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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Science Fiction

In the far future, space explorers discover strange civilizations in an obscure corner of the Milky Way.


3033 A.D.


“Sir! Star system ahead!”

The young Navigator’s voice was hoarse with childish excitement. The spaceship was close to completing a long and largely uneventful voyage across the Milky Way. Most of the galaxy’s constellation arms were sparsely inhabited. Exploring one empty star system after another was as tiresome as going through long rows of identical cans in hope of finding one with some food in it. Even the Captain had nearly lost his patience.

Things started to look more interesting when they began cruising in and around a curiously shaped belt about twenty-five thousand light years away from the galactic center. They had discovered a beautiful planet populated entirely by fairly small quadruped, fur-covered, halfway sentient mammals; according to the Universal Translator, these creatures called themselves sons of bitches, and were very proud of that designation. The Captain mentioned interstellar cooperation, but they did not seem to comprehend that concept. In the end their loud, incessant barking had become unbearable.

“Clearly unredeemed,” the Captain concluded, returning to the ship. “Still waiting for the Anointed One. Let’s move on, and somebody get me a cup of coffee already.”

Not too far from that planet was another star system bursting with activity. It was inhabited by aliens boasting three genders and a confusing number of various appendages. The aborigines went by the nickname Voz, and readily admitted that they had been colonized by a race of advanced space travelers two thousand years ago. The level of their scientific knowledge was disproportionally high compared to their spiritual development, even though they possessed old religious books written in the ancient languages of the colonizers, Russian and English.

“I like those guys,” the Psychologist declared when the ship took off. “Especially the three-gender thing. Man... think of all the possibilities.”

“Very funny,” the Captain said. “How about some Redemption evaluation instead?”

“I’d say they might have had an indirect contact with the Anointed One,” the Psychologist said seriously. “Maybe that fellow Alexei Men, the one who founded their civilization, can be considered a messenger of sorts. I’m just saying.”

The Captain was somewhat taken aback by that suggestion. Classification of civilizations by Redemption status was no easy task, and that corner of the Milky Way seemed to contain the oddest cases they had encountered so far.

But the biggest surprises were still ahead. The travelers came upon a planet with a horribly mutilated surface, as if a giant monster had walked on it, stamping and demolishing everything in its path. There was nothing left except hideously deformed landscape. The Navigator had a strange nightmare the following night, replete with war cries and blood.

A closely grouped, densely populated star system located nearby housed a strange remote planet with nothing but a lone dome-shaped laboratory standing on one of its continents.

“Now that’s really weird,” the Historian said, observing sterile corridors and complex equipment held in pristine condition. There was no trace of life in the laboratory. “I’d even say scary… Where is everyone?”

The Captain carefully plugged into a strangely looking device placed at the very center of the building. For several minutes he just stood there, seemingly enchanted by what he saw. After he disconnected, he didn’t say a word and briskly walked out of the laboratory. Only a few hours later, when they were on the way, he shared his experience with the rest of the crew.

“I don’t understand,” the Captain said. “This must be a new technique of… creation? If I dare say so.”

“What are you talking about?” the Psychologist asked impatiently.

The Captain shook his head.

“That device… it contained a whole world. A whole programmed world, with creatures that have a free will. Some of them worship a being they call Oduya. I’m fairly certain that’s their real creator. The owner of that lab.”

“But how is this possible –” the Psychologist began.

The Captain raised his hand.

“That’s not all,” he said. “Comparing evidence and data from the other inhabited planets we have visited, I am convinced that this mysterious Oduya, the civilizing hero Alexei Men, and the deities of those barking savages all belong to the same race of sentient creatures. And something tells me they are connected to that destroyed planet as well. ”

They went silent for a moment.

“Wow,” the Historian said finally. “That’s… incredible. Are you saying God-like power was given to one race? Can Redemption even go that far?”

“I don’t know what I think,” the Captain said abruptly. “All I know is that this whole trip was useless if we don’t find the origin planet of that super-race and establish contact.”

