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Novus Gaía, A New World
Anna woke up to the ring of her alarm clock. Groaning, she reached over and hit the Alarm Off button. Sitting up and stretching, she looked out the window.
“Hello, sun! Hello, trees!” she murmured, opening her blinds to -- a chrome wall? “Hey! What’s going on here?” she cried. “How’d that get here?”
Pulling on her T-shirt and jeans, she raced out the front door. Her eyes widened.
There were two houses where her backyard used to be, and another three to one side of her. Two more claimed the south side of her house, and, she couldn’t believe it, one of the houses was right in front of the front door! These houses weren’t regular wood and brick, they were made of shiny chrome with no chimneys and no doors. The only entrance and exit was a porthole in the roof. Anna squinted as one of the portholes opened, and out came a little girl, about her age, with a backpack-jetpack.
“Cary, I’m gonna be late for school!”
A voice from inside wafted up. “Did you get your lunch discs?”
The girl groaned. “Yes, Cary. Can I go now?”
“Alright, sis, but you come home straight away after school.”
“I will, I will.” The girl soared off with a flick of the wrist. Anna couldn’t believe her eyes. Surely this wasn’t September 22nd, 2008! Anna ran back inside and up to the computer. She skidded to a stop on the wooden floor and almost missed the tiny flatscreen computer. “Well, this is certainly an improvement on that dinosaur I used to have.” She shook the mouse to revive the screen and looked at the date on the toolbar. September 22nd, 2251?! Anna blinked. That can’t be right, she thought. She rubbed her head. This is a dream, this is all a dream, it has to be a dream, please let this be a dream!! She opened her eyes and stared at the wall through her fingers. If this is 2251, Dingo’s dead by now! She gasped and raced to the backyard. Opening the door, she sent out her special whistle and was relieved to hear Dingo racing to meet her. He jumped up on her shoulders and licked her face and hands. Laughing, she pushed him off and rubbed his ears.
“Hey, buddy!” she giggled. “How are you?”
Dingo panted and turned to his water bowl. He put out his tongue to lap it up and suddenly, his whole body flickered and waved. Oblivious to this change, he went on with his drink. Anna tentatively put out a hand to touch him -- the area around her hand was firm, but the rest was still swimming.
“Dingo, you’re a clone?!” she gasped. The dog looked up at her and stopped flickering. She checked his tag. Dingo-12250 -- agent. His lion eyes flashed electric blue so quickly that Anna almost thought she had imagined it. She sat down on the thin porch and glanced at her watch. 9:15 am. She shook her head. This can’t be happening! She thought. She looked up at the sky. Hovercars and school buses whizzed across the sky, blocking every view of the clouds. The sky, she noticed, had also turned a dull blue-green. She scoffed. “Stupid energy emissions. You’d think by now they would have stopped all this pollution.” Opening the door for Dingo-12250, she stepped inside.
Anna trudged up the stairs with Dingo at her heels and threw herself back on the bed. She rubbed her hands across her face. Her watch beeped and a screen popped up in place of the digital numbers. A brunette woman with a headset appeared on the screen.
“Paging Special Agent 12249, this is Jetta VI of Planet Earth Communications Chapter VII, please come in.”
Anna started and stared at her watch. “This is, uh, Agent 12249, over?”
The brunette woman peered at her. “Agent, you’ve been transported to the future because we need you.” She indicated a small graph in the bottom right corner of the screen. “Since your time, Earth’s population has risen 287%, going from 7.7 billion to over 20 billion. I believe the precise number is 20,559,000,000.”
“Well, what am I supposed to do?”
“You will take Agent 12250 and a small group of ten people on the Pilgrim IV to find a new home on some other planet. We’ve already uploaded system analyses for location of water, ample oxygen supply tests and analysis of natural balance.” Anna looked over at Dingo. His eyes flashed again, as if in affirmation. “Your team has already been chosen for you. You will leave in precisely one hour. Jetta VI out.”
“Wait!” Anna cried as the screen flickered out. The black digital numbers gleamed dully on the screen. 10:00! How was she ever to get there on time? “Dingo? Got any ideas?” He barked twice and Anna felt herself collapsing into billions of molecules. She glanced at Dingo as her room faded before her eyes. He was standing there, unfazed as he too began to break down into small blue flashes of light. The world went grey.
