Generational Ship Blues Essay

2231 words - 9 pages

The solar rod running down the centre of the giant ship slowly glowed to life once again marking the start of a new day. It began just like any other day, only this was the day I'd been dreading since being given this assignment more than 10 years earlier. I looked up through the galley window and saw the little lakes and rivers begin to shimmer. Transit modules went to and fro as the ship stirred to life.

“Russell!” Came a voice from behind me.

I turned around to see my partner Justin walking through the galley doors.

“Good morning Justin, what's on the docket for today?” I asked in a failed attempt at humour. We both knew what had to be done today.

“Don't be like that Russell... ...view middle of the document...

Please have your Ident Cards ready.”

The train came to a gradual halt as the magnetic polarity was reversed and we stood up to exit. We made our way up some stairs along with a small crowd to the security terminal. As we approached the kiosk i noted the extra security presence here today. Expecting a riot? I joked to myself.

“Ident Cards please gentleman” ordered the black clad security guard.

Justin and I complied and handed him our cards.

As he swiped the cards through the reader and scrutinized us I asked: “Whats all the extra security for today?”

“Nothing to get alarmed over gents, just rumours about some troublemakers, that’s all.” he replied.

I gave Justin an inquisitive look, but he only shrugged and gave me the same look back.

“All right gents, everything looks good here. Just a little additional screening today if you wouldn’t mind making your way through the threat detector matrix.” The guard said routinely, pointing to a secondary screening station.

I'd only visited Capital Sector a handful of times, but I'd never seen so many people sent through secondary screening before. Before I did something stupid like protesting this inconvenience, I felt Justin’s hand on my back motioning me away towards the queue.

“Secondary screening? I thought we checked out clear?” I asked Justin.

“Ah, don't worry about it. Probably just something to put the government at ease over those rumours. We'll be fine” he said in a matter-of-fact tone.

As we approached the threat detection matrix, I gazed out and saw our train departing from the terminal. Making its way further down the landscape and wrapping back around overhead. I lost sight of it as it passed behind the solar rod. I rubbed my eyes as we shuffled forward for our turn through the machine.

“Step forward please sir and walk slowly through the gate” commanded another guard.

I walked through with no problems and was soon followed by Justin. No alarms had sounded so I sighed a little relief as we exited the checkpoint. This day is already going to be hard enough I sighed in my head.

“All clear gentleman,” confirmed another guard motioning us on into the public square, “enjoy the Capital.”

We walked down the concourse towards the square.

“Enjoy the capital... ha... there’s no joy for us today right?” I asked looking over to Justin walking beside me.

He was staring at his watch and looking quickly over his shoulder to the left and right.

“Everything alright?” I queried.

“Huh? Oh... yeah sorry, I'm just not quite sure where we need to be” He replied.

“Its okay I've been to this meeting once before. Just follow me” I comforted him with a smile.

Every decade each sector sent their two Population Prosperity officers to this meeting. Last time I had been in Justin's shoes. It's an unenviable task but one that had to be dealt with for the good of the ship. Finite resources and energy meant sometimes someone had to make the tough calls before things...

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