I can still see it from here. I haven’t lost track of it yet. Among the millions of stars around it, it still shines blue, it still looks like home.
I spend my days walking through these white hallways, the ones with the soft floors, the ones where your feet don’t hurt after having walked all day. I talk to other people in them, like ants we work, and their feet too never hurt. At night we smile to each other and on occasion say ‘good night’, for old times sake.
Sometimes, when I sleep, I can smell the salt of the ocean, I can hear the waves caress the sands outside my home. It used to be the shore that marked the limit, the limit beyond which humans could not go, a blue infinite that was impossible to conquer. Until someone did. It’s how we humans learned there are no limits. They conquered the sea and then the land. They conquered the depths of the ocean and then the peaks of the mountains that scratched the stars.
I wake up in the mornings and watch the white ceilings above us. They glow with a soft light. It’s beneficial. It promotes the body’s natural vitamin D synthesization. Most times I stare at it for minutes, but when I get carried away I stare at it for hours.
Sometimes, when my mind wanders, I can see the sun rising in the horizon. The skies are tinged with the color of roses, and then they turn to tangerine at dusk. I can feel the warm wind from the west caress my face, it brings to my skin grains of dust that have traveled the world. It used to be that the sky marked the limit, the limit beyond which humans could not go, an infinite blue that separated us from the dangerous black void that surrounded us. The emptiness and solitude of outer space. Until someone did. They conquered flight across the blue empyrean and then they conquered our moon.
And sometimes, when I want to forget, and I find myself shedding a tear, I can feel the vibrations of the ground as my team drills deep into the lunar core. I can taste the metallic particles that the air has brought from the outside of our camp. I can see my world through the window above my desk, half-black, half-blue. I can see us driving on the roads of our planet, walking with our partners in the night, hoping to receive an unexpected kiss. It used to be that Earth was our island, our protected piece of land that sat in the middle of an infinite black desert, and now we have nothing. Now we float. We are neither on land nor on sea. We are not home nor are we homeless.
Now we search.
We search for a new beginning, we search for a new world, we search for a new island amidst the wasteland, and we’ve vowed that when we find it, we will leave its limits be. We will let it dictate its rules of our accommodation with the hope that we will never again perceive this feeling. But until then we float. We search. We cry.
1 thought on “We’re Leaving Earth Behind”
We cry and we fear. We fear the end of the ship’s energy and the deep unknown. We are the Columbus of the universe and what we find could be nothing at all. But it could be primitive, a species less advanced than us. Or it could be more advanced.
A thousand years pass and the synthetic vitamins and the age reverse keeps everyone alive, anyone could die but we owe this to everyone that couldn’t leave. This is for the people that had to sit there while the Earth crumbled to pieces. We can’t leave that responsibility.
The space around us is beyond the charted universe. New planets being tested by the supercomputer attached to the over sensitive outer sensors. No planet has everything we need. It’s all bad. Sometimes no oxygen, but perfect distance from a star. Other times the planet could be just like Earth’s atmosphere-but just that, no solid surface.
Another thousand years. 100 billion planets tested. None have turned up correct results except one. We are landing now and it seems hopeful. There are a few windows we look out as we land.
It looks like a relatively grassy clearing in a large forest. Great tall trees with roots the size of small hills. The branches reach so far clouds can be seen in the upper reaches. There seems to be small creatures scurrying along the ground. I pick one up.
The creature crawls along my arm BEEP. What was tha-BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. DREAM EVACUATION COMPLETE. No! Red emergency lights blink all around and I step out of my room.
In the hallway is something. Something. Something. Something. Something. Something. The word repeats in my head until I’m sure it wasn’t real. I walk towards where I saw it. I reach the hallway intersection and face to face with me is something. Something. Something. Something. Something.
I can’t think anything else as it enters my brain with a series of tubes. Something. It echoes again. Something. I’m no longer thinking freely. Something unusual. Something out of this world. It feels like it is scanning my brain for knowledge. An alien. Alien. Alien. It seems to have found the word it likes.
It finds a nerve in my brain. Alien. It squeezes it. I scream, it hurts. Alien. Hurt. Hurt. Amused. It is amused by my pain. Frail. By my frail body. Hope. It feels me thinking of other days. It squeezes the nerve until I’m not.
Days pass. Maybe seconds. It hurts. I hurt. I can’t see. My eyes have been removed. But I still stand. It is deleting my memory. I want out. But I can’t. I am being transformed. I have no more memories. Just words. Words. Words. So beautiful. Words. I want more. I can smell them. I hear one. Echoed. It.
I echo it back. It. It. It. It it. I find the source. I must have more. It. It. It. It. I enter the source. It is thinking words. Beautiful words. I echo them back. It thinks of pictures. I don’t like pictures so I hurt it. It won’t stop so I hurt it more and more. Until it stops until they’re gone until it wants words too, until it’s an alien too. Alien. Alien. Alien. Alien. I like that word. Alien. Alice.
I am an alien. Alien. Alien.
I couldn’t give the last story a bad ending and not give this one an extra bad ending. Hopefully you like it 🙂