Anna heard a roaring in her ears and then faint voices. Apparently they were arriving at their destination. The world came back into focus and she found herself with Dingo inside a huge building behind two men in long white coats. The taller one turned.
“Ah, Agents 12249 and 12250. You’re just in time. This way, please. You must meet your crewmates.” He ushered them swiftly down a hall to a large room which appeared to be the inside of the Pilgrim IV. Five boys and five girls, who looked about Anna’s age, which was 12, were bustling about the cabin, pressing lit buttons, checking gauges, and tapping electronic notepads. “This is your crew. Audlims, assemble!” he called, and the ten boys and girls gathered into an orderly line, giving Anna the feeling she was a general inspecting troops. Anna looked at the man. “Audlims?”
“Yes, Audlims. Our modern-day word for interplanetary pilgrims, soldiers, and astronauts.” The tall scientist motioned to the first kid, a blonde-haired girl with green eyes. “Audlim, state!” The girl stepped forward and stated her information to Anna.
“Audra. Agent 12239. First Mate. Specializing in galaxy graphing and exploration.” She stepped back into the line, as rigid as before. The man moved on to the next one, a dark-haired boy. “State!” The boy stepped forward.
“Ryan. Agent 12211. Chief Engineer. Specializing in ship maintenence, transport, weaponry, and botanical science.” He too assumed his place in the line. The tall man and Anna walked steadily down the line. There was Jason, Animal Life Specialist and Life Scientist; Breanda, Security and Defense Specialist; Trevor, Historian, Computer Specialist and (Anna thought) the cutest one on the ship; Carisa, Second Engineer, Ryan’s assitant; Karlee, Head of Planet Surface Exploration Team (or PSET); Kirsti, Charts and Graphs Specialist; Nicholas, Planet Surface Exploration Team member, and Drew, also a member of the Planet Surface Exploration Team. The tall scientist introduced himself as Dr. T. Lawrence and directed Audra to give Anna a tour of the space shuttle.
Despite its relatively compact size, the Pilgrim IV included twelve bedrooms, eight storage bays, two holodecks, a large galley, an engineering station, space mapping center, two transporter rooms, and a special storage hold for weapons such as phasers, photon torpedos, and StarGoes, which were like huge buckshot bullets. Audra handed Anna an electronic map of the shuttle and a tricorder, which was called a Tizon. “This Tizon can detect heat, sound waves, radiaton, carbon emissions, just about anything you need it to. It’s highly durable and water-resistant,” she said, handing Anna the small green and grey device. She and Anna returned to the bridge and found Dr. Lawrence making last-minute updates to the computer’s servers.
“Dr. Lawrence?” Anna asked. “What exactly has happened over these last 243 years that demands such exploration?” Anna put her hands behind her back, feeling very important in her green and gold captain’s uniform.
Dr. Lawrence sighed and shook his head. “Well, as you already know, the population has jumped from 7.7 billion to more than twenty billion. That’s almost triple the people that there were in your time.” He stroked his beard. “There’s also a problem with the water, air, natural habitats, animals, and Earth itself.”
“What’s wrong with the natural habitats?” Anna asked. “Have they saved the rainforests yet? What about the endangered species? The pandas, the polar bears, the jaguars, the cheetahs? What happened to them?”
“They don’t exist. Your dog here, Dingo, is about the average size of the animals on Earth now. Some of them have adapted, but very little. The panda went extinct more than a hundred years ago, as well as the jaguar. This may sound silly to you, but many people are questioning the fact that cheetahs ever existed.”
Anna’s eyes widened. “But that’s inpossible! What about the bones? The history? Anything?”
Dr. Lawrence shook his head again. “Where can we excavate for evidence? The Great Pyramid of Giza is now a grocery store. The ruins of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are a housing development, and even the Statue of Liberty has been taken down. More and more people are forced into the streets because there’re more people than there is housing. And then there’s the air.” Dr. Lawrence turned to a screen and placed the pads of his fingers on a few buttons. It blinked to life and Anna’s jaw dropped.
Gone was the beautiful water-and-land planet she knew that was swirled with white clouds. Instead, the whole atomsphere had turned a dull blue-green, just like the sky outside. The clouds were abnormally big, and were the color of a rotting cucumber. Anna shuddered to think of the rain these people had to deal with.
