2nd Person POV
July 9 2250 11.35am GMT
The young woman woke up to the suffocating smell of bleach, her nostrils flaring from the smell. The room was utterly still. Silence surrounded her, apart from the distinctive sound of beeping. She shot up from the bed, frantically searching around the room. The lights above her blinding her vision. She squinted, her eyes trying to gain focus on her surroundings. Her nostrils flaring again, as her mind returned to the smell of bleach, she covered her mouth, trying not to be sick. She ran her hands against the sheets, they felt like paper against her skin. Her vision was becoming clearer, looking around she realised it was a hospital-like room. The monitors next to her had cables running along the floor, up the side of the bed and… into her arms. Panic crossed her face.
She felt her chest tighten, and before she knew what she was doing, the alarms were sounding off. The wires were no longer in her arms. Within seconds, a group of people rushed in yelling. The young lady and older man grabbed hold of her arms, which had gone into a defensive position. She looked at them in confusion, anger and fright all at once. Tears began streaming down her face, struggling against the Doctors grip. But her fight quickly vanished when she felt a needle insert in her arm. Her eyes began to droop. She felt so sleepy. Her struggle to keep her eyes open was quickly lost. She felt her eyes slowly close. It was no use, she would just have to accept the deep sleep to come. And wait for the unknown.
Waking up. Her ears pricked up as she heard voices, keeping her eyes closed she listened. A young woman was speaking,
“Well, how was I to know she’d wake up early? She should have been knocked out for another 6 hours at the least.” Her voice was sounding irritated.
A man’s voice replied,
“The drug is experimental, so the effects are unpredictable. That’s why each of them was assigned a nurse to watch them. Your job is to be here and wait. Not to be outside gossiping!”
There was a long pause then the lady asked, “Isn’t it dangerous giving experimental drugs?” He shouted,
“For the last time, they’re not people!”
Her eyebrows slanted inward as she couldn’t hold back her annoyance and confusion at this information. She lay there, praying that no one noticed.
The young lady apologised. “Well most of them won’t be alive for long if this business of time travel is as dangerous as they say.”
The Doctor continued,
“Can I trust you to watch her until I return?”.
The room went quiet as the Doctor walked out the room slamming the door.
The nurse placed her notes down on a small table walking over to the patient she leaned over her, and whispered,
“I know you’re awake.”
The patient grunted, her forehead creased, and she reluctantly opened her eyes. Her eyes were met with the hazel eyes of a young nurse. Something in the nurses’ eyes seemed familiar.
She smiled, “Thanks for getting me in trouble, squirt.” The nurse sighed. Her expression softened.
“You’re probably wondering what you’re doing here.”
The nurse turned walking towards the window. The patient went to speak only to find the words stuck in her throat. She put her hand up to her throat, she was obviously dehydrated, which could be seen from the cracks in her lips. The nurse must have noticed this as she passed a cup of water to the patient, she didn’t hesitate to down it all in one go. Relieving her thirst. The nurse didn’t wait for the patient to answer her question.
“The government has taken it upon themselves to resolve the overpopulation crisis on Earth. There’s not enough land for us all. So we’re setting up a new colony. Somewhere we might one day all live”.
The patient started hysterically laughing, “Sending us to Mars or the moon are we?” She scoffed.
“I take it, someone, in government has been watching far too much Stars Wars. Just like my stupid parents always watching them old-time movies and spending their money on stupid gadgets like that telescope they bought. We didn’t eat barely anything for the next two months you know.”
She didn’t understand why she was so open with this nurse. She only knew that she felt safe within her presence. The nurse looked at her in what looked like empathy her eyebrows knitted together.
Pulling up a chair, the nurse started talking.
“Sounds like we had a similar upbringing. So which part of the sector are you from?” The nurse was trying to make chit chat to pass the time.
“Sector 213B, ” Her patient responded.
“That’s a rough area. I’m from 213A, slightly better but not much. Funny to think I was only 3 miles away from you.” She smiled.
“And here we are you a nurse and me, and what? A patient? Why am I handcuffed?” Her face hardened.
“Hey, I’m not the bad guy here so don’t start getting pissy with me. I’m only here to do a job.”
The patients face softened slightly.
“Sorry, I’m just confused.” Her voice sounded shaky “What did I do?” Sadness clouding her features.
The nurse looked worried,
“I was worried about this. What do you remember? We’ll start small, what’s your name?” “I don’t know!” Crying out, she pulled her legs towards her chest, burying her head into her legs. She looked up after a few moments, tears running down her cheeks.
“My sister. Where’s my sister?” her face twisting in pain. “I don’t know” the nurse replied,
“most likely back wherever you came from.” As she said this, the Doctor came into the room.
An older stern-looking man walked over to them both. He scowled at the nurse “Were you not supposed to report to me once the patient came to?”
