Sleep... I remember my heart sizing and constricting in burst of pain as blue liquid engulfed me, I remember thrashing from side to side as my head told me I was going to drown despite the tube giving me air... Then almost instantly my body froze. I could not open my eyes or move a single muscle in my body. I went into hyper sleep... Two years. That’s how long it was going to take for us to travel to this new Planet... Earth 2.0 as the captain of the ship called it. I remember meeting her. She’s a nice lady; she has kind eyes and a soft smile. She looked a lot like me too, with her long red hair and freckles across her nose. I have freckles across my nose too, but my hair isn’t red. It’s brown, with a red tint and light brown highlights. Marie once told me that my hair made me look younger than I am. I had told her that her hair does the same for her. She laughed when I said that. Marie was always one to make light of a difficult situation, especially when everyone was worried.
I remember Marie telling me she was the youngest scientist ever to aboard a man-made ship to a new planet, and possibly successfully live. Other ships were sent to planets too with ships of twenty or so people. Each had a goal of starting a new colony, and we didn’t have the time to successfully explore the planet for a few years before deciding whether we would go or not. All of them, the people aboard the ship, they died before they could make it back home after finding out that the planet wasn’t suitable for us. It was sad that the crews to venture out couldn’t make it back to Earth, not that there’s much left of Earth or the humans on it. We’ve tried many times to explore planets well enough to risk the adventure to them, but only few people are able to make the trip back to nothing. That’s what’s left of Earth; nothing.
Earth’s land is almost all filled with the oceans that ride on the crustal plates. Only 2% of people are still alive, which is only just below one million people. Four hundred of those people boarded the UNA- 1 ship to Earth 2.0 in hopes of finding a new home. UNA- 1 stands for United Nations Aircraft and the one mean to bring us to our one new hope. The UNA-1 came after the NOW-6, which means Nations of War, when everyone was in a panic because they thought a meteor was going to destroy us all. Funny thing is, Earth itself is going to destroy the meteor, which was set to arrive in 2030, the year we left. NASA has a funny way of setting people into panic, when the meteor is only three months away. A single month away is when the UNA-1 set off to find Earth 2.0. I was told when we found it, the people left on Earth would likely be dead. Nobody could live through what was to come. That is, only half the people left on Earth are going to go aboard UNA-2.
I was one of those ‘lucky’ people to board the air craft out of the dying Earth. The reason being is my father is an ex-military soldier, who served in the United States Army for over ten years. He had a wife, and together they made me. My mom died however when she got sick from a virus that was wiping out more people than the catastrophes that Earth has, or was experiencing.
“Were all going to die...” I recall my mother saying, a few days before she died. She knew Earth was trying to rid itself of the evil vile creatures that polluted it, and caused it so much harm that it would kill itself in order to save itself from humans. Humans are smart however. We evolved and adapted when the world wanted to kill us. Talk about a heavy burden on our shoulders. Not everyone believes that the world wants to kill us. For many thousands of years we knew that someday the world would end. It was just a matter of how, when, and why. We built bases in the oceans when the waters were rising, to prolong our inevitable death. We want to live. The six rocket ships that Engineers made were all put on high platforms above the water, to protect them from the waves. Each one was set out, except for the last two: UNA- 1 and UNA- 2. Those ships were our last hope. Despite people demanding to be sent aboard the ships, NASA specialists were still able to pick and choose certain people to go aboard UNA-1. The rest of the people who were healthy would board UNA-2. Everyone else... they died. They knew it too. Of course this sparked riots, and our take off was nearly sabotaged, but people came to their senses quick enough. You don’t kill the people who are trying to save you.
Humans... We did so much to this Earth to bring about our inevitable deaths. We left the cracks in the Ocean floors that were so deep, that you couldn’t even see the bottom. We swallowed our pride when the wind threatened to blow us away and into the dangerously freezing waters. That was then, and this is now. The Earth won. No more humans should be left on Earth. They either took one of the five remaining ships that we left on Earth and traveled in a random direction in hopes to find a livable planet, or they followed us. I’ll only know when the captain knows.
