The Year is 20XX. Myself and my space crew have found themselves stranded at a refueling station asteroid, and all space crews have been sent out to complete tasks in order to restore power to the station. Problem is, there are space mutants disguised as humans spreading across the galaxy with the sole intention of murdering and consuming humans. I had just completed my task of restoring electricity to the asteroid, and after an untimely injuring, find myself limping to the biodome to assist my crewmate with the help of a new friend.
“Well, well, well, look who has finally arrived after all this time. Oh, and I see you have even brought a friend, Pizza Time. Perfect! We’ll get done in no time! What your name, bro?”
“Bro? Pardon me, bro, but I am a lady.” As Cleo exasperates her point by putting one hand on her hip and using the other to point at herself, she forgets herself as my crutch and drops me yet again. It’s fine, the floor and the pain it brings have a somewhat intimate relationship with me now. Cleo, noticing of her blunder once more, winds up to give the grandest of apologies, but I cut her off by responding with my face still lodged into the floor.
“Hey Buag, this is Cleo. We had a very charming encounter at the generator, and now she’s graciously come of her own volition to help us with this last task. What needs to be done, Buag?”
I pause for a bit, thinking of how to phrase the next sentence.
“Also, you shouldn’t go assuming anyone’s genders based on the color of their space suit. Any particular reason, buddy?” I inject venomously at the end.
“Sorry, it’s not a trope or nothing. I just had an… interesting experience with a tall pink fellow at that space bar I was talking about the other day…” Buag trails off as he briefly shivers.
“Irregardless! Very glad you and the missus are here. We gotta burn some leavs, bruv. The generator you powered is fueled by biodegradable materials, and that’s half the reason they built a whole forest biodome on an asteroid in space. It aint much power, but it’s enough to supply the emergency reserves. I think anyway.”
“Thank you for the lesson in space energy consumption. So with all that being said… there are still a lot of leaves around….” I say questionably.
“Listen bruv, I told you! I hads me a scrap with some of these ol’ space buggers, but they couldn’t get one over old Buag, I tell you hwat. Anyways… the rake is in two. We gotta rely on old thunderclap and shock to pick up the rest of these here leaves and toss em into the incinerators scattered around the biodome,” then Buag proceeded to flex his non-existent muscle under his space suit. Another member of the skipping-arm-day-club. “You game?”
“Pizza Time is a little… tired at the moment. You mind if I take his place instead?” Cleo interjected before I had a chance to respond.
“I don’t care WHO does it, I just need it DONE, ya feel me?”
Cleo nodded, and with that Buag turned around to go deeper into the forest biodome and pretend to do more work. He turned around just before he was out of earshot and shouted “Let meet back by Pizza Time in about 20 minutes. Just to check if everyone is alive and kickin, ye?” Once out of sight, Cleo turns to me and saids, “You deal with this guy everyday?”
“Unfortunately,” I lament.
Cleo let out a short “heh” under her breath, and turned to the opposite side of the forest biodome to begin her task.
Some time passes, and Buag and Cleo return as expected. Although sometime seems off about Buag.
“Hello friends, pleasure seeing both of you in one piece. There is one more quadrant to clean up before we officially complete our task. Would you mind heading with me together so we can get it done quicker, spacewoman Cleo?”
Cleo is taken aback, surprised at the sudden articulateness and polite nature of Buag. Pleased with the turn of events, she was gladly about to take up the offer when I cut her off.
“Cleo told me before you got here that she has to head back to her crew. She already did her fair share of the task she volunteered for, you mind finshing up with me instead, buddy?”
I then turn to Cleo.
“Please! Don’t mind us, we’ll all meet back at the docking station once we finish up here… is that okay with you, Cleo?”
Cleo motioned to protest, but I added one more word to silence her contention.
I nodded at the exit, desperately trying to get a point across without words. Cleo finally understood my intent, and wordlessly made her way to the exit.
“Ready to finish this up with your thundershock and clap, Buag?”
“Thundershock… and clap? What may you be referring to, spaceman Pizza Time?”
I grit my teeth, confirming the suspicions I desparetly hoped were not true.
“Nothing… let’s just get this over with.”
Buag’s eyes quickly glint under his space suit.
“Good. I was tired of playing nice with you humans.”
Leaves rustles somewhere nearby, and I noticed its in the direction of the exit. The same direction Cleo was heading to leave. A guttural noise fills the air, like a giant hole being punctured into someone, and a gargling of liquid immediately ensued.
That guttural noise was from me. I turn to look down, and see a giant spear protuding out of my chest. The spear quickly retracts from my chest, blood fills my mouth as i vomit it out and onto my space suit visor, and suddenly, everything becomes dark.
The end, huh. It’s just as dark as I imagined. I regain consciousness to find myself in a dark space, with no cognition of any other entity, alive or otherwise. I think back to the rustling leaves, and realized that I failed to protect Cleo. The only thing I promised to do for her. Damn, I can’t even sacrifice myself properly for someone else’s lives.
