Katashi: It means solidified in Japanese. It means hard, firm. So why come I feel so brittle and broken when I hear this voice in my ear? The Upsetter voice in my ear.
“In 365 days, the world will be destroyed.”
I see the explosion. A weapon capable of taking it all in one quick moment. I can see the flashes. I can hear the screams and tears of the people who weren’t on Earth when it happened. The group of children like me who were on a space station circling the Earth, ‘just in case’. Well, this was ‘just in case’. And I put my hands on the glass. Nothing I can do. Nothing.
Nothing I can do. There is only one emotion. Only one thing that is keeping me up right now: Upset.
I wake up in a cold sweat.
It’s just a dream. No not a dream. Just a memory that shows up when I close my eyes. A memory I have at least once a week. The Upsetter voice still rings in my head.
I lay in my cold sweat trying to control my breathing and bring it back to normal for a while until someone interrupts me.
“Today’s the day…” Cassie opens up my door, “How the hell can you sleep through this?”
She’s one of my best friends. When she walks in she has a smile on her face. She’s loud. What’s even worse is that her baby boy Hope is crying in her arms. I roll out of bed. I’m hungover. To say I was in pain was a fuckin understatement at this point.
“God, what time is it? It’s too early…” I moan.
“It’s 2pm in the afternoon.”
“Yeah, like I said,” I shake my head, “Way too fuckin early.”
She pulls back the covers. When she does I see this guy under the covers with me. I’ve always been gay. I’ve always liked to express my sexuality., even back then when we humans had a home and the Earth still had a pulse. That was gone. But you take what you can and you never change…even though the UCE forces us to take roles people our age shouldn’t have. I had to admit that within the last two years that has been escalated by a lot. So much so that when Cassie pulls back the covers and sees a naked guy underneath my sheets she doesn’t really have much a reaction.
“Whose that?” my best friend asks.
I look at his face. He’s young, maybe 18 or 19.
He has no facial hair. He was tall, masculine and he has a huge fat dick that limped over the side of his leg like a third fucking arm. I push him a few times until he wakes up.
“I actually don’t know,” I state before giving him a few extra nudges to get him fully attentive, “Hey…hey what’s your name man yo?”
“Ring a bell?” Cassie asks me.
I look down at the guy one last time. I had no idea but he definitely was my type though. I could say that much. Tall, dark and with a gigantic dick.
“Actually no. He’s kind of cute though,” I state.
“Thanks, you are too,” the guy states, “I was smashed last night. Did we fuck?”
I look down at the sheets. They are stained with a thick wet looking substance. I put my fingers in the stuff and move it around a few times. It’s cum.
“Oh yeah, we fucked.”
The guy mutters a quick, “Dope.”
He lays back down passing out again.
Cassie rolls her eyes at me at that moment, “When are you going to find love Katashi?”
A voice floats out of nowhere with a robotic tone, “Love, noun: A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection.”
“Oh,” I smile, rolling out of my bed completely naked, “Last night I definitely must have had warm, personal attachment to this guy. Real warm and real deep. Look at the size of that thing.”
“It is pretty thick.”
I watch Cassie look over at the guy’s dick. I knew her. If she wasn’t holding her baby right now she’d probably want to bend over and finish him off. Then again, I can see her fighting the urge. Like I said, I knew her. Ever since she had the baby the girl has been trying her best to change her stripes. God knows if it was working or not.
“Don’t even think about it, Cassie. I’m in love with Michael.”
“His name is Matt.”
I shrug, “Whatever. It’s love for the night OK.
If you want me to listen to Captain drone on, I’ll pass.”
“You have to be there and you know it. Today your entire life changes.”
“Seems like a normal ass day to me.”
“Nonsense. Look outside. It’s a beautiful day.”
She pulls back my curtains.
Stars. I’m not talking about a starry sky. This wasn’t that. We were in space. We were actually on a space station. Looking out into the darkness was the blankness of space with sprinkles of light that signified the rest o the universe. We floated there in this nothingness. There was this pitch-black void. Most people loved it but I hated it ever since the day I left Earth’s atmosphere. It was supposed to be a short time. They’d sent kids to space before. It was just for precaution. No one knew while we were gone all the adults would be killed off.
