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Hero (standard:science fiction, 1754 words)
Author: CorwinAdded: Jul 22 2003Views/Reads: 2727/1843Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
He was the greatest hero the world had ever known...except that no one would ever realise it.

Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story

this horror had occured. Returning to orbit, they began to seek out the 
energy trail, to follow it and to try to find out if it was a naturally 
occuring phenomenon or if some alien race was responsible for it. There 
was some faint hope in the last travelers mind, the leader of the 
group, that they might be able to reverse the damage done to their 
people. If not, then at least they might be able to stop it, or warn 
other races in time to prevent another genocidal tragedy. They had to 

They followed the energy trail through countless systems, occasionally
coming upon a world where the horror had repeated itself. Finally after 
months of tracking, they spotted what seemed to be the source of the 
energy on their long range sensors. They paced it at a distance, 
watching with revulsion as the scene repeated itself over and over. At 
last a pattern began to develop. The thing appeared as a cloud but in 
reality, they discovered that it was a hive intelligence. As it 
approached a world it would send out 'feelers', energy that would 
search the planet for intelligence. Worlds that had not developed high 
intelligence life forms were passed by unharmed, but any world that had 
any sign of development, either primitive or advanced, was engulfed by 
the Hive, and every sentiant being was drained of it's life essence, 
leaving the dead corpses to rot as the hive moved on. They spared no 

The Taren analysed the energy and began to experiment with ways to stop
the hive's death march across the galaxy's. They finally discovered a 
method, using an energy very similar to the Hive's own, that allowed 
them to store the intelligence of an entire race in the mind of one of 
that race. Racing ahead of the Hive, they would approach a world, make 
contact with a suitable member of that worlds inhabitants, explain the 
danger approaching them and, if the person were willing, would thwart 
the Hive's attempt to drain the life force of the people of that world. 
The Hive mind would move on and, they discovered, would grow weaker 
with each world passed by. They surmised that the Hive was feeding on 
the energy, and if deprived long enough, it would die. As soon as the 
danger was past, The life force would be redistributed among the 
inhabitants, and they would have no ill effects and wouldn't even be 
aware that the incident had occured. 

All of this was told to me in an instant, placed directly into my mind
complete with the horrible images the Taren had seen. They told me that 
I was the best suited on my world, and asked me if I would do it. To 
me, this seemed like a no brainer. Save the world, and be the biggest 
hero in all of history. Then the told me the catch. Due to a side 
effect of the storage process, when the re distribution occured I would 
become, in effect, a vegetable. They had managed to work out how to 
maintain autonomic functions, but they could not restore my 
intelligence. I would continue to breath, my heart would continue to 
beat and all the other auto pilot things that my body did would keep 
right on cooking. But I myself would be a drooling idiot, totally 
unaware of my surroundings, and I would have to be cared for like a 
baby for the rest of my life. Thanks for saving the world, buddy, here 
have some strained carrots. But the alternative was to die with the 
rest of the human race. Ok, I guess I'm in. 

So, I'm waiting for the Hive to reach Earth. I want somebody to know
what happened, so that they will take care of me when I can't take care 
of myself. I've written this whole thing down and I'm sitting on the 
front steps on the local hospital. I'm surrounded by people who are 
just breathing but can't do much else, and they are totally unaware 
that I am here. The plan is, when I fade to drool and they come awake, 
they will find me here, these papers clutched in my hand, and whether 
they believe what I've written or not, at least they will take me in 
and take care of me. It's funny, but every so often a bit of a powerful 
or highly emotional memory will leak through to my consciensness from 
somebody else's mind. It has made me think that I did the right thing, 
experiencing other peoples joy and heartbreak and love. I just hope 
they do the right thing by me. Hey, the sky is turning a light red. The 
Taren's said that that would be the way it would start. It should only 
last a few seconds...and there it goes. I can feel the rush in my mind 
as the collective minds of the people of earth are being redistributed 
to them...and now I can feel myself slipping away... they said the 
first thing to go would be my...oh no... I didn't think about 
this...didn't plan...right... muscle ...control.. failing...can't grip 
papers... wind... blowing..them....... 

"Does anyone know this man?" the doctor asked his nurse. "Not that we
have been able to find so far Doctor". She shook her head. "Sad, 
really. Someone lifted his wallet just as the orderly was reaching him 
on the steps. The orderly tried to catch him, but the guy was gone 
before he could grab him." "Well, call county services, lets see if we 
can get him into a facilty some where. Maybe someone will show up to 
claim him. If not, then he's just going to a drain on the taxpayers for 
the rest of his life. Pity." 


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