They stumbled upon an inconspicuous, medium-sized bluish planet only a few days later. It was orbiting a modest yellow dwarf and at first appeared civilized – even monstrously so, according to the Historian. Ruins of grotesquely tall structures, veritable nightmares of glass and concrete, covered large portions of the surface. It was clear that once great powers had thriven here; a single look upon any of the demolished gigantic cities convinced the crew that they finally found what they’d been looking for all along.

But there was no life on that planet.

No sentient creatures of any kind. No animals. No plants. The atmosphere contained heavy doses of radioactive substances and biological hazards. The planet was dead, suffocated by heaps of inorganic matter of various kinds, a few hard to discover fossils, and many large skeletons, probably belonging to an unknown species of mammals. It was the most depressing view the space explorers had ever been exposed to.

They stayed for a few weeks. The young Navigator aimlessly wandered through deserted streets, inexplicable longing and sadness overcoming him. The Captain seemed to be more addicted to coffee than usually. The Psychologist was puzzled and angry because he could not fathom a civilization that would indulge itself in self-destructive megalomania. In all his years of studying and practicing interstellar psychology he had never encountered such a case.

After a few days, the Historian discovered a damaged communication system, which he eventually managed to restore. Once they had gained access to the Web, the history of the planet, recorded in a multitude of documents, was finally revealed to them.

Later that day, they sat in the spaceship dining room, and for a long while none of them could speak.

“I… I don’t know what to say,” the Captain said finally, his voice trembling.

Everyone was silent.

“They –” the Captain tried again and coughed violently.

They didn’t utter another word about what they had found until the spaceship took off. In a monotonous voice, as though mourning the death of a beloved person, the Historian dictated the report.

The inhabitants of Planet RZ-31173, having fallen from Grace, were blessed by the first Advent of the Anointed One three thousand years ago. The nominal acceptance of Redemption reached its peak about five hundred years afterwards. However, while the documentation of the Advent continued to spread, eventually becoming known to the planet’s entire population, the inhabitants remained overwhelmingly ignorant of the consequences. By and large, they chose to reject the Redemption plan by refusing to cooperate.

The organization responsible for the practical application of the plan was gradually turning more and more corrupt. This resulted in numerous betrayals and splits, which eventually led to grave disappointment among the inhabitants. This, in turn, caused a severe psychological disease of unseen proportions. The inhabitants began to focus on themselves entirely, as though they had created themselves or were randomly spawned by blind natural forces. In fact, mythological concepts furthering such simplistic and illogical explanations concerning the origin of the world were flourishing by the end of nineteenth century following the Advent. The mental damage was so strong that the subsequent century found itself plagued by horrifying wars conducted in the name of ideologies rooted in steady denial of any evidence pointing to the Advent and its consequences.

Later decades of the twenty-first century saw a consolidation of three political entities, each vehemently resisting the Redemption plan either by perverting, ignoring, or obfuscating it. The lack of any true local spiritual guidance resulted in mass dissatisfaction and mounting tension. A few individuals still recognizing the Advent left the planet. We have observed the results of their activities in the nearby star systems. Meanwhile, a devastating war eradicated the majority of the local population on Planet RZ-31173 in the year 2121. Subsequent emergence of a new intelligent species and its relationship with the formerly dominant race is only sparsely documented, but the available evidence indicates that, several centuries later, one man's folly, condoned by the majority, caused the total extinction of life on the planet.

We have established that the defining motive for the aforementioned unfathomable actions was a highly destructive and very rare state of mind, of which even our esteemed Psychologist has only theoretical knowledge. In the documentation of the inhabitants of Planet RZ-31173, it is described with the word ‘pride’.

When the Historian finished no one could speak. The spaceship was heading towards their home planet, and the relief was so palpable that they felt ashamed. They had witnessed a tragedy they could not grasp, and they knew nothing would ever be the same again. When their homeland was already in sight, the Psychologist said quietly, standing near the Captain and admiring the beautiful celestial glow:

“Do you think they were… you know… redeemed? After everything they’d done? I mean, they did get those amazing chances… Meeting other intelligent beings. Even creating…”

The Captain looked at him.

