Estimated reading time — 17 minutes
It’s hard to begin but let me preface this by saying that Earth does still exist, but it’s a wasteland. If you’re listening to this you need to know where you come from.
The scientists were right. Climate change was a real threat. In the early 21st century, the majority of the population was at odds with this decision. Facts pointed to a steady shift in climate changes dating back thousands of years prior to the dates of the test, which showed there was no indisputable evidence fingering us as the cause. Governments argued, scholars debated, and citizens either ignored the situation at hand or made lifestyle choices in an attempt to lower their carbon footprint. A consensus was eventually reached sometime in the mid 2000’s pointing towards a steady increase in heat and climate change.
This motivated many governments across the world to lower their carbon footprint. Recycling became mandatory under punishment of jail time. Solar panels were installed in every house, office building and establishment. Big name companies like BP, Shell, and Exxon lobbied through official channels stating that their rights were being impeded. It didn’t take long for laws to be passed eliminating the public consumption of fossil fuels. Nuclear facilities started to sprout up for means of electricity, car companies were forced to move to a renewable source of energy. Soon there were cars running on salt water, electricity, and solar energy.
Despite our efforts, it seemed as if the damage had already been done and was far past the breaking point. This became evident when Venice was on the brink of being submerged. In the year 2113, sea water covered the streets of this once historic city and a mandated evacuation order was given. Several Greek islands disappeared completely, and many beachside cities faced the real issue that was now on their doorstep.
Through our desperation, our innovation with technology greatly enhanced. As the seas rose, so did we as the human race. Anti-gravity technology was perfected and implemented in modes of transportation. All modes of travel had an absolute zero carbon footprint as cars were made from electric machines powered and lubricated from the sea water. They propelled themselves using magnets, and were automated to prevent haphazard driving, and affording the luxury of being able to sleep, eat, drink, read or otherwise relax while in transit.
Why is this important you might ask? It’s hard to describe how things are now without understanding the whole timeline of events. I need to stress the importance that nothing we did could have prevented this disaster. Nothing we did could have saved Earth or ourselves. Nothing could fix the damage that we caused, but on the large scale of things, it was a blade of grass on a field of strife.
We grew leaps and bounds. Colonizing Mars, setting up multiple space stations and developing faster than light travel. Well, by that, I mean we found a way to harness the universe’s power to create permanent worm holes to go to and fro between one solar system and the next. The issue was, since it was physically impossible to do this without actually being in the area to set up another wormhole, we had to travel to those areas first. This is where the problem lied. The closer to the speed of light you go, the more mass you have. This means that more energy is required to go faster. Even in the vacuum of space where mass is almost a non-issue, it becomes one. And that’s not even the end of the weirdness. Time changes, navigation is difficult, and then figuring out how to stop.
As of right now I’m traveling at .2 the speed of light towards HD 85512b, which is 40 light years from Earth, on a colonization mission we departed on 4 years ago. That’s .8 LY traveled, well out of our solar system and into the unknown. Over 500 citizens, including myself, are just one of the 18 ships that left Mars to further discover these habitable planets. We weren’t the first expedition, and with the new expected life span of humans, the 200 year trip is easily feasible.
With over 40 billion Earth-sized planets orbiting the “goldilocks zone” we had plenty to choose from. So in 2243, the first manned mission to Gliese 581-d departed. With Earth united under a single government, it wasn’t difficult to raise the funds and materials to put together a massive ship with enough spare materials to build a warp gate. The parts were shipped through the Earth-Mars warp gate and assembled there as Earth’s atmosphere was cluttered with space debris. The “Cosmos Reformation Act of 2236” prohibited building anything orbiting Earth except satellites anyways. They left with the intention of building a warp gate from Mars to Gliese 581-d. Let me point out that these names for planets are ridiculous, but the only way we can rename a planet now is to physically be there and colonize it. Another product of the Space Reformation Act.
Again…why is this important? You see, the problem was our Sun. March 18th, 2231 was the day everything happened. That day, called the Day of Desolation, the magnetic field surrounding Earth was stripped away, leaving the planet, and everything on it defenseless against the dangers of the sun. The worst part was no one knew it was coming. Our sun had a violent coronal mass ejection, 100 times that ever recorded before.
