Title: “My perfect friend — the homunculus”
Author: Kristina Poplitskaya
Genre: Science fiction short story
Time: the year 3012
Place: the far away planet Ku
A tall slender young girl who looks to be about 13years of age, with white skin and pink lips, stands beside a recently arrived transparent globe. She is taking off her gloves which are made of a very thin stretchy material, made from a recently developed color named Do, and from which a dusting of energy wafts in the air. The girl approaches the gate of the city of this planet. Large transparent doors open, and the girl descends below the surface level. She walks through crowded streets, past shops, looking up to the artificially created sky, which is a source of light and energy. Translucent screens shimmer around her showing advertising and news.
“The creation of an artificial atmosphere on the planet See in the Galactic World has finally been completed. A type of light with new properties has been developed in this galaxy. So, once again there is a possibility for resettlement in the city built there for the citizens of our civilization. So, scientists can now increase life spans from 500 to 600 years, based on the possibility of settlement and development of the areas.”
There was silence in the city. The girl looks around and stares at the many young members of this new civilization. She is approached by a girl with blue eyes.
“Cora — ID number 8D553C (100011010101010100111100).”
Cora smiles. “I am listening to you teacher.”
The teacher responds. “Despite the fact that you take in the learning given to you easily and quickly, you should still visit the channels of information on the creation of a synthetic globe.”
Cora laughs. “A new planet… New people…”
The teacher responds. “Despite the fact that you are able to synthesize your own eye color to the color indigo without help, it does not mean that you can do more than I can.”
A thin glowing red ball the size of a pearl slowly appears next to the teacher’s forehead.
“Cora, I will need you on a new planet. You very are good at synthesizing information that you receive. The Civilization’s Control Center appreciates creativity — it’s difficult to create artificially”.
Cora laughs. “I know. Your ball is still red. On a previous planet, my teacher hit blue.”
The teacher grunts back at her. “It’s not for you to decide.”
Cora replies. “So why not create your own homunculus.”
“The Control Center forbids it,” answers the teacher.
“I need to know why…” says Cora
“The grafted homunculus with an extended telomerase can live for centuries… The discovery of a new planet suitable for life and the creation of an artificial atmosphere does not happen every day. If everyone began creating their own homunculus, what could happen?” The teacher explains.
“I am going now to acquire new knowledge,” says Cora.
The teacher smiles slyly. “Pay attention to the advertising today.”
“Okay,” says Cora.
“Try not to get too high a dose. The creation of a new synchronous optical network, or SONET, is accompanied by a large expenditure of energy.”
“We have plenty of energy. Food — clean energy in liquid form! Our clothes extract energy from the stars for us…” Cora replies.
“It is also dangerous for you! You should visit the synthetic globe: contribute to the creation of a new idea on the basis of the information received on the basics of the general laws.” The teacher tells her.
Cora clenches her fists. “Okay. It would be nice to have a chance to create something new!”
Cora looks around, and everybody around her is quietly going about their own business.
She enters the Learning Center, and touches her hand to the luminous globe.
“Elements of advertising.” Cora commands.
A code of numbers and characters in Latin capital letters glow on the globe.
Cora closes her eyes, lightly stroking the smooth surface of the globe. The numbers run under her palms, shining brighter as they reach her.
The globe goes dark.
“The learning session on the elements of advertising is complete.”
Cora is about to leave, but stops.
“Elements of genetics.” She commands.
The globe glows again. Cora puts her hand back on it. The learning session ends and the girl collapses near the globe.
Cora wakes up in her compartment. Next to her sits a young man and she looks at her picture painted on canvas with oil paints.
“Cora, you missed something amazing! News has been announced about a new invention.”
Cora stands up happily, holding her head in her hands.
“What? Has a machine been invented to travel across the galaxies?”
The young man laughs.
“You are a dreamer. Why would we travel inside of one of those? We have probes. They search for planets suitable for life. You know, they have invented super glasses!”
Cora sits up. “Why?”
The young man smiles. “You put on the glasses and see everything the way you want it to be!”
“Why?” Asks Cora.
The young man stands up, and takes a deep breath. “Why not!”
“You can simply create what you want! The glasses are an illusion,” Cora says.
“This is a reflection of reality through a prism of altered perception,” answers the young man.
“Let’s talk about how to make a cat purr properly! After all, this is the only animal that can be kept in the city, but it is also created artificially,” replies Cora.
“The animals are successfully stored in the chromosome bank,” he says.
“Yes I know! It is civilization’s gene pool, and there are trees there as well!” Says Cora.
“That’s all good. Also, if you need some trees, somewhere on the other side of our great planet, moving fast under the blue stars, you will find these trees. They are from the time of the development of the planet when it was necessary to create a suitable atmosphere here for life,” he tells her.
“Why can’t we grow a single avocado tree?” She asks.
“You sound hungry,” says the young man. “Why do you need an avocado? Eat an energy-cocktail,” he says.
Cora clenches her fists. “You don’t understand!”
The young man strolls around, flipping through a thin screen of light waves advertising the new glasses.
“Explain!” He says.
“Aesthetic perception. Unity with nature, the way our ancestors lived,” replies Cora.
“Buy yourself some glasses and you’ll see the whole forest!” answers the young man.
Cora sighs and goes into the other room.
The young man touches the ring on his finger and the screen goes blank.
“All right. I have to go now!”
Cora enters a room, where there are large glass cubes, in which homunculi miniature creatures are created. Inside one of them is a cat.
Cora opens one side of the cube and the cat begins to move.
It stands there saying nothing.
On the girl’s ring the color Tse flashes. Cora touches the ring with her other hand. The holographic image of a man with thin facial features, similar to hers, appears on the screen.
“Father! How do you make a cat purr properly?” She asks.