The Voyage of no return – TMM3


The Mechanical Man 3- The Voyage of no return

Andrew Millbourne’s job assignments appeared to be very satisfying. Already the first day, he had had a good feeling about his tasks. They were interesting and he was growing both with his own skills and with his accomplishments. And as a cherry on the cake, he had soon become very appreciated for his work.

His cubicle was big and comfortable, and he could choose for himself whether he wanted it open so he could see his co-workers, or closed if he needed privacy and silence to work on a specific task. The cubicle had also two large windows, most cubicles had none, from where he could look out over a most beautiful landscape. It looked a lot like Earth but was alive in a way he had never seen before. In the background, he could spot large woods and a blue sea where people were sailing and enjoying themselves in there leisure time. The buildings in the city didn’t dominate the landscape, but was rather cosying up themselves under the trees and stayed closely surrounded by bushes. On the roofs, there were gardens where people cropped vegetables, fruit and berries, side by side with blooming plants. The air was fresh and the water was taken directly from deep under-earth springs and tasted fresh and wonderful.

In other words, Technos was a wonderful planet to live on, and the Capital City was like a dream. Andrew had never before seen such a beautiful world, and for each day that went by, he was less and less thinking about his former home planet, with its wasted woods, polluted air, poisoned water and dead food. His old world, he kept on thinking over and over again, was nothing more than a huge garbage dump, while here was the garden of Eden.

There was one thing, though, Andrew Millbourne could not adapt to nor understand. The people on this planet wore a lot of implants. Metallic dots and stars and plates of shiny metal. Some had only a few, while others were more or less covered with metal. In the beginning, when he was new in the City, Andrew had thought it was just some kind of ornaments like tattoos, and most of them were just that. Later, though, he learned that many of the applications actually were different kinds of tools. Also, the appearances had different meanings, but that he wasn’t informed about until much later.

When he the first day was asking one of the spokesmen about this, Andrew was told that the people on Technos were descendants from a race of Cyborgs who had lived in a star system thousands of lightyears away. Their forefathers had not liked the way they lived. They wanted a planet to live on, not in a group of huge spheres somewhere in an isolated solar system. They wanted freedom! They wanted personal independence. They wanted feelings of love, beauty, music, art, laughter and other senses that many of them vaguely remembered. They also wanted the joy of being able to eat real food! To experience taste and texture and enjoy a nicely spiced meal with a glass of wine or two. This was what they mourned for the most, not being allowed real food. To get nourished and refreshed in regeneration chambers might be effective and give them energy and nutrition enough, but it surely was not enjoyable in any way. What they wanted, was to get away from the Sphere World, find a planet, and settle there.

Finally, that day came. It was not easy to escape, but they managed and here we are now.” finished the spokesman, stuck a briefcase in Andrews’ hands and began to walk away.
”No! Stop! Please! What happened? How did they get away?”
The spokesman threw a glance at his wristwatch and sighed.
”Okay,” he said. ”I have a couple more minutes, but not many.”

”It was not easy to escape,” the spokesman continued. ”Especially not at first, when they had to communicate with each other somehow, without anyone else overhearing it. Of course, that was impossible. They got caught almost immediately. On the other hand, they were only a few renegades back then. Some of them got executed, but those who had managed not to be detected and as such luckily survived, realized they were not alone with their longings after another kind of life. Slowly, day by day, the group of renegades grow, and an internal language was developed. Most of the communication now took place by small and quick glances eye to eye, and certain minuscule hand and body movements. It was necessary to keep an extremely low profile.

The leaders noticed that something was going on, but never succeeded to find anything wrong since the renegades never really did anything. They didn’t even thought about doing anything. They just bided their time with one sentence – ’we are not alone’. Which, naturally, was the most perfect thought in a mind controlled society like theirs.

The chance to escape, came during the last great war. The Sphere World was gigantically attacked, and therefore all spheres were severely damaged. Some of the renegades in our old sphere managed to reach a couple of the small escape spheres and launched them without being noticed. I guess the enemy was so occupied with bombarding the Sphere World, and our ancestors by performing counter-attacks, that neither noticed these couple of small vehicles vanishing from the warzone.

Our forefathers felt lost for a long time. They managed to get off the signal system and slowly, very slowly, they learned how to adapt to the current situation. At least to the degree that most of them survived and got at least a little bit used to not being mentally connected all the time.”

The spokesman paused, cleared his throat and drank some water.
”Then what happened?” Andrew was eager to learn more, he had become really interested in the story.

”After a lot of incidents and adventures, they finally found this planet that was not inhabited – not much anyway – and landed here. At that time there was only one sphere left and in all, fifty-three lost beings, men, women, and some children. They called themselves “lost” since they had very little idea of how to survive in the wilderness. But they had found their planet, and they were sure, this was the beginning of something big.”
”And then? How did they manage here on the planet?” Andrew pushed him to tell more, and the spokesman did actually look like he enjoyed telling.
”Well.” he said. ”During the time in space they had encountered other species…”


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