Hello everyone!! Thanks for coming back. I hope you have had a great day, evening, and week. This is chapter 10 from Strange Little Man. It contains, what I think, to be the best work of the book. Sure, the first few chapters are supposed to be the ones that catch your attention, but I did it in Chapter 10, sue me!
The journey was long and treacherous. We knew we had to find four children. The future had foretold our fate. We had already found Ben, who taught us about sustainability, now we headed for the school. Ben told us to follow the star that shined the brightest. It made little sense that we would find a star any brighter than the others. We headed east as the sun set behind us. We watched as the sky grew dark and the stars rose above us. They all looked the same, none brighter than the others. We thought we would surely be lost.
“Where is that damn star?” Kyran asked.
“Maybe it has to be a little darker. Let’s continue heading east. So far we haven’t lost the direction,” Amelia said.
The sky did grow darker. All the stars grew brighter. One star that was directly in front of us began to shutter. It looked like a light, struggling to turn itself on. We thought that we would surely witness it shoot from the sky. Moments passed and the star turned on. A flash shot out across the universe and hit us in the eyes. This was the star we were to follow. The star knew its purpose.
We walked the small dirt road for miles. There were no automobile tread tracks and that felt odd. Small treads from bicycles instead filled their place. The fields continued to surround us. They brushed against the wind and sung a small whistle. The air felt moist and smelt of wheat. It grabbed our hair as it passed by.
In our world the air felt aggressive. It would come barreling out from the heavens and smack us in the face. Our noses would run and a chill would run down our spines. The air felt so different here, like it was an extension of ourselves. It would take some getting used to, especially now that we knew that it was different, Ben confirmed it. We walked with the earth as it spun its daily spin.
The dirt road turned to dirt trail and it narrowed as the night went on. The fields had turned to short trees and shrubs. Moonlight splashed itself on flowers, lending to a magical feeling. Fireflies flew past the trees, adding a yellow tint to the cool night air. The trail curved and zagged along dips and valleys. We walked up and would walk down, the elevation made it hard to see our star. We took a sharp curve around a bend and the left side of the trail opened itself up to a small stream.
The stream gently smacked the rocks it flowed through. The sound it made was relaxing. We could hear the animals of the night making their natural music. The peaceful environment was making us sleepy, but we knew we couldn’t stop until daybreak. The star was directly above us now, but we could still tell the correct direction.
We stopped by a stream to take a drink of water. This was possible now that the world was free of pollution. It was amazing that back in 2015 we couldn’t even drink water out of its natural source. That the water had to be filtered back to its natural state. It seemed to be counterintuitive to develop a society in that manner. Instead of just obtaining water individually from the source, it was served to the masses from a water treatment facility.
The treatment plant would produce further pollution and it created a cycle of never ending ruin. There were too many people on the earth for it to sustain itself with water from the source. The increase in population also had to do with factories and the leisure time they created. Ben had showed me the light, so much was making sense now about the collapse of the world. If only we had seen it sooner, could we have changed it?
I looked at my group as they drank from the stream. They appeared to me as animal like. Not that they had taken the shape of animals, just that they no longer seemed to be the major threat to mother nature that humans of the past once were. I watched Octavia move her wonderful body through the water.
I had been too preoccupied lately to notice her beauty, let alone the fact that we were now together. I envisioned us saving the world together and it gave me goosebumps. She was everything I ever dreamed of, this world was too. I started to think that maybe the end of the world was the best thing that could ever happen to me.
Kyran splashed Amelia with the cold water. She shivered and then splashed back.
“I’ll get you for that Kyran,” Amelia said.
She splashed him in the face, he made an exaggerated shiver and flailed his arms in the air loosely.
“Not if I get you first,” Kyran replied.
They laugh and giggled like innocent children. They were more in love than when we first met them, I could tell. Maybe their journey had sent them to a place to redeem their love. I had to ask.
“Say, Kyran, how was your guys’ journey?” I asked.
Kyran was getting ready to splash Amelia with a large amount of water. He paused when I asked him the question, his hands still cupped under the shallow stream.
“We stayed in a place of paradise, it was amazing,” Kyran replied.
“So it seems like the entire purpose was for us to build new relationships. In your case, build your current one,” I said.
“So what happened with Eleanor and Malachi?” Octavia asked.
“I don’t know honey, maybe something went wrong,” I said.
