Furthest Shore

We cast our words out upon the wide digital sea not knowing where the ebb and flow of electrons may take them. The words we write maybe forgotten or they might bring a smile to brighten another’s day. Standing by the sea, I wonder if I will ever know. Soon I’ll wander back to my worn keyboard, for there are more stories yet to be told. For now I am content to walk the sands, looking for signs of others that have tossed their own words upon the ocean waves trusting in fate and surf to wash them to the furthest shore.
--Me!

The Furthest Shore

(Buried Treasures)

By Grover


 

Disclaimer: This is fiction. All the characters and events portrayed here are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely accidental and unintentional. I as the author reserves all rights. A big thanks goes out to Cathy who proofed and generally make this readable. Any remaining errors, or mistakes are mine! Special thanks to Sarah Lynn Morgan who gave me permission to use parts of her most excellent “The Unicorn’s Gift” Enjoy!
  

We cast our words out upon the wide digital sea not knowing where the ebb and flow of electrons may take them. The words we write maybe forgotten or they might bring a smile to brighten another’s day. Standing by the sea, I wonder if I will ever know. Soon I’ll wander back to my worn keyboard, for there are more stories yet to be told. For now I am content to walk the sands, looking for signs of others that have tossed their own words upon the ocean waves trusting in fate and surf to wash them to the furthest shore.
--Me!

Maya Zhu-Smith flittered about the seashore archeological site careful not to disturb any of the fragile evidence of a civilization long gone. This find had only been recently reclaimed from the Pacifica Ocean. The old concrete and steel rebar building of the ancients had proved to be no match for the rising sea levels and its unfortunate location in a seismically active area.

Her work-skin’s AG kept her floating above the age old tumbled ruins. The body hugging Uber-brainy fabric was laboring hard at keeping her cool and comfortable in the steamy tropical environment. Looking up from where the excavation was progressing, it was hard to believe that a few thousand centurns ago this had been a temperate area.

Sweeping the area with her hazel eyes, vegetation grew wild covering the landscape next to the beach in a lush carpet of green. All around her, life hummed with clicks, whistles, and chirps of insects, birds and others hidden by the thick growth of the jungle.

“Qbie” she asked, “Any signs of Boogies out there?”

Her Queen Bee AI controlling her personal hive of micro and nano-sized workers, data-sorters, and other tools of the trade, answered from Virt-world. “No, Maya. The Preserve bees were most efficient in preparing the area for our dig.”

Maya nodded. The vicinity had been swept for hostile nanite altered life-forms that had managed to survive from the old wars of the ancients, but it always paid to be cautious. Besides, she had special plans for tonight. Generally Maya preferred, working in her male seeming. Ease of sanitation, and having some extra bulk were always useful out in the field, but she liked socializing as fem. Particular with a marc as attractive as the one Pat made. Just thinking of him and of their last rendezvous made her smile.
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***

 
However, because her battered little work-hauler was so slow, she just wouldn’t have time to shower and change before her big date. The dingy blue flyer could barely make it to the Luna high-space transport sphere in less than two centares. So for today, she had to suffer as fem out in the wilds.

She sighed. That was what she got for majoring in archeology and working out in the hind end of the boondocks. However, once Maya had heard about the possibilities of the find, she couldn’t stay away. The Preserve’s caretaker bees had notified Ares University when in the course of their duties they had found ruins dating back to the legendary “Big One,” the disastrous seismic event that had forever altered the old Merican Empire. This could be a potential archeological bonanza.

The Home-world Biological Preserve was a work in progress. The busy AI’s and their hives of bees persevered to restore and care for humanity’s old home. Maya found it hard to believe just how much the old planet had been mistreated. Old nuke craters, nanitie spills, and toxic waste contamination were everywhere it seemed. Not to mention the great big hulking piles of ruins they called cities. What a mess!

The only saving grace was the treasures could be found within those places. Like here she thought, as her hive worked to expose buried chambers that hadn’t seen the light of day in millenniums.

Her hive updated her on its efforts. “Maya,” it said in even modulated tones. “We have reached an interesting strata. The weakened structure has been shored up and treated to prevent further deterioration. Do you want to take a look or should we continue?”

“Thanks Qbie. I’ll take it from here,” she told it, sliding her consciousness fully into the virt-world simulation the AI had constructed of the site.

