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Our future, our universe, and other weighty topics

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Day, 2085 AD: A Science Fiction Story

On Christmas morning young Alan woke up and went into Mom and Dad's room. 

"Look, it snowed last night!" said Alan. "It's so amazing that happened here in Phoenix."

"Why it seems like some kind of Christmas miracle," said Dad. He had actually paid the local Weather Control System to arrange for drones to drop the snow upon his yard the previous night. 

I can't believe it's finally Christmas morning!” said Alan. “Did you get me any gifts?”

Why don't you go check the Christmas tree, and find out?” said Mom.

Running downstairs, Alan saw several wrapped presents next to the rotating holographic Christmas tree. They were all wrapped most colorfully in video paper.

Wow, they're so beautiful!” exclaimed Alan. “I almost hate to tear off the paper and end the visuals.”

Long ago, children would get gifts wrapped in ordinary printed wrapping paper. The paper might have some Christmas patterns, but the patterns would not move. But nowadays all the children of richer parents got their presents wrapped in video paper. The special paper would show things that moved and danced across the paper. You might see a cute little reindeer image moving back and forth across the length of your gift, or a little image of Santa's sled flying across the wrapping paper, or a bunch of tiny snowmen doing a dance from the left side of your gift to the right side of your gift.

Go ahead, open one,” said Dad.

Alan picked up one gift, and took off the paper. He found what looked like a regular baseball bat.

A bat?” said Alan. “Thanks, but you know I'm no good at baseball. The kids make fun of me when I play.”

Well, that won't happen any more,” said Dad. “You see, this is a very special bat. It has some tiny electronics that will detect the path of the pitched baseball, and cause your arm to swing at just the right time. With this bat, you'll be the best hitter in every game you play.”

That's great!” said Alan. He then unwrapped another gift. It looked like a skateboard.

A skateboard?” said Alan. “I've tried those, but I'm not very good at it.”

Well, with this board, you'll be the best skateboarder in town,” said Dad. “This isn't a regular skateboard. It's one of those self-propelled 'auto-boards' equipped with ultra-batteries. You just have to hang on, and the board will do 100 astonishing skateboard maneuvers.”

Cool!” said Alan. He then unwrapped another gift. It was some clothes.

Uh, thanks, Dad," said Alan, not very happy about the style of the clothes.

“These aren't just ordinary clothes,” said Dad. “This is that new stuff called Chameleon Wear. The clothes will detect the style of the people around you, and automatically change to match their style. So no matter how much those crazy teen clothes styles change, you'll fit in with your group.”

“Programmable matter, I guess,” said Alan. “Thanks so much, Dad and Mom.”

There's still one more gift we have for you,” said Dad. “And it's a big one.”

Where is it?” asked Alan.

In the backyard,” said Dad. “It was too big to wrap.”

Alan ran to the backyard, and found the gift. It looked a little like the snowmobiles they used in the twenty-first century. But it had a  rocket exhaust in the back.

A sky-mobile!” said Alan. “What a great gift!”

This should be lots of fun,” said Dad. “But you've got to be very careful riding it. Riding a sky-mobile around in the sky is a lot more dangerous than riding a bike on the street.”

Alan insisted on taking a test drive of his gift. After donning a heavy jacket to protect himself from the wind, and putting on a safety helmet that came with the sky-mobile, Alan jumped into the pilot seat of the small rocket.

Now take it easy up there,” said Dad. “Just go around a little, and come back. Don't try any fancy stuff like loops.”

Don't worry, I got this,” said Alan.

Alan launched the sky-mobile into the air. With a mighty blast of its rocket engines, the sky-mobile rose up to a height of 100 meters. There was an auto-fly switch that would have guaranteed safe flying, but Alan neglected to turn it on. 

He's riding it pretty well,” said Mom.

But then the daring sky ride took a tragic turn. Having no experience in piloting rockets, young Alan put the sky-mobile into too steep a dive. It crashed into the ground in a great fiery explosion.

You and your big ideas!” said Mom. “Now we've lost our only child.”

Don't worry, I can fix it,” said Dad.

He took Mom into the garage behind their house, and turned on their 3D printer. He turned on the printer's voice response system.

Printer, please recreate our robotic son Alan,” said Dad. “Use the memory backup I made last night.”

Soon, it will be just like nothing happened,” said Dad

After an hour, the 3D printer recreated Alan, making thousands of quick passes that each deposited an additional layer of atoms. Mom and Dad placed the robot in his bed, and turned on the small activation switch on Alan's waist.

I can't believe it's finally Christmas morning!” said the new Alan. “Did you buy me any gifts?”

1 comment:

  1. Excellent, and amusing, in the tradition of the late great Alfred Hitchcock, with a little Rod Serling in the mix.