“Well, looks like this is our world now.” Linda spoke nonchalantly as the last colony ship departed over the horizon towards the vast emptiness of space. I looked over towards her as a single tear rolled out of her eye. She had submitted to her fate long ago but I could tell that she had not fully come to terms with the fact that her only living family had left without even a good bye.
I turned my gaze away from her back towards the ship, in my mind nothing’s changed much, I had always been a bit of an anti-social shut in and I was somewhat relieved that I would not have to put up with the bulk of the people again. However, I could not help but think about what kind of life had the NWO planned for us on different worlds. It then struck me, I would have been on that ship if I had not fucked up two months ago. I was an engineer at Ingdolf Pharmaceuticals Inc. and I used to make a tidy sum smuggling out Carcinodin for black market resellers. No one suspected anything until the top brass decided to do a surprise inventory audit prior to dismantling their infrastructure in preparation of leaving earth. Of course, I did not anticipate this and could not cook the books in time. Not only did I lose my job, but criminal charges were brought up against me. The relatively short trial ruled that I should get 10 years in prison, but since the population was already being lifted off world, the judge decided that my ticket aboard the colony ships would be cancelled instead. The NWO’s order prior to migrating the human population was clear – Criminals were not to be migrated with the global population. I sighed. Criminals would always exist because of human nature.
Both of us sat on two lawn chairs I took from the Robinson’s apartment on the ground floor, it’s not like they would be needing these anymore. I looked towards Linda a second time, she sensed me looking at her and turned to meet my gaze, her eyes still teary but she was trying to hold back. “Do you think they will remember me?” she asked alluding to her children on board the ship. I made a sheepish smile and averted my gaze for I had no answer for her. There was no way her husband would keep any memory of her or pass it on to her children. You see, she had murdered her youngest child by drowning him in the bath tub. She says that she does not remember doing it but the court did not show leniency. I don’t know the exact details of her trial, but I believe that she was sentence to serve 50 years in prison. She did 3 years before the NWO’s earth migration order was published. Under this same order all incarcerated individuals were to be released, they probably thought that the earth would be our prison now. Linda came home when she was let out only to find it vacant save for her personal belongings.
Linda lives in the same apartment complex where I do, I came across her when I was scavenging the apartments for anything I could use. With all companies ceasing manufacturing last month, scavenging is now the only way to obtain items valuable for survival. I offered her some of the food I had scavenged and allowed her to sleep on the sofa in the living room of my apartment. All my life I have lived a solitary lifestyle and at first I was wary of allowing another, potentially dangerous, person into my home. However, these last few days had taught me the value of companionship and I decided to give her a chance. After all, who knows how long would it be before we get to see another human being. Not that I cared much, but if I were to survive, I will need to have some cooperation.
The colony ship’s contrails disappeared as the sun went under the horizon. I poured the remainder of the cheap wine I found in one of the hastily vacated apartments into two dissimilar ceramic cups and offered one to her. It has been a very heavy day for me but it’s probably been really crushing for her. As she sipped from her cup I spoke “I will be moving out of the city tomorrow.” This was a logical thing to do, with all types of criminals now on the loose, the next human being I encounter cannot be trusted. I knew that I trusted Linda for now, perhaps the most trustworthy person compared to everyone else out there, I followed up with “Would you like to join me?”. She sighed, “What would it matter? We could both be dead tomorrow.”
“The city is dangerous now, more dangerous than it was before the migration. We must leave before the gangs get a foothold. Besides, there is nothing for us here.”
Linda was silent, probably contemplating my proposal. After about a minute of silence she asked “Where do you plan to go?”.
I had made up a list of possible locations to move out to over the last few days, but dismissed all of them because of varying degrees of uninhabitability: Toxic wastes, garbage heaps, even radiation hazards. The only thing left to do was to find a remote but clear land and establish a shelter. I had enough food to last one week between both of us. I knew that we won’t survive long if we put up in a single location.
“We will have to be on the move”, I said.
Linda’s eyes brightened, I could tell she was cheering up a bit. “I’ve always wanted to see the world”, she said.
“Then it’s your lucky day.”, I smiled back. “We could go anywhere with no one to stop us anymore.”
The next morning we packed all of our goods onto an abandoned pick-up truck I found two days ago and drove off into the unknown.