It is the year of the Green Gods 3011 and I am named Seth. I am in my final year of Home Schooling: next year I will join my brothers on the Mars Satellite for a three year rotation. The rotations are getting longer as we run out of oxygen here on earth. The planting decrees came too late and only small bubbles of breathable gases are still found on earth, Ireland being one such bubble.
As it our custom when we leave a planet, we must write a leave taking. My tutors have explained that each leave taking should be viewed as a final, standalone account. Just in case we have a final, final conflict, and yes the irony is not lost on me. People once wrote on parchment, then on paper and the printing press seemed to create a lasting legacy. But of course parchment can turn to dust and books can be burnt or lost in floods. Then people believed that what was written on the internet would live for ever, but this too turned out to be false. If you have no computers, there is no internet and data cannot remain suspended forever, and for many years this was the case. When the machines were turned back on, what had been written was lost. Lost into the ether, or was it the Ethernet! (sorry, this is a late twentieth century pun which I may explain later)
Anyway, this is my first time to write an account of my time. I have reached maturity at 16 years and will shortly move to Mars where I shall take on the responsibility of an adult and live the life of an adult. So I write this for my legacy, my children, even my returning, older self. I shall try and write everything I feel of importance, in case being on another planet will make me forget what happened here. I write so that maybe, even if parchments dust and books burn and internet ceases, my account will survive. A copy will be lodged under my skin and this too may be retrieved, providing I survive or someone cares enough to pull it from my dead body. Hey, this is morbid thinking. I am writing for my future self who may wish to look back into my present youth. I do not think of failure.
So my life so far.
I have enjoyed living in quadrant Wicklow345 for my junior years. I arrived here from Norway with three other cadets and we have been billeted in a facility called Raheegraney House. As this house was built on the top of a hill, it escaped the great floods that covered much of Wicklow back in 2876. These followed the final conflict between what were once called nations. Nations have been dis-named and disallowed since. We are all only earthians, those of us that remain on earth. And when I join my brothers in Mars, I shall become a marthian. We are now named for where we live and not from where we come from. And as we move in rotations, these means a healthy person can be from most of the stars and planets in this galaxy. There is no more war.
I am excited to move to the Mars satellite but I am not looking forward to the journey. We shall be put to sleep and not woken until destination, a journey of some fifteen months. That is the optimum balance between space lag and rocket speeds. Fifteen months seems a long time to lose to sleep, but I will be able to learn a new language as I rest and also I have pre booked history learning covering the previous millennia. I am a keen student of history. While I sleep, my brain at least will be busy learning. The newer technologies mean too my body will be moved via electrical impulses, otherwise I would wake as a near corpse, with wasted muscles and feeble body. The early pioneers suffered terribly in their space exploration in the middle of the last millennium. They were not given a choice like laboratory rats from an even more distance past. While I lament their treatment, I am thankful space travel is now relatively easy, if still time consuming.
I have been watching vintage television; this was an entertainment tool within a single element, a box or screen. The programmes made are now stored on the ancient history channels which I love. Their views of space were dictated by men with pointy ears and they could teleport people onto planets. As if!
I enjoyed my time in quadrant Wicklow345. The area not covered by water is relatively small, but the house is friendly and cosy. I shared the top room with my three fellow cadets from Norway. I did some research while I was stationed there. The early history, over a thousand years ago is hard to trace. Very little remains as all papers were burnt, shredded or used to provide warmth during the final conflict. The conflict happened too fast and coupled with the natural disasters that rocked the earth, people could not save themselves let along any belongings. This is a good thing for we are not allowed to own possessions any more. The house where we are billeted was once a private home. I cannot believe that one family lived here, that only one family owned it. Now it is home to more than 50 people in total, when you include the outbuildings. It is also a centre for learning which means I had some real tutors rather than just automated teaching guides.
What I discovered about the house was very interesting. It is very old, more than a thousand years old in fact. It was built back in the late 1700s for one family who lived there until the mid 1900s. It was then owned by a local farmer