2200

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


“Last announcement for EVAS-10N departure, all the on boarders are requested to stay inside the cabinets booked. I repeat-”

I quickly hugged her tight, “Daddy loves you.”

“Yee loves you too.” She hugged me back. None of us was relaxing the grip.

“Take care of yourself, and don't overstrain.” Sera bear hugged us both. We three were squeezing each other while everyone was rushing inside the cabins.

“The doors will be closed in a minute. Please be inside the cabinet.”

“Come on Yee, we have to go inside.” But Yee didn’t want to leave me behind. She strengthened her grip against my waist, not letting it loose.

I kneeled to reach her level, “Daddy will come find Yee soon.”

She extended her pinky finger, “Promise?” I sealed her promise. Scanning their faces for the last time, capturing every detail, I bid them a happy farewell. Though Yee was not that happy, I felt relieved, thinking they will be at a healthier place than staying in this hell.

“Please stay back, EVAS-10N is taking off in 3, 2, 1…”

The spacecraft took off in a blink, without any noise. This was the best technology we had made after the extraction of the metal that was unknown to humans for centuries. And because of that, we are here in this situation.

“Dr Rees, subject 23 doesn’t look good. It doesn't seem that it will survive the test.” My assistant was fidgeting with the tab and was monitoring the situation even outside the lab.

“Dr Jo, how many times do I have to remind you that this experiment is confidential? We can’t talk about this in public.”

Her face turned red, and she avoided my eyes, “I’m sorry, Dr Rees.”

We headed back to our research lab. The government has given us an important task to make a serum for humans to survive on this planet. For the past two centuries, we had consumed Earth till that point where living here was now hopeless. With no trees left, synthesizing artificial air and non-polluted water was the only option. But that too required a clean environment, which was nowhere to be seen.

“What are the levels of 23? Any improvement?”

“No, doctor. It seems that he will not survive for the next phase.” Dr Will was checking his vitals. 

Our team consisted of professionals from different parts of our country. Irrespective of the hierarchy, we were working quite peacefully.

“On the contrary, 26 has shown impressive results.” He passed me the records.

This was the first time a subject had shown any improvement. The previous ones failed in phase 1.

“Not only 26, but 27, 30 and 35 have also shown progressive results. I believe we are nearing our goal, Dr Rees."

26 survived phase 1 while 30 and 35 were already in phase 2. 27 was still lacking, but his vitals showed he would survive. The end to toxicity and the start of new human civilization was becoming more transparent.

“Keep it up, doctors. You both can have a rest, I’ll monitor them.”

Both the doctors had worked hard for the past 13 months on this project. I had joined them late, but they were welcoming and warmhearted.

All the current subjects had normal vitals, and they looked more potent than previous ones. I was euthanizing 24 when the warning buzzer turned on.

 

“EMERGENCY”

 

“EMERGENCY”

 

“THE MAIN POWER SOURCE HAS BEEN DEACTIVATED. THE POWER HAS BEEN CUT OFF. BACKUP POWER NOT DETECTED.”

Dr Will came running in.

“We have to leave the building now. The neighbouring countries are attacking the lab. Any moment and we will be bombed. The orders are from the headquarters, Dr Rees.”

“Is that why they had cut the power off? What about the subjects?”

 

 “THE SYSTEM IS SHUTTING. COUNTDOWN.”

 

10

 

9

 

“They’ll die, Dr Will. They trusted us on this project. We cannot leave them like this.”

 

8

 

“We don’t have the time nor any other option. Please come with us.” Dr Jo and Dr Will dragged me out of the lab. We were heading to the safe room in the basement.

 

7

 

6

 

“At least let me turn the backup source on.” I protested.

“I did that, don't worry.” 

 

5

 

4

 

We all fastened our seat belts and waited. Helplessly.

 

3

 

2

 

1

 

BOOM!

 

I could hear our hard work being wrecked above us. Though they didn’t show any emotion, the faces reflected their feelings. They were heartbroken as well.

"Were you happy Dr Rees, by sending your family away from you?" I could hear her trembling. 

"If they are in a safe place, I am more than happy. Even when I'm not with them."

"Don't you think she will need a dad with her? "She's five, after all."

Dr Will looked at me with tears in his eyes, trying to find some comfort among the words. 

"She will, definitely. And I may not be there for her. But even if for one second, she remembers me with a smile on her face, I would be happy."

We waited for a long time. None of us spoke a word. I was busy thinking about my past and all those memories I had with Yee and Sera. I didn't notice my beeper blinking. 

ALERT! THE PLANET KEP-078 HAS BEEN CAPTURED BY EXTRATERRESTRIAL BEINGS. ALL THE SPACECRAFT HAVE BEEN HALTED.

I called the defence governor immediately. 

"Sir-?"

"I'm sorry, Dr Rees, but we are facing an unforeseen problem. We'll try our best-"

"What do you mean, sir? I agreed to this project because you had given your word to protect my family. You cannot go back!"

"I never said that. All I said was they will reach the planet. Protecting them is your duty, Dr Rees. Use your knowledge if you want to help them."

He hung up.

What do I do?

“Dr Will, do you think we can go and check what happened above.”

“I don’t think it is safe right now. The enemies may be above us!”

 “It’s okay, I’ll go alone.” I picked up the card and moved towards the door.

“Dr Rees, it is dangerous. None of them would be alive.” Dr Jo managed to pull herself together to stop me.

“I need to check it myself. They are my last hope.”

I walked out of the room only to stumble upon the pillars of our lab. Everything was crushed. Dust and ruins surrounded me and the place where our subjects were tested. 

Somehow, I found my way back to the vital room. It was more or less a pile of wires and pillars covered with smoke. The light on the cryostats was blinking, showing that there’s a possibility of subject survival.

I jumped my way to the power switch and switched on the machines to check their vitals. Fortunately, all of them were in stable positions. As I was going through their details, something cold and solid hit the back of my head.

“Hands up and kneel. You and your bottles are coming with us.” The general placed his gun on my head and ordered everyone around. “Pack and pick up everything here. We need to leave. NOW!” 

 

 


Submitted: October 22, 2021

© Copyright 2021 rawmango. All rights reserved.

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