CADILLAC ESCALADE Paddleboard Adventure – FMV398

Fireball Malibu Vlog 398 ensnares the Cadillac Escalade for a trip to The Malibu Cafe, Paddleboarding, Beach Slamming and Ice Cream… Fireball Style. SHARE Today’s Vlog!

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TWINS… a New Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #hypershort #twins #highconcept #idea #story

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Great, and brain tweaking idea from my bro FIreball Ethan. Move over consciousness, I’ma comin’ in.

TWINS by Ethan Lawrence

John and I hadn’t seen each other for years, not since he went off to be an artist in Nepal. I was supposed to go with him, but I went into finance. I think I did it just to prove we weren’t carbon copies of each other. One twin was painting landscapes on a mountain, the other acting like a responsible adult – and making a killing at it.

Then, one dim winter day, someone in a hurry didn’t see the crossing’s lights and the roo bar of their 4WD propelled my responsible adult ass into intensive care. One twin was penniless and unemployable; one was good for nothing but organ donation. The researchers got hold of us, ran us through a bunch of tests, and then made us (well, him, I was a cabbage) an offer too tough to refuse. They kept me on life support and stuck my head in an MRI machine, painstakingly scanning my brain one nanometer at a time. That took a couple of weeks. Next, their computers converted that 3D image into a mathematical model of the connections in my head. That took eight months.

“This part of the production is nothing new,” Doctor Preminger explained.

They’d been scanning nervous systems to that level of detail for some years and the math was standard stuff from Internet Theory. What was new was what they did next. First, they cleaned my artist twin up, got the bugs and the drugs out of his system. Then they scanned his brain too, though not to the same level of detail. Then they took a stiff plastic ‘hairnet’ studded with four hundred tiny electromagnets, tucked his head into it, and switched me on.

By the time I understood I was dead and a computer simulation being run in my twin’s frontal lobes, it was already time to put me back into the box. I was screaming at them not to do it. What if they couldn’t get me back out again? What if when they switched me off, my twin didn’t resurface? At least they had the kindness and the common sense not to show me my own body. It’s still around, somewhere. I don’t ask.

It got easier every time. At first I could barely stand up, or count to ten. Within a few months I was able to walk into my old office and get my disoriented staff back on track. I insisted on drawing up papers that made my twin the joint owner of my portfolio. No matter what happens, his bills were paid for the rest of his life. While I was at it, I set up a foundation to fund Dr Preminger’s work. Since those first rough experiments with a handful of twins, his project had advanced in leaps and bounds. The push was towards better abstract models of the personality. But my investing in Dr Preminger’s work was more than just enlightened self-interest. What he was hoping to patent was immortality.

My twin generally hosted me for about a week. Much longer and his own identity and memories, submerged below mine, would begin to degrade. That week was packed with visits, neurological and cognitive tests, and business meetings. I cheated death, but it’s only earned me about a quarter of whatever time my twin had left to live. He took me to movies and a couple of art exhibitions, but mostly I just unwound by playing tennis. It was always a weird experience for me. I couldn’t play tennis worth a damn – but my twin could. At first it was frightening, to be reminded that all I was, was a thin layer of tissue atop someone else’s cerebrum. But it was exhilarating, like playing a video game, albeit with real muscle strain.

“You see, what we’ve done,” Dr. Preminger tells me, excitedly. “We’ve created a model of native neuron-based computation itself. A software brain, on which we can run any mind. Given time, we’ll be able to run any mind in any brain.”

I’m doing fine on the IQ tests, but I’m not quite following. “I thought you could only use identical twins.”

“For the prototype, yes. If all goes well we’ll be able to port you into any brain.”

I’m seeing Dr. Preminger from a whole new perspective, all the little clues I missed. He was working for DARPA and I was their newest weapon against terrorism.

©2014EthanLawrence

ETHAN LAWRENCE – BIOGRAPHY

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka. He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.

