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Short story about the far future.


Submitted:Jan 28, 2013    Reads: 17    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


This is a story set one hundred and ten trillion years after the Big Bang. A peek into the distant future. Some deliberate echoes of The Time Machine by H.G. Wells.

The giant red globe of the sun hung over young Omega's head. That great orb filled nearly a quarter of the sky. Omega found it hard to believe that the sun was a "red dwarf star". Yet who was he to argue with his elders?

A chill wind blew along the desolate beach. In the distance, some giant crabs were on patrol, looking for a meal. Above the crabs, some rowdy gulls were waiting to scavenge anything the crabs might leave.

Not much to report here. The usual dismal scene. Nothing here to reflect the importance of these moments. Omega had seen moving pictures of other planets, on which they had things called "days". This particular "Earth" here was "tidally locked" so that the same side faced the sun at all times. The sun was always there, solidly positioned above Omega's head. Here on the equator, they "enjoyed" maximum warmth: yet it was not too much above the freezing point of water!

Mother appeared.

Mother: "We will be ready to start in ten Lunons, Omega. I will call you then."

Omega nodded. He gulped, nervously and mentally reviewed why this ritual was necessary. What had the elders said?

Oh yes. The Universe began 110 trillion standard years ago with the "Big Bang". It had expanded at an incredible rate. In those early days the universe had teemed with stars like the sun. Most of those stars had travelled together in great wheels and clouds called "galaxies". Those galaxies had been full of light and heat, and life!

Yet all that abundance had been before the "Degenerate Era", when the universe had thinned out so much that no new stars were formed. The remaining stars had died and died. So now the sun above Omega was the last known star.

They were about to enter the "Black Hole Era", when the universe would be dominated by Black Holes of course. After that would be the "Dark Era". Finally, about 500 trillion years after the Big Bang, the universe would undergo "Heat Death". Well, that was what Omega recalled from his lessons.

What was bothering The Elders was the state of the sun. It was foundering. Soon it would just blink into darkness. Before then, the world would just get colder. A bleak prospect.

Mum reappeared. She ushered Omega to "The Circle". The children were joining with the adults and Elders now. That central obelisk, encircled by the populace, was brightly lit. They all formed an unbroken chain.

Omega felt a great glowing from within. It was happening! Warmer and warmer. Brighter and brighter. All of them shone and flowed and coalesced. Then they each broke free and flew apart!

It was done! Every one of them had transformed into a spirit energy being! Each was now a shining orb. So alive, and free from what would have been a slow freezing death under the last dying sun.

Such joy. Eternal life achieved at last. None of them had heard of our Earth. None of them was human. There were similarities with us, but they were quite alien. Who cares. They were sentient beings who had escaped the death of the last star, and ultimately the universe.

Paul Butters





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