“I’m not supposed to leave her side. Or is that not what you told me.”
She fired back, the Doctors cheeks turning bright red. He ignored her turning to the patient. He looked at his notepad and began speaking, his words held no emotion similar to a robot.
“Con38, I am Doctor Philip.”
She cut him off “Wait, that’s not my name!”
He didn’t take any notice of this while the nurse reached over, squeezing her hand.
“I will be giving a briefing on what you’re doing and where you are. Thirty-five days ago you were to be given a lethal dosage as a result of you committing crime code 211cb. Prior to this, you and other inmates undertook what you perceived as manual labour, but through this, we tested all inmates for survival skills. You scored high for balance, strength and high survivalist skills. ” He looked slightly impressed.
He kept talking, but Con38 wasn’t taking in any of it. She put her head in her hands, her head was banging. Her ears perked at the mention of a portal under the sea. They were under the sea. Her eyes widened, she couldn’t believe it.
The Doctor finally looked up from his notepad.
“Nurse get the lady a bowl for God sake! We’ve already had two of them throw up everywhere.”
He tutted angrily at the young nurse who passed her a paper bowl with a small encouraging smile.
“Further briefing on the details of the mission will be in 40 minutes in the cafeteria. Prepare yourself. There are a shower and some clean clothes behind that door. Make yourself presentable. All of the criminals”. The nurse cut him off
“He meant all the candidates will be sitting down to a meal and to be debriefed.” The Doctor glared at her stomping out of the room. He was cursing under his breath. “Fucking women. Always think they’re so special and important.”
Once the door was closed, they both started giggling with each other. The nurse helped Con38 get up and out of bed. The nurse removed the wires attached to her.
“Let me show you something.” she smiled walking towards the widow with her arm around her.
Helping her stand straight, she pointed towards a light in the distance. It was growing brighter as they appeared to be nearing. And then the sound of the engines switching off confirmed that they were in the ocean.
“I’ve always dreamed of going to the ocean. As a kid, my grandad would tell us that it smells of salt, so at night when my parents weren’t looking, I’d walk downstairs and smell the salt from the cupboard. I would Imagine I was there at the seaside. He told us so many stories that seemed magical and unreal.” She paused her features hardening “But this seems different, it looks dark and dangerous.”
The nurse frowned “I take it you’ve never been?”
“No, his heart gave in too quickly. There was never enough time.” She kept staring out of the window — the nurse looking at her through misty eyes.
“Come on we better get you clean and dress. Don’t want you to be late.” She tried changing the atmosphere. Leading her to the bathroom,
“You okay to get yourself ready. I have some small jobs to do.”
She was nodding at the nurse her face still slightly pale. Before closing the door of the bathroom, she turned to the nurse.
“Two questions.” She paused “What your name?” “Gamora.” She smiled.
“What’s mine?” her voice threatening to break.
“Mars.” She said, walking towards her. “You’ll be okay, I promise. Soon you’ll remember it all.” Walking away, leaving Mars speechless and close to tears.
She looked at herself in the mirror wiping away the tears she needed to be strong. She reacted to herself,
“My name is Mars. I am strong. My name is Mars. I am strong.”
She had been asleep for 35 days, 35 days of deep sleep. So far into a sleep that dream and reality became blurred. Was this a dream she wondered to herself. No, she knew dreams were bright and hopeful, with open forests and full of the people she loved. But who did she love? Images of her sister flashed before her, she had someone she needed to get back to. She had left her defenceless little sister in a world falling apart. She needed to get back to her no matter the cost.
You see, the world is running out of time. Most people can’t house or feed themselves. The rich have segregated themselves on an island known as Earth 2.0. It is the only place left on Earth not completely spoiled by humanity, but this won’t last long. Earth is going to die along with Earth 2.0. Scientists have been working around the clock to find a solution.
The world started to break down plants stopped growing around ten years ago, and the waters began to dry out. The drought left oceans, such as the English channel, a dry wasteland of soil and rubbish. Even making walking from England to France possible. Not a pleasant journey with the smell but a doable one. She had ventured the journey before five years ago, she had ventured out into the wasteland. The ground was covered with rubbish and skeletons. She came across the skeleton of a massive creature bigger than a bus or even two buses. Unknown to her at the time it was a blue whale, which she later found from reading a nature book. She hadn’t been quite the same since that journey. She felt the spark of youth diminish within herself. She had headed to France as there were rumours that France had not been as severely affected by the changes. But it was just that, a rumour. All we did over the past 200 years was create the problems. We dealt with these problems by creating pipe dreams, never addressing the problems. Just hoping, praying for a better outcome.
She splashed her face with water, she was now ready. Just as a knock came at the door to let her know that it was time. Time to meet the other convicts and find out what suicidal mission the elites had concocted now.