“You didn’t fail me, Pizza Time.”
My eye open widely, completely taken aback by hearing a voice I thought I would never hear again.
My voice trembles as I can scarely belief the words I dare to emit.
“Yeah, it’s me, Pizza Time. Dang, what a shame how this whole thing turned out. I was really hoping that we’d get out alive, but we were doomed from the start now that I think about it.”
“Yeah, why do you think the station captain assigned a bunch of random passerbys with tasks crucial to the station’s revival? Don’t you think he should have sent specialists to each area to quickly finish each task? Well, he chose not to, because he was probably one of those things from the get-go. They wanted to create chaos, so they could pick us all off one by one.”
I respond with silence. How could that possibility not have been at the forefront of my mind?
“Well, I knew. There was a miniscule chance I could hide until the aliens wiped out everyone else. So I did that, or at least tried to. Then I realized that if I did manage to evade death by alien, they would burn this station to the ground so I would have no way of escaping anyway. It would be over for me either way…”
Cleo paused thoughtfully before continuing.
“I was scared. Scared of being murdered, scared of stavation, scared of dying. I didn’t want to die… but I didn’t know how to live either. And that’s when I met you. Or more accurately, fell into your life.”
Cleo giggled before proceeded.
“You seemed… different from the rest of the crew members I came across on this asteriod. Most were panicking or selfishly trying to hide themselves from everyone, but you were the only one conscious of the death looming over us. Even though you knew that you probably were not going to live past today, you tried your hardest to make sure someone else could, even if you never got a chance to be thanked. It was inspiring really, so thank you. You gave me something to look forward to before the end.”
As tears begin to fill my eyes, I blink and feeling something welling up from inside my chest. An old familiar feeling, like a memory forgotten from long ago. I blink again and find myself standing in a meadow. The meadow is covered with daisy to point where the ground meets the sky, and a bright blue day dotted with boisterous clouds fill the midday sky. Taking in the grandor of the sight before me, I feel a hand grasp itself tightly around my own. I look to the owner and find a young girl smiling at me as bright as the midday sun. She wears a white sundress with a yellow sun hat, cosplaying to blend in with the mainy daises in the meadow. She tugs on my hands and nods towards the cliffside.
“Come on, «[REDCATED]», whatcha standing around for? We’re not gonna make it in time if I let you stay around and daydream!”
The young girl drags me to follow her, and I follow suite with my own tiny body. Where was I? Who was this girl? What exactly was happening?
The girl and I stop at the crest of the cliffside, and she turns back to look at the sight behind us. Far away, just about on the horizon’s edge, a little town with white structures and yellow decorations adorns the valley which surrounds it. At just around noon everyday, an hole in the clifface makes way for the sun’s rays, and hyper-focuses on the town. In response, the town glimmers with its moment of greatness, like a thousand laterns lightning up the dark river at night. To celebrate its beauty, a red comet comes out from behind a enourmous cloud to greet the town. Wait, a red comet? In the middle of the day?
The red comet grows closer and closer, and soon finds itself larger than the entirety of the town. Mocking the town’s insignificance, the red comet finds itself in between the opening of the cliff-face and the sun. An eclipse to cast the town into darkness. Eventually the red comet crashes into the clifface itself, and fractures into a million flaming rocks. The burning rocks crash into the town, and soon the entire valley finds itself on fire.
In horror of the atrocity I just witnessed before me, I turn to the girl to snap me out of this hallucination. She stopped smiling ago, and slowly pointed to the sky directly above us. Another large cloud in the sky disperses, and soon another large red comet begins hurtling toward us. I freeze in terror, what are we suppose to do? The town we grew up in, the daisy meadow in which we stand, was soon to be no more. Darker and darker the cliffside we stood on became, and the air grew hotter and hotter from the residual heat of the red comet. Flowers withered away, and before I could process anymore, I was falling.
A tiny pair of hands were extended out from where I once stood, and a sad girl struggled her best to break one more smile.
“You have to go on, so our people won’t be forgotten.”
The red comet shortly crashed into the cliffside where I was once standing, and I found myself falling to an abyss I would never wake up from. I close my eyes, expecting a sharp but quick end.
When I my eyes, I find Cleo standing alongside me in the dark void. A bright light begins to fill the space, and Cleo states begrudingly, “Well, I guess this is the end, huh Pizza Time?”
‘“Huh?” Cleo turns to me inquistively.
“I remember now… my name is Aemilius.”
“Aemilius, huh? That’s a pretty cute name too! But not as cute as Pizza Time admittedly,” as Cleo winks at me.
I turn away to face the end, partly to hide the tears streaming from my face in futility. I feel a hand wrap itself around mine, and gradually tighten as the space gets brighter and brighter.
“I guess I’‘ll see you in the next life, huh, Aemilius?”
@mariasokolowska @michellebasey @sabweld @Chen @philkastelic @sandrahenriques @wildcat @dragon @homeroom11