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Author's Chapter Notes:

As you can see, I'm clearly new to writing, and this can be seen as "trying the water". Comments with advise are highly appreciated.




The year is 2557. The world is on the verge of war. Humanity barely survived the third world war, which relied heavily on the use of nuclear weapons. However, an even worse weapon was discovered, one so bad that, unlike nuclear weapons, a group of terrorists can easily end the entire human race. What weapon can cause destruction on such a level? Nothing more like a terrible shrinking gas.




Now, before I get too far into mind-numbing exposition, let’s get a few things straight here. The gas would shrink most things that it would come into contact with, save for things that would break the story, such as the surface of the Earth. It would shrink buildings, plants, and other living things, but for sake of simplicity, we’re going to assume that the gas does NOT shrink the molecules in the atmosphere, the planet itself, stuff like that.




Katie James and her family were among the last humans to leave Earth before the planet was entirely covered in the blue gas that had the slightest scent of apple juice. The terrorist group “The Communist Socialist Fascist Party of Northern Southern Australia” got its hands onto a few dozen missiles topped with the gas, and everything went down the shitter.




“They got hold of WHAT?!?!?” the general barked, unaware that he was spilling his morning joe all over the computers of engineers.


“We noticed that 35 of our missiles were missing today,” an engineer responded in an unnaturally calm voice, “And 35 vats of the chemical agent ‘shrinkudown’ were also gone.”


“Well, someone set the alert level to brown. All jokes aside, start the immediate evacuation of civilians, military officials, scientists, engineers, politicians… ok, leave the last group, but evac via our remaining frigates. They should be able to jump a safe distance from Earth. Alert the rest of the world leaders via Skype, triple encrypted in that 20th century German whatchamacaller code thingy.”


“Roger that. Also, we don’t have a code brown.”


“Shut your lips before I personally make you code brown, DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!?”




“Come on, Mom! There is no need to pack my swimsuit!” Katie was rather confused. She and her family had just finished breakfast when the television had suddenly powered itself on. The last time that an appliance had turned itself on was back when John was trying out his new AI, which was meant to drive a car by itself, but only crashed a RC-car into a LEGO house 3 seconds after gaining control of the car.


“Seriously mom! We’re gonna be on a military frigate! There are no swimming pools to swim in!”


“What if there are, Katie?”


“Why the hell would there ever be a swimming pool on a machine designed to fight aliens?”


“Why not?”




Boarding Transcendence was quite chaotic, as there were several thousand desperate people, and only 5 doors. Six stressful hours later, Katie was finally able to board, having been separated from her family when a man in a business suit thought that he was the most important man that has ever existed, and pushed through the crowd. This caused a huge fight to develop in the line, causing families to become separated as what was once a peaceful line of desperate humans turned into a chaotic line of desperate humans fighting to get to the same place.




Due to its late departure, Transcendence was able to avoid the maelstrom of flak and anti-air fire as countries fell to terrorists, who activated the orbital defense stations. However, after the first few missiles containing the gas hit, the terrorists turned off the guns and attempted to escape into space. Only one ship was able to make it to space. Said ship was immediately rammed by the Transcendence after it was revealed that it contained the same terrorists that had stolen the 35 missiles. Once in orbit, however, a scan revealed that Transcendence was the only ship that was able to make it to space, and the 5,000 people on board would possibly become the last normal-sized humans in existence. The shrinking gas shrinks most objects that it comes into contact with to 0.83% of its original size, but the gas is unable to reach an altitude higher than 150,000 feet. Of course, Transcendence was orbiting Earth at the typical altitude of 120 miles, which would have been a safe cruising altitude… 500 years ago.




The first of the explosions occurred just minutes after launch. It sounded more like distant thunder than anything, but the second volley of explosions sounded much more like… well, explosions. Not before long, a third set of explosions rocked the ship, and when we looked through the glass window that would normally reveal a great view of the ship’s bridge, all we saw was a mass of mangled metal and the remains of a 21st century “international space station.” Mass panic ensued as I ran to one of the escape pods. The ship AI, Madison, had already copied herself into each of the pods well before launch, so I actually didn’t have to do any flying in the single-occupant pod. Instead, I got to watch the entire ship explode when it hit a flying chunk of metal that was considerably smaller than what the bridge hit. I was confused, until-


“That was the booster stage of Apollo 13,” said a voice.


“Madison? How can you see what I am seeing?”


“Oh, there are just cameras all over this thing. It’s rather nice, being able to almost experience what you guys feel every day.”


“Well, can you put this pod in a safer position? I don’t want to hit an old soviet satellite or something…”


“Consider that complete. We are now orbiting at the altitude of high-level geosynchronous orbit, which means that other satellites orbiting at this altitude would naturally be going at the same speed as we are. Unless the creators wanted to spent many millions of credits to… destroy their own creations in under a second. Not a good use of your money, if you ask me.”


“Yeah… oh shoot.”



“Madison, can you do a quick surface scan of the planet?”


“That’s a negative, Katie, but I can try to scan the debris of the ship, well, what used to be the ship, and see if there are any survivors that we can pick up. This pod was certified for one person, but I ran the tests, and we can have up to three people safely in this pod for 5,000 years, and I doubt that we would be up here for 5,000 years. In the meantime, I’ll prepare the cryo tube for you, just in case that there are no survivors and we would be up here for some time.”




“Well, good news and bad news. Which do you want to hear first?”


“Madison, what do you think?”


“Ok, I’m going to tell you the bad news first.”




“The bad news is that there are no signs of life in the remains of the ship. I think that you are the only survivor.”


“Madison, how can there possibly be good news if I am the last survivor?”


“Well, we have a cryo tube in the pod, which means that your aging could effectively be halted for an indefinite amount of time. This pod also has self-repairing solar panels and a highly efficient fusion reactor that can run for 50,000 years before a maintenance check, but I don’t plan on spending 50,000 years up here.”


“Any other good news… or just… news…?”


“Uhh yeah… Surface scans show that all living forms were shrunken down, which means that theoretically you are the king predator of the entire planet now, although weather can be a slight issue. My simulations are showing that the weather would become much less severe with much smaller trees, and the extreme points of the planet would become much less extreme.”


“Madison, what the hell does all of that mean?”


“Once, nothing living can kill you now. Two, it would be incredibly hard for nature to kill you in the near future. Three, you look real sexy in those 4-inch shorts, babe.”


“What the hell, Madison. I thought that you were an AI.”


“Yes, but smart AIs can develop feelings, too. Watch out for tiny men trying to win a date with you.”


“Eww… I rather not think about it…”


“Well, in that case, your cryo tube is ready. I’ll wake you up when it is safe to return to the surface.”


“All right, then.”


“Katie, one last thing.”




“I know what you are thinking, and it is something that I forgot to tell you.”



“This pod is certified for atmospheric re-entry.”


“Uhh, no, Madison, I was thinking of where I could get something less revealing to wear when I return to the surface.”


“Oh well, sleep tight.”


[Cryo-tube activated]




Chapter End Notes:

So Katie is frozen in a cryo-tube, Madison is probably playing tic-tac-toe with herself (what else would a computer be doing for a few centuries?), and the world has become a smaller place. What would occur when giant-sized Katie (well, normal-sized Katie, but giant-sized in comparsion) returns to the surface? Would the people see her as a goddess or as a monster?

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