Obviously I got a bit carried away the other day, when I wrote “Being another you”. Andrew Millbourne keeps on knocking on my mind, and wants his story to be told. So here is the continuing – or rather the “Pre-story”. And of course it’s still inspired by Diana’s Speculative Fiction Prompt at “The Myths of the Mirror”
The Mechanical Man 2 – Andrew Millbourne’s big secret
Andrew Millbourne has a secret. He isn’t quite as human as he seems to be and claims he is. Oh, he was born human 35 years earlier on the planet Earth, all right. And in his heart and soul, he is still totally human. It’s just that his body has undergone some changes during the last decade.
Already as a child, he was not only intelligent but also very technically skilled. So it didn’t come as a surprise, that he after finishing University chose to study to be a Technical Engineer. He also took extra classes in Mathematics, Astrophysics, IT and Computer programming.
Andrew had hardly got around to finish his education and get his diplomas, when this huge establishment had been noticed about his achievements and wanted to hire him. He was offered a huge salary, and a lot of various benefits, but he had to move away from home.
He said yes without hesitating even a second. For one thing, he was thrilled about the job offer and could hardly wait for the day he was about to begin. He had also for a long time wanted to move away from his parent’s house, but so far he hadn’t been able to do so.
He couldn’t stand their insolent remarks any longer. Especially his father was abasing him. ’Andrew has become so posh and haughty,’ he snarled at him. And ’now he would only look down on his struggling parents’, the father continued, and kept on coming with demeaning remarks as often as he had the opportunity.
Andrew was sick and tired of all that. Was it really that bad to get a good education? Yes! Due to his father, it was. Due to his father, a son should follow in his father’s footprints and thus honour him. In this case, Andrew should therefore rather stay on the small family farm, marry, raise a family of his own, and then take care of his parents at their old age; rather than ’go around with a stiff-upper-lip because he considers himself superior to us’.
That’s what his father thought, but Andrew had a totally different opinion of what to do with his life.
So he left!
If he had thought he only had to move to one of the bigger cities on Earth, he soon realised – so was not the case. He had fancied London or New York, or somewhere in Asia. Tokyo or Hongkong, maybe. But soon enough he realised he was about to move much further away.
The journey took him to a small but highly, technologically developed planet called Technos in the Suntarian system.
He had never before heard of neither that planet nor that system.
”Technos? That’s only four lightyears away,” said a prudent space ship hostess while the company’s representatives kept on talking and laughing behind Andrew.
”Oh! You’ll be sleeping all the time. Don’t worry about that.”
”I said four lightyears AWAY. The travel won’t take that long.”
”Try a year. The Ultra-Ultra-ship is unfortunately unavailable now. Otherwise, it would only had taken a month. Some trouble with the fuel-system or something… sorry! You don’t have to be asleep all the time, though. You can read books and watch movies. But I would recommend you to take the sleeping pill. It will make this whole thing so much easier for you.”
F o u r …… y e a r s ……. …….
”Hey! Mister! Can I get you a glass of water or something?”
That was ten years ago, and he had landed right on time after watching an endless amount of movies and TV-series, reading hundreds of books, eating thousands of dreadful meals and with thousands of hours behind him with one single thought: ”What have I gotten myself into?”
All the representatives had chosen the sleep, and not until the day before landing, Andrew began to meet them in the corridors. They looked weary as if they all had a severe hangover. The next day though, they all seemed to have recovered, but Andrew heard no laughter and they were not even talking to each other, other than some occasional remarks.
To the other parts in order, can also be found in the menu.
- 1.) Being another you
- 2.) Andrew Millbourne’s big secret
- 3.) The Voyage of no return
- 4.) Time in space
- 5.) The appointment
- 6.) Living in pain
- 7.) The Surgery
- 8.) Into the Darkness
- 9.) If the end isn’t good, it isn’t the end