What I’m about to tell you might sound unbelievable, but every word I say to you is true. Everything in these pages is factual. Maybe this looks like a chapter book to you (and it kinda is, since I’m telling you adventure stories), but all the stories are true.
My name is Nicolas Romero. I am 10 years old. I was born in the city of San Jose, California, on Old Earth, on the first day of January, in the year that our Common Universe turned 13 billion, 800 million years old.
I am writing to you from the near future. If I’m doing this right, you are reading this in the year 2015, by your calendar. More or less. We could be a few months off. Or years. We are inventing and testing Time Texting just right now, and it’s still pretty glitchy. This is our first test. We hope it works.
If it works, then this is our first chance – maybe our only chance – to save the world from total destruction.
Just kidding, we already saved the world from total destruction. AND we figured out how to make Backups of everything, so even if, by some accident, I blow up the world again, we’ll just Restore the latest Backup. Just like in your video games. Save and Load.
Do you understand what this means? It means that no one has to die. If you are young enough to read and understand this message, you could live long enough to get here. If you could only stay alive for just a few more years, you too won’t have to die. You, too, could become Immortal.
And that’s not all. When you get here, you can have almost any power that you can ever imagine. All those superheroes, gods, demons, magicians, monsters, aliens, and whatnots in those books you’d read? Their powers are nothing compared to ours. Put all of them together in one arena, and you could knock them all down. Just by yourself. With just one thought.
There is one small difference though between those guys and us: We are real. And we don’t get any of our powers through some kind of magic or impossible dream. Math and Science and Imagination – that’s all it takes.
You can fly, teleport, be invisible, stop time, be super strong, see through walls, make things happen just by thinking, build the coolest gadgets, transform into any form, make copies of yourself, breathe under water, build a city under the sea, blow up an entire planet … you can do almost anything.
I hope you’re thinking “That’s impossible!” That’s what I was thinking that day Mom showed us what we could do, just minutes before we had to do them. It’s important to question everything. Because if you just believe everything you read – if you’re not in the habit of asking “What?!” – you’ll probably end up as one of those guys we had to mess with. That means more fun for me, but prolly not for you.
You shouldn’t just trust anything anyone says. Look up the facts yourself. I tried to make things easy for you by looking up the information that was available back in your day, and linking to them from within these stories.
I hope that by telling you what actually happened, and by giving you proof that I am not making things up, you too will understand, and you’ll know what to do – for yourself and for the others – on your way to the future.
Let’s stop here for a second. You have a choice to make. The rest of this Preface has a bunch of technical stuff about science and the future. You don’t have to read them right now (or ever, if you don’t like science). You can skip to the first story instead.
If you were already here, I could just plug you in, and you’ll understand everything in less than a second. By the end of that second, you’ll also have everything in the Basic Power Kit, which includes all those powers I randomly listed above, and more. But you’re not here yet, so these stories will just have to do for now.
Special Powers are extra, by the way. They don’t come with the Basic kit. You have to actually earn them. My favorite Special Power is The Fantastic Fart. It’s so useful in so many ways, and there are infinite enchantments and combos. No one else in the family agrees with me though. They say that just because I have a power doesn’t mean I have to use it. But that’s kinda too sad for them, because I am free to make up my own mind, and I do what I think is best. And I think Fantastic Farts are the best!
All the crimes you had in your time are gone. Since there is no poverty, no hunger, and no one gets ill, no one has to hurt anyone else just to survive. There is no good reason for anyone to steal, to rob, or to break into people’s homes (it’s also hard to break into homes, because they move around a lot – home is wherever we happen to be).
Since there is no more death, there is no more murder. What’s the point of killing anything if it’s just gonna pop back up again?
Since there are no more nations, there are no more borders. No more wars over where to draw lines on a map. No more wars against people crossing lines to survive. No more nations rising against nations. And no more governments to rule over people. People have the power to rule themselves.
Since we now live in the Age of Compassion, all Faiths live in peace. No more Jihads but the Greater Jihad. No more Crusades but the True Crusade. No more murder in the name of the God of Life. No more wars in the name of the God of Peace. No more hate in the name of the God of Love.