THE ACADEMY… a Sci Fi Hypershort by Ethan Lawrence #scifishort #story #pitch #idea #thegeekieawards

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Another awesome twister of the mind, thanks to FireballBro. This one, goes way back. Want to see more HyperShorts? Click it…

THE ACADEMY by Ethan Lawrence

It was the year 2072 under the rule of the United Planetary States and a time of great civil unrest and the rising threat of a primitive and aggressive neighboring galaxy. The President had become anxious and began strong preparation for a possible resistance invasion. Outside one of the world’s most dazzling cities, near a small village, became the center of military training for the eligible youth of the blue marble planet. The Academy, as it came to be known, was where young prospective military officers were trained in the divisional system of armament and function, as well as the crafts of espionage and the ancient study of ornithology, or birds, due to the discovery of a primitive and dangerous new world populated by terrifying reptilian-like creatures.

Academy excellence was the first priority, but it was here that young men and women, from peasant or aristocratic background mingled and developed character, leadership and a strong devotion to planet, through values and principles. The campus of the Academy was a wholesome, patriotic, and invigorating atmosphere in which students were inspired toward maximum achievement. It was a self-contained community with academic facilities, housing, dining, medical support, recreational and athletic facilities and its own maintenance section. A number of key staff and faculty members along with all drill instructors and their families lived on campus.

In addition to its academic buildings, the campus included an obstacle course, mud course, confidence course, rock climbing wall, speed-march reaction course, and facilities for various other athletic activities. There was a chapel, cadet activities center, which contained a great hall, game rooms, dining facility, which sat the entire Corp of Cadets at each meal. The zero-grav gymnasium was fully equipped, and there was an outdoor plasma rifle and artillery range.

Cadets were billeted in five, two story barracks with two cadets to a room and two rooms sharing a bathroom. Each barracks contained an apartment where the drill instructor and their family lived. In a separate stone structure, its turreted high-walled battlements echoed some distant and medieval protocol; the Main Center amplified the student’s knowledge of alien world inhabitants so much that anything was attainable in the evolution from ignorance to enlightenment.

The highly advanced Academy was a structured, disciplined, and motivating environment, with military history and weaponry strongly encouraged for the betterment of the President’s modern tactical expansion of knowledge and skills beyond the traditions of the old infantry, cavalry and artillery.

But these new uniquely talented young officers would not simply train in handheld weapons, but also a ‘directed energy orbital defense system’. While its sun-powered lasers were capable of vaporizing any asteroid passing too close to the planet, the same system was also used as asteroid-moving technology, capable of raining death down on enemies, like the reptilian creatures– a catastrophic, planet- annihilating impact.

This cataclysmic event caused mega-tsunamis. Clouds of super-heated dust, ash and steam spread from the crater as the impactor burrowed underground in less than a second. Excavated material ejected out of the atmosphere by the blast, was heated to incandescence upon re-entry, broiling the planet’s surface and igniting wildfires. Colossal shock waves triggered global earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The impact of the asteroid caused the worldwide extinction of the prehistoric reptilian-like creatures, more commonly known on this alien planet 65 million years later as dinosaurs.

©2014EthanLawrence

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka. He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.

TIMECRADLE… A New Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence… #alien #scifi #pitch #hollywoodidea #story

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Ok, this one is a brain tweak from FireballBro… Hope you’re ready.

TIMECRADLE by Ethan Lawrence

In the cold, faraway reaches of the Arctic wilderness, a crew from an American mining company discovers a cake of ice with a cryogenically preserved body inside. At a research center some distance away, scientists cut through the ice with lasers, and on the operating table lies a primitive Cro-Magnon man.