“God, I love when you call me that. They did seem pretty off though, maybe that’s why they left?” Octavia said.
She looked at me with passionate eyes. Being back with the group made it hard for us to hold each other like we did when we were alone. I almost longed to be alone again, doing our own journey. I still held her hand or touched her at all times, but now we were larger than just two.
“Maybe they had to try again,” I said.
“That makes a lot of sense,” Kyran replied.
Octavia again looked pale in her face. I could tell she was not feeling well. She tried to take a drink of water to soothe herself, but that proved to only make her sickness come faster.
“Oh god, Octavia, are you all right?” I asked.
Before she could answer, she threw up on the shore of the stream. The others made a queasy face and looked away. Octavia brought her head back up and wiped the vomit off of her mouth.
“I feel so much better now. I don’t know what’s gotten in to me. I feel sick, throw up, and then immediately feel better afterwards,” Octavia said.
“Sounds like what’s gotten into you is a baby,” Amelia said.
Octavia looked at Amelia. She held her stomach like that thought alone had made her sick.
“Surely, that’s not the case, Amelia. How could I be pregnant?” Octavia asked.
“Well, sex obviously,” Amelia replied.
“You’re such a smartass,” Octavia said.
Octavia looked at me and seemed both worried and happy. If she were pregnant she was going to have my child. Together we produced life, there was nothing more beautiful than that. Just thinking about doing that with her made me love her that much more. The butterflies came back and I am sure that she felt them too. We stared into each other’s souls and got lost for a while. It was an extraordinary way for us to connect, to stop time and hold onto each other. We could tell the other all our secrets and we spoke no words. No time passed, but in each other’s eyes, we spent an entirety.
When we finally let go, Amelia and Kyran were looking at us in awe. They must have known what we just did and I suppose it looked as wonderful as it felt. The moon still shined on the stream, making ripples with its light. Flowers grew in the spot Octavia had lost herself. They were every color of the rainbow. They seemed to be watching us. The moon created a spotlight just for them. In the night full of colorlessness, the flowers were vibrant. The stream sounded like drips each time a part of it would venture up a rock. This spot was magical and we didn’t want to leave.
We didn’t have to leave, so we decided to sleep in this spot for the rest of the day. We knew that when we woke we could figure out a meal and clean ourselves in the water. I held Octavia close in my arms as I faced her. I wanted to make love to her, but I didn’t think that would be fair to make Amelia and Kyran hear us. They also fell asleep holding each other tight, facing away from each other. I wondered if that meant something psychologically. Maybe they had a different form of relationship than that of Octavia and I. Before I could wonder long, I fell asleep. Octavia’s head rested gently on my chest.
We woke up and the sun was beating down on us from the west. I still held Octavia in my arms. When I moved she awoke. The stream was calmer today. The flowers that sprouted during the early morning hours had gone. Octavia’s eyes glowed as they met mine. I spent some time in them.
“Benji, I can’t wait to have our child,” Octavia’s eyes said to me.
“My dear, I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you,” Mine told hers.
Kyran and Amelia were standing over us, we hadn’t noticed.
“You guys are weird,” Kyran said.
“I think it’s cute,” Amelia replied.
We looked up at them still holding each other. They seemed happier today. They were probably able to do what I longed to again do with Octavia. We could have done things out in the woods, but it wasn’t something we were ready to try.
“It seems like is sometime in the late afternoon, we can’t leave until the sun sets. What should we fill our time with?” I asked the group.
Kyran looked at me. He seemed to be in deep thought.
“We could find food and then possibly sit around and chat?” Kyran asked.
“That sounds good. Where will we find food?” I asked.
Octavia was still laying on the ground, her big blue eyes watching the conversation.
“Before we left, Ben gave this to me. He slipped it nonchalantly in my hand and said we would find it useful,” Octavia said.
She pulled a small pen shaped item out of her pocket. It glowed blue and looked fascinating. It was round and ended in a smaller round extension which then ended in a small ball as the tip.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
“There’s a button on it. Should we press it and find out?” Octavia asked.
“Well, obviously,” I said.
She pushed the button and a voice came out of the machine.
“Select a meal,” it said.
There were no options to choose from. It seemed we would have to remember what was possible or order what we had already ordered. But then the thought appeared to me that we could order anything we wanted, right?
“I’ll take a Whopper with cheese, a small coke, and a large fry,” I said to the machine.
“Fucking genius,” Kyran said as he gave me a high five.
