Lazarus. It was this ship that brought us from a planet named Earth that was destroyed by a nuclear disaster. The name fits considering how the human race was rising from the dead. The exterior, made from the metals found on asteroids to deflect the radiation from local stars, was enough to endure the suffocating space that surrounds us. The spectrograph was angled on top, made to observe any new, possible home-worlds.
It has detected some possible planets, only to be denied when our explorers came back. The ship has the tangled look of the space stations that once existed in ancient times.
It looks as though the solar wings need some adjustment. This was one of the major problems that the original builders of the generation ship had to deal with as they were escaping their planet. Along with my supervising mechanic, James Fixer, we put on our suits and venture out into space with our welding kits.
I hover slowly towards the spot that appeared to tinge and shake.
I used to enjoy getting on my spacesuit and hover around along with Isaac Suitmaker, who claims descent from a man named Icarus, who was given the name Suitmaker upon boarding the Lazarus.
Now, it becomes annoying and I try my best to not shake fitfully towards any targeted spot.
James takes his rough hands and pulls me gently to the spot.
I take out the fracture scanner from my belt and analyze the dents with the blue oscillating lights.
"How damaged is it?"
I repeat the findings that appear in the screen, "It would appear that this is the tenth time in 250 years that this particular wing got hit by space debris (Trümmer).“
"Do we need to go to the workshops to repair it?"
"I would say..." I say as I examine whatever dents this wing may have, which is very few and shallow. "I think we should do so just in case this one becomes damaged."
Then James looked at me with his dark eyes. "How sure are you that this wing isn't too damaged?"
"I am only following the example of George Suitmaker, who was very careful to not use up any spare wings."
James smiled at me, since I remembered my Lazarus history and recalled George Suitmaker, who was given his own commemorative room deep in the habitation module next to my father's room (which has become my room).
I terribly miss my father, but it is my job to succeed him as president of the Ships Council.
Our legacy dates back to Daniel, who helped to take 100,000 survivors of a nuclear disaster that destroyed the surface of the planet Earth. He was given the name Shipmaster, which ended up becoming my family name and one I hope to live up to.
All of the nitrogen imported from Jupiter to feed farmable crops in the Lazarus is nearly used up. As a result, for as long as I have been alive, there has been a tight control on the food supplies, with the Farmer family being given enough power to ration the supplies. I have known their son, Ewan Farmer, who is fairly nice, but he has taken in the hostility that might come when the food supply runs out.
So, he has been seeing me less and less.
I meet Ewan as he studies the supply lists for the month on his tablet.
His red hair is trimmed and covered with a cap and his hands and body are covered so as to not engage in any human contact with the crops.
I also wear the same type of uniform.
I walk through columns of organic crops and approach him. "Does the Lazarus have enough for the month?"
"Just barely," he replied.
Indeed, I could remember there were moments when only a handful of vegetables were available at the dinner table.
It will be important to note the next time I am arranged to meet in the
Ships Council with the high-ranking leaders ofLazarus.
He looked at me and said "I hope you can get us out of this mess that we apparently find ourselves in for hundreds of years."
"I definitely know I can."
I look back at the crops that are just sprouting. I ask Ewan "I hope nobody asks about this crisis waiting to happen."
"They have. And I've had to prevent them from talking about it any further.
There's nothing I can do about it."
This sign of frustration coming from Ewan ignites frustration within me.
"Well, there isn't much I can do. The Ships Council has more power than I do and they decide whether the news is worth telling."
“I would hope that you take over if you deeply care about our food supply.”
“I know my father would’ve cared.”
James and I arrive in the center of Lazarus where the super-computer calculates where the most hospitable planets are and is managed by the Navigator clan.
The room appears dark grey as usually, however the main difference between how it usually looks and right now is that there is a red warning sign on the screen, indicating the shortage of energy and memory.
Timothy Navigator approaches us and explains in his whinnying voice how the momentum reactor is losing fuel.
"Where is the next location of the source of pure carbon atoms?" James asks.
"On an asteroid 12 parsecs away."
preferences may have changed.
This caused me to feel queasy (mulmig) and heavy inside, as I have never encountered this situation before. We always had fuel around waiting to be excavated (ausgegraben) by the Miner clan, who lived around the area next to the transportation stations. They are also the ones who have the opportunities to travel outside of the Lazarus.