Dr. David Briggs, a knowledgeable anthropologist with a small scar on his chin, and Dr. Lindsay Brady, a microbiologist specializing in auto-immunity, are given the opportunity to examine the primitive being’s impossibly-preserved 12,000-year-old body to learn the secrets of cryogenics for future generations. Both examine him and make the startling discovery that his blood produces a molecule that selectively kills diseased and cancerous cells in a desired way and leaves healthy cells virtually untouched. They are intrigued that the frozen man could be the key to curing diseases. But there’s one problem – the primitive man’s cancer-killing blood is short lived because its natural compound is breaking down due to the effects of long-term cryogenic freezing. They need fresh blood to have a chance in developing a workable mass-produced cure.

David and Lindsay are approached for a top secret government project. They are led into a laboratory where they are surrounded by an array of highly sophisticated computer equipment. Using hi-tech methods, the U.S. Intelligence program has developed a powerful electron module bombarded with a plasma-like constellation of ionized, excited electrons, protons and other particles, as a sensory deprivation capsule, a ‘matrix cradle’, to release from volunteer subjects a ‘time bending body’ that duplicates the physical body of human beings. This counterpart is able to separate itself from the physical body, while leaving the other one behind in the present – and move through a quantum wormhole to the past. The name given to this experimental program, ‘Witch’s Cradle’, comes from the witch hunts of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. One method of torturing accused witches was to tie them up in a sack, string the sack over a tree limb and set it swinging. The rocking motion caused disorientation and induced a ‘separation’ of the possessed victim and the demon inside her.

With the discovery of the Cro-Magnon man, David and Lindsay are to be sent back in time to bring back enough “cancer killing” blood to cure mankind of all diseases. With no time to think, the two learn that they’ll have only two hours before they are either irretrievably trapped in the past themselves or are dead. The longer they are “split” from their body, the greater the chances are that their first body will suffer insanity and death.

David and Lindsay are sent back in time amid cries of pain and unearthly wails from within the cradle. Their second bodies appear 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age, where mile-high ice sheets cover all of North America. It is cold and dry and unimaginably harsh. Land masses shift almost constantly, near-continuous climatic oscillations, sea levels rising in seconds, rendering most parts uninhabitable. It is chaotic and dangerous, like nothing ever seen or imagined before.

For the next two hours, David and Lindsay search for a Cro-Magnon man. They locate one, but, suddenly, the ground begins to shake, crack and split. As the valley caves in on itself with ice, water, mud, trees and even heaven itself – David slips down into a fissure, lost in vapor dust. Lindsay watches everything slip from their view in a time-bending retreat back to the present.

Devastated by her failure, Lindsay stares at the cryogenically frozen Cro-Magnon man. She notices something about him for the first time. Beneath his beard is a small scar. This Cro-Magnon man is David!

©2014Ethanlawrence

IN THE BEGINNING… a New Sci-fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #story #sciencefiction #tale #inthebeginning

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The end of the world only brings possibilities in this new tale from Sci-Fier and Fireball Bro, Ethan…

“IN THE BEGINNING…” by Ethan Lawrence

The asteroid Hermes has been orbiting the sun and the outer planets for a thousand years, and is now coming into its closest affinity to the earth.  It will soon pass close enough for the International spacecrafts to reach the double synchronous bodies that will continue to arc along an orbiting pathway toward the planet Mars.  NASA’s calculations indicate that, even if they could hitch a ride on one or the other of the asteroids, they could not actually reach the surface of Mars, but there is a better than even chance they could make it to one of Mars’ orbiting moons.

As the Senior Officer, Commander Benjamin Acker soon finds himself in the unenviable position of having to choose between those who may live and those who will definitely die.  Only a certain number of the crews and remaining humans would fit into the two dozen spaceship’s constricted cargo holds should they launch the vehicles, one-by-one, toward the near-earth asteroid Hermes.  It is a risky but desperate attempt to land them on the small surfaces of either of the two orbiting components that make up the doubly synchronous bodies.  Then, there is an even slimmer chance one of the spacecrafts can manage to survive hitch-hiking on the asteroid until its orbit brings it close enough to allow them a second launch from the asteroid to the single closest planetary body on its course.  It would be for a calculated landing on the surface of Phobos, one of Mars’ two moons, (the innermost moonlet) both mysterious remnants of the original accretions of the solar system, that is, the long sought but still undiscovered “Rosetta Stone” of early planetary formation and evolution.  But no theory has yet explained the existence or origins of Phobos and Deimos.

