This file is an account of the Slivaia Disaster, found by General Mikofsi in the year 2371.
I am going to die. Wait, let me explain where this started.
I was sitting on my bunk, because sleep was not coming. The air coming through the vents was hot, unlike the ones that were surely cooler on higher floors, and the thrumming of the ships engine that reverberated through me was still so new to me even after three weeks of my family coming aboard the U.S.S. Slivaia. After my full day of performing dance upon dance for the three-eyed and green-skinned Palerians, I had taken a shower to cool off and ease the stickiness of my sweaty back.
Humans like me on the lowest deck of the starship were only allotted one shower a day, so I sat on my bed in confined misery, listening to the soft breathing of my seven-year-old sister, Mina, on the bunk above. I was in the middle of wondering how she’d always been able to just turn herself off, when disaster struck. I didn’t know it was disastrous at first, besides the fact that it felt like my ears were bleeding, but the alarm sounding through the speakers blaring inside and outside our room surely were not doing so because a couple of Palerians were having an impromptu party.
But I am mincing my words without having the time to do so, so I will not tell of how jumped up and hit my head on my sisters bunk (this still did not wake her—she is like a hibernating bear as soon as her eyes are closed). Nor will I explain the next frenzied few minutes of me shaking my sister awake and our fumbling exit from our room into the hallway. What I will describe, for your benefit if you are reading this, is the crushing crowd. The moment our door slid open, we were thrust into a crowd of other humans from nearby rooms, all jostling to and fro. Mina cried out and clung to me around my waist as a stray elbow knocked into her head. I held right back onto her, letting out a whimper as a tall man stepped on my toe.
Suddenly out the crowd I could hear “Aeria! Mina!” and my parents were pushing through the throng towards us. My mother wrapped her arms around us and her long black hair fell over me like a blanket, blocking the crowd, but not silencing the alarm. She pulled back faster than I would’ve liked and looked me in the eyes, still gripping my shoulders. “Aeria I need you to be brave and go with your sister up to the fifth deck. Our oxygen and all other air supply systems have been damaged and everyone is evacuating on the escape pods. Your father and I need to make sure this level is sealed off and then we’ll join you.”
“There is NOTHING to be afraid of”, she added after seeing the look of panic that must’ve been swimming in my eyes. “There’s been plenty of research put into this and nothing can go wrong.” I just nodded since the rest of my body felt like it might somehow float off of me if I moved. But then somehow as my parents started down the hall checking doors, and the crowd around us thinned, a spark flared in me and I dragged Mina towards the lift.
“Why are we going this way?” she asked me, glancing back towards our parent’s heads bobbing steadily in the opposite direction. I couldn’t think of what to say to her and so just gripped her harder, earning me a squeal.
“Take me back to Mummy!” She cried as the lift doors closed, her little fists pounding against me.
“STOP!” I screamed. She stopped immediately and stared at me wide-eyed, face wet from tears which she suddenly ceased to produce. My chest was filled with a horrible crushing guilt and I kneeled down to be face to face with her. “I’m sorry” I said, gently taking her in my arms. We were both trembling.
“I’m a little scared too, but Mummy and Daddy will be getting on the next lift after ours and then we’ll see them again.” I made sure she nodded and had stopped crying before I straightened up and clasped her hand in mine.
Upon arriving on the next floor, we got in a long line of humans, but I could see some of the top tier Palerians up ahead as well as several of the blue-skinned aliens we called the Skelana. There were probably also some Illsyn, who looked just like humans, but had several different organs and incredible strength. I tapped the thin woman in front of us and asked what this line was for. She responded as the line moved that it was for boarding the escape pods for the “situation”.
“What exactly did happen?” I questioned in a whisper, hoping Mina wouldn’t hear.
“Well the air system is bust so we have a few hours at best. That’s why we’re evacuating,” she yapped, louder than would’ve liked and then added “Where are your parents?”
