Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A story.. about the sky.


The sound of that word will never feel good on my lips. If we're meant to fly, then the god/s would have given us wings!

We aren't always like this, you know. There was once a time when humans walk the earth, feeling the good old soil under their very feet or under the soles of their shoes. But it was all.. all taken away by...... the Nuclear Apocalypse."

Tentative children sat in front of me staring, hanging onto my every word. A particularly small boy caught my eye. Being smaller in size, he was always bullied around by others as I had observed when I was doing my daily walk around the Ship. I ruffled his messy brownish hair for a moment, with his beautiful blue eyes following my hand movement, and turned back to the mesmerized audience.

"That devastating war had taken from us.. no, it had ripped us of our birthright! Countries - yes, there had been countries - fought so.. so hard against each other. All because of the black gold.. all because of greed."

I eyed the children as I said this. Many of them stared back at me innocently. Soon, they'll grow up.. and soon, they'll learn that life's not as ideal as they seem. At that very moment, I pity them and yet envy them for their innocence.

Clearing my throat, I continued, "Billions had died on that day... the population of the world plummeted to a mere few million. And yet, the survivors' numbers are dwindling by the day. The radiation is just too much, even the nuclear bunkers is not enough to protect them! Humanity was brought to its knees! And its all because of greed hiding under the false pretense of trying to maintain peace. Bah!"

"Yet, from that million people, only a few thousand managed to board this Ship. the Ship that had saved us.. and had brought is time to recuperate. To help salvage whatever we can, and to help the Earth heal back to her natural beauty once more."

"But!" I barked, suddenly leaning forward. The children recoiled in surprise. "But, that will take millions of years... the years to clear the land of radiation, to clear the land of the unimaginable horrors - the mutants - that lurk the earth. I'm dare say, even you all will not live to see that day... the day we can finally rid ourselves of this flying metal container, to be able to walk the earth once more."

I nodded at the children's solemn faces as they started to leave for their homes.

They deserve to know the truth, I thought. They deserve to know what their ancestors had done and what it had cost them and us, the future generation. They should know...

I stood up from my chair and walked towards the window. The beautiful yet artificial looking view caught my attention as it always do. Luck.. it's luck that had saved us, I thought. It was very lucky that the Ship's Project was completed before the war started; it was lucky that a few of the survivors had worked under this project; it's lucky that one of them actually had the code to activate it...

Bending my stiff knees, I walked to the small garden outside. How many had died when we tried to make a break for this Ship? How many? The limited radiation suits had drastically reduced the number of survivors. Not to mention the sudden discovery of the mutants - disfigured and misshapen-ed creatures - as human-eaters. Even the plants had started to pick off people, one-by-one, from our rag-tag band of scientists and lab workers. The plants gobbled poor Dr Pang whole! The thought of it popped goosebumps all over my body. If the current Earth is not hell, I'm not sure what is.

Something bright blinded me for a moment. Shielding my tired eyes, I saw the sunlight glittering off the solar panels on the sides of our transparent dome - our cell.

It was a major feat to be able to construct such a marvelous Ship. It had everything a person could want - shops, malls, restaurants and row and rows of residential houses. There are even hydroponic green houses to grow food in (we are mostly vegetarians now, although meat is still available - there is a few animal farms here - but it is very hard and expensive to come by), a enormous air purifying machine and a huge water recycling 'factory' at the end of the Ship. There are even cars - electric ones mind you, so as not to pollute the air. Everything and anything, it seems, had been well taken care off. It was also well stocked for a take off when we took over it.

There's even a major science facility with chemical supplies that will last for a very long time, provided of course we exercise moderation. It was this facility that had helped us to create the new generation if test tube babies - since most of the females are rendered infertile as a result of the radiation.

Also, since most of the survivors, who have had ready access to radiation suits, are scientists themselves, it is easy to start a breeding program. The engineers took care of the Ship and its course while the botanists took care of the greenhouse plants. It was all done systematically and without much argument as they know.. we know.. all we will ever have is us. We have tried to save as many people as possible. We've flied to the most remote areas around the world to seek for survivors. We did our very best but still we could not have imagined how many that we had missed and was left to perish in that devilish land.

Why? Why must it happen? I had a joyous life before the war. A bright future awaits me. And then a heavy black fog just descend all around me. Blinding me. Taking away my loved ones. Backed me into a corner and left me to die of despair,of hopelessness, of loneliness. Why?

I sat down at the garden bench, looking at the minor trickle of cars moving along the street in front of my house. I pondered, I raged, I mourned, but the past is still the past. I'm already approaching my 100th birthday... if my parents survived the Apocalypse, if they had not sacrificed to saved me, they would probably be dead now. What about my cute baby sister? She will be an old lady by then. A single tear trickled down my left cheek every time I see my sister in my mind. Her rosy cheeks. Her shrill laughter. Her twinkling eyes.

My breathing became laboured, my chest ached and my gut felt tightened. I slided further down onto the bench, clutching my shirt.

"Fate. It's all fate." I thought aloud among all the pain that I was feeling.

I saw my life flashing in front of my eyes. I was learning to take the first step. I was at my kindergarden graduation, wearing a stupid bumblebee costume. I was running at the school's marathon knowing that I will get at least a 7th. I was having dinner with my family...

With a last gasp of breath, I felt my life draining from my body. I felt no more pain. My body was slumped on the bench and I.. I, feeling so free, so weightless, floated away from my old-ridden body. Up and up I go. I narrowed my eyes against the overwhelming light and could make out 3 shapes floating in front of me -3 human shapes. They opened their arms in warm welcome.

With ghostly tears, I cried, "Mum! Dad! Little Anna!"