Love's Equal Lossbyhammingbyrd7©
Kyle was having a very sexy dream, one more exciting and vivid than he had ever imagined. Brianna was romping naked and dancing with him in passion and delight. The flashing curves of her breasts and legs, her joyful laugh and bright smiling eyes filled the dream. Kyle gasped as Brianna dominated him for coupling, gasped again as she rolled to let him mount her for a short while, gasped a third time as she turned and reclaimed the mount position. It all seemed so impossibly vivid to be just a dream! Kyle began to ejaculate and awake...
"Do you always sleep with such an erection?" Brianna asked with a smile, still holding his penis firmly, but no longer stroking it.
Kyle awoke slowly, trying to recover from his intense orgasm. "How did you get past the security locks?"
Brianna just continued her smile.
"Oh, such a foolish question, forgive me. All my access codes would have linked to you when my adult ownership transferred yesterday.... And as for your question, how would I know, I'd be asleep. Your stroking me certainly added to one incredible dream, though..." Kyle said, returning Brianna's warm smile.
"I have a lot to tell you. I've gotten the final approval to take a slip-ship out to NBHX35, to test out my doctoral thesis, and since you're now officially my sexpet, I can take you along."
"Wonderful news! We'll be the first two humans outside the solar system in almost 2,000 centuries. I can't believe it was this easy."
"I can. This society is so completely uncaring about exploration. No one cares at all about the slip-ships. There's almost no control over them because nobody wants them. They'd have been derelicts ages ago if they weren't self repairing. Think about it, 200,000 years of total neglect, and they still work fine. The people who made them were such incredible builders..."
"The gender wars. They were so hopelessly outgunned. It was their one chance to escape. I enjoyed studying the ancient history; you were so kind to let me study with you when you were in primary school."
"It was a real pleasure for me too, my love. I admit I first took you as my child petmate on a dare, all my friends daring me to take a petmate that could talk back. But I quickly got attached to your kindness, couldn't believe all my friends could be happy with petmates that didn't talk. Their choices seemed so boring in comparison. And speaking of studying together, don't be so modest, we both know who wrote my doctoral thesis!"
"We both did, Brianna. Maybe I added a bit more of the inspiration; you added a lot more of the mathematical rigor. We make a good team."
"As your legal owner now, Kyle, I also got full access to your medical files. It's incredible! Your Y-chromosome appears pristine, totally unmodified, 200,000 years of genetic tampering thrown off in a single conception. No one has the faintest idea how it happened. They can prove it wasn't intentional. It should have been impossible. And it now is. There's a whole new layer of diagnostic security around male conception at the pro-creation genetics labs. You're the last of your kind, my dear friend, the very last talking male that will ever be born on Earth. All the layers of genetic modifications in the Y-chromosome that suppress neural development, it's totally gone from your gene. It'll never happen again."
Kyle sighed. "I guess I should be grateful. If I had been born within the first hundred centuries after the gender wars, I would have been killed at once. But after all this time, the fear has died away. I survived through benign neglect. It's no one's job anymore to kill the toddler male who starts to talk. I would have been killed though, along with all the other petmates, if I didn't have an adult mistress, now that I'm of age. Thank you, Brianna, for saving my life."
"Oh, don't embarrass me by reminding me what my gender is doing... They came so close, Kyle! The Equalists, making their last stand back at the Martian Planetia shipyards during the gender wars. They were within a month of launching their first wing of slip- ships when they were defeated. They probably would have made it, if it weren't for the all the sabotage and the betrayals."
"I know your heart, dearest Brianna. You've given it to me, and accepted mine in return. Don't be embarrassed. We are both Equalists, though we certainly can't tell anyone else. The last Equalist on record was Sephra, just 1,500 years after the gender wars, and she was executed for writing her lamentation poetry: Love's Equal Loss. It does seem cruel, executing someone for writing poetry about love..."
"Within a week, we'll be orbiting NBHX35, and the day after that, inside of it. I want to ask you something. What do you think would happen if we popped the slip bubble while we were inside?"
"Yikes! What a disaster! Don't worry, Brianna, it'll never happen. Once we're inside the event horizon of the black hole, the slip bubble is completely self-sustaining, even if we lost all power. Remember, the physics is reversed. Popping it from the outside would be like trying to open a door against infinite pressure. It's physically impossible."
"What if we popped it from the inside, Kyle? Reversed polarity on the homo-polar slip generator, and created a negative slip bubble inside the first. The slip exclusion principle implies the outer bubble must cease to exist..."
"Wow... What an interesting point.... Let me think... Entropy integrity would still be maintained. A negative slip bubble would act like a ball being hit with a bat the mass of the black hole. I would guess we would appear intact, at some completely random location in the universe."
"Wow! You saw this in 10 seconds of intuition!? It took me three weeks of calculations to reach the same conclusion... Kyle, my love, I want to do it."
