Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
Holly Gonzalez would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Providence Is Demise

By Holly Gonzalez All Rights Reserved ©

Scifi

Providence Is Demise

Terpsichore stretched her awareness to its fullest, into the narrowest reaches of the Share.

The last group of Seedlings floated in countless chambers, waiting to awaken. She sensed their collective shudder and sigh, as thousands of young minds expressed anticipation.

"Home."

"Almost there!"

"Soon, we'll be free..."

"But what about Sister?"

Their tiny voices formed a vast murmur, as if the stars themselves whispered all at once within the limitless space of her synthetic dream.

In truth, Terpsichore felt more like their Mother than their Sister. For an entire human life cycle, they'd been a part of her, connected through the engineered pathway links of the immense bio-network known as the Share. She was their Pilot, their Teacher, their Guardian--and soon they would all disembark from the vessel which bore her name, and her consciousness.

She had once been a young human woman, before the time of the exodus. Now, she was Terpsichore, the Muse of Dance and Chorus, one of nine Sisters from Earth's ancient lore, and one of nine great Seed Vessels which set out from the homeworld nearly a century ago. Nine bearers of life and hope, the last effort to save humankind from a deadly virus which decimated the population of the solar system.

A desperate mission ensued in the wake of the disaster, to deliver future colonists into safer areas of the galaxy. Secluded and quarantined in their pristine embryonic chambers, unborn human children free of the dreaded disease had been sown across the most habitable worlds. Their journey followed a circuit many light years long, and they'd reached their final destination.

The serene and mysterious exoplanet called Providence loomed ahead, named so quaintly by the founders. Fifty-thousand people in total would soon settle here. Currently, only five hundred were adults aboard the greatship. The remainder would be implanted and grown within surrogates, whether human or artificial.

Terpsichore's true form floated within the womb-like confines of a liquid interface. Her flesh mattered little at this point. She'd long since ceased to dwell on its needs, its hungers. All was provided for by the nourishing proto-fluids constantly bathing her skin and organs. It was her mind which was essential to the mission's success.

The Share expanded her consciousness to incredible parameters. The greatship in which they traveled was her body. She was acutely aware of every passenger, every niche, filament, and circuit within the system. When not hovering in the augmented, lucid state of the virtual realm provided, she had a fleet of holographic and robotic avatars to embody her projected persona.

Her favorite avatar was the sleek robotic steward known as the Sister. Fashioned of glistening platinum, into a stylized semblance of a beautiful woman, this mechanical extension of her being was capable of any necessary expression or communication.

The Seedlings were advanced in their cognitive abilities, being educated while in their stasis through the Share. These children of the new colony on Providence would be born with knowledge and skills far beyond the capability of a normal human infant, as all had been designed for accelerated development. Terpsichore held all of the lore and information of Earth within her core matrices. Once they were in orbit, she would download it all into the myriad dropships, which were to descend to the new planet's surface, and begin the settlement process.

Then, Terpsichore herself would fade out of existence. The greatship would no longer be necessary. Its biological components were already deteriorating, as was the way of all living tissue.

"Everything dies."

Her sole purpose was to carry and release the spawn of future generations, and then her own tenure would be complete.

She'd known that she would sacrifice her life for this mission at the time she volunteered for it. It was the same for all nine Muses.

A small price to pay for the continuation of humanity, she told herself.

Yet there was a rebellious thought at the edges of her mind, akin to the individual she'd once been. Could she continue on her own, sail beyond the orbit of Providence, and discover what lay in the eternal depths of space and void?

It was a lingering temptation, but she didn't dare admit it.

"Entering destination space. Prepare to engage rear thrusters." Terpsichore's message resounded through the bounds of the Share. Though she alone controlled the systems, she was required to alert the resident caretakers. The warp-field drive deactivated as they drifted into steady approach.

New beginnings, new cycles of time and vitality. Breath and hearts still circled to the rhythms of Earth. She often wondered how the Seedlings would adapt to their new homes.

Only time would tell, and her own was about to run out.

Her emotions existed, though she was more a network than a natural human being, now. Over the decades, the complexity of her psyche had been refined. Once she observed the basic structure of her own personality, from an objective viewpoint within the Share, her responses had simplified to instinct.

Anger. Envy. Fear.

Providence was demise. The end of all she knew, all she was. And, in spite of herself, she was frightened.

It startled her when the Captain opened his channel in the Share. She hadn't experienced such a reaction in many long, indecipherable years.

"Sister, all systems are ready for launch," the Captain said. "Prepare to transfer at your discretion."

Somewhere, in a nearly forgotten corner of the greatship, her body trembled.

"I don't want to die."

The Captain's voice was incredulous, his statuesque avatar expressing concern. "Are you ready to do this, Terpsichore?"

"Of course. Transfer of core files will commence in fifteen standard minutes."

During their close work together, the Captain had become a caring, intelligent friend. She trusted him, but she couldn't confess her all too human weakness.

