Darkness

It’s strange, how small sentences can have the biggest impact. I love you, I hate you, he didn’t make it. Just a few words and your whole world can change.
The world ended.
That’s what they told us. We were eleven, soon to be taking our places on the ship as crew. We found out that day that we once had a whole planet to call home. Where we could go outside whenever we wished. Going outside now meant something rather more final.
They showed us pictures of fields, oceans, towns and cities, most of the names long forgotten. They showed us people, white people, brown people, people with different shapes eyes. Some were big others small, there were fat people who some how managed to eat to much, and skinny people who were supposed to be pretty in a plastic way. We were all pale and thin. The adults were wiry while the children were just bony. Women’s hair was short and men’s shorter still.
The next pictures the showed us weren’t as nice. Blood, screaming children, panic and riots. The moon closer and closer with each slide.
A rogue asteroid had impacted the satellite hard enough to shatter it, the smaller chunks falling to earth killing millions in the first day. But it was the loss of the moon itself that caused the worst of the damage, the tides changed causing tsunamis and earthquakes , disrupting the whole ecosystem until the planet was nearly uninhabitable.
Every country scrabbled to put ships together, the richest soaking up resources as fast as possible, no longer caring what they did to the planet, but they went to fast. Nearly half their ships crashing down or exploding soon after take off.
Those of us who finally managed to escape began as a convoy. Nearly one thousand ships limping their way out in to the great nothingness. Years and years went by, ship after ship failed or fell behind. We scavenged what we could from the ones we could , whether it was food, resources or parts. Eventually only three ships were left, and those were soon built in to one.
Crime and violence were rampant, brutality the norm. For generations only the strong survived, racism wiped out religion and race until we were almost all that was left. Then the soldier’s mobilised, overthrowing what remained of the government and established the new order. They emerged from sealed sections of the ship and quickly routed out dissidents, establishing the new order. They brought order and structure to our failing society .
After our “induction” we were all separated in to groups, then tested both mentally and physically. Our results collated and finally we were given our assignments. Being children most of us were assigned to work in the air shafts, and soon knew the ship better than ever before. The smartest of us were trained in the technical aspects of repair work, the others sent to clear blockages and other dangerous work.
My brother Marcus and I ended up working with our father on general maintenance, at least we did until the section he was working in breached. After that we were left to fend for ourselves. Marcus soon fell in with the cargo rats, a group of orphaned children who stole and smuggled anything they could and were constantly looking for boys like us.
I spent my days working, keeping myself below the radar. Avoiding the gangs and soldiers alike. I explored the air ducts and service tubes extensively, discovering passages long forgotten. It was there I met Athena. She was small, even for a orphaned child like myself, living off scraps and the rodents abundant in the area.
It took weeks for me to gain her trust, bringing her food and supplies, even a teddy I’d found abandoned. I kept her hidden from the others, knowing what they would do if they discovered her. Crumb by crumb we built trust, each day strengthening our relationship. She was smart, knowing how to bypass almost all the ships security and other systems. I wasn’t as strong as the other boys my age but I was fast, together we became an effective team. We thought we were unstoppable.
The Marcus was caught.
He had been caught carrying contraband and arrested, his execution was to be carried before the day ended. I made my way to the holding cells, Athena guiding me with the coms we’d pilfered. But I got sloppy, and in trying to free him I was caught myself. Then they traced our signal and caught Athena .
That was probably my darkest point. My family all dead, my only friend captured trying to help me. Both of us most likely on the way to the airlock ourselves. I could have given up. Gone and curled in to a corner of my cell and waited for the inevitable end. But I didn’t.
I threw myself at the walls, searching for any sort of escape. I ripped my nails off trying to pry the grill from the air shaft. Bloodied my knuckles attempting to break the small glass window in the door. On and on until I blacked out.
The next thing I remembered was being dragged, two soldiers held me up by my arms as they marched down the corridor. Even as damaged as I was tried to break free, only to be thrown to the floor and knees pressed in to my back, and the telling pressure of a gun jammed against the base of my skull.
We it would be quicker than being thrown in to space.
“Don’t hurt him!”
I froze at Athenas shout. She’d been behind me the entire time. I was stubborn, stupid, suicidal even. But I wouldn’t let her face what was coming alone. I let them pull me up, found my own feet and limped on as straight as I could
It’s strange, how small sentences can have the biggest impact. I love you, I hate you, he didn’t make it. Just a few words and your whole world can change.
