• Richie Bartlett Jr.

    The following is a mostly based on a rather unusual dream I had on Saturday, November 17th, 2001. I had the distinct feeling that this dream will occur sometime in the distant future. With dreams such as this, nothing can be held with true conviction.

    I found myself in a strange place. I took a moment to adjust my eyes to the lighting. Barely awake, I manage to climb down from my bunk bed. I didn’t see anyone else so I thought that I must have slept late. Without much thought, my body seemed to know the routine and walked to the laboratory. After taking care of my usual bodily functions and washing my face, I walked out with my eyes wide open. With a tan glow and sleek walls, I entered a room that seemed familiar and yet so unknown. I could not remember how I got here or why I was here. I continued to walk as though it were my own home. I could see no light fixtures, yet light permeated everything. I felt strange, everything was both familiar and yet so unknown. It would appear that the entire structure was made inside an underground cavern. It’s difficult to tell if I’m inside a ship or an underground tunnel. I could only feel the structure was huge and virtually immeasurable. The environment was warm and comfortable. Somehow, the walls glowed with a gentle warmth. Touching the walls, I could detect no heat. I continued to stroll though the corridors. As I walked into what I felt to be my room, I could see several view screens with different light shades of blue and green. The view screens were transparent and I could see no outline of supporting hardware; it was almost as if they were holograms and yet they looked as though I could easy hold or touch one. I could almost make out what the largest screen read. I had the feeling that I was searching for something. I wasn’t sure what it was that I should be searching for.

    Walking further into the room, I can see protrusions from the wall that functioned as furniture. On the far distant side of the room, I can see what seem to create bunk beds. I had the feeling that my family slept there. The beds circled a large column that stretched from the floor upto the ceiling. Each of the beds had divider walls to allow some privacy. The ceiling appeared to be about thirty feet in height. I walked over toward one of the view screens and picked up something which reminded me of a supped-up hand-held palm top, but it used the same technology as the view screens. I don’t know exactly what I was doing, but I kept punching the holographic interface as though I were an expert. I held the device in my right hand as I continued to enter commands with my left. As I continued to order the commands, I strolled over to the bunk beds. I held the impression that my sister, brother, and my mother slept there. I continued to wonder around the room to see if I could remember anything else.

    I used the hand-held device to learn more about my home and the environment. As the day pressed on, the room and everything around me began to feel more familiar to me. I began to remember more about the computer systems and the role I played with them. It seems I’m in a position of great control. I returned to my station and sat in a chair. The computer sensed my presence and recognized my DNA scan. I noticed a very small sensory device on the right arm of the chair. It was the DNA scanner. I was immediately surrounded by view screens with various information. I took the time to investigate my past. I learned my name was Richie Ein. I am one of many survivors on MotherEarth. The year is 102 M.E. My mother, Linna took care of my little sister, Onyx. Onyx is eight and always harasses my little brother. Dave is my thirteen year old brother who barely escaped alive. I found my own personal files hidden deep within the database. I cracked the files open. Apparently, I didn’t do a good enough job encrypting the information. I found information explaining why I had such a difficult time remembering who I was. I was recently pulled from a cryochamber where I rested for the last 100 years. I could not believe my eyes. I had to read the whole file again before the information began to soak in. I don’t feel a day older than twenty-five, yet the computer states my age as 125 years, 7 months, 12 days old. I wondered why I was thawed out. I realized that I didn’t have to manually type in my search queries. I commanded to the voice interface, “Computer, is there any information regarding reasons for Richie Ein to be pulled from cryostasis?” The computer responded with a beautiful feminine voice, “That information is classified. Please state authorization code.” “Computer, debug authorization code.” I persuaded the computer to open the files using an old recursive stack overflow algorithm. “Authorization accepted, thank you Yoshi Rei.” “Hmm.” I thought to myself. I remembered that Yoshi Rei is the Lord of the Fleet and my adoptive father. I’ll have to remind myself to read up on him later. I retrained my thoughts to the files before me. I learned that all the Shyang Elite were being awaken before the settlement of our new home.

