There are a zillion online Science Fiction sites, the overwhelming majority of which are simply talking in fannish fashion about Trek or Galactica or Stargate or whatever is trendy and flashy at the moment; there are fewer still who are talking about literary science fiction (I suppose because for most Trekies it's still harder to read than to ogle Jolene Blaylock's breasts); and fewer still that are contributing original Science Fiction stories online. Of the handfull that do this, most are dreadful fanfic ("Tripp walked in to decontamination and ogled the Vulcan's breasts..." or "Marcus walked in to the War Room and ogled Ivonova's breats," "Louis Wu walked in to the Bandersnatch cave and ogled Harloprillar's breasts," etc). While there are definitely some sites online that offer original "Standalone" SF that isn't related to any existing media or literary franchise, as far as I can tell there aren't any little fish like us who are doing it.
So we've decided to do it.
It is our goal here at Rebuplibot to avoid being just another one of those "Bitch and moan about what the rest of the genre" sites, or yet another propagandistic "I worship Trek/Galactica/B5/Lost/Doctor Who, and everyone else can go to hell" sites. Rather, in keeping with our bleeding-from-the-ears love of all things Science Fiction, and our inherent mandate to question the Sacred Cows of the genre, we'll be providing some original fiction from time to time.
We hope that this will be enjoyable, entertaining, and (if all goes right) thought provoking on occasion, and the first installment is a somewhat-humorous short story called "Dog Days." Feedback and comments are welcome, and if any readers out there have original fiction they'd like to post on here, we'd like to take a look at it.
Without further ado, I give you "Dog Days, Part 1"
Although there had been a couple unofficial contacts between Humans and Aliens previously, they were not well documented at the time, and didn’t become common knowledge until long after the contact with the Tractus Canis, (or, if you’re pedantic, Intercapedo Canis) so the Canis indecent remained fixed in everyone’s mind as the ‘first contact’, much as Lindberg’s crossing of the Atlantic was remembered as a first, or Columbus’ discovery of America was regarded as a first: none of them actually were, but 99% of the world’s population would swear they really were. Humans have bad memories and even worse educational services. It’s simply the way of things, there’s no use ranting on about it: Most of what most people believe at any given moment will be wrong, and what’s more unusual, they’re willing to fight over these beliefs without even attempting to fact-check them first.
In any event, the first official contact with aliens – but the third overall – happened during the third-and-final American expedition to Mars in or around the year 1990 by the calendar of the day. In essence, they landed in the Tharsis Uplift region, roughly half way between Olympus Mons and Pavonis Mons, and set about their three months of on-site exploration.
It was a somewhat glum mission. Officially, it was to be the final ‘exploratory’ mission to the red planet prior to the start of American Colonization, but in actual fact everyone knew it was going to be the last mission – period – unless something amazing happened. Congressional support for the Space Program had never been any better than grudging, and despite all that talk of science the truth of the matter was that Space was a propaganda industry. It was useful in making Americans look bigger, better, and smarter than their Soviet counterparts, but not much more than that, and as Propaganda went, space was expensive. With the economic collapse going on in the Soviet Union, that nation had been forced to cancel virtually all manned space flights, which meant a lack of competition for NASA, and in the minds of the legislature of the United States, a lack of competition always meant they didn’t have to keep blowing money that particular kind of thing anymore. Hence the R&D groups working on colony ships were quietly shut down, budgets were frozen, and everyone actually connected to the mission knew that this would be the final one, the high-water mark of Man in Space, unless, of course, something remarkable happened.
Though you couldn’t bank on that kind of thing, it had happened before. In 1972, as the Apollo Program was preparing for its final mission, the Soviets had landed Ivan Balenko on