Dr. Lawrence noticed her expression and nodded at the screen. “Yep, this is a live view of the Earth right now. The water in the oceans are filthy from constant oil spills, as well as bad waste management. Even the sea turtles, which used to live over a hundred years, only live to about the age of one now. The pollution in the water and on the sandbars where the eggs are laid are causing the turtles to be born with horribly thin shells. One bad current, and a turtle could hit a reef and die.” Dr. Lawrence tapped the control pad and the image disappeared. He turned to Anna. “Now we need you to find a new home on another planet. Somewhere fresh, clean, and large. We’re going to have to start over. True, we’ll have modern technology, but we’re going to have to learn to deal with the animal and plant life, as well as natural dangers, of that world all over again. But hopefully, Earth’s fate will be a lesson to the new residents.” Dr. Lawrence checked his watch. “You’ll be blasting off in half an hour. Good luck, Captain.” He exited through the porthole and closed the shuttle door. Anna looked at Dingo. He tilted his head.
“Well, I guess it’s just you and me, Dingo. You, me, and ten boys and girls.”
Dingo’s eyes flashed.
Anna turned to find the members of her crew behind her in a line again, and her expression softened. Their faces were rigid, but one look in their eyes told Anna that they were as terrified as she was. Audra handed Anna her Captain’s badge. “What’s your first order, Captain?”
Anna took in a deep breath. “Prepare for liftoff.”
Anna was in a daze for the next hour. Everything seemed surreal. The liftoff, the nerve-racking exit through the Earth’s thick green atomsphere, and the final ascent through the stars. She shook her head and looked around the bridge. She was in a large comfortable chair with Dingo on her left side and Audra at her right. In front of her was a full view of the never-ending space before The Pilgrim IV. So much like Star Trek, she thought. She smiled to think of one of her favorite shows, with Data the android and Wesley Crusher sitting at the conns, Captain Picard sitting in a chair a bit different than hers, with Commander Riker to his right and Counselor Troi to his left, Lieutenant Worf behind him, and Geordi LaForge in Engineering. She rubbed Dingo behind the ears absentmindedly and looked out the space-view screen. “Status report,” she called out, imitating Captain Picard. With no space training at all, it looked like she would have to rely on Star Trek episodes to help her through this. “I need updates on Engineering, Computer Functions, and Security.” Ryan’s face appeared on the space-view screen, his dark brown hair falling slightly into his eyes. “Ship functioning normally, Captain. Engine running smoothly, crytalline supply intact with a bit to spare.”
“Thank you, Ryan,” Anna said to the screen. “And Computer Functions?” Trevor appeared on the screen in place of Ryan. His hair, Anna noticed, was brown-and-blonde.
“Ship’s computer functioning normally, Captain. I’ve already taken the liberty of running a full diagnostic -- everything seems to be working fine.”
“Acknowledged,” Anna replied. “Security?” Breanda’s freckled, petite face appeared behind Anna, where she was waiting on the dock.
“Shields are at this time able to withstand maximum impact. If we wanted to,” she added, smiling, “we could put this baby to Warp 9 and never have to lower our sheilds!”
Anna smiled back. At least she could rely on some comical relief. “Thank you, Breanda.” Anna slumped into her chair again and stroked Dingo’s head. “Audra?” she murmured. “Just how fast are we going?”
“Warp 4,” was the reply.
“And how fast is that, exactly?”
“We left the Milky Way two minutes ago.”
“What?” Anna’s eyes popped open and she gazed at the stars streaking past the ship. If this was Warp 4, she could hardly imagine Warp 9!
Kirsti’s voice came over the intercom. “Kirsti to Captain Valdez.”
“Acknowledged, Miss Kirsti.”
“Captain, we seem to be in the Poseidon galaxy. This is about as far as man has ever charted. All we know about Poseidon galaxy is that the one planet, Sentrinius I that has been explored has water on it, but the atmosphere is much too thin for human survival. There is one kind of plant that grows there, a Borgon berry, but, besides tiny protozoa, there is no life.”
“Well, since we know there’s water here, this galaxy would be a good place to start. Keep me updated, and try to keep those maps as accurate as possible.”
“Aye, Captain. Kirsti out.”
“Jason,” Anna said to the dark-haired boy at the conn helm. “Take us straight inside the Poseidon galaxy, past Sentrinius I. Let’s head to the origin of their solar system.”
“Aye, Captain. Course set for bearing 447 mark 204.”
