Cara Riesling – 3 hours until impact
“I’m hungry.” Cara muttered, dropping to the ground and starting to walk.
“You have your choice of food from the veggie platter.” Valyria replied, combing through her hair with her fingers.
“How about…a pear?”
Valyria held up a hand and a fruit materialized in her palm.
“I think that’s a pear.”
Cara took it and bit into it, juice spurting onto her face.
“How is it?” Valyria asked, the branch by her hand retreating.
“Good. Really good.”
She felt something twinge in her mind and chewed thoughtfully.
“They fed us well. The scientists. Fresh fruit was probably a luxury, but I remember eating it.”
“I don’t know much about human experiments, but I can guess we weren’t cheap.” Valyria deliberated, “It’s just…weird.”
“They obviously spent a lot of time and money on us. Why would they leave us here?”
Cara scratched her head in thought.
“I’m not sure. Maybe they were doing something they weren’t supposed to be doing?”
“So to cover up their experiment they let an asteroid obliterate it?”
“Maybe. It seems like a waste, though.”
“And why wipe our memories, exactly?”
“No idea…maybe to make sure we didn’t say anything to anyone that found us?”
“As if someone will find us on a desolate lunar facility that’s on a crash course with a giant rock.” Valyria said incredulously.
“The more I think about it, the more confusing it gets.”
Valyria didn’t reply, so Cara looked up. And understood her companion’s speechlessness.
“Okay, I guess I know where the pears came from.”
Behind two glass doors to their right lay a jungle of a greenhouse, made menacing by its dark interior.
Valyria turned to Cara with puppy dog eyes.
“A few minutes can’t hurt, I guess.” She shrugged, “Go on.”
Valyria flung the door open and rushed in, moving nimbly through the overgrown mess.
Cara walked in tentatively, her eyes adjusting slowly to the darkness.
She heard Raygo walk in behind her, and shifted her weight from one foot to another.
It didn’t take a genius to tell he was upset.
Cara had been in the process of working up the courage to say something when there was a muffled grunt and she found herself pinned to the ground.
“Ugh…sorry.” She heard the mass above her mutter, “There was a root.”
“It’s okay.” She chuckled, “I can’t see anything either.”
“The generators probably can’t handle all of the lights in here.” Cara said quietly, “It’s worse than I thought.”
There was no reply.
“Listen, Raygo…” she started, “I…I didn’t mean to fry that machine.”
She felt him let out a breath.
“I…I’m sorry. About your memories.”
There was silence for a moment.
“It wasn’t your fault.”
“I know. But…I would feel cheated too.”
“To be honest…I feel like I’ve lost a part of myself forever.” He sighed.
“Maybe your memories will come back on their own? Brains can rewire themselves, can’t they?”
“Maybe. But there’s no point in getting my hopes up.”
There was a sudden creaking noise and when they glanced up hundreds of glowing flowers hung from the ceiling like stars.
“They’re beautiful.” Raygo commented absentmindedly, “I didn’t know she could do that.”
His eyes focused on Cara.
“You know what? It’s okay.”
With their proximity she could make out a spattering of freckles across the bridge of his nose like stars in a distant galaxy.
“I might have lost my memories, but there’s nothing to say I can’t make new ones…With you.”
“I…you mean, me and Valy…”
Her sentence trailed off. She became acutely aware of the very little space between them.
He was moving closer. Or maybe she was. It didn’t matter.