Ylanathajo Family Tree

Prompt: Write a scene in which your character from your previous exercise uncovers a secret about his or her family history, including the true meaning of his or her name. End it with a cliffhanger.

Tobalen knew that he was born from an artificial uterus in one of Mother’s birthing pods; everyone was. Well, all the other human children were at least. The androids and other robots that outnumbered the organic life forms (“orgs” in the nascent parlance of Trappist-1d) were assembled in a neighboring facility, though not often these days since most of them had been put together long before the process of producing orgs could begin. What Tobalen didn’t realize was that Mother had decided that she would give all her children, carbon and silicon based, a last name of her invention. “Ylanathajo” was the last word ever received from Earth, widely believed to be the result of the communications operator’s body collapsing on the keyboard after being shot by an enemy soldier. Ylanathajo was the inadvertent swan song of terrestrial humanity and an appropriate exclamation to start humanity anew. Ylanathajo! Humanity is dead: long live Humanity! Ylanathajo! Let us never forget the errors of Earth as we build a new world together.

Of the twenty four embryonic colonization missions, only eighteen reached their destination planets and only fifteen successfully landed with their embryos intact and usable. All human life on earth was exterminated millennia ago, but now there were fifteen second chances spread throughout the Milky Way. Each command computer would transport enough genomic information to recreate a whole ecosystem and an army of nanobots designed to harvest resources and build progressively larger infrastructure to support a new civilization. By the time Tobalen was born, terrestrial orgs were established well enough to maintain themselves on seven planets, some well enough that Mother incorporated their history into her lessons.

Tobalen was a very curious child.

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