Stories:: The Left Behind

posted on 05 Dec 2008 16:07 by chipmunk in Stories

The Left Behind

The vast sheet of earth, chaotically filled with dust diffused by the furious winds, dried up and cracked into pieces under the huge scorching star. This immense spider web was left deserted for centuries. There were no living things left outside this burning heat except those inside the gigantic glass dome at the center of the endless land. This glass dome stood in the middle of emptiness to protect every single thing dwelling in it from drying up to death. It was the only town on earth.

Despite the nothingness, the glass dome was full of blocks and flying objects inside. All the long glowing, transparent lanes floating in the air turned the town into the largest chessboard on earth. The aircrafts whooshing fast non-stop from both left and right on those lanes were all the same shape and color. They were flying at the uniform high speed—Whoosh. Whoosh. Along the long lanes were buildings erected in steel blue, all with the same 50-floor height, carefully arranged block after block. The clicking and typing sounds echoed from the inside of the buildings. From the 50th floor down to the first floor, thousands of bodies in glass helmets and the same tight steel-blue fittings were sitting next to one another in the long work stations fingering the fast trill of the floating glass pads. In front of each helmet were codes and numbers running as they kept typing.
From destroying viruses to developing vaccines, from remineralizing to creating new food molecules, from reducing the heat radiation to making the earth cooler, each of them was responsible for each different thing on this planet—to regenerate this dying earth. No one talked, had some water or even stood up.

But there were dissimilar ones.

Among the busy individuals in the Department of Natural Environment, Kay was also recording the data of her mission—to make the earth become green again. She had been searching for a way to make it possible for plants to grow in the extreme heat. But she did not make herself busy like others all day; she did break. Kay pressed Enter and the large hall behind her helmet screen suddenly glowed and became lush with leafy trees, colorful flowers, and tiny butterflies. Kay looked around the hall which was now full of life. Then she stopped, seeing others busy typing their data. Kay slowly turned back to her monitor and pressed Enter again, and the green forest vanished. She knew very well that what she saw was just an image. She could not really make it happen. It would be easier for her to develop the planting program if her brother, the person in charge of reducing heat, had not stopped working and sending her the data she needed. But he had stopped it for weeks. Kay wanted to continue her desired job until the end of the day, but for the past three weeks, she left the office early just to spend her limited searching times for her brother.

On the grounds outside the busy buildings, where the end of the street touched the glass dome, stood a man—the other dissimilar one. His two palms pressed on the sheet glass, his face inches away from the transparent wall. He stood stunned with his eyes fixed on the outside of the immense pane of glass which shut him in from the atmosphere he had always longed for.

“How long will you be doing that, Jay?” a woman voiced from behind. She calmly paced to the man who remained motionless. Every step was taken cautiously. Only her long legs and her silky long hair were stirring; her face was as perfectly still as his. She kept staring at his back as she moved closer. “I only have two searches left.”

“You should not have used them,” spoke Jay, still standing in the same pose.

“You should go back to the shelter with me. They will take you if you pause in your job.” The woman stopped her walk on his left; she now stared outside.

“I will not continue it,” said the man, unmoving, “They will take me soon, in any case.”

“If you do your job, they will not take you, Jay.”

“My job does not help,”

Kay slowly turned to her right and fixed her eyes on the man, “We can do it, Jay. We can make it better. They all depend on us.”

“If we can make it, you would not have used up a lot of searches just to find me standing here,” Jay bit by bit turned his face to Kay, his palms still pressed on the sheet glass, “You could have used just one search with longer distance. We have less power to employ, Kay. The earth is dying and you know that.”

Kay kept glancing at Jay for several minutes. She then turned back to gaze outside as Jay was doing. “Each of us,” her right hand touched the glass sheet, “was born with a mission to accomplish,” A bright light glowed from her small palm. It was getting brighter and brighter. Kay slowly pulled the palm back from the glass sheet and clasped the light. She held out her glowing fist to Jay and little by little opened it, “We can make it, Jay.” There was a tiny little green plant in the middle of the bright light in her hand. The plant was swaying livelily as if it was waving ‘Hi’ to Jay.

“We do not need to do anything, Kay. We should not be serving them. Our father gave us feelings. We should not be working like them. We should be free.” Jay spoke without turning, “and you will run out of power if you keep doing that.”

The light vanished. Kay closed her palm and lowered her arm. “I have warned you, Jay.” She said and swiftly turned back where there was a white folk car hovering down smoothly to the ground. The door swung open as Kay was approaching it. She turned back to Jay again and seated herself inside the car. It slowly drifted up. The engine started to roar and WHOOSH—she faded into the air.

