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Leaving Earth - Zone 508b

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic


It's 2199 and it's the End of the World. Families are being separated. Sean and Lucille are waiting to board the space craft that will take them to their new home, they hope they will travel in the
same section, but does fate have other plans for this couple?

Submitted: October 02, 2017

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Submitted: October 02, 2017

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October 3rd, 2199

It’s the end of the world, we knew it was coming. The Human Race, top of the food chain, the most intelligent species on Planet Earth have succeeded in depleting all of the natural resources. We tried renewable energy, but due to the effects of Global Warming it has been deemed unreliable. The seasons are intermittent and weather unpredictable. Our once green, fertile lands are now baron, we have been surviving on nutrient pills for years, but even they are now in short supply. We have officially exhausted all options on Earth.

Although there is a new hope, a new planet has been discovered by NASA probes, it’s 3rd rock from the sun in another solar system in a neighbouring Galaxy, its conditions are perfect and it was uninhabited. Today is the day we board the passenger vessel and embark on an exciting new future, one with real food and clean water and breathable air.

The remainder of Earths inhabitants are queuing to board, there are holograms at various stages of the boarding process, the holograms are 3D digital displays, showing what the new lives will look like. The new planet looks very much like Earth circa 1960, sandy beaches, wholesome family dinners, a simpler time before technology took over.

The Humans are scanned and directed to their dispatch zones, many are unhappy because friends and family are being separated, but trusting in their leaders that they will be reunited on their new planet, and knowing that they can no longer survive on this one they do as they are asked and head to their allocated zones.

Sean and Lucille are a young couple, their families are long gone, owing to poor water conditions and a shortage of nutrient pills. They cling to one another, watching the separations in the line before them, hoping that they will get allocated the same zone. Sean is scanned first, the scanner flashes red, a Synthetic gives him his zone and area code as Lucille steps up to the scanner. Her heart is pounding as she stares at the large screen before her and watches as a horizontal red line slowly moves down her body, she holds her breath, hoping for a red light. The scanner flashes green, Lucille takes a sharp intake of breath as tears sting her eyes. She begrudgingly takes her zone and area code from the Synth who is equipped with calming manipulation; which it uses by looking directly into the human’s eyes and placing a hand on their arm, sending vibrations to calm the nerves and give a sense of serenity, this seems to work and Sean hugs Lucille to him. They declare their undying love for one another and promise to live the best life ever in the new world, recognising how fortunate they are to have this amazing opportunity.

Sean follows the signs for ‘508b’, on arrival, he likes the vintage feel of his area, it is reminiscent of an old-fashioned plane, one he’s seen footage of in old history documentaries about the aircraft of the late 1900’s. He takes a seat next to an older gentleman and a young girl with a bad skin condition.

Lucille follows a Synth to an upper deck of the spacecraft, she is shown to a pod, the Synth tells her that she will enter into a hyper sleep and be awoken in 100 years when the aircraft lands. She will be fed and provided with water through the tubes in the pod and her subconscious will be trained with all the knowledge she will need to flourish as a settler in the new world. Lucille feels content, and climbs into her pod, watching as the Perspex dome closes above her, she closes her eyes and begins to dream of Sean, and their new life together; of children and a farm, where they can grow their own nutritious food, and trees for clean air, so that their children will never suffer the same fate as their ancestors.

Sean’s area is becoming cramped, he wonders how his beautiful Lucille is, hoping that her accommodation is more comfortable than his own.

It seems like hours have passed, Sean has struck up a conversation with the older gentleman, his name is Seth, and he is accompanying his three young grandchildren to the new world as their parents had sadly died of cholera, such a common cause of death. Seth told Sean that cholera was a disease you only read about in the history books when he was a boy, it was unheard of that it would become so common once more in this day and age. The young girl asked if they would look after her, they find out that her name is Sarah and she has been separated from her mother, her skin condition is a bad case of eczema, she is hoping that the air quality and improved diet in the new world would help to improve it. Sean hoped she would get her wish, she seemed like a lovely young girl, her mother would be proud of how well she was handling their separation.

An announcement is made over the loudspeaker:

 “We will be fully boarded in ten minutes, at 1800 hours… please remain in your allocated zones and await further instruction”

A big cheer was let out in the cabin; Sean, Seth and Sarah all nervously smile at each other, this was the biggest adventure they would ever go on, so Seth told them, the day the remainder of the Human Race became astronauts! The theory was that after they left, Planet Earth would repair itself, scientists had researched extensively and they had drawn the conclusion that a similar event had occurred in the Earth’s history, accounting for hidden underwater city Atlantis, amongst other unexplained mysteries. There had been a documentary on it the City Central Hub about how Earth would regenerate over the course of billions of years and evolution would begin once more, however, scientists were unsure if the product would be reminiscent of the Human Race or if a different species entirely would form, it would be dependent on the composition of the New Earth’s atmosphere, land and water conditions.

Another announcement is made over the loudspeaker:

“Zone 508b, The Captain regrets to inform you that you are the fuel, please remain seated, we hope this experience is as quick and painless as possible, we thank you for your sacrifice”

The cabin is silent, everybody in shock at what they have just heard. Sean looks at Seth in disbelief, Sarah is hyperventilating, tears streaming down her face. Sean looks around, the first time he has truly examined his surroundings, everyone in this zone is either old or sick, they all have a difference, a weakness. Sean touches the tender lump on his chest, it had been there for a few months now, steadily growing and intermittently aching. Too scared to get it checked, too scared that he would be leaving Lucille alone, but now he knew his worst fear was a reality, his cancer was back and he would be leaving Lucille, but at least she had a new beginning. He grabbed Sarah and Seth’s hands and squeezed them tight, they held onto each other, and braced themselves, hearing the countdown;

‘5… 4… 3… 2… 1…’

They felt the heat and heard the shrieks of terror before they saw the flames, a blast of fire coming towards them. Sean could feel his skin, like hot wax beginning to melt, he closed his eyes, the pain unbearable, and sank into darkness.


© Copyright 2018 EJS. All rights reserved.

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