“What’s wrong with you?” he asked, concerned. “You know as well as I do that He wants to save everyone. But you also know what free will means, don’t you? So… it’s an open drama, my friend. A play where we can choose our roles, but not change the script.”

“True,” the Psychologist mumbled. “But… we’ll pray for them, alright?”

“Way ahead of you,” the Captain said seriously, then added: “You know what I really want right now?”

“A cup of coffee?” the Psychologist said and rolled his eyes.

The Captain smiled. They hugged each other firmly with all eight tentacles, changed their skin colors to festive bright blue, and floated downstairs to the dining room.



Submitted: March 21, 2016

© Copyright 2020 Oleg Roschin. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:




Mr. Roschin is back to thoughtful mode;
a return to seriousness that we welcome. As we welcome his first story for 2016,
and related retrieval fondness of carefully, and, which matters more, affectionately picked lexicon.

But as always, he looks stuck in his surpassed mindset as to, for one, gender.
Three genders?! Educate yourself, widen your views, please:
You should check your sexism: for instance, see Garbiñe Muguruza play tennis: if it does come to your mind
that she is "attractive", you are sexist. If you are a public figure and say it, be ready for the whole
"democratic" media to assail you.
It's attitudes like saying "I think the most qualified person should get the job" that can't be tolerated
any longer, you see. Try to tell them as a Florida university student and see.
Try handing "love notes" to a schoolmate as a fourth-grader, too, if you dare (

Jokes — and present (and future) reality of the West and the disease state liberty drives human societies to — apart, this is no less sorrowful and thoughtful than a writing has to be to qualify as art,
and indeed qualifies as such.
You know, the adverb in that "grotesquely tall structures", that adjective in the disguise of adverb.
This time tears fall down the panes in The Force: this time, unlike then, for real.

I wonder what type life species these voyagers belong in, however; if even their Psychologist
finds unfathomable the equation of human existence, Alles = Kraft. Must be a lucky species.
And an hardly-plausibly blessed universe, if areas under said existence formula are as rare as the story says.

I note that the Psychologist is hardly going to realize Earth was ruled by self-destructive megalomania
(a definition so exemplar that shall not be modified)
before he and his travel mates learn of the planet's history.

The Captain's and crew's wellbeing would, also, be enhanced by the use of chocolate alongside coffee too,
I think. If you talk with them, suggest these:
(they come very recommended for juvenile, gleeful engaged couples as well, by the way ;) )
My bet is nor the Captain or the Psychologist's taste buds have ever met something of the like.
For there is no chocolate of the like in the entire universe (I don't warrant this to apply to other

One finishes reading, instinctively compares this to past Oleg Roschin, and questions himself
about what can elicit such change, and psychological development.
Or pretends to question himself about that, more likely.
Only the realisation of our mortality can be cause of suchlike development.

Free will is probably nothing but a daring conception (what if it were a son of pride too?), and
the very idea of us having a chance to change anything is the most philosophically
inconciliable idea with that of immortality than can be thought, .. as hardly thinkable as
a play where we can make our rules, but can't alter the script.
Of course,the capacity of thinking is a tool of ours; figuring being and the absolute could lie under its juridisction
would be another sin of pride — and is the faith driving cilivilisation forwards on the path of the Supreme Folly.
What we can do is hope, pray, as the pitiful (in the most noble archaic acceptation of the term) story here bravely teaches.

Mon, March 21st, 2016 8:27pm


Thank you for your insightful comment! Regarding the free will statement - the Captain didn't say we could change the rules, he said we could choose the roles! In other words, the script of all events in the universe has been already written by God (as per the determinist cause-and-effect law), but human free will is a separate agent that alters not God's plan, but individual events and humans' own fate. That's pretty much the orthodox Christian concept, hopefully I understand it correctly (not radical Calvinist - I can't agree with the predestination-only idea...).