The machine made a beeping noise and then a blue ray shot out from its small ball point. Nothing came. The ray shattered in the air and created a blue dust. It was probably the most disappointing moment of this whole journey.
“Damn,” Kyran said.
Octavia and Amelia both looked visually upset as well. It seemed that the future world had no concept of fast food and therefore would have been unable to input the required biological makeup of the Whopper sandwich into the machine. It wasn’t magical after all, just a mechanical extension of the human intellect.
“I guess I’ll take a steak, medium-rare, and a baked potato,” Octavia said into the machine she was holding.
The machine once again made a beeping noise, the blue ray shot out in the air. The blue dust turned into Octavia’s exact order. It levitated in the air gently before it made its way softly to the ground. Octavia retrieved her plate of nutrition and handed the machine off to me.
I ordered the same thing. Octavia and I were so similar that even our tastes aligned.
Kyran ordered fish and chips. Amelia ordered some weird vegetarian meal. We all sit around in a circle and began to eat. The food tasted amazing. It might have been just a little better because we knew that no animals were killed to make it. This made me question Amelia’s choice to remain a vegetarian. The thought soon slipped from my mind as we got further into conversation.
“Sometimes, I miss being in our time,” Kyran said.
“Yea, I agree. Things might have been shit, but at least shit was normal,” I said.
“I miss being able to get in the car and just drive,” Octavia said.
“I miss the spontaneity of our time. There seemed to be no purpose, but it all made sense,” Amelia said.
The time we left was all we had previously known. Even with all of its flaws it was ours. There were things that we would change, but it always felt like if we tried hard enough, eventually those things would change. That was obviously a very wrong thought to have.
“I remember how even though it seemed like the world was chaos, when I didn’t watch the news or think too deeply about societal issues, life was kind of okay,” Kyran said.
“I mean, the United States government was quickly becoming a shitshow, though, and it was becoming harder to escape it,” I replied.
“I remember logging in to Facebook and reading the comments. After I finished, I would want to punch a wall, or better yet, someone’s face,” Octavia said.
We were beginning to get on a topic that would give us a very good reason to appreciate the new world that we found ourselves in.
“Politics were like watching a train approaching another and having no control but to watch them both implode on themselves. I couldn’t believe some of the bullshit that people in power would say. Worse than that though, I couldn’t believe how many people bought the bullshit. I hope this new world is better in all it governs itself,” I said.
“Me too. I hope that people can debate using actual facts. I hope that people can see the other side of all issues. If we could have only done that in our time, that might have been all we needed to save the world,” Octavia replied.
“But what if people are inclined to be nasty. What if human nature is selfish, where an individual is only capable of progressing their own self-interest, at whatever costs to the common good?” I asked.
“But what if it wasn’t?” Octavia replied.
“Then I would have no logical explanation for all the bad people do in the world,” I said.
“What if they were just confused?” Octavia replied.
“How so?” I replied.
“What if human nature was to be compassionate? What if our nature was to work as a group to accomplish the best for the common good? What if, because of the ancientness of our timeline and the impossibility of completely redefining the structure of society, we were just stuck in believing that all we did had to fall somewhere close to the framework of capitalism?” Octavia asked.
“So, what you’re saying is that human nature only seems to be inherently bad because humans were afraid of a complete change of the framework that has, throughout history, made up their entire being?” I asked.
“Pretty much,” Octavia replied.
The conversation had got pretty intense in the sense that it was extremely passionate. We paused for a minute to see if Kyran and Amelia were paying attention. They had fallen asleep. The sudden halt of noise coming from our mouths must have woke them.
“Holy fuck, when you said chat, I thought you meant we would have fun,” Kyran said.
“That was fun,” I replied.
“If you’re a fucking boring ass loser,” Kyran said.
“Whatever,” I replied.
“I’m just pulling your leg. That was all interesting, you guys just got pretty deep with it,” Kyran responded.
“If we don’t think deeply, we will be forever stuck as seeing all the solutions to all the human complexities as being simple. That’s probably why the world ended,” I said.
Kyran was fighting with his eyelids to stay open. When I finished speaking he quickly jolted back to life.
“Sorry, jeez guys, and this is just your casual conversation? I couldn’t imagine how boring you get when you professionally discuss these topics,” Kyran said.
The sun had made its way towards the horizon. It poked its head on the other side of the world. I wondered what it was like in other places on earth, but knew that I probably shouldn’t worry about that with the journey that lay before us. I looked towards the path that we would soon be traveling down.
