It took three years to reach the Twin Planet. That was the name which spread widely right from the start since the other one, the scientific one, was pretty much graceless and nobody could remember it: Ε8111.
The twin planet was a bit smaller, 8111 light years away and had all the requirements for hosting life. The analyses of its orbit showed that water in liquid form was in existence.
The issue of the distance was easily ironed out. All it took was for every computer on the earth to work on the matter. The equations that would lead to the creation of the wormhole, the passage through space-time that creates shortcuts across the universe, were shared to all the PCs worldwide, just like a computer game, pretty much like Rubik’s cube.
Everybody was motivated to crack the riddle. Ten billion minds, ten billion computers, worked-by-playing (co-operatively) with the “Rubik’s cube”.
It took a year of collective brainstorming and playing.
The first sign, the solution, came from the tablet of an eight year old boy, Ulysses, and in an instant all the computers were informed.
The whole planet was celebrating and the kid Ulysses became a hero.
The one mouth of the wormhole was named Troy and the other, the one closer to the Twin Planet, Ithaca.
The first spaceship (and the rest that would follow) would penetrate the space-time like a needle, so instead of traversing the whole distance (8111 light years), it would immediately reach the other side of the “weave”.
The next step was to select the first inhabitants, the ones who would set up the inhabitation of the Twin Planet. For three years, the maximum number of passengers was 144 because no more could be maintained on the first spaceship for the New World.
The interplanetary committee decided to send 12 men and 132 women.
Procreation should be maximized. Monogamy was not allowed because it wouldn’t be of any use. Every man should have sex with every woman, not compulsorily but out of free will, because chances of childbearing would be increased.
Sperm is “cheap” whereas ova are “expensive”. A man can impregnate many women but a woman can be impregnated by one man only. If 12 men have sex three times a day, with three different women, then in 3.7 days all women would have had sex, so in nine months 150 children could be born (taking into account that twins might be born, too)
The only oversight was that once women were on board their menstrual cycles were synchronized, resulting in common periods of celibacy (and non-fertility) as well as many tiffs, since the interstellar journey combined with menstruation led to unbearable situations.
Homosexuals were excluded by default which provoked a public outcry and many lawsuits ensued at the International Court of Justice, for violating and breaching human rights.
Judge Foucault, being a homosexual himself, ruled that since either way 5% of the emigrants’ children would be homosexual, so no breach was constituted.
Some proposed that people who deviated from ideal mental health, and which ran in the family, should be excluded. But the Emigration Committee, which was named Homer, decided that deviation genes were necessary for the constitution of a new, creative population.
All religious people were excluded also by default, since their religious beliefs ruled out polygamy, which was indispensable for the new settlement.
Financial status and social brackets were ignored, so that everybody could participate in the draw.
The apportionment of emigrants between the twelve federations was equal, since intermarriage results in healthier descendants.
The 13th Federation refused to participate, as it had refused to contribute to the solution of the wormhole-riddle.
Either way, the 13th Federation was not cooperating with the other twelve-and they declared economic war on it.
In the 13th Federation, the regime was defined as Collective Administration and the other twelve referred haughtily to them as “The anarchists of the Tropics”
The 13th Federation maintained that the problems that conduced them to settle on other planets wouldn’t be eliminated by inhabitation, but by the abolition of CMC (Capital Mega Companies), of money and the establishment of a Collective Administration.
In addition colonization would simply take the problem to another planet. The whole venture, they pressed on, was nothing but a misleading show, aiming to draw people’s attention from the devaluation of their lives.
The twelve Federations ignored them and proceeded with the world-wide draw (which would be transmitted live to the entire planet).
Almost everybody (except those who were ruled out) volunteered, perhaps because it remained secret that the first spaceship’s crew would never again get in touch with the mother planet.
Those were the two faults of the wormhole: The first one was that it didn’t function bidirectionally, it was one-way.
The spaceship could travel from Troy to Ithaca but couldn’t go back from the same route.
