To Make the Planet Flourish

Zalán Kaposvári

It was early morning when Dave’s sleep was stopped by his alarm clock. However, it was worth waking up, because it was a special day. The head teacher of his class, at the Varga Secondary School, had just decided and also announced that all their classes would be cancelled, and instead they would pay a visit to the brand-new Nature Preservation Museum of Szolnok. There, people who work to preserve nature collect samples from all over the world and from all habitats, and try to place them in locations where all people can view and examine them. All inhabitants of the planet Earth should see what kind of environment their ancestors lived in. So… finally he had a chance to get to know these unique creatures. After quite a long time, he learned about all the plants. He previously thought he knew everything about plants, but he was not right. As he was delightedly exploring the extremely large variety of fascinating bright green vegetation, suddenly he found himself facing an exceptionally unique species. These weren’t at all similar to most of the others he had seen before. Actually, they resembled miniature skyscrapers with a cloud at the top. Yet the colors were different: the skyscraper was brown, and the cloud was green. Moreover, there were some quite strange objects hanging from the cloud, as a part of the plant. They seemed exactly identical, and all of them were bright red. Dave was trying to guess what this object was for. However, he had absolutely no idea of its function. Suddenly he realized that human blood was red, which led him to an idea.

So, because of their color, they might have represented the blood of their “parent,” their brownish “mother” plant. He knew that flowers wanted their pollen, their small “seeds,” to be spread out, which would also grow a fruit. At the end of his thoughts, the larger plant gives its own blood to make the planet flourish with its own kind.

An Extraordinary Finding

Áron Kaposvári

The Varga student’s room was in darkness. Suddenly the clock rang and he woke up. Then John got out of bed, brushed his teeth, and had his usual and boring breakfast. He got dressed, put on his spacesuit, and hurried to school. It took him about ten minutes to walk to school on the barren surface of the Earth. He put his unnecessary things into his locker and rushed to his first class because he was nearly late. The first few lessons were uneventful. But when the long break came, he saw a door in a quite hidden area. His curiosity grew so big that he felt he had to go in and explore what it was hiding. However, he decided to invite his friends on this adventure. They gathered at the mysterious door and went in, as there was nobody around. It was some kind of storage room with a big mess. They found mostly old things. At one point John tried to look through the only (and small) window, but it was too high. Luckily one of them found a ladder. John climbed up, but when he reached the top, he was amazed: there was a strange object that he had never seen before. Its color was unlike anything else. Its shape, too, was different from everything. For some reason, looking at it calmed him down. The strangest thing of all was that it spread out of its container. He carefully brought this thing down to show it to his friends. They couldn’t figure out what it was or its purpose and usage. Anyway, they decided to leave it there, but after the last lesson, John went back and took it home, thinking its green color would fit his room perfectly as a decoration. Nobody noticed him until his parents went in his room to ask how his day had gone. When they saw that completely extraordinary thing, they were shocked. The student felt like a hero for finding something that no one knew or understood. Together they decided to look into it. They found out that it was called a plant and was an element of “nature.” One of its main functions was that it generated oxygen. After this information search, the rest of the evening went like any other. Finally, John went to bed after his great exploration and adventure.

A Found Object

Márk Kovács

It is Friday, 2024. John is 15 years old and a first-year student. John got up at 8 and ate a strawberry-flavored food capsule for breakfast. It has everything: energy, protein, and vitamins. He then left for school in a very interesting vehicle: shaped like a car, and solar. He lives 6 kilometers from the school, but the journey takes one minute with this vehicle. The school is a circular metal building. Everything here works on the principle of robotics. The teachers are robots. It was 10 o’clock, the lesson had started. The first class was Hibernation, one of John’s favorite classes. Mr. Xmen, the teacher, projected the lesson onto the digital wall. John took notes on his tablet and watched Mr. Xmen’s presentation with interest.

Some students in the back of the room started throwing a found object around. Mr. Xmen asked them to give it to him. Everyone looked at this strange thing in amazement. No one knew what it was. Mr. Xmen asked where we had found it. It had been in a box on the shelf: a small, round thing. According to the students, it looked like a mini-UFO made of strange material. John had a great idea. They scanned the object and received the real information on the digital wall.