Mina started sniffling again and so, as we approached the front of the line along with the other humans, I picked her up with effort and wiped her cheeks free of tears. Just as I was comforting her, a croaky voice sounded in my ear. I whipped around to see a Skelana guard motioning to the line behind me and saying something in his native tongue. I flipped on my inner ear translator with my free hand, said “sorry”, and made my way into the port.
His arm flung in front of me and I startled backward several steps. “I said did you hear what I said?” He barked at me and when I shook my head that no, I hadn’t, he tried to melt me with his beady pink eyes. “Humans board last,” He growled, pointing behind me. I glanced back and saw my human comrades walking to the back.
“What?” I said, not fully understanding. “Why?”
“You are human,” he said simply. “Humans are workforce, so humans board last.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me! Just because we’re human you won’t let me board?! I have a child with me!” My heart warped itself inward, like a bomb trying to self-destruct. Mina couldn’t have understood, but she started crying again. I squeezed her closer to me and gave the guard a cold stare when he didn’t relent before stomping away down the hall and the end of the line.
You may think this is the end of my story, but I assure you it is not. There is a little more to go yet if you will just listen some more and if fate allows me to tell it.
You see, reader, I was not willing to give up that easily and it seemed at that moment that the universe was on my side. I was halfway down the line, when a voice came over the intercom announcing an emergency door jam. The guard in front ran off to help and, seeing my chance, I slipped in with a family of Illsyn, who took no notice due to their mass of small children.
I should’ve perhaps waited for my parents, but I knew they would get on due to their jobs on the higher deck as chefs, even though they were humans. The Planerians and the Skelanas wouldn’t want to go without food on their trip. But me? I’m just a dancer. A performer. They could get more of me once they escaped. But they wouldn’t get rid of me that easily. At least that’s what I was telling myself as I neared the front of the line for the second time, carefully making sure that a different guard had resumed this duty. Sure enough, a diffrent Skelana man was standing at the round port opening. My feet shuffled and my heart started doing jumping jacks as the Illsyn family went in. Now it was just me left, posing as a race I was not and with humans qeued up behind me.
I started to pass into the ship for the second time that day, when the guard stopped me and said, “Are you human?” I shook my head no.
“I’m an Illsyn sir.”
He smiled a strange smile that I couldn’t understand and then he said something that made my heart drop: “You are lying.”
“W-what?” I tried not to stammer, but my whole body was shaking so badly it couldn’t be helped.
“You stupid human! Do you not know of my people’s empathy abilities? I can sense the guilt and lies coming off you like smoke”
I almost screamed in frustration, but managed to get out. “Fine I am human, but it is my job to care for this Illsyn child! You must let me pass!” I held up my hand, which was holding Mina’s.
He inspected Mina and then, before I could even blink, he wrenched her from me and pushed her inside the ship. “Then she may go. You will go to the back of the line for your lies.”
The silver port door began to close, slowly severing my sister and I from view. Anger rose in me and I yelled “NO! It is only because I am human! Human and unimportant…” He blocked me from swinging my fist at him and growled at me to get to back.
For the third time I got on the end of that line, sweaty, with hot tears scorching my cheeks.
At that point it was only humans left and I eventually did get to front of the line, along with about ten other humans, who I am now looking at over this paper. They are pale-faced, clinging to each other. But I have no one to cling to. The guard said when we few came that there was no more room. He got on the pod and told us there was one left we could use. He locked us in to our demise before anyone could speak.
We are humans, untrained and unworthy by their standards. We cannot pilot the pod. So, we are left here—waiting—for death to come. At any moment now our air could run out. Please, these are my final words. I must tell you if you read this you must FIX our galaxy. For too long have things gone on in this way—this way that has cost me my life. If you read this, pl
End of File
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you all enjoyed my short story and are having a wonderful 2019 so far! Last year I said that 2018 was a butterfly, but this year it has morphed into a robin. 2019 will waken joyously to sing each day and dig determinedly for the worms hidden deep in the soil.
You can choose to interpret that however you like, but either way I can’t wait to write some amazing blog posts, read tons of books, and just have fun this year!