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Excerpts from The Cyborg at the End of the Universe
Morgan Wallace HyperKid It isn't easy being a famous super hero. In fact, sometimes it doesn't really seem fair. Here you are helping citizens in need and saving the planet and signing autographs and taking selfies with people and so on, yet you still have to go to school and do your homework and clean your room and do whatever else your parents tell you to do. This leaves little time for playing video games and constructing robotic creatures with Blockos, those little plastic building blocks that are made in one of those Scandinavian countries that Daddy is always bragging that some of his Viking ancestors came from.
     My name is Morgan Wallace, and I am also the super hero known as HyperKid. My best friend Brian Bullini is the super hero known as BullBorg. We both acquired cyborg super powers after being exposed to the radioactive rays of a meteor shower during the summer before fourth grade. My cat Ralston was also exposed to the rays and is now a cyborg cat, but he's not a super hero.
*     *     *
Sven the Swedish Cyborg MechanicSven smiled and said, "I have lived a long life and have learned a great many things along the way. But I was not born with special abilities, nor was I given them as you were. Everything I know how to do and all of the knowledge I possess are things that I have learned through experience and the teachings of others. If you keep an open mind and take advantage of the things that this amazing universe has to offer and do everything you can to learn how it works, you too can achieve a great many things. And if you take care of your mind and body, you can live a long, long time. Eating beets can also help. The longer you live, the more knowledge you will accumulate. So, you can only imagine how much knowledge I have accumulated over a thousand years."
     "You're a thousand years old?" I asked.
     "A little older than that," Sven said with a smile. "Do you see that painting that has so captured the attention of your father? That is my old ship, the Universal Explorer, that I sailed to Greenland in the year 982. I built that ship myself using common hand tools. It took me ten years to build, but she was a fine sturdy ship. I even sailed her all the way to North America long before Columbus ever got there and buried some treasure on Oak Island up in Nova Scotia. Believe it or not, she's still out there, only now she's a space vessel."
*     *     *
Brian Bullini BullStein "For me it all started when we were working for Mayor Martinez," Brian said. "It really bothered me that she and her colleagues were treating us like dumb kids who couldn't understand what was really going on in our city, which is kind of the way they treat their own constituents. But it didn't take long for me to realize that they didn't care at all about governing and that they really weren't as smart as they thought they were. The only thing they were good at was winning elections, and their only concern was to make sure they got re-elected. I started to understand what my mother was saying about how the government wasn't doing anything to help her as a single mother who was holding down three jobs just so we could buy food and pay the rent in our dumpy old house. I heard other people in our neighborhood saying similar things, yet when I tried to talk to Mayor Martinez about it, she would cut me off and say she would look into it. So I started reading the news websites and then reading books about politics and realized that I not only understood it, but that I understood it better than these arrogant fools running our city who didn't care about anyone but themselves."
*     *     *
"Given that 45 billion light years is the distance estimated to be the edge of the observable universe from Earth, I think we have reached the end of the universe. Actually, those dim stars we just passed may have been the end. That was probably the oldest part of the universe, which is dying. Right now this tube we are in may be passing through a part of the universe that is already dead. It might be some sort of passageway that is leading us outside the universe."
     "Outside the universe?" I asked as a new fear started to creep over me. "How is that possible?"
     "I don't know," Brian said. "We may be going to a place where all the laws of our universe may not apply."
*     *     *
And, on top of the hill, a ginormous white mansion surrounded by a huge field of blue grass overlooked the city. Behind the mansion sat another large building with an enormous observatory dome on top of it. The entire property was surrounded by a red laser wall that must have been a hundred feet high.
     "I bet I know who lives there," Brian said.
*     *     *
Alien-Bot"I have traveled all over the universe," Alien-Bot said, "and have discovered that most civilizations are ruled by criminals, fools, thieves, murderers, liars, and cheats. Everything they have accomplished they owe to the Alanian civilization, which was the spawning point of all the intelligent life that followed in this universe. Yet they show no gratitude, nor do they acknowledge our importance to their own accomplishments. They are content to let our world die while they reap the rewards of our greatness. But this Alanian carnage stops right here and right now. From this moment on, it will be Alania first. We will take back the resources that their galaxies have thrived on and use them to rebuild our own civilization. Alania will start winning again, winning like never before. We will build new cities. We will bring back our wealth. We will bring back our dreams. And we will eradicate completely the rest of the universe so that our enemies will no longer be able to take advantage of our greatness."
*     *     *
"The Universal Explorer was faster than any other Viking ship, so no one would be able to catch him. On the other side of the ocean he landed on the shores of what is now known as Oak Island in the country that you now know as Canada. He hid his ship in a swamp that was not visible offshore and buried the treasures that he and his crew had legitimately collected over the years. He set up numerous booby traps for anyone who might happen to find him on the island and start looking for the treasure. He built himself a house and settled in, but then he didn't know what to do with himself. He was still a relatively young man, and he felt that there was a lot he could still accomplish in his life."
*     *     *
"We did some quick scans and it was quite obvious that their star really was about to go supernova. It would surely destroy their planet and everything else near it. They would all die, and all that would remain of their solar system would be a black hole. So we hailed the government channel and informed them of our readings. We were quite surprised when they responded that there was nothing wrong with their star and that fake news was being spread by a small group of rogue activists and dishonest news media. This was startling. Even an amateur scientist could tell that the star was about to go supernova. We responded by showing them evidence that was undeniable, but the more proof we presented, the angrier they became. They called us 'evil aliens' who were threatening to destroy their way of life. They pointed weapons at our ship and warned us that they would not hesitate to use them."
*     *     *
I could tell she was scared, and I was scared too, especially since I knew who it was. But I was also starting to feel mad. I was tired of this. This bully had no right to hurt so many people just because he thought his world was more important than all the other worlds in the universe.
*     *     *
The three of us turned our attention towards the large group of silently hovering cyborgs. For those whose faces we could see, it was pretty obvious that they did not know what was happening. It was creepy to think that they had been brainwashed by a tyrant who was willing to destroy the universe in order to build some sort of fake paradise for them. It was also scary to think what would have happened if our minds had been unable to resist being brainwashed. We might have wound up among them and would have been powerless to fight back and stop him.
*     *     *
"You can do this," Gor-Bot said. "My son also used to fear things that he had never attempted, but he eventually got over it by realizing the value of experience. I always used to say to him, 'embrace what you do not know, and reject your fear of failure'. Even if you try something new and fail, the experience you gain from the attempt is still very valuable, and the failure itself something you can learn from. All the great scientists and inventors failed over and over again until they finally got it right. If you are really trying, you will eventually get better at it and start to build confidence. Confidence is built through experience, and it is far more powerful than any super power. Without it, you would not be able to do anything. So, go ahead and give it a try. No matter what happens, you will be that much more powerful for the effort."
*     *     *
"I can see why Farglad is uninhabited," Brian said. "Even from up here it looks toxic. This is what I'm afraid Earth will look like someday if us humans don't change our ways."
*     *     *
"Resist," Brian said. "We just have to keep fighting for the truth and calling out the liars. Eventually, even those who are loyal to the liars may eventually realize that they are being used. The liars aren't interested in helping them, they are only interested in accumulating more wealth and power. Hopefully a catastrophe won't occur before the loyalists finally realize that they are being played like a video game."