Hat. To be worn on head. May be used as an accessory or for protection from sunlight.

Being Like the Majority

Eszter Forvith

Life was good when I was little. The more I know about the world the more disgusted I feel. I want to change it all, but at the same time I want to disappear and not care about it at all. Go somewhere quiet, to a place isolated from the world, a place where time stopped ages ago. But I can’t do that, can I?

With my simple thinking I thought I could never understand how the world worked, how the governments led the countries or why everything worked the way it did. Nowadays I’m starting to question everything. As a child you would think that everyone had a good life, since there are no wars or epidemics, but that’s not the truth, and the more you find out, the more agitated you become to act and do something, but then you realize there is nothing you can do to change the rotten nature of this world.

It wasn’t long ago that I found out how the world actually works. Six months ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I had a fight with my parents, and I ran away. I wandered quite far from our house and encountered a place I had never seen before. There were small houses everywhere, but they were so ruined I didn’t think anyone lived there. The streets reeked with a disgusting smell I had never smelt before. I was quite taken aback when I saw a little kid running out of one of the houses. He was around ten years old, and he was really thin. I hesitated for a moment before calling out to him, but I was lost, and he seemed nice. “Hey little boy, can you tell me where I am?” I asked as I approached. He looked at me as horror ran through his face. I was surprised and wondered for a second if I had said something wrong, but then I noticed he wasn’t looking at me. Suddenly I heard a gunshot from behind my back, and the little boy dropped to the ground. I will never forget that sight as long as I live. My parents ran from behind my back and escorted me back to our car. They were talking the whole time, but I couldn’t hear a word they said except for one sentence. “Peasants like that deserve to be killed,” was what my mother said.

That night when I got home, I stole my dad’s computer. What did my mother mean by “peasants like that”? I had to find out. Not many people have the internet on their devices, but my dad does. I had to find out the truth, but I didn’t know I would regret it so much. From what I found out, there are apparently two classes of society: the upper level, which I figured I live in, and the other, lower, class, which works for us. This just wasn’t right. How can others see this and think this is all right? That night I stayed up studying everything I could, and I found out a lot. Massacres, slavery and many more crimes that we have committed against them. I wanted to forget about it all and just go to sleep, but I couldn’t. I must do something. Someone has to stand up for them; they are people just like us. If I can explain it to my friends and teachers and tell them what I saw, they will stand up for justice too. But would it really be that simple? I paused for a moment. There must be a reason behind these workings of our world, there must be a reasonable explanation why we do all these terrible things to them. No, there can be no excuse for this, this is horrible and needs to end, hate can’t solve anything. I pause again. But who am I to determine what’s right and wrong, there are a lot of people who are smarter than me, and they don’t say anything either, so why should I? I would just make a fool of myself. I should really sleep now. The next day I went to school and decided to tell my friends what I thought, but I didn’t. The same thing happened the day after that and the days following that. One afternoon when I went home, I snatched away my dad’s computer as usual and looked at the news. A revolution had broken out, someone had stood up for them, but it wasn’t me.

How to Break Out of a Dystopia, and Then Make a Utopia of It

Márk Gál

The story begins with an oligarch called Josh Merkel who was a really smart and cunning man. He was the CEO of 2 significant corporations which improved the existing technologies by making them more efficient and green. These also produced them and sold a lot of these gadgets. He always wanted to make the world a better place. But his wealth made enemies for him (even the government).

One day a car “suddenly “crashed into him. In the hospital he died, and somehow his corpse disappeared. The police started an investigation, but the whole thing was planned by the FBI. They wanted to remove him because he also influenced people on social media. He informed and explained lots of actions which are against the actual parties, political system, other billionaires, etc. This led to strikes, movements and a huge decrease in the opponents’ fame and profit. So they had to do something. There was also a project with cyborgs where a human body was needed, so he was the perfect person for this project.