I would hate to live long enough to see the day when there are no asteroids that can be excavated.
James tells me "We will have to use whatever fuel is left in order to survive."
I look to Timothy and ask "Can you set the coordinates to that area?"
He responds "I would but I would also be cautious, since this area is known for its wormholes. (Wurmloch9„
Either we do nothing and die or we risk going into a wormhole and dying.
I was always familiar with this type of dilemma from Lazarian history, as our ancestors had to face difficult decisions, such as Gregory Shipmaster making the decision to either establish a Lazarian colony in a heavily radiated planet or continue drifting into space.
I say “I was told that we have enough food to last us for a month, so that gives us plenty of time to think about our next destination.”
There have been nights when I have barely gotten any sleep. I continue to think about the problems that continue to permeate (beschäftigen) our daily lives and they are all in my hands while I barely have any solutions. Although I was considered smart in school, now that I am approaching adulthood and leadership, I don’t have the right answers. The only people that do are the ones older than me.
At the Ships Council, I am at the front of the desk with my mentor James in front of the high-ranking leaders of Lazarus, all descended from the generals that oversaw the construction of this generation ship. They merely offer me commands and I authorize them, so it is the opposite of what a President is supposed to do. Within their demands right now, they want to know how long they can go on with a limited supply.
"We are losing more carbon atoms every month," I say with a slow, cautious voice. "We searched tirelessly for more and the only source available is 12 parsecs away."
There was a ruckus that sounded around me, as it was clear that the members of the Ships Council were also not used to hearing the news. They didn't even look back at me, rather they just focus mainly on themselves. It wouldn't surprise me, considering how the management of the water, food, transportation, and energy seemed to be more of an importance than my meager 21-year-old presence.
It was always a requirement for me by James to take part in these meetings even if I did not have a say in these matters. It was always, and continues to be, boring, but they do give me enough experience to establish myself as President (of course if they don't attempt to start a mutiny).
"Don't we have enough carbon atoms in the storage module?" I ask.
"Yes," says Lyle Waterscavenger, the head scientist. "But it will only last us for a short time."
"Well, surely it would be enough to get us to that asteroid."
“It would, including the stellaser highway that would be created, but we would need to be cautious. There is the risk that we would encounter a wormhole and it would severely compromise our mining operations.”
This also caused me to freeze considering how wormholes are impossible to escape. But how is it different from starvation, rioting (Aufstände), or mutinies (Meuterei)? They are inescapable as well. There does not seem to be any other choice, for the path to colonization does not seem to be clear.
Whereas all the other citizens of Lazarus are reluctant to talk with me, only Amélie seemed to take interest in me. She used to be in the same class with me when we were 12, but she went on to follow her ancestors' legacy just like me. She is training to become a doctor.
Because she has blue hair, she was given the name "Oceandreamer" due to her dreams of the oceans of Earth that have since become radiated and void of marine life. I could remember one day she was telling me about how that is possible, explaining that there was a chip planted into the dreaming and memory parts of her brain to conjure up any possible locations of ocean life beyond Earth, which have only been possible in Europa and the other heavenly bodies in the same Solar System as Earth's.
The Lazarians attempted to establish colonies there, but had trouble maintaining the protection against a star's radiation. We have become a migrating people as a result.
I approach the ship hospital, which looks quite empty which is odd considering how the patients usually come from the workshop stations. Only two people are laying on the beds, getting their monthly blood tests to see how well they handle zero gravity. Amélie Oceandreamer Doctor is drawing the blood.
As soon as she was done, she looked at me with her eyes as blue as her hair and smiled.
In my sense of humor, I tell her "I have a medical condition."
Knowing our shtick--as the ancient Earthians would call it--she responded "And what would that be?"
"This zero gravity life has caused me heart problems."
Considering how this never wears out, she giggled. (kicherte) She puts on her stethoscope and puts on against my heart.
"Well, it doesn't appear to have problems when I'm around."
We start talking about how our day was. I merely told her I was in yet another ordinary meeting with the Lazarian authorities, whereas she told me that nobody died today.
She then tells me "I want you to come up to the upper pylons with me."