Secondly the radio signals could not penetrate it (to any direction).
This meant that the first inhabitants of the Twin Planet would be there in three years but it would take 8111 + 8111 years to communicate, till the signal reached its destination and returned.
So, the metropolis would know of the fate of the inhabitants after 8111 years and could answer back in 16222 years (if the inhabitants would find asthlatonion, the only source of energy that could maintain the spaceship and the communication systems).
Those “details” were not revealed to the volunteers of the draw, neither to the 144 emigrants who “won”.
Before the draw took place, wormholes’ faults trickled on the internet, but the 12 Federations dismissed the issue as ridiculous propaganda issued by the anarchists of the tropics.
On Sunday, 15 August 2049 A.C.E. (after common era) the first spaceship, Ark I, would launch.
The largest part of the Ark would be a hydroponic garden which would provide food but mainly oxygen. The spaceship would be auto-piloted since none of those who were chosen had any experience of that kind – computers, afetr all, are more reliable than humans.
During the journey the first inhabitants, aside from free sex, were obligated to take “colonization lessons”.
Those lessons had to do with medicine and genetics, botanology, zoology, meteorology, mechanical engineering, psychology, baby nursing, management of extreme conditions, hand-to-hand fighting, gun usage, cookery and many more.
Their recreational activities would include music, movies, literature and painting. These arts were picked as the most pleasant ones.
The 144 emigrants, men and women, would all be equal, having no leader or someone with a superior status. The scientists that planned this Odyssey decided on this approach, since it would be the only way of realizing a society of free sex.
The anarchists of the Tropics pointed out the paradox: An authoritative society chooses as preferable the model of the collective administration for the first settlement. The media ignored or distorted the statement of the 13th Federation.
The launching of Ark I was hailed from the twelve federations as the greatest achievement of the human civilization.
The inhabitants were adapted quickly to the Ark, as if participating in a reality show.
By the time they reached Troy, the far-end of the wormhole (2.5 years since their departure) all of the women had given birth – 43 of them twice, including twins.
But the crossing of the wormhole turned out to be much more difficult (horrible actually) than the scientists could have ever imagined.
According to the record of the spaceships computer, the “Crossing” took only six seconds, but to the inhabitants it seemed like 8111 years.
In a state of detachment of body and mind, the inhabitants experienced the void and inertia for 8111 years – but their body was aged by only six seconds.
None of the 176 children endured the Crossing (Pessah as it was registered in the collective unconscious mind). And nearly every plant of the hydroponic garden withered – as if they had a nervous system.
Out of the 144, the 60 went into a coma because their mind couldn’t escape Pessah and another 40 lost their reason. Those who had their senses were reduced to cannibalism in order to survive for the following six months, when they would finally reach the Twin Planet.
The pressure was increased when the Ark’s computer announced to the survivors that the oxygen would suffice only for five of them due to the loss of the plants.
As the Ark approached the Twin Planet, the inhabitants killed each other – in order to survive.
When they made the emergency landing, only three men and two women were left alive.
The men were Adam, Cain and Abel. The women were Eva and Lilith. They would have to settle on the new planet.
Before the systems go down, since there wasn’t a trace of asthlatonion, they send only a message saying no word about Pessah – it was the only way of maintaining hope that another Ark would come too.
“We’re here. The Twin Planet is ideal for inhabitation. There are sane earthlings, compatible with us and suitable for crossbreeding, but they are very primitive.
We’ve already taught some of them the use of fire. Eva taught them to draw – and they seem to like it.
Communication skills are limited to daily routine and tangible things. But the ability to develop exists.
The natives call this place “Earth” which means something like “here” or “the whole world”.
The atmosphere is almost the same as ours. The weather conditions are ideal.
Come. We’re waiting for you.”
8111 years later, the metropolis received the message and dispatched a convoy of Arks.
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Translated by Alexandros Mantas
Edited by Jackie Pert