We find free will contradicting the law of causality (same way, as you observed, as immortality contradicts the ubiquitous death) because both those concepts can only exist outside of time and space and are attributes of a being who is outside of time and space (God). The moment we try to squeeze these concepts into the world as we know it, we come to irreconcilable contradictions.

Mon, March 21st, 2016 10:06pm

Chris Green

This is an interesting take on sci fi which breaks out of it at the same time as having a Star Trek feel to it. The introduction of the divine into the mix makes it even stranger, but somehow the whole thing holds together and it reads well. The last sentence provides something of a twist and lightens the narrative considerably. All in all a very enjoyable story, Oleg.

Tue, March 22nd, 2016 6:05am


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Chris! I did want it to feel very light-hearted in a Star Trek kind of way, and also have a bit of a goofy twist at the end - all in order to make a story focused on the dark topic of humans' most destructive sin less unbearably heavy... At the same time, making the pure-hearted, religious explorers into octopuses had a deeper meaning for me - they may look ridiculous to us, but they are better than us, and we have nothing to be proud of...

Tue, March 22nd, 2016 11:49am

Johnny Q

I'm not much for writing reviews, but I will say this is well written and thought provoking. I enjoyed it greatly.

Tue, March 22nd, 2016 6:05pm


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Johnny!

Tue, March 22nd, 2016 11:50am


I just have to say what reading this -- that it was a amazing. It is very different but I really liked it. It just flowed together so beautifully and I didn't expect the ending.

Fri, March 25th, 2016 2:16am


Thank you for your kind comment! I think it does gradually become clear that the protagonists are not from Earth themselves, but for some reason it still feels strange when they are revealed to be aliens at the end... I wonder why...

Thu, March 24th, 2016 9:29pm


after* where what is

Fri, March 25th, 2016 2:20am

Amanda Stein

Well, I did enjoy this story with its philosophical and theological overtones, although your thesis is that the lack of spirituality and resistance to the "creators" intentions resulted in a splintering off into various "tribes" which resulted in a devastating war and elimination of the species except for the "Redemptors" who left and spread the "word" throughout the galaxy. Now I can also see that the splintering off was between the religious sects who accepted God's teachings but believed they were the "chosen ones" and all other beliefs were wrong and evil. I did wonder why this "converted alien species" felt the need to seek out "the source" of their religious beliefs when they should be satisfied in and of themselves that they are living a "righteous life". At first I guessed they were off to "covert" "unredeemed" species but they seemed to give up on so many along the way. I did like the twist at the end where they are revealed to be some forms of mollusks. If they floated inside the ship was it due to zero gravity or was the inside of the ship filled with liquid? Did they wear aqua suits outside of the ship to explore? As mollusks can only remain outside of their liquid environment for short periods of time? Also wouldn't an alien species have an entirely different type of beverage than coffee? Octopi have billions of nerve fibers throughout their body that makes them extra sensitive to changing in sea pressure and currents and enable them to change their colors. I don't know what excessive caffeine would do to them but I would imagine it wouldn't be good. ( I know your point of the story is beyond science but I do like some scientific consistency mixed in with any philosophical and/or theological examinations presented in a science fiction format. But again I may disagree with your conclusions but all in all it was very enjoyable.

Fri, March 25th, 2016 5:22am


Thank you for your insightful comment, Amanda! I'll try to refer to all the points you've made :)

The lack of spirituality in my (hopefully imaginary!) futuristic universe results in the formation of three officially anti-Christian superpowers - United States of Democratic West, Islamic Caliphate, and China. In year 2121, atomic war ensues and the fate of humanity still remains unknown. My other stories (e.g. Strictly Confidential, Ichthys, Scarlet Beast, The Fallout) provide many more details.

Another set of my stories (Of Dogs and Men, Till We Have Monitors, Forward to the Past, etc.) describes how those few who managed to escape from Earth colonized other planets.