The stream continued its gentle flow around the rock bed. Crickets began to their nightly number. Fireflies appeared from nowhere and began to light the sky with a soft yellow. If we were quiet enough we could see how all the parts of nature served one another. The crickets signaled the fall of night, the fireflies lightly lit the stage for the crickets to perform. The birds of the night sat perched upon the branches to watch the show. The show served as a lullaby for their slumber that would soon come. The air that brushed through the crickets legs to create the sound of chirping exhausted itself into the atmosphere. When that single molecule of air reached the end of the atmosphere it joined the particles of space to complete a dance. The earth air and space would dance all the way to our star. That star showed us the way. It was time to leave.
We walked along the narrow dirt path as it continued to follow the stream. The moon within the darkness highlighted the features of the forest. We wondered who had formed the path, as it wasn’t a natural occurrence. We also remembered what Malachi had said about the man behind the window and the voice in the sky telling us that we were in a simulation.
It all felt so real, as had all the other simulations, but we wondered why we couldn’t venture into the real world. Why were the children stored in the simulation? Was anything real? This question continued to weigh heavily on us when it occasionally seeped its way through our minds. This new journey with less exciting experiences lent itself to allowing us to think. Thinking could sometimes be bad.
“If a rock was looked real, in its molecular make up, its physical appearance, and everything about the rock was rock like, would it be a rock or a rock like object?” I asked Octavia.
“Ah shit, here they go again,” said Kyran.
“The food from the instameal is not actually the real object, so then, would that also only be food like?” Octavia replied.
“What is the difference between the food and the food like object? The only one I can think of is its origin. Beef came from a cow, the beef from the Instameal was identically copied from the beef of the cow, so technically have the same origin,” I said.
“Except the beef came from the cow and the Instameal beef came from the instameal,” Octavia replied.
“So, then not the same origin?” I asked.
“I would say no,” Octavia replied.
“Are you guys talking about beef or are actually trying to make some kind of larger point?” Kyran asked.
“Can’t you see it?” I asked Kyran.
“I can’t see a damn thing you’re talking about Benji,” Kyran said.
“Well, it’s like this: If everything in the simulation is exactly like the objects it represents from the real world, what makes the simulation not the real world? How do we know that the real world is not also a simulation?” I asked.
Kyran put both of his hands by his head and pursed his lips up and blew. He made a whooshing sound as he slowly moved his hands away from his head.
“Mind blown,” Kyran said.
“That sounds like the Matrix,” Amelia said.
“It’s exactly like the Matrix,” I said.
“Well, it makes sense, but if it were true, then it is terrifying. How would we ever know what was real and what wasn’t?” Amelia asked.
“We wouldn’t,” I replied.
Kyran looked at us and smirked.
“So, you’ve made exactly no fucking point, Benji,” he said.
“No, I have made a point. In the future, simulations are real. I could imagine any sort of world I wanted and I could physically visit the place. I could stay there forever. Food is created from nothing as is all material items. I could build a house out here with absolutely zero effort and zero materials,” I said.
“It would be the perfect way to test different societal models,” Octavia said.
“I wonder if you can create humans from nothing?” I asked.
“That would be insane,” Octavia replied.
“I wonder if the children were created like that?” I asked.
“Terrifying,” She replied.
We continued to walk the path. The stream had long ago ventured its separate way, running back into the forest to be with the other creatures that dwelled in it. The moon had disappeared and we carefully went forward with very little visibility. The trail emerged from the forest and widened. A small white picket fence lined the road. I remembered that borders where not a concept in the future so I figured it served an aesthetical purpose. It rolled with the land and curved when it did. It danced within the beauty of nature, not against it. In the distance we could see a small building.
It was hard to make anything about it out except that it was a building. It seemed brown in color, but we were not positive. We had hoped it was the school. If that were in fact true, we knew it would be better if we waited to visit until the afternoon. The sun was again readying itself to rise and we were tired. The crisp morning air had grown cool and moist. We figured it would serve us better to sleep bundled as four rather than two pairs of two. We laid with me wrapped facing Octavia, with her back to Amelia. Amelia laid with Kyran wrapped up from her backside. We still had unspent energy when we laid down so we began to chat.
“I love your hair, Octavia, can I touch it?” Amelia asked.
“Sure,” Octavia replied.