UNA- 1 was made to send humans to Earth 2.0. Even though we didn’t have enough time to research thoroughly, we did know something. Earth 2.0 was our chance. It is our change to give our race another shot at living. Nobody wants to die after all. My father once compared us humans to be like parasites; always trying to infect other places and never really dying out. Were close to dying out though. Mom was right; Earth was trying to kill us off. It chased us away, and we gave in. We ran.
Speaking of my mother and father, I know my mother was alive right as my father got the chance to send us to a new world. The Scientist said we couldn’t take our mom, and we could spend a single month with her before we would have to leave her. She didn’t make it a month alive though. She barely made it ten days before she died. She had told my dad to take the deal. Go and find a new, better place aboard a new Earth. My dad agreed, only because of me. The look in his eyes said he wanted to let the Earth take his soul away to the next place. My dad isn’t a quitter though. He would never give up on me, and I’m thankful to have such a loyal father who wouldn’t sell his soul for anything, and he would never let anything bad happen to me either. The pain he felt that day was big though. For hours he would sit and cry the day my mom died. He was depressed for two weeks. At the end of those two weeks I had thought he had given up. But he didn’t. We made it to the ship. Were in outer space, so vast and mysterious that it sometimes scares me that I don’t know the unknown out here. I’m sure I’m not the only one though.
Now, I sit here staring a white ceiling. I think about all the events that lead me here. I don’t know where I am. I don’t know what time it is, or if I’m already aboard the new planet. What I do know is, my muscles are sore. I’ve spent a little while trying to get them to move correctly, and so far I’ve had success. I don’t think I was dreaming of being almost drowned alive. That feeling... it’s terrible. The feeling off the world around you closing in, and your body shutting down and numbing is almost like knowing that you might not wake up again...It felt like I was falling, and then I was suddenly jerked up: I’m alive, I’m alert, and I’m here.
Water... that blue liquid! I’m right. Someone unfroze me. I was surrounded by the blue liquid once again, except I couldn’t really see. When I was frozen, they put a sickly yellow substance on my eyes. They said it would keep me from going blind, before we left the Earth. When I woke up, I couldn’t see anything because of that yellow stuff on my eyes. They unfroze me though, I could feel the liquid around my fingers. I guess now that I can see a white ceiling, they were right. But... where am I?
I wait...and wait...and wait. I hear nothing around me. No footsteps. No laughter. Nothing giving any indication that anyone else is here. I know someone else is here though. Or how else would I have been unfrozen? When I’m sure I’m alone, I sit up and look around. At first I feel nauseated. The sudden movement is too much for me. The dizziness goes away after a minute. I look like I’m in a hospital, in a doctor’s office. There are white cupboards and shelves. A silver sink is beneath the cupboards, and napkins are on the wall beside it. There are no windows, just white glossy walls that stare back at me. I turn my head to study more of the room. My gaze lands on the silver sink. My reflection shines back me off of the sink. It’s a little disoriented. At first I don’t know what I’m looking at, before I realize it’s me. This is me. I stare at myself, and study my features. Although it’s only been a few minutes to me, it feels like eternity since I’ve seen myself in a mirror. I’m awake now. I can see. I can feel. I have no clue how I feel thought as I stare at myself. Maybe I’m shocked. Maybe I’m sad. I don’t quite now, but I do know is I can see myself again.
I have light freckles peppered across my nose and some on my cheeks. My long brown hair brushes against the bed, and it has little curls ever few inches or so. My arms... They’re pale white, almost like the walls of this room. So is my face, my chest, my hands, my legs, even my feet. Everything is pale. I’m all pale. This hospital gown I’m wearing is light blue and white checkered; it makes me look like I’m a ghost. I know I’m not dead though. If I were dead... I wouldn’t be able to cry. Hot tears slide down my face. At first I think it’s raining, but I realize it’s just me. I’m still alive. That must mean we’ve made it, right? I can’t think about the fact that I might not be on a new planet. I must find my father, or any other source of life. The thought of being alone sickens me to my core. Humans are a social species, despite not making many friends as a kid; I still enjoy the presence of others.
