Story-A-Day May #10: Letters Not Yet Sent

Nearly 1/3rd of the way through the monthly challenge, and well over 10k words written! I’m really happy that I’ve been hitting my daily goal so far.

Today’s storyaday.org prompt is to write a letter to your 14 year-old self, answering fears, concerns, questions and insecurities while offering reassurance.

But that might get a bit heavy, or dull, so I decided to do something creative (and fictional) with it.

***

Letters Not Yet Sent

Transmission initiated 5/10 23:22, Unknown Origin

All is well. Before I type another word, let me assure you of that. You, and all of humanity, have nothing to fear. The future is full of promise and wonders, on an interstellar scale.

Let me state my identity: I am you. But are you me? I never received a message from the future, so either this gadget doesn’t work, and I’m wasting my time. Or the message doesn’t get delivered. Or we have to consider the Many Worlds hypothesis. Perhaps this is where our paths diverge into mirror universes. I do have a goatee, so I guess that makes me the evil version. In any event, what do I stand to gain from this? Probably nothing. This is only a shout into the void, with the hope it may make some small difference.

I’m typing this message to you live, not pre-recorded, on a unique sort of quantum computer. There are much fancier methods of getting words down these days — voice recognition, neural scanning — but it turns out sending a message into the past works best with a good old-fashioned keyboard. Fortunately, we can still manage >100 Words Per Minute in a pinch, thanks to Mavis Beacon. Just try not to be crushed when you find out she’s not a real person. I know, I couldn’t believe it either. She’s just a model, and they’ve used lots of different ones on the box covers, since that original MS-DOS version.

Earth in the near-future is not like you ever imagined it. Humanity has made First Contact, and I’m not talking about another Star Trek movie that overuses the Borg. I mean, sure, it had some good one-liners and moments, but didn’t giving the Borg a Queen defeat the whole purpose? The reason they’re frightening is because they’re faceless cogs in a machine, that ceaselessly carry out their function. And don’t even get me started on their appearance on Voyager. That’s a spoiler for you, but trust me, you’ll appreciate the warning. . . Errr, the Monitors are telling me to get back on track — my computer time is limited.

Now, where was I? First Contact, right. Fortunately, the aliens were completely benevolent, as we wouldn’t have stood much chance of opposing them. Not like we could send Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith up to hack their mothership… Well, I guess we could have tried? Right, right, staying on track. Those Monitors I mentioned? That’s them. This is their quantum computer. A powerful AI monitors every word, every letter, as it’s typed for any unethical, or dangerous content. And observers listen in, too. You know how much humans struggle with ethics, and this technology is too powerful to allow misuse.

So much has happened in recent years, I hardly know where to start! It all began with a star that shone too brightly in the night sky, and moved too quickly.

Literally, the moment their mothership landed, the world changed for the better. That’s the real reason I’m contacting you now, with their permission — to assure you, and the rest of humanity, that it’s all going to be okay. I’m just a small part of a larger effort. You see, no matter how much kindness the aliens displayed, and how much their technology bettered our entire planet, humans are stubborn creatures. Global terrorists have struck at countless aliens, and alien facilities, causing untold damage. Terrorist. That’s a word you’ll be hearing a lot more in a few years. I can’t say more, we’re not supposed to meddle in major historical events. But it all gets better when the aliens arrive, I promise you. Wars, famines, disease, they all vanish. The only real remaining problem is the so-called Resistance.

I hope that you’ll endeavor to be part of the solution and spread this message of peace as far and as wide as you can. I know that doesn’t amount to much, for a 14 year-old boy. But every drop in the ocean counts. I’m doing my part in sending this message, so you can do yours. Together, we can avoid so much needless bloodshed. And the sooner the Resistance ends, or if it never occurs, the sooner I — and you — can see outer space in person. As you’ve probably guessed, the aliens brought spaceships, and we’ll be allowed to tour them once humanity is at peace. The aliens themselves are really very personable, despite their strange appearance, and I’m proud to count a few of them among my best friends. In fact, that’s why I was able to send this message today. They only allow humans who have received the highest recommendations to use the quantum computer, given the potential dangers of the technology. That’s me. That’s us. Honest and dependable, right? By the way, the winning lottery——– okay, okay, I’m back. That was just a joke, I was just checking. Lucky for me, they do have a sense of humor. Between the AI and the aliens, they certainly won’t let any dangerous info slip into the past.

Even though there’s so much more I want to say, all good things must come to an end. And sadly, my computer time is almost up. I can’t pretend to understand temporal physics — everytime the aliens get started on explaining it to me, it sounds like a badly written episode of Star Trek. Though a lot of the best ones involved time travel, which is kind of ironic, isn’t it? No matter what, I believe we share a bond, even if you and I are different people. Even if we never meet, or you never become me. In the meantime, I’ll leave you with two important questions to ponder: Can a dumb, old human brain trick a fancy AI? And, with the help of Mavis Beacon, are these fingers faster than an alien’s?

. . .Readthe frst leter of each paragrah! THey’’ll cut me off-

Transmission terminated 5/10 23:42, Signal Lost

***

Thanks for reading!

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