Octavia laid there and stared me in my eyes. She shared so much with me. She said she was excited, but also uncertain. I told her to go with the flow. I watched as Amelia’s hands slowly creeped from Octavia’s hair and firmly gripped her breast. Octavia’s eyes widened as she still stared in to mine. Amelia made it clear that she had not made an mistake as she slowly began to massage Octavia’s breast. Octavia began to sweat from her forehead. She became visually more excited when Amelia slipped her free hand down Octavia’s pants.
I watched in Octavia’s pants as Amelia’s hand formed rocking movements in their texture. Octavia began to grind back into to Amelia. Small moans were exhaled from her sweet mouth. I watched with joy when suddenly, Amelia removed her hand and placed it on me. She still rubbed Octavia’s breast as she stroked me. I saw another hand be placed under Amelia’s onto Octavia. It was masculine. It was Kyran. I watched as the both caressed my new lover. Amelia slid over Octavia and now faced her. Kyran was grinding at her back. Amelia grinded on me.
Amelia and Octavia began to make out as clothes were slowly removed. First it was their shirts and they were nipple to nipple and tongue to tongue. Then they removed each other’s pants. I now had Amelia’s bare ass grinding up against me and Kyran had Octavia’s. Kyran and I both also removed our clothes. I could feel the sweat of Amelia’s ass on me. Her gorgeous crack gripped me as she slid up and down. I felt a hand touch me and it wasn’t Amelia or Octavia because I could see that theirs were busy.
I noticed that it didn’t feel soft. It felt rough as it began to stroke me. It was Kyran. I felt very uncomfortable. I didn’t like men. But in the heat of the moment I let whatever happen, happen. I knew Octavia didn’t like women, but at the moment she had her hand full of Amelia’s pussy, why should I act any different? Because I was a man? Fuck that, this was a new world.
Kyran moved himself over Amelia and Octavia and behind me. It made me nervous. I couldn’t tell if I was also excited because I had Amelia’s ass on me, or if because what was about to happen was so far removed from who I was that it felt like the most extreme of adventure. Amelia flipped herself and was now facing me. She put me in her mouth. Octavia pleasured Amelia with her mouth. All the sudden I felt an intense pain behind me. I wanted to scream, but then it felt good. Kyran had begun to penetrate my ass.
It was extremely weird but at the same time amazing. The four of us were now becoming one. We did everything. Sucked each other, licked each other. I could tell I wasn’t attracted at all to Kyran, like I said, I didn’t like men. But using his tool didn’t mean I had to like men. I watched as he penetrated Octavia, it was different than when we did it. It was rough. There was no sensualness to it. I penetrated Amelia as she kissed Octavia. We created quite a mess and we did it way more than once. Everyone had a chance with everyone, but we were never separate. We were finished when we all became exhausted. I fell asleep inside Octavia and she was still holding onto Amelia. Kyran fell asleep inside Amelia.
We woke up in the afternoon and all smiled at each other. Now that we had initiated the first time, this could now take place forever. We were not one couple, but still two. But when we felt like adding more to our sexual pleasure we knew that we knew two people that could be that extra something. We all stared at each other’s bodies one last time before getting dressed, impatiently planning the next time we would become one like this.
Human sexuality was different than that of most other procreating beings. We did it for pleasure mostly. Why then, should we not explore other avenues of pleasure? Why had it been for so long that sex was a monogamous act that was only discussed in private? If sex were to be discussed more openly then I think that more people would finally realize what it meant to be truly satisfied. The four of us now knew what it was like, when we opened ourselves to new ideas.
We headed towards the school. It was close now and we didn’t have to walk far. We heard no children playing and the building appeared empty. We walked to the edge of the walls because we didn’t see any doors. Nothing happened. We stared for a little longer.
“Open!” Kyran shouted.
“I don’t think it works like that,” Octavia said.
I pushed on the wall thinking that maybe this was some sort of manual wall. A short young girl with flowing brown hair appeared next to us. She was young, about 3 or 4. She wore a form fitting suit like we had seen in the city, only hers had colorful flower patterns on it. Her smooth brown skin pressed gently against the yellow of her suit. She looked like a ray of sunshine.
“Umm, what are you guys doing?” She asked.
“Just trying to get in this school,” Kyran responded.
“Through a wall?” The girl asked.
Kyran looked at the wall and then looked at the girl. He removed his hands from it.
“Well how else to suppose we get in?” Kyran asked.
