This post originally appeared on Storymoja Festival Blog
What Nairobi needs is a flood of heavenly proportions to clean it, wash the filth towards Nairobi river and any other outlet available. Wash away the filaments of delirium inducing weapons from the future. Weapons which have destroyed the present to save the future.
We are just a semi evolved race hurtling towards its own demise. Accelerating and fanning the risk. Consuming and in turn being consumed by the greed of standing above everybody else’s head. So lonely and single minded, yet none can stand loneliness.
These were the words of Seko, a strange creature who traced his lineage to me. His head is huge. A concave shaped behemoth on the top of his neck. It is also bald giving it a rather ghastly look. His complexion is not like anything I have seen. Sci-Fi channel has given me time to time a picture sub consciously lodged in my mind of what aliens could look like if by any chance in the future they decide to pay us a visit. Green men, men with pixie pointed ears, creatures with multiple limps and complete lack of empathy. That sort of thing. Seko is not an alien. He swears by the Christian and Muslim holy books that he is human. He was not sure of what religion I subscribed to so he learned all the texts as part of crash course on the 21st century earth and the crazy religious zealots everyone is according to their history. He is right by some extend, and wrong too because I don’t subscribe to any religion. His skin feels rubbery to touch, more like touching the outer layer of cobra’s eggs. An activity which nearly killed me a decade or so ago when I bumped in to some by our farm. Fascinating contraptions that held me in awe for some minutes. A strike on my left hand brought me in to senses and it is also the reason I don’t poses the arm any more. He talks, not in any way different to the way I do though the accent is a bit perplexing but it is a bit difficult to focus on the accent when the creature in front of you is 8 ft tall and from the future.I am curious, very curious. The shock of the cavity which opened in my lab does not wear off but my scientific curiosity gets better of me. I never dreamed I would have any children, let alone have a lineage stretching more than four hundred years in to the future. If this thing is talking the truth that means I finally got the courage to chat up girls and even get one in the family way. The future doesn’t look so gloomy after all. My synthetic arm whirs in the struggle of shifting the couch in to a position which Seko can comfortably sit. It is a bit a product of my invention. My research work is based micro and nano robotics. Micro robotics has been fairly successful in the past few years and it is one hell of a scientific leap. My biggest echelon in the field is Squido. The tiny mosquito-like creature which guards my house with an option of paralyzing any biological intruder with one sting. All it takes is one command from my glasses or computer. I have not figured a way to disable fully mechanical robots though. It is a work in progress. I have a friend who has managed to install electronic modules in to the brains of rats, spiking their I.Q and making them excellent spies for several government agencies. I have no interest in that at all. I find it creepy and disrespectful to the laws of nature. These are major lauded accomplishments in the scientific field. The same cannot be said for nano robotics. The control of matter with atomic or molecular precision has proved to be a tough nut to crack. The underlying reason is lack of enough funds in the field rather than insufficient knowledge. Governments all over are afraid of what might come out of it hence tough regulations against it. This has paved way for underground crime and military organizations and corporations to invest in the field away from the prying eyes. Nearly everybody in the scientific community knows what is happening. Some renegades, I am not proud to say I am one of them, have chosen to go ahead with actualizing the thing which has been keeping us awake at night for so long. I have perfected the art of manufacturing and hiding them until the right time when the regulations will be lifted. A few hundred of them are safely lodged on my synthetic arm. One of them though calls my spinal cord his abode in the effort of confusing my neural system in to believing that the synthetic arm is flesh and blood as any other part of my body. So far I have succeeded and my doctor or any other person would immediately report me to the ethics commission if they realized I have done so. This research is one of the reasons Seko was chosen to lead their team to our time line and systematically alter it. If all goes according to plan, 99.98% will not realise they were here. The other 0.02 % percent is made up of scientists handpicked across the globe who nobody will believe if one day they go mental and decide to blurter it out. That is the best case scenario. The worst case scenario involves annihilation of every organic thing on the surface of earth as well as what is contained several hundred kilometers beneath.Seko does not eat; or rather he does not consume nourishment by conventional ways. He digests a mixture of Hydrogen and carbon straight from the atmosphere through the pores on his skin. He does not know what hunger is and neither does anybody alive in the universe during his time. I realise this after I generously offer him a cup of steaming hot coffee believing that coffee, my good old drink, is timeless. Thoughts whir through my mind. I could be having a rather realistic dream. I could have been abducted and my thought processes altered by nanites. I know there is a group in Tokyo really in to mind altering research by the use of illegal nanites. If so, what would they want with me and why go to all the trouble of showing me something as unrealistic as this? I dismiss this as illogical. I might have just gone mental, after all people have been known to say I am mad from time to time. I push my cup subconsciously off my desk and the hot coffee jolts me back to the present when it makes contact with my groin. The hot searing pain cannot be anything else but real. I am in the present, conversing with a post-humanoid creature as if we are just out in the bar sipping martinis. Wait until I write about this. I might be on the verge of a Nobel peace prize. Seko shakes his head disapprovingly and puts his rather short finger relative to his size on his mouth in a silencing gesture. He is telepathic too and he gently informs me I am not to communicate the encounter to anyone. I have to spend my day normally and if possible spent more time in the lecture halls. He is now the custodian of my lab and it will be the nerve centre of his mission. He assures me with a pat in the back that it will not take long than intended and with my full corporation we might even speed it up. This is all confusing and highly uncomfortable. My lab is my baby, my legacy. I would not dream of bequeathing it to anyone, leave alone hand it over by passive aggressive persuasion. Seko reading my thoughts tells me that this is just the beginning of things and it would be wise for me if I put my heart in to it and really cooperated. He is to brief me the next day as well as divulge the details of his mission the next day. Until then I will have to get a good night sleep and come back in the morning fresh, with my bags packed.I make my way out of the lab dejectedly, the orange sun is glowing majestically over the Chinese university tower as it sets. My lab is a smart house and can perform basic functions like real time surveillance on command or even defend itself if the worse comes to the worst. I think this is the time. I do not know if Seko can read a mind which is 200 meters away but I will have to take my chances. I sent a magnetic lockdown command through my glasses to the lab. No response. I activate nerve gas release. No response. The lab has been turned in to a Faraday cage. I am so doomed.
I walk briskly towards city centre and in no time I am at 20th Century cinema wine bar. I usually frequent it on Fridays but this Tuesday calls for special drinking. I would like to see if not so few shots of whisky will clear my brain which is very cloudy at the moment. Thoughts and counter thoughts on time travel criss-cross it. It is a paradox and a scientific impossibility. Sure, since time immemorial people have burned the mid night oil trying to come up with calculations which can enable it but it is just too complex and still impossible. I am really not sure how this future race did it but they must be pretty good to pull it through. It is surprisingly hot where I am seated and I endeavour to move to another corner. I pick up my glass and but I trip with the first step I take and go sprawling towards the counter. This day is not getting any better. My artificial limp luckily hits the ground first so there is no real damage other than my deflated ego. Rising up I realise the nights mission is already accomplished, I cannot keep my balance and hell and Seko know what tomorrow will bring. I summon my hover car to take me home.