Science Fiction Fantasy Adventure

I feel like I'm drifting on a cloud. Softly shaking and feeling very light. I like this feeling. It’s like floating in a sea of happiness, I don’t want this to end. Suddenly it's gone and a jolt of pain shoots through my body. I feel heavy, uneasy, and I'm ready to scream. I can already hear someone screaming. The scream is freaking me out. It’s me who is screaming.  

I compose myself, and try to open my eyes, but they feel glued shut. And yet, I can see how light is trying to penetrate my eyes. Now I don't want to open my eyes anymore, because the light burns. And the pain, my whole body aches. It’s insane. Where is my cloud? Why aren't I weightless anymore? Where am I anyway? Who am I? I start to panic. 

"This must be very confusing for you. Try to relax, you're safe. It's going to be alright." A soft female voice speaks. Is she speaking to me? She's right though, this is very confusing indeed. "I'll stay with you until you feel safe and relaxed. And I will try to answer all your questions as accurate as I possibly can." She sounds calm and very friendly. I try to breathe normally again, just like my therapist has taught me. 

My therapist, doctor Gibson. I wonder what happened to her. During our last sessions, we didn't just talk about my mental health, or more like the lack of it. No, we talked about what was to come. The Big Escape, as many called it. I called it that as well, and to me that was exactly what it was. Not just an escape from Earth, but also an escape from all my problems. I firmly believed that by leaving Earth, I would leave my issues behind as well. Doctor Gibson disagreed. She wasn't taking part in the Big Escape. 'People who can't afford this need support.' she always said. We discussed that during my sessions. It always made me feel guilty. And yet, I went through with it. Paid for the trip, and voluntarily stepped into a cryo tank. 

So, this must be it then? It's time to wake up and start my new life. Light years from Earth, years and years later in actual time. The calm voice talking to me must be a nurse, helping me adjust. Helping me to wake up in a new, strange world. A promised world, where everything is better than the mess that has become of Earth. A brand new start for humanity, or at least for those who could afford it. I can't remember whether I stepped naked into the cryo tank or not. The voice sounds so nice, I really hope I'm wearing clothes. I don't want my first memory of my new life to be an awkward one. I start to feel relaxed now. It is alright. The pain is just temporarily. I made it! I simply made it. 

“Take it easy and let your eyes adjust to the light, this is a very normal reaction. It’s like waking up, only you had a very long sleep.” The soft and calm voice tells me. I try to smile. I slowly blink my eyelids and turn my head into the direction of the voice. What I expect to see is a young woman in white nursing clothes. Instead I see a young woman wearing a brown dress or something. I can’t really tell, my vision is still blurry. I try to sit up but my body is against that movement. The voice is also telling me to keep down, I comply. 

“Don’t force anything. I will ask you some simple questions and then you can ask me anything you wish to know. And I can imagine it will me a lot. Now first, do you remember your name, the Earth year you were born in and the city you lived in?” 

I want to answer straight away, but I need to think about these answers. They come to me quickly though. “Kevin, 2022, Manhattan.” 

“Manhattan?” She sounds confused, as if she’s never heard of Manhattan. 

“New York City.” I explain. 

“Ah, yeah, now I know. They build a Statue of Liberty here, it’s quite beautiful I think.” 

“Have you ever seen the original, on Earth?” I ask her. It’s a weird question to ask. Something about that question isn’t right. 

“How old do you think I am?” She smiles. “I know a lot about Earth, or at least that’s what I think. I’ve studied everything that is written by the first settlers and it’s such a …” 

“Wow, wow, hang on, hang on!” I try to sit up again. I ignore her telling me to lay down and the pain in my body, telling me the same thing. I manage to sit up and sit against the pillow and the bed board. “What do you mean, ‘the first settlers’? Aren’t we supposed to be the first settlers?” I squint my eyes. I start to see more clearer now. The woman sitting next to me doesn’t look anything like a nurse. Actually, this whole room doesn’t look like a hospital either. It’s more like what I imagine a bedroom in a medieval castle looks like, in a fantasy game. And she, she is wearing brown wide trousers, a leather cloth wrapped around her torso and something that looks like a cape, also in the same kind of leathery brown her other clothes are in. She more looks like an archer than a nurse. I take a quick look under the blanket. I’m wearing light blue pants, and a white t-shirt. Thank heavens I’m dressed! 