“If it were me, I’d use the door over here in on the side,” she responded.
We all looked at each other and had a nice laugh. We followed the girl through the door and entered a small room. The room was one large screen and had notes written all over it. It seemed like they were lessons and that the girl was the student. She sat in a small wooden chair and looked up at us.
“Are you here to take me back in time?” She asked.
“Yes, that is why we have come to you,” Octavia said.
“Oh joy, the girl said. I’ve learnt so much about it. I am to be the leader of the past. I will joy the people of 1745 how to get along with each other,” she said.
She looked like a perfect leader; strong, fierce, innocent. Her voice made me want to follow, her innocence made me trust her, and her strength made me respect her. If anyone could persuade the people of the past, it would be her.
“What is your name?” Amelia asked.
“My name is Joanna. Nice to finally meet you Amelia,” she responded.
“Likewise. How long have you been here?” Amelia asked.
“Since I was birthed,” Joanna responded.
“You’ve been all alone here?” Octavia asked.
“Yes Octavia, I have never met another human until just minutes ago. You are truly wonderful creatures,” Joanna responded.
“Are you not also a human?” Octavia asked.
“Yes, I am human. All I’ve ever known is myself. It feels alien to speak to another,” Joanna responded.
“What have you been doing here this whole time?” Kyran asked.
“I’ve been learning the social structures of the past as well as the ones of the future. I have spent my time understanding the corrections future society has made to the failed structure of the past,” Joanna responded.
When she said that I thought about how the social structure of the past was always made up of hierarchies. One small group at the top and like a pyramid, the triangle got larger towards the bottom. It sufficed for the entire human existence, but I always thought there had to be a better way than for the majority to serve Kings and Queens. Democracy was supposedly a step away from serving royalty, but all one had to do was thing about it deeply for only a minor amount of time to see that we still served those who were supposed to serve us.
“Tell us what you have learned,” I said.
“I will,” she said, “just give me a moment.”
She looked at each of us and seemed to be reading our body language.
“Now, I know that I am only 4 years old, but my mind is more mature than any you have ever encountered. I say this only as a warning to not feel shame when I discuss what I next will discuss,” Joanna said.
“We understand. We just met Ben a few days ago and we could tell how mature he was. Go ahead with whatever you want to discuss,” I said.
“I watched you guys this morning,” Joanna said.
“You watched us what?” I asked, knowing exactly what she was talking about.
“I watched your group grow a stronger bond. I watched as you, Octavia and you, Amelia felt each other’s souls with passion. I watched as you, Benji and you, Kyran, completely left your comfort areas and felt each other’s souls. I watched as all four of you became as close as you could possibly become,” She said.
“So, you saw all of that?” I asked.
“Not only did I see all of that, I made it happen,” Joanna said.
“Why would you do such a thing?” I asked.
“If it wouldn’t have happened now, the desire and the thought would remain subconsciously in all of your minds forever. I could see that you all thoroughly enjoyed it,” Joanna replied.
“I guess that is true,” I said.
“One major problem with society is that it is so harsh on human sexuality. They all claim that they want to form strong human bonds. What do they think the purpose of sex is for? Some think to procreate, which only happens a few times in a human’s life. Why, then, do humans have so much sex? Why use condoms if the pleasure is not the strongest desirable point of sex. Pleasure can create bonds, as you have seen,” Joanna said.
It did seem kind of weird to hear sexual talk coming from a 4-year-old. But, she was only 4 in her height and her stature. Her words were mature, she understood everything she was saying. When I thought of it like that it made it less weird to continue having this conversation.
“Let me ask a few questions,” Joanna said.
“Go ahead,” I replied.
“Amelia, did you enjoy the touch of Octavia? Did you enjoy feeling all her body on yours? Did her kiss make you feel connected to her?” Joanna asked
“Yes, it felt euphoric,” Amelia replied.
“And Octavia, did you enjoy the sensation of feeling another woman’s body on yours? The softness of each part of her flesh? The rushing sensation that ran up your veins into the pleasure centers of your brain with each movement of your hand on her skin?” Joanna asked.
“Oh my god, just thinking of it is giving me goosebumps. Yes, very much so,” Octavia replied.
“Are you two in love? Do you look at each other and have butterflies in your stomach, or do you look at each other and only think of the strong bond that a sexual friendship brings?” Joanna asked.
