I don’t often write science fiction. And you can forget about me writing hard sci-fi … I don’t think that will ever happen. Sci-fi acting more like fantasy, though? Bring. It. On.
I can’t quite remember where the idea for “Not the Chosen Ones” came from, all I know is I was listening to RSG’s Sterre en planete (Stars and Planets); a weekly radio show about space and all things space-related. They also give the sun weather every week which I just find fascinating. But, as usual, I digress.
Anyway, I got the story idea and started writing it down, forgetting to finish listening to the show.
This is the first draft of what I think of as “part 1” of “Not the Chosen Ones”.
First draft: Not the Chosen Ones
My job was to keep the chosen ones in stasis alive until I die. The one after me would do the same, the one after her as well. We were created for nothing else but a life on this desert of a ship that would fly them to the Promised Land.
We were told nothing of where we were going, only that we needed to go to the new planet — a terraformed place the chosen ones would call home. Would maybe even call earth. They would ensure Earth lives on. We would ensure they survived.
You’d always seen our futures, you said three weeks after we’d met. I said it was still too early to talk about such things. You laughed but your eyes did not. It was the day before the sirens sounded for the first time and it was that moment — a simple moment we spent on one of the viewing decks — that I remember most clearly.
As the siren sounded shields shuddered under the onslaught of a barrage of fire. We each ran to our stations, the warmth of your hand a vague memory around mine as I followed the others of my living unit to the stasis chambers. But the Fathers and Mothers were safe. They survived. Most of us did as well. Those who didn’t were given clinical send-offs by the Captain. We wept when we were alone again.
I told you tales of heaven when I saw you again. Of planes of existence where there would be no more sickness, no more pain, no more death. You said you saw heaven in me, that I was the place that you could call home. That our paths were stretched out into eternity yet mingled together. Dimension upon dimension, so you said.
We lost two of the Fathers when the next attack came. They were given funerals with songs — the funerals our dead had deserved as well, I thought.
“You are not from Earth,” one of the captain’s aides snorted when he overheard me say as much. “You were bred for a job and we expect you to do it.”
My rations were cut, but you sneaked me extra food so I could remain strong while some of my sisters died.
We had forgotten what it was like to travel unhindered through the vastness of space. The data we collected became only an afterthought. I was one of the lucky ones chosen for data collection after an attack left our data team dead.
I sang some of the old Earth songs for them at their send-off. This time no one bothered to cut my rations. We all hoped — wished — for distant lands and help and mercy for those in peril in some way; no matter how childish it may have been.
Our only hope was keeping the Fathers and Mothers alive until we reached the Promised Land.
In every iteration of every universe, we were a constant, you said as we lay in each other’s arms one night.
Morning brought with it another attack. No one stopped me from singing the old songs at your funeral.
I wept freely and went to hide in the stasis chambers of the Mothers and Fathers, all the while cursing them for bringing us on this godforsaken journey.
To be continued…