Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Legend, I Am

by S. T. Eleu

Cross-trained with Yoda on Dagobah
Meditated with Delenn on Minbar
Sparred with Scorpius in the Uncharted Territories
Served the public trust, protected the innocent, and upheld the law
   in Detroit

Took the red pill from Morpheus
Followed the white rabbit down the rabbit hole
Tapped into the limitless potential of my brain with Lucy
And for 0.68 seconds understood both the meaning of life
   and A Scanner Darkly

Aced the Kobiyashi Maru
Debated quantum leaps with a holographic Hawking
Sang, "I feel good!" to a Vulcan computer
Pranked a Thermian in Unimatrix 0 then partied with Morn
   like it was 1999 at Quark's

Scratched the furriest little Procyon belly
Robbed the galaxy's evilest bank with a misfit crew
Had dum vita thug est, spes est inked onto my back in prison
Then lost everything
   to a double-crossing raccoon

Fought side by side with Furiosa and Michonne
Torched a T-1000 with Sarah
Analyzed evidence with Scully
Reinstated Dr. Weir to her post

Soared as an avatar upon a Leonopteryx Rex
Made posters, to no avail, for my missing dogasaurus
Vowed I'd never return to Dinotopia
Came to terms with climate change with the Dino Sinclairs
   way back in the 90's

Unplugged Hal
Debugged Gort
Chugged Bendërbrau with C-3P0, Data, and Wall-E
Hugged the Iron Giant
   one last time

Returned a king to his island
Castrated a serial apist
Published a chimpanzee's first manifesto
Fell to my knees and took a selfie in front of the…
   Statue of Liberty

Repurposed Mechagodzilla as a referee
Had front row tickets for vs.
Collected Biollante's spores
Flew back home atop Rodan
   with a fully functional Ultraman leading the way

Outran a velociraptor on Isla Nubar
Befriended a Pakuni and the Sayer of the Law
Debated ethics with John Hammond & Dr. Moreau
Spent two weeks as a hybrid
   1/4 leopard, 1/4 triceratops, 1/4 Sleestak, 1/4 ?

Made killer spaghetti sauce from some rabid tomatoes
Grilled Harvester burgers on Independence Day
Sampled the food of the gods - BIG mistake
Added more salt and a touch of sage
   to the Soylent Green

Raised an eyebrow when transmuted to Jumanji, never lost a life
Forfeited an entire summer playing an FPS Resident Evil Game
Left and never returned to the Squid Game
Won the quiet game on the Quiet Place
   (sorry, kids)

Used Uhura's and Banks' klingon and heptapod translations
To help decode the five-tone motif of the third encounter aliens
Got vaccinated with translator microbes
To be able to understand and work with John Crichton
   (and anyone else who had traveled from Florida)

Recited the 3 Laws of Robotics to a Class M-3
   General Utility Non-Theorizing Environmental Robot
Assured it that I posed no danger despite repeated protests
Switched its vocal subprocessors to the "off" position
Sent it to fend off the great vegetable rebellion, while I had
   the driest, dirtiest martini with Dr. Smith

Ran with Logan fast and far
Recited Shakespearean sonnets with Kryton
Ran an ad but could not guarantee anyone's safety
Rehabbed some reavers
   released the Kraken

Disassembled, permanently, all things Transformers
Made a cameo in Sharknado 13: Some Fin Evil Comes This Way
Starred in Tremors 10: Nothing Is Certain but Death in Texas
Sent both Jar Jar and Abrams to a correctional facility
   with a stack of pardons and zero expectations

Fireproofed my favorite reads
Retired others sine "expecto ignis"
Reaffirmed, "I'm better than that, literally"
Reread Firestarter as an e-book
   went to Hell with Ted, ignis gloriosus, like totally

Rescued an astronaut from Mars
Counseled a clone on the Moon
Sneezed on a duo-chromatic alien on Earth
Liberated District 9
   from ever having to watch Elysium

Took the TARDIS to the year 100 Trillion
Lived, died, repeatedly
Helped deliver the first baby born in 18 years
Attacked the block after scorin' some
   films for Joe Cornish

Assisted a mad scientist
Traveled back to the future
Kissed my mom (in the car) (on the cheek) (at her prom)
Rocked a Gibson ES-250
   all night long

Performed Bela Legosi's Dead upside down as Vampire Batman
Played French Horn for John Williams
Sang Il dolce suono in a space opera as a duet with Voyager's Doc
Danced the Time Warp with my hands on Riff Raff's

Seduced a cylon while simultaneously conducting a Turing test
Counted electric sheep in bed with a replicant
Danced with Daryl Dixon in the pale Georgia moonlight
Blew a xenomorph AND its captor
   out of an airlock

Challenged Future and the stumbling blocks It seeds
Duelled Death and the diseases It carries
Checked Reality and the demagogues It empowers
Defeated Mortality and the finality It brings
   so long lives this, and science gives life to me

© 2021 S. T. Eleu

Raised in Vegas then exiled to Chicago, S. T. Eleu has been a musician, teacher, and consummate Vulcan. Autism is their default universe, and though sparsely populated, is a glorious place to escape to, write in, and display an impressive collection of action figures.

Find more by S. T. Eleu in the Author Index.