The alien species that are the protagonists of this story are NOT among those colonized by escaped humans. They are, on the contrary, a (probably) unfallen (or fully redeemed?) race with natural faith and no knowledge of pride, on a mission to evaluate other civilizations regarding their level of Redemption. Eventually they find all those human-colonized planets and are naturally curious as to what their source planet might be. To their dismay, they discover that the source planet (our Earth) was destroyed by its own proud, megalomaniac inhabitants (human beings). In the end, they can't quite figure out why those creatures have gotten such amazing chances (constructing a whole robotic world in the case of Oduya, etc.) despite their rejection of Redemption. The point I'm trying to make is - God wants to redeem us no matter what we do.

As for them being octopi-like: that was more of a reminder to us not to consider ourselves supeior. Throughout the story, humans are presented as insane, while the aliens are much more "humane". So the final twist sort of emphasizes the contrast. The coffee part was important because I wanted to create a cozy atmosphere around the Captain. Sorry for the scientific inconsistencies :)

Fri, March 25th, 2016 10:19pm


Hi I love it that your writing is so ambitious: bursting with intelectual ideas, symbolism and food for thought. I'd be lying if i said i knew exactly what point you were making with this piece but their is a lot that is open to interpretation. its good to have the mind provoked in an engaging and entertaining format. oh and the last line is fabulous.
Thanks for sharing this.

Fri, March 25th, 2016 2:11pm


Thank you for your kind comment, crowefoot!

The point I was trying to make through this story is this: God has offered us a chance to be redeemed by dying on the cross as Jesus Christ (the Advent of the Anointed One), but we have, by and large, rejected this chance. Possessed by pride, we essentially destroyed ourselves and our planet. 2000 years later, a pious alien race is conducting some statistics experiments in our corner of the galaxy. They learn about our history but they don't understand how come the few humans who had escaped Earth had gotten such amazing chances at colonizing, civilizing, and even creating other worlds. Which means that God always gives us chances no matter what evils we do...

My other stories give much more insight to what exactly happened. This one is more of a "summary" story.

Fri, March 25th, 2016 10:26pm

Ethan Howard


"Free will is an open drama, my friend. A play where we can choose our roles, but not change the script."

One the most profound quotes I have read in literature in some time.

Well done, Oleg!

Let me get some things out of the way: Your writing was good and the story flowed nicely.

Now for the important stuff: I love how you tackle fundamental issues of life in this short story. You get the reader to think without coming off as preachy or some political agenda.

The ending was sweet. I went back and re-read the story with the mindset that the space crew looked anything but human.

I could go on and on but I will stop.......for now


Sat, March 26th, 2016 6:41am


Thank you so much for your kind comment, Ethan! I don't have a political agenda at all, but I do have a very clear spiritual agenda and it's very hard for me not to be preachy in my writing. That's why I'm very happy to know you didn't find this story preachy.

You did think the space crew was human at first, didn't you? :) I even inserted the silly coffee bit to obfuscate their alien origin (that was probably overkill, but still ;)). I wanted to make sure we get attached to those guys and get to like them...

Sat, March 26th, 2016 11:16am


I thought that this was an thought provoking short story. It is an interesting idea that an observing alien race would look for spiritual development as a key factor in an civilization's progression. I think the modern stereotype is that aliens would be scientifically hyper-advanced, and look down on us and marvel at the superstitions we've conjured up as though they could not comprehend the idea of spirituality. Good story!

Mon, March 28th, 2016 9:30pm


Thank you for your insightful comment! That, exactly, was one of the points I was trying to make. For me science fiction format is all about looking at humanity from strange angles to cast a different light on it- and, sadly, it is not always favorable.

That technological advances do not bring along spiritual growth - and, on the contrary, are bound to reduce it - is not a new idea at all, which doesn't make it any less true. One of my main inspirations for making up this set of stories was Jonathan Swift's "Gulliver's Travels". Particularly, the last part (with the sentient horses and evil human-like yahoos) emphasizes this same point.

Mon, March 28th, 2016 11:38pm

Joshua Kepfer

I can see this being a full novel. You should think about it.
Very interesting ideas in here. It's very difficult to bring Christianity to science fiction, but you did a pretty good job. The last sentence made me laugh.

