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Science Fiction

On a cold winter evening, Mr. Quinton, a billionaire executive CEO was barricaded in an abandoned hunting cabin in Wisconsin. He sat upon his throne of a brown lounge chair sipping a grotesquely aged whiskey on the rocks between puffs of his Cuban cigar. The fire was kept to a smoulder to give him enough warmth without giving off enough light to reveal his location. He sat in near darkness; hiding from the catastrophe of a world that sat right outside of his doors. Mr. Quinton was safe, so he thought, in this undisclosed location. All he had to do was wait. He had a man on the moon watching after him. This mystery sponsor had assured him that this would be the year that would get him off of this shitty planet. The plan was fool proof and all he needed was the final two pieces of information. The third piece of information he was able to receive ahead of time due to his sponsor up in the cosmos. Three simple pieces of information separated him from a life of living hell and salvation from his sins. He gave a malicious smile at the thought of looking down at this pathetic rock from a world away like an aquarium visitor looking through glass at fish trapped in a tank. He had nothing to fear, he thought after downing another glass of whiskey. At 11:00pm he was told he would receive the information that would lead to his escape from planet Earth. He would be able to get away from all these common people that had become bloody savages. It was 10:59. One more minute, he thought, as he refilled his whiskey glass and took a long puff on his Cuban. The clock struck eleven and he was bathed in a pale blue light from the message notification he had just received on his phone:

“Mr. Quinton, we cordially invite you to join us in the new world. Your shuttle will land at 5537 Turnpike Road just outside of Madison, Wisconsin near an abandoned hunting cabin in the woods. The shuttle will arrive at 11:00pm on December 23rd, 2071. We await your arrival and are eager to welcome you to the new world.”

The message lasted about 30 seconds before deleting itself to eliminate any possibility of being traced. All the necessary precautions had been taken and the sea of blue light that bathed Mr. Quinton dissipated leaving him once again in complete darkness. The only thing that remained in the pitch black was a Cheshire cat grin spread across Mr. Quinton’s face. He was in the clear now. There was no way they would be able to find him. As he poured himself another drink he sat there, chuckling with malice as he thought about how the savages left on this planet were all wondering how Earth had become such a living hell. He knew the truth just as everyone else on the moon did. This knowledge gave him a sadistic peace of mind. In his last remaining hours on Earth he reminisced about the pathetic state of this planet and how it had all gotten so bad.

The birth of the idea to send people to the moon began with the ambition of a fresh start. As the 21st century reached its quarter of completion humanity had the realization that they were doomed if they remained confined to planet Earth. Humanity’s centuries of abuse to the planet had finally caught up with them. The Industrial Revolution was the major turning point that initiated the downfall of the planet. From that historical event the resource extraction, pollution, and destruction of the natural world was on a track of exponential growth to oblivion. Scientists and environmentalists had warned of the repercussions of this pace of extraction and devastation but they were unheeded. The years progressed and by 2025 it was like the world’s sickest joke, with the most drawn out punchline had finally been understood. In one strange, unanimous moment of clarity, like someone finally realizing they need glasses to see, the atrocity of the situation manifested. The average nine to fivers, the governments of countries, and even those corrupt environmental destroyers that would stop at nothing to gain wealth now understood. We had killed ourselves. There is nothing left for us here on this blue planet anymore. We are all doomed.

The planet was in ruins. The oceans had turned brown. The forests and natural environments were desecrated and replaced by steel and concrete structures built upon the graves of the oasis's ecosystems. Any feasible source of safe drinking water was in such drastic scarcity that it was the catalyst for wars. By 2025 the global population was estimated to be around 8.3 billion with no end in sight. The resources for food, shelter, and water had become extinct. With the world literally going up in smoke and no option available to put out the fire humanity began searching for a way out. In 2025 this idea manifested, if we can’t save the planet why not vacate the premises? Interstellar travel had advanced enough in collaboration with the development of technologies that would allow for settlements on other planets. So, by the end of 2025, just like a bachelor trashes a Las Vegas hotel room and leaves the place for custodians to clean, the first humans migrated to the moon to begin the first interstellar settlement. 

