Under the IceMature

Unknown to the seemingly intelligent race known as humans, the ones who inhabit the planet known as Earth, Europa, as they call it, or Petraglacie to it's inhabitants, is better known as one of the moons circling Jupiter, is capable of sustaining life. Not just life, but humanoid life forms who just may hold the secrets to saving the Earth.

"Charlam?  Charlam! Wake up, this is the second time you've fallen asleep while on duty!"  

"Wha....?"  I looked around and found the source of the disturbance.  It was only, Wlu, my assistant.  Only thing is, he seems to think that he's my boss, when its really the other way around.  "What do you want, rodent?  Playing spy for Terrl again?"  Terrl was the spineless fool that was head of the astronomy department, so he actually was my boss and liked to make sure that I knew it.  

"Terrl? What? No, but I have been talking to your dad about your less then perfect performance lately.  You know, being a genius isn't everything."  

"Whatever, go back to answering my calls, I have work to do."  

"You're silly little star log doesn't count.   Do you really think you're going to find life outside of Petraglacie?  Because you're the first one to look.  Nice try kid."  He was going to pay for that one, calling me kid.  I am his superior after all.  And I'm 18, I'm not a helpless child.  But he was right, I'm hopelessly clinging to the small amount of hope of finding life outside our desolate little moon.  I give in and accept the boring life of working in the astronomy department.  All monitors show normal readings.  Everything is just as it was yesterday, we are still a  moon circling the giant and gaseous planet Jupiter,  all the same moons that were accounted for yesterday are still there, Jupiter is still the the 5th planet from the star of our solar system and we are still   483.78 million miles from the sun.  Yeahh, real exciting stuff.  

The remaining hours of my sentencing, I mean of my duties crawled by with no change.  Apparently Wlu actually was taking my calls.  Shame, it's times like this when I can actually stand his company.  My mind decides to wander, which is really unfortunate because I was really getting into my work.  I remember back to the time my father told me I was going to start working in the astronomy department:

"Charlam, please come here, it's quite important."  His voice rang over the intercom.    As I walked into his office all I could think about was how much trouble I obviously had to be in.  It wasn't everyday he called me into his office, my father was the leader of Petraglacie, and I entered his high ceilinged, light blue walled, white carpeted office.  The place just screamed cold.  Not just temperature, we were used to living in below freezing after all, but it screamed coldness in heart and demeanor as well.  My father was the perfect leader, strong, ambitious, impassive, and charismatic.  It wasn't hard to see why our people voted for him.  It was hard to see that he even noticed me though.  

"Yes sir?"  I asked, and I prayed my voice was void if any indifference.  My mind raced to find anything of fault that could be my reason for being here.  

"Charlam, I just received the final reports from you teachers.  It is by their special request that instead of being trained in arms at the academy you will report to work in the astronomy department."

"What?  But I was fully prepared to train to serve our people with my class mates."  Yeah, that sounded like the appropriate answer.  Social interactions were never my specialty.  

"Charlam, you can't be serious, you already finished school two years early, physically speaking you are a little behind all the other cadets.  Besides, this is the first time I've ever head you speak an actual fondness for your peers."  Well, he had me there.  "You are my only daughter, and ever since we lost your mother, it should be obvious why I am not as willingly to let you go away to the academy just yet. Besides, I think you will quite like the astronomy lab,  they are more like you, and you will be payed to look outside of the ice everyday. "  Well, he sure can play his cards.  So that's where I learned my skills of manipulation.  "I have an assistant for you, that is if you take the job."

"An assistant? Now you're talking."  

"Get those evil thoughts out of your head right now."  I turned to see where the voice came from.  It appeared to have come from the man I seemingly overlooked when I entered the office.  He couldn't be much older than me, he was tall and lanky, with light brown hair that was messy in a weird, tidy, sort of way and fell down to his chin.  My mind had an uncharacteristic lapse.  The only though that crossed through my momentarily thick head could only be described as 'whoa! I get to spend everyday with him? Count me in right now!'  

"This is Wlu, and he's right, you are not to abuse your power young lady."  Fine, he won't find out that I'm abusing my powers.  "Wlu is an advanced placed student as well.  He finished his schooling when he was fifteen as well.  He's been working here for two years, but he's experienced enough to show you the ropes.  Wlu, show her the lab."

"Can do, sir."  Ughhh,  I hate overly enthusiastic people.  We walked to the lab in silence.  Both keeping strong on the silent code of advanced placed students,  small talk is neither logical nor rational and only used by those who care about social appearances.  After walking through the carefully planed  labyrinth we came upon a set of double doors. 

"Don't expect special treatment or anything, princess."  Princess, I forgot he used to call me that.  He must of registered something in the look I gave him because he continued, "That's right, I remember you from school.  And I see you are as arrogant as ever."  

"Don't call me princess, rat."  

"Still the same royal brat I see."  

"Still a stuck up ass hole I see."  Since we both knew the same enmity was still alive between us we continued into the lab.  I was disgusted with myself that I had ever found him remotely attractive, even if he did seem to have grown up in the last two years.  

"This is the astro lab."  I rolled my eyes, uninterested in the stupid pet name.    

"No duh."  His eyes narrowed, but we continued,  

"This is where most of the advanced students end up, so you should recognize almost everyone.  We're the brain power behind Petraglacie,  we study the surface of the ice and the surrounding moons.  We decide when to adjust the gravitational forces between us and Jupiter and when other moons come to close to our atmosphere.  And we get the special job of deciding when we will finally live on the surface."  Every laughed very stale and cruel laughs when he said this, like this was some ridiculous joke.  Wlu seemed to pick up on my confusion.  "You're a smart girl, face it Charlam,  we will never live on the surface, we will always live in our perfectly built community under the ice."  So basically, our jobs were pointless, we were only here so the regular people didn't lose hope that one day we would get out of this block of ice.

Three years later and the situation has yet to change.    

The End

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