It looks the same way it did that day. I understood the beauty. It’s hard not to. I understood this universe was a panorama of beautiful deep hues; shots of green and yellow and blue and white. It was a quilt to many. A quilt and with bodies of jewels scattered throughout. And there was one jewel closer than others.
A new home for us.
A new hope that made people warm and happy and pure. A hope that made Cassie change her ways and rename her son. A hope that made everyone excited about tomorrow.
But I didn’t want this new home. I didn’t want to wrap myself in this unfamiliar cloth like the rest of these idiots. I didn’t want comfort because the truth is comfort was for fools. I had felt comfortable before a long time ago and I wasn’t going to drop my guard like that again. Never.
Not for anyone.
“I’ll attend his speech,” I tell Cassie reluctantly, “I have no other choice but to.”
Cassie smiles at me. She places her fingers in her son’s hands and forces him to wave me ‘goodbye’ even though he is half asleep and not even a quarter amused. I can feel Hope’s pain. Here he was, just like me, a victim to everyone else’s excitement. Everyone else’s Hope. But he didn’t’ have a choice. He never chose that name. Like him, I am half asleep and not even a quarter amused.
This world staring back at me. This distant planet.
She looks back at me. It has to be a she because I’ve never been close to females save Cassie. I was raised by my dad. My mother was hardly around. Not because she couldn’t be but because she didn’t want to be. She was too busy fucking every her way to the top of the music industry in Japan. And what happened to her music career now? It was dead. Just like she was.
“We’re home,” Matt states waking up probably drawn by the lights from this new planet.
She wasn’t my home.
Just like when the Earth was destroyed, I remember my mother coming up home….finally. Finally, she wanted to reunite. Finally, she wanted to care. Finally, because she knew she’d never get the chance again and I say the same thing I told my dad when I turned her away.
“I don’t know her…”
This stranger squints up at me and sleepily asks, “What? Whose her?”
“Nevermind…hey you eat ass?”
“Well do that. That’s better than talking.”
I bend over in front of the window looking out the portal. I exhale as Matt puts his tongue between my cheeks. I grasp onto the thick shuttle glass as he spreads them as wide as he can. He goes deep and saliva is stringing from his tongue. A strange slurping noise follows. It makes me remember ice cream. I’ll never taste icream again. There is none left. No more cows. They were extinct. I wonder if there are going to be something like a cow on this new planet. I wonder if there is going to be something like ice cream. Until then I’m reminded of Earth by this man licking my ass.
Slurp. Slurp. Slurp. He’s licking me deep and hitting a spot.
When he’s done he pulls his dick out and he starts fucking me raw. I’m talking deep, long strokes. His dick banging me from the back. His nuts are slapping up against mine. He’s scratching at my shoulders and he’s probably leaving marks, but I don’t care.
I’m moaning looking at her: this new planet.
But it’s only when he busts a nut in me that I remember my real home and I remember what makes me human.
Admiral Kane is standing on his podium when I arrive. The space station isn’t the most welcoming place. I haven’t breathed fresh air in years. All you get is gray halls and flourescent lights. All you get is computers. The closest thing I’ve seen to a plant was Cassie’s old cactus that won’t die even though she refuses to take care of it. It’s resilient…just like this fucking space station. We should have died a long time ago. Everyone on this space station knows it. You can see it in their eyes. You can see it in the Admiral’s eyes.
I have to take a seat right below him. That’s where all the other captains are sitting.
“You’re late,” Selah states, “I sent Cassie to come get you an hour ago.”
“I was hoping I’d miss it,” I respond.
I’m not so lucky. Admiral Kane is still talking. He’s looking out at the humans…what’s left of us at least. Looking out into the crowd you would think this is some raggedy group of kids. We are all young, purposely. Even Admiral Kane for that matter. It’s hard to take this so-called Admiral serious when he looked like he was barely old enough to drink. He had the face of some boy band pop star but he was attempting to be serious. He stood at 6’3” with brown stern mature eyes and white hair, but don’t let that fool you. He was a kid. We all were. On his right-hand side is his right-hand boy. I can’t even call him a man. Everyone calls the guy Lucky. He’s a reverted badass who does all of the Admiral’s dirty work. And trust me…to keep the peace on this ship our young Admiral definitely had some FILTHY work that needed to be done.
