Athena · book excerpt · Farming · Future · Science fiction

Excerpt from “3470 C.E.”

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“Athena, are you in the cornfield?” Mom’s hologram is in front of me.

“No, Mom, Ced wanted the corn, so I’m in the barley.”

“One of the water droids is down,. I’ll call Ceddy.”

“Want me to go over there?” I ask.

“Would you?”

The Cheetahs have com-sets and we have micro-sets we can put anywhere on our bodies. I wear mine on my wrist on a woven bracelet. Micro-sets provide instant communication with anyone on the planet, we basically think about the person we want and that’s who we talk to. They send our holograms when we speak. Micro-sets provide a protective shield. They also have a cloaking function and binoculars. We can do quick medical scans, although, not anything complicated. Anything that uses energy on our farm is powered with organic solar power.

“We’re going to the cornfield after all, Amadeus.”

My clothes are made by a woman here on Hypatia. She has a shop in Northtown, where all the ships dock and the traders come. Her name is Angela Hilton. She calls her shop Angel’s Abode. My outfit is like a second skin. It’s comfortable, temperature controlled and blocks UV rays. This one is black with blue panels. I have a lot of different ones. I have headgear gloves and boots. I have a stun gun that I don’t need. Dad says, “just in case.”

We have shade trees everywhere on our farm. All our trees are grown from seeds so no pests are introduced to our planet. Our trees are twenty-three years old. Mom thinks little groves with benches are charming.

“Mom isn’t going to be happy about you using that eucalyptus as a landing pad,” I tell Cedric.

“It’s an accident, Athena. Can you get Edjra for me?”

“What about Dad? He’ll want to know about this.”

“Dad said he wouldn’t let me fly for the rest of the summer if anything happened.”

“Oh, so you’re making me get in trouble too?”

“No, Athena, just go back to the barley. I’ll get Edjra myself.”

“Mom already knows something’s up. She tried to talk to you. Where’s your set?”

“I think it flew over there when I landed in the tree.” He points under the trees.

“What about your com-set?” I ask.

“That’s why I need Edjra.”

“What a mess, Ced. You know one of the water droids is down?”

“Look Athena, Ari’s coming. Can you help me out? You fix the droid. I’ll get Edjra and everything will be o.k., please?”

“O.k. Ced. I hope Dad doesn’t find out and I hope your plan works. Aren’t you putting Edjra on the spot?” That makes me think.

“We aren’t involving Edjra. Here, get down.”

“That’s a nice shiner you have Cedric. How are you going to hide that? Are you feeling alright? Not dizzy are you?”

“No, I’m fine.”

“Let me see your eyes.” Cedric is half a foot taller than me at six feet, four inches. He has his long black hair tied back. I do a quick scan. He looks o.k.

“Help me slide this Cheetah down,” I say. “Look, you landed perfectly in the Y of the tree.” I giggle.

Ari’s Cheetah comes into sight.

“Ari, help us get this Cheetah unstuck,” I say.

Ari has long brown hair. She’s tall and thin. She’s my friend, Albert’s, younger sister. Albert and Ari’s father, Ian Creek, is a life long friend of our dad and a Comanche brother. He’s a geologist like Dad.

Ari is giggling. “How fast did you go, Ced?”

“1200 KH.” Ced puts his head down.

I take a deep breath and just look at my brother.

We get the Cheetah down to the ground. Luckily they aren’t heavy. When I look inside, the com-set is loose. I push it back in.

“Hey Ced,” I talk to his com-set. “What you doing?”

“It works!” Cedric is relieved.
“Try to start it,” Ari adds.

Cedric gets in. It comes right on. Cheetahs scan and recognize their pilots. They automatically start on the pilot’s scan.

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