It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach Earth, and there was no way in predicting this. Huge blasts of radiation battered the Earth killing billions. Some places were so completely devastated that there was no chance life would survive. Temperatures soared to 110 degrees at the poles, and even hotter towards the equator. This period started a mass exodus to Mars, which has a weak magnetic field, but it still offered some protection. Those left on Earth began a difficult period of life. Famine, drought, inhospitable locations and the constant threat of radiation forced us to reevaluate our position in the universe.
By 2243, Humans and animals became cave dwellers which was the only way to protect ourselves from the dangers of life outside. Another reason why we had to build the Genesis on Mars.
Work call, I’ll be back later to finish this if I have the time.
I don’t think I explained why I’m writing this. The ship I’m on, the Tesla, is coming up to our 5 year anniversary of the start of our mission. A catalog of events is something that I needed. The before, during, and after. We didn’t take a lot of data with us in regards to history and why we are here. Journalism is hardly a priority when embarking into the unknown. So I’m taking it upon myself to write all of this down. Well, talk about it anyways. I don’t think I’ve touched a keyboard since history class. It’s also kind of hard to get over the fact that I’m talking to myself, but really, talking to you. It might make me sound crazy but it’s really a way to try to stay sane in this box of a room. Oh, that and that technical stuff earlier? When you’re leaving everything you know behind, you do as much research as you can so you can see the way forward.
I’m a culinary scientist, which is a real profession I assure you. My job on this mission is to study the flora and fauna and see what is possible to eat as well as ensuring the sustainability of the food on the Tesla. Everyone aboard the Tesla has something they bring to the table, with multiple people working the same job. I have 8 other coworkers monitoring the different nutrition stations here. It helps, it gives us time off to relax, watch movies, or whatever. Like to get this whole thing out.
As I mentioned earlier, famine was destroying us, we were living in caves, and there seemed to be no light of salvation at the end of our tunnel. Genesis was important to our survival. We had tried to live in the oceans but the instability of the temperature as well as the corrosiveness of the salt made any long term survivability low. Think about the famous shipwrecks of history. Did they last long? Not really in the grand scheme of things. This is why it was ultimately decided against and people opted to move to space exploration instead. Even with constant maintenance, the fact that the seas were rising yearly, and warming, it was only a matter of time before the land marks we were going to build would be subjected to a lot of additional pressure.
Famine became a very real issue for our population. Without fields to grow crops, and livestock to feed, synthetic materials were needed to be created in order to sustain us. There were hydroponic farms built underground so we weren’t completely isolated from organic fruits, vegetables and livestock, but they were rare and hard to come by in the days to come. But there was a way for them to survive, and live, even if it was underground.
Special suits had to be designed and made to protect us from the sun. It created importance in the infrastructure for scientists, construction workers, technicians and the like. They were largely evacuated to Mars to begin the building of the Genesis. All of our available resources went to this. It was our only chance to survive. We resorted to journeying to the asteroid belt and hunting down asteroids for minerals and materials to build the ship with.
Expedition ships aren’t without some teeth. We did develop working shields that will eliminate most space debris under a reasonable size. Meteorites on Mars are a very real and constant danger since there is little atmosphere. They needed to make sure that the Genesis would reach their destination safe. We can’t drive straight through a planetary object unscathed, nor do we have weapons with the ability to destroy said objects. It also takes a while for the power cells to recharge after a certain amount of volleys.
They also developed a new way to propel through space. Controlling anti-matter explosions enabled us to move very quickly. It wasn’t a new technology, but it was one that took a while to perfect. Anti-matter isn’t very easy to obtain, create or control. However, harvesting enough anti-matter to propel a ship at phenomenal speeds took a long time, and there was only enough to use it twice. Once to go forward, and once to stop. Steering would be relied on via atmospheric expulsions through vents.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever had to calculate a path in space before, but it’s hard. You need to know the position of where you are, where you will be when you finally take off, and where the planet will be so many years from when you started. If there was a problem in the final calculations, there was an option for inter-system travel, but that was it. If they couldn’t maintain the speed by the time they arrived and the planet wasn’t there, they had to wait until it came back around in orbit.
We solved the gravity problem on ships via using a few grams of a neutron star and isolating it in the middle of the ship. Just enough gravity that we don’t lose bone strength or atrophy during our flight. Electricity is powered by dual magnets and everything.
Fun stuff huh? Speaking of, I’m going to go for now. My co-worker Mike and I are going to go play some video games.