    Lord Rei walks into my room and stands out of view observing my commands to the computer. After I finished reading the files on my awaking, I heard a familiar voice. “Ah! Commander Rei, I see that you have finally awaken.” I felt no difference in age from the time we first met. The two of us had not physically aged a single year. I was still twenty-five and he was still in his late forties. “I knew you had to be awake when I was alerted of unusual resource spike on the computer systems,” Lord Rei commented. Joking, I responded, “You should know how much computers are fond of me.” Dressed in a black suit and white shirt, he greets me with a smile and by handing my sword to me. He appeared to be an athletic samurai and yet held the wisdom of a seasoned diplomat. His hair revealed hints of gray and his completion was comparable to someone in his early forties. The sword felt unlike any material or design I had ever seen before and yet I felt as though I had always commanded its life.

    I didn’t quite understand how I could know this sword, but it seemed to know me. It felt comfortable in my hands. The entire sword appeared to be made seamless, yet it held a singularity unto itself. I felt the sword was a katana, but unlike any katana I have seen. It held a wavy design as the overall length of the sword curved slightly upward. It was no more than three and a half feet long, including the handle. The katana was bright silver and the handle glowed between shades of blue and green. The sheath served more as a means to recharge than protection from the elements. The sheath held many decorative qualities. It was made of the same metallic material as the sword but lacked any sharp edges. It flowed with the shape of the katana with holes that revealed the horror of the sword and the beauty of its intentions. Like the handle, the sheath glowed between the shades of blue and green. The colors seem to pulse green and then blue downward on the sheath in varying lengths. The sheath pulsed with an unusual energy. It seemed to draw its life from me.

    As I continued to focus on the sword, I attempted to remember how we became acquainted with each other. Suddenly with a bright flash of blue light, I find myself back in a more familiar place. Looking out a window, I can see houses aligning a street. It seemed like I was at home. I walked around my house and saw the same family I remembered from the computer files. Instead of the typical outfits of gray, blue and green bodysuits, everyone wore clothing that resembled the early twenty-first century upper-middle-class. I walked into a room that appeared to be my little brother’s room. The walls were decorated with an assortment of snakes and fantasy posters. In the center of the room was a large eight foot by two foot by four-foot glass tank that imprisoned a large carnivorous-constrictor-cobra hybrid snake. Next to the tank were a bunch of rats and kittens contained within cages. I didn’t want to see any kittens fed to the snake. My brother, Dave, took a rat and tossed it into the tank. Dave called the snake Zareb. Zareb immediately caught the large rat in its mouth and chewed on it a few times before swallowing it whole. I didn’t care to see anymore, I walked out of the room and into the hallway that joined the kitchen.

    I walked toward the front room of the house and saw a girl who I felt very intimate with. Her name is Sarah Anne Mora. We seemed to share a very close bond. Bonds not like those of a sibling, but a long-held lover. Her lovely dirty blonde hair hung just past her shoulders. I could never get enough of the wonderful curves her body was gifted with. Her grace was only matched with the beauty hidden within her bluish-green eyes. She wore a medium length forest green skirt with an open back and black low-heel shoes. I must admit, I always did like girls of medium build. “Richie? are you going out to dinner dressed like that?” Sarah questioned me. I didn’t notice that I was still in my bedtime clothes. With a mischievous smile I reply, “Why not?” “Richie! I can’t believe you are twenty-three years old and you continue to act this way.” Sarah scolded me. We walked down the hall into my room. The walls are laced with many Sci-Fi posters and various outdated hardware. Seventy-five percent of my room was devoted to building, designing and programming computers and various equipment. I could see that my computers were busy compiling my latest creation. I was still adding algorithms to my AI program. Sarah pulled a dark navy-blue casual suit with a plain white shirt out of my closet. “Richie, I know that your AI program is important to you, but in the last seven years we have known each other, do you think that you could have learned to get dressed in the morning?” “I could have… but it’s a waste of time. Time I can use to write more algorithms.” I told Sarah. “Richie… get dressed.” Sarah begged. I quickly disrobed and began putting on my clothes. “Hey Richie, why don’t you add one of those algorithms to yourself. One that demands you to get dressed while it’s still morning time. Hmm?” Sarah asked. “I’ll see what I can do…” I kissed Sarah as I was adjusting my overcoat.

