Galaxy University (part 2)

Galaxy University
(part 2)
by Thadd Presley

 We walked quickly through the over-capacity cafeteria. Her carrying a stolen tray and I hoping no one recognized me as the Compu-Server Attendant. I had shed my green and brown shirt and tried to keep from running. I felt much better once we got outside in the open air.

On beautiful days, the dome is barely visible and the red dwarf shines through like a small furnace at the end of a long hallway. Most people don’t appreciate the clarity of a dirt-free dome and it should be a crime to not hold the Honorable Guild of Dome Scrubbers as a cultural treasure. It’s not many who would go into the harsh elements of a hostile planet and power spray, acid wash, towel dry, and shine humongous domes, some the size of large cities.

The open spaces of the campus were freeing in a way that only an institute of higher learning could make is seem. It lifted my soul to know such amazing architecture of intellect like Campus 514 existed. Not all Campuses were like ours.Just to know that any place could gather together people from across the galaxy and openly share ideas of life and the future in a fearless way made all the hardships of being away from home worth it.

Back on Earth, the people who controlled the wealth controlled the schools and the food and the many of the workers had no choice but to do what everyone else did.Wars were fought and ended at the whim of the wealthy. But here, at The Europa Science Academy, no one had money. In fact, currency had become tied solely with oxygen. All data was encrypted and compiled in a closed computer system that adjusted the oxygen according to the schools placement, ranking, and listing against all other Campuses. It allowed us to be independent from economics of the system and most importantly it loosened the hold Earth had on us.

Only a few families held all the wealth of Earth and it’s Companion Planets. They dictated the cost of ore, goods, foods, and water. For most, oxygen was free. But everywhere the air was free, it was polluted. In places jobs flourished, famine and disease was rampant. Only the cities of theIdle Rich were clean, healthy, and overflowing with abundance.

There was once a great scientist, a man who’s name is only known by few and utterly unimportant to the rest of humanity due to his not signing his research papers. He explained in a lengthy letter to all the Heads of States on Earth and it’s companion planets that the culture of “currency” as we know was soon going to become nothing but a reason for war. When he wrote is paper, he described it as being invented more than 6,000 years ago and was no longer a viable way to distribute resources. He went on to describe a system of a “resource-based-economy” and how it could be initiated. He drew blueprints from what cities would look like and described how everyone would have what they needed and there would be no need of excess. Machines would build, mine, and make everything needed.

His paper was ignored by the powers and unknown to the public due to the media being owned by a very biased, but wealthy and powerful, few. The self-made videos and published books were uncovered long after his death. It was one of his students who brought the paper to light and showed the academic world the amazing promise of a resource based system.

Even as the people of Earth counted their money and scoffed at such high minded idiocy, a team of ship designers and specialist were building the first of twenty“free-ships” which were to go into orbit the very next year.



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Galaxy University

Galaxy University
Campus 514


by Thadd Presley


“You in a jam,” she asked teasingly. Then, she waited for me to respond. When I didn’t, she continued. “You want if I should help you or something?” I was struck by her thick accent. It was rough and strong and sexy. It had me interested in her from syllable one.

I always wondered how a simple thing like an accent could prejudice someone in our mind. I suppose it was written into our DNA. Either that or I could be a shallow person. But, I felt it was more than that and if she gave me half a chance, I believed I would find many reasons to want to know her.

 “Hey, are ya listenin’ ta me? I don’t have much time for lunch. I need to be –”

“Yes, yes. I’m listening, but give me a moment. I’m thinking on how to –”

“How to What? It doesn’t take this long to laser scan a lunch tray.”

“I was just about to get to that. First, though,” this is when I looked up at her. “I was trying to figure out how you might help me.” She blinked at me and I waited a beat before continuing. “That’s what you asked right? If I wanted your help?”

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“Yeah, OK.” She smiled. “You got me.”

I melted a little bit.

“So, tell me how I can help?”

My mind whirled. Just her playing along with me was more that I would have dared dream about with a girl like her. “So many things come to mind.” I opened the top of the Compu-Server and unplugged the motherboard from the power supply without looking up at her. I knew if she saw how nervous I was the illusion would be broken. I wanted it to seem as if I could talk to her this way for as long as she wanted. Because, we all knew that I talked to girls all the time and innuendo-laden banter was natural for me.

NOT!!

The cafeteria was full as usual.The eleven-fifteen lunch crowd was already cramming themselves into every possible inch behind the eleven-oh-five crowd. Which was usually not a problem, but today the new Compu-Servers were glitching and not accepting the Meal Card.

