This flash fiction sci-fi story was written by my father (who writes under the pen name ‘A. A. Moss’). It’s a great little story, so I decided to share it here on my page. I hope you enjoy reading it.
An Excerpt Taken from the Journal of Survivor T446, Tham Somners – By A. A. Moss
It has finally arrived! After all of the years of planning, the millions of hours of work, preparation, deadlines, time running out, and the countless lives lost by every single delay; hope was once again flickering to being deep in my heart. The planet was virtually dead, it had given all and more, and we had taken all we could from it; giving back nothing but pollution, death and destruction – tainting its very lifeblood. We had reduced it to a lifeless husk, a pale shadow of its former glory. How we had even survived this long, is a miracle. There aren’t many of us left now. Millions had fallen to greed and want; the giving in to the material demands of society. In the beginning, there had been enough resources for everyone; very little of that was now left for those of us who still remain.
The few women who did endure the hardships of living on a dying world, and against all odds managed to become pregnant, had either been faced with the trauma and pain of bringing still-born infants into the world or had watched as their precious babes fell victim to the ever-growing infant mortality rate. The last viable birth had been decades ago – our species was dying out. We were an ageing race, desperate to survive but living on a planet which we had long ago pushed past the point of supporting life.
The pollution count was high today – higher than before; a much-overused phrase in these times. Everything we recorded was ‘higher’ than any previous records. Temperature, ice cap reduction, water toxicity levels, air quality – all hitting record highs with each and every passing day. We are constantly besieged by extreme weather and terrible earthquakes – caused by our ever more destructive mining, extraction and fracking practices. Flooding had reduced entire continents to little more than a series of islands. The ground that had survived the inundation of toxic, waste-filled water, turned quickly to desert; sitting, barren and unworkable, beneath the weight of a dismal grey sky – it was nothing short of Hell.
Still, we had existed – changed and mutated yes – but existence is existence, and we were survivors!
Our remaining scientists have been searching far and wide for a new planet, one with the specific environmental conditions rendering it capable of supporting our dying race. Finally, a suitable host world had been located; and, alongside it, our species’ renewed hope of salvation. We would be able to settle there, in this new garden, and reclaim at least some of what we had lost. It would take months for us to reach this new world, but we have the means to get there.
I have read the brief on our future home, and it sounds perfect. A few of the scientists had been slightly concerned about some of the indigenous creatures which were scattered across the planet’s surface, but others had argued that they wouldn’t pose any problem at all. In fact, they claimed that these low creatures would prove a valuable source of food; the strongest could even be used as beasts of burden, to assist in the building of our resurrected society. Besides, they had continued, we already have access to all of the technology which we had used to adapt this planet to serve our needs.
Yes, it had finally arrived! The day had come, at last, when we would travel from this dead world to a new home. In light of that prospect, my former concerns seem not quite as important as they once had. Perhaps we had learnt from our mistakes? Maybe not? Either way, was it really of any importance, now that we had a whole new world – fresh and young – waiting to welcome us?
I have to sign off this entry now as the launch sequence has just come across the intercom. As I listen to the numbers counting down, though, I feel a thrill run through my veins…10, 9, 8, 7… this is it! ….6, 5, 4… before long we will be setting foot on this Blue Planet, the one which the indigenous species rather crudely calls ‘Earth.’ …3, 2, 1.