The world ended.
That’s what they told us. We were eleven, soon to be taking our places on the ship as crew. We found out that day that we once had a whole planet to call home. Where we could go outside whenever we wished. Going outside now meant something rather more final.
They showed us pictures of fields, oceans, towns and cities, most of the names long forgotten. They showed us people, white people, brown people, people with different shapes eyes. Some were big others small, there were fat people who some how managed to eat to much, and skinny people who were supposed to be pretty in a plastic way. We were all pale and thin. The adults were wiry while the children were just bony. Women’s hair was short and men’s shorter still.
The next pictures the showed us weren’t as nice. Blood, screaming children, panic and riots. The moon closer and closer with each slide.
A rogue asteroid had impacted the satellite hard enough to shatter it, the smaller chunks falling to earth killing millions in the first day. But it was the loss of the moon itself that caused the worst of the damage, the tides changed causing tsunamis and earthquakes , disrupting the whole ecosystem until the planet was nearly uninhabitable.
Every country scrabbled to put ships together, the richest soaking up resources as fast as possible, no longer caring what they did to the planet, but they went to fast. Nearly half their ships crashing down or exploding soon after take off.
Those of us who finally managed to escape began as a convoy. Nearly one thousand ships limping their way out in to the great nothingness. Years and years went by, ship after ship failed or fell behind. We scavenged what we could from the ones we could , whether it was food, resources or parts. Eventually only three ships were left, and those were soon built in to one.
Crime and violence were rampant, brutality the norm. For generations only the strong survived, racism wiped out religion and race until we were almost all that was left. Then the soldier’s mobilised, overthrowing what remained of the government and established the new order. They emerged from sealed sections of the ship and quickly routed out dissidents, establishing the new order. They brought order and structure to our failing society .
After our “induction” we were all separated in to groups, then tested both mentally and physically. Our results collated and finally we were given our assignments. Being children most of us were assigned to work in the air shafts, and soon knew the ship better than ever before. The smartest of us were trained in the technical aspects of repair work, the others sent to clear blockages and other dangerous work.
My brother Marcus and I ended up working with our father on general maintenance, at least we did until the section he was working in breached. After that we were left to fend for ourselves. Marcus soon fell in with the cargo rats, a group of orphaned children who stole and smuggled anything they could and were constantly looking for boys like us.
I spent my days working, keeping myself below the radar. Avoiding the gangs and soldiers alike. I explored the air ducts and service tubes extensively, discovering passages long forgotten. It was there I met Athena. She was small, even for a orphaned child like myself, living off scraps and the rodents abundant in the area.
It took weeks for me to gain her trust, bringing her food and supplies, even a teddy I’d found abandoned. I kept her hidden from the others, knowing what they would do if they discovered her. Crumb by crumb we built trust, each day strengthening our relationship. She was smart, knowing how to bypass almost all the ships security and other systems. I wasn’t as strong as the other boys my age but I was fast, together we became an effective team. We thought we were unstoppable.
The Marcus was caught.
He had been caught carrying contraband and arrested, his execution was to be carried before the day ended. I made my way to the holding cells, Athena guiding me with the coms we’d pilfered. But I got sloppy, and in trying to free him I was caught myself. Then they traced our signal and caught Athena .
That was probably my darkest point. My family all dead, my only friend captured trying to help me. Both of us most likely on the way to the airlock ourselves. I could have given up. Gone and curled in to a corner of my cell and waited for the inevitable end. But I didn’t.
I threw myself at the walls, searching for any sort of escape. I ripped my nails off trying to pry the grill from the air shaft. Bloodied my knuckles attempting to break the small glass window in the door. On and on until I blacked out.
The next thing I remembered was being dragged, two soldiers held me up by my arms as they marched down the corridor. Even as damaged as I was tried to break free, only to be thrown to the floor and knees pressed in to my back, and the telling pressure of a gun jammed against the base of my skull.
We it would be quicker than being thrown in to space.
“Don’t hurt him!”
I froze at Athenas shout. She’d been behind me the entire time. I was stubborn, stupid, suicidal even. But I wouldn’t let her face what was coming alone. I let them pull me up, found my own feet and limped on as straight as I could.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s