The Distant Planet A novel

Edinburgh, Scotland, 3456 AD.

When Connor McDonald wakes up from a deep sleep, he finds that his whole world as he knows it has changed. As he immerses himself in his new environment, he meets aliens, robots, and other non-human entities, who live and thrive in the country of his birth.

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3. The Distant Planet-Part Three

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Glasgow, Scotland.

The Third Year of The Cause.

I

Ivan stood at the podium. He felt the eyes on him as he spoke in a loud voice to The Faithful. "Ladies and Gentlemen, as you know, the voting system in Scotland was rigged. Certain other parties have decided I wouldn't stand here before you all in this wonderful city for the next four years...or more. Sadly, I will retire as from the end of my small speech. I'll live my life with my wife and family. Now, are there any questions during the E-video player I-cast?", he said. "Yes, Jennifer Swallow from the Glasgow Times​. Why did you run for office, Ivan?", she asked him. "It was my first chance at being President. And I will leave under my terms", he answered her. "Can you tell me about Arthur James? He's a Labour Leader who has a lot of ambition". Ivan smiled. "Arthur has a lot of courage.  But he can't deal with The Cause". Jennifer nodded. "The Cause, (as it's been termed), has cost over five hundred billion dollars. The Glasgow Stock Exchange has fallen over three million points since The First Cause happened; The Second Cause wiped away a further six  million points from the Stock Exchange. Can you leave politics knowing you failed to do your job?", Jennifer asked. "I have had a career that's spaned five decades. It's time for others to follow in my footsteps. Now, that's all. Good-bye!". And he left the podium, and headed towards the waiting black limousine. 

II

Declan perused the E-news scanner. Suddenly, as he looked at the article on Ivan's resignation. "It's about time he left", he said to his wife, Ellen. "What happened? Didn't anyone vote for him. We did". Declan shrugged. "It was a landslide loss. Arthur James is the new Scottish President", Declan sighed. "So, what now? More of the same", Ellen said. "The Third Year of the Cause has been on the backburner because of the election", Declan stated. He scanned more E-articles, then decided to read a book in the library.

III

Connor wore a white Anti-Radiation suit. He looked at the patients who were in the Cryogenic Room. Three scientists were sitting down on black seats. "Will they be able to take blood once they come out of the freeze?", he asked the first scientist. "It's highly likely. This lab was part of The Blitz. It's old​", the second scientist answered. 
​"I heard that the past has been resurrected in the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Technology E-building", Connor said. "We do pay researchers to take care of the building. We've moved on these days". Connor nodded. "I hear that the radiation scare of the nineteen fifties is still alive here in the lab". "Yes, it is. It's something that can't be gotten rid of. Besides, the Great Scourge of 2,899 wiped out the dim places of Glasgow and Edinburgh like The Great Plague of 1348", the first scientist added. "And now, in the future, there's the Third Cause, which is an anomaly in the atmosphere". Connor blinked. "The atmosphere. Can humans be affected by atmospheric radiation poisoning?", he asked. "Yes, you have to actually breathe in the radiation particles that can be ingested into your lungs. It accelerates death in a matter of seconds". Connor looked around. "So, the Cause has links to nuclear radiation?", he asked them. "That's one theory; the other theory is more out there", the second scientist remarked. Connor shook his head. Then he shook his head, and scanned the robotic machines in the laboratory. 

***

IV

Bert felt it first.

The signs of pressure in his heart.

He gasped for air...then he fell onto the hard ground...and died before he could take another breath.

***

V

"I don't want to deal with the idea that there's hybrids are on the loose", Cara Sarah Baines said. She walked towards the Iron Staircase. "They're part of our society", Barbara Baines said. She scanned her E-romance book in her right hand. "Well, I hate them, Mother", she said. She knocked on the study room door. "Father, are you busy with the Scanlon Account from New England?", she asked him. The door creaked open. A tall man in his early thirties spoke to his twelve year old daughter. "I am busy writing my thesis on alien life, Cara. I don't want to be disrupted", Mark Lowell Baines said. Cara shook her head. "It's about the hybrids. They're at my school", she said. "It's alright, Cara. I'm working for The Cause. Now, do your homework, and I'll meet you and everyone for dinner". Cara walked towards the front door, and saw her friends were dressed in Anti-Radiation suits. She put her own suit on...and white boots on her feet. Then she headed towards Sector Twenty-Three where several guards were on patrol with their cyber-weapons in their black, gloved, hands.

VI

Anson Richards Westwood walked towards the Scotland Blood Clot Centre for Disease Control. He shook his right leg. It was painful to walk. He opened the front door that was marked: "EMERGENCY​". He saw half an dozen aliens were sitting on white chairs in the busy Waiting Room. Anson, who was twenty-six, glanced up at the round table. He saw a nurse was attending to other matters. "Excuse me. I need some help, please. I have a blood clot in my right leg", he said. The nurse stopped finished working on her report. "What's your name, Sir?", she asked. "Anson Richards Westwood. I live in Glasgow", he answered. "Please fill this form out. And a doctor will attend to you". Anson grabbed a I-pen in his left hand, and sat down on the Waiting Room seat. By seven o'clock in the evening, he gave the form back to the nurse. Ten minutes' later, at seven-ten pm, Doctor Avril Gordon, MD, Head of Blood Diseases, walked over to him. "Anson. It's good to see you again". He smiled at her. "I have a blood clot, Doctor. Maybe I need a blood-thinning agent to alleviate the pain", he said. "I'll help you into my office", Doctor Gordon, MD, let her patient into a glass room...and closed the door behind them.

