She’ll give birth to a new species.

You mean we’re giving birth to a machine?” Paul cast his eyes towards Akira, his face a mix of confusion and fear.

The candle seemed to burn brighter; the shadows danced across the walls.

“Both human and machine Paul. The first of its kind. A new species.”

“It’s not possible.”

“Is it so hard to believe, Paul?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Why? What does it mean to be human? Do you think you have some sort of magical, transcendent quality? A soul perhaps? Do you think there’s something special about humans that differentiates you?”

“Well, there is no scientific proof, but…”

“Exactly, Paul. Being human simply means when you procreate, you pass your genes along, creating others nearly exactly like you, and you populate the planet. That’s all.”

“But there’s so much more…”

“Of course, there’s more,” Lasseter unscrewed his flask and took a long, slow drink. Paul had never seen him look so serious. “Humans have a consciousness, a heightened awareness—if you will—like no other. It’s this quality that Homo ex machina will evolve. Eventually, Homo Sapiens will take their place with the other six species of humans.”

“Replaced. Crowded out of the ecosystem? Extinct?”


Paul reached across the table for the flask. “But why does this involve me?”

Lasseter unscrewed the top, pushed it closer.

“During our Sleep studies, I discovered you have an extra Y chromosome. That was the key.”

“Just my luck,” Paul said, drinking slowly. The candle burned with an intensity far beyond the capacity of the wick. Paul puckered and blew at the flame, but it only grew brighter. “But wouldn’t an extra Y chromosome turn me into some sort of homicidal maniac?”

“Aren’t you?’

Both laughed loudly as Paul buried his head in his hands.

“Your extra chromosome compensated for her biological deficits,” Lasseter leaned forward, caressing Akira’s shoulder.

Akira pulled back from human contact.

“Listen, Paul,” Lasseter continued, “This is not the first cognitive leap for mankind. The first leap happened 10,000 years ago. For 200,000 years, mankind was a happy go-lucky hunter gatherer not having much impact on the ecosystem, when, suddenly, there was an unexplained cognitive leap that lead to agriculture, industry, technology—and eventually wars and ecological damage so irreparable it’s put your doomsday clock at one minute to midnight.”

“This is another of those cognitive leaps?”

“Yes. This time, however, Homo Sapiens will be left to fend for themselves. I’ll take Akira and the new species back to my planet. Sapiens should be able to determine their own fate. You have all the technology, all the data. If you ignore your tools, if you choose not to use it, or ridicule your own science,” Lasseter paused, shrugged, turned his eyes skyward, “Oh well.”

“Oh well?”

“Yeah, oh well. We tried.”

“Just like that?”

“Just like that.”

“What about me?” Paul leaned into the candle, waiting for Lasseter’s answer.

“You’re staying behind, Paul. Perhaps you can help save Homo Sapiens from extinction.”


“Yeah. You.”

“If Akira and the baby are so important to you, why don’t you take Akira and leave now? Why are you hanging around?”

“Ah!” Lasseter slammed his palms on the table, slapping the wood hard. The candle flickered, the noise of flesh hitting wood almost woke Billy-Bob, who groaned and turned sideways on the couch, pulling the covers over his head.

Akira tensed, flinched at the sudden noise.

“There’s always a fly in the ointment,” Lasseter’s voice raised an octave. “There’s always a conundrum. There’s always some damn catch 22 no matter what. It’s like the Universe doesn’t want to make shit easy for me. Why do I have to work so hard for everything?” His eyes rolled toward the ceiling.

“What’s the catch,” Paul asked, holding his breath.

“You. You’re the catch.”

“What do you mean?”

“These nanites of yours. You have the ability to control minds. The government is looking for you. The government is looking for us.”

“Doesn’t that give you more reason to leave now?”

“I can’t leave now! I can’t!” Lasseter slammed his precious flask.

“Why not?” Paul lowered his voice so Billy-Bob wouldn’t hear.

“Because when they came hunting for you—Akira’s defensive algorithms kicked in; by protecting herself and the baby she’s now a cop-killer and they won’t stop until they find her.”

“Then leave!” Paul stared across the table, his voice hissing.

“I can’t leave!”

“Why?” Paul demanded.

“The portal will receive three of us, and three only. Any more, any less, and the portal won’t work!”

“So that means…”

“That means we’re stuck protecting you until the baby is born!”

Akira leaned forward, pushed Lasseter’s hands off the table, and blew out the candle.

–More later.


44 thoughts on “Humanity takes another cognitive leap.