The first group of humans to colonize the moon were essential workers that would lay the foundation for future occupants. It was like starting a new Sim City game building from the ground up. From the years 2025 to 2030 they built. Engineers, architects, scientists all in unison creating a new home for humanity. By 2030 the foundation had been laid and the first residents were allowed to begin their journey to humanity's new home. The thought that had been at the back of everyone’s minds during this whole endeavour was who would be allowed to leave Earth first? The leaders of the world knew the truth. It wasn’t a question of who, but rather, how many would actually be able to survive on the moon. The moon was only twenty five percent of the size of Earth. Earth was already overpopulated. The reality began to sink in for everyone of average to lower status. They were to be left behind on the remains of a dying planet as the elites escaped leaving them with all the problems and disasters they had created. Estimates at the best gave the planet’s habitable timeline to 2100 and the worst at 2070. This reality began to sink in across the globe. As more and more elites escaped without a care in the world the remaining public began to fester with anger. From 2030 to 2035 the elites escaped in hordes. The reality of the common people’s doom hadn’t completely manifested yet, so escape for the elites was safe still; shrouded behind lies to humanity that their turn would come to leave the decaying rock once known as Earth. However, by 2035 the concept of escaping in secret began to unveil to the public. Being chosen to join the elites on the moon colony used to be an idolized position filled with hope for everyone. Now, to head to the moon was just a death sentence if any common person found out you were to be one to join the moon colony. Word spreads fast and soon enough you have the world’s biggest target painted on your back with everyone else taking shots at you with greedy trigger fingers. 

The year 2037 marked the last time that a fully loaded ship of elites would be able to escape to the moon. From that point forward radicals and guerillas of the commons sabotaged any ship full of elites attempting to leave Earth. October 31st, 2037 marked a dark all hallows eve. A craft was set to launch at 4:00pm out of a remote facility in Nevada. The base was heavily guarded and was thought to be in an undisclosed location to the public. At 3:30 an army of pedestrians attacked the base in a mad rage looking to attack and kill those that had sent them to their damnation. Like sharks in a feeding frenzy blinded by a thirst for blood the base was rushed, invaded, and destroyed. Of the three hundred plus elites, two hundred guards, and five hundred attackers twenty survived the carnage. Twenty every day average citizens walked away covered in blood leaving nothing behind except for a message. They would not be left behind by the bastards that damned them all in the first place. If they couldn’t go neither could anyone else.

That fateful halloween marked a turning point. A true separation was apparent to everyone between the one percenters and everyone else. The days of the commons being used, abused, and left short handed by the elites was over. A new reign had begun on planet Earth. If any other elitist wanted to escape they would have to do so in secret, trust no one, and pray that a god wouldn’t punish them for their sins. The Earth, or at least what was left of it, was run by the commons. The remaining elites stayed hidden, waiting for their chance to escape their doomed planet and join their corrupt brethren up on the moon. Escaping Earth from the renegades of the commons had become impossible for an elitist group. The colony on the moon was not complete and they needed more members for their society to thrive while their previous one decayed like a dying tree. Thousands of elites were slaughtered in desperate attempts to leave Earth. The commons felt no remorse and why should they? The elites, the one percenters of the world, had destroyed the planet and then were just going to leave them there to rot with this dystopian reality. Mission after mission failed with massacres in the hundreds, month after month, year after year until the elites realized they needed a new, more discrete strategy to evacuate. After 2037 messages were sent down once a year in secret. They contained nothing more than a date, a time, and a rendezvous point. On the specific date and time a single shuttle pod was sent down with an occupancy of one. To slowly remove the elites from the dangers of the commons only one could escape per year. The commons had cracked the ins and outs of all prior methods of escape from the dying planet. With sadistic joy the commons sought out the rendezvous points through fragments of intercepted signals and encoded messages from the moon. Like a pack of wolves hunting their prey they came for the blood of any elite who was deemed worthy enough at a chance of escape. From 2038 to 2070 years became hit and miss for the elites. The commons would not be bested forever and began to infiltrate the communications between the elites on the moon and the remaining few on Earth. The elites had achieved everything they needed at this point. No longer did they have a need for furthering their numbers on the moon. Like some sick game of cat and mouse or hide and go seek they used this opportunity once a year as a twisted form of entertainment like a late night game show. They gambled on their own lives; placing bets on whether Mr. or Mrs. so and so would be able to make it to the rendezvous point. 