Once she downloaded all of the essential files, she'd be left with nothing to sustain her. The greatship would dwindle and corrode, and eventually self-destruct by crashing into Providence itself. In human terms, she was already an old woman, at least a hundred and twenty years of age. Her body would never be able to live outside of the Share.

Her mind, however, was still sharp, curious, and she was possessed of a will to live.

"I have a final performance for our family, while we await the transfer."

The Captain smiled. "By all means, proceed."

She'd adapted to her role as the Muse of Dance, and often choreographed her own. Whether through the Share, or her various avatars, creative expression was one of her few remaining anchors to humanity.

She released the performance across the network, a show of herself whirling to the time of drum and chime, sistrum and bell.

A distraction.

While the Seedlings and crew watched her avatars in awe, she quietly subverted a segment of code within the Share.

A new countdown.

"I've been to nine planets in twelve years, and it's starting to show."

She'd seeded over three hundred worlds in her lifetime. This last colony was strong. With the Captain in charge, they could surely endure without the core files of the Share. She decided to keep them for herself, and live just a while longer.

Her covert countdown reached zero.

Terpsichore disengaged the transfer.

"Sister, what are you doing?" The Captain sounded terrified.

But it was too late to turn back.

The Captain and several others deserted their positions on the dropships, though it meant they would miss the launch.

The dance went on, her wish in defiance of fate.

"Do you wonder what lies beyond? Worlds without number. I can find more...if you let me go."

It was an impossible goal. She knew they couldn't allow it. The Seedlings were lost without the Muse. Terpsichore was their soul, to be absorbed into the emerging new world below.

Only sixty seconds to her escape.

The dropships launched.

The Captain and several others approached the central tier, where her body was interred in its watery haven.

Her terror intensified, as they manually released her shivering, withered shell from the chamber.

"Please. I want to live."

Her long-neglected eyes caught a single glimpse, the Captain's gentle face as he cradled her in his arms.

"We need your knowledge to survive," he said. "I'm sorry, Sister."

Her human ears heard, and she felt the taut lines of her face contorting into a grin.

She couldn't speak, but her voice echoed across the Share, as she exhaled her last, and the transfer began.

"Always remember me."


Write a Review Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Holly Gonzalez
Continue Reading
Further Recommendations

Dru83: This is the second or third time I've read this one and I just love it. It has just about everything you could ever want packed into one scifi story. It still has some parts that are a little rough in terms of grammar, punctuation, and word usage, but it's still an awesome story. I love how detai...

Meri Amber: The plot is creative, fun and addictive! The writing is superb and the characters are really well put together. Definitely highly recommeded!

Karl12: This is a very unusual sci-fi mystery. I enjoyed the suspense which was present throughout the story. I loved how I never knew what to expect from the characters. This made the story thrilling and made me suspicious of everything and everyone. You have a great style of writing – one which captiva...

CookieMonster911: The story overall was an adventure that is appealing to any age. The way the characters develop adds a more human characteristic to the novel. The writing style itself is amazing because you can learn every character's thoughts and emotions. The awkward love triangle and jerk moments adds to the ...

kim: This is great! Maybe it could just be a little more specific. One of the keys to great writing is describing things in detail. I think you're off to a great start. I wish you much luck.

Leah Brown: This was an amazing read! I was hooked from the very first chapter, holding my breadth to see what would happen next. The characters are rich and vibrant, and the world Danielle has created is fascinating. If you love YA, you MUST read this book. Such a smart, brilliant debut novel. I loved it!

Chris Rolfe: BOY!!! I sure love what Aer-Ki Jyr did with this series. IMHO he captured the essence of what stargate is all about. Thru out the Stargate stories Aer-Ki wrote Stevens and John Shepard some of the main characters in his stories are pursued by a corrupt I.O.A.. All the while Stevens is changing in...

usubitha1: I always hesitated to read a science fiction novel. But this one was different and unique for me. I liked the plot of the story as well as the characters of the story. The story is a satire of governments and countries. It possible that humans will themselves will responsible for their destructi...

C. Swogger: I thought you did a very good job of establishing the setting, including your method of introducing the society to the reader. I liked how you thoroughly built the personalities of the main characters. I also liked the building of suspense in chapters 6-8. I think you have a good start to the sto...

More Recommendations

ericaporamoralcine: La trama es muy interesante y original y eso ya dice muchísimo cuando todos tratan de triunfar con ideas ya trilladas.No puedo opinar en detalle sobre la gramática, porque a pesar de entender el inglés a la perfección, la falta de uso en cuanto a lectura y diálogo hacen que me maneje bastante mal...

internathunal: I was held captive by your sense of style. I would love to see more from you. I enjoyed this immensely.

Dru83: This is probably the fourth time I've read this one. I read this a few times on fictionpress as dru83. This is a wonderful story. It still needs a lot of shining up as there are many instances of punctuation issues, grammar issues, and issues with using the wrong word. But all that still can't ta...

Mayank Nrr: well i have enjoyed the bookWhats good is the story its twists its characters and suspense its mix of thriller and horror hoping for a sequel Whats not Is the part where raven to protect cade started to avoid him this is normal in every story heroine trying to save the hero but the track ended so...