“October 16th, 2020 the world ended when Earth was attacked. It was known as the Upsetting Universal Solvent…”
I elbow Selah, “What a dumb fuckin’ name…”
“Shh…” Selah elbows me back.
Selah took all this way too seriously. In the last two years, he’d become my best friend with Cassie. The three of us were inseparable. I saw him a lot more though because he was a Captain of one of the many shuttles on the ship that explored space sometimes ahead of the larger space station. Daily he tried to keep me serious and daily I tried to get him to lighten up. He was one of those guys who was made for big things. He had big eyes and bigger dreams. He believed in the future of humanity more than anyone I’d ever met…even our beloved Admiral who liked to make everyone think he was the next Moses. Selah believed in the Admiral. I can see how he looks at him. His eyes all wide. God forbid you distract Selah from the words of the great Admiral.
“2 years ago we have found our new home. 2nd Earth. For the last two years, we have prepared a new colony. Upon landing everyone will be assigned a room on the new construction of the colony. The habitat of the colony is…temperamental…so there will be a curfew. Rules will be posted in your welcome packet. Anyone who does not follow these strict rules will be jailed for the safety of everyone. Everyone will be assigned a job as well based on your skills. The transition to a democracy will take time unfortunately so I have named myself Acting President under the 25th Amendment.”
The hall erupts at that point.
“What the fuck do you mean acting president?”
“There won’t be any elections?” someone screams out.
People are getting rowdy. More people are standing up. I can understand their frustration. Since we left Earth we had to deal with military rule. The UCE, United Countries of Earth, ruled over the colony with an iron fist telling us when to eat, sleep, breathe and shit. This wasn’t a society. This was more like a military.
If I wasn’t a captain I would be joining in. I wanted to. I wanted to so bad. What the fuck was the Admiral thinking? It’s getting out of control and he deserves it. I see someone take off their shoe. It’s some poor idiot from the crowd aiming his shoe directly at the Admiral’s head. He misses! All hell breaks out at that point.
That’s when Lucky comes out. Lucky, the muscle of the UCE.
He waves his hand and in the next moment, soldiers start pouring into the room.
Lucky walks over to the captain’s area, “Captains…come with me to safety please…”
We are dragged into a room. Dragged to safety. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. I can hear the sounds from behind the door.
We couldn’t survive like this. It was getting worse everyday.
People were so…so…angry. Maybe it’s the lack of proper diet.
That’s what some people say. Other people blame it on the fact that we were all so young. All I knew was that it was getting bad.
Honestly, this was somewhat mild to say the least. The Admiral is one of the last ones in the room. I’m annoyed when I see Selah run to his side like he’s a broken child needing to be healed.
“You OK Chad?” Selah starts off before noticing all the other officers around him and quickly changing it to, “I mean, Admiral Kane?”
It’s awkward. The two boys look at each other. There is so much history there. So much tension. The Admiral can hardly look at Selah. Not everyone knows what the two of them have been through but everyone can feel the tension when the Admiral steps away.
The Admiral shakes his head, “I’m fine. Just shaken up a little…”
The Admiral is in deep thought. Not even Selah can distract him and we all knew, even without saying it, that the Admiral got distracted often by my best friend Selah. People aren’t taking well to not having an election and not having a say. I look over at the group of people.
“Listen, you were chosen for a reason sir,” Alex Lighter states.
Lighter is a Kane loyalist. He always has been. The guy looks up to Admiral Kane. He’d probably suck the skin clean off the Admiral’s dick if he hadn’t had his third kid recently. Lighter wasn’t even in love with his wife, mind you. To me, he’s gay but Cassie swears he’s not. He’s a ugly looking troll boy with gapped teeth and the most annoying voice left in humanity who managed to get a really pretty wife. He was doing his duty to humanity, hoping to repopulate. He was 17 with three fucking kids.
Athena Avery nods in agreement at that moment smiling as she walks forward, “It’s the immaturity. They are all still just kids. Kids forced to grow up before their time.”
“I can’t do this alone. I’m going to make you all Constables of different sectors in the colony. I need help ruling,” he states.
He sounds desperate. Really desperate. Athena Avery puts her hand on his shoulder. She does it in a way that the Admiral wouldn’t let Selah do it. I look at Selah. We look at each other. He puts on a smile but I wonder what he’s thinking. I wonder if he’s hurt by it.
“We’ll do what we can. We support you.”