We’re coming up on our anniversary! December is right around the corner! It’ll be nice to talk to my family again. Communication is going to take a long time to get there, but it’s better than nothing. I’ll get to see their response in a year or so. Depending on how long it takes for it to get there. Like I said before, everyone here is essential, so there are no free rides. I guess it’s good I’m not married, I don’t think I would have been able to do this if I had to leave my wife and kids behind. There are some couples here on Tesla, but reproducing is strictly against the rules. I’m not sure what they’d do, but we have exactly enough food for 500 people during the expedition.
That’s part of my job, maintaining the green house. Well, what we call a green house. A huge hydroponics area where fruit and vegetables are grown. Not options for meat except synthetic lab grown stuff, but you start to forget about it after a while. We recycle the water and filter out the impurities from grey and black water, but also restock every time we go through a hydrogen cloud. It’s amazing what this ship can do in terms of sustaining life. Though I guess it has to.
I miss my family. One month to go. We looked ahead of what was in front of us, and we’re going to pass by a planet twice the size of Jupiter. It’s going to be amazing if the video we were able to get of it. The most amazing colors you can possibly imagine!
I’m not sure what to say, or how to say it. What I just saw was hard to digest. In fact, I’m kind of glad this is coming off as text instead of video like most people are doing with their journals. I wouldn’t want to see myself right now.
We aimed our telescope back at Earth. And it’s almost gone…The sun. The SUN. The physicists here are amazed that something like this can happen in the small amount of time that we’ve been gone, but it did. Our sun, has gone red dwarf. This had to be explained to me, but apparently the sun doesn’t just explode and go into supernova. It grows. And grows. And right now, it’s already consumed Mercury completely.
The citizens living in caves have no hope ever seeing outside ever again, if they are still alive. The physicists told us that the whole world appears to be on fire. Everything that lived on that planet is now, or soon will be dead. Nowhere is safe. And my family is dead, or soon will be. I can’t even imagine the horror of being trapped underground while the world burns above you with no hope of getting out. It’s….horrible.
The Tesla’s Captain is doing what he can, but the ship has to be maintained. No time to mourn. Only to push forward…
I don’t think I can do this right now…
Ok, I’m back. I spent a lot of days sitting in front of the monitor doing nothing, a lot of days idling at my work station barely getting my job done. Mike tries to cheer me up, but I had to be put on suicide watch with a lot of the other crew, which strained relationships with friends and other crewmembers. Having to have someone watch you eat, pee, dress, sleep, and everything else just to make sure you weren’t going to destroy yourself causes problems. I guess it was for good reason, we already had 12 people space themselves. Just walked into the airlock and set the sequence. They say you can last up to 2 minutes in space without protection. I’d hate to see or feel what happens in those 2 minutes, though I doubt it would be less pain then the void I have inside me right now.
I’m still suffering from depression, and the doc said that this might be a good way to help find a way to cope with it or get over it completely. I fail to see how it will help. I fail to see how seeing a doctor will help. Who do they go to when they feel this way? They aren’t immune to the emotions of humanity, and they sure as hell aren’t alone when they lost just about everyone that they know to that goddamn star. I know for a fact my doctor lost his wife and kids, yet he seems rock solid. How can you be so emotionless? How can you be so cold?
I remember when my dad and I used to go to the beach and surf. We’d walk down from our house, which was just a few blocks away, carrying our surfboards. We used to spend all day out there, sometimes just watching the waves and listening to the rhythmic breathing of the ocean. It was therapeutic in a way. He told me that the Earth was a living breathing thing, just like we were. Treat it with respect, and it will take care of you. My dad was kind of a hippie.
Surfing was one of the few ways we bonded. My parents were divorced so when we saw each other, we spent time doing what we already knew instead of trying new things. I appreciated that. I knew what I was going to get into that week or month of summer vacation. Sitting around the beach, and listening to the Earth breathe.
My mother was an eccentric person, never staying in one place for too long. I think I changed schools and states just about every year. It wasn’t a military thing or a job related thing. She just got tired of the same scene day in and day out. It taught me survival if anything, learning how to adapt constantly being the new kid. Some places I ended up living were so far away from the ocean that my surfing mentality was looked at as weird. Other places, I was embraced. She tried her best to make sure I had an education and a house to live in. I think that’s what drove me to my line of work though. When you eat rice, beans, and noodles for the 3rd week in a row, you learn different ways to make them interesting again.
I don’t even know where she was when Earth got hit. Like I said, she moved around a lot. I think she was going on her fourth husband though. That never got awkward or anything.
