The latest submission for my writing workshop. If you would like to join, visit Empower Writers and ask to join the group. If you’d just like to comment, I welcome those as well.


War is a distant memory and peace has reigned on Earth for millenia…

It all started in the year 2148. That was the year the Malicodi arrived. Their technology was so advanced and they had figured out how to eradicate disease, for all sentient beings. The Malicodi were a peaceful people, but they could afford to be with their vast technological superiority. They were willing to share their technology and their advanced medical care on one condition–peace on Earth.

It took about a month for world leaders to decide that this was a great deal. Frankly, I’ve never understood what took them a whole month. The Malicodi’s tech was able to detect any type of weaponry and, with the push of a button, the weaponry was vaporized. They improved our agricultural industry so that everything was grown organically and much quicker than previously. World hunger, famine, and disease took a little longer, but within a year, Earth was populated by a prosperous, healthy society. 

Defense budgets were rerouted to space exploration. The Malicodi shared their interplanetary travel technology and the first Earthships were launched within five years, with many more in the coming years. The Malicodi had shared the coordinates for other friendly planets and the people of Earth were ready to take their place among the stars. 

The Earth became a paradise–the skies were blue, the waters ran clear, and even the ozone layer was being rebuilt with Malicodi tech. There were Malicodi colonies on every continent and they cohabited peacefully with the people of Earth. Crime was non-existent as food was plentiful and the Malicodi had also wiped out illegal drugs. Governments invested in education equally in every community and jobs were abundant, so there was no need for illegal activities. 

The year was now 4217. Life on Earth was very peaceful and we had Earth colonies on nearly two hundred different planets. I was on Earth for work purposes but had decided to take a short break and visit one of the historical museums that depicted life before the year 2148. Let’s just say I’m glad I lived in this time period. I couldn’t imagine the suffering that people endured prior to 2148–the disease, the malnutrition, the crime, and the constant threat of war somewhere on the planet. 

I came to Earth to consult with Guj, one of my colleagues in the Global Psychiatric Consortium (GPC). Just because there was nothing to worry about didn’t mean that people still didn’t worry. Mental illness was not completely cured with a healthy planet, organic food, and no crime. The GPC was located on New Malicodi, a floating city in the south Pacific. I arrived by the high-speed underwater monorail. It was very quick, not as quick as the transporter, but I could never get used to the demolecularization process so I chose the monorail instead.

The hydraulivators brought me swiftly to the 267th floor. I wandered down the hall to Guj’s suite, stopping to chat with various colleagues and friends. When I arrived at the Reprogramming Suite–Guj was world-renowned for helping humans eliminate disturbing thoughts through both intensive talk and laser therapy. He had a 100 percent success rate and I was always fascinated when I could watch him in action. Guj’s secretary told me that Guj was expecting me and I smiled coyly at him. We had a very satisfying liaison the last time I had visited Guj and part of me was hoping that would happen again. His return smile and wink made me certain I could look forward to an invigorating, and very satisfying, evening. 

I walked back to Guj’s interior office. He always said that a view would distract both him and his patients so he enjoyed the interior space. I opened the door and noticed that the lights were set at the dimmest setting. Everything inside was shadowy and indistinct. I sensed movement to my right and fell back against the door when something slammed into me and moved toward the outer office. 

What was that? I felt something wet on my face and reached up to dab it with my hand while telling the AI to turn up the lights. When the suite was illuminated, I stood staring at my hand. It was covered in blood that I also felt dripping off my face. I was dumbfounded for a moment. Where did the blood come from? 

“Guj?” I called out. “Where are you? What’s happening?” 

I received no response and ventured deeper into his office. Finding a tissue, I wiped my face and hands to remove the blood. The door to the laser suite was ajar and I could see a pale blue light emanating from within. “Guj,” I called again, thinking he maybe hadn’t heard me over the gentle hum of the laser. I peeked around the door and then my world came apart. 

Guj was restrained on the laser table while the laser moved slowly back and forth across his body. His eyes stared at me but he couldn’t see me. Guj was obviously dead. Apparently murdered. The first murder to occur on Earth since the year 2150 and unfortunately, I was going to get a first-hand view of what happens during a murder investigation. I sighed and held back the bile as I crossed the room to turn off the laser. This working vacation would soon turn into the worst nightmare I could ever have imagined.