JB Lacaden’s Picture Choice: 2
In the beginning there is nothing but darkness and in the midst of that darkness floats a seed ship. The ship is immense in size even by seed ship standards. It is colored white and bell shaped and within it resides four hundred crew members. Smaller ships are docked around the seed ship's surface. They form an outer ring of escape pods, scouting pods, and assault pods. The seed ship goes by the name of Genesis.
Cabin 417. The room is clothed in darkness. It is an austere room (like all of the other rooms within Genesis). It contains a bed on the right side beside the white wall. On the opposite wall, a digital clock is attached. Beneath the clock stands a drawer with five shelves--each one containing something different.
Jeremiah turns to his side and props his head up on his elbow. Lying beside him is a girl with strawberry blonde hair and amber colored eyes. Both of them are naked beneath the thick, gray blanket. The girl, Rebekah, is awake as well and her eyes are on Jeremiah's.
"We're twenty four hours away from C-Day," Jeremiah says. "You excited?"
Rebekah's eyes move to the ceiling. Her lips part into a smile. "Excited's an understatement, Miah," she answers. "For a hundred years our people have worked in this ship. I grew up here watching my parents immerse themselves in their respective fields of study. All of those research, those sleepless nights, the ceaseless working, all of the previous generations of seeders, they all lead to tomorrow. Believe me, there's no word for how I'm feeling."
Jeremiah laughs. "Yep, you're excited."
Jeremiah leans towards Rebekah and their lips touch.
We move ten doors away from Jeremiah's room, to Cabin 427. We are like ghosts, floating along the narrow corridor. Our merged consciousness passes through the wall and inside the room. Darkness, too, is dominant within this place. The only inhabitant of the place lies on the floor in a fetal position at the corner of the room. Scattered all around are documents of all sorts and a laptop lies open on the bed. Its screen, illuminating a small part of the room with a blue glow, displays a video running on loop. It shows the darkness of space and in that darkness a bright explosion occurs.
Kindly shift your attention to the walls filled with scribbles of formulas and graphs. On one part of the wall the words "We are not gods." are written in thick, bold letters.
Marco, the man on the floor whose sanity is on the threshold of collapse, mumbles to himself words we cannot decipher. He pauses only to breathe. In his left hand, we see a laser knife. In his other hand, we see a rosary made up of metal beads. It is currently T-minus twenty hours until C-Day. Marco runs the plan in his head for nth time.
Now we sink down the floor. We go deeper and deeper into the seedship, Genesis. All around us we hear fragments of conversations, we hear the light snoring of those cradled in Dream's pale arms, we see the blurred image of a trio of men walking briskly, and still we go deeper.
Finally, we reach our destination. We're in a room that spans the entire length of Genesis. The room has pristine white floors and is brightly lit by rows of lights that line the high ceiling. The floor is filled with rows of glass vats of varying sizes. Some vats stand three feet tall while some are twice as big as a man. Inside each one of them we see dark shapes floating. Tubes are attached to them.
All around us men and women in white lab gowns are grouped into three. All of them are observing the glass vats and the things contained within. Not far from us, we see three scientists conversing. We drift towards them; closer and closer, until we hear the words being exchanged.
"...can't sleep properly," the one in the middle says. He stands a head taller than the ones on his sides. He has a bald head and a pair of glasses rest on the bridge of his hooked nose. In the palm of his hand we see a hologram of a list of names. He scrolls through the list with his other hand. The name "Max" is printed in black on the right breast of his white lab coat.
"Johnny's turning a year old tomorrow right?" The man standing on Max's right asks. We soon learn that his name's Timothy. A quick peek to the last man's lab coat and we see that he is Mark.
Max gives a nod and answers with a "Yeah" closely following it are these words: "Damn kid won't stop crying."
The glass vat they are observing contains a hairless creature with long, sharp nails. Mark walks towards the vat and punches in a few commands on the console attached to it. "Regulating Temperature" an electronic voice said.
"Your son's a special kid," Mark said, a stick of cigarette is caught between his two fingers. The gray smoke from the tip snakes its way up and up into the ceiling.
"Yeah? Why's that? Because he’ll be celebrating his birthday the same day we'll be trying to create a planet?" Max ticks off a name from his list. The three scientists move to a different glass vat.
Mark sucks in a lungful of smoke as he nods in reply.
"I don't believe in that kind of mambo jambo," says Max, "He'll be special if he makes himself special."
Mark blows rings of smoke into the air and we follow the smoke up. We ascend one floor up. The scientists below continue their conversation and their inventory. We leave them.
"I have checked, double checked, triple checked, and quadruple checked all of them," Timothy spins his chair to face his supervisor. "They're all there."
Mary Elizabeth is a stern looking woman. She has her hair tightly and neatly tied up and her lips are set in a straight line. Her eyes, jade green in color, are set on the huge computer monitor behind Timothy.
The screen is filled with nothing but 1's and 0's. They move in a straight line from the left side of the screen to the right. Mary Elizabeth sighs.
"There are no take two's. There is no space for errors. C-Day needs to be executed perfectly. You are the chief programmer. All of these falls on your shoulders, skinny as they may be." Mary Elizabeth's eyes misses nothing. They scan every part of the binary code.
Tim shows off a smile. He's always known Mary Elizabeth to give sharp, unnecessary remarks.
"Your worries are misplaced. I assure you that every abstract emotion we've come up with are all here. I personally retrieved all of them from all of my programmers. We've got love and hate, pity and anger, envy and lust. They. Are. All. Here."
We no longer hear Mary Elizabeth's reply. The scene around us shifts and dissolves giving way to a new scene. We are within one of the ship's many dark rooms. Standing in the center of the room is a man dressed in white overalls stained with many colors. He holds in his hand a holographic control pad. He inputs a couple of commands and we are treated to a magnificent show.
A bright light explodes from above the man. We shield our eyes from the luminescence. The light weakens to a tolerable degree and we open our eyes once more. The man marvels at his creation. We see stars being birthed with the darkness. The stars grow in size until they burst and in each one of them comes out a single bird. The birds vary in colors and size and all of them sing in unison--the harmony of their song fills the room. They glide and they dive and they sing. Their wings leave bright trails of many colors. We watch as the darkness is pushed away. We watch a symphony of sounds and colors.
The man enters another command and everything shatters into a million pieces. They turn into stardust and they fall down on us. They dissolve and disappear and darkness settles once more.
"That'll do," the man says with a smile.
In a blink of an eye we are once again out in the darkness of space. The seed ship, Genesis, floats ponderously before us. Its enormity and the scope of its purpose overwhelm us. In the darkness of space we wait. We are ten hours away from creation.
JB Lacaden dreams of someday being a published writer. He currently resides in Manila, Philippines. He's a lover of comic books, science fiction, and high fantasy. Check out some of his works at http://www.jblearnstowrite.com/ and follow him at @jblearnstowrite.