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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics


Saturday, April 7, 2018

The Second Humans: A Science Fiction Story

The prosecution attorney began his opening statement:

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” he said. “The woman seated at that table, Seraphina Baker, has committed one of the most terrible crimes a person can commit: a particularly bad type of sex crime. We will now present evidence that will show her guilt beyond reasonable doubt.”

It was the year 2145, but they still conducted court cases pretty much as they did during the twentieth century. A few courts had tried using robotic judges and juries, but they had been laughable failures, and the cases in which they were used had to be retried using regular human judges and juries. But robots were usually  used as court bailiffs, and every court now used electronic stenographers to record all the words spoken in the trial.

The first witness called by the prosecution was Seraphina Baker. She could have taken the Fifth Amendment, and refused to testify in the case. But she thought that she could say some things that would help in her defense.

Ms. Baker, did you begin to consort with one Ethan Baker two years ago?”

Yes,” said Seraphina. “That's when we started dating.”

And did you begin to conduct intimate carnal relations with this Ethan Baker?” asked the prosecution attorney.

What does that mean?” asked Seraphina.

Did you begin to engage in sexual intercourse with Ethan Baker?” said the prosecution attorney.

Yes,” said Seraphina. “But that was only after we were married.”

Your honor,” said the prosecution attorney. “As you well know, marriage is irrelevant to whether the defendant has committed the crime with which she is charged. I move that the defendant's claim about her marriage be struck from the court record.”

I agree,” said the judge.

Now, Ms. Baker,” said the prosecution attorney, “before you began to engage in sexual intercourse with Ethan Baker, did you go the appropriate government website, to check whether this was allowable?”

No,” said Seraphina. “I figured it must be okay since we were married.”

After the prosecution attorney objected, the last part of Seraphina's statement was struck from the court record. The prosecuting attorney was able to get Seraphina to admit that she had made love with her husband, had not used birth control, and that she had given birth to a child.

The trial was a very short one. The defense called two character witnesses to try to show that Seraphina Baker was a very admirable and charitable person. Soon it came time for the prosecution attorney to make his closing argument.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury,” said the prosecution attorney, “let me briefly review the glorious history of our people. One hundred years ago the genetic engineers bestowed a great blessing upon planet Earth. Using gene-splicing, they created a new race of humans that is now known as the Second Humans. The Second Humans are smarter, stronger, faster, healthier and more beautiful than the lowly race of humans who first lived on this planet, the race we call the First Humans.”

People such as you and me,” continued the prosecution attorney, “know how great it is to be a Second Human, so much superior to the inferior First Humans. But this blessing comes with a solemn obligation. It is the great responsibility of every Second Human to eventually father or mother at least four children. This is so that the Second Humans can grow in numbers, and fulfill their destiny of completely replacing the race of the First Humans.”

And there is one simple thing that every Second Human must do when choosing a mating partner,” continued the prosecution attorney. “He or she must go to a particular government web site, to make sure that any prospective mating partner is also a Second Human. Any Second Human who fails to do this, and who mates with a First Human, is a traitor against the sublime ordained destiny of the Second Humans.”

By her own testimony Seraphina Baker failed to do this simple thing,” said the prosecution attorney. "She has committed the terrible crime she has been accused of: the crime of inferior copulation, the crime of a Second Human mating with a First Human. So you must find her guilty.”

After the defense attorney made his plea, the jury went into the jury room to deliberate. After an hour of debate, they came back with a verdict.

In the case of Seraphina Baker,” said the judge. “How find you on the charge of inferior copulation?”

We find her guilty,” said the jury foreman.

Seraphina was sentenced to ten years in prison. Her husband Ethan and her child Kristen tried to continue to live in their community of Second Humans. But the Second Humans would often make nasty remarks about Kristen, calling her a half-breed. So Ethan and Kristen reluctantly moved to a community of First Humans.

Living in that impoverished community was very hard. Eager to make sure that the Second Humans would take over the planet and replace the First Humans, the government was doing everything it could to help that happen. All of the government benefits went only to the Second Humans, and the First Humans were left with no health insurance, no municipal services, fire-trap housing, much higher effective tax rates, and very poor schools. When the First Humans would go downtown in their cities, they would find many store signs and restaurant signs telling them to keep out.


The Second Humans would often torment the First Humans with this taunt:

First Humans are the worst humans!
First Humans are the worst humans!

Sometimes a Second Human child would ask a First Human child a hard historical or scientific question such as “What caused the Boer Wars?” or “Explain the difference between a quark and a quasar.” If the First Human was slow in answering, the Second Human child would unleash a taunt such as:

Boys can't reckon
Unless they are Second.

A First Human girl might get a taunt like this from a Second Human:

Girls are accursed
Whenever they're First.

Years later Kristen asked her father a question.

If the Second Humans are a superior race,” wondered Kristen, “then why are so many of them cruel and heartless?”

Maybe it's because the genetic engineers didn't find any way to make people more moral by messing with their DNA,” said Ethan sadly.