    Everyone began to walk out the front door dressed in casual attire for the evening. We all jumped into what resembled a large low-riding, navy blue Suburban with blue-tinted windows. Suburbans are typically based around a box shape, this vehicle was sleek and aerodynamically designed for added efficiency. The wheels were attached with navy-blue fading to forest green into the center custom rims. Terri designed and built the family vehicle with a little of my help. I assisted with the computer interfaces and logic controls. All seven of us sat in seats that were either our favorite spot or just convenient to reach. Onyx always sat in the back next to Sarah while I sat next to my brothers behind the driver. Terri, my older brother, usually sat behind the front passenger seat. We called it “The Terroir.” My mother and father sat in the front with my mother in the driver’s seat. Our parents were celebrating a new break-through in their research.

    Fox Ein, my father, is a famous physicist and my mother is a world-renown bioengineer. My mother, father, and Terri all worked on an Ultra secret project for the government. I didn’t care to work for Big Brother, Uncle Sam. But I didn’t mind keeping up with his latest projects. When I wasn’t with Sarah, I could be found behind my computer beating my commands into the government servers. Thinking to myself, “Most of the morons that run the government Cybernet really should take some of the advice I post on the national computer and network security journals.” Then again, nothing they could do would prevent my access of their systems short of unplugging them. I didn’t need to be told the real reason for their calibrations. The cover story is they finally figured out how to harness the power of a fusion catalyst and control the energy outflow. While that technology did exist, it wasn’t anything new. The truth was they have designed a functional organic based plasma engine capable of lifting a mountain into space. Like Uncle Sam, I never saw the need to divulge any knowledge I had on previous and current projects. My brother, Terri, asked me to add a few interesting components to my artificial intelligence program and sell it to him. I didn’t mind the extra cash, so I gave him a copy of it. I never give all my stuff away. Like any self-respecting hacker, always provide the back doors and hidden features free of charge. I had a good idea what he had in mind for my wonderful AI, a little known project called MotherEarth. The project is so secret that the only file that contained any reference to it had only four words “Hardcopy case file #097^278|SE|ME|3773.” Since I had no physical access to the research site, I didn’t pursue it much further. The only clues I could gain on the project was the type of work the Ein’s completed. Many of the projects Terri, Fox, and Linna worked on made a brief reference to a project named “M.E.” As an engineer, my brother contributes to the design of all father’s projects. One of mother’s projects included genetically re-engineering three different species of snakes. One of the successes of that project is now Dave’s pet. It’s programmed not to harm the Ein family or anyone the family allows in the house. Terri added a biochip into the back of Zereb’s brain. I rather like the fact that we can control it with a “remote controller.” Just something else I can reprogram if necessary.

    We drove twenty miles to a restaurant where we all liked to frequent. “Nihon Asia” is a three star Japanese style restaurant. The tables were two feet off the ground and made of redwood with a clear vanish. The tables were covered with a decorative cloth that extended past the entire length. Red leather pillows served as seats and surrounded the tables. At the center of each table rested a miniature bonsai Tree. Our favorite table had been reserved and prepared before our arrival. Wooden chop sticks and plates lined the table while the napkins rested on the seats with name cards on top. For this occasion, the entire restaurant was reserved for the Ein family. Mother and father sat at the opposite ends of our table. I preferred to sit at the middle of the table. Sarah sat across from me with Onyx on her right side. Dave sat to my left and Terri on my right. Sometimes Onyx or Dave would invite a friend, but this time was special. The seat on Sarah’s left remained empty for this visit. After everyone was seated, our appetizers were served. Father had called ahead with our menu requests. I typically enjoyed sushi rolls with large shrimp and shoyu (soy sauce). Sarah didn’t care for shrimp but favored the natto with sweet shoyu and a side of dashi. Sarah and I usually shared the hot tea while I would typically order two cold servings of Ginju-shu sake. Everyone else devoured his or her eggrolls. The servers cleared the table in preparation of the main course. Dave wasn’t picky when it came to food. He only cared whether it was filling or not. Typically, mother would order a uma-ni with a side of beef strips and rice for Dave. Onyx usually enjoyed a simple plate of chicken fried rice. Mother would sometimes share some of her food with Onyx. Father always enjoyed the Daikon no sake-ni with a side of spicy szechuan and fried rice. I always ordered something spicey off the menu. This time I requested the Hunan Szechuan. Sarah received the teriyaki beef. Mother never ate the same meal twice when she comes to this place. She has never been disappointed with the quality and personality of each meal. The chefs are delighted to see Linna return. They happily serve their latest creations for her to critique. Mother and father ordered some wine to celebrate the occasion while Dave and Onyx were treated to a small cup of warm sake. Mother addresses the table, “This night is special. Your father and I are celebrating a major breakthrough in the completion of a very challenging project. We finally did it. We can now control with ease a fusion catalyst’s energy outflow!” We all raise our cups in cheer. I could see father’s grin hiding behind his smile as mother addressed the table. Of course, no one else knew the truth; not even Terri. Mother and father were not aware that I truly knew what was going on. As far as they knew, the cat was still in the bag. I second the toast with “to the future and to science.” “To the future…” Everyone smiled and enjoyed their beverage. An hour later, those of us who had an ounce of appetite left ordered some rice cake. Dave always had room for rice cake. Sarah and I shared a piece. After we were all finished eating, everyone personally thanked the chefs for their excellent work. Politely, we all loaded the Terroir and began the ride home. This time, Sarah sat between Terri and myself.