I hope down onto the cold floor. At first my legs feel like jelly, and I wobble. After a few moments, I stand straight. It takes me a second to figure out how to use my legs, and before too long I’m walking normal, or semi normal. One of my legs is half an inch longer than the other, so I walk kind of awkwardly. The cold ground is checkered just like my gown; light gray and white. The light gray door doesn’t have any handle on it. At first I’m a little confused. How do I open it if there’s no handle? I look to the sides and notice a little key pad. On it, is a green button and a red button. I push the green button. The gray doors swoosh open, making a light beeping sound and then stopping. I poke my head out into the hall way.
The halls are long, with a light on the ceiling and on the floor. I see a door to the end of the hallway on the left. I step out into the hall way and notice doors along the walls. These must be the patient care rooms. Why else would it be modeled after a hospital? I walk to the left. The doors are all blank, except the one at the end of the hall. It has a red exit sign on it. Slowly I walk to the end of the hall, to the door that has the exit sign above it. Carefully, I press my hand to the door. It swooshes open and makes a beep like my door did. I gasp when I see what’s behind the door. In front of me, is a huge room? I’m sort of on like a balcony that overlooks a pond, and a big park. There are crops, and tons of green grass. A few people are taking care of the crops, and seem to not notice me. These people aren’t apart of the crew that I saw before... Who are they? Did the crew decide to unfreeze some people and make crops for us so when we wake up we have fresh food to eat?
In the park I see a few small houses, only about ten or so. About ten people, all men, are outside taking care of the crops. A few women sit by the houses and hold babies. Some children run around, laughing and chasing one another. A dog and a cat eat beside one of the ladies with the baby, puppies and kittens around them. They all look... Happy. Content with their lives.
“How long have I been asleep?” I wonder out loud.
“Three years.” A voice answers. I jump at the sound, and turn around. To my left is a young man with dark curly hair, and dark brown eyes. He looks older... about in his late twenties I would say? But he has gray hairs by his ears. He must be older than that. He smiles at me, and I notice his clean shaven face. He doesn’t have a single spec of hair on his chin.
“W-who a-are y-you?” I ask, my voice stuttering as I ask. I’m growing a little cold... does this place not have any heat, or is it just me?
“I can’t believe you don’t remember me, Scarlet. My name is John. S. Reginald, I’m one of the co captains of this ship.” John says. I lean my head toward the side in a confused gesture. John Reginald... Why do I have a feeling I know that name? I met all of the crew before I went into hyper sleep. Most of the four hundred people frozen only got to meet the captain. Why is his name... I gasp and run over to John. I give him a big hug.
“Reggie!” I laugh, as I give him a light squeeze. He laughs and hugs me back. After a minute I let go of him and smile.
“I knew you’d remember me.” Reggie says. John S. Reginald is the co-captain of the ship, second in command to Marie Antonia. It’s a wonder Reggie’s greeting me instead of Marie, but I’m just glad I know him! Reggie, besides being the Co. Captain of UNA-1 is one of my best friends while on Earth. He used to baby sit me, and hang out with me when my dad was away or taking care of my mother. Reggie and Marie both knew me years before they became captains of a space ship. Technically they were with NASA, but still always had time for me since the humans who were left on Earth only had about less than one hundred miles to be close to each other. Reggie, Marie, dad, and only about three other people were the only ones ever close to me. I’m not a very social person, so I didn’t get to know anyone else.
“It’s nice to see you again.” I say, smiling. Reggie nods, and gives me another hug.
“I’m starting to think it was a good idea to unfreeze you.” Reggie says, his smile holds a little mischief in it. I roll my eyes.
“So you’re the rascal who unfroze me. Why so late though? I thought we were supposed to be unfrozen a year ago.” I answer, a little confused. Reggie sighs.