“Engage,” Anna whispered under her breath, giggling. This is SO much like Star Trek! she thought. She looked out the viewscreen until she saw a large ball of red fire -- the Poseidon galaxy’s sun. Thought it was tiny at the moment, she knew they had to slow down, or they would hit the flaming ball of gas. “Slow to impulse power,” she commanded.
“Impulse power,” Jason repeated. The Pilgrim IV slowed to a snail’s pace, and Anna saw what the characters on Star Trek called a “Class M planet,” meaning it had oceans and land like Earth. “Full stop!” Anna barked.
“Full stop,” Jason repeated again.
“Valdez to Karlee.”
“Yes, Captain?” Karlee answered over the intercom.
“I need you to assemble the PSET. I’ll accompany you.”
“Are you sure, Captain? This could be dangerous.”
“That’s why I’m going. Audra, you have the bridge. Karlee, I’ll meet you and your team in Transporter Room II. Valdez to Ryan,” she called to the intercom once again.
“Yes, Captain,” Ryan’s voice came through the ceiling.
“Meet us in Transporter Room II for immediate transport down to the planet.”
“Aye, Captain. Will you be taking the dog, Captain?”
Anna looked at Dingo, whose eyes flashed electric blue once again. “Affirmative, Ryan. Remember, Transporter Room II.”
“On my way. Ryan out.”
“Dingo, come,” Anna called, stepping off the bridge into the hallway. “Computer,” she said to the walls. “Locate Transporter Room II.”
“Transporter Room II is on the south end of the saucer,” came the computer’s automated voice.
“Guide me to the Transporter Room from this point using my tracking signal.”
“Confirmed,” said the computer. “Turn left.”
A few minutes later, Anna was in the Transporter Room with the PSET and Dingo. Ryan stood by the controls. “Ready at your signal, Captain.”
Anna crossed the room to the Transporter booth, which was also much like the one on Star Trek. Anna couldn’t help thinking that the designers of the Pilgrim IV had indeed kept the Enterprise in mind when building her. “Now, Ryan.” For the second time, Anna felt herself dissolve into tiny blue dots of light.
Moments later, she and the rest of the group were materializing on the surface of the planet. Anna pulled out her Tizon and made a scan of the surroundings. “This planet is extraordinarily like Earth. Mountains, valleys, oceans, plains -- there seem to be a lot of plains. According to the max-range scan, we are on one of three continents.” Anna switched off the Tizon and looked around. Instead of the soft periwinkle blue of Earth’s sky, this planet was blanketed by a deep sapphire blue that was softened by the diamond-white clouds. Even though it was the middle of the day, they could see the planet’s two moons reflected dully in the sky. The effect was breathtaking. Bringing her eyes back down to earth -- well, the surface -- she saw a row of soft, fuzzy hedges that seemed to be getting bigger right before her eyes! “Dingo,” she said. “Access your memory banks and check for any mention of a large, soft bush with an extremely fast growth rate.” Dingo’s mouth opened and an computer’s voice said, “Bamboo Fur Bush. Native only to the Poseidon galaxy. When mashed, the leaves can be spun into a flax-like material.”
“Well, guys,” she smiled, turninig to the team. “There’s our answer for clothing.”
Drew pointed back to the Bamboo Fur Bush. “Captain, something’s moving in there.” Anna flipped her head around to look. The bush shivered and shook, and out rolled -- “A baby Pegasus!” Anna cried. The little winged horse shook his head and sneezed so hard, it sent him back into the bushes. He peeped out at the newcomers. “Oh, he’s so cute!” Anna and Karlee cried in unison. “But where’s his mother?” Karlee asked. The Pegasus whickered and stood up. He nodded his head as it motioned for the kids to follow him. Taking a detour around the bush, they followed close behind the baby Pegasus, and Anna got a chance to study him. He was pure white, with small wings flecked with early gold. His brown eyes were set off by the shining gold blaze on his face, and his mane looked like a paintbrush dipped in dark gold paint.
The Pegasus baby nickered softly and Anna looked up. A large Pegasus, perhaps five times the baby’s size, lay on the ground. Blood oozed from a large wound just behind its wing, and part of its thigh was eaten away. “Poor baby,” Anna whispered. “Was this your mother?” The baby looked up at her with his liquid eyes. She took that as a yes. “I wonder what killed her . . .” Anna’s questions answered itself as a huge creature jumped out from behind the dead Pegasus. It was covered in matted brown fur and had a long snout -- it looked for all the world like a werewolf. Its mouth was covered in the Pegasus’ silvery blood -- it has been feasting. Anna and the crew whipped out their phasers. “Dingo, check out that creature. See if there’s any mention of it in your data banks.”