I watch how Captain Wellington places her hand on the Admiral. Lighter, Avery…hell even my best friend Selah Powell. They love him. I have to admit it. He was a good Admiral, but that was the problem. We didn’t need an Admiral anymore. We needed a president. This was a new world.
“Maybe you should listen…” I find myself saying under my breath.
Most people don’t hear me but one person does. The Admiral. I can see him. I see how he turns at that moment in our sealed off room where we are protected while the lower soldiers put down yet another riot that was caused on our ship.
“What was that Captain Honda?” he calls me out.
The room full of the most important humans on Earth turns to me. I can feel the tension in the room. Athena Avery already hates me because she swore that Cassie sucked her old boyfriend’s dick on the lounge deck of the space station. I usually didn’t say anything when they were ass kissing. This was different though. Tomorrow everything changed for all of us. If I didn’t speak up now I’d never get the chance to speak up again.
“I’m saying those people are our people. Sure they look young. Sure they are kids. More than half of them haven’t even hit puberty. They are looking at us for guidance because we are older and we are more mature and there aren’t any real adults around to tell them what to do. But they remember Earth. They remember what it was like. They aren’t immature. They’ve grown up too soon. Way too soon. That’s the problem. Admiral, with all due respect…humanity doesn’t need you to tell it what to do anymore.”
No one expects me to be speaking out against Admiral Kane, the man who lead us out of the darkness and to a new world. No one expects me to look at this guy talking to him like he’s the problem but that’s what people were saying.
They wanted elections.
They wanted a leader of their choosing.
“You want to say that again you piece of shit?” Lucky states.
Lucky is the Admiral’s muscle in more ways than one. The guy was covered in tattoos even on his face. He had taken out the piercings but he couldn’t clean that up even when he tried to clean up his image. He’s attractive. The girls on the ship love him. He has these big lips that all the girls go crazy for and these amazing hazel eyes that a lot of the gay guys talk about in passing. There is a teardrop right tatted right underneath his right eye. Back on Earth, they said that tattoo meant you killed someone. Whatever Lucky was back on Earth, he tried to change it on this ship. He was dangerous and we all knew it.
So when he gets in my face I know what I’m in for.
“You can beat my ass if you want to,” I tell Lucky, “I’m telling the truth.”
I’m convinced I don’t even stand a chance against Lucky. I’d seen the guy fight back when he was Lucky, the bad ass. Let’s just say I wanted no parts.
“You’re wrong,” I hear a voice state.
I turn and see Selah. So much for a best friend. I have to admit it hurts. Then again, I could never compete with Selah when it came to Admiral Chad Kane. Selah walks to my face to interrupt the silence of shock that I’m speaking out.
“Am I?” I ask.
“The Earth didn’t die. It was destroyed. It was destroyed by an alien race known as Upsetters. No one knows why. No one knows how. But we know they can look like you. They can look like me. And they want to destroy us.”
“I’m well aware of who the Upsetters are.”
Everyone was. I couldn’t have been the only one who had the nightmares. It started a year before the Earth was destroyed. It started with the message. A message that just appeared in everyone’s head. It was a message that at first we thought was a joke.
“In 365 days, the world will be destroyed.”
Everyone heard it at one time in our minds almost like for once in the existence of humanity we were all experiencing a single extraordinary event all together. The warning caused terror back then. It was enough to bring my mother back home. It was enough to send my father into a drunken haze. The message had come from strangers who we didn’t know. I’m not sure who came up with the name Upsetters. Was it them? Was it us? Did it matter? It was a dumb fucking name but it stuck. These alien creatures had the ability to take on human shape if they wanted. No one knew their true form. Maybe they looked just like us. Maybe they looked like the aliens you saw on television…when there was a television. These shapeshifters destroyed the planet. Ever since then they plagued us. They followed us into space threatening to destroy us again when some of the children of the Earth escaped. It was Captain Kane who destroyed the Upsetter who followed us. He became the hero of the UCE. No one forgot who the Upsetters were. No one forgot what Chad Kane did for humanity. But that didn’t make us forever beholden to him.
“I remember them,” I state.
I’m offended he would even bring them up.
Selah shakes his head, “They can be anyone. They can be you. They can me. Look around this room. An Upsetter can be in this room right now.”