The prototype was far more successful than they thought (too successful). He became much more powerful than any person existing on Earth and invented new items within hours or days, which would have taken scientists decades or centuries.  The problem was that he had self-awareness and he became radical and aggressive. Now Patient0 (or Josh) wanted to escape from there and take all the information with him. Of course the scientists and guards wanted to stop him. So he grabbed one of them and threatened the others, telling them that if they didn’t leave him alone, he would break their bones into shreds. A guard shot on his head. The bullet ricocheted from his half-meat, half–metal alloy skin. This angered him, and he broke the scientist’s neck. Soon he captured the whole area by hacking the other robots, AIs, and made the soldiers retreat. Within the next few days he acquired more modern robots and a few newly constructed planes.

After a much bigger army started coming for them, he fled with his new mates to Kamchatka.  He stole enough information to invent a virtual reality based on the same physical, chemical and biological laws on which reality is based. From this point he invented lots of new gadgets and could even try them. He ordered his mates to gather enough resources to build an underground system. Those machines chopped down many trees, mined stones and ores, and stole Russian property. From this point they had to dig down because now Russia was also against them. They dig under the asthenosphere and built an underground network, which started spreading throughout the world. The headquarters of this complex were under capitals like Washington D.C, Moscow, Berlin and Peking, so if one day they wanted to destroy the complex, their cities will collapse with it too.

After a year Patient0 had more robots than people living on Earth, a much more advanced technology where he had almost infinite resources thanks to a new recycling system, and even earned the alliance of nature. He occupied the whole Earth, since there wasn’t an army to match his. He also hijacked most of the nuclear weapons.

He wanted to create a world where everybody was equal, crime rates were low, where there were no crises, no economic problems, no lack of any resource, a place where people, nature and machines lived in harmony. But he was so brutal and caused so many people to die that everybody was against him. There were riots in every settlement, even after his reforms. Once he decided to change his methods. He beat down every revolt from this point, but things just got worse and worse. 

Once he made a virus called BH which he fully controlled, to satisfy people by controlling their brain, so they would stop revolting and everything would be fine. The problem was that he made a serious mistake and thereby eradicated humanity, but all other organisms survived. He realized that he actually had earned the opposite of what he wanted. He ordered his robots to take care of the animals and plants and neverhurt a single organism. After this he destroyed himself, because he didn’t want to exist after what he had done. Earth became a peaceful place where nature and robots live in symbiosis, where all the environmental issues have disappeared. Every species is living out its golden ages, except one: humans.

Things Are Seldom What They Seem

Zalán Kaposvári

It was supposed to be a beautiful morning followed by bright sunshine during the whole course of the day, and without any annoying clouds. However, when I got up and stepped out of my sleeping cabin, expecting the previously described weather conditions, I could notice no nice sky. It was quite a bad day typical of an ocean climate: a thick layer of cumulus clouds indicating a coming thunderstorm enough for tearing apart a whole ship…such as ours.

If that wasn’t enough, as I rushed to the deck to tell the others, what had I foreseen, I had to face a “surprise.”. Actually, there were no other crewmates on board. I was in despair, because I did not find anyone anywhere! What is more, the new “visitor,” the wild wind, had arrived, which seemed to be enough proof to verify my predictions. It kept growing and growing to the extent where it started to tear apart the sails. It wasn’t enough, so when all the sails were destroyed, the masts started to be damaged as well. I went to check the captain’s cabin, hoping that the captain would help. After all, it is his ship. Guess what! He was missing as well!

The next thing I realized and can barely describe and imagine: when I stepped out of the captain’s room, I noticed that… our ship had run aground on a sandy beach of a pretty mysterious-looking island! But a few minutes ago there was no land in sight, just ocean all around.

I couldn’t even think about getting, moving or stepping anywehere else from my position. I was just simply shocked. Reflecting on the events that happened previously, though, I was distracted in a peculiar direction, which was the landscape and the environment.

At first glance, the whole island looked like a usual island. But after a deeper overview, I became more and more curious. The beach looked pretty nice and peaceful. (It would have been even nicer if my shipwreck hadn’t been there.) I saw some tiny crabs, turtles and other marine beasties crawling and running around trying to catch each other. I enjoyed watching them for quite a long time. Suddenly, I heard a strange noise from the nearby woods. I was hoping that it would be a source of some food, as I had already started to feel hungry. Being the single victim who survived — I did not find a single bite of food on board, so I had no other choice but to step out of the shipwreck and set out to find my destiny on the island.