“This species is unknown.”
“Great. We don’t even know how dangerous it is.”
“Captain,” Drew said. “Considering it killed a formidable creature like the Pegasus, I’d say it’s pretty dangerous. And look at it! It’s the size of a ship!” Drew’s comment might have been a bit exaggerated, but Anna considered it.
“Alright, then let’s call it iuguolo traba, killer ship. And how about ‘galleon’ for its common name?” The kids nodded and Dingo stored the information in his data banks. The galleon glared at the kids and they fired a few shots at him to scare him away. He turned tail and ran into the bushes. Anna let out a sigh of relief. “Alright, come on, guys. And keep your phasers ready. We don’t know how many galleons there might be around here. Come on, baby,” she said to the Pegasus.
The kids searched the planet’s surface for two hours and saw that it had a lot of fresh water -- much more than Earth did. They found that the clouds were so diamond-white because pollutants were filtered out by the lower atmosphere before the evaporated water condensed into clouds. They ran tests, explored some natural caves, and came across two huge surprises -- not only were there Pegasus on this planet, there were also hippogriffs and dragons! Much like wild horses, both species preferred to live in groups with two appointed leaders. However, while the hippogriff tribes were led by a male, the dragons were led by a female. Also, the hippogriffs preferred the valleys while the dragons lived in the mountains. The hippogriff tribe was led by a large black male with blue eyes and silver feathers at the tips of his wings. His mate was a dark brown female with golden eyes. Nicholas named the male Shockming, and Karlee chose the name Beyoncé for the female. The dragon princess, Rytterske, had a mate named Brindius, a dark purple male who looked a bit silly beside Rytterske’s pink-and-black hide. Anna, Karlee, Nicholas, and Drew returned to the ship with a ton of information. The whole crew met in Anna’s office, or as she called it, her Ready Room (another tie to Star Trek).
“Alright, what do we know?”
Karlee piped up from her chair. “The planet is 84% water, 72% of which is freshwater. As far as our global scans from the ship can tell, there are only three saltwater bodies on the planet. If we need energy for electricity, our best bet would be hydropower. There is a very limited supply of oil.”
“We also know that there is a lot of plant and animal life,” Jason said. “There’s the iugulo traba, the hippogriff, and the dragon to look out for. But there’s also many prey animals -- the deer-like hart, the cow-like prong, and the antelope-like herota. The vegetation on the planet still needs some exploration, but I’ve so far found thirty-eight diffferent edible plants, as well as the Bamboo Fur Bush that you guys found, which will be useful for making clothes.”
“With the rock samples you brought in,” Trevor said, “I was able to determine that this world was created about 10,000 years ago, or about 8,000 BC. Very close to Earth’s birthyear,” he added.
Kirsti popped in. “Scans of the surface show many caves that can be used until villages and housing can be developed. But we’re going to have to be really careful with that,” she cautioned. “This planet has a very balanced ecosystem. We don’t want this world going as haywire as Earth did.”
Anna rubbed her head. “We keep calling it ‘this world’ or ‘this planet.’ Doesn’t it need a name?”
“Well, yes,” Audra said. She sat back, tapping her finger to her lips in concentration. “How about . . .Novus Gaia? It means ‘new earth.’”
Anna gasped. “That’s perfect, Audra! Novus Gaia. Our own new earth. We can call it Novus for short.” A new thought entered her head and Anna collapsed heavily in her chair. “Now what?” she sighed. “The Interplanetary Commision or whatever wasn’t clear on what to do after we found a new home.” Anna’s crewmates looked at each other and grinned.
“We’re all supposed to land and start a new home. We’re to be the first human residents of Novus!” Breanda crowed triumphantly. “And until we have enough people to start a democratic government, you’re to be our leader!”
The rest of the kids cheered and Anna was speechless. “I-I’m going to . . .be your leader?”
“Of course!” Audra said. “That’s why you were pulled out of the twenty-first century.” She jerked her thumb back toward the door. “Two of the storage rooms are filled with whatever we need to survive. We’ll land on your orders, Captain.”
“Well, then,” Anna sputtered, “Let’s go! I know of this wonderful valley . . .”
Three hours later, the Pilgrim IV landed in the Vannet Valley. “The first thing we’re gonna have to do is make shelters,” Anna said.
