First person sci-fi.
Naomi Endling is trying to find her way back to the new home planet Bloom, but forces seem to be playing against her.
Through the nebulous fields the Arc of Autumn hummed, its miles and miles of corridors and reinforced steel just an infinitesimal pock in the obsidian vault. Huge, thick-glassed domes and thousands of rooms rendered minute by the nothingness that surrounded it. Light years away stars punched ivory into the coal blanket wrapped around the vast, floating city.
As the last of the dead had been honoured I activated the release for the airlock and watched sombre faced as the Bloom Republic approved caskets were cast out into the cold void. The great steel cuboids hissed initially and then rapidly descended into a crystalline frost. I didn’t agree with the ceremony but it wasn’t my funeral.
I flicked my hair out of my face and tied it back, tightly; closed the viewing panel and discharged myself from the station with a swipe of my Tagcard. It was redundant and pointless. No one else would need to sign in.
Two quarters of the Arc were quarantined, shut off and controlled by the mainframe. Security equipment; cameras, scanners and communication systems had been jammed. If anyone was alive in there, I didn’t know about it. So for the time being it was just me. Well, me and Skid.
We had been foraging for resources on a small moon that resembled the same elemental consistency as the Homeland when we found Skid. Alec and I were testing the harm content of an interesting species of fungus. Just then a tiny creature with six limbs, wings and three eyes begun to hover in front of us, Alec recognized as some kind of ritual, apparently he had read books on the species before. Skid had taken a liking to me immediately and hadn’t left my side since.
The city was cold and the air was turgid; our resources had been rationed by the mainframe as an “approximated allowance in accordance with the destination’s distance.” Problem was, the mainframe also estimated the city’s population at two million. In reality it was closer to one hundred – provided there were survivors in the east wing.
No one knew what was wrong with the mainframe; it couldn’t accurately locate Bloom. We knew it was light years away and that the chances of any of our generation finding it were slim. Chances seemed slimmer still, now that everyone could be dead.
“Marcus” I spoke aloud to the mainframe. Silence was my answer. It was ignoring me as I had ignored it for the last six months but now I needed it.
I left the morgue and made my way towards Dome Seven. I passed through Access passages, coordinator stations and energy rooms that let out a low frequency pitch. Organic Mechanics scaled the walls, little spider like creatures crawled across pipes and wires repairing and reconfiguring. I had no idea what they were doing; I was no mechanic.
On my wristtop I scanned through different folders to remind myself of the security codes to pass through to the bridge. I’d have to try and override Marcus if it wouldn’t respond to me.
Dome Seven sat at the centre of thirteen domes. There were three in each quarter and the central dome. This was the traditional design of the Arcs. As I entered the dome, dull starlight gave the great skyscrapers vague contours in the dim lighting. Very few lights in the city remained active. It should have felt eerie and frightening to be in the deserted city streets but instead it felt serene and welcoming in the dark hug of eternal night.
It was a good twenty-minute walk to the Spire, where, at the top, the bridge currently lay dormant. Once the elevator finally accepted the code I entered, I ascended to the bridge for the first time in many months – this time to try and take control of the station.