Taking personal control of the work, Maya sent in her specialized data-miner bees. It was a good thing that many primitive pre-Enlightened civilizations overbuilt their archives to ridiculous extremes. Without that, few records of those bygone times would have survived for modern culture to find.

One by one Maya carefully wormed streams of her tools into the decayed materials. Time hadn’t treated the plastics and metals gently, but modern recovery methods at her disposal working at quantum and sub-atomic levels carefully rebuilt each one in the memory of her hive’s work space.

Her excitement grew as she began to see the full scope of her find. Not just business records and accounts in this one but, this one was full of data from archaic blogs, forum records, and all the other cultural clues that set scientists like her, hands itching in anticipation. Those other records were important to the overall picture, but to read the accounts and thoughts of people who had lived so long ago were a true prize.

Maya had to school herself to patience. This could be as big as the WOW find a Decturn ago! That had set the entire civilized Sphere on its ear. Virt-world dramas based on those long ago records were still some of the most poplar in the Sphere.

She was seeing actual records of conversations here! Plus there some sort of achieves here as well. A vast one according to what her prowling bees told her. She put Qbie to begin translating the indexes as she carefully surveyed the best way to preserve the records.

A respectful chime let her know that its first efforts were completed. As expected, most were in the ancient Merican dialect, but there were some in Nglish, as well as a few in other languages! Maya felt her excitement growing as she read the first couple of lines, a fiction site! However, what kind of stories would be hosted by someplace named after a large closet?

Her confusion grew as she looked at the author list: New author, AB Zorro, Aardvark and others followed in alphabetical order. Were her translation protocols working correctly? What did people who went by such names write?

Maya impatiently waited for her busy worker bee’s to reconstruct, the title index. Peering into her Virt-Portal, scattered names of stories long lost flickered into being: For a Girl, Winter’s Night Dream, Mistress of the Rings, Lucky, and near the bottom, Unicorn’s Gift.

Unicorns? She recalled that it was a mythological creature of the ancient’s worshiped by young fems. Curious she directed her hive’s attention to that one’s recovery. A few moments later, Maya opened the very old file as Qbie still labored at reconstructing the rest of its bits and bytes.

She translated the first lines of the poem that served as its prelude.

 

“Things of lasting value,
always rare, too few,
few are found among those
That people say are true.

 
Maya had fallen into her chosen profession because of a great love of hunting and finding great treasures. Not of rare elements or other valuables that even people of her Enlightened Age still sought, but of knowledge and words long overlooked or forgotten. These words written and hidden for so long spoke to her. Judging it was safe to let Qbie handle the reclamation, and not being able to help herself, she settled down to begin reading.
 
***

 

Centurns later:

Maya basked in the attention of her peers as they celebrated the premier of the Virt-world drama. Her discovery had been bigger than even she had dreamed. Her professor and mentor had guided her, throwing in the resources of the university into the recovery of those priceless records.

Although she had read this particular story many times before, it still had the power to cause her to weep. The information hungry Sphere had been just as amazed as she at the materials hidden in that long buried vault.

Although there were meca-tons of cultural data from the Home-world, much of it was nearly incomprehensible to the modern society of the Sphere. Able to change their forms and gender at will, made the narrow-minded brittle point of view of the primitives very strange to them.

Enlightened humans mentally more flexible and adaptable had left the Home-world to seek their fortunes among the stars. After their less advanced ancestors had killed themselves off despite offers of aid, they had returned to lovingly restore their birthplace to its natural grandeur.

Maya felt a tear flow down her cheek. The power of these old stories spoke to the people of the Sphere with a rare power. This was something they could sympathize with, unlike many of the other ancient stories. That wasn’t to say there weren’t gems of wisdom among them. Nor that among this most recent trove there wasn’t those titles that was just plain out and out bizarre, but it was so unlike those other older chronicles.

Just like centurns before when she had first read those last closing words, among the hot humid remains from a long age, they once more moved her to tears.

 

“Your pain has been our burden,
as your gift has been one too.
But many more can see the light
Now all because of you.”

Syna’s Song
— Aida
S.L.M.
 

The End

Syna’s Song from “The Unicorn’ Gift” by Sarah Lynn Morgan



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