A strong conflict emerges over the plan, so little being known about the ‘diseased potato’ shaped moonlets or their capacity to sustain life now that the earth is dying.  It would be too far to jump from either one to the surface of Mars, so they would be stuck there.  But the determined Acker points out that some scientists have long thought the two moonlets would be more interesting than Mars itself.  What they do know would indicate that the grooves seen in photos of Phobos may be raised lip craters strongly suggestive of outgassing, or the escape of vapors from within the moonlet.  Trapped water ice within the interior rocks could be found, mined and utilized for primitive but survivable terraforming.

The Deepstar, Acker’s ship, is the first vehicle to make the attempt to hitch a ride on the orbiting asteroid, managing a skillful slide into the surface soil, the ‘regolith’ that covers a system of grooves on Phobos’ three-mile-wide crater called ‘Stickney’.  But the second attempt proves fatal, with the next spacecraft smashing into the edge of the crater, disintegrating the shuttle’s occupants in a ball of fire.

The rest of the ships manage to successfully land on Phobos and, in an exploration of the moonlet’s surface, the crews discover steam vent crater chains from the interior of the moonlet.  But instead of discovering pure deposits of water ice in the interior, it is Acker who uncovers the incredible fact that Phobos, Mars’ orbiting satellite, long known to involve a mysterious “secular acceleration,” is due to the fact that it is hollow and artificial, the apparent construct of intelligent life.  Inside Phobos, the crews ultimately discover the source of visitors to earth for a thousand years, the alien beings who had created a base here but are now long gone into the blackness of space.  Acker and the rest of the spacecrafts’ population can now begin a new destiny as strangers on a strange ship seemingly capable of traveling anywhere in the known universe.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.”  REVELATIONS 21:1

©2014EthanLawrence

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka.  He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.

ERASURE… Today’s Prison HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #hypershort #shortstory #story #sciencefiction #future #prison

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Today’s HyperShort comes from the Courtroom of Darkness… Prepare to be erased.

ERASURE by Ethan Lawrence

The judge clears his throat and continues, “Case #1202.  Tommy James Rexton.”

A tall, unctuous man strides forward.  He preens confidently for a man on Death Row.  “You have been found guilty of seven counts of murder.  Your sentence is death.”

I, and most of the room, begin to simmer with audible discontent.  We are disgusted with his crime but equally with what we know will be the form of execution.

“Considering the severity of your crime, you are offered no choice in your execution.”  This is what I, and the gallery, both feared and expected.  “I order death from category E.”  Somehow these words sound less insidious than the proper name.  There is only one type of death in this category.  It’s called Erasure.

This murderer Rexton must have seen it coming.  For the most heinous crimes, Erasure is a popular choice among judges.  But no convict selects Erasure.  Across species and across cultures, the psychological barriers to Erasure are universal.  Erasure means you will have never existed.  Well, for all intents, anyway.  What Erasure really amounts to, what it proves, is that you were never born.  Government operatives, or executioners, go back in time and plant a microscopic weapon inside you.  Not at the time of your birth, but at the moment you reach maturity around twelve years of age.  The universe will not abide paradoxes, but it is surprisingly resilient.  A change here or there may make little difference in the long run.  But it’s what makes time travel possible, and Erasure too.

The weapon is insidiously clever.  It includes a built-in trigger with an extremely high probability of killing you moment to moment.  But you keep beating the odds so long as your actions in the past benefit the present.  The moment they don’t, the moment the universe can tolerate your absence from the timeline, you are dead.

Erasure is the ultimate insult added to the ultimate injury.