“I don’t feel anything emotionally for Octavia,” Amelia replied.
“Me either,” Octavia replied.
“Exactly. Now Benji, do you feel like you are attracted to men?” Joanna asked.
“Not in the least bit,” I replied.
“But you did enjoy having Kyran inside you, no?” Joanna asked.
“Yes, but thinking about being physical with any other part of his body makes me want to vomit,” I said.
“I feel the same way. I’ve never even once thought about being with a man. I don’t feel even remotely attracted to Benji, but yet I feel close to him because of what we shared this morning,” Kyran said.
“So, all of you are zero amount homosexual, yet you all enjoy touching the same sex as yourselves?” Joanna asked.
“Yes, I’ve never felt so much pleasure,” I replied.
“You see, future society has made sex as open as possible. All consenting individuals have sex often and with all other people who consent. It is done in public, there are special places, sort of like restrooms, where people can go and relieve that sexual tension,” Joanna responded.
“That makes sense. Even though I’ve never had sex with the opposite gender, now that I have, I see nothing homosexual about doing so,” Amelia said.
“Homosexuality does not exist. Heterosexuality does not exist either. It is a spectrum. Some enjoy more homosexual acts than hetero and vice versa. The reason it was categorized in decisive ways in the past was because people didn’t know how to explain the fact that sexuality was fluid. This is but one way future society has figured out the true meaning of being human,” Joanna said.
We all felt relieved that what we did was natural here in the future. If we were to do that in the past, we would be considered odd. Kyran and I would be considered gay, but Amelia and Octavia would see very little categorization. The future seemed to be allowing humans the most freedom possible. It was amazing to witness centuries of growth in a matter of months.
We watched Joanna as she seemed to become more and more satisfied with our understanding on the social structure of the future. It was amazing how much she knew and how she was the savior of all of our failed attempts at organizing humanity.
“Do you guys know of communism?” Joanna asked.
“Yes, of course,” I replied.
“Well, societies in the past had tried it, but had failed because of the human greed behind the leaders of communism,” Joanna said.
“Dictators?” I asked.
“Yes, dictators. The most basic description of communism is that everyone is equal. We all put in the same and get the same. Some could put in more, but there is no reward for doing such. Some could put in less, but they will suffer consequences. Those consequences are as simple as taking equal to their effort, which is obviously less,” Joanna said.
“Communism actually works?” Octavia asked.
“It not only works, it is the only way that humans can thrive,” Joanna responded.
Communism was a bad word in the past. There had been so many attempts at it but with so much failure. Capitalism was the structure that most trusted, even as it propelled a small few into the top tier and left so many others hanging in poverty at the bottom tier. The way the people at the top talked about the reason people were stuck at the bottom, made it seem like it was their fault. This created a society that had little contempt for those born into poverty and who thus continued the cycle of it, by no doing of their own.
“What makes it so different than the failed attempts?” Kyran asked.
“The difference is that there is no way to gain more than any other person. If someone were to gain more they would not be well received. The attempts in the past required leaders, which led to power hungry individuals. Our communism is cyclical. If you haven’t noticed, once things begin a cycle they are often hard to break,” Joanna said.
“That makes a lot of sense,” I said.
“How will you make the people of 1745 trust that you have the key to a better future for humankind?” Octavia asked.
“I will show them, as I have shown you about sex. I will force them to build society in a communist structure. Then I will give them back their freewill. Once they have seen that communism is the only way, they will continue building society within that framework,” Joanna said.
“Wow, that is amazing,” Amelia said.
“The sun is setting. I think we should all go gather around the fire outside and further discuss society,” Joanna said.
“I agree,” I replied.
“Kyran, remember, use the door not the wall,” Joanna said.
Kyran gave her a look and proceeded to the door. We got outside and looked up at the sky. The sun had kissed the clouds and made them blush. Their greyness highlighted their texture. The blue sky provided a backdrop. The trees brushed against the wind. We found a spot on the ground and sat around the fire, ready to continue the discussion led by Joanna.
“You have told us that all people put in equal contributions to society and receive equal contributions, but what about people who cannot input anything. The people who are handicapped?” I asked.
“There are no handicapped. We have mastered the field of genetics to the point that there is not a single human born defective,” Joanna responded.
“What about if people get injured during their life?” I asked.
“People don’t get injured,” she responded.
“Is there death?” I asked.
Immortality was an interesting concept in the past. The ability to live forever and never have to suffer through the pain of losing someone you love.