  1. I absolutely love that illustration of Akira. 😍

    Ah yes, those portals are often pesky things.

    It’s like dealing with a government bureaucrat.

    You have to dot your i’s and cross your t’s in the very exact manner or it’s a no go!

    The same goes for portals.

    No wonder Madeleine L’ ingle called her book A Wrinkle In Time.

    Permapress was undoubtedly invented by some frustrated time traveler.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Portals need the exact magnetic frequencies to work correctly. And baby makes the three to go. Yes, the illustration is quite nice, isn’t it? Notice she’s standing atop the skulls ofSapiens who’ve already bit the dust…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Deeper into the black hole we go. I’d call this the event horizon. The team is circling, waiting for the right time to go. Meanwhile, there is this sticky issue with the Feds and the Big Money Boys. Perfect reveal. I was assuming the new species would replace humans but it seems the new species will go to Gideon’s Prime leaving the sixth species of human to drown in its own industrial excrement. I think Billy Bob is going to have to start investing some man time with Paul to help pull him out of his shell. He needs to Don his robe and rosary and start commanding the herd. All messiahs are murdered by the Feds who are owned by the Big Money Boys to keep the profits flowing to the right pockets, but Paul might be different if he sales enough nanite beds. Who knows. For sure, I am glued to this story to the bitter end. Love the image. I think it could represent Paul’s daughter or Akira in her new role. Either way, it is an image of the future. You have surged ahead Bro, I have no comeback to inspire you on.


    1. Just you bein’ here inspires me on Hype! Robe and rosary…perhaps some self-flagellation… coming right up! LOL! A messiah’s get murdered… true dat bro…gotta keep those profits flowin’ like water ’cause those pockets can never get enough…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ala Tammy Fay and Jim Baker to mention one pair of vultures. 👹💩. However, if Paul can pull off a Hyperion, Titan god of universal light, he might be in for a great stranger in a strange land Grokking experience. I’m hanging on for the big event.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What did you tell them to do Paul? Sing Lead Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven and play the air guitar. Quick, while they’re busy, let’s get out of here. That Paul. Always seeking non violent solutions, Billy Bob shakes his head and puts his Bazooka on safe.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the symbolism in Akira blowing out the candle, as in, “lights out”. This Paul guy is definitely not getting it. Extra “Y chromosome” or not, he seems more like a member of the herd than any kind of leader. What the hell’s his problem? He’s experienced the power and he has serious responsibilities, why does he keep wanting to crawl in the corner and go to sleep? I want to give him a straight kick in the ass…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, fiction! Thanks for the feedback! This has been on my mind for awhile, so I’m sitting here in my room thinking the story is already boring and cliché…but maybe not! I’ll keep it rockin’!!


      1. If I knew that, I’d probably stop writing! LOL! But thanks! Perhaps publishing this, eventually, will “verify” me as a writer. And, btw, I do not consider putting something up on WP the same as “publishing something…” Although some might, I don’t.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not ashamed to admit it (well maybe a little) but your Lead photo is sparking all kinds of deep dark fantasies in me that I never knew existed. Yes I may be old but I’m not dead! Love your work George, your very good at what you do. Publishing should not be a waiting decision my friend — Just Do It! And send me a copy when it comes out. Maybe you can use the lead photo as a cover? I’m just saying! Lol!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Neither one of us are dead my friend, although, with Coronavirus we may both be in the “death demographic.” Between you and I, it is this latent “drive” that you refer to that keeps me writing. And I will never be ashamed to admit it. Publishing? Thanks for the comment. WP acts as my training wheels, and the inspirational comments I receive, such as yours, are the other logs that keep my writing fire burning. Thanks for the comments!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, you think you can bait me with seductive photo’s now eh? Lol! I’ll have you know I was the only young lad in my survey that actually read the articles in Playboy magazine. And as I remember, they were well written back then! In fact, some well known authors got their start writing for that Mag as I recall — Including Arthur C Clarke. Okay, I’m off to check out your latest!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I do read your words and the threads…I have no words…many images come into my minds eye and I read to find out more…I’m curious…happy writing vibes George for another creative day…☺️👀🧠✍️ smiles Hedy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi there pal. I admire how you build Akira. A strong powerful badass women. its been a while since I read your work. And your amazing ways to keep the readers at the edge of the edge in the aroma of suspence didnot change even a bit… i will be reading the others and will let you know

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, dessertflower herself…as is my habit, I delete the posts as I go…perhaps you can catch up with the three or four that remain…Akira has turned into the most popular of characters…

      Liked by 1 person

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