[Fiction Friday]: Into the Past to Save the Future
“Are you sure this is the right decision?”
I turned my attention from the small bio-mechanical creature I was working on and gazed at her. Her normally iridescent skin had dulled in the failing atmosphere of our world. I glanced towards the small child tucked along her side and I winced at the terrible changes wrought on that small body. All to survive. I tried not to think about would happen if I failed this time.
Swallowing my fear, I gave her a decisive nod. “Yes. I am sure.” Well, I was as sure as I theoretically could be. After all, this had only been attempted once and that had failed miserably. But the sight of our child was enough to make me take another great risk. If I didn’t, we would all be dead anyway.
With a final twist, the creature’s exoskeleton came together. It was a thing of technological wonder although, I have to admit, it didn’t look it. The nano technology crammed into its middle made it look a bit awkward.
“Will it fly?” The chuckle in her voice warmed me. Even now, she could still laugh. As I added a final touch to the small thing, I could feel her peering over my shoulder. I glanced over and smiled.
“Well, it should. I’ve stuffed enough anti-gravity nanites into it.”
I bent over the small creature and whispered the command code to bring it to life. The wings began to beat slowly just as a loud boom shuddered through our dome and tossed us about.
I grabbed onto the table with all my hands and held on for dear life. My wife fell to the floor, protecting the small one’s fragile body with her own. Their screams filled me with dread as we rode out the shockwave. As the room settled down, I raced to pick them up off the floor. Clear liquid oozed from a gash along her head.
“Are you all right?” As I touched the wound, she flinched. The child whimpered in her arms.
The sight of her essence leaking out of her body sent me into a panic. I grabbed at the edges of the wound and tried to close it but there was nothing I could do. The damage done to our world had worked on her DNA and she was no longer able to self heal. Maybe I could bandage the wound. As I searched about for something to staunch the flow, she grabbed two of my hands in a tight grip and shook me.
“Hurry, love. Or it will be too late.”
Her eyes implored me, even as the light in them began to fade. I touched my forehead to hers. A final goodbye.
“Be good for mummy, little one.” I ran a hand down our child’s head and barely contained the shudder at the texture of her skin. So much damage to such a small being.
A low buzzing filled the room. My small creature hovered above the table as if it waited for directions. And I suppose it did. I lifted myself from the floor and inched my way towards it. The room had begun to shudder again making it diffiult to move in a straight line. As I neared the table, the little bio-mech alighted on my outstretched hand and looked up at me.
Again, I whispered to it causing the small head to nod and then crawl up my arm. After what seemed an eternity, it settled on my shoulder. I refused to look back at my whimpering family as I grabbed the teleport device that allowed us to move around our world at the pace of thought. I swiped my hand across its surface and, instead of a ready yellow light, it turned blue. I nodded to myself. This, at least, was going as planned.
Then the floor dropped out from under me. I could hear their screams as we were tossed about as the force of a hundred shockwaves hit our dome at once.
At her scream, I turned to see my wife point at the ceiling. A crack had begun to spread from the pinnacle of our dome and was beginning to give way. Air forced its way through the break.
There was no time to put the device and creature in the safe room. I slammed my hand down on the device and the bio-mech and I blinked out of existence.
I gasped for breath. My body was designed to handle a different atmosphere and I shuddered and thrashed about on the dry ground. The small creature was hovering above me, content to wait for its final instructions. Blackness threatened the edge of my vision as I fought to gain control of myself.
I knew I was dying.
“Multiply.Watch over them. Keep them safe. Go now.” The small creature bobbed once and was away. It’s oval body glinted yellow as the warm sun of a different era played against its body.
I hoped it was enough. If it wasn’t, I don’t know what the humans would do. They had managed to wipe out the first set of bees sent back to keep them alive. And with the death of our future, I couldn’t go back and do it again.