Tue, March 29th, 2016 12:59am


Thank you for your kind comment!

I've been told several times that I should write novels instead of short stories, but I'm way too lazy...

Indeed it's difficult to write Christian sci-fi, but C.S. Lewis keeps inspiring me at all times. Well, he and the Bible, of course, which has a bit of sci-fi in it too ;)

Don't laugh at mollusks! They have accepted Redemption Plan while we have not! :-)

Mon, March 28th, 2016 11:31pm

Bitter Tea Leaves

What an amazing read! I was enthralled from beginning to end. I loved how not all the answers and details were given away at once, so that way it didn't make your passage repetitive and redundant. Instead, your words built on on the other, each detail helping me understand the story better, and answering any questions that I had before. Honestly, applying science fiction to God? Something like that is really hard to pull off, but you did it so flawlessly. I also really appreciated in the end the twist (or maybe it wasn't a twist? Maybe it was just me being slow on the uptake haha), about how the crew we were following wasn't human, but rather the planet that they visited used to be filled with humans (or at least that's what I inferred.) Overall, magnificent job! Short, but wildly effective

Tue, March 29th, 2016 5:14am


Thank you for your kind comment, much appreciated!

Applying science fiction to God is not a new concept - many great sci-fi works have religious overtones. I highly recommend "The Space Trilogy" by C.S. Lewis, which is an amazing example of Christian sci-fi.

I don't think you were slow figuring out the protagonists weren't human; I intentionally obfuscated anything pertaining to their non-human origin (especially in the beginning).

The planet they visited is, of course, our Earth! I thought I made it abundantly clear when I recounted the brief history of humanity from a Christian perspective (in the Historian's report). My other stories ("Scarlet Beast", "The Fallout", etc.) describe in detail what happened to humans around the beginning of 22nd century. It seems that quite a few readers didn't think the planet was Earth; I guess I wasn't clear enough after all...

Mon, March 28th, 2016 11:27pm

D. Thurmond aka JEF

I seldom write reviews, but I will say this is well written. I enjoyed it, but found that more interaction of the captain and maybe more crew members would be a nice addition to their tedious mission.It does seem Trekkie at times, but that is a good thing to those that like that. Overall, it was a good read and I enjoyed it. --- Thanks...

Tue, March 29th, 2016 8:10pm


Thank you for your comment, JEF! I was actually thinking of adding more crew and characterization, but then the story got too long... I'm trying to keep it as concise as possible. The Star Trek-like atmosphere was needed to emphasize the familiarity of the reader with the crew - and, by extension, the revelation that the roles were inverted in this one...

Wed, March 30th, 2016 8:52pm


Thank you for your message to stop by and have a read of your latest work.

I enjoyed the vein of belief woven into the story, however I found it a bit, condensed and like other commenters have mentioned, perhaps would have been better conveyed if the story was stretched out a bit more.

The pacing of the story seems very rapid and quick for me, and took a couple times to re-read over portions, such as the layout of the solar system, in order to keep the mental image movie story in my head accurate to the words on the page.

There are some very profound concepts and messages conveyed in this work that I think would be better served at a tiny bit of a slower rate for folk to wrap their head around, but lol perhaps I'm just tired. :)

I did enjoy the twist of the captain and such being of a race other than human as throughout the work my mind had been struggling to place the point of view from a place other than a humanesque being; kept waiting for it to be revealed they had been part of that civilization, generations removed, described on the planets due to how they were speaking, interacting etc.

This reminds me somewhat of a story I once read, I can't remember what it's called; where a father was taking his son to a zoo of exotic and rare beasts. It is only through the conversations of the child and father after they get home that you come to realize the beast was a human, and the family were something vastly, else.

Good job Oleg.
I enjoyed the read.
Take care and be well.

Tue, March 29th, 2016 11:30pm


Thank you very much for your detailed comment!

Of course the "alleged humans turn out to be aliens" twist is not new - off the top of my head, there is a delightful Isaac Azimov short story, "Youth", with that same twist. It's just that I'm trying to use it for different purposes.

