West of Eden
A Post-Apocalyptic Story by angerbda
We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.
He was about to regret his impulsive nature. He had insisted on taking the mission, though, not knowing it would be the end of him. He was petrified as he looked Death in the eyes.
Death had green eyes.
All had been going wrong since the beginning of his adventure. Mac, though, had left the stardust cluster with hope and a thirst for adventure. The deal was simple: he would go on Earth, look for Eden and come back with the news. Would he accomplished all this within a couple of months' time, he would receive a thousand star credits on his account. It would be just enough to cover for his sister's hospital bill, with a bit of an extra for any other emergency. Or to last until the end of the year.
The year on the stardust cluster was slightly longer than what it was on Earth, he had learned once, as he was a young'un wearing out his pants on the school's benches. This is when he started to dream of the Big Blue and of adventure. He wanted to be a space pirate, then a star-border patrol officer. However, child's dream rarely translated into reality. Sliding from one job to another, nowadays he roamed between the stars, guiding special cargos within the intricate maze of the asteroid belt.
He was a Graber, a Garbage-Removal-Asteroid-Belt-er.
There was no glory in the profession, though there was a purpose. In the small clump of asteroids, any fragment remaining in the outer space could be fatal. Pieces of the former space glory ended up in the precarious installation the remnants of humanity had maintained on the surface of the big rocks in orbits near Neptune.
Centuries ago, these had been exploited for their ice and extensively mined for whatever rare earth mater could be found there. Since the Great Day, they had been home for whoever had been able to escape the curtain of death that was then plunging the Blue Marble in eternal darkness.
It was not so shiny either on the roaming bits of planetoids, though life has sustained. The old mining camps had welcomed the multitude of refugees, enclosing them in the darkness of the tunnels.
Mac sometimes wondered what would have been to grow up on the Dark Marble, as earth had turned from lapis to obsidian.
He would have no much longer to wait before he could find an answer to his questions, seeing as he had been on his way to the dead planet and would soon reach the orbiting entry to Earth.
Mac remembered the journey quite well, in the small refurbished spacecraft. The stars had borne witness to the catastrophe many solar rotations ago. Humankind had flee its home planet as sure as they had tried to destroy it. Spaceships had left to try and reach the existing colonies in the Solar System.
Some had reached Kuiper area, among whom his great-grandparents. Other had stopped on Jupiter's satellite, on the mining fields through the Asteroid Belt, and on any other places they could try and inhabit.
It was the remnant of those errant ships Mac cleaned in his daily occupation. His job had exposed him to the solitude of the stellar void. It also had given him the opportunity to keep in contact with the ancient technology, one that not many continue to study nowadays.
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Tevun-Krus #49 - Best of 2K17Science Fiction
Well, we here at Tevun-Krus have been doin' this sort of thing since 2014. What is "this sort of thing"? Best-Of issues, of course! And 2K17 is no different-- That's a lie! Best of 2K17 is different, in that this time we wanted* to bring you 38 bran...