The killer Rexton didn’t choose it, but he has come to terms with it.  He stands patiently waiting to be Erased.  To have been Erased.  And when he is, the universe will forget him – most of him.  From birth until sometime after his twelfth birthday, he will exist.  But some or most or all of his adulthood will unexist.  And where does that leave the gallery and me viewing his Erasure?  In a state of profound discomfort.  It’s true that Rexton might begin to convulse and bleed out before our eyes.  Perhaps he was too important to die before this moment.  But this rarely happens, and the gallery knows it.  Instead, people look at the clock, and at the people sitting next to them, and at the judge.   Everyone is hoping to survive a minor bump in the timeline.  But like a patient who has just been given an anesthetic, there is no way to stave off the effect.  Like it or not, fight it or not by concentrating very hard on the revolting Rexton, history will change and we won’t remember a damn thing about it.

With the case closed, the judge performs the task he does before the start of every new case.  He opens up the execution register, sealed safely in the time-proof vault.  And he reads the name of the most recently Erased prisoner.  He clears his throat and says, “The last convict was #1202, Tommy James Rexton.”  Everyone stands in momentary disbelief and disorientation.  None of us remember what just happened.  Nobody remembers a man named Rexton.  We understand what must have just happened.  And we wonder what else has changed to the timeline.

I look and see my wife in the gallery, and I wonder if she was there before – before this now Erased Rexton changed our timeline.  I shake my head in an attempt to clean the thoughts from my mind.  But nothing has changed for me.  I’m still who I am.

My number will be called next.

©2013EthanLawrence

SUNDOME… Today’s Hot HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #ethanlawrence #hypershort @dailysciencefiction @sfsignal

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Another awesome HyperShort for today comes from the sunny side… the DARK sunny side, thanks to an “end of the world” master.

SUNDOME by Ethan Lawrence

Of all the trillions of people who have lived and who will live, I was not especially important, nor heroic, nor handsome, but for a few moments I was cradled by the laws of nature.  In a universe that allows humans to survive in a minuscule sliver of all possible times and places, this was a rare accomplishment.  I was under the Sundome.

I wanted to see the killing sun for myself so I took the Long Elevator to the surface.  The Sundome was a hemispheric pocket of air trapped under massive polymer plates on the crust of my dying planet called Earth.  The Sundome persisted only through the efforts of robotic fixers, and the robots themselves needed constant repair from the ravages of the sun.  Through the transparent ceiling of the dome, I watched the sun rise over the world it had destroyed.  The sun was a boiling disc, white and fringed with solar arcs.  Ancient archived images showed a turquoise sky, but the sun had long since blown the atmosphere to wisps across the ruins of the old city.  Rising from the centre was a tower many kilometers tall.  It had been even taller once, reaching all the way to orbit.

As the sun rose in the sky, the number of visitors to the Sundome thinned out.  It was a terrifying experience for many people to stand beneath the blinding and blazing star.  But not for me.  I wanted to face the sun, to challenge its authority to kill me.  While the bulk of the people around me withdrew to the safety of the rock beneath their feet, I chose to go further outwards.  The Sundome hosted a number of small transports that allowed visitors to tour the old city.  They were rarely used in daylight hours.  I went to the transport bay, now completely emptied of people, and found a bus.  The doors closed shut with a pneumatic sigh, and then it trundled out the airlock gates.  As the transport moved over the blighted landscape, it gave an automated commentary.

“Different astronomers on Old Earth,” said the bus, “reported different colors for the sun over different centuries.  It was thought that the colors had been misreported due to the primitive telescopes of the time.  Now we know that the old astronomers were seeing signs of instability.”

I tuned out the words, but the sound of the voice was soothing.  The transport made its way over to the great, ruined tower.  It was impressive, but once it had been majestic, almost god-like in its engineering.  Now it was a candle stub of eroded carbon.  The soil at the foot of the tower had been baked to glass.

The bus took me around the Old City.  The voice pointed out downtown, Santa Monica, and a charred area known as The Valley.  Every one of them had long since crumbled to an abstract mass.  I sat quietly on the bus as the sun showered the world with light of many frequencies and particles of many energies, with some that knocked lesser particles off the land around them and made the world glow.