I completely see now how the story became too condensed; however, since all my short stories are interconnected, you can see it as a chapter in a larger saga (which it really is). My other stories deal with the actual fate of humanity around 2121, and with the colonized planets (dogs, Vozs, robots, etc.).

Wed, March 30th, 2016 8:59pm


I'm a huge trekkie, and this felt like the original series to me, which I liked. Definitely wasn't expecting the ending, that was great! Could have been pretty standard sci-fi, but you added some stuff in there to set it apart. Nice job on this!

Wed, March 30th, 2016 1:41am


Thank you for your kind comment, Sofie! I was aiming for a vanilla old-school popular "soft" sci-fi to contrast it with the spiritual message it's supposed to carry.

Wed, March 30th, 2016 8:49pm

Jason Crager

I enjoy an occasional science fiction story. However, I've found the majority of modern day sci-fi tales are written solely for entertainment purposes- which is perfectly fine. You've added quite an original twist to the genre by including a philosophical and spiritual edge to the story. It makes for an interesting read. A well written, thought provoking, and captivating piece. Very good Mr. Roschin.

Thu, March 31st, 2016 9:07pm


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Ronin! I do use the sci-fi genre for the purpose of expressing spiritual ideas, and I'm very glad that can be appreciated.

Sat, April 2nd, 2016 2:45am

Salma Said

This is one of the most amazing Sci fi I have ever read in my life! It has a nice flow and the description it written in a nice smooth way so the writer doesn't get bored. Great story!!! And sorry for not reading it sooner. Exams were eating me up.

Fri, April 8th, 2016 6:44pm


Thank you very much for your kind comment, Salma! Really appreciate it.

Fri, April 8th, 2016 11:48am

Adrian Hunt

A lighthearted story with a serious undertone, Oleg, although my own view is pretty much the polar opposite to the message that I think I'm seeing here.

I think that the writing is generally okay - grammatically, it's fine - although I do think that it's cliché in parts, which I think is where the Trekki vibe comes from.

Your characters are distinct and I thought that leaving their physical appearance as a reveal at the end was fun, and in keeping with the tone of the story.

Thanks again for the read request, always welcome.

Sat, April 9th, 2016 5:43pm


Thank you for your comment, Adrian! The cliche tone is intentional, for keeping in line with the Star Trek atmosphere :)

I wonder what the polar opposite view would be? That mankind has created itself and is doing just great? Ouch... ;)

Sat, April 9th, 2016 10:49am

Adrian Hunt

Lol! Not quite, Oleg, I just think that humanity's flaws require no further explanation once we accept that we are a primate species with biology evolved largely for the African savannah from whence we came. We're smart, but maybe we're not yet evolved enough to behave responsibly with our own technology. That has to do with our adrenaline glands being larger than is required for the modern environment and our prefrontal cortex being in need of a little more growth. As I find in all aspects of my life, God offers no explanation of, let alone any solutions to the problem.

I'm one of the beings without belief that you're talking about in your story - I wouldn't push the button that destroys the world. I know of no humanists that would. The premise, therefore, is flawed.

Sat, April 9th, 2016 8:33pm


Hmm, not if we study human history and see what role atheist "humanism" has played in it. The horrible recent history of Europe is a direct result of its rejection of Christianity. Rampant capitalism, imperialism, racism, communism, fascism, nazism, and all those other ideologies started in the "Enlightenment". They were all about humans being no more than animals, yet for some reason justified of being mighty proud of themselves. When people reject God idols conquer their hearts and eat them from within...

As for God offering no explanation or solution to the problem... He will if you let him. Trust me, I was a militant atheist for twenty years :) He definitely won't offer anything like that when you keep disbelieving him. He is stubborn that way ;)

Sun, April 10th, 2016 11:04am

Adrian Hunt

Do the groups you refer to not consist if humans in possession of the same biological flaws that I was talking about? Evil has been done by evil people and good done by good people - atheism has nothing to do with it. My evidence? - just pick up a newspaper! Would you say that the Taliban, ISIL etc are secular?

