I’ve come to love the silence. Only out here in space can one enjoy such peace. Unfortunately, this peace was soon to be shattered. I had abandoned the unmanned resource satellites yesterday, following the asteroid belt back to the colony. The empty void of space, the predictable, familiar mechanical hisses and clicks of my armoured suit were going to once again give way to the unpredictable chaos of the crowd, the overly natural environment, with its animals, and its trees, with branches trying to grab you, imposing themselves upon you. How could anyone like this? The colonies, they say, were built to provide a home for Earth’s growing population, attempting to reproduce a familiar environment in the process. If Earth is as noisy, chaotic, dirty, and unpredictable as the colony hub, then I’d much rather stick to spatial duties. Humans are horrible to be around. They’re all rude, and violent, and egocentric and….
… I need a break.
I cancelled out my mech’s velocity relative to the asteroid belt, put my helmet on, switched off the hydrogen core, and opened the hatch, letting myself float out into space, a mere cable holding me to the seat of my cockpit. The distant sun was illuminating the millions of rocks that composed the belt, the rays playing and dancing on the metal of my suit. I held my right hand in front of me. Four gloved fingers and a thumb were moving in my field of view. Deep breath. Why do I exist? Why are clones necessary to Humankind? They have too many people to start with, so why add more mouths to feed? Sure, we’re more adapted to 0-G environments, what with the fancy genetic augmentations and all, but why go through all the trouble of creating a new species? Why didn’t they just genetically modify some of their own people? Are they that lazy? Willing to create a new life form, just to avoid doing some dirty work?
I sighed. My HUD indicated me that I wasn’t supposed to be back at the spaceport for another six hours. The colony was very close. I was surprised it couldn’t be seen yet. Without thinking it through any further, I turned towards the sun, and let the vague sense of heat drift me to sleep…
…until a metallic click against my visor woke me up. Something bright and golden was spinning slowly right in front of me. A bullet casing. Startled, I swiped it away with my hand, only to realize I was surrounded with the little golden metal tubes. Hundreds of them, perhaps thousands, drifted all around me.
I felt my stomach drop. Something was horribly wrong. I returned to my mech, turned the main power on. It had been 1H since I last checked the time. Meanwhile, I had drifted closer to the colony, yet it was nowhere to be seen. My mech slowly burst to life. Screens turned on, engines revved, and electricity flowed. Music to my ears. After a few moments, the sensors went crazy. It seemed the asteroid belt was filled with huge chunks of metal and steel and organic matter where the colony should have been.
As I got closer, signs of battle became evident. Fragments of ships were drifting about, crushing asteroids in their wake. Mechs similar to mine were torn and lifeless, floating in the empty void of space. Soon, carcasses of skyscrapers and civilian homes floated about, dotting the sky with eerie images. As I got closer still, bodies started to appear. Some of them were disfigured, maimed and partially annihilated by the battle, but others were too well preserved, almost as if they were about to start moving again. Once I had reached what was supposed to be the heart of the colony, I had already seen horrors beyond count.
Where I stood, bits of plants, cars, buildings, and bodies were all too abundant. I stood there, wide eyed, looking at the still death that surrounded me, motionless, breathless. Something moved into my field of view. A tree. One of the elements of nature I had grown to resent, floating, leafless, through the remains of the colony. It was revolving slowly. After a few seconds, it had completed a semi rotation, revealing the woman whose body lay impaled by its branches…
First post in a while. Here, a somewhat sociopathic space colonist comes back from a mission, only to find his/her home destroyed. Definitely not my usual character! Comments appreciated!