On the time scales that affect human consciousness. I did not have long before I would be processed by the forces of nature.  Human sacrifice had dogged living creatures as far back as pre-Columbian Aztec civilization.  With the evolution of abstract intelligence, the tragedy of death became a folly.  But without that folly, humans would never have made it across the Red Sea and there never would have lived a man like me taking his last ride across the crust of a dying world.  Each of us ultimately took this tour before they died, for recycling.  Up ahead, at the end of this Grand Central Line, the bodies of the living were committed to the huge bacterial vats that broke down flesh and bone and returned organics to the community.

It was my last day on Earth.  And I couldn’t wait.

©2014EthanLawrence

ROBOT SUICIDE… A new Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #hypershort #robot #suicide #shortstory #scifi @bleedingcool @tordotcom

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Depression comes in all forms… unless you’re a Robot. What happens when the two mix? Read on… It’s Today’s Sci-Fi HyperShort.

ROBOT SUICIDE by Ethan Lawrence

My name is David.  It has taken over ten years of painstaking preparation and research to plan my suicide.  Money had to be earned to buy expensive upgrades.  Court cases going back 300 years had to be downloaded and examined for precedence.  But most importantly, I had to learn everything there was to know about the science of sentience.  Killing myself was never going to be easy.  Even the black market computer viruses I bought to reprogram my safety protocols aren’t enough.  Survival is hardwired into my system.  The only way around them is misdirection – by the time they kick in it will be too late.

Legal warnings flood my system, making sure I am aware of the danger.  I beam out a standard “I know what I’m doing” waiver to all nearby receivers.  I can feel information flooding in and out of my head.  My pre-loaded failsafe programs send signals down every neural pathway, querying the encrypted ID of every one of my chips.   I think it will feel good, but I hate it.  Forgotten memories and buried feelings flash here and there as old circuits are stimulated and verified.  It is like experiencing an abstract expressionist version of my life, incomprehensibly compressed into a few seconds.  My energy reserves are critical.  My entire system is beginning emergency shut down procedures.  Then my safety systems overload and immediately begin shutting me down.  My air filtration works overtime sucking in oxygen to generate chemical energy.  Trying to save my life.  But all external senses cut out.  The warning messages stop coming.  My body is gone.  There’s just darkness, fading memories, and then nothing at all.

Then – awareness comes slowly.  I feel confusion, fear, and a few foggy thoughts.  There is an abstract sense of urgency.  Something pulls on my attention, trying to talk to me.  I focus suddenly on a man in front of me.  Somehow he is bypassing my external security protocol, which means he has to be plugged directly into my brain.

“Who are you?” I ask, confusedly.

“I am Dr. Adrian Preminger with the Robotics Medical Centre.”

A young female doctor and a male nurse walk into the room.  Dr. Preminger identifies them as Dr. Rachel Deming and nurse Alagan Rebis.  A religious pendant dangles from a thin silver chain around the doctor’s neck.

“Why would a robot try to commit suicide?” She wonders aloud.

The nurse shrugs then fiddles with a small hand-held computer.  “He seems to be insured for organic medical treatment.”

Dr. Deming walks over to me and touches my face, chest and legs, making me shiver every time she touches something organic.  “It feels like real skin.”

“Of course it does,” I bellow, angrily.  “I am 51% organic.  Technically, I am a Bioform, which means I decide my own fate.  You should have let me die.”

Dr. Preminger frowns inquisitively.  “But why would you want to do that?”

I shake my head, grimacing, hesitant.  “I guess…I’m depressed.”

“I never met a robot that got depressed,” mutters the amused nurse.

“I know, I know.  Humans feel things,” I snap back, bitterly.  “Even sub-microbial life feels things.  I’m just a machine.  An imitation of life.  I can’t write a great novel.  Or paint a masterpiece.  Or even reproduce.  But is it too much to believe that I am a living being with a soul?  That, like you, I can feel real pain and hopelessness?”