“Why don’t you get dressed an I’ll explain later okay?” Reggie suggest. I nod, and we walk back to the room I was in. Reggie goes through the cabinets and pulls out a dark green cotton long sleeve shirt, an white under shirt, loose fitting blue jeans, white sneakers with black shoe laces, and two undergarments. When he gets the undergarments his face goes a little red. I laugh at him.
“Embarrassed are you?” I ask. He rolls his eyes and steps out of the room.
I quickly get dressed in all of the clothes. The cotton sweater keeps me warm, and the white under shirt makes the cotton swear feel warm and snug. My jeans fit perfectly, and the sneakers are just a tad bit bigger then my feet, but otherwise I feel great. I notice a hair tie on the counter, and I rummage through the drawers to find a brush. Quickly I brush out the curls in my hair, and put my hair in a ponytail. It feels good to have it off my neck. When I’m finished, I push the green button. Outside, I don’t see Reggie anywhere around. Frowning, I start to walk back toward the end of the hall. That’s when I notice the room right across from me has a name plate on it.
“Henry Smith.” I read out loud, in disbelief. My dad’s room was right across from mine this whole time! I run over to the room and knock on it. The door swooshes open after a few seconds. Dad stands there in camouflage green and black army uniform, with yellow boots, and a hat covering his light brown hair. His green eyes shine and he smiles at me.
“Dad!” I say and I hug him tightly. He laughs and hugs me back.
“You know, It only feels like we’ve been apart for a few minutes?” Dad asks. I nod.
“It still feels like too long...” I mutter, my face in his chest.
“Ah, I’m glad you’ve found your dad.” Reggie says behind me. I let go of dad and turn toward him.
“You disappeared, where did you go?” I ask, and I put my hands on my hips. Reggie shrugs.
“I paged Marie and told her you two are awake and fine.” He answers. Reggie motions for me and dad to follow him out of the room. We go to the balcony where I already went. Dad stops and takes a minute to marvel at the nature aboard the ship.
“How did you guy’s do that?” Dad asks. Reggie smiles.
“A week after we froze you guys and were preparing to leave, about twenty locals proposed to build crops aboard the ship, so when we land we have fresh food and more seeds. So we checked them out. Only about fifteen of them were aloud aboard, you know because you can’t be a certain age and you can’t be sick. One of them caught a deadly virus, another right after we checked him out caught a virus that was contagious, and ruined it for three of his friends. The fifteen we let in understood why we wouldn’t let the others in. So this is what they’ve been doing. I say they’ve made great progress.” Reggie says. I nod in agreement. Dad stares at the farm looking place, before we move on, and go through another door.
This door leads to a long darker hall way, were the walls are dark gray, and at the end there’s a security pad. Reggie puts his hand against it, and the door slides open. Reggie walks inside, and we follow. I notice that were in an elevator now. Reggie puts a key into one of the slots in the wall, and turns it. We the elevator door shuts, and we move up. I stumble a little, but with help from Reggie and dad I stay standing. When the elevator stops, we go down another small passage. Behind this locked and key padded door, I see a huge room. At the front of it us controls, and a few people talking at panels along the wall. This is the control room where they control were we are flying!
“Hey Reggie! I thought we told you not to bring anyone... Scarlet! Henry!” Marie’s voice carries across the room and she runs over to us. The people along the walls stare at us, and when they see who it is they all smile. All of them look older, with gray hair. Even Marie looks older, but the fierce in her eyes hasn’t faded!
“Marie, it’s nice to see you.” Dad says as she approaches. He gives her a solute, and Marie hugs him in return. Then she turns to me and hugs me. When she hugs me she lifts me off the ground a little, and spins me around. I laugh and hold on to her tightly. Finally we stop, and I’m set back onto the ground.
Marie’s long red hair has been cut to about shoulder length. She seems a little bigger... Then I notice she has a belly. She’s pregnant! I smile at her, and she smiles back. Marie also has a white lab coat on, and a green shirt that kind of looks like mine. She wears gray sweat pants, and white sneakers. Her bright green eyes shine in the dim light of the forward fuselage and crew cabin, or main control center.