Already chaos had erupted in line.People were cramming their face with macaroni salad and hamburgers before paying, the school’s security drones were buzzing in all directions getting video of every infraction, and the human security was just beginning the mistake of physically taking food from hungry people.

Just as a drone passed my station. I got an idea. “I know how you can help?”

“Yes. Yes. Anything” She was not comfortable with the break down of lunchroom etiquette.

“Come with me. We will eat off campus.”

“You could do that?”

“Yeah, I can eat anywhere I want after my shift ends in nine minutes.”

She smiled. “I mean leave these people here with no chance of paying for the lunch they’ve eaten?”

“Oh yeah. I wouldn’t worry about that. There’s nothing I can do about the glitch in the Compu-Servers anyway.” I casually slapped the base of the computer and watched the touch screen wobble. “There’s nothing in here except cables. All the software is in the…” I pointed up. “You know.”

“Be careful.” She touched the screen and settled it’s wobble. “That’s not yours.”

A drone flew close to my head and someone spoke to me from the speakers. It was a male voice. “A level three infraction has been documented. You are charged accordingly and will report to the Commons Area for sentencing at Eighteen hundred hours.”

I smiled at myself and tried to look unworried. “I’d like to report a problem with…”

The drone spoke in anticipation. “I have informed Control that you are having problems with the interface. A two hour mandatory community service of Compu-Server training has been scheduled.”

I looked back at the girl and asked. “Would you like to go eat with me?”

“Right now?” She smiled. “No. I couldn’t.” She blushed a little and smiled again.

I reached under the small podium that held the Compu-Server and reached for Standard Procedures Notebook. Once I had it, I opened it to the first page and read the scripted announcement to the starving students. “On this notebook,right here, you need to Print your name, School Number, and list all that crap you just ate. On this, right here.” I raised the notebook over my head and shook it. “If you fail to do so, the drones will know and Control will charge you with theft. Remember, it is Station Five-Fourdeen Policy to prosecute any and all infractions. If a cartoon milk is missing at the end of the day, the oxygen to air ratio will be reduced to make up the difference in cost.”

The crowd booed and the drones buzzed. I saw it as a good chance to make my get away and took the woman’s hand. My actions were not my own. I was just feeling it, feeling her, and coupling it with the emotions her accent gave me. I felt chills up and down my spine. “Are you ready?”

“What?” Her eyes got wide and I saw a gleam of excitement in them.

“If they get hold of me, I’ll be trapped her all night making reports and looking up Student Numbers.”Of course, I’d have to do it all in the morning. There was no getting away from the responsibility, but it seemed rebellious to leave in the middle of a panic and take her with me. It was a spontaneous way to make the day more interesting and a good excuse to hold her hand. “I’ll take you to a five-star restaurant with an unfiltered window looking toward the galactic center.”

“Alright. It’s a deal.”



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Rubbish Day (part 3)

Thadd Presley

For a while, Jerald allowed them to race with him side by side, speeding at nearly eighty on the newly black-topped road towards Crossville through the community of Deer Lodge. When the Honda’s wheels lost traction, it spun the car into the shoulder where it began to fish tale wildly.

Jerald’s heart leaped into his chest.

Just when it seemed the G-forces were going to take the car over into a roll, a stroke of remarkable luck sat the car down hard on all four wheels. It swerved back into traffic, not far behind Jerald.

That was close enough for Jerold. Too close. All he wanted to do was scare them a little. But it couldn’t take him away from getting to see his daughter. He slowed the Porshe to the posted forty MPH and said her name. How had he allowed these kids to get him so out of control? It nearly ended the very important things he had to do.

This visit to his daughter’s new house in Crossville was already going to be a bad situation. One that would require a good helping of courage and decisive action. It was imperative that he remained calm and clear-headed. Not a word of his introduction could be out of place or his daughter would suspect that something was wrong before he got the chance to fix her situation once and for all.

Once and for all, he thought.

Yes. It would be just that.

 ONCE because it would only take once; and, FOR ALL, because he wasn’t doing it for himself. He was doing it for his daughter, his wife, and everyone who might have to interact with the man. Jerald was doing this FOR the benefit of ALL.

Suddenly his nose began to burn and tears blurred his vision. Just the thought of his daughter being mistreated was more than he wanted to know.Also, the shock of the near accident possibly had something to do with the rush of emotion. He allowed it to wash over him.

It was enough to cement the fact that he couldn’t get sidetracked by distractions. Anything that might cause a show of emotion at his daughter’s house would ruin everything. Hiding the immense and deep anger he had toward his daughter’s boyfriend, would be hard to control on it’s own.