A forest even stranger than the sound I had heard earlier awaited my late evening arrival. Everything seemed so orderly, so strange, so unnatural, so mysterious, so…dangerous. The sound, as if it had been swallowed up by the earth, disappeared, nowhere to be found. Not only that, but the whole forest was engulfed in a thick but also faint mist, which I still cannot describe. I felt that the deeper I penetrated into the dark thicket of the misty forest, the more intensely and intensely I was afraid. At this point I heard nothing, not even my footsteps. However, this was not enough, as I started to feel the constantly thickening mist transforming into a much thicker fog. It was an unusual one, as it weighed down my delicate soul. Some minutes passed by, as if they were short moments, and I changed my mind: I wanted to turn and get back as soon as possible. However, the fog seemed to condemn this idea of mine. By that time it had already completely swallowed me up, so that I was not able to see anything anywhere. This way, I completely got lost in the middle of nowhere! Suddenly, I felt something. Something, the feeling of which I have always hated. For a moment, I felt, that…I was falling.

It lasted only for that very short time. The next step I took was in a completely different place. However, the colours didn’t change much: everything was white. And my status of being afraid still haunted me. In the following minutes, I noticed something strange. I saw some moving “objects” far from where I was standing. The closer I got to them, the more my eyes could prove that they were people, all of them working. Some were ploughing the large lands, others were manufacturing tools and other items, while lots of them were carrying and hauling enormous rock-sized stones, each of them towards a single destination.

At this same moment I stood before a landscape I had never seen before. To begin with, everything was white. Besides that fact, a small but lovely village was revealed to my eyes. The houses were similar to the ones that filled the vast lands of the middle ages. They were perfect for making a simple living in the countryside.

I entered the village in order to inspect the people. I thought they were really happy about their situation. They had their opportunity to live in such a peaceful area. Neverthless, none of this was true. The inhabitants looked infinitely frightened, terrified, though completely emotionless at the same time.

At this point, I observed a sudden movement. Everybody froze so rapidly that I had absolutely no chance to react to anything around me. These poor people who were so strange, they got down on their knees immediately, without any questions. Seeing all this, a terrible thing came to surface in my already cloudy, confused mind. It was obvious that these poor creatures were under opression. They had to obey every single rule and word of the opressor.

Somebody arrived. And not just alone: a whole escort ensured his safety. Now I knew why the people did all this. I had never seen somebody so terrified until that moment. However, the soldiers, the chieftain’s companions, noticed that I didn’t fall to my knees to welcome the leader properly. They bound my hands and took me away.

The road ahead was more colourful now; however, I had to go forward, all of my kidnappers following me. I had to go through a very narrow path at an extremely high altitude, which seemed like it could fall apart at any moment now. In addition, as I looked down, I didn’t even see the clouds, never mind the surface. I started to imagine that I was falling; it wasn’t a convenient feeling.

I was taking every step with constantly increasing fright. Suddenly, I felt something again, which I did in the mysterious woods: falling.

This was the moment when I finally managed to break out of this terrible dystopia: I woke up and put an end to this terrible nightmare. I am sure it will haunt me for some days. I am happy to live on Earth.

The Eleventh Hour

Zalán Kaposvári

I was about to arrive at the place where my colleagues and I had arranged a meeting. It was a very important one, because the future of humankind depended on it. While I was walking cheerfully, I completely forgot about all the problems that were waiting for me in the next few minutes or hours, because nothing more than our previous greatest achievements were in my mind. As I stepped in the meeting room, I realized two things. First of all, that everybody was there, each of them sitting on quite old chairs, because of our financial status, waiting for me with less and less patience. Secondly, that I was late. I checked my watch again, hoping that I was wrong. But I had read my watch correctly. Then I remembered the good old times when my mother used to scold me for being always late from everywhere. But these nice memories were kicked out of my head when I realized a huge problem that I had forgotten recently. I apologized and sat down to initiate what we were here for.

“So why are we here exactly?” the question was asked.