“No. There is no death,” Joanna responded.
“Wow, immortality. That is so hard to imagine,” Octavia replied.
“Yes, humans cannot die and cannot be injured,” Joanna responded.
“But, what if someone grows tired of living,” I asked.
“People will not grow tired of living. There is nothing else but living, why should they ever grow tired of that?” Joanna asked.
“I’m not sure. What about over population? Surely if no one dies, that is bound to happen,” I asked.
“We have figured that the perfect number of people to inhabit earth is 100,000. We are currently at only 30,000 and we are all located close to each other,” Joanna responded.
“What about leisure?” I asked.
“That is taken care of through simulations. People only work when they feel like it. When they feel like being adventurous they just go into a simulation and can be anything and anywhere they want,” Joanna responded.
“How do you control for population? How to you ensure that there are not over 100,000 people populating the earth?” I asked.
“We simply will not allow it. People are all in this together. If anyone doubts the design we currently we have, we simply allow them to show us alternatives and then show them through simulation, how it would not work,” Joanna said.
“It seems like this is a place that has it all figured out,” I said.
“It is. There is no more growth for humankind. We are at its peak,” She said.
“What about space travel? Spreading the population over the rest of earth?” I asked.
“We already can travel beyond the cosmos. We know the meaning of existence. We do not desire to spread ourselves over the entire space of the earth. It would be pointless to do so,” Joanna said.
“What is the meaning of existence?” I asked.
“There is none,” she responded.
“You’re joking, right?” Kyran asked.
“No. We have traveled beyond the cosmos. When we reached the end it began again. So, we traveled to the end of that. We know that we are the makeup of a thing larger than ourselves. You know the living organisms inside of your own body?” She asked.
“Well, of course,” I responded.
“We are that, but in a much larger scale. We make up another being who makes up another being and so on. It is pointless to continue to travel into the other being’s realm of existence because we would never stop repeating ourselves. There is no end. Therefore, there is no point to life. We exist so that the being we make up can exist and he exists so that the being he makes up can exist. We tried to understand what it meant, but it means nothing when there is no sense to be made of it,” Joanna said.
“You guys seriously discovered that?” I asked.
“Yes. We were as spell bounded by the discovery as you could imagine. But once we also discovered the repetitiveness of it all, it lost its magic,” Joanna said.
“Now that you’ve told us the meaninglessness of life, is there anything else we should know?” I asked.
“The last thing I want to tell you, especially after that, is that just because the broader meaning of life is void, does not mean that there is no value to life. Life is meaningful. The earth is a wonderful place. It does not matter that there is no reasoning for its existence, but it does matter that it exists,” Joanna said.
“Wow, thank you Joanna. I guess we will be seeing you soon before we leave?” I asked.
“Yes, me and the others will be awaiting your successful completion of the mission. I wish you all well,” Joanna said.
She got up from the fire and went inside. She had told us the answers to every question we ever had, in the past and in the future. We were filled with information and most of all, wonder. We decided to get together as a group to figure out the next step in our journey.
It was night time and we were supposed to use the star to get to the school. We were never told how to continue on from here. We needed to know how to get to the hospital. The infant awaited us. It was the last child that we knew the location of.
“There are two paths. Which one should we take?” Amelia asked.
“I don’t think we should split up, so we have to choose one,” Octavia said.
“I agree. Let’s decide on one together and go that way,” I said.
The two paths looked almost identical. One continued past the school. It was an extension of the one that we had taken here. The other path was back a little on that trail. It cut off and headed to the south. We would have to make a blind choice and hope that it was right.
“We should go on the trail that heads south,” I said.
“Why?” Kyran asked.
“I like the way the curve looks,” I replied.
“Well if that ain’t a great reason, then I don’t know what is,” Kyran said.
“What do you think, then, Kyran?” I asked.
“Let’s just go with that. You’re reasoning sucks, but at least you’ve made a choice,” Kyran said.
With that dumb reasoning we had chosen to go south. I hoped that it was correct. We needed to start our journey in the morning so that we can walk during the light.
“What should we do now? I’m definitely not tired,” Octavia said.
“We can have a little fun and then go to sleep,” Kyran suggested.
“Let’s do that,” I said.
We, for the second night in a row, became one with each other. It lasted longer this time and it was more intense. It was a celebration of completing another leg of our journey. We fell asleep wrapped in each other, and four became one.