chapter oneI woke up groggy and stiff, so stiff. I could not wait to be unplugged and walking around. Gotta be patient. Everyone must be so excited. We would all be rich on the new world, but it would be hard work too. A new life!
As part of the underclass our options were to live a hard and short life under the megacities. The rich living above in luxury, as we below toiled endlessly keeping the works well greased and functional. Over and under. The rich above, the poor below. The richest, on top of the skyscapers. It was simple really, the higher you were, the higher you ranked. They even had sunlight up there.
Us bottom feeders, well we could sign up to go off planet. You had to imprint your DNA with a waiver disavowing your citizenship, human rights, family and so forth. No return. The fine print. But it would be a new start. For some reason the Sky Kings and Queens seldom signed up for new world duty. But they would shoot out to the stars to rule over the worlds we recreated in Earth's image.
Many of us were criminals serving our sentence as rehab but not me. I was clean. Just born wrong, not my fault. Some would sell organs to survive, but you could not do that for long.
Anyway...where were the lights? It was pretty dim and I was loaded into my compartment where I was to remain for the journey. More like a transparent coffin.
My face mask was also a harness attaching me to the floor of my unit. I could barely turn my head. The tubes fed me sleep meds and sustenance. My other ends were similarly plumbed to gather and recycle wastes. In this fashion I would sleep for 30 years and wake up at the new world. The machines would maintain the human cargo in a deep sleep for decades. The whole ship would sleep the years away, as our ship hurtled toward our new home.
My arms and ankes were cuffed in place comfortably with the monitors in place to oversee my vitals. Maybe a foot of space above my face was my unit's ceiling...and the floor of the compartment above me. I could only see through the sides of the ceiling since the mat and plumbing blocked my view. So I could only see a few of my top-neighbors fingers and some of her hair.
You load in head first, feet last. Tilting my head, I could see down by my feet into the dim spaces beyond. Wow there were a lot of compartments. Like a morgue made of glass. I could see countless feet in the units across the access hallway, but no faces. Well if they had been loaded in the other way, all I'd see would be the tops of their heads. I did not even know my crewmates anyway. To my sides I could see some of my nearest neighbors through the clear walls.
Where were sounds of awakening? Why was everything still on energy saver mode? It was silent with only the deep hum of the hyperspace machines vibrating the whole ship partially into the next dimension. That way we could cheat Einstein and yet still return to our own plane of existence. We would skim along reality, like a flat stone thrown sideways onto a pond.
The next thing I knew I was regaining consciousness again. It was like I hit the next chapter feature on an old school viddie. Back home only the richies got the direct brain feeds, we got videos we had to watch using our actual eyes. No feelies for us.
Something was different.
1 chapter, created 11 years
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