"I want to start a new society with you. Traveling though the black hole will make our path totally untraceable. The medical bay in the slip-ship has enough technology to restore your fertility. We can start a new society, one based on gender equality. There's probably enough technology in the medical bay to boost the genetic diversity of our children too, maybe even for the next generation..."
"Brianna... Oh, dearest Brianna, of course this appeals to me. But what about you? You would be giving up 200 years of a secure and pleasant life. We might be killed in the black hole, and even if we found a planet, life will probably be very difficult, even to survive at first. And a slip-ship medical bay is primitive, we couldn't give the synthetic anti-viral protection to any children we have."
"I'll never have fear of extinction, Kyle, if you're by my side... Yes, Earth is pleasant, a garden, really... Do you know the population of Earth at the end of the gender wars was close to 4 billion people? It's been in slow decline ever since, dropping a factor of 10 every 100,000 years. There's about 40 million people now, plus about 40 million sexpets, I guess. Sociohistorical analysis suggests the rate of decline is permanent. And what have we done with all this time? Turned Earth into a garden. A clean and beautiful nest. But where is our sense of exploration, except in genetic research? We've had slip technology for 200,000 years, and have ignored it. I have a deep guess that the desire to explore is somehow linked to the Y-chromosome, another tragic loss of the gender wars. Kyle, I really want to do this!"
"I... I accept your offer. Oh, Brianna, I love you so... We have so much to plan for! And we'll have to plan how to scale back our technology. We can't have our children depending on technology they don't understand. You and I are both fairly unusual, in being generalists in physics and math. But there are far too many areas of technology that we don't have a working knowledge in, much less will be able to teach to children. I don't know how far back we'll have to downscale the technology, we'll just have to make the best decisions we can when the times come... Let's try to upload the ship's library files with as much basic knowledge as possible..."
Kyle lay gasping for breath, choking in the thick, smoky air. His mind felt that it was being forced awake from a long, deep sleep. He struggled in bewilderment, trying to decide what to do. He felt strong arms around his body, lifting him like a feather, and then a blinding fast run through raging fires. He gasped for breath just as they left the burning lodge, pulling in a clean lungful of the cool night air. He was carried up a stone- cut path to safety, and laid in soft grass near the gardens. He suddenly recognized his rescuer...
"Conrel, is that you!? My, how you've grown!"
"Oh, Ancient of Days, you speak! I will go tell the others!"
"Wait, wait! Before you go, how long have I been sleeping? And just call me Kyle."
"Three seasons of the red bird, Kyle, Ancient of Days. I must tell the others."
Conrel left Kyle and ran back down to the burning lodge. Already, families from the lodges further upstream were arriving and helping to battle the fire. As Kyle looked down, he could see large flocks of children gathering at the village perimeter, gazing at the fire and playing in the firelight.
"Wow, I haven't been able to think this clearly in ages! Three seasons of the red bird. That great red hawk has a bi-annual migration pattern; I've been drifting for 6 years, which would be... 4.7 years Earth standard... A faster orbit here, closer to the sun... Fortunately the star's mass is 13% less than solar standard, planetary heating is just like Earth... We thought we were so lucky at first... "
"But we didn't know! Brianna and I didn't realize how weak the core human immune system had become after 2,000 centuries of anti-viral protection. It took all our efforts to repair the genetic damage, caring for our sick children, no time to teach the technology. They're healthy now, but they live and die so fast, often in less than 50 seasons of the red bird..."
"It never seemed to worry, you, Brianna, that we had to start from so far back. Back to the plow and the bow."
"Just teach them how to explore and how to love", you kept saying, "That's all they'll need. Let them advance at their own pace."
"You were so correct, my love, so brilliantly correct."
In the first hundred seasons of the red bird, Kyle and Brianna taught philosophy, leaving their children a heritage of much of the art and literature and mathematics from before the gender wars, but almost nothing of the technology. The slip-ship was parked in high orbit, one final present for their children, for a time when they were old enough to reach for it.
Kyle remembered with amusement being taken out on a hunting party 50 years ago, his fifth generation adult grandsons and granddaughters feeling the intense honor. Watching them hunt with their new iron-tipped arrows, how proud they were to have discovered how to smelt iron just the year before.... They were skilled in both hunting and mathematics...
Kyle began to drift back into his deep sleep, and he realized without concern that he would not return again. His thoughts turned to his darling Brianna and their last years together. Kyle remembered with a smile that she had given him a pet nickname of "Ancient of Days", and somehow, he realized, it seemed to have stuck!
As he lay in the grass, Kyle looked up at the stars and remembered a distant memory from his very early childhood. During the migration seasons, he would sneak out of his pen at night and lie in the nearby meadow, watching and listening for the flying geese in the night sky. Listening to their calls, male and female, calling and affirming each other on their long journeys. Kyle remembered that he thought he could hear wild geese calling 20 years ago, in the depths of his sorrow, holding Brianna for the last time as she died without fear in his arms. Kyle noticed with amusement that it no longer seemed necessary to breathe, and his body didn't seem to mind at all. He thought he could hear the wild geese calling now.