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Dead Silence

The Slums of The Solar Barque

By CharlesPublished 10 months ago 4 min read

Nobody can hear a scream in the vacuum of space, or so they say. In the year 2074, the world faced an impending doom brought about by climate change. To combat this threat, wars were put on hold and the nations of the world poured their resources into advanced space exploration. The first few attempts ended in complete failure and soon, most of the natural resources on Earth were used up. With no other choice, they decided to find a new energy source to power their vessels.

The world's greatest scientists banded together and discussed about potential new candidates, until Professor James Galahandr suggested the usage of lava, to be even more specific, thermal energy as an extremely viable and abundant resource. Using a special container he designed called a Neutralizer, the lava in the container would undergo a process of vaporization, turning into pure volcanic gas. With only a few years until the potential end of the world, Neutralizers were set in place around the perimeters of active volcanoes and forcefully erupted, gaining enough energy to last a decade.

Together with Prof. Galahandr's designs, a team of the best engineers were brought in to work around the Neutralizers. They created the Solar Barques: vessels named after mythological Egyptian ships that could carry one and a half billion people and sustain them for as long as there were Neutralizers on board. Equipped with the latest state-of-the-art technology, each Solar Barque has an artificial sunlight generator, regenerative soil that stretched far and wide, and glacier water that can sustain each ship's populace for more than a decade. With all the preparations set, the entire population of Earth boarded the Solar Barques and ventured into space. Some families were separated in the process and while that didn't entirely bring the world together, everyone needed to work together to survive.

The first couple of years weren't so bad. After all, the idea of going to space for the normal human being was extremely foreign. Kids would happily look out the radiation-safe windows, watching as they'd pass by stars and planets while their parents would work in the fields. This cycle would go on until people started developing cabin fever after the fourth year of being trapped in a ship. As the years went by, more people started to develop cabin fever and ask the same question: "When are we going to find a new home?". The masses slowly grew paranoid of the journey, saying that there is no suitable planet that humanity could inhabit.

As the fifth year of the voyage came, crime was becoming so common among the Solar Barques that law enforcement groups were made to stop criminals. The lower sectors of the barques, which were largely unmonitored, became infamous for housing gangs and crime organizations akin to a black market, often selling resources such as large quantities of spring water and fresh crops, all stolen from the hardworking people. Murder, theft, fraud: all of them were commonplace in the lower sectors, also known as the Dead Silence.

As for Prof. Galahandr, he argued that the usage of thermal energy could only get them so far and that they needed to find a new source of energy before the tenth year. Instead, the leaders of the world blamed him for the potential demise of humanity, manipulating the people into believing he was seeking fame and fortune when in reality, his only goal was to find a new home. Run out of his quarters by protestors and angry mobs, the professor and his family moved into the Dead Silence. Medical assistance was unreasonably expensive and the professor, after years of researching thermal energy and prolonged exposure to radiation, had contracted cancer.

On the eighth year of the voyage, the professor passed away, survived by his wife, son, and daughter. No one cared how much they mourned his death, nor did they hear their screams, which echoed in the vast pockets of space.

It is now the ninth year of the voyage: a year since my father died. Before he passed away, he taught me everything he knew about outer space and the limitations of thermal energy. I intend to find a new home for my sister and mother, even if means going against all the people who drove us out of our home and defamed my father.


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  • peyton10 months ago

    Great detail! Well written.

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