“We need to catch up.” I tell Marie, as I give her another light hug. She nods, and looks back at the crew.
“Damion, you’re in charge. Watch the gauges and man the control panel.” Marie says. A man who’s at least 6, 4 ft. tall stands up, nods at Marie, and moves to the captain’s chair at the front of the cabin. The man looks a lot like Reggie; he has short dark black hair, and dark brown eyes. His skin is olive colored, and he wears a blue shirt and white pants. He has on white sneakers, and white gloves.
“Come on.” Marie says, after she gives an order to some people at the control panels along the side of the walls. I walk with her, but dad stays with Reggie in the front of the space craft. Marie and I go to a table in the corridor, which is down the elevator, and by the railing to look out to the farm area. Marie plops down onto a chair, which seems bolted to the floor. I sit across from her.
“So, tell me everything! Why I’m woken up late, Reggie said it’s been three years? How are you pregnant? What’s happened? Are we at the new planet yet? How things with the crew you decide to are have grown crops? Did you guys add anyone else to the crew that I don’t know yet? How are you...” Marie cuts me off.
“Quiet Scarlet! Please, one question at a time!” She says laughing. I smile and nod for her to continue. “Alright, I’ll answer your questions best I can. Do you remember Antonio?” Marie asks. I shake my head no. I think that name’s familiar, but I’m not sure.
“Antonio is a doctor that NASA hired along with a few other medical doctors to keep check of the people who were left awake here. At first I disliked Antonio, not because he was shady or anything, but because he genuinely looked like one of the smartest person here. I’ve always took pride in knowledge, and when someone who is both nice, and smart came aboard I was a little... Skeptical shall we say. For a while I avoided him. Then one day I accidentally fell down some stairs and broke my ankle. I had to have a cast on for about twelve weeks.” Marie says. I frown. Marie isn’t usually the kind of person to get jealous of anyone. She must have really liked Antonio...
“Anyway, Dr. Antonio checked up on me every day for those few weeks. It was nice of him to have a nurturing nature... and I didn’t know how to deal with it. After a while I just decided to talk to him...and I fell in love!” Marie says. Her eyes glaze over as if she’s remembering the good times. To me it sounds like a lot can happen in three years.
“I love him...Dr. Marcus Antonio and I got married about five months ago. I found out I’m having a baby four months ago.” Marie finishes. I smile and nod.
“It sounds amazing, Mrs. Antonio.” I answer ad wink. Marie laughs and nods.
“He is amazing! I’ll be sure to introduce you at some point alright? I was actually in a check up with him a while ago... it was so hard not to just jump his bones!” Marie pauses as if checking to see if I understood. I roll my eyes and she smirks. Then she continues. “I’m six months pregnant. I managed to keep my love for him at bay for a little while, although no longer! As you can see, we hit it off really well.” Marie stops and laughs. I laugh with her, and it feels as if were two teenagers sharing secrets on a Friday night, staying up late, while gossiping about boys. I never had any friends like that, but Marie... she’s like my ride or die kind of friend even though she’s a few years older than me. At least she’s not my dad’s age. “ Now you had other questions... let me see... Oh! Three years. Yes this travel was supposed to take a little over two years, but the ships sprung a leak half way through the journey, so it’s taken a little while. We’re using Solar winds to spring past a couple of solar systems. We’ve run into a few black holes, but managed to get past them. Were actually stationed right outside of Earth 2.0, or OGLE-2005-BLG-390Lb. A few of the crew members are angry that I keep calling it Earth 2.0 but it’s easier than saying ogle 2005 BLG 309 Lb now isn’t it?” Marie says, and she says OGLE (ah-gah-le) in a weird way. I chuckle, and she laughs. “Why haven’t we landed then?” I ask. Marie frowns, and I can see something in her eyes.
“We sent a probe from the ship with a camera to the planet... Scarlet, we were wrong, dead wrong. Life lives on the planet, and it’s really strong.” Marie says, and I can hear something in her voice. I think she’s scared of the extra-terrestrial life forms on the new planet. I guess the question is, what do we do now?