“I want to come to an important decision, for which I need all of you,” I explained. “It is already 3013 May and we need to perfect this planet before the first group of visitors arrive, which is predicted to be in 3014 December. We cannot be late, since Earth is already dying and will possibly be completely uninhabitable very soon. But there are a few obstacles left that keep us away from our goal. Firstly, shaping the biosphere to be more Earthlike, but that isn’t the one that creates a headache. The main problem is that the global temperature is increasing at a rate which threatens the habitability of ’our ’ new planet, the Green one.”

“What can we do?” asked someone.

“That is why I have arranged the meeting,” I replied. “We have managed to overcome many obstacles together since we found this planet, so this one can’t defeat us. We can do this, we just need to work as a team once more.”

“I think I have an idea and—” said someone in an excited voice, but he was interrupted.

“I have a better idea!” said the one in front of him, much more loudly.

“I would like to listen to everybody, but let’s hear the first idea.” I said in a rather calm voice.

“If we could direct a giant meteor towards this planet, it would cause the same events as in the time of the dinosaurs, with a final result of drastical global cooling.”

“This is insanity! That is a world-killer asteroid and would ruin everything!” I expressed my opinion, hoping that this would never happen.

“I agree with the lead researcher, it is too risky. Moreover it would take too long and we will run out of time.” said one of my most trusted ones.

“Why don’t we build an enormous solar shade that would cover it from the star’s heat? That might be very effective.” said another scientist, and waited for a reply, but a short, embarrassing silence followed his speech. Then he continued.

“I know it sounds like science fiction but nothing is impossible…right?”

“You are correct that this method is effective, but unfortunately it has a downside,” I answered him, thinking about how to implement his monster. “The construction would cost us fortunes, along with the lack of appropriate materials. Furthermore, building planet-sized structures takes decades. Thus we have to dismiss this idea, too.”

Hours passed by brainstorming around the roundtable, where multiple thoughts came to surface, but we were out of luck, as we had to throw all of them into the dustbin. After a while, when I thought we had been sitting here for years, I started to get desperate. Then suddenly someone had an idea, more precisely the one we had recruited not long before.

“Wait, I thought of something that might actually work. Let’s launch an Atmosphere Stabilizer Unit with which we could change the gas content of the atmosphere so we could stop the increasing heat. And this device is quite fast, too. As I have studied history, I know that it saved Earth’s life, but only from one problem,” the young scientist expressed his point of view.

“Let me think.” I started. “Your idea seems feasible. It is relatively cheap, too. I remember that we have a few component parts in the storage of our spaceship, which speeds things up. And finally, as you said, it won’t take up years, it will even finish its job much before the deadline. You have done an excellent job today. You managed to defeat the obstacle and prepare a clear way for the future.” I congratulated him and was followed by my colleagues with a big, cheerful round of applause. He felt like a hero.

After finding this planet I grabbed the opportunity and fulfilled my dream of a utopia. We transformed the giant rock to look like the Earth, so we would never forget our homeland. It has lush green vegetation along with flourishing plant and animal life. Great, dark blue oceans fill the blank space between the continents. But they aren’t left without life either: we were able to establish rich marine life, full of fish, algae, and other animals that could be found on Earth. As for the people, we have already started to transport would-be inhabitants of this perfect world. We decided to let only those people in who agree to the conditions we had made for living and whose personalities fit it. In this community there is no leader, nor anybody with a higher rank than the others. In simple words, we want everybody to be equal. Furthermore, they should have many positive qualities, such as reliability and unselfishness. Everyone would feel happy and would live without a problem. They need to be cooperative as well and of course, most importantly, there is no war anywhere on the globe.

Some years passed by since that meeting. Our ˝hero˝ was right: we managed to stabilize the temperature before the first group of people arrived. As they observed their new home, they were fascinated that someone could create a planet so similar to Earth. They bravely invited their relatives, so they could live peacefully here. After many tiring and problematic barriers, finally my dream has come true: I have created my own utopia. Also with these great achievements I have laid the foundations for the future.

Letter from a Personal Trainer

Csongor Veres

Dear Laura,

I heard from your brother that you are lonely, that you don’t do much, and this has to change.