Although it is practically illegal for anyone other than the Waterscavenger clan to enter, it does not surprise me that Amélie would make that request, considering how she was always bold and willing to get into trouble. At this time, the rules no longer seem to have meaning the more I realize our futile end. She doesn't know about it, and it burdens me with the truth, but I want to make her as happy as possible.
I agreed to see her there.
I study for the completion of my apprenticeship on my desk in the President’s office, with the papers scattered all over my desk. It involves preparing for the tests made by the Ships Council in determining if I am capable of fixing any problem on the Lazarus. Throughout my apprenticeship, I gained more than just the basic trades that James Fixer imparted to me, rather I was made to deeply analyze the problems inherent in the Lazarus beyond mere repairs and into the social sciences and how people behave in contexts of hardship and shortages—like the ones I am going to face.
James walks in and sits across from me.
"You remind me of your father, Christian. Always studious and willing to place the Lazarus as the highest priority."
My father was originally the President of the Ships Council and the Lazarus before he died from an epidemic when I was five-years-old. Ever since then, James has become my father, by introducing me to multiple trades that would, hopefully, make me more relatable to the rest of Lazarian society. However, since Presidents have a history of engaging in mismanagement and corruption, I was regarded with intense skepticism, to the point where people were speculating whether I should even inherit my father's position.
I always seek to prove everyone wrong about me and my father.
I tell him "He had more of the answers than I do."
He then leaned closer to me. "But, I would suggest keeping away from that girl."
He nodded (nickte).
"But..." In order to become a great President, I need to develop perfect oration. I argued "...But she is a wonderful asset to this generation ship. I have seen her work for myself."
"You mean when you were playing with the stethoscope?"
My breath was shortened as I heard that James knew that we played our little banter (Geplänkel).
"We were just playing around."
"When you become President, you won't have time to play around."
"Well, we were just enjoying whatever time we had together." I knew there was no point in telling James what I could or couldn't do, nor did James have the ability to stop me from visiting Amélie.
Besides, he just told me that he "suggested" that I no longer see Amélie.
He smiled "Well, I hope you do it on your own time. But right now, John Blaster would want to see you pass this apprenticeship, so you will officially become the President without constantly leaning towards the Ships Council for guidance."
"But James, I like seeking the Council for advice. Besides, I can't do it on my own."
"If you could manage to sort through the digital archives of the Lazarian Library, then surely you could lead on your own. We would merely be there to issue your commands."
The bodies of the high-ranking Lazarians were in my way as I was pushed towards the super-computer. I was informed by the scientists of the Programmer clan that the CPU had become overloaded and cannot sustain one more year of data. This caused me to feel that same queasy feeling I had when I was informed that there wasn't enough carbon fuel. Now I'm informed that there isn't even enough data space left.
The people around me were bombarding me with questions as to our next course of action. Or even our next course of travel. It felt like all of the years of studying space science had accumulated into nothingness and I forgot even the fundamental building blocks of the universe. Everywhere around me the ship felt still and I was nearly collapsing.
"Quiet all of you and let the President speak!"
James' shout woke me out of my trance. The room was silent except for the functioning of the super-computer and the bleeps-bloops.
Because computer science is one of my fields of specialty, I concluded "We could just delete whatever is clogging the system."
"What will you do when the overload happens again?" one of the high-ranking members said.
"Well..." I say, clearly unable to comprehend a situation like this.
It was completely unforeseen and I wasn't thinking of any alternatives. "We could just use whatever is left to create a new stellaser towards that asteroid. Once there we can delete whatever clutter is in the CPU while supply the ship with enough carbon."
I walk through the habitation module, with the buildings of the congregating in a circle in front of and above me. Everywhere I look, the Lazarians continue their day in maintaining the ship and their livelihoods. Very few of them glance at me. It has become clear that there is so many crises that are occurring and about to occur since we cannot maintain this ship any longer--though only the high-ranking Lazarians and I are aware of this fact.
As soon as I walk to one of the grocery marts, I find that it is nearly empty, as there is barely any boxes or bars that permeate the aisles. The grey-moustached owner looks at me from the counter and says "My shop is still not getting its supplies."