“No problem,” Trevor grinned. “I reprogrammed the Tizons to pick up rocks and stuff of that sort.” He pressed a button on his Tizon and a tractor beam shot out to a pile of boulders. The rocks seemed to pick themselves up and land neatly in the shape of a house. He demonstrated how to mix clay and water to make chinking and covered the building with it, giving it a stuccoed appearance. “That’s great, Trevor!” Anna exclaimed as each of the kids built their own houses. The clay variated in colors from red to pink to light blue to beige to yellow. Anna chose white clay for her house, which was located at the head of the small village. Dingo even had his own mini-house connected to Anna’s. His house was light-blue. After she packed the inside wall of her house, Anna peeked outside and laughed. Some of the kids had tried mixing colors -- Breanda’s house was a swirl of blue and purple, Carisa’s was yellow and red, and Nicholas’s was black and red.
The kids had divided things from the ship, and of course, Anna had her Ready Room desk. Taking out a pen and a piece of paper, she started to write.
September 30th, 2251
The Constitution of the land of Novus Gaia stands as this.
Every ten years, a new leader will be chosen by the people, as this is a democracy. Leaders are expected to be loyal, trustworthy, honest, and wise. They must be able to lead the nation in growth and development without faltering or turning. Leaderships that turn into dictatorships must be overthrown by the people for the good of the people.
These laws are never to change, even with the changing of leadership:
All crimes are to be brought to a judge or leader who will decide, based on a fair and unbiased trail, what the punishment is.
Murder and theft are to be treated as the worst crimes in the world and may result in death.
There will be no taxes, and no monetary exchange. Money made Earth what it is now. From now on, Novus Gaia will be based on a material trading system. The local scribes will determine the value of each item.
Anna put down her pen as Dingo trotted into the room. She rubbed him behind the ears. “Well, buddy,” she said. “Tomorrow we hunt.”
Fifty-eight years later, when Anna was in her seventies and no longer in command, she wrote this in her journal:
Today, my grandkids came over to visit. It’s amazing how much the population has grown since we first got here. We’ve already tamed hippogriffs and dragons and Pegasus -- I’ve started a hippogriff breeding farm. We captured the herd that was led by Shockming and Beyoncé. Yesterday, their fifth grandchild was born, Smaragd, meaning emerald.
Though the nation has grown to about sixty people (!), I still like to take my dragon, Blank and go for a ride over the mountains. The village doctor, Jason, says that I’m getting a bit too old -- I’ll get more sensitive to oxygen exhaustion. Pfft! Maybe when I’m a hundred-and-two. I feel fine.
My best friends, Audra and Breanda, are doing great too. They both live on either side of me. Audra’s grandaughter seems to like feeding fire-beans to the family’s dragon, Brendinius. The east side of my roof is charred as proof. Breanda has been having fun with the StarGoes and photon torpedoes. There isn’t a galleon for miles that will come anywhere near her. She names all her victims. Her first one was named Niko. Where’d she get that?
Oh, we celebrate Christmas here on Novus, but we only have ten months of the year, not twelve. The months are Granata, Ametista, Acqua, Diamante, Smeraldo, Perla, Rubino, Peridot, Zaffiro and Citrico. They’re named after the birthstones of the Earth months January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and November. We now celebrate Christmas in Ametista, when the snow falls. It’s so pure and it’s as diamond-white as the clouds. And it’s powdery, too, and perfect for making snowmen, not like that mushy stuff we got in Texas every so often.
Do I miss my twenty-first century home? Yes, but I’m growing to love this one just as much.
Uh-oh, I have to go. My youngest grandddaughter, Kiger, is throwing a fit. Ay-ay-ay!
Back home in the twenty-first century, Dingo came home. Anna’s mom woke up to find two Dingoes in her backyard, one of them with a small device in his mouth. Taking the device from the other Dingo’s mouth, she saw a message, “Press the second button.” When she did, an e-mail appeared on the screen.
Dear Mom, it said, I’m in the 23rd Century on the planet Novus Gaia. We made a new home here. Ha ha, I’m seventy years old now. I just wanted you to know that I’m safe, and that if you want to, you can always come visit me or even live here with me. Dingo has a portal generator strapped to his back. It’s programmed for my time. Anytime you want to visit, just activate the portal and come see your great-grandkids!
P.S. Bring some gloves. We have some pretty hot creatures here!