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Science Fiction Asian American East Asian

I sat in the waiting room, mentally preparing myself for my life’s greatest adventure. I had already physically prepared for what will happen today, but no amount of meditation has eased my nerves for the moment ahead.

“Julieta Bautista?” I hear my name called and I stand, shakily to my feet. The woman smiles. Her cold violet eyes contrast with her warm inviting smile. “We’re ready for you.” I nod my head trying to return a smile, but failing.

She leads me down a long plain corridor. The overhead lamps swinging with the tremors of the ground. A large quake happens and we grab onto the handles in the walls to steady ourselves. Three months… That’s all we have left here, I think to myself. I exhale a shuddering breath I didn’t realize I was holding. We finally reach a small room and she sits me down in a chair, telling me the doctor will be with me shortly. She leaves the room with the same cold eyed smile she greeted me with. She’s jealous. At least, I think so. 

A few moments later and the door swung open and a tall man with dark skin and silver blonde hair stepped through. “Ah, Julieta. It’s lovely to meet you.” There was no warmth in his words.

“We’re going to start with a series of questions. But before we get started, I want to make sure you understand your position in this. You were selected to be one of the twenty humans from the Philippine islands who will be going into stasis. Part of the selection process includes being of pure heritage, which as you know, is incredibly rare. Less than one percent of the world’s population has pure human DNA.” I swallowed hard and remembered my small island of Palawan. “We are looking for an even number of male and female humans of reproductive age for the task of repopulating the New Earth. We have tried to find pure humans from each country with such a heritage for stasis. The Guidance would like to preserve as much of the human archaic history as possible and needs cooperation from as many countries as we can get. This is on a volunteer basis, but your cooperation would benefit the New Earth and the many generations to come. Is this something you wish to continue with?”

“Yes.” I struggled to meet his bright green eyes. The fear was overwhelming. But, I knew I had no other choice.

“Part of your preliminary screening that you had last month involved running DNA tests to confirm you are in fact one hundred percent human and to determine your specific ethnic origins. Your test results confirmed you are pure human, and of Filipino descent. Does that sound right?”

“Yes.”

“And you are fluent in the dying language of Tagalog?” He said, skeptically. Speaking any language other than the Universal was a very rare skill. It’s hard to believe that long ago, the ancients used to speak thousands of languages throughout the world. It wasn’t until one group of people invaded the others, that these languages began to die out until almost all that was left was the Universal.

“Yes.” He raised an eyebrow at my answer but kept his doubts to himself. I was surprised he accepted my answer without a demonstration. For all he knows, I could be lying to get this position but I knew better than to do that.

“What is your date of birth, weight, and height?”

“July eighteen, 3042. I am thirty two terrons and seventy nine durons tall.”

“Good physical conditions for this trip. Any history of diseases in your family such as heart disease, cancer, or the morose sickness?”

“No, no family. No history that I could tell you.” He raises his eyebrows and scribbles something on a chart. “Will that affect anything?”

“Not necessarily. You are in good physical health at the moment. Well enough for stasis. Family history is recorded and sent with each person in stasis for their records in the future. Have you ever been married, pregnant, or have a condition that will prevent you from bearing children?”

“No, never married, pregnant, and no condition.” Tears welled in my eyes as the reality of what my future will look like. I tried to keep it together and remind myself that this was for humanity’s sake.

“Thank you Ms. Bautista. Lastly, you understand that if you choose to accept this position, you will undergo stasis for decades, possibly centuries?”

My breath caught in my chest as I thought of the family I never knew. Having been raised without parents, I lived in a small orphanage in Palawan till I came of age. No one knew who my parents were. I was given the surname of ‘Bautista’ after some Baptist. Everyone at the orphanage thought I was strange with my dark hair, skin, and eyes. The other children from the orphanage were different from me with hair and eyes of many colors. I was the odd one. Now that oddity has given me this opportunity.

“Alright. We have all we need to know. Sylla will be back to take you into the stasis chamber. After you are placed under stasis, your pod will be transported to the Dome and be prepared for launch to the New Earth. The journey is estimated to take 7 decades, but the Dome could encounter obstacles that would delay the journey. I’ll need you to sign this form before we put you under.” A tremor shakes the room, hiding the shiver that runs through my body.

He rolls to the counter and grabs a form. He hands it to me with a sterile bloodpen. He wants me to sign with my blood. I press my thumb on the side of the pen, feeling the small sting of the needle as it samples my blood to use as ink. After I sign, he bandages the small wound, thanks me for my cooperation and leaves the room. I sit there for a few minutes before the woman returns to lead me to the chamber.

Inside the chamber it is cold and dark. When I was selected for this position, I was instructed to leave all possessions behind. I would be entering the pod with nothing but the clothes I came in. Everything I would need on the New Earth would be brought along in the Dome.

I climbed into the pod and arranged my limbs like she instructed me to. I whispered a silent prayer, hoping that this would work out. I looked hard at the woman whose cold eyes would be the last I see on this planet. The last for many, many years. I knew she wanted to be in my place. So many people coveted this position. Everyone wanted a way out of this doomed planet. Almost everyone was unqualified. I accepted this position for the sake of preserving my ancestry, my humanity. Our current Earth only has three months of habitable time left. The tremors are becoming more frequent, the seas have been restless, and much of the planet’s air has become polluted. Almost one year ago, the planet’s crust was predicted to crumble and sink into itself. When they found out, the Guidance formulated a plan that would revive the archaic Earth, save humanity, and start anew on another planet. Humans have destroyed what once was known as the blue planet. And now the planet is dying. Thankfully the astronomers have found a planet 50 lightyears away that is habitable for humans, but only pure humans were estimated to survive. Those with even the smallest trace of Other blood could not live through the gas and chambers used for stasis. Technology, although scarce for the general public, is well advanced for those who work for the Guidance and have a way to transport pure humans in Domes that are almost as fast as light. If everything goes well, my body will be in stasis for no longer than 60 years. If our Dome gets lost, it could take centuries for it to reroute to another habitable planet.. Do not think of those things… I stop the thought from flooding my mind. It was too late to turn back.

“One more question while you get settled in. Do you wish to retain the memories of your previous life? Some people choose to have them erased so the memories of their former lives and the people they left behind do not negatively impact the futures they will have. The Dome will have details about your mission on the New Earth but memories of your life on this Earth will be gone. Do you wish to keep your memories?”

The woman was now adjusting a mask to go over my nose and mouth. A few minutes from now, gas will start to flow and the stasis will have begun.

“Yes,” I say hesitantly through the mask. The woman nodded and closed the pod. A powerful tremor happens and for a moment, I felt a rise of panic set in but relief soon washed over me as the gas flowed through the mask.  My eyelids grew heavy as I began to fall into a deep sleep with the rocking of the pod. I start my journey across space, leaving behind a crumbling wasteland with billions of inhabitants doomed to die. Humans have caused this, and now we are doomed to repeat this cycle again.

October 08, 2020 01:40

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1 comment

NJ Van Vugt
00:07 Oct 13, 2020

Very poignant, nicely written.

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