This prompts anyone outside within earshot to cluster themselves near the mart and start shouting "What do you mean there are still not enough supplies?!" and "My family cannot last another week!"
They weren't even directed at the owner, but at me.
Then, more Lazarians start clustering and shouting alongside those few people who started it. It nearly turned into a riot until the Lazarian Guard rushed to my side and pushed back the protestors. I tried to assure them that the food supply is stable (even though it wasn’t), but they could not hear me amidst their shouting.
It made me think back to my conversation with Ewan and how serious this resulted. Perhaps the people have also done this to him as well. Of course, they probably did not throw whatever was lying around at the shop’s window, like one person did. This caused the crowd to become emboldened to start attacking the guards, who started pointing their guns at them. They backed away as soon as one of them fired a warning shot at one of the buildings.
I look outside of my house, waiting for the rioting (Aufstände) to die down, which it did. There were less and less people than there were a few hours ago. They were being chased off by the guards that were responsible for my house’s security.
Although the space sky appears serene (heiter), it overlooked the chaos that was boiling inside this ship. I would have to make the high-ranking officials explain how to calm the people down and—more importantly—to see which ones are the most loyal and who I can trust, because I know about the difficulties that should still come.
Whenever I get the chance, I walk to the upper pylons where the water was being stored, search for the giant containers of water that are not for drinking, and just swim on them. In this case, I am expected to meet with Amélie after the rioting died down. It has been an open secret that many Lazarians have been known to participate in this debauchery. If there was one comparison that can be made between the corruptions of the past Presidents and me, I would say this would be my one act of corruption I am willing to commit.
As a future President, I personally like to swim in it to relieve myself of the stress. Lazarian music usually notes on the hope of reclaiming a new home-planet, with the calming sounds of Bertrand Soother; but stored in my music box are many songs from the ancient times. They belong to genres called blues and jazz.
One song I especially like is titled "I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire," by The Ink Spots. Quite an ironic song considering how my favorite song perfectly described the destruction of our native planet. It might be available within the archives you would have to store of the musicality of the human race. Although I thought it sounded beautiful, the other Lazarians do not take kindly to it.
Of course, it was not nearly as offensive as when I was caught one time here in the upper pylons. I ended up spending four weeks in the Lazarus jail.
I paddle my arms with each stroke, trying to forget the troubles that might be in the near future and the responsibilities that I might have when faced with them. I don't want to think about them. This is the time for me to enjoy life while I still can. There is no room for fun on the Lazarus, for they are all filled up and can barely be provided for.
Then I see Amélie is also swimming in the same container. She paddles faster towards my direction and clasps her arms around me, laughing.
I was afraid that she might drown me, but she is gentle.
I was always more preoccupied (beschäftigt) with staring at the stars in any galaxy where we rested than interacting with the other Lazarians. With time, they pretty much accepted me into their conversations reluctantly (wiederwillig). Although I am in line to become the President of the generation ship, I cannot just make anyone be interested in me, for I must earn their interest. For years of my life, I have struggled to do just that, by getting involved in the workshops, the crops, the navigation module, the super-computer, and anywhere else, including the Lazarian frontier ships that always followed us and set out to find a new home-planet.
However, Amélie is more adventurous than me. When we stared at the stars together in the upper pylons, she mentioned one time she got into one of the space-suits and it caused a leak, causing her to become jailed for the same duration as me.
“So, we’re alike in that we’re both criminals,” I remark. She laughed at that.
As soon as we waddle out to dry ourselves, we lay next to each other, looking at the stars. We talk about our futures together. I was to become the President of the Lazarus and a new colony on a planet somewhere and she was to become just like Dr. Julia Blood, as head of the medical services. Our children would grow up as leaders of the colony that would span the entire planet and we would create a new civilization that mimics Earth.
Of course, as I got deep into thought, I tell Amélie "That would mean that we would mimic the very wars that depleted Earth of its life in the first place."
Amélie frowned "Then we'll be more careful."
I shake my head "This ship has been careful for hundreds of years and yet we still can't establish a home for ourselves without screwing it up."
It was at this point that I explained all of the problems that I had been faced with. I went into detail about how there is a food shortage, the CPU in the super-computer is overloaded, and the nearest source of carbon is light-years away. If felt relieving and therapeutic for me to rant about all of the troubles that will not only plague my life but the lives of all of the people who are going to be affected by it.
