At first, it looked like an ordinary marble, but it was far from it. Stephen reached for it, then hesitated. He had better things to do. The Mars colony was running out of oxygen and hydrogen fuel for power. Water (composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom) would solve all their problems. Still, the marble was compelling. What was it doing on Mars? Like most human beings, he was never satisfied. It was a marble. Why fiddle with it? Without thinking…he touched it.
A cone of light erupted from the marble and blasted into his helmet. He fell back as the light dwindled and a display appeared on his faceplate. A creature with four arms, four eyes, and an engaging smile appeared there. “Welcome to Insta-City™ Productions!” it said cheerfully. “We’ve determined you’re a sentient creature. Congratulations!”
Dumbfounded, Stephen said, “Uh…thanks?”
“Sit back and watch YOUR perfect city grow!”
The marble expanded rapidly, becoming boulder-sized in seconds. Stephen ran for it, but Insta-City™ expanded too quickly. As he ran, a membrane passed harmlessly over his body. He stumbled and fell. With amazed eyes he watched the marble expand into a dome 20km across. Skyscrapers extruded from the martian sands. Homes, hospitals, parks, and gardens formed all around him. The alien reappeared as a hologram beside him. It began a litany of the city’s benefits. It produced its own light, power, food, and atmosphere. Healthcare would eliminate all sicknesses and even aging. Free education from all corners of the galaxy would become available.
“What do you think of YOUR perfect city?” crowed the alien
Stephen eyed the impeccable landscaping with a critical eye. The Mars colony was saved. Humanity had a new home. The human race could effectively become immortal. Unfortunately, he was a human being, and thus, never satisfied. “I think it needs a football stadium right over there.”
In seconds, a football stadium appeared. “Tada!” exclaimed the exhausted alien.
But Stephen was human…
The alien sagged.
Stephen grimaced. “Yeah, but c’mon. They gotta serve foot long hot dogs and garlic fries!”
One of the most critical needs for any future colony is water. It’s needed for drinking and stripping it for oxygen and hydrogen for power systems.
Each week on Monday, it’s time to finish the story! Barbara W. Beacham provides the photo prompt. This week, the opening sentence must be: “At first, it looked like an ordinary marble, but it was far from it.” Hey Barb, I guess this will be my allotted “long one” for the month. This time around, I struggled with ideas. It wasn’t too few, it was too many! I hope you enjoyed my final pick. Look here to see what other folks wrote: https://mondaysfinishthestory.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/mondays-finish-the-story-june-15th-2015/