He shook his head, as if scrambling the thoughts that were beginning to stack in his frontal lobe. He saw no need in letting the idea of consequences gather against him. Nor could he allow the idea of his daughter’s freedom psyched him up before he actually had accomplished something.

He knew then that he needed a moment of peace before he went any further. He had to take a breather.

He pulled off the highway onto a familiar dirt road the locals called Rocky Hollow. The road was rough on his Porsche, but he’d been down it many times before and was sure he could get in and out without much trouble.

 Jerald enjoyed swerving around big ricks and through the mud puddles. Above him dark clouds began to blow from over the mountains giving the woods a dark, fairy-tale atmosphere. At the end of this road was a deep rock quarry where he and his friends used to swim as teenagers. But he hadn’t been all the way to the ledge in more than twenty years. He’d smoked his first cigarette on the ledge and drank his first swig of whiskey there.

Jeez, that was over forty years ago.

He knew the area well and was looking forward to seeing the water again.He made so many memories in this one place, it seemed wrong that he never brought his wife her and had a picnic. But then, perhaps that wasn’t wrong. He had the right to keep it a secret if he wanted.Maybe something in him didn’t want to tell her about the quarry.

 It was his secret place. No one from his adult life knew anything about it or the things that happened there.

Just as he got to where the trees opened up enough to see the ledge, he saw that all the water had been drained.



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.


Rubbish Day (part two)

There weren’t many Porsche in this condition. Ever since James Dean wrecked and killed himself in the same car, they were prize possessions and most were repainted, reupholstered, and otherwise ruined by zealous owners in an attempt to copy the car Dean drove on that fateful day.

Jerald could have driven any of his cars, but he chose the Porsche on this day because he was on an important mission. Perhaps even a dangerous mission. The weather was nice, the sun was shining, it was not too hot, and the Porsche gave the day – and his life – a nostalgic feel. Today, Jerold was taking his life back from the all the indecision he had surrendered to over the last two decades. He was taking charge of everything and making sure he was in control of everything that happened to him.

When the Honda suddenly jumped up it’s speed in an attempt to pass the Porshe, Jerold swerved aggressively and cut it off. “You shall not pass,” he said to no one and laughed a little. The Honda sped up and tried to stay on his bumper, but it was easy or Jerold to pull away from it. He gunned the motor a tad and looked in the rear view.

The Honda tried to pass again, but at the last second Jerold gunned the motor and pulled away easily. The Honda had no choice but to follow at a distance. It had no chance against the Porsche.

Of course, the young man driving the Honda couldn’t have passed the Porsche even if he had a faster, more powerful car. Jerald was a much better driver.

It amused Jerald, as he watched the driver grow visibly angry, but he didn’t want to put any of the other drivers in danger, so he did not taunt the driver. He did not want him to become any more aggressive than he had been. That was exactly the opposite of what he wanted.

Jerald kept his eye on the Honda in the rear view and thought of an endgame. This couldn’t go on for much longer or they’d both get hurt or go to jail. The driver showed no signs of slowing.

Then,unexpectedly, the driver flipped Jerald the bird and sped toward him.For a moment, it looked as if the Honda was going to ram the rear of the classic, but at the last second it backed off.

Maybe,he backed off because he thought better of it or maybe he was a coward. At any rate, and with a sigh of relief from Jerald, the cars did not collide.

Jerald pressed the clutch and revved the engine. He easily left the Honda in a cloud of black smoke. After that the Honda never gained an inch that Jerald didn’t offer.



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Rubbish Day

Rubbish Day: part 1

from the storming and suffering thoughts of:
Thadd Presley

 Jerald watched the quick little Honda in his rear view mirror as it weaved dangerously through traffic. Twice the boy behind the wheel cut in front of the cars he passed too quickly, nearly hitting the drivers not paying close enough attention. Every time the Honda bolted ahead, another car came close to a collision. Each time they successfully forced their way in front of another vehicle, or forced someone onto the shoulder, the driver and his long-haired passenger laughed.

Jerald decided they’d taken their dangerous game too far when they cut in front of an unsuspecting old woman causing her to push her brakes too hard. The car behind her swerved onto the shoulder in a bold effort not to hit her. It was all too close for comfort.

As the two men sped away from the moderate traffic jam they created,Jerald stayed ahead of them watching and waiting for them to make their move. They were a few car length behind, the moment they set their sights on him. But, Jerold wasn’t a Sunday driver. He was ready for them. He loved his car and he knew how to drive it.