Amélie appears to respond by contradicting all of the enthusiasm that she showed about our future. Now she appears uncertain and asks me "I would hope that we can do something about it."
Then I heard voices that finally caught me doing it again.
But instead of arresting me, the captain of the Lazarian Guard announced "President Christian, we need you for a very important course of action."
The center desk where the hologram of the distance between the Lazarus and that distant asteroid are shown. I watch while wrapped in towels. The Lazarian Guard, the scientists, the Miner clan, and James are all present and they discuss how to travel to this asteroid and how to extract the carbon from within it. There wasn't a lot of consternation, but there was definitely the need to get there as soon as possible.
The Lazarian Guard, John Blaster, speaks first "We will need to be able to jump 12 parsecs to that asteroid."
One of the scientists, Lyle Waterscavenger, says "But what about the wormholes?"
"We don't have much of a choice," I say.
"If any of you have alternative options, I would more than love to hear them."
John says "I still need to keep the Lazarians under control in case something happens."
Quite honestly, if I had the choice, I would make John Blaster the President and I just do whatever I want with Amélie. Though, she would disapprove of my own dismissal as President.
Suited in my exploration gear, I embark on the rocky surface with the members of the Miner clan, who are busy detecting the area of any sign of carbon bringing the parts of the drill needed to mine the minerals. Although the surface looks barren underneath the black, space skies and only given light by the nearby sun, I have always known that there were more complexities underneath the surface of any heavenly body, including Lazarus.
I am led by Henry Miner, who like the rest of the Miner clan, was short and had a sturdy frame. He was actually shorter than me even though he was twice my age.
He led me to the location where we are most expected to mine for the carbon. There had been plenty of possible sites, but the one near the mound seemed to be the most suitable, according to him and his unit.
I take out my carbon detector and it was definitely bleeping and vibrating on my screen.
I turned to Henry's face, with small eyes, nose, and mouth, and ask "Are there more readings like this?"
"Yes, President Christian. All over this asteroid."
As soon as the first hole was dug, it suddenly stops drilling and the entire asteroid starts shaking underneath me. Although there was no gravity, I felt like falling as I could not stand steadily on the surface. I look back at the labyrinthine Lazarus and find that the lights are also out.
My instincts as President urges me to run up to the nearest vessel and fly back to the generation ship.
Once I landed on the hangar, I jump out and run to Amélie, who seems to be oddly calm at this time. Within the distance inside the ship, I hear panicking screams.
Then everything around me becomes black.
I don't know if I was unconscious or if the Lazarus itself was blackened, but my vision returns to me as I could see that nothing around me has changed. Inside my planet detector in my pocket, I find that there are a new array of stars that I never seen or studied before.
Amélie looks at the window. It is clear to me that she is in awe at what she is seeing.
She tells me "You are the light of the world."
There were astronomers on-board who heard that remark and they talked among each other. I could hear them say that we might be in the Andromeda galaxy. Us including the asteroid which is very far.
There were incoming probes coming from that asteroid. The Miner clan were able to bring back only a fraction of what we anticipated when it came to the stones chocked full of carbon.
I nearly cried, as we had hoped that this asteroid would save us; but instead it was our own demise. It only gave us a ride to an unknown galaxy with very little fuel to navigate or even survive it.
I see that Henry Miner was also forlorn and tried to look away due to his disappointment.
Then, within our view, we watch outside our windows ships we have also never seen before, which were wobbling and contorting (verzerrt). From that observation, I could guess that they were robotic ships. I was always told that we were the only species that used space-ships, but it would appear that my sight and the startled, hushed reactions of everyone around me are putting that preconception to the test. From what I see, they are coming menacingly close to the Lazarus and we have no choice but to fight them.
John Blaster appears before me "President Christian.
It would appear that the asteroid was part of an elaborate trap. We need to attack."
Amélie walks up to him "We could just turn off their power and take them over."
John turns to her "We cannot do that! They'd kill us before we power them down!"
I say to John "Then we'll wait until one of them boards the Lazarus. For right now, keep the laser missiles steady and don't fire unless they do."
