up. Out of the alleyway, everyone was screaming and running through the streets. The ships that were in the sky fell down to the surface. A car-sized, clunky, tin-can crashed into the middle of the road that Chase and Steve ran down. A door swung open, and humans ran out of the ships and after random people on the streets, trying to cough on them.
            “Oh my god,” said Steve, “what is their problem?”
             A large man with a red hat that said MAGA on it ran towards Steve. Chase pulled out a gun and said “Not one step closer!”
            “No!” shouted the man. He spun around and ran away, “don’t chip me!”
            “Oh my god,” said Steve, “Chase, why do you have a gun?”
            “I’m an American,” said Chase, “do you have to ask that?”
            “Good point,” said Steve. “What’d he mean by don’t chip him?”
            “This isn’t a regular gun,” said Chase, “it shoots vaccine darts. They think vaxxes are filled with microchips.” Chase squinted his eyes, aimed through the scope of the pistol, and fired a small dart.
The dart pierced the large man’s left butt cheek. The anti-vaxxer fell to the ground and shouted “NO! BILL GATES IS IN MY BLOODSTREAM! HELP ME JENNY MCCARTHY! HELP ME!”
            “Jesus Christ!” said Steve, “what kind of world are we living in?”
            “I already told you,” said Chase, “Luna – Earth’s moon. Come on, we need to leave.”
            They ran back towards Chase’s ship, but not after Chase vaccinated at least a dozen “plague spreaders” as they tried to infect them in the streets. They boarded Chase’s ship and Chase quickly reeled in the ramp and locked the door.
            Steve followed Chase to the cockpit. Chase sat down in a large seat and flicked through a series of switches and levers and the ship fired up. “Sit in that seat,” said Chase, pointing to another seat, “it’s the shotgun seat. Shoot any ship that either shoots at us or tries to crash into us.”
            “How do I do that?” asked Steve.
            The ship blasted into the air. “It’s just like a video game,” said Chase, “don’t put too much thought into it.”
            “I don’t play video games!” said Steve.
            “Just do it!” said Chase, “or we’ll all be goners!”
            Steve fiddled around with the controls. Out the cockpit window, he saw both the Earth and the moon. The moon looked greener than the Earth. It amazed him that in the future, humans have put more effort into making the moon a second Earth, than saving the Earth itself. A spaceship flew towards them and fired sprays of bullets at them. A loud clinking sound rumbled all around them.
            “Crap,” said Chase, “just as I that. It’s the rival syndicate. Hurry Steve, take ‘em out!”
            Steve tried to lock the enemy ship into the crosshairs but it was hard. Whoever was flying that ship clearly knew what they were doing. He somehow managed to lock the crosshairs. A red sign saying to fire floated up in front of him as a hologram. Steve pressed it, and a missile shot from their ship straight into the enemy. The enemy ship blew up into dozens of different pieces, all of them falling back towards Earth and burning up into the atmosphere.
            “Holy crap,” said Steve, “I just killed them!”
            “Yeah, you killed someone who was trying to kill you,” said Chase, “now blow up another one!”
            Steve kept trying to blow up more ships, but there was too many of them. A missile from one of the enemy ships smacked into their ship. The ship shook, making Steven get knocked out of his seat. He stood back up and saw fire on the outside of the window. “Oh god,” said Steve, “are we going to be okay?”
            “The ship's not too badly damaged,” said Chase, “they just took the rings out of alignment. But now we’re crashing into Earth’s atmosphere.” His hands shook as he tried to steady the ship’s yoke. “We’re now stuck in Earth’s gravity well. This baby can’t blast off Venus, never mind Earth with an unaligned dark matter ring.”
            “Well can you at least land on Earth?”
            “I could,” said Chase, “but I’d rather die than step foot on it. I have a plan, keep shooting at the Reefer ships. It might fool them into thinking we’re not stuck. But only shoot the ones above us, not below us.”
            Steve began shooting at the enemy syndicate ships that were above them. Enemy ships above them burned into the atmosphere as Steve hit them, while bullets and missiles from the ships below them pinged past them. “Why don’t you want me to shoot the ships below us?” asked Steve, “They might hit us.”
            “That’s the point,” said Chase. “A good hit at the bottom might be the push we need to knock us out of Earth’s gravity well so we can slingshot out.”
            “What if it destroys us?” asked Steve, “do you have force fields or something?”
            “Force fields?” said Chase, “I wish, but those things were never invented. No, but this ship does have good armor. There’s only one weak section of this ship that they could hit that’d do us in, but the odds are very small, like, I don’t know, one in a hundred. Ninety-nine percent chance we’ll make it.”
            “WHAT!” said Steve. “You mean there’s a one in a hundred chance we might die!”
            “Ugh! A ninety-nine is still an A,” said Chase, “and that’s a better odd than whatever we’d have down on Earth, so keep shooting the reefers while I try to get us into a slingshot.”
            A large ball of light from a ship flying underneath them smacked into them. Steve was again thrown out of his seat. He climbed back in his seat and finally noticed there was a seatbelt there this whole time. He looked out the window and saw the moon as a blue and green oasis growing larger and larger.
“Yeehaw,” said Chase, “we’re out of Earth’s gravity well and our rings are stabilizing. Time to blow this joint.” There was a strange, soft, pleasant sounding hum. All of the enemy ships disappeared, and the Earth and the terraformed moon shrank into dots within seconds.
Will Steve ever pay off his debts for an operation he didn’t chose to have? Is Steve entering into a dangerous world of organized crime where might makes right? Did other members of GS besides Chase and Bookworm survive? Maybe @CellarDweller or @Insertnamehere perhaps? Find out on the next episode of Bookworm’s Sci-Fi Adventure!
[-] The following 5 members Like Chase's post:
  • andy, Bookworm, CellarDweller, Cridders88, eastofeden
This was awesome @Chase. Looking forward to the next one Smile. I especially liked the part when you gunned down the anti-vaxxer lol
[-] The following 1 member Likes Cridders88's post:
  • Chase
(05-02-2021, 11:58 AM)Cridders88 Wrote: This was awesome @Chase. Looking forward to the next one Smile. I especially liked the part when you gunned down the anti-vaxxer lol

LOL I liked that too!
[Image: 51806835273_f5b3daba19_t.jpg]  <<< It's mine!
[-] The following 3 members Like CellarDweller's post:
  • Chase, Cridders88, eastofeden
Rofl Rofl

That was a great read! I love it lol  Big Grin

Very imaginative. I'll never be able to pay off all the debt! I think I need to become a lucrative spice dealer extraordinaire, or start selling bootleg Whisky, spliced with spice  Cool Big Grin

Would be good to weave in other GS members that have somehow made it 300 years into the future too lol

Are you heading toward spice ascendancy through your spice addiction, with growing omnipotent powers??
<<<<I'm just consciousness having a human experience>>>>
[-] The following 2 members Like Bookworm's post:
  • Chase, eastofeden

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