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Mankind's last hope

Quest for salvation

By DSPublished 3 years ago 8 min read
Mankind's last hope
Photo by Josué AS on Unsplash

It was the year 2022. Most of us simply call it year 2. First a wild infection ravages the planet and wipes out nearly a third of the population. No nation has fully recovered from it even with vaccines being made available.

Then a wild cyber hacker disrupts the world's infrastructure. It crippled everything that was online or depended on the internet. Even oil pipelines were shut down and bleeding off the precious elixir of life.

At the end of 2021, some nation triggered a global wide nuclear war. Causing everything we ever knew to be dead or close to it. Nations lay in rubble. Once major cities are just massive radiation hot spots. Across the globe from what we can tell. We must keep moving because the radiation clouds are so common and deadly. We only get one or two nights out of a shelter before we spot a new cloud.

We do have hope though. One of the last newscasts before everything was destroyed talked about a heart shaped locket that would open an old nuclear silo. Within that silo stood the last best hope for Mankind. It was a rocket designed to haul 100 metric tons to the stars. It was fueled and ready. The locket which is heart shaped was said to have been given to the owner’s youngest son. He lives in a small town that we have finally made our way to it.

Our small group of twenty-five young women and ten young men have travelled across the war-torn United States. Our group was bigger, but we have lost some due to radiation and small conflicts along the way. We were 150 strong when we started with fighting men from a nearby armory. It was a National Guard gathering center to try and help the wounded and offer supplies. They had to abandon it after they found the food stuffs were not shielded properly. Our group comprised mostly of young teens had reached trails end.

We found an old warehouse where the women could take a rest. We left most of our firepower there so they could defend it if they had to. I took a small squad of four and we began the search for the locket that was heart shaped.

We moved through the town with ease. Most of the people we found had died in their homes with their families next to them. It looks like it was from a massive radiation cloud. We would have been gone a long time ago if it were not for the Guard's anti-radiation suits and gear to live in a post nuclear world war.

We had cleared the whole town and finally came across a small bunker in the center. It was the fallout shelter for the town leftover from the previous wars. It was just as good as a tornado shelter, but it was enough to keep our very important child alive. We made our way down and opened the shelter. He was in bad shape, but we gave him some food and water. Then we dressed him up in some radiation gear. He was wearing the heart shaped locket.

We made our way back to the warehouse on the edge of town to where we left the others. Told them we had what we needed, and we would all have a full night's rest before we started to the silo.

We finally nursed the young locket owner into good enough shape to where he could communicate with us. His name was Zach. He was left behind with his grandparents so his father could get the starship ready. He had the silo location and instructions on how to launch. He went into detail that this project was meant for thousands of people to go to Mars and start a colony. With the heart shaped locket, he would unlock a field of twenty-five ships. Each had a grouping of five that would launch together to make the trip and have enough supplies to live and start a sustainable colony on Mars.

He pulled a small map out and it was in a small town just outside of Illinois state line. It would take another week on foot to reach the area. He also had a line on some military transports just a day away. If they were still intact it would be great.

We woke up everyone the next morning and we made way to the transports with great speed. The first time we had covered that much ground in only half a day. The Sun was barely visible today. It looks as if a nuclear winter was not far away. Soon even the plant life would die.

We lucked out and found two old troop transports. They were shielded from radiation and still had the user manual sitting on the seats. You must love the military they have manuals for everything. We opened the insides, and we had enough room to split the party in two and still make the journey. We loaded up extra fuel from the stores and we found a stockpile of meals that were ready to eat. We loaded those up too.

It was getting late by the time we had everything loaded so we took good use of the center and we decontaminated ourselves for the first time since leaving for our quest. We all found some clothes that fit or at least were clean. We all sat down and had our first meal on real furniture since all this had started.

The next day we all put on clean radiation suits we found stashed at the center. Everybody was in good spirits. We had a nice meal, a great night’s rest and was able to clean off the drudge of the trail. We felt twenty pounds lighter. We crawled into the transports and headed toward salvation.

It was a little rough going at first to make the transports start but after they got warmed up, they seemed to do fine. We were tooling along at a good clip for a long while. We decided that since we were driving now, we could simply rotate through and stay going all night and all day. It should only take about two days to reach. Its sure beet the seven day forced marches we were doing. The whole transport was radiation proof so we could take off our gear while we were inside of the transports.

We finally reached the small Indiana town next to the state line. Zach came up and guided us through the town to a large field next to a river. He had us park by an old looking log cabin sitting next to the river.

We all put our gear back on and Zach led us into the cabin. Inside the cabin was a ton of electronics and an elevator shaft right dead center. You would never think it was a launch center looking at it from the outside.

Zach walked up to the elevator in the center of the room and placed his heart shaped locket in the space made for it on the side of the wall. It started hissing and shaking. Dust was falling from the old rafters, and you heard the whine of an elevator speeding to ground level. It stopped with a loud noise. The doors opened to reveal a huge space with glass walls. You would think that it was in New York on the side of a fancy hotel or something.

Zach motioned everyone in, and he spun around and grabbed his heart shaped locket and climbed aboard. he pressed a button and away we went. The elevator started descending into the old silo. We could see the starship through the walls. It was a beautiful sight.

The elevator stopped right at the level we needed to board the rocket. We traded our radiation suits for spacesuits and boarded. I got to ride with Zach up top side because he needed a hand reaching a few things.

A few minutes of turning on the systems from the checklist and the onboard computer let us know we were ready for lift off. The hatch for the silo opened and we were lifted above ground just enough for the nose windows to let us see the other rockets doing the same thing. Four other rockets had appeared.

We felt the grumbling of the rocket engines start. A big countdown displayed on the screen in the cockpit and in the passenger’s area. The onboard computer counted it down. Ten, nine, eight, and on. We were away speeding out of Earth's gravity. It was like magic. We reached space and we all were weightless. It was a wonderful feeling. We all looked back at earth and instead of the green and blue sphere we used to see in the photos it was a clouded mess with splotches of brown all over.

The onboard computer displayed and said that we were waiting on our fuel and our colony package. It showed on the screen that the colony package would attach to our nose after we were refueled. After about five minutes we felt the ship moving and seen another starship linking up to us. The onboard computer alerted and said it was beginning to refuel be patient.

This went on for about a good hour or two while we were being fueled up.

Finally, we heard a massive clank. The computer noticing, we were not strapped in had us take our seats because we would be departing Earth orbit in two minutes.

We were on our way to Mars now. My father dreamed of being the first to go. He said it would be such a grand adventure. A new planet to explore and learn it is mysteries.

Zach showed us all how to access the training for the equipment we were to use planet side. We had all of Earth's history and knowledge we had gained locked away in the computer core of our ship. There was also a backup on the colony package should this one be broken or disabled. Zach also showed us a picture of our new home. It was an underground haven that had been in the works for the last ten years by remote. There were self-sufficient boring machines that had created a whole colony underground. It had state of the art medical bays and greenhouses. Everything you needed to start living on Mars.

We will be the first Martians with a world to build better than the one we left. Mars has a fully functional space port and all the tools to build a fleet of starships to explore and colonize the universe.

A simple heart shaped locket started the next age of man. May it live on for a million more years.

Sci Fi

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