Chapter Nine: “Lacy Dawn Goes To the Movies”
Scene Prologue: Lacy Dawn, the eleven year old protagonist, is a most unlikely savior of the universe. Genetically manipulated by Universal Management for millennia, at this point in the story, we have learned that the universe faces an imminent threat and that an android named DotCom (a recurring pun in the story) was sent to Earth to train her to fulfill her destiny. The android lives in a spaceship in a cave behind her house. The following scene is one of her early a training sessions.
“…Finally, there’s a little action in this movie,” Lacy Dawn said.
The focus zoomed toward a green circle…. Jungle sounds filled the ship, dense vegetation filled the screen, and, a zoom again….
“What the heck is that?” she asked.
“It’s a recording error. Please watch the video,” DotCom said.
An image of a square piece of land surrounded by water appeared…a group of hairy bipeds. One animal tilled the ground with its tusk. Irrigation ditches watered a garden…. A large pyramid-shaped structure appeared on the monitor’s top edge.
“This is pretty cool,” Lacy Dawn said.
“Photosynthesis occurred on Earth 3.4 billion years ago. It thereby permitted ocean animals to evolve 600 million years ago. Plants conquered land 400 million years ago. This led to vertebrates on land 380 million years ago. It all occurred on your planet before our technicians had invented field recording equipment….”
“You said ‘ago’ too many times. Just be quiet. This movie’s getting good now and I don’t need the chatter.”
The angle changed…. The pyramid got closer with each step. There were several close-up shots of beings.
Are those animals or people?
“It’s you!” she screamed to DotCom.
It was an accidental close up of a crotch. There were no genitals. DotCom did not confirm or deny her exclamation. The camera continued to move toward the pyramid: females with hairy breasts exposed, young eating berries, and larger, more erect males chasing a deer-like animal. They caught it and ripped it apart on the spot. The entrance of the triangular structure could be seen in the background.
“This movie is cool,” she said.
The pyramid was made of wooden poles tied with vines and covered with large leaves…. The glow of a fire could be seen but there was no smoke. Individuals and small groups entered and exited the structure. One group looked like the hunters…. They carried meat and animal parts into the pyramid.
“Daddy got an eight-point buck last year. He sold the head to Harold for ten dollars. We still have some of it in the freezer….”
Inside the pyramid, small groups sat together. Humanoids came and went. There were several floors connected by pole ladders and all spaces were occupied. It was very noisy. The space teemed with grunts and groans.
“Turn the volume down a little. That vine’s still alive. It’s been trained to wrap around the joints just like Mommy’s pole beans. They’re ready to pick.”
“Correct,” DotCom said.
“And it don’t just grow on the outside. It grows on the inside too. That pyramid is one huge green bean casserole.”
People were gathered around a rectangular box that glowed orange in the center of a dirt floor. The tallest people stood the closest to the box. One person was at least a foot taller than all the others….
The next scene was a close-up of the box. Between males with hairy legs and butts and other private parts — big private parts — Lacy Dawn saw a smooth surface…. Data flashed at the bottom of the screen. On top of the box, pieces of meat cooked beside large green beans. Water steamed and spit over the mess.
“It’s a cook stove. But, that’s impossible. There ain’t no fire or smoke and it can’t be no electric stove like Mommy wants. There’s no electric back then. This is a made up story. It has to be.”
“The stove was a trade from my planet,” DotCom said.
“For what?” she asked.
“You,” he said….
The next scene introduced a very small biped that held out a large bean leaf toward a much larger biped standing by the stove. Larger kicked Smaller to the ground. Smaller got up. Blood ran from her nose. She went back to Larger, extended the leaf, and was again kicked to the ground. It looked like a much harder kick than the first. Smaller got up again and re-extended the empty leaf. Larger slammed his fist down on the top of Smaller’s head. She fell.
“That had to hurt bad,” Lacy Dawn said
“You should know, Lacy Dawn,” DotCom….
Smaller got up, wobbled to Larger, and extended her leaf with unsteady arms. Larger ignored Smaller until she tapped him on the calf with her foot. Larger showed Smaller his sharp teeth, turned to the stove, and picked up two handfuls of meat and beans. He placed the food on the leaf extended by Smaller. Smaller nodded to Larger and stumbled backward away from the stove.
“Big Mac time,” Lacy Dawn said.
The camera followed Smaller. She staggered and dodged her way to a small group of bipeds that squatted several yards from the stove. Smaller handed the leaf, now rolled around the food, to an adult female. The adult distributed pieces to others in the group.
“The smaller is you, Lacy Dawn,” DotCom said.
The picture faded.
by Robert Eggleton
Lacy Dawn’s father relives the Gulf War, her mother’s teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in The Hollow isn’t great. But Lacy has one advantage — she’s been befriended by a semi-organic, semi-robot who works with her to cure her parents. He wants something in exchange, though. It’s up to her to save the Universe.