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The Mall of Sin

Chapter 2 of "It's the End of the World as We Know It"

By Susan Eileen Published 2 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read
The Mall of Sin
Photo by Carl Raw on Unsplash

Bob is sitting at the Mall of Sin as he calls it. He is watching the TV. They are talking about the space race. Life has so much to offer but here he sits at the Mall of Sin. Why does he call it that? Well, it's hedonism at its finest. People going broke for material possessions that could be destroyed in a fire tomorrow. At this mall, there is a place to get lap dances, liquor, and Gucci purses. All these people living in the moment, without a care about tomorrow, not even realizing the end is near. Now Bob feels overwhelmed. He takes a big sigh and thinks to himself:

Get a job. Go to work.

Get Married. Have children.

Follow fashion. Walk on the pavement.

Watch TV. Obey the ungodly laws.

Act normal. Save money for old age.

Now, repeat after me: “I am free!”

Bob decides to start writing down his thoughts. There is one aspect of the space race that Bob finds peculiar. All of these people claim to be "up" for exploring Mars, or Europa, or Io, but are afraid of their own backyard. A "Karen" will be afraid to hang out in the seedy parts of the city, but claim they are up for the terrors of space. In space no one can hear you scream.

He wonders what the wonders the universe holds as well. He's convinced he has alien DNA and is waiting for them to return. In the meantime, his imagination will keep him company.

He begins imagining what these other worlds hold. He wanted to be a planetary geologist when he grew up, just in case he got to travel to other worlds. He knows that the most successful planets for life are in the Goldilocks Zone, a place that is not too hot and not too cold - it's just right. He also knows that evolution takes a long, long time. The most successful planets are probably around a red dwarf planet. Red dwarf planets have a life span of 10 TRILLION years. Yes, they will be around a long, long, time. A hyper blue giant is only around for 10 million years. Not enough long enough for evolution. The evolution on Earth has taken billions of years.

He also knows that Earth is a third generation solar system. That is to say that two solar systems were here before our current one. That means that other life forms have possibly a 10 billion year head start on us. These civilization have mastered time travel, overcoming black holes, finding wormholes to travel from one world to other. And that is just in this universe - what about the other universes?

Bob begins to daydream. Bob begins to think what life would be like on Io, Europa, and Mars. If given the chance, Bob would leave Earth in a heartbeat. Humans have treated Earth like an afterthought. They treat it like we have a spare planet to go to. The attitude seems to be "Earth First - We'll Destroy the Other Planets Later!" Humans are not good stewards of the Earth.

Back to Io he thinks. Io is the third-largest of the four Galilean moons of the planet Jupiter. Slightly larger than Earth’s moon, Io is the fourth-largest moon in the Solar System, and has the highest density of any moon, the strongest surface gravity of any moon, and the lowest amount of water of any known object in the Solar System. He remembers it was discovered by Galileo and was named after Hera who became one of Zeus's lovers.

He remembers that Io is the most geologically active moon in the solar system. It is torn apart by tidal forces; the mass of Jupiter and the masses of the other Jovian moons are all tearing Io apart. It is so hostile, that no one would consider Io suitable for life. But Bob knows that life can survive anywhere.

Look at the vents at the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. That is a truly hostile environment. There is no light that deep in the ocean. The water is super-heated from the vents. The animals, like giant tube worms, make their food from a process known as chemosynthesis. The animals turn chemicals into food, the way that plants turn light into food. Food can be found anywhere, he thinks. We are just so ethnocentric, that humans can't fathom that possibility.

What would Io look like? he wonders. The sky would have a ruddy complexion from the massive planet of Jupiter in the sky. Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto, would hang heavy in the sky as well. Io would have towering volcanic systems unencumbered from the effects of erosion. No rain means that volancoes would not be reduced to rust.

Life can be found anywhere. There could be life forms inside these volcanoes, like the giant tube-worms on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Why not? The truth is stranger than fiction they say. Maybe there is a period of darkness on Io. Maybe it only happens once every 300 years. Maybe there are strange creatures that come out in that once every three hundred year interval, the way that cicadas only come out once every 17 years on Earth.

Bob sighs. He knows he is way too smart to resign himself to a life at the Mall of Sin. His ship will come in someday. A spaceship that is. He knows that a distracted population is an obedient population. He knows the end is near, but he doesn't know how he knows it. He thinks to himself:

Get a job. Go to work.

Get Married. Have children.

Follow fashion. Walk on the pavement.

Watch TV. Obey the ungodly laws.

Act normal. Save money for old age.

Now, repeat after me: “I am free!”

It's the end of the world as know it, and Bob is anything but fine.


To be continued...

FantasySci FiSeries

About the Creator

Susan Eileen

If you like what you see here, please find me on Amazon. I have two published books under the name of Susan Eileen. I am currently working on a selection of short stories and poems. My two published books are related to sobriety.

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