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Escaping Paradise

by Carolyncom 2 2 months ago in future
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New World's Piece

Credit to: Zachary Combs @MysteryToaster (twitter)

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say.

It was something I’ll never forget. Like a cry in the night. A desperate scream, ringing through the depths of space. I should’ve felt something, anything. But I didn’t.

I never had much agency in my life; but everyone seemed to agree that I shouldn’t. Although society had long since progressed past the point of interstellar travel, the cities of Zion 6 did not. Instead, they chose to remain grounded, content to live a simple life of farming and idyllic solitude. According to my sister Angelica, we had traveled through the stars quite often before my mother decided to settle us down on Zion 6. She joined what is referred to as the Natural Science Designation, which is a small congregate of people who decided to live without the luxuries of modern tech. Although deemed ‘Natural Science,’ the designation had nothing to do with the natural sciences such as biology and mathematics. Its leaders had simply given it this name to signify that the people of Zion 6 would instead rely on nature’s provisions rather than man-made tech. They insisted that this allowed them to live a life ‘uncorrupted by technology,’ although in practice it really meant that they maintained a level of man-made science that was centuries old compared to the rest of humanity. My mother had chosen to live there when I was just a baby, insisting it was the best way to get rid of my father. It was Angelica my sister, who would tell me stories about what the world was like outside. I remember looking up at the night stars, thinking that there was this whole world out there that I could not touch. My mother had insisted that the world above was evil, but somehow, I could never quite convince myself.

Our world was one of simplicity, consisting of the same manner of routines daily. We would wake up early, doing the morning chores; watering the plants, feeding the animals. School was minimal, and my mother tried to insist that I not go at all; it wasn’t really necessary for the life we lived. When I think back to my childhood, I remember the farm, and my sister. She was a giggling, bubbly thing, always finding the opportunity to get away from chores. I remember how she was then, running through the wheat fields and laughing along; all the while avoiding her chores. My mother would grow furious at this. I remember she would yell at us a whole evening for any amount of slacking off. It wasn’t pleasant, but having Angelica there made it better. She was often in charge of me, which was lucky. She had this wide smile, and a freckled face which could light up a room. Her stories were also something that helped us get through. She spoke of the real world with such reverence. Some nights we would stay up late, and she would tell me how my father had worked on cargo ships, and how we’d move from colony to colony. The way she described it, our family had been like real adventurers. Traveling through the stars, exploring new worlds and their cities. She never told me why, but shortly after I was born was when my mother insisted we move to Zion 6. She never told me what happened between them, but I gather that my parents began to fight a lot more after I was born. She never admitted it, but I suspect she blamed me in part.

As we grew older, Angelica grew sicker, and my memory began to fade. I can’t remember much from the time after she took ill. When I look back, I only remember a few scenes.

Angelica, standing in a wheat field. The cool breeze washing over my face. She glides along blissfully until she stops dead. Her smile fades as she doubles over in pain. Then I see her lying on the ground, I hear my mother yelling in the distance. The image fades.

Next, I remember seeing my sister crying in our living room. In the corner, a doctor is discussing the situation with my mother. He says something- to which she gives him a curt retort. My mother begins to yell at him, and everything fades to gray.

Then she’s there again, this time something is really wrong. The are tears in her eyes, but also a distinct desperation I’d never seen there before. She dragged me along with her, trying to take us further from the farmhouse. She’s was saying something in a rushed whisper, but I couldn’t understand. She continued in this manner as we got closer to an old barn. There was more, but I couldn’t remember. But I felt it, like a pit in my stomach.

Then there was the end, I remember that so clearly. I was sitting in my seat, strapped in by my sister. I looked over and she was still crying, desperately trying to get the shuttle pod up in the air. She looked bedraggled and tired, like she’d been running for a long time. I looked out the window and I saw her. My mother, laying on the ground, her crumpled body at an odd angle. I felt my heart beat faster. I put my hand to the window and pressed my face up against it to see better. Blood trickled from her temple; her face looked permanently twisted in pain. I pulled back, trying to unsee it. But instead, I left a bloody palm print on the window. I looked down at my hands for the first time, and I realized they were covered in blood. My mother’s blood. I was also covered in sweat and dirt, all mixed with the dull red. The ship jolted as Angelica finally got it going. I tried to speak to her, to get her to explain what had happened. I shrieked, but the engine blared. Before I knew it, we were flying away. It grew even louder as we left the atmosphere. There was pressure all around us like I’d never felt before. Then, it was gone. For the first time I felt weightless. I looked around as our bags drifted through the pod. Angelica sighed now, sitting back in the driver’s chair. For that moment, there was peace. Something hit the side of the ship, and we began to spin. We tumbled through the air. Angelica cursed, trying to reach for the controls again. But it was too late. I heard a shatter, and the air changed. Angelica grasped desperately, at the controls but there was nothing she could do. “EDEN!” She screamed, calling my name.

I was weightless once more; ship parts all around me. I was gliding through the air. Then I saw her; Angelica, my sister. Tears we stuck permanently to her face. It was aghast with horror, and infinite scream coming from her lungs. Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. But I heard that scream. I’d heard it when she dragged me away. I’d heard it when she’d shouted my name. I continued to hear her scream as I drifted away into the depths, enveloped by the cold.


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Carolyncom 2

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