VII

By eight o'clock PM, the darkness arrived in Glasgow. Martin Patton Thomason walked along the dirt road. As he did so, he saw the two moons in the night sky. He reached the front entrance to The Glasgow Clinic. In bright lights were written: ​THE NEUROLOGY DEPARTMENT-ROOM 45T5A. ​He glanced at his watch. It was 8:04 PM. He felt the headache in his brain throb painfully. He didn't need to be sick; he was thinking about the last time he was sick. It was during The Great Scourge. He then collapsed onto the soft, white, ground that was made of marble. Seconds later, he saw several doctors and nurses surrounding him...and then everything went into darkness. 

***

VIII

"Are you alright, Martin? I'm Doctor Francesca Martinez, Head of Neurology at The Glasgow Clinic. We were concerned that you had a cerebral haemorrhage", she said. Martin blinked his green eyes. "We've done some tests on you. It's called an electroencephalograph. Or, an EEG, for short. It monitors all brain activity that can show any defects. Some of our doctors are fighting for The Cause; some are here on call all night. Can you understand me? We got our ID from your E-pocket of your blue trousers", she added. Martin blinked his eyes. He was on a bed. With the EEG machine beeping, Doctor Martinez put a skull cap on his head that was attached with long, white, wires. Over the next two hours, Martin's progress was monitored until he received blood thinners to get rid of the deadly blood clot in his leg.

IX 

Robert Anderson, a new hybrid, glanced out into the New World Order. He glanced at the group of outcasts. "Sir, can you tell me where to go to Short Road?", a man asked. "It's near Franklin Road, near the beach", he answered him. "Thank you, Sir". And Robert walked towards Franklin Road, where the other outcasts lived in Glasgow, Scotland.

X

Cara Sarah Baines finished eating her dinner. She then walked to her bedroom to read her E-science fiction book. She saw the two moons in the evening sky. Suddenly she saw five hybrid children walking near a I-camp. Burning fires warmed up the dark city. She opened the window. "Go away! This isn't your home", she said. She watched them. The hybrid children ignored her, and continued to sleep inside the I-camp.

XI

Connor started to look at the I-screen. "The hybrid, alien, and human reports are terminal", he said. The blinking strobe lights illuminated the spacious room. "A lot of epileptics hate this room, Connor. It brings on severe cases of seizure activity in the brain stems", Doctor Jane Marrow said. He nodded. "What about the Cause? Are humans affected by the war's effect on the psychological part of their DNA?", he asked her. "Yes, there's the trauma that shatters the mind; there's the effect that is used on the aliens, as well. As well as the hybrids. It's part of the Scotland Space Pact of the year 2,998", Doctor Marrow stated. "Are there any other parts of the report that can be declassified?". "Yes, the aliens can work under us. They're not openly hostile; the hybrids are the same. What's your idea, Connor?". "My idea is that The Cause was happening because too many leaders were corrupt while they were in power. But, to me, that's just one aspect of The Cause; the other aspect of The Cause, was that everyone decided not to work together. And there was a separation inside the Scottish Government in the year 3,111. In short, we're all working towards an end of the war. And that's what's wrong in the city", he told her. "I agree, Connor. There's been the human toll for patients, E-soldiers, and others who are damaged. The lab is E-fire proofed so that there isn't any fires that could destroy us. This facility is worth over sixty billion E-dollars a year", Doctor Marrow said. Connor, who was sitting on his seat, nodded in agreement...and continued to watch the hybrids.

XII

Sir Charles looked anxiously at the results of the test. "You have one year to live. There's an aggressive brain tumour in your brain stem; the tumour is malignant", Professor Gordon Mulholland, MD, Head of the Scottish Cancer Board of Glasgow, said. Sir Charles shook his head. "Why now? I am fit...and healthy", he stated. "Cancer strikes all people, Sir Charles. It's something that can change people across New England...and across the distant planet of Earth". He nodded. "I have over a million E-dollars for the treatment". Professor Mulholland sat in his grey, leather, chair in his office. "I'll schedule an operation for six o'clock in the early morning tomorrow. It'll finish by Midday. Are you agreeable to the surgery?", he asked him. "Yes", Sir Charles answered. And he signed the relevant papers with his E-pen...as the bright, Glasgow suns burned the sky.

XIII

Jennifer Swallow shook her head.

"It's late, Anthony. Ivan's resigned already".

"He knows the key numbers", Anthony said.

"It's classified", Jennifer said.

"I need the numbers. He wanted me to take care of the security problems".

"Fine. The number is 0533-56325-9923".

"Thank you, Jennifer. Good-bye!".

And she pressed the END CALL button...and ate her breakfast.

***

Page 3.

 

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