He bowed in agreement and went to inform the soldiers maintaining the laser missiles.
The only wars we ever had were amongst ourselves throughout our 250-year history.
We have known our ancestors used the laser cannons, the very same ones that the robotic ships are aiming at us.
One of those ships quickly drives from their mother-ship to our ship with a speed that gave us little time to decide what to do next. I couldn't decide how to react to it. Was it an enemy or a friend? Did the human race survive outside of Earth?
Then, red beams fire at us. I could not hear their impact, but I definitely felt myself vibrating.
Amidst the blaring of the klaxons, we rush to grab our laser guns from the arsenal as I hear the Lazarian Guard shouting for us to follow them.
We arm ourselves in case of any internal struggles, which have been plenty on the Lazarus. Or in the case of any alien civilization taking us over. Just like now. I never thought that I would live to see this happen. Now I shiver and feel pale, since these were the fairy tales of aliens taking form. We were told from the childhood that if we misbehaved, aliens would take us away.
Perhaps we all misbehaved by destroying our world.
However, I sit back against the wall, with my laser gun rested firmly in my hands. I was not responsible for Earth becoming a radioactive toilet. I wasn't even born when it happened. Even though I am yet to become an adult, I would sooner allow the others who are adults do all the fighting while I stay behind. If anyone objects and demands I fight the robots, I will tell them that I am the President and I do what I want.
In fact, I will use my status as President to stop Amélie from fighting. I don't want her to die. I grab her arm.
"What are you doing?!"
"I can't let you go there."
"You'll be killed!"
"We'll all be killed if nobody does something!"
I always thought of Amélie as courageous, always willing to stand up to my bullies when we were in school; but now I think she is irresponsible. In our Lazarian history, it was taught that one person's death was a failure of the human race, whereas one person's death on Earth in the pre-Lazarian era meant an insignificant loss, one that merely trivialized the concept of death as a means of a goal; which ultimately led to the nuclear war.
I still grasp her arm.
"Then I'll fight while you do medical work," I tell her, which she agreed by grabbing my shoulder and urging me with her.
All of the sudden everything goes black, just like the last time. I could tell that whoever was on that enemy ship has done something to the super-computer, as I could see ("not see," I should say) that there is no activity on the super-computer, as I did not hear the noises it made during processing, the noises of which I have become used to.
The only things I do hear now are screams coming from whoever is left throughout the Lazarus.
Rummaging for the virus detector in my pocket, I finally find it and take it out.
For all of the times I frantically push any button, it turns on but only to show static noise. It would appear that they must have taken advantage of the overloaded CPU by infiltrating a virus so powerful it makes our ship turn into space junk, mindlessly floating space.
Alongside the panicking, I heard clattering in the air. Then I heard the sources clap themselves upon the Lazarians. I did not know what they were. Are the enemies coming aboard? Do they have night-vision?
Then, a robot that appeared like a locust (Heuschrecke) from the old Earth encyclopedias landed on my hand and injected itself on me. I swipe at it until I lost balance. I could not prevent nor get up from my fall.
They got us before we had the chance to get them.
When we woke up, we find that we were bound by some elastic forms of laser. I am afraid of severing my hands if I attempt to loosen them, so I keep myself focused on the enemy guards shaped like the mannequins (Schaufensterpuppen) from the testing areas of the zero gravity module. The enemy ship inside looked just like the workshops with mechanical trappings.
The guards bring me up as well as the survivors and drag us through the endless halls.
We were escorted before who appeared to look like the leaders of this ship. I can see that the robots look like the figures depicted in the hieroglyphs of an ancient Earth civilization in an area called Egypt.
They all have the heads of birds, crocodiles, hippopotamuses (Nilpferd), and many other animals that thrived in that area of the Earth. I noticed the visages that have now become mechanical to my eyes. All of the gods were really just robots, self-aware and willing to enslave the human race in order to fulfill their desires. Were we supposed to know this?
It would have to be the case that we weren't.
They spoke to each other in what must have been in ancient Egyptian, as they were glancing at us the whole time. They are obviously plotting a devious plan for us in which we would not be treated easily.
Then one of the robots uses our language and demands that we submit to them.
