VASHTI by Anthony Lawrence (Fireball Pop) #shortstory #story #scifi @scifi


Today begins a unique Series

I was talking with Fireball Pop (Anthony Lawrence) about the idea of publishing what we call Hyper-Short SciFi Stories. 1-pagers from the mind of a Sci-Fi Master that would bring the reader into a whole new world. You know Fireball Pop. He’s written Sci-Fi for Outer Limits, Twilight Zone and tons more. The result…

Here’s Story #1. Entitled simply… VASHTI. Enjoy, and let me hear your thoughts in the comments below! If you guys like them, we’ll keep ’em coming.

“VASHTI” by Anthony Lawrence

Her name was Stephanie Gates.

I had to admit she was beautiful. If I could have taken sex out of the equation, and I’m not sure I could, I would say that the design and symmetry of her body was beyond Playboy or Vargas or even Botticelli.

She was an astro-physicist who had been working with me at NASA on the AI Land Rover program that had been recently geared to seeking out “Goldilocks” planets for terra-forming. I had been Chief astro-design officer leading a science group that had been using advances in nanotechnology and quantum mechanics to create a system for a Land Rover that operated more like human intelligence than anything seen previously.

But something happened to Stephanie that she could never have anticipated. She was dying of brain cancer and had only so much time left to live. That’s when she decided to do something very daring and very dangerous. Secretly, over a period of months, using a technique she had invented, she downloaded everything that she could from her own mind into the Land Rover’s computer system.  She wanted to be an integral part of its thinking, allow it to make human decisions, and possibly in some unique way keep her consciousness alive inside the computer.

She told me it actually worked, but something else happened that she couldn’t have imagined in her wildest dreams.

Molecular robots in the computer system, like programmed antibodies, began a unilateral process of positional assembly and self-replication that created a whole new living being. It was a being that had the ability to also create form and substance. It called itself “Vashti.”

“I can alter atomic structure, make myself into anything I want,” she said softly, with that perfect smile. This is my human form. Would you like to see what I looked like before?”

I stared at her loveliness, uncertain that I was prepared for what might come. Then, I nodded.

The metamorphosis began in her eyes, just a slight glowing in the pupils at first, then a brilliant flow of multi-colored light. It seemed a kind of bioluminescence that was radiating outward from her eyes and surging around her head. The next impression I had was that of a metallic sheen that flowed like molten steel, encompassing her entire head, turning it from flesh and hair into a shining dome.