Saturday, December 26, 2015
The Inmate from Mercury ((The Pen Pal) (Year: 2095 A.D.))
Science Fiction Vignettes # 4
A Short SF Vignette
The Inmate from Mercury
((The Pen Pal) (Year: 2095 A.D.))
Letter One (July, 2093 A.D)
“Dear Harry Harvey, here in my prison cell on Mercury, it gets between 300 to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. Which for Mercury as you may well know, is normal. So with your letter I had to read it behind special glass, it was for the most part evaporated, in fragmented form. Therefore I am sending you some special chemically protected paper we use here on Mercury, use it and your letter will be more legible.
“I have never visited Earth but I’ve heard it was beautiful, and confrontational, or warlike. Also, it has over ten-billion people.
“On another subject, the heat on Mercury has never been a real problem for me, even at 500 F, it is pleasant. At eight-hundred, of course it gets uncomfortable. So you see, I am not a hydro-carbon life form. And to be frank your letter was sent to me by accident. Let me explain: my number here is M: 4651, the M stands for Mercury, and I’m the four thousand and six hundred and fifty fist inmate, out of 5000-inmates here on Mercury.
“I repeat myself, I’m elated the letter came to the likes of me, an inmate who has been unjustly incarcerated, please continue the correspondence.”
Yours sincerely, M: 4561
. . .
Letter Two (September, 2094 A.D)
“Dear Harry Harvey, I received your first letter, I mean second letter, and yes there is a way to lower the radioactive body, in particular mine, to 150-degrees, but it comes with a price in that it would affect my flow of energy, and none of Earth’s cities would allow me to step onto its surface.
“I am now fifty-years old, and have twenty-more years to serve of my sentence, my race has a lifespan of 150-years, thus, one third of my life is now gone, and by the time I leave, one half will disappear.
“However our race is a superior to yours, as you well know, we also carry what you call a high atomic weight. The race that has incarcerated me, is similar to us, but superior to us. They have used us as slaves, liken to the days of Athens, 450 B.C., when there were more slaves within the population than citizens. Anyhow, for 25,000-years we have been their mining tools, compared to 15,000-years ago, when we were sent to dig out the gold from mines in Peru, gold being a universal substance used in all spacecraft’s.
“Turning to my imprisonment, I killed an engineer on a maintenance crew, which stopped the mining on the dwarf planet Ceres, inside the asteroid belt. The pintsize planet, is about 800-miles wide, it has quite a lot of irregular shapes and craters, most interesting to our Masters as they prefer to be called, and I worked in one of those crater-mines.
“We quarried for an assortment of materials, minerals, along with the many salt mounds on the surface. And several of us rebelled, and we called it war, and they called it terrorism, and the stronger is always in the right.”
Sincerely, Inmate, M: 4651
. . .
Letter Three (October, 2095 A.D)
Dear Mr. Harry Harvey:
“Just a brief note to answer your question if you will send a letter to the warden of this prison to lighten my sentence, this is not unusual, they take all letters very seriously, as to keep a cordial relationship with Earth, and the mining that they do throughout the solar system, since we are originally outside it.
“We are as you know quite advance in the history and development of your solar system. My father won his freedom after his allotted time in the mines as all our kind must serve, one fifth of our life doing, during his free time he was allowed to earn his doctorate in the astrophysics, stellar phenomena, and ancient mythologies pertaining in particularly to your solar system. I will try to tell you what he said in a nutshell, if indeed it fits:
‘Comets are an ancient creation by the god’s of evil, trying to duplicate God Almighty’s great creation of the stars, which we know as suns. Our race found a comet, a rare one that would serve our purpose it was older than Earth’s solar System, and our kind implanted molecules of oxygen in its clouds of gas. The comet within its orbit, reacted with other planets within Earth’s solar system, as it was forming eons ago. Along with its most common gases, others formed around the comet, such as: water, vapor, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide, and so on and so on. It all remained in its unique form. The oxygen froze, trapped in clumps of other materials and was released during this formation of your solar system, as the comet made its long journey around Earth’s sun, and beyond.’
“The comet is often referred to as “The Devil Comet” actually we still do refer to it by that name. The reason being, no one knows how it got here in the first place. And so, as my father inferred, by dropping what he called seeds, Earth formed a beautiful and thick atmosphere, which produced materials and minerals, and then life.”
Sincerely, Inmate M: 4651
. . .
Letter from the Warden to Harry Harvey (December, 2095 A.D)
Reference to: M: 4651
Dear Mr. Harry Harvey: “If it looks like a dead fish and smells like a dead fish and it comes from Denmark, that’s exactly what it is, and that is what you got for all your time writing M: 4561; my best advice is don’t eat it! He’s been fishing for someone like you for a long time.”
Sincerely, the Warden.
Written: 11-22-2015 (#4921) reedited, 12-24-2015
Copyright © Dennis L. Siluk, Dr. H.c.