Humanity's Echo

4.9K 114 103

Humanity's Echo

It was waiting for him.

Only a glimpse of movement from the corner of his eye and his reactions saved him from a blow that could’ve ended him. As the creature skidded to a halt, its claws dripping gore from the strike on his left arm, he drew his plasma gun from its holster with his free hand and drilled a gaping cauterised hole through its sternum, followed by another that removed much of its head.

Carefully checking to make sure no other mutants were around, he dragged the still smoking body into some nearby bushes and wrapped a hasty field dressing around his arm, before moving into the security of the walled compound area, resetting the energy fields behind him as he went.

It had lain in wait on a low tree branch close to the compound gate, its mottled skin blending perfectly with the shadows. This was new and disturbing behaviour from creatures that had hitherto shown little in the way of intelligence other than pack behaviour similar to some of the raptors of old Earth. Perhaps after all this time they were beginning to evolve again. Maybe the virus was mutating, prompting another evolutionary change for the worse?

He shook his head trying to dispel the negative thoughts and sealed the final door behind him, looking around his home as he did every time he returned to make sure nothing was amiss.

It had been a tough few days.

He seldom ventured too far from the protection of enclosure preferring to stay close to his supplies and home. His self enforced routine however, meant that every so often one of his jobs was to check the power flow from the bioengineered trees whose photovoltaic leaf cells kept the enclosure, among other things, running. He’d also checked the satellite receiver, even though he knew full well that he shouldn’t be expecting any sort of reply for several years, let alone any company from representatives of the Council back on Earth.

Placing his equipment back in the well stocked racks on the wall, he paused after a few minutes and looked out of the window at the dying town that lay beyond the compound walls.

It was the latest of many colonies. This one had been promoted as the Council’s ultimate utopia: Planet Asimov. Named so as to engender a sense of pride in its colonists, pride that they could perhaps be the ones to facilitate a galaxy spanning culture to rival Asimov’s imagined Foundation: the planet Asimov, a place of learning and peace where the ideals of the ultimate belief could rise to conquer a new world and be the crowning glory to the achievements of the Council.

Asimov however was different to those colonies that had gone before. Rather than finding other worlds that were habitable and settling them as they had before, this time new technology had meant that the planet could be terraformed.  Probes had found a promising young planet that was on the verge of becoming habitable and Council scientists had engineered it from scratch to form a bespoke world, one that echoed the vision and ideals of the ultimate society.

It failed.

All that was left now were the degrading remnants of a colony and an unforgiving world that drifted endlessly through space under the forbidding gaze of its binary suns.

He stared at the crumbling transit station that had formed the hub of GalileoTown, once a thriving and happy little community but now only home to occasional mutants and himself.

Many years prior to their arrival, seeding bots had planted the forests conceived in the biolabs, so that when they awoke from hibernation on arrival at Asimov, all they had to do was feed the cables back to G-Town, as it had quickly become known, and they could immediately harness the power of the suns to help the new colonists continue to work their magic on the lands that surrounded them.

Humanity's EchoRead this story for FREE!