Capitalism - USA is capitalist, yet very religious (much more so than my country). Also, you're assuming that capitalism is always a bad thing.

Imperialism - crusades, anyone? Caliphates?

Racism - KKK, Islamic antisemitism, the plights of yazidis and Kurds...

Communism/ fascism/ nazism - Stalin's regime was pseudo-religious, at least it drew on the same principles (worship of a leader, inquisition, miracles of the state...). As for Nazis, the SS had 'God on our side' engraved on their belts, and had Germanic-pagan beliefs at the root of their thinking. Natural selection was the principle employed to create the aryan race, not the ideology itself. Oh... And Hitler's birthday was celebrated from the pulpit every year until the end if the war - BY ORDER OF THE POPE!

To think, as you seem to, that morally sound behaviour comes from acceptance of God is an outright insult to all of humanity.

If you want to hold religious beliefs, fine. Just be sure that your belief doesn't become dogma, because that sort of intolerance could also be called fascism.

Sun, April 10th, 2016 8:45pm


Indeed, human beings do evil regardless of their ideology. That includes doing evil things in the name of God. Christians do not believe that professing their faith makes them morally superior, but they do distinguish between evil as an integral part of human nature and evil that arises from evil ideologies. I'm not sure you are making this distinction. The existence of evil Christians doesn't make our rebellion against God any less vile - in fact, Christianity only exists because such rebellion has taken place. The fact that Crusaders killed people doesn't at all absolve atheism of its immanent immorality. Christians are sick people who say they need a doctor, while atheists are sick people who pretend to be healthy - which, naturally, causes the disease to spread more and more. That, and only that, is the difference - it lies in the acceptance or ignorance of our sinfulness, not morality.

Similarly, I do not think that morally sound behavior comes from a philosophical conviction manifested in the belief in the existence of God. But I do think that such kind of behavior does come from God as its only possible source, since nature does not endorse altruism and this very concept is alien and even opposite to it. The mere existence of love, compassion, selflessness, sacrifice, etc. are completely incompatible with any natural law, therefore their source must lie elsewhere, and that source is designated as God by most religious people.

As for religious beliefs becoming dogmas - I am no more dogmatic in my belief in God than you are in your belief that there is none. If our beliefs are not dogmatic, they are not real beliefs. Dogma is mental clarity imbued with passion. When I was an atheist I was very aggressive when arguing with Christians. It was because there is no middle ground: either Christianity is the worst, most horrible lie and hoax in the history of humanity, or it is true. And I pray to God that your conviction of the former will become the latter some day.

Sun, April 10th, 2016 9:37pm

Adrian Hunt

There is no distinction between evil people and evil ideology- save to say that one creates th other. I don't think I said that humans are not, to a point, sick; although I wouldn't have used that terminology. I pointed out very specifically some of the flaws we have - difference is, I can point to empiracle evidence to explain them, whereas you have to say 'I know I'm sick because God told me'.

Left alone, my atheism wouldn't cause me to bother about whether you believe in God or not, but that's the root of the issue- rather than being left alone, I'm being told by you that people like me are so evil or misguided that we'll end the world one day, and that my non-belief will ensure my eternal suffering. This is patronising in the extreme, and I will not be addressed in that manner.

I'm leaving our debate there, since we'll never reach a consensus anyway.

Mon, April 11th, 2016 5:46am


Oh no, I don't mean that people like you end up destroying the world - I mean that people in general end up doing that, and atheism is the banner under which they will gather. This should be no more offensive to you than your statement about evil Crusaders should be to me. Please don't take this personally, it never is about you or me, it's about ideologies.

Why are you so worried about eternal suffering if you don't believe in God?.. We believe that eternal suffering is a result of a human being's free choice to reject God. If you reject God, why are you still afraid of being separated from him?..

You do use the word "evil" and other moral judgments - if there is no God, where do these words come from?.. Nature knows no good and evil...

Sun, April 10th, 2016 11:20pm

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