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Space Travel

Part 2

Space Travel

The dining area was packed as usual. People were sitting next to each other, packed in like sardines. To them it was normal, but to me it was suffocating and I could hardly stand it. I looked as the food servers put what they called pizza on my plate along with a large portion of salad. Apparently, pizza and salad together were a popular meal choice back on Earth and they’ve decided to keep that tradition alive. However, I don’t think that the Earthlings of the past would approve of this pizza. I’ve seen pictures in the archives and this looks nothing like those.

The dough is chewy and droops when you pick it up. The sauce it green, not red. The toppings are questionable too. In the archives, it said there was red tomato sauce with something called cheese on top. Cheese was made from cow milk, but we don’t have cows anymore. They died off a long time ago. So, what they used was shredded squash to give the effect of cheese. The other toppings were sometimes random fruit, sometimes random veggies that I personally don’t think belong on a pizza. They also used to put artificial meat, but ever since the last cow died, a unanimous decision was made to stop killing animals just to have meat. At least, that’s what they told all the passengers.

The salad looked similar to the archives though. It was just a bunch of leaves. The only difference was that, due to mutations to ensure that they would survive being in this environment, those leaves were now red and blue. Occasionally we would get green ones, if the harvest from the original plants was large enough. The dressings were made out of whatever was most abundant and could be liquified.

I really wish, I could go back in time to see and taste was actual earthlings ate. I bet it was absolutely amazing. I sighed and carried my plate with me as I made my way to the place Xion and I usually ate. It was a small corridor away from all the noise and crowded areas. I found it one day when I was exploring the ship trying to find any defects that could potentially lead to disaster. The corridor actually had a small window that we could look out of to see the billions of stars and planets that, at this rate, we would never truly see, or land on. Hardly anyone ever went there and those who did were mostly outcasts who just wanted to be away from all the hustle and bustle of the ship. As I entered the corridor, I saw Xion already sitting there.

“Hey, I thought you’d never show up. What took you so long?”

“I’ve been in line contemplating my life choice and wondering if what we’re eating is actually toxic.”

“Yeah right. I bet you were day dreaming about those books you’re always reading in the archives and wishing the food at least looked like the pictures,” he said while laughing.

I sat down. “You know me too well. I just think that if they’re going to ‘keep the tradition alive’ they should at least make an attempt to make the food look like the pictures. That and the only fruit I have ever read about being on pizza was pineapple. So, why are there oranges and spinach on my pizza? Plus, whatever this green sauce is, it never goes well with the other toppings. Your parents are botanists and you’re a botanist in training, what exactly is the green sauce made of?”

“Do you really want to know? Do you think you can handle it? I mean you are picky about your food.”

I stared at him for a second. “Maybe, I shouldn’t know, but I’m really curious. You decide should I know or should I not know?”

“Oh, you should definitely tell her, I think it would change her life forever.”

I turned to see Miles walking down the corridor while taking a bite of his pizza. His light grey eyes were filled with amusement. He was a tall awkward guy about eight years older than me. His hair was so blond it almost looked white. He was a full-fledged botanist and sometimes helped with the food.

Xion laughed, “Yeah I bet it would. Okay, here goes. The green sauce is made from green peppers and lettuce grinded up and blended together.”

“How is that supposed to change my life? It’s just vegetables.” I stared at him as I took a bite of my pizza.

Miles added, “with green beetles mixed in for consistency and extra flavors.”

I choked on my pizza. Eating bugs was against my code. I hated bugs more than anything. I didn’t like the way they looked or crawled. The only exception to that are butterflies.

“You look like you’re going to throw up Serena.”

“I think I might. I can’t believe you’ve been letting me eat beetles all this time even after knowing how much I hate them! You are a horrible friend. You’ve known since we were six that I hate all bugs.”

Losing my appetite, I put the plate down. I guess it was going to be another dinner of plain instant noodles again. I don’t like people and therefore had a tendency to avoid them. That led to another habit of working longer hours and getting too absorbed in my hobbies.

“Well, if you’re not going to eat it I will.”

I watched in disgust as Miles scooped up the pizza and began to eat it.

“If you’re not going to eat the pizza, at least eat the salad. You’re losing too much weight lately and for what we need to do you’re going to need your strength and health.”

“I doubt any of us are as healthy as we should be while eating the food on board Xion. But, you’re right. I guess I should at least eat something. Also, I hope you know that girls don’t really like it when men mention their weight.”

“Yeah, whatever. You’re not the typical girl. Now eat so we can all discuss what we need to do.”

We all ate in silence after that enjoying the little view we could see from the small window. I began to think about everything that was happening. How I met these two. How we all somehow shared the same dream to one day live on a planet where we could feel actual grass, breath air that wasn’t recycled, see a sky even if it wasn’t blue like Earth, and feel the push and pull of an ocean’s waves. We all wanted that so badly and believed that finding a planet was the key to ensure humankind’s survival.

Though, who knew? Maybe there was a second ship no one knew about. Maybe, there were other humans living on other planets already. After all, there were several civilizations on Earth that were truly mysterious. I think one was called Mayans. It was said that they could predict the future. If they could do that then maybe they were able to find a way to a different planet? Or, maybe humans from Earth were actually transferred there from another planet to avoid overpopulation. There were just so many possibilities. I want the people of this ship to look back in our history books and see that yes, we travelled from another planet. Yes, we were able to safely accomplish our mission and yes, we survived. Humanity is a strong race and has survived many hardships. I want that legacy to continue. I don’t want it to end with our generation. But, if we don’t do something soon, that will never be a reality.

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Linda Jenkins
See all posts by Linda Jenkins