She smiles patiently. I think she’s pretty. It’s a weird thought to have in this situation, but in my defense, I haven’t seen a woman in a very long time. Or any human being for that matter. There is something on her head, hidden in her hair, that almost looks like a tiara. 

“We believe that you are one of the first settlers here on Nova Angeles. But your pod was only found one year ago. There has been a long, ethical discussion between the various settlements on what to do with you. Most people wanted to keep you frozen and put you in the Museum Of The Lost Earth here on Nova Angeles. But I was against it. I don’t think it’s fair, you wanted a new life and I believe you should get that chance. I got my way. The best scientists have done nothing but the best and the best therapist is ready for you here. The responsibility is all mine though.” 

Great, I’ve been asleep for hundreds of years and the first thing I get is a therapist. I came here to escape that shit. Slowly the other words she said get through me and suddenly that therapist sounds like a really good idea. 

“Thank you for not letting me be a piece in a museum, I guess.” Not sure why it’s that I’m saying. Actually, I want to scream. I want to pound my head against a wall or something. I don’t dare, but I must know. “How long ago was it, from your perspective, that the first settlers came?” 

“242 years, well, Earth years. In Andromeda years, as some elitists are still calling it, it’s 202. The year is longer here than you are used to. Don’t think too much about that. I think this is already a lot for you to take in. I should leave you alone for a bit and let you rest.” 

She’s serious and gets up from the chair she’s sitting on. “Who are you? A crazy scientist who takes on this experiment of having someone placed in a whole new society?” 

She smiles. “I wanted to be a scientist. But no, I’m the Queen of Andromeda, ruler of the three remaining settlements of Nova Angeles, Nova Delhi and Nova Capetown. Nova London was lost 35 years ago and Nova Paolo 52 years ago. But you know too much already. Have some rest and here.” She gives me a device that looks a lot like an iPhone. “Just press my name to call me. I think you know these communicators?” 

I press the screen and see a lock screen. Out of habit I press zero four times. It unlocks. 242 years and nothing has changed. I look at the contacts but can’t find Queen of Andromeda anywhere. 

“Press Kim.” I hear her say. She puts her hand on my head and again tells me to take some rest. She leaves and I’m alone in the room. Alone with my thoughts and they are with many. It scares the hell out of me. 

So here I am. I made a trip to another solar system because Earth was on its dying seconds. I doubt there are any humans left on earth and if they are, they are outnumbered and nothing more than just one of the surviving members of a surviving species. Probably not dominant, but you never know. It’s been a couple of hundreds of years after all. And I’m here now. I never knew there were plans for more than one settlement, but apparently there are now. And it amuses me that there’s a Nova Capetown and that Nova London didn’t make it. Of course I don’t know what happened. Old sentiment is what’s giving me that sense of amusement. 

Hundreds, hundreds of years. The people living here today have never been to earth, they are the third, maybe fourth generation of the people who came to Andromeda. And I was meant to be one of their ancestors. Instead, I’m the new one. Straight from Earth, I can tell them exactly how they came to settle here. I am their history. This overwhelms me. They will want me in every television show, or whatever it is they’re using for entertainment. I realize that technology must have been massively advanced. 

And yet. Despite technology, scientists, other settlements, I’m here in a room that looks anything but modern. What the Queen was wearing wasn’t what I expected a modern queen would wear. Or what a medieval queen from Europe would have worn back then. What kind of world is this? Have humans actually progressed, or are they still making the same mistakes? And why am I here, under the wings of an actual queen. Why did we travel all these light years to form a monarchy? How did we allow that? And where are these other Nova settlements and why were two lost? 

I’m dizzy. My body wants to lay down. My head wants to rest. But I, I want to go out and look at this place. I have a real Queen to tell me all about this place, its history, and show me around. As Queen, I think she can take me anywhere. And to her I’m valuable as well. I can tell her about Earth. I can tell her how we used to live and hopefully, hopefully we’ve improved. It’s going to be a weird life. I press Kim on my communicator, as she called it. Ready for a new life in a new place with a new person. 

January 25, 2022 16:39

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


RBE | Illustrated Short Stories | 2024-06

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in Reedsy Studio. 100% free.