Only James was the one who stood up and refused to obey the robots. I felt anxious (ängstlich), knowing that the person who had come to be the closest to being a father figure was endangering himself. I do not want him to die, not at this time.
"I have worked 30 years and I don't want to see it all go to waste."
I begged him to submit, but he brushed off my hand from his arm. The final words he said to me were "I'm sorry, Christian, but this is no place for me."
At that point, the robots emitted a green ray at him, causing him to disappear. I never knew where he went and I don't want to know. It should tell you something when someone who respects and values science has now come to fear it.
There are plenty of things in this universe that were never meant to be studied.
Perhaps science itself should not be studied.
These beings are evidently intelligent enough to have access from their minds to our historical archives. They have studied us, as one of them explained to me in my own language.
They have become aware of us and our 250-year history. They know the real history being the Lazarus' explorations, about the multiple times humanity tried to create a colony on a hospitable planet. Every time it happened, we always resorted back to destroying ourselves, to the point when our colonies have become as inhospitable as Earth. We just cannot trust ourselves with existence because we always end up killing each other.
Ultimately, the machines that I see before me are the perfect example of how destructive the fruits of creation are. If humanity can create, we can also destroy. This realization makes me tear up, knowing that all of the knowledge in the universe can never compensate for humanity's destructive nature. If anything, humanity borrowed their evil from these robots.
I ask them "What are you going to do to us?"
One of them told me that they are going to enslave us by bringing us to one of their slave-worlds and to build their monuments.
Since I had a wide array of knowledge and experiences with technology, I was assigned to be the servant of the robot with the falcon’s head. Easily I could tell that this was meant to be Horus, one of the more famous gods among the ancient Egyptians—if you could call them gods. He was not very severe with me, but he did let me know that I am no longer a leader.
This made me feel tremendous amounts of shame, knowing that I failed all of the Presidents before me, especially my father, as well as all of the people who lived in the Lazarus.
Although I was sent to the barracks and the workshops to let the Lazarians know that they should continue working, I can never look at them in my personal life. There was intense shame in showing myself to them. Some of them pitied me, while some were evidently disappointed in me.
If they did not want to talk to me back at the Lazarus, then they won’t talk to me here among the god-robots.
I tried to find Amélie among the crowd, but I could not see her. If she did see me, she probably did not want to talk to me. I wouldn’t blame her. I failed to be the President she wanted to see, whom she would marry. However long my stint as a President lasted, it ended with all of us becoming lifelong slaves to the robots. My reign ended in such a humiliatingly ironic way; ironic since we were always told that the robots were meant to serve us.
I find Amélie standing in the hall, who looks sad and the light that was normally found in her eyes was drained and it looked like she lost hope. I told her if she was alright and she said coldly "There doesn't seem to be any chance that we'll survive."
I clasp her shoulders. "I know, Amélie. I’m sorry I could not stop it."
She smiled meekly “None of us could’ve stopped it. At least you tried to stop it. There were Presidents in our past who would’ve resigned out of stress.”
Such a reassurance (Beruhigung) was enough to put me in a positive mood. I wanted to love her like we did in the upper pylons before the catastrophe happened. The hands on her shoulders tighten as I brought her closer to me.
In the distance, we heard shouts and felt the shots of lasers coming from the inner chambers of the alien ship. It would appear that the Lazarians are inciting (anstiften) an uprising against the robots. Or maybe the robots are exterminating us. I also felt the lasers being used, so it is intensifying.
Either way, there would the chance that we would die in the struggle, so we ran as quickly as we could, racing through halls of dimmed light that shown through the vine-like machines and pipes that enclosed themselves on the ceiling and the walls.
"We need to get out of here," she said.
I smirked "Did the Egyptian robots take away your courage?"
"I'm serious, Christian!"
I never intended to have our banter, but I just wanted to see if the real Amélie was inside. And sure enough she was.
We found an empty room and locked ourselves inside.
The shouts have dimmed from the distance. As soon as I reunite with Amélie, we embrace each other and cry. I don't know how long it's been, but I what I do know is that it was long. I didn't care if the robots came here to kill or separate us, for all that mattered was this moment, possibly our last moment together.
Within a span of a few weeks, I lost so much. My Presidency, my mentor, my home, and my foresight into the future. The only thing that I have left is Amélie.