Jay was still staring outside the glass dome. He knew that he had been warned. He knew that he had to go back to continue his mission. If all the missions could really be completed, people would return to the earth. If not, then they would continue living in the New World, and those who were left on this earth would be terminated. Then his right hand started to glow. He held it out from where it was pressed to his chest and watched the tiny sun which looked less furious than the one outside the glass dome. In his hand, the sun was warm and ready to shine its tenderness on others.

***

Kay opened her eyes. She looked left and right and raised her right hand in the air. A red light beeped and appeared on the glass sheet. The numbers started running for a few seconds and ended with ‘Battery Full’. The glass slid open and she stepped out from the standing capsule. Kay turned to the next four capsules on her right. She walked to observe each of them one by one. It had been her morning job for decades since three of her species were sent to the New World. She repeated her own task every day to check if they had come back to their capsules. She did not know how life would be in the New World, but she knew that those who did not perform their assigned tasks well would be sent away to the world she had never been to. She only hoped that they would do well serving the Father, the builder of her species. Then she stopped at the last capsule—the only capsule that still had Battery Box shown on the screen like hers. ‘At least he is still in this town,’ she thought, looking at the red level which was now half of the box. Jay had not come back to recharge himself for weeks. She had to bring him back before the red level turned 100%, meaning that she would not be able to talk to him again. J-AMP flashed above the Battery box. She touched it gently and …

Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Beep! Bee…

 Kay stepped back as the Battery box suddenly alarmed. It kept beeping uncontrollably. She was certain that she did not accidentally press anything. ‘I did not…

The red level at the Battery box rose rapidly: 58%, 63%, 67%...

What’s happening to Jay?! She sped up her stride by pressing a black button on her wristwatch as the sound of an engine came nearer and nearer to the filmed window. Kay touched it and the window immediately became clear and expanded its height to be now as tall as Kay. The white folk car floated towards her and swung its door open as she stepped to the edge of the window from the 37th floor. “Destination.” The monitor on the car started running. “A-348-West,” Kay replied.

The monitor repeated, A-348-West, and the seat belt fastened Kay’s body. She was led to the fast 37th-level lanes. After all the time she had searched for him, now she knew his position. It was the first time that she felt like speeding up the car even though she could not, like others, but she knew that she differed from them—she was born with feelings; her Father programmed her and her species with feelings.

The car landed on the same place she came to yesterday, but Jay was not in sight. She walked closer to the glass dome and found something that should not appear—a long scratch on the glass. ‘No way! This glass dome can never have anything on it! Not even any marks,’ she raised her hand, uncertain of what she should do. Then she pointed her finger at the highest point of the scratch. ‘Jay was here,’ she thought as she slowly lowered her finger along the damage until the crack reached the ground.

The glass started to break apart. The touch of the hot winds scalded her hands. Kay stepped back and found that the glove on her right hand had some spots on it. It was burned. In that instant, Kay reprogrammed herself from the wristwatch to Extreme Protection. Her head was now covered in a glass helmet and her glove became whole again. Kay was ready to step out of the glass dome which was now more widely open. The outside was hidden under the thunder of diffusing dust. In the thick hazy air, there was something lying prone on the ground. Jay. Kay stepped outside the dome. She felt as if the Extreme Protection was not secure enough. She moved another step against the furious hot blast and saw that someone or something on the ground moved a little bit. She turned a small knob on the right of her helmet to adjust the focus lens—behind the thick dust, there was someone reaching a hand out to Kay, saying something. She adjusted the focus lens again and she saw Jay. Kay sped up in an instant.

“DO NOT COME!! RETURN!!” Jay was raising his voice while Kay was still running to him. She seemed not to hear him at all. The beeping sound echoed in his helmet. His suit was burning out. The vision became indistinct and narrow. He could not stand up anymore. ‘Kay, I am sorry. I have now accomplished my own mission. I can feel the sun and I will no more be used by them. I am now free, Kay. I am sorry.’ His vision became vague and as narrow as a line. The beeping sound became louder and louder and BOOM!!

Kay stopped, seeing her brother, the only family member she had, exploding in front of her. Her helmet started to beep. Then she turned back to the glass dome and found that it was going to close. She ran back at her highest speed. The break became narrower every second. She swung herself inside and tumbled on the hard ground. The glass dome shut close. Kay gradually stood up and leaned against the glass wall. Jay was gone. She was now the only AMP left on this earth. Looking up in the sky, the flying cars were whooshing to their different destinations. Jay was gone. He was now free. Kay had high hopes for her mission but she deeply believed Jay that there was nothing they could do to fix this earth. People were enjoying their lives on the New World, leaving other species behind on this dying earth. They were left behind, awaiting the end of the world.

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