Silence. Everyone feels safe until someone mentions the Upsetters. Then we are reminded of the deaths. We are reminded of the things that hopefully our children would forget. Maybe our grandchildren. Hopefully. Right now it was all too real though. It was all too fresh.
“They are all dead,” I argue.
“You so sure about that?” he responds.
“Regardless what’s your point?”
“My point is Chad Kane killed an Upsetter. He’s kept us alive for this long. We need someone to trust. What happens if an Upsetter becomes president? We need stability, Katashi.”
“So we live in fear?” I conclude from Selah.
“We have to.”
“Speak for yourself…” I respond.
I can’t take it anymore. I leave out the room with the riot still going on. The rest of them were probably going to bunker down until it was all over. They were afraid. So afraid. Maybe they had reason to be with all we been through but not me. I refused to live like that anymore.
It’s the next day and I’m with Cassie packing my stuff. Cassie is running her mouth a mile a minute out of excitement. I can see it written all over her face. Next to her is her boy toy Idris. He’s an old friend of mine who works on Selah’s ship. Usually, Selah would be in this room with us but he isn’t. We all know what that means. He was pissed at me for calling out Admiral Kane.
He’d need to get over it.
“I got people down that says the new colony is beautiful. They took 2 years to make it look just like a city on Earth.”
“It isn’t Earth,” I argue.
Idris nods, “I have to agree with Katashi. Besides who cares what it looks like. I want to know how safe it is. I hear that nothing down there is edible. What will we eat?”
Gossip came every now and again from the 2nd Earth. Most of it I ignored especially shit like food. If we were going to starve, it would happen one way or another. Either we were going to starve down there or we were going to starve up here.
Cassie rolls her eyes at her boyfriend, “We have food.”
“Food runs out. Not to mention the disappearances of the workers down there…”
I turn to Idris.
This was different. This was new. This was scary.
“I wasn’t supposed to mention that,” Idris states.
Idris knew something. Somehow. I can see it written all over his face when he abruptly stops talking. Disappearances? What the fuck was this guy talking about? I’m going to continue to dig when I hear a knock on the door.
I go to open it and the devil himself is standing behind it.
“Aren’t you all supposed to be in your departure stations,” Lucky asks, “The shuttles to 2nd Earth are departing shortly.”
The other two don’t say a word. Cassie looks nervous. She hasn’t had any sleep. She’s nervous to leave. She acts like she’s excited but she’s scared. So is Idris. No one really knows what to expect down there.
They hustle out of the room leaving me with the devil himself.
Lucky is hard ass. He’s known to be the Admiral’s whip. It’s funny because back in the day he was the one who couldn’t take an order worth shit but now he was giving them. When Cassie and Idris leave Lucky makes his way into the room, uninvited.
“I’m assuming you didn’t come here to personally escort me to the 2nd Earth?”
Lucky isn’t amused.
“Fuck no. Here’s your job assignment,” Lucky states.
He hands me the folder. I look down at it.
“The Admiral sent you to give it to me?”
Lucky doesn’t smile even a little bit, “Sure did. Personally.”
All the Captains were going to Constables. Constables acted as mayors for small areas in the new colony. Acting mayors, at least. Supposedly adding the word “acting” makes people feel little at ease.
That’s what dumb ass Captain Ronald Lawrence stated who was one of the British kids who all of a sudden got pushed into leadership when the world got blew up. It was a dumb fuckin idea. People knew when their lives were being hijacked and that’s exactly what was happening. None-the-less I need to be a leader. I knew about this even before the announcement today. Others were giving jobs. Cooks, janitors, construction workers, police officers. It all depended on what you were good at. And I was good at leading. I had proved that much.
I read it out loud, “Sector 7. It says here the population is 0.”
This has to be a typo. The computers were fucking up lately. Kids weren’t as smart as they thought they were. Not as smart as the people who built this space station, that’s for sure.
“Sounds right,” Lucky responds.
“They aren’t putting me in charge of anyone?”
Lucky smiles, “It’s up to the Admiral. Honestly, I was happy when he said it. I always thought you were a piece of shit Katashi.”
Lucky looks me dead in my face when he says it.
“Not a fan of you either motherfucker.”
I take the risk of Lucky straight punching me. Surprisingly he doesn’t.
“Good. We’ve said that. And now I don’t have to pretend like I like you. Now you are in charge of a sector of the new colony with a population of 0. The storage sector.”
