This is a story that I started work on about four years ago, but never got around to finishing. I am now happy enough with it to post it.
For Those That Live On, I Leave You This
The enclosed disc contains the last recording of Joel Moran, second lieutenant aboard the Melzez Door. Should the ship fail to rendezvous at Second Earth, his wishes were for the message to be delivered to you.
Joel Moran, second lieutenant, the good ship, Melzez Door. This is my … heh, it’s supposed to be my final message should we brave voyagers not make it to the New World. A final farewell to those I love an’ all that jazz.
I don’t really have anybody personal to leave a message for, so this probably seems kinda pointless. I just wanted ya all to know that I figured it out. I figured out what’s goin’ on. None of us are gonna make it to where you people are goin’, not one of us. The Melzez Door ain’t anythin’ but a big ol’ coffin.
Here lies disease, right? Of body and mind? Look, I know this thing has to go to whoever I say, that’s the law, so here’s what I want ya to do: When you’ve all made it to wherever it is you’re goin’ and you’ve started makin’ the world … whatever, this message needs to be sent to everyone, an’ I mean everyone.
For those that live on, I leave you this. Fuckin’ poetry, yeah?
I don’t know what you people are gonna be told about this ship. Hell, I don’t really know what’s gonna happen to it, but I can tell ya this much: More than half the gases in our cryo-chambers are toxic. Yeah, I still remember my schoolin’. Heh.
So why ain’t we goin’ to the Promised Land? Well now, that goes back a coupl’a years, don’t it? Back to when we all heard about The Event. An’ let me tell ya, anyone who says they weren’t shocked or scared when we heard that the end was comin’ is talkin’ shit. I knew guys that weren’t scared of nothin’, an’ they didn’t have a clue how to deal with it. Make sure ya all remember that in years to come, yeah? An’ remember it good too, ‘cause fear ain’t no bad thing.
Anyways, back then we didn’t know how anyone was gonna survive, right? Then, all of a sudden like, they had that big TV conference thing where they said that we were all gonna fly through space and find a new Earth. There was all that cheerin’ and the parades and …
We all knew somethin’ weren’t right. Deep down I mean. You’d have to be pretty damn stupid not realise that it was too good to be true. Then came that first cull, when they did all the oldies and the terminals.
Man, the riots. Ya know, I was in the front-line for that. I was one of the ones that had to keep the rest of ya from lynchin’ the Government. Ya wanna hear a secret too? Every single one of us wanted to do the exact same thing. We all wanted to just let everyone through, let ya all do whatever the fuck ya wanted to those bastards, but we didn’t. Ya know why? Because as bad as what they did was, it kinda made sense.
Think what ya want about me for sayin’ that. I mean it. Curse me for all I care, ‘cause I’m as dead as you’re alive right now, an’ that cull is part of the reason you’re alive. Ain’t no way they coulda got transport for the whole damned planet in less than two years, so what’s the best way to cut the numbers, huh? Think about it. How long was your Gran gonna survive once ya get to wherever ya are? And the terminally ill? They were as good as dead anyway. Sorry, but it’s true. Plus, ya know, these chambers don’t have the best success rate for the fit n’ healthy, let alone anybody else.
‘Course, no one got that, so the second cull had to be more crowd friendly, didn’t it? So, who went then? Criminals. More popular, weren’t it? All those murderers and rapists, all gone bye-bye. Hey, if you’re gonna start over, who wants crime, right? Tell ya what though, a lot of people got executed, an’ I mean a lot. More people than we had in prisons? Could be. Heh.
No way was that the last one though. Think about it. Think about all them disappearances in the six months leadin’ up to Launch Day. How many of those d’ya think were planned, huh? I got my pay for about twenty of ‘em, and I weren’t the only one.
Oh yeah, and don’t go forgettin’ this here ship. Ya wanna know what every civilian on Melzez Door has in common? They all got a disease. Some of it’s minor shit that we used to just treat with antibiotics, but could never get rid of entirely. There are others on board that don’t look like they’ve got anythin’ wrong with ‘em neither, but if ya check their medical files they’ve got shit in their DNA that ain’t doin’ anythin’ right now, but could be passed on. I mean, c’mon. What sane Government wants to risk takin’ that with us, huh?
So, that just leaves the crew; the guys and gals like me. Heh. We all ended up here because we’re thugs. At one point or another, every single one of us was given a choice: Sign up, or stay behind bars. We’re the scum that got away with it, an’ maybe, just maybe, we also ain’t the sorta people the Governments want in the New World, yeah? And ya know, that’s why I’m sayin’ not to forget fear. I was fuckin’ fearless all my damned life. I … I didn’t care about consequences or any of that shit. If I had, then maybe I’d be there with all of you right now, ya know?
Look, I ain’t bitter. Truth is, it fuckin’ sucks, but they’re right to do this. The culls on Earth, Melzez Door and any other ships that, I don’t know, get lost or stop workin’ or some shit like that … they’re right. What you people have gotta do right now is important. You’ve all gotta make sure that humans keep goin’ and …
… Just try not to fuck it all up too bad, yeah?
End of video.
3 thoughts on “Short Story: For Those That Live On, I Leave You This”
Interesting dialect for that point of view choice. Reminds me of one of those long lost recordings stuck in an office somewhere in Portal.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Awesome. Oddly, I’ve still not played Portal. I always meant to, but just haven’t got around to buying it.
LikeLiked by 1 person