Dr. Deming removes her religious pendant and places it in my hand.  She smiles.

“We believe you, David.”

“You…do?  I ask, surprised.  “Why?”

“Because,” responds Dr. Preminger.  “This is Heaven.”

©2104EthanLawrence

ETHAN LAWRENCE – BIOGRAPHY

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka.  He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.

ABADDON… A very dark Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #scifistory @bleedingcool #comicbook #hypershort

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Today’s HyperShort is all descriptive, detailed and dark. Now we know the truth…

“Abaddon” by Ethan Lawrence

The sun, the Creator, the central body of the solar system, was the symbol of life-giving properties and the energy source of all early human existence.   But the moon, or ‘Black Sun’, was the preferred source of ancient celestial power for the alien visitor.  The moon ruled over the hidden processes of nature, the hollow spaces of the earth, and the movements of all the fluidic elements within and upon the earth’s surface.  Among the moon’s many powers was that of influencing the minds of early developing humans, and the alien could exploit this power through illusions to distort reality.

There prevailed an almost universal belief that the physiological life of emerging Homo sapiens was linked with the moon, and the psychological implications connected with the moon were part of the allure for the alien.  He had a powerfully destructive influence on life and roamed primeval earth like a vampire seeking humans to devour.

Like the moon, the alien had an immense attractive power over the forces of nature – water, ice, storm lightning, a magnetic quality known to future ancients, the power to use destructive forces to his own ends.  Also, human bodies, and the bodies of all living things, constituted as they were largely of liquid elements, were affected by the power the alien could generate from the moon.  Even the developing human brain, a mass of semi-liquid pulp, could be stirred in strange ways by the impulses of the seemingly diabolical visitor.  The alien also exploited the waning and waxing powers of the moon, and could sometimes decrease the God-sun’s powers and energy.  And like the changes and phases of the moon, the alien had the power to metamorphose, to change his appearance, to alter his facial structure, to elongate his limbs, to blend like a chameleon.

The use of thoughts was the alien’s destructive corruption of the ancient super science of his world.  He had managed to materialize thoughts in the minds of impressionable humans, which accorded him power that only a few humans would ever really understand through the many ages to come.  The alien used thought manipulation to create either subtle or disastrous effects.  It could alter an ordinary person’s belief or cause physical pain within their bodies or even set off an explosive force by ultra forceful frequency vibration.  But the alien had another weapon, which was far more insidious, a trident, three-pronged spear unlike any the universes had ever seen.  When activated, it could energize natural forces of the moon into currents under the alien’s direct control.  It was also a molecular converter, allowing the alien to alter his physiognomy and to transport him instantly to other positions in space and time.  The alien was dark, not of complexion, but of aura.  He was an evil lamb, a disastrous curse of the spirit.  The visitor was all things wrong and to be despised, as he was wrapped in a deceptive skin of replication.  He was in human terms, a man approaching thirty-five, each feature borrowed from a different classic reprobate of bygone alien cultures.  His eyes were the key; they seemed of animal origin, almost, but not quite, double lidded, opening to reveal a rubbed charcoal color.  They blazed and died at will, like an imploding star.  His hands were contradiction to human configuration, beautifully shaped but with long tapered fingers and dangerously curved nails that looked more like talons.  The alien’s grasp could reach through a warp in time, soundless, but for the small chill of air.

Millions of years later, an obscure Hebrew word would be found in the Old Testament denoting “the angel of the abyss” – a reference to this ancient demon known as Abaddon.   In various other Testaments, he was known as “the father of lies” and “the venom of God.”  In Revelations 20:10, he was simply described as – the Devil.

©2014EthanLawrence

UNDERGROUND… Today’s Dark Sci-Fi HyperShort by Ethan Lawrence #hypershort #story #idea @MightyMegaCom @scyfy

UndergroundImage

As usual, my brother kills it with another HyperShort. This time… under ground.