I’m heated. Beyond heated. I was one of the more natural leaders left and the Admiral left me in charge of nothing but stockpiles! What the fuck! Seeing Lucky gloat in my face makes me want to swing on him.
I take a step forward. My fist is ripe to just hit him.
“I dare you,” he states, almost able to tell what I’m about to do.
“I don’t deserve this.”
“You slept with the love of the Admiral’s life. Or did you forget when you fucked Selah causing them to break up?” Lucky states.
That’s what this is about. That’s why I was given the shittiest ship in the fleet when I was a captain. That’s why as a constable I was the leader of no one.
He was confirming exactly why the Admiral wasn’t right to be the leader of the 2nd Earth.
“So this is personal?”
“Enjoy governing your cans of food,” he smiles walking off, before adding, “All the captains are leaving on the shuttle going to Earth in an hour in hangar bay 3. Don’t miss it. You don’t want to be demoted to janitor, Constable Honda.”
This wasn’t happening! I punch the wall at that moment. He made me a fucking closet arranger. For years I had prepared for this trying to find usefulness in this horrible situation just to be left to arrange the fucking storage!
I want to cry. I want to fucking break down and just let it all go. I feel so much anger. Sure. I slept with Selah. I did it because he asked me to. He wanted the Admiral to focus more on leading humanity and felt like the only way the Admiral could focus is if he knew it was over.
I just had to be the one who offered to help out.
Everyone else is excited. I can see that as I make my way to the shuttle. There isn’t much to pack. Everyone had UCE uniforms to wear. It was the Admiral’s idea to have people stop wearing the clothes they brought from Earth as it caused depression and memories that were Old Earth. Old Earth was a term floating around the colony nowadays. The last thing you wanted to be was Old Earth. Old Earth was the African kid who killed himself in the bathtub because he couldn’t shake the thought of his family. Old Earth was that group of kids who went absolutely fucking crazy when beer became extinct.
That was Old Earth.
In 2nd Earth, you adapt. You put on a fake fucking smile with a boring fucking UCE outfit. He get excited at the fact of going down to 2nd Earth where everything will just be sunshine and rainbows. You worshipped Chad Kane as if he was a god among men. That was new Earth and that was how you were expected to act, especially when you were a leader.
“Constable Honda,” a girl states, “You’re back again? I didn’t see you leave.”
“Back again?” I ask.
“Yeah you came earlier.”
She’s young. She’s confused.
“Sweetie no I didn’t. I just got here.”
“Oh shoot. I’m so sorry. Welcome aboard the shuttle to our new world, Constable Honda. Please buckle up and enjoy the ride.”
I don’t feel bad when the little girl gets me mixed up. You expect things like that when kids pretend to be adults. The girl has to be 8 but she sounds like a fucking flight attendant back on Old Earth with her pressed outfit and her rehearsed script. Then there was a smile. A smile that made me think this girl should be out playing somewhere…but those days were done. There was no more room for children. Not anymore.
“Thank you,” I respond.
I want to smile back at her. It’s not her fault I’m in a shitty mood. I walk on the shuttle and it’s like most other UCE shuttles. All gray with lights and the central control dashboard that glitches every now and then because we aren’t smart enough to fix things completely when they break.
That’s when I see him. The Admiral. The other captains are tall taking their seats but fuck it. It’s now or never.
“I need to talk to you, about my assignment,” I say to the Admiral.
I’m still heated. I’m still so angry.
He doesn’t even look at me. It’s like I’m nothing to him. It’s like I don’t even exist.
“Sit down Captain Honda. Now’s not the time…”
“You want me to handle this sir?” Lucky asks.
He would like nothing more than to beat my ass and throw me off this shuttle. I can see it in his face. I’m surprised when the Admiral shakes his head and decides to put a hand over my shoulder. He starts walking me to my seat as though we were old friends or something. We knew that wasn’t the case. Maybe at one point we cared for each other but Selah had come between us completely. His arm over my shoulder feels…condescending.
“Today is the beginning of a new world,” he states, “Don’t you get that. You’re not the center of the universe, Katashi.”
“And what about Selah. Is he the center of the universe?” I ask, “Or at least yours.”