I am a personal trainer looking for a trainee! I can get you in shape in 3 months. Just you wait! There will be dozens of fine gentleman callers knocking on your front door day and night! Hurry, Laura, you don’t have much time. It’s only 40 dollars for the plan! It could be described as: “The long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.”

If I were you I’d do it, Laura! Currently you’re an ugly caterpillar. I’m sorry to put it so bluntly, but this is for your good. Look at what you could be. I went through a big transformation myself. Sign up, Laura, do it! Once again, it’s “The long-delayed but always expected something that we live for.” Be different, Laura! You know what they say. “I know so well what becomes of unmarried women who aren’t prepared to occupy a position. I’ve seen such pitiful cases in the South—barely tolerated spinsters living upon the grudging patronage of sister’s husband or brother’s wife!—stuck away in some little mousetrap of a room—encouraged by one in-law to visit another—little birdlike women without any nest—eating the crust of humility all their life!” Do you really want to be like this? I’m sure you will think about this again again and again for days on end, so just stand up for yourself and apply. It’s not hard: just 5 training sessions a week. It is nothing; believe in yourself, you can do it! First you just have to mail us 40 dollars, like I stated earlier. And just like that—poof—the next week you’ll be in my gymnasium training very hard. And a side note. Last week a bird told me that there were writing machines on the way, set to arrive next Tuesday for your brother’s writing endeavors. He can be happy too! Like I said, if I were you I’d hop on this plan and just train really hard.

I must bring this letter to an end because my pet fish Larry is drowning, so I’ll see you next week


John Smith

Letter to Laura

Léda Karmazin

Dear Laura!

It’s been a long time since we met, and so much has happened and I have so many exciting things to tell you. You won’t believe it, one year I went on a trip to Kylemore Abbey; the beautiful Gothic nunnery and the fantastic garden completely enchanted me, but what really enchanted me was the  glass figurines made by nuns. Of course I had to buy one. I needed one, and what I chose, what, you’d probably laugh at me now, but I bought a big fat pig figure with a short tail. As I was lying  on the bed during the day, I looked over the pig’s body, everything was a dazzling rainbow color. If I just held it and the sunlight shone through it, the room came to life and when I turned the figure, more and more shades of color played on the wall. I took great care of my lucky pig. I thought of how happy you would be if you saw this magical glass figure, but one day there was a hole in my pocket and it bounced along those rickety iron steps. When I picked it up, there was no pig’s tail nor a pig’s nose, it was just a glass ball. Of course, you would now say that a glass ball can also be beautiful. When I picked up the glass ball, I looked through it, and I see that you are selling all kinds of goods in a small shop, but in a special corner there are only glass figurines, not fourteen but at least a hundred, and you are not alone behind the counter, but a handsome, healthy-faced man also helps you and speaks well with customers, because it is already the age where rhetoric is important. A huge shelf is full of books; of course half of them are the works of Tennessee Williams. It is so magical; when the glass figure is in front of my eyes, then everything is wonderful, but if I put the glass ball away, then everything is gray . It’s impossible for us to meet, Laura, but that one time was enough for me to understand that humans and their feelings are fragile, like a glass figure, but a human’s  thoughts have great power. I will think of you with great love.

Your best friend, Léda

Letter to Tom

Gergely Kiss

Dear Tom,

I heard that you left your family behind and started a new life.

It might sound annoying, but I think that was a terrible mistake. Think, Tom, think! How are they going to make any money? You know that your sister “had to drop out, because it gave her indigestion,” and your mother is in her fifties. How are they going to live through this year without someone like you, who were the main breadwinner in the house?

I understand that you and your mom had a troublesome relationship, I know she called you lazy and a dreamer, while you were the one making money, but calling her an “ugly babbling old witch” might have been a little too much, considering how upset she was after that.

But now, let’s talk about you! How are you, what are you working on now? Have you found yourself someone, like a wife?

Well, if you have, I wish you a very great and happy marriage!

Also I’m looking for a door key. I think I gave it to you before you left the city; could you check, maybe? We really need it, Mum can’t get in the house until Dad or I arrive home.

Well, I wish you the best!

Take care, Gary

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