Almost fifty years later Mr. Quinton sat in that old log cabin smirking with malice. His time to leave was in less than 24 hours and he was confident that he left no trail. They say money can’t buy happiness but here he was about to achieve ultimate salvation all thanks to his greed at the expense of others and the planet. His wealth and resources could no longer further his company or profits on earth due to the anarchic state of the world but they could cover all of his tracks and get him an inside man on the moon. A past business partner had become his guardian devil; watching over him and feeding him early information to guarantee his success. It was nothing more than another business endeavor. His wealth was so vast it exceeded the planetary bounds of Earth to influence even those on the moon. He had it all planned out with decoy’s and fake communication transmissions. “No way those savage dogs could be smart enough to catch him”, he thought in a cloud of tobacco smoke. Most elite’s would be sitting here shitting their pants like babies in a diaper but not Mr. Quinton, he was different. He had more money and resources than most of the one percenters already up there. They needed him; he thought they wouldn’t gamble on his life. They wouldn’t take any chances.

It was 10:00pm on December 23rd. One hour left and Mr. Quinton would be on his way off of this shit hole. He sat there in his final moments on Earth with no remorse, no regret for his actions, just complete satisfaction in all the wealth he was able to acquire. He wasn’t leaving anyone behind; no family, no friends, just enemies and an empty corporate office building that was probably just a pile of rubble at this point anyway. He couldn’t help but give a muffled cackle resembling one of an asylum patient. The pure joy he felt from being able to quite literally screw over everyone else left on Earth was sick.

At 10:05 there came a soft, calm, calculated knock on the door. Then in a peaceful, harmonious orchestra of unknown voices erupted the phrase, “Ohhh Mr Quinton we have a business proposition for you. Ohhh Mr. Quinton, we know you’re in there. Ohhh Mr. Quinton… are you ready to die?”

That malicious, privileged smirk vanished like an erased equation from a white board. Mr. Quinton’s eyes went wide and his face white like the snow outside on that cold winter evening. His hands began to shake. The cigar he was so greedily enjoying fell from his mouth to the floor in a spark of small embers. The whiskey glass slipped from his hands shattering to the floor spraying shards of glass and ice across the floor. He sat there, paralyzed in fear, unable to think, unable to move, and unable to breath. His phone buzzed in his other hand illuminating a small fraction of the darkness of the room in a sea of blue light. He lifted the screen to his face and like a deer in the headlights saw a message from his ever so faithful man on the moon.

 “Hey, Mr. Quinton, We took bets up here on whether you would make it or not. I was really rooting for ya up here with a hundred grand on the line. Looks like they found you out, I apologize in advance Mr. Quinton but it is going to hurt… a lot haha. Thanks for nothing. Because of you I am out a hundred grand so thanks for nothing... See you in Hell Mr. Quinton.”

Mr Quinton sat there reading the text over and over again. He was mesmerized by the words and couldn’t seem to look away. He was so entranced by those simple sentences he didn’t even notice the door breaking down, windows shattering, and utter destruction going on around him. One by one the commons entered the home. One, two, three, until the room was filled with people surrounding one man in the center of the room staring at his phone. By the time Mr. Quinton snapped out of the trance he was already being beaten. Bats, crowbars, fists, and feet rained down. Mr. Quinton was paralyzed with fear. He couldn’t fight back, couldn’t escape, and he cracked. In those last moments alive as all those he had screwed over throughout life were getting their vengeance he broke down. An insane, hysterical, terrified laugh erupted deep from within his belly as blow after blow was taken upon him. Tears and laughter exploded like a thunderstorm from Mr. Quinton in his last moments of consciousness. For the first and only time in his life he felt what it was like to be an average, common person. He felt their pain, their injustice, and their fear. The last thing passing through Mr. Quinton’s mind before an empty blank expanse of permanent unconsciousness was terror.

Going to the moon was supposed to save humanity. It was supposed to reset the world so we could all start fresh as equals and learn from our past mistakes. Trying to go to the moon was just as bad as staying on this dying planet. We are doomed one way or another, but going to the moon puts a target on your back.

The crowd of the commons dispersed after their brutal acts of vengeance. The log cabin was left in tatters with shattered windows, busted down doors, and a corpse in a suit in the middle of the floor. The only distinguishable feature left on Mr. Quinton’s corrupt face was his expression of fear. Eyes still wide with fear and face pale as a ghost his body swam in a suit in a pool of blood. Instead of having some final epiphany of all his wrong doings in life his last thought was one of fear. Let it be known by the commons… everyone should been scared to go to the moon.

August 01, 2020 00:51

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