I would never get the opportunity to kiss her ever again so I looked into her blue eyes and brought my lips to her's. She did not budge (rühren), in fact she pushed herself further towards me. We embraced and kissed and brought what love there was to be found that can be salvaged in a life like this, a life where everything was already decided for you, where an entire ship of your own kind does not wait for you, where every ounce of knowledge you accumulated means nothing in the face of reality itself.
Amélie understands fully, as she told me after our kissing "I only wanted to become a Doctor because it was decided for me. If there was any interest I had in it, it would be that I would help the entire human race, but now I see that it doesn't mean anything anymore."
"You're helping me right now," I smiled sadly.
Amélie smiled, but then she looked outside the window.
I turned to where she was looking and see that we are about to hit the asteroid we were looking for. As the alarms were going off, we immediately put on the space-suits that were available in this room and prepare for the impact.
As the tip hit the asteroid, we were throttled from our room, broke through the window, and jettisoned out into space.
We were fortunate enough to put on our space-suits just before the crash, otherwise we would've died (even though the result will still be the same).
Our eyes were already dry. We were holding each other as we started drifting deeper into space and away from the asteroid and the alien ship. There does not appear to be any light emitting from them, which could indicate they may have perished. The robots? The humans? Does it even matter anymore?
Does anything matter anymore?
Perhaps both groups have been trying to grasp hold of whatever asteroid or whatever heavenly body contained resources that needed extracting?
The only thing that matters to me right now is Amélie.
I turned to her, who had a sad look on her face.
"I used to dream that we would see oceans again," she says. "But now it doesn't look like it's possible."
I tell her "We can see it any time you want to."
"But how?" she whimpers.
"Well," I say, now emotionless due to the events that unfolded. Just like Amélie, I no longer have a tears to shed nor any happiness to pound our chests. "We can remove our helmets and let the space claim us."
"What other choice do we have?! There doesn't seem to be any hope for the human race!"
"I...I don't know what to do. I'm scared."
"We can no longer be scared."
We drift into space for so long, still a bundled (gebündelt) mass floating in space embracing each other, observing whatever stars or other heavenly bodies that were within distance, that our oxygen containers appear to dwindle (schwinden).
I can feel it as it becomes harder to even breathe.
I can see that Amélie is also struggling to breathe. She appears to acknowledge that there is no chance of help coming. There is no one around to safe us. We Lazarians could not even keep ourselves safe.
We had all this technology and brilliance and we wasted it. I can’t say that I am angry but I am disappointed.
I ask her "I want to tell you that I love you."
"I know. You always had."
Before we end our lives here in space, I took out the recording probe that was stored inside this space-suit. Apparently, this was for the purposes of making documentations upon entering a new world.
But that isn’t what I’m going to use it for. Instead I will use it like all of my other recordings aboard the Lazarus. I will record what happened just before our invasion.
I know that the robots have used the recordings to study everything about me, but this one I would hope would introduce you to my life as the last President of the Lazarus.
I hope that you would trace this recording back to the Lazarus where the rest of my recordings are held.
If you’re an alien civilization, it would give you an in-sight into the last remnants of the human race from the planet Earth.
Parsec: Parsec is a unit of measurement used in astronomy. Parsec actually means paralax second. A parseseconds the distance Earth - Sun. So about 150 million kilometers.
Generationship: When man wants to fly to the stars, he has two choices: either he manages to build a drive that will fly man to the stars within a lifetime, or in a comfortable time, or he has to find a method to bridge this time. Because even at the speed of light, a flight to Tau Ceti would take three years, and one must then say that no physical object can fly at the speed of light. In addition to the possibility of cryogenic sleep, the model of the generation ship is considered very realistic: As the name suggests, it is a spaceship for several generations. The people who start with the ship will never reach the destination and will have children during the journey. Depending on the duration of the journey, different generations are needed to bridge the journey.
The shortage of the memory is the reason why, the ships computer would be slower than it should be. Because of that and because of the cpu overload, attackers have a better chance to hack a computer, because the protection systems also require resources. It would appear that they must have taken advantage of the overloaded CPU by infiltrating a virus so powerful it makes our ship turn into space junk, mindlessly floating space.
Play free games at Kongregate