Thursday, December 17, 2015


FROM 12/16/15 TO 12/22/16 IT'S 99 CENTS


 Captain Zousan entered the control room after a poor night’s sleep. His sour mood had evidently been preordained, given not one single member of his crew was to be found. Fine with him. He took no pleasure in terrorizing his crew, but honestly, they all behaved like spoiled God-children.
He recalled his own petulant arrogance when he declared to his father, Cronus  (a.k.a. Big Boss) that he’d make his own damn multiverse and it would be far superior to his. Instead of apologizing for his constant complaints and unreasonable expectations, his father had accepted his resignation. “It will do you good to fail, Zousan. Your arrogance far exceeds your value. A bit of humility will serve you well.”
Cronus had been pleased to send him off into new space until he’d discovered Zousan intended to take his baby daughter Athena with him. “You can’t take a baby on a ship!” he’d bellowed.
“She’s on a ship here. Unless you told them to sabotage the ship you’ve commissioned for me, then she’ll be fine on my ship as well.”
While his father had no use for Zousan, he did love Athena. But who wouldn’t? His daughter was perfection in all ways. She was the light of his life, the only creation he’d ever made that his father hadn’t criticized.
Cronus had insisted on “additional improvements” to the ship, culled out a bunch of losers from his crew he’d been dying to get rid of for billions of years, and set up a big bang to birth a new multiverse. 
Zousan could still remember the day they’d flown into the tiny new bubble of multiverses. He’d been heady with power. Finally, he was in charge, and he’d do everything right and put his father’s multiverse to shame in comparison.
For the first ten billion years, Zousan and his crew were bored out of their minds as they waited for the planets to form and seed life. The only matters he had to deal with were the annoying crew and his fabulous little girl as she grew into an extraordinary young woman.
From early on, his creative daughter spent most of her time making artwork from space particles. At first they were clumsy splatters, but as she matured so did her designs. Recently she had created three plumes that looked far too much like a man’s privates to suit his liking.
Since he’d threatened all his male crew with a one-way trip through a black hole to who-knows-where if they messed with his daughter, she shouldn’t have a clue as to what lay beneath their uniforms, especially not ones standing so firm and tall.
He intended to discover which of his worthless crew he needed to return to his father with a note saying, “Great job! This loser you insisted I take onto my ship defiled your beloved granddaughter and you are thus fired from all grand-parenting duties.”
For the next million years, he spied on his daughter. Upon finding no worthless men sneaking into her room, he tried another technique: honesty.
He called her in and asked her what she thought her pretty columns represented.
Athena blushed and suddenly found great interest in her hot cocoa.
“Sweetheart, I’m not trying to embarrass you, but I do need to know who showed you something that inspired you to make three of these.”
She breathed in deeply. “The computer.”
“Then none of the crew has touched you?”
“No, but that has to change. I am a young woman now, and I have needs.”
He so regretted opening up this can of worms.  “Wow! Look at the time. I have a meeting with my crew...”
From then on, Zousan never complained about any men-parts that showed up in a galaxy, but he did have another problem. Not one life form was to be found on any planet. Thus, he decided he needed his brightest mind working on how to move things along.  So he called in his daughter.
“I know you love painting, but I was sent here to make a better world, and while you’ve made the galaxies gorgeous, none of the planets have life on them. Nor does any of the crew know how to make life.”
“Why would Grandfather not share that?” Athena asked.
Zousan wanted to say, “Because he’s an ass.” Upon taking a breath, he softened his response since Athena still loved the pompous, overbearing jerk. “He wants me to fail at my task. He sees this as a chance to humiliate and humble me.”
Athena hugged him, dissipating his anger at once. “I’m sorry. I wish you would have told me sooner.”
Zousan blinked. “Does that mean you know how to make life?”
She grinned. “Grandfather, showed me how when I was but a year old. All we need are chemicals, an electric spark, plus lots and lots of time.”
To speed matters up, Zousan had Athena teach the entire crew how to make life so a great deal of planets could be seeded in each of their assigned universes. Finally, a billion years later, life of some form existed on one planet per sun.
In certain cases, in which the crew member was unsure or perhaps just lazy, multiple life forms had been placed on the same planet, but in different dimensions. Also, Athena would frequently borrow a creature from one planet and put it on another, creating a sustainable cycle of life.
The ingredients used depended upon the planet’s natural chemicals, which meant on some planets water would be the main ingredient and on others mercury, acids, or methane. Soon all the planets were analyzed so the computer could keep track of where the various life forms could be placed if for some reason they needed to remove them from their current planet. They’d lost a great deal of life on the planet Zepwick before they realized its warming and freezing cycles were deadly and would have to be managed.
Recently, higher intelligent life forms began to occur, which brought about new problems.
On the blue-green planet called Zepwick, a biped lifeform, which mimicked the appearance of the Gods, didn’t respect the balance of life Athena had so carefully and artfully established. Instead, they saw themselves above all other life forms. Given their craftiness and creative nature, they built traps, weapons, and impenetrable shelters to protect themselves while they not only slaughtered the lower life forms but other communities of their own kind. Never had Zousan met such a destructive species intent upon annihilating everything on their planet.
They were not his only problem, either. Intelligent life forms on other planets began causing trouble as well. While he couldn’t prove it, he was certain his father was behind the new sentients’ hell-bent drive to destroy their lovely planet and lower life forms in the process of self-annihilation.
Zousan had no choice but to intervene. Culling the better-looking crewmembers, he sent them out to warn the young species to behave or the Gods would smite them down. Unfortunately, on some planets the warning backfired.
Take for example, the planet Zepwick. The only change in behavior the Homo sapiens made upon hearing his new commandments was to kill their enemies, who were also Homo sapiens, in the name of their God. Honestly, he wanted to order them wiped out so he could start over. Unfortunately, according to the probability program, which would decide if Zousan succeeded or failed to make a better multiverse than his father’s, the troublesome blue-green planet was critical to his success.
Thus, he decided to give them a new religion, called the Path of Light.
Rule #1: No killing other Homo sapiens!  Knowing how easy it was to alter computer text, he even had it carved into tablets of stone for the 6,523 languages spoken on the small planet. Then they went off to another parallel universe and delivered the same message. It took several million years to get the word out, and for a while, it looked for naught. Probability of success dropped to three percent. Zousan was ready to give up and declare defeat, but Athena refused to let him.
“We need more crew members,”
Zousan shook his head. “My father won’t give me more crew.”
“Then let’s pick up the crew’s children and train them.”
“What children?”
“The six hundred or so children sired by the ‘Gods’ when they visited the planets.”
“There are unsupervised God-children running about my planets?”
Athena rolled her eyes. “A great deal among the Homo sapiens, since their appearance is most like ours.”
He frowned. “Well, that explains their troublesome nature. I had no idea our seed would flourish in other species.”
“Unfortunately, it does. And most appear to be highly intelligent, which is generally not well-received by their parents. We need to gather them up before any more are murdered for being annoying smartasses.”
“Is the problem contained on Zepwick?”
“It’s the hotspot, both in the third and fourth dimension, but there are others.”
Another problem came to mind. “And where are we going to put them all?”
Athena shrugged. “I guess it’s time to build a bigger ship. Zepwick will have the materials we need. But we’ll probably need to land in force and remind them we are their Gods before they’ll help.”

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