Another road trip, another town to investigate, and another opportunity to observe the townspeople in this newly discovered world. Lucretia7161, of 9 degrees by 52.7 of 291 kilometers to the left of planet Xj9, was eager for the new assignment to explore who exactly was living on planet Trillion42, so aptly named as it was a Trillion+67.5924km which is the same as 42miles from Xj9 the center of existence. Zipping around in her peacock blue Personal Air Craft with total invisibility shield, she was ready to leave her tree pod home for a bit of adventure outside the pod.
In her 21 years as an Implant Planet Observation Specialist, the idea of going to Trillion42 excited her because no one has yet returned from their assignment there. She was an expert at blending in and implanting herself into every planet she has explored and always came back with highly valuable information about the townspeople on other planets. On Xj9 the beings assumed that the IPOS’s were killed or dead- no one knew.
As an IPOS she knew, she had direct access to the information about those who went before her. They didn’t die, they refused to come back. The location chips in their wrists no longer detected where they were, but their life force meters located on the occiput ridge were still active. Time would pass as time does, and communication would come to the IPOS Academy saying “I am staying here. I am not coming back.” Many attempts were made to understand why. The most challenging part was that even though they abandoned their jobs and their lives to live on Trillion42, they refused to give any information about the townspeople and life on Trillion42. Nothing. Not one single word was ever revealed. In fact, 20 years have passed and their life force meters are still active. For Lucretia7161, this was the part that gave her chills yet excited her to her nucleus.
As the scenery continued to change from planet to planet Lucretia7161 never lost interest in the vastness of existence and how time really does fly when you’re having fun. She was only half a trillion miles away when the thoughts about her coworkers who never came back began flooding her mind. One by one she could see the faces of these beings who were her friends, comrades, and partners in crime. They trained together, laughed, cried, and imbibed the Kalutcha together after exams and PAC training. They all had fun becoming invisible and learning how to implant themselves to become another self among townspeople from other planets without notice. As emotion was starting to arise she inhaled deeply through her mask for fresh oxygen and slowly released the smoke from within and watched how it swirled then evaporated amongst the stars.
Having all of these memories got her thinking that for the remainder of her trip to Trillion42 she would do well to fly with the invisibility shield up, and for the first time ever on an assignment arrive invisible.
Trillion42 looks like a lot of small town planets; perfectly groomed exteriors with empty interior lives, where the beings don’t genuinely live in their exteriors or their interiors. Small town planets tend to do this as a reminder of the almost mythic self imploding planet Earth, which is long gone.
As she got out of her PAC she entered code 3121 and the invisible PAC folded itself up and placed itself into Lucretia7161’s life storage wristlet. As she walked into the main downtown area, she noticed that the townspeople looked remarkably unremarkable except for the fact that they appeared to all be around the same age. Nowhere did anyone look younger than 15, or older than 19. While she continued to observe the odd phenomenon, she patted herself on the back for remaining invisible. Clearly she would have stood out as a 6”4 being with red hair and a gunmetal covered exterior with fine lines around the eyes and mouth. All of the stores, buildings, and parks were occupied by teenagers. Coming towards her as she drifted across the park was a familiar face. As they got closer she recognized their gait, the steely grey eyes and crooked smile. It was Nacognian9121, one of her fellow IPOS colleagues but he looked like he did when they were 19 starting at the IPOS academy. How the.. What the.. She froze while he walked past her, and as if there was a smell in the air he recognized, Nacognian9121 looked up to the sky and let the scent gently turn his head back towards her direction, then turned back and kept on walking. In that moment, Lucretia7161 realized she had not removed her beingness scent and continued watching him as he strolled away.
Immediately she snapped her fingers as she scanned her beingness from tip to tail to remove her scent.
Memories and questions flooded Lucretia7161’s mind. Maybe it wasn’t Nacognian9121.
As she continued to drift along the town she started recognizing more and more faces of former IPOS beings. They all looked like teenagers! The IPOS had been sending beings to Trillion42 for 20 years when she was still new at the academy and early on had learned that the beings that went on the Trillion42 mission never came back, and the IPOS seemingly never learned anything about Trillion42. She placed her ring finger to her temple and telepathically sent her observations back to IPOS headquarters. What is the allure to this place? Why and how is everyone appearing like they are teenagers when I know for a fact that the many faces I recognize are hundreds of years old! Driftless as she was and could be while being invisible, she came upon a clearing where a cement structure 4.572 meters by 1.8288 meters was located. It was smooth and cool on top and elaborately carved on the sides, almost like an old fashioned tomb that you would see on the self imploding planet, Earth. Out of curiosity she leaped on top of the structure and the surroundings turned dark.
Out of the bushes came beings cloaked in black with hoods and they started moving towards the structure. She could not get off the structure, it was as if she was glued to it. The beings moved closer and appeared confused by there being nothing on the structure. As they got closer, teenagers began to appear from all around the clearing and started lining up as if an event was about to take place. She gathered up her internal resources and told her intellect to remove her from the structure and was able to climb down. She jumped up and perched herself into the branch of a tree so that she could observe what was going on. One by one the teenagers would climb onto the concrete and lay down while the cloaked beings would come up to them and bite down on their necks. Vampires? She drifted back down and began to hover over the vampires so she could hear what they were saying.
“We will keep you forever young, we will keep you forever safe, we live forever because of your grace. Let the gift of your blood continue to be our gift of life. No longer will you worry, no more will you strife!”
Lucretia7161 kept her ring finger at her temple the entire time so that she could communicate back to IPOS Academy. It was all making sense now, her IPOS colleagues sold themselves to vampires so they could be forever young and forever safe. Across from her she recognized an information communicator from planet Vor784 who was there sending information back to their planet telling all the beings that “Vampires, of course are the new superheroes, and teenagers all over the world are falling for them like flies." This made Lucretia’s nucleus clench. This is how they are getting the planet populated, luring people with youth and a worry free life in exchange for blood. She had seen enough and telepathically provided enough information for IPOS Academy that her work was not only done, but she would likely rise in the ranks due to accomplishing what no one has been able to do. The cover was blown on Trillion42, Xj9 would be sharing this information with other planets. The truth about her colleagues will be shared with everyone.
She drifted back along the path and activated her wristlet to release her PAC. As she climbed in, Nacognian9121 appeared in front of the aircraft. “Did you think I would not recognize the scent of your beingness?”
Written by Deana Downs
Deana Downs is a practitioner of the healing arts in the Twin Cities. She enjoys nature, cooking, photography and spending her summers tending her gardens on a small, small pond. This is her first attempt at Science Fiction Fantasy in the “Flash Fiction” category.