I still don’t think this is a good way to get over depression. Essentially what my doctor is telling me, is to bring up old memories and get them out. I’m sure he’s hoping for some revolutionary moment of revelation where I realize that I feel better and have a good cry. Or maybe he’s looking to try to read about some bad things that happened to me as a child. No, it’s not like that. All it’s doing is twisting a knife in a wound that refuses to heal.
It’s asinine. I can understand needing everyone to be at their best, because we are the last hope for humanity. Mars is getting hotter too, their ice caps are evaporating. But they said that it was going to stop eventually. I actually wish I was over there, on Mars. To see the transformation of a planet first hand has to be amazing, and terrifying all at the same time. I’d also be closer to my parents instead of flying millions of miles away. I’d have a chance to look at Earth and know that’s where they died, instead of looking at my picture and having that as my only means of coping. Seeing where they lay now…would do a lot of good.
All I have now are what I took with me. I didn’t even tell them goodbye. I didn’t even tell them that I loved them. Do you know how that feels? It tears me apart inside knowing that I called my dad an asshole, even jokingly. That’s the last thing I said to him…
Still existing, if but barely, on this miserable husk called Tesla.
Something big happened today. We had a huge issue with our food processing plant. An asteroid the size of a stadium showed up on the screens today. Normally, this wouldn’t be cause for concern, but it was moving pretty fast. Our weapons were able to destroy most of it, and it hit our shields. One big piece got through though, and crashed through the synthetic meat plant and several other stations and living quarters. It was horrible. I was 2 sections down in the green room when it hit. The impact knocked me on my ass, and a whole row of carrots landed on me. I must have been knocked out for a minute or two because when I woke up everyone was in a panic.
I tried the door but it was locked. The AI was screaming out orders in that cool and collective voice of hers. Telling us what areas have been breached and what has been sealed off. A rescue team ended up making it into the areas to see if there was anyone still alive. Whoever wasn’t sucked out into the vacuum brought to infirmary. Not that there was anything that could have been done. They were all dead. Everyone…
I don’t know if it makes me a bad person, but I feel nothing for their deaths. I don’t feel anything. I’m numb to the whole situation. Maybe it’s shock, maybe it’s disbelief and denial, but it doesn’t change anything. I knew everyone in the Meat plant too. We’ve been coworkers and friends for years, but, still….nothing. I’m beginning to think this mission is cursed, and can’t help but think about the other missions. Are they going through the same thing? Are they still gliding along in the dark waves of space? Or is rubble all that remains?
The death tally is in. 73 people died from that asteroid impact, including 4 of my coworkers, and Mike. The meat plant is damaged beyond repair, and the parts to build another one are in the bundle of items needed to build the gate. So it looks like they might send a crew out to try to get it. For now the Captain has told the rest of the culinary crew needs to find a place for another green room and get more vegetables and fruit going. Without it, we won’t have enough food for the 400 something odd people still living on this ship. Looks like everyone is going to be a vegetarian for the next couple of years or so. We’ll probably only use the meat from storage for special events.
The damage to the meat plant is a huge hit, and puts a big strain on me and my job. Now we have to train random people, who have jobs elsewhere, to learn how to cultivate and farm. 5 people can’t do the job of nine without falling out.
This whole thing sucks. I wish I never stepped foot on this slab of metal.
Food supplies are running low. Even with the second greenroom, we don’t have enough to sustain the amount of people we have here. We’ve been moved to a bare minimum calorie diet. Store room are under armed guard. There’s no way we can survive if they don’t get those meat plant parts from storage. Even then, we’d have to be on this diet for at least another year until it gets up and running and calibrated. Last time I checked, we have food for the next few months, maybe more if no one steals from storage.
The Captain’s called for marshal law and gave out curfews. Security roams the halls constantly. There’s been an outbreak in cannibalism. A group of people have been picking off undesirables and eating them. They even leave that word written in blood above their dismembered corpse. Undesirable. I haven’t come across one yet, but it makes me nervous. They’ve all been janitors, mechanics, and low security workers so far. But what happens when they’re all gone? Who then? I spend all my time away from my lab in here. Safe.
The food shortage is hitting everyone hard. I guess that’s the benefit of being a culinary guy. I never have to go hungry. But I can’t let them find out about that….no. That would be bad. Though I suppose the brig is safer than anywhere else.