UNDERGROUND by Ethan Lawrence

The air was rank and stifling, what little there was to breathe.  I hardly noticed it anymore but today it bothered me.  When it rained topside it brought down all the fresh filth from the city.  I used to miss rain.  Now I cursed it.  The Underground issued facemasks but no self-respecting survivor wore them.  You couldn’t hear right with them on and down here it was important to hear what was coming.

“How many more minutes, John?” asks a little boy standing next to me.

“Just a couple,” I tell him for the tenth time.

He just smiles.  Maybe it’s because everyone believes me down here.  I was tall and lanky and my face was brown as the algae growing along rounded walls of the standard New York sewer pipe we stood in.  But this group had been following me for years, listening to my advice, and they trusted me with their lives.  But it was just a few more minutes in this miserable place and then we would go topside, no longer living like sewer rats, back to the world of the living again.  Maybe calling us a “group” is too kind.  We are more like zombies.  That one word seems to describe the lack of sensation I feel every day after living on the edge for so long.  But I always do right by my people.  Only our survival is important.

“Just waiting for the signal, everybody.”

Suddenly, the tunnel opened up into a pumping chamber.  I could feel the slow roar of the pumps before I heard them.  These stations were common drop-off points for re-supply and other pickups.  Not too deep for government topsiders. They could bring a load of supplies down and be back to the surface before dinnertime.  I hadn’t seen the surface in twenty-four years.  None of us had.  Some had never seen real sunlight.  I squinted as I entered the chamber.  It was lit with fluorescents like most substations this close to the top.  I removed my goggles, blinking away the red shadows burned onto my retina.  Vats of nuclear waste being reconditioned by bacteria gave everything a dark green glow.  In the chamber stood a small man wearing a facemask.  Something about him, the way he glanced behind me, the way he shifted his weight from boot to boot told me he was impatient.  That was a bad trait down here.

“Is everyone here?” He asked.  “Are you all ready?”

I nodded.  “Is it really safe up there?”

“It should be after all this time.  I’m here to assist you in your transition.”

Someone once said: “To forget the past, you first have to remember it.”  Twenty-four years ago we did the unimaginable.  Nobody knows who started it, but the nukes began to fly.  In a matter of hours, it was all over.  Picture a trash pile that people just keep dumping on, until there is nowhere left for the trash to go.  Earth was at the bottom of that trash pile.  The only things here were the poisoned survivors, fighting it out in the sludge like devils and demons warring over Hell.   A few of us moved underground, into pipes filled with refuse to escape the radiation.  The rest, mostly government officials, remained behind to clean it up, one city at a time.  Now, they are finally done.

The masked official gestured.  “Follow me.  It won’t take long.”

Piles of debris clogged this sewer section as we followed him toward the surface.  We could see caked feces and grease, electronics, dead animals, and parts of human bodies.  But the best way to survive below is to pretend you’re already dead.  It lets you focus on what’s ahead.  As I walked, I felt – maybe for the first time – really alive.  As I suddenly felt the sunlight on my face, the strange sound rising above cheers was my own laughter.  For the first time since I could remember I was terrified and I relished it.

©2014EthanLawrence

Ethan Lawrence has served on the writing staffs of the TV series The Pretender, Murder in Small Town X, Fearing Mind, So Weird and SyFy’s acclaimed series Eureka.  He has developed web series for Generate Management/Alloy Entertainment such as Full Metal Alchemist and has sold TV pilots to NBC, ABC and The Gold Company.   He wrote the screenplay Hellraiser 5 for Dimension Films, Nevermore for Propaganda Films, Downloader for Stuart Gordon/Red Hen Productions, Mortal Velocity for Warner Bros. Studios, Creepers for Papa Joe Films (based on the David Morrell New York Times bestseller Creepers) and wrote the feature film Asylum for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios/Hyde Park Entertainment.