This is a busy time of the year, with reports and other nonsense – hence the lack of posts and poems. Even so, I managed to get a Furious Fiction story complete for a super difficult prompt. I was proud of myself for just getting it in. Here’s the prompt:
I am about to collapse with tiredness, so enjoy the story. As always, feel free to comment or give me feedback.
Susurrations, soft and sensuous, filled my ears as I stood staring at the tranquil moonlight that was filtering slowly through the canopy above. I could almost feel the breeze on my skin, the patchwork projection on the ground – shimmering, silver spotlights merging and splitting, a web-like network of photons shooting out from the sun, bouncing off our largest satellite and settling serenely on the autumnal detritus beneath my feat.
This Earth just looks so damn real.
I chuckled to myself at the thought.
“Not that I’d know the difference anyway,” I said, to nobody.
“Silence in the VR chamber,” a soft, androgynous, slightly tinny voice said over an unseen speaker.
“Yeah, zip it, mate,” said a male voice from his own world.
I sighed, not having realised I’d even spoken out loud, and continued to stroll through a virtual forest that had been constructed from the memories of the ones that left a long-abandoned world.
* * * * *
People handled The Thaw in very different ways. Some shook their old friends’ hands, happy to be alive again, and lied about how long it had felt since they’d seen them. Others slinked off into the far corners of The Crossroads – a Generation Ship that clutched the hopes of human-kind precariously in an artificial gravity well created by a combination of centripetal force and constant thrust – and mourned the planet they’d never see: the one their ancestors had promised them. Some checked the DNA roster and sought out the mate an AI had strictly allocated to them, so as to ensure genetic diversity for the entirety of the long voyage, and with whom they’d raise a child for 30 years. And a desperate few went to work to find a cure for the ruptures, in the hope that one day our feet would touch earth for the first time.
But despite their efforts, now and years before, and the state-of-the-art technology that filled the ship from the crown to the toe top-full of the best humanity had to offer, we could not stay suspended forever. Our biology just wouldn’t allow it. Over time, cells rupture and mutate. DNA is snipped, severed by the sheer length of the cryogenic suspension. Despite the best efforts of our Gen-5 scientists – propped up by the four generations that came before us, hundreds of years ago – no solution could be found before we had to go in for our one chance at a long sleep.
So, half an hour and a hundred years later, I paced gently from the VR station to the observation lounge. I passed the spectrum of humanity in the sterile, curved halls and found myself in company in the domed, couch-filled space. There were 11 souls in the observation lounge today, eyes glistening in the starlight, and with them I stared solemnly through the glass dome, and out into the void as we plummeted towards Planet B – the bastion of hope perched perilously among the trillions upon trillions of ruinous stars.