If you really want to live a life of crime, that’s your choice. But since the only crime that’s available is Attempted Mind Control, it’s really not much of a choice. Still, you’re free to choose it. I dare you to choose it. If you even try to force people to do what they don’t want to do, you go to The Jail.
There are nine things you need to know about The Jail:
- Jail is the only place where The Rule does not apply.
- If you are guilty of Attempted Mind Control, we will strip you of your own ability to exercise free will – you will no longer have the power to do only what you want to do.
- Control over your mind is handed over to The Jailer.
- There is only one Jail, and only one Jailer.
- That Jailer is me.
- Despite all my powers, I’m still just a kid.
- You know how kids can be so mean sometimes? I am one of those kids sometimes.
- Just this morning I dressed all my prisoners up as fluffy pink unicorns and made them dance The Nutcracker.
- You really don’t want to mess with me.
Those are 9 good reasons to respect other minds. For your benefit, I’ll pretend that I’m my mom and repeat myself: just because you have a power doesn’t mean you have to use it. If you have the power of Mind Control, and you even try to control the mind of another real human being, you go to Jail. Mind Control is the only power that is restricted by human law. You can have it, but if you use it, you go to Jail.
And finally, there are a few powers that you just can’t have, because they violate the laws of nature. For example, you can’t be Invincible. No matter how good you are, there’s always someone who’s better than you. Also, you can’t go back in time and mess with things. Not in the real world. Not yet, anyway. The best we can do right now is just to send you these little bits of information one bit at a time. If you happen to change things down there in the past because of a message I sent from up here in the future, then that’s your choice. You are responsible, for better or for worse, not I.
To summarize: here in the near future, with just a few limitations, you can have all the powers that the Gods of Olympus themselves would have envied. And you won’t have to die. This is not Science Fiction. This is Science Fact.
And it’s also a fact that you are SO lucky that we unlocked all these powers before anyone else did. If the Crusaders got here first, for example, you’d probably end up in one of their barbecues, which is great fun for them, but not so much fun when you’re in the flames. And the Crusaders, as you will see, are fluffy pink unicorns (some of them literally) compared to the other guys who literally, as well as figuratively, tried to beat us.
So, you’re welcome. And sorry for blowing you up that one time. I’m really sorry, I just want you to know that, and that’s the first reason for my writing to you today.
The second reason: we don’t know for sure how I destroyed Old Earth. We have many good hypotheses, and they all point to things that happened in the past – sometime around 2015 or later. Maybe you can help us figure out what went wrong.
Third: We want to help you to get to the future, if you’re not already here. If you’re one of the ones who made it (because you were among the Chosen, the Elect, or the Just Plain Lucky), we hope that while you’re still there, you might try a bit harder to help more people get here too. Those people could be members of your own family, your neighbors, the girl sitting next to you in your classroom, the guy in the next cubicle, the child searching through the rubble for her parents. Those people could be you.
Back in your day, tens of thousands of people are killed everyday by their fellow humans. Not just in the obvious ways, like murders and wars, but in silent, invisible ways, like spreading poison all over the land that we live on, the water we drink, the air that we breathe. Or like pretending that one person (you) can’t change anything. You can stop the killing, if you wanted to, or you can at least make it harder to kill. And if you did, millions of humans will make it to the future because of you and others like you. At least one of those humans will find a way to make life better for us all. If you can keep her alive just long enough to get here.
- Those of us who Converged know too much to talk to you (that’s the Curse of Knowledge).
- Only Gabriel and I chose not to Converge. Technically, I didn’t have a choice, but I got to choose anyway. Gabriel, who just turned eighteen, did have the choice, but he’s a bit of a rebel, so he waited for everyone else to decide, then went the opposite way.
- Gabriel bet me that he couldn’t make me to do all the writing. I bet that he could.
- I won the bet (kids: betting is bad).
So that’s why I’m writing you these stories.
I hope to meet you soon. In the meantime, just send me a message. I promise to respond, if I get it.
San Jose, California
1 January 13.8B