Cars had always been one of his passions. He’d spent more than a few weekends of his life on the dirt track at the Warzburg Speedway. He and his daughter shared love for numbers and math, but cars were what made his world go around.

He happened to like the particular car he was driving on this day more than any other. It wasn’t his only car and it wasn’t his most expensive car, but it was the one that he dreamed of owning for the longest. This was the car that began it all.

He was fourteen when he saw the 1955 Porsche Boxster 550 in a magazine his father kept in the bathroom. The page was bent in half to mark the place and a circle was drawn around the name at the top of the page. From that moment, the Porsche meant more to him than any other car he’d ever owned or wanted. He dreamed of buying it and giving it to his father, but the coal mines were adverse to dreams. A cave-in and a small underground explosion closed Jerald’s dream forever.

He still bought the car when he found one.

Of the other cars Jerold saved and worked for, the Porsche took the longest to find. It was a life-long dream and a heartbreak come together all at once.

Jerold’s car collection stood at eighteen. Most of them were bought and restored just for him by a local mechanic and friend, but the Porsche was different. It’s condition was not spectacular when he found. It was found on Craigslist and it needed more than a little TLC.

From the photos, there was no doubt that it needed a paint job. But, it was the original 1955 paint, the same color as the one in the magazine, and that was the way it was going to stay. It was exactly the way, he always dreamed it would look.

The brakes, belts, and tires were the only things changed on the car;give or take a filter and a fuse here and there, it was the same car it had always been. Not a cherry by any means, but he loved it.



Copyright Thadd Presley — All Rights Reserved

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Train Ride

Train Ride

by Thadd Presley

 

I met her on a train between Sussex and Hamby Abbey and
immediately had a connection with her. Even before she sat down, I was hoping she would speak to me. I was surprised that she chose my cabin to enter to begin with and it seemed my day was looking up already.

Train rides were always awkward for me. Meeting people and
having them ask you questions was the thing I hated worst than anything. I am shy and it’s always been hard for me to talk to girls. Especially, girls for whom I feel a connection. But, somehow, I knew she was different. I felt I could talk to her and I wanted her to talk to me.

“Hey, pretend you’re my boyfriend.” She said.

“Huh?”

“Pretend you are my boyfriend,” she said. Then, without a second
passing, she leaned over and kissed my mouth. It was a hot kiss that
made my blood boil. There was a bit of spit involved and it made me
tingle fro head to toe. My body was vibrating from the touch of her lips.

I was glad I didn’t have to answer her request, because I would have
messed it up. I couldn’t believe I had said , “Huh.”

While she kissed me someone opened the door and seen us.
While the kiss lasted, the door stayed open, then she broke the kiss with a pop and a small string of saliva bridged our lips. Faintly from
somewhere, somewhere far away, I heard the door close. “That was a close one,” she said. “Man, that guy has followed me four mornings in a row.”

To my disbelief, I almost asked “huh” again, barely
managing to stop myself. My face was still vibrating from the touch of her lip. I could actually feel her kiss on my lips.

“You saved me.” She said and smiled. “That guy was stalking
me.”

“No problem.” I said, trying to sound cool. “Do you want if I tell
him to leave you alone?”

“No,” she waved him off, “he got the message. He was only bothering
me because he thought I was an easy target. If He’ll leave me alone now. And if he doesn’t I have you.”

The words made me feel more alive than I knew possible. I was ultra-alive and we were connected. We were truly one with each her. Who have I ever kissed or felt this way with?

No one. I had never been so comfortable with anyone this
fast.

Who had ever made me feel this way?

No one, that’s who.

“I hope I didn’t scare you off with that kiss,” she said. “It was
all wrong. That wasn’t a good first kiss. I didn’t get to prepare.”

I smiled. “Are you prepared now?”
“Yeah,” I said. “This time, I think I am.” She leaned in and I got ready
for the greatest kiss of my life. A kiss with my soul-mate. This was really it, I thought. The special someone who I have a real connection.

I couldn’t believe my luck. She leaned in and my lips began to go numb….
BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP — BEEP

I was suddenly awake, sweating, and lying in a steaming mess of
blankets and sheet. I suddenly knew where I was and I knew what had happened, but I tried to push it away. I tried to tell myself that she was real. But, there was no use, deep inside I knew that it was only a dream.
There was no girl, there was no kiss, nothing. And now, I
couldn’t even see her face.

Damn dreams!! Damn my dreams…

Damn!!

I rolled to the side of the bed and mentally prepared myself to
go to work. One thing was certain. I would definitely take the train into work today.