Leaving Planet Earth
Today is my big day. I am leaving planet earth for good. I don’t know if it’s because of anticipation or fear, but my hands are shaking so badly I can hardly hold my pen. The Carina Dwarf Galaxy (CDG) Counsel wants us to keep a journal, for prosperity’s sake, because we are the first generation to make a different planet our permanent home.
We will never be coming back and I am thinking about the finality of it and not saying goodbye to anyone. We will just not exist here anymore, but I also fear the unknown “what-ifs.”
My “Big Adventure,” as I have been calling it, started about seven years ago, when my best friend Julie became very distant and aloof. We had known each other for fifteen years. I am divorced and have one grown daughter. She had two children by her first marriage but her ex is a stalker, always keeping track of what they are doing. Even with a restraining order, Julie can’t completely let her guard down.
Julie is married again and her new husband is very protective of her, but to completely disappear would be the coup de grace for her. Her ex will be using every resource available to find her and his daughters, but with all the others missing at the same time, they won’t give him the time of day.
There will be approximately a quarter of a million of us leaving in the blink of an eye. Maybe Nostradamus will have already prophesied this or maybe some will think it is the rapture. Maybe this is really the rapture and this is our Eden.
Anyway, back to the “Big Adventure.” Why was Julie being so aloof? I called her on it to which she apologized, and then she went to great lengths to prove our friendship was secure. But still, there was something wrong, so I reasoned with myself that she could have other friends besides me and maybe I was just jealous. I let it go.
One weekend, while her husband was out of town, she invited me to spend the weekend. This was no new thing and when I arrived she had the traditional cheese, crackers and margaritas waiting for me. Julie was nervous this time and said she needed to talk to me. Did her ex find a new legal way to stalk her? Was she having an affair? Was she dying?
“If you could leave this planet and start over,” she began, “on a clean planet with better technology then we have, I have two questions for you. Would you go and who would be the most important people you would want to be there with you?
“In a heartbeat,” I said. “I would want my daughter and her family to be there, and you and your family, of course. What’s this all about? I’m the science fiction buff, not you. I’m surprised that you would use this genre of fiction to begin a hypothetical question.”
Julie was serious and since I don’t want to go into the mind-bending discussion that brought me around to believing her, I will skip ahead a bit. No wonder she had been aloof for so long, she had been struggling with this same issue herself. She also wanted me to be there with her and could not tell me until I had been approved by the CDG Council.
Carina is a planet in the CDG. It was found and development began about 100 years ago. As for my small part, since I and my offspring were accepted I have spent all my thoughts and energy in helping prepare for today. This day has been years in the planning for many people.
Who was I that I should be accepted, for to be sure I was accepted long before I was approached…and so was my daughter, her hubby and her children. I guess it all started with Julie’s son-in-law and his family. Max had met Julie’s daughter in college and they both had gone on to become professors.
I guess this process is all word of mouth, since he was approached by another professor, and so on. He and his family had been accepted and then he had petitioned for Julie and the rest of his family. Once that had been done and they had accepted, then Julie could invite whom she would, and so on. Once our children were accepted, they could apply for whomever they wanted. My daughter had applied for her father, who was turned down, which was fine because he thought we were all nuts anyway.
There was a radioactive tag added to my drink the night Julie approached me, and if I had turned the proposition down, a serum would have also been added. This serum would have acted like a fire on a long fuse and would have burned away any memory or conversation regarding planet Carina. That is how the CDC ensures secrecy.
Now I have 30 minutes until I step across my private portal to Carina and I need a stiff drink. I also need to think clearly. What a dilemma. Well, I don’t have anything stronger here then water, in fact there isn’t even a glass left here in my apartment. Everything has been sold or given away. Guess if I’m really thirsty I’ll have to stick my mouth directly under the kitchen faucet. I begin watching the seconds tick by and I think I can even hear the ticking, even though there is no sound in here.
I love Carina. She is pure and virginal and we have made an oath to protect her and keep her that way. A little over a hundred years ago Adam L’Trey, a scientist, had discovered the galaxy, found her planets and discovered a way to land in quicksilver time. L’Trey utilized the most brilliant minds to explore her. She has been monitored and has been quantified so we will not change her delicate bio-balance. French will be our national language because Adam, the first man to land on her, was French. My French is very rough, but I know it will get better as time goes on.
All people groups from planet Earth have been included. We are democratic and it has been exciting to be part of the molding and merging of people and cultures on this new world. I just don’t know how to ease my gnawing doubts and fears. I have 13 minutes left and I feel like I need to throw up, or go to the bathroom. I can’t stand still or sit. This journal is getting more difficult to write.
Why am I so afraid? I have seen nothing but good things and have noticed no red flags or danger signals. But what if this was all a joke? What if we’ve been given some hallucinogenic drug, just to get us to give all our money to some evil group of people? I mean, if they can put something in our drinks that trace back and destroy specific memories, why couldn’t they do that at any time?
Our labor and finances have funded this undertaking and we have absolutely nothing left here on earth. Sometimes I feel like I belong to a cult. What if they, the CDG council just wanted what they could get from us and now we are dispensable? I can just imagine having my memory erased and not having anything of my own, being homeless and begging for aid.
I had a dream last night. Other people were leaving planet earth for some other off-planet destination. They didn’t have the portal like we have to Carina, but there was a long escalator that took them beyond our atmosphere. At that point their “car” would take off, shooting off like a rocket to their ultimate dedtination. Entire families and all their belongings would leave with them. One man changed his mind at the last minute and got out before they were fully secure. He watched his family leave, but not in the way he had expected. It was all a sham and the people were catapulted into space without protection, but the car and all its belongings went down a long elevator, where the merchandise was offloaded for sale and the car was then ready for the next family.
I know it was just a dream, but shit! What if this is all a sham? When I quit smoking cigarettes (I really could use one about now) my strength of commitment was due to the fact that I could smoke at any time if I wanted to. I had a choice there. In this case, there is no turning back. Once I leave here, I can’t come back.
What if I decide not to go, what serum will I unknowingly ingest to erase my memory. They told us that once we leave earth, all portals will be permanently sealed. If that is true, how are they going to stop those of us who stayed behind from talking; that is, if there are a bunch of us who changed our minds at the last minute. How many of us could gather together on this planet and talk about what we know and they couldn’t shut us up?
Does this mean that maybe some of the portals are not closed and they will sneak up and put the serum in something of mine without me knowing it? Would they kill me? Would those of us who remained behind be just another bunch of UFO freaks you read about in some rag? And really, maybe there really are UFO’s, now that I know what I know.
So maybe it’s really an alien group made up of the CDG Council and we will all be enslaved, and how are they going to explain such a large disappearance of people from Earth?
Nine minutes left. My hands are sweating and I’m trying to think of anyone else, besides my best friends (who are actually leaving Earth too), that I would start to miss after a couple of years. For example, what about Corkie Fry in my high school senior bookkeeping class. He let me copy from his test so I could pass the class with a D-. What if I decided he was the love of my life and I had made a mistake by not inviting him (not that I’ve seen him since or even know where he is) and I will be living with that tragedy the rest of my life?
Five minutes left. I feel as though I have tunnel vision, watching the blink blink blink of the second hand. Which place will be a lie to me? Life on another planet or go back to my job as an accounting peon and work for that lousy two-faced supervisor?
Two minutes left and I have to pee.
One minute left. I am standing in front of my teleporter and I will step in when the door opens.