The mere mention of Selah catches the Admiral off guard. All of a sudden he’s that boy. The insecure boy in his relationship who is in love with someone who decides that them being together isn’t in either of their best interests. Teh boy so obsessed with a relationship it takes his lover cheating to finally break it off. He wasn’t the grown Admiral. He was barely adult man who was far from mature.
“You’re crossing a fucking line Katashi.”
“I’m the best pilot, you have.”
“We aren’t flying anymore Katashi. We’re landing. You want to know something,” he states coming real close, “I’m going to make your life a living hell because you fucked Selah. I hope you enjoyed those 10 seconds. I’m sure you’re the kind of guy who only lasts for that long. That ass had better have been worth it, because the miracle that everyone is hoping for in the 2nd Earth is going to be your nightmare.”
The threat is clear and loud. The great honorable Chad Kane was just as petty as the rest of us. He was just as human as the rest of us and it was showing.
I want to say something else. Anything else.
I’m too shocked though. I’m shocked when he smiles and pats me on the arm as though we had a respectful talk. Then he returns to his quarters.
I look across the room and see Selah. He’s looking at us wondering what we were talking about. He smiles slightly with the corner of his innocent mouth. I knew what that meant. Selah was ready to make up after one of our fights. Sooner or later he’d approach me. He had no idea what his ex-boyfriend just said to me.
I smile back. It’s forced but I don’t want to worry Selah. He’d just feel guilty about putting me in the crosshairs of the most powerful man in humanity.
I just sit there going in a daze as the shuttle takes off and we descend.
2nd Earth looked like a bright ball. I’d flown before. I watch the men at the dashboard. I see the excitement in everyone’s eyes. The other shuttles are descending as well. There have to be dozens going down to the 2nd Earth all at once. This was the migration of humanity. Admiral Kane was Noah and this was his ark. I’m not surprised when Alex Lighter starts crying tears of joy out loud. I’m not surprised when the computer announces we are entering 2nd Earth’s atmosphere and everyone starts clapping like Beyonce just ended one of the most amazing shows known to man.
“It’s happening. Everything is changing,” Athena Avery whispers to me as though we were friends and she hasn’t hated my guts for as long as we knew each other.
I fake a smile. Honestly, I look over at Selah. He’s my only friend on this shuttle. I give him a thumbs up but Selah is looking worried.
I can see it on his face.
I loosen my seatbelt.
“Constable Honda, sit down now,” Lucky’s authoritative voice booms over me.
I ignore him.
I walk over to Selah.
“What’s happening?” I ask Selah.
Selah looks down at a dashboard in front of him, “This static. It’s…odd…”
“It could be the atmosphere.”
He shakes his head, “I swear I heard something. A voice.”
“Your voice…” he states.
I am confused and look down at his dashboard to see what he’s talking about. The small computer is sitting in front of everyone’s seats. It usually just has important messages and updates on there similar to the small screen on the back of your chair on an Old Earth airplane.
“Did you fucking hear me?” Lucky asks, “Sit down.”
He grabs me. Hard. Real hard.
“Fuck off man.”
That’s when it happens. Lucky hits me. He hits me so hard that I swear he busts my nose. I fall to the ground hard.
“LUCKY!” the Admiral screams out.
There is a big fuss. That’s what the Admiral gets for putting an animal in charge of security. I get up trying to protect myself and people literally have to unbuckle to hold Lucky off from furthering his attack on me.
“Everyone look!” Selah interrupts.
We are so distracted by Lucky that no one sees it on the Selah’s screen. No. It wasn’t on Selah’s screen. It was on every screen on the entire shuttle.
It was a face.
“Hello to the members of the Captain’s shuttle,” my voice says on the screen, “You have just been hijacked.”
It’s a recording to the members of the shuttle. It’s a recording by me. I’m looking at the screen and I just don’t fucking get it. What’s going on?
“Is this some kind of fucking joke Honda?” the Admiral asks me.
I am speechless.
I just look at the screen.
“I have sabotaged the shuttle. It’s only right that the shuttle full of all the leaders of the so-called Second Earth should arrive on your new home in a grand style: crashing.”
There is laughing, childish laughter. All of a sudden the lights in the shuttle go down. We lose control completely. It’s too late. We are entering Earth’s atmosphere.
It wasn’t some joke.
We had been sabotaged by a man who had my face and we were crashing…crashing into 2nd Earth!