The undesirables are still out there. This time it was a medic, a young woman. They played her screams over the ship wide radio. Those screams are the sound track to my nightmares. The Captain has ordered lock down in all areas. No one is allowed to leave without permission. The Captain is also mandating GPS chips being put into everyone as a way of tracking them. I don’t think it’s a good idea, but what do I know…I’m just a farmer with a college degree.
He was one of them…The Captain was one of them. Security caught him in a maintenance locker with an arm. I quickly cut out the chip in my arm and threw it in the toilet. I knew it wasn’t a good idea. Somehow, I knew. But the attacks haven’t stopped…no…They keep going, and going and going. And every time, it’s someone screaming over the intercom. Every time it’s someone begging for mercy. I know what you’re thinking. Call out the person’s name right? When that happens, they’re next. They’re found right next to them. I don’t know how many are in the group, and that frightens me. You can’t trust anyone anymore. Just this computer. So I will. Alone. I just wish they wouldn’t play their screams over the radio…
No one can save us, so no rescue mission will be launched. They can’t catch up…We’re on our own.
I managed to steal a field processing unit capable of growing and producing a small amount of grains fruit and vegetables. It takes up half my room, but I’d rather lose the space then have to go out there. More screams, more attacks. I’ve lost track on how many exactly, but it’s well over a hundred. I don’t even know if it’s real anymore. Occasionally I’ll hear some banging outside of my room, and I freeze up. I know it’s not over yet. It sounds like chaos out there sometimes. Like a war right outside my door. I’m going to barricade myself in just in case.
What I wouldn’t do to talk to someone living. I’ve tried talking to the plants, but they don’t talk back. THEY DON’T TALK BACK. They never talk back…good little boys never talk back….
It’s hard to keep up with a journal when nothing interesting happens. What am I supposed to say? Dear Journal, woke up, took a shower, sat on the bed, went to the bathroom and so on? This computer is disconnected from the AI so it doesn’t know I’m using it, or else I’d have movies and shows to watch. Instead, I just look at the picture of my dad, and wonder what if.
I wonder what part of me they’d eat first…it must be exciting to them, since the screams have stopped mostly. A fresh body, inside a can, waiting to be opened. They would be so happy. Not me though, I don’t think I’d be happy about that. I almost wonder what it tastes like. I bet I could do something amazing with it. I’d offer my services but it seems that I’m an unwelcome guest on this ship.
My window is dirty, but the scenery never changes. How do we even know we’re moving?
My dad’s here. He doesn’t say anything, just sits there, and looks at me disapprovingly. Like I did something wrong. ME. I didn’t do anything wrong. QUIT LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT!
I know he’s dead, but he’s still here. I’d ask my doctor about it but he murdered three of his patients a while back already. Dressed them up as his son, and put them near his bed. He scolds them whenever they do something wrong. I saw him dragging one around when I snuck out to get some stuff for my plants.
I SAID QUIT LOOKING AT ME!
You know what flies? But stays still? Me. I don’t think we’re moving anymore. The stars never change. I might as well put a picture up instead! What picture? What would I paint? I know what it’ll be, but it’s a surprise. I’ll show you, but you can’t tell anyone.
Couldn’t find anything to draw with, so I cut myself and drew some blood. It’ll do just fine.
They banged on my door last night. They know I’m here. I don’t know how, I’ve been hiding for years. YEARS! George is the leader of the beans, he told me that I should just give up. My father told him to shut up. At least he’s talking now, it was so lonely without them. Even if George is an idiot. Yeah, that’s right George….No maybe you should learn about other people’s feelings before you talk you idiot! I’m sure it’s all just a game outside and they want me to play.
I SAID SHUT UP!
Do you see what I drew? Do you? LOOK AT IT! Open your fucking eyes and LOOK AT IT! I know you can see me. You’re writing down what I’m saying. If it has a ears then it has eyes and a mouth so look at it! Go on…I’ll wait.
They’re here! They’ve finally realized I’ve been trapped in this room for years calling for help! I can’t move the stuff that’s in front of the door, but they said they’re going to cut their way around it! Finally, I can go home!
They’ve been trying for weeks to get through, but no luck. What if I’m stuck here forever? What if I never escape? I want to kill the person that put me in here. I want to destroy them…
Don’t forget, scream into the microphone, or it’s going to hurt worse.
Open your mouth and SCREAM!
No audio input for 20 continuous minutes, terminating recording.
End of file
Credit To – Soulex?