    As we approached the street where our home rested, I could see streaks of red light blazing down from the sky. Father, who was driving us home, read the onboard computer instruments and accelerated speed while taking evasive maneuvers to dodge the attacks. I looked out the windows and saw that the red lights were bombarding the east side of town.

    As the bombing continued westward, the earth began to shake more and more. Father immediately parked our vehicle as we began to jump out of the car. The oldest brother took our little sister while I held Sarah close to me. We were two houses down from our home. Everyone began running out of their homes with the most precious and important things they could carry. As I approached the steps to my home, I could see a Japanese man staring directly at me holding a strange glowing katana unlike any sword I have ever seen. The katana was contained within a sheath that seemed to have similar properties as the sword. He appeared to be in his forties. The old man tosses the katana inside the sheath at my feet from a distance of about fifty feet. Somehow, this man became familiar to me and yet I was certain that I had never seen him before in my life. Without a single question of who he was, I immediately demanded to know why he disgraced my sword in the fashion that he did. I didn’t even know how the sword was supposed to be mine. Nevertheless, I claim the sword and attached it to my clothes. It began to glow brighter with such close proximity to me. Sarah was stunned but stayed close by. The red lights began to bombard the houses of our street. My family had begun running toward the mountains with everything they could carry. The ground began to shake more violently. I watched a bolt of red light shoot into the ground and a blue glow began to shoot out. The surface near the impact began to crumble as a strange object emerged. I was a pyramid shaped crystal that glowed a strange blue. Without a second thought, I immediately pull my sword from its sheath and ran toward the strange object. I swung the sword at the top of the crystal and severed the object in half. The bottom half dimmed its glow as the top half shattered into many pieces on the ground. I watched another crystal not far away emerge. As it grew out of the ground, I saw the people near by start to fall lifeless to the ground. Enraged, I continued to run toward every crystal that surfaced along the path my family took into the mountains. Amazingly, not one drop of sweat perspired from my face as I reached the mountainside. I could see the old man standing on a pillar of stone as I jumped on a large boulder. The earth began to shake even more as I greeted the remains of my family. I could not find my father or my oldest brother. My little sister was nowhere in sight. Sarah managed to keep up with me. The old man stepped down with his arms open. He greets me like I was his own son. “I am proud of you my son. From now on, I shall be your father.” With a surge of emotions, I wrapped my arms around him in a show of gratitude. Those of us who managed to get to the mountainside, watch in horror as the earth shook, cracked and crumbled. I didn’t understand why, but the mountain seemed unaffected. The crystals continued to grow as the entire mountain began to lift upward. As the mountain began to enter the atmosphere, everyone began to enter the caves that drilled into the side of what I could now call a ship. The feeling of relief began to fill me as I realized my family and I were safe. Yet I was sad for those who did not make it.

    The glow of blue and green shades awoke me. I found myself holding my katana’s edge in front of my face while standing before the old man I now called Father. I do not know exactly where our journey will take us. All I know is the mountain we travel the space is the home we all survived the destruction of our race’s birthplace. Fortunately, we are not alone. I live inside one of many such ships traveling at light speeds I never thought possible. For whatever reason, many others and I posses a special quality that allows us to inherit positions of authority and power. My ship is called MotherEarth and she is the leading command for all surviving ships. Until the day we can find our new earth, we shall continue to travel the cosmos.


    Further Notes:

    • Richie has the ability to travel through time and instantly absorb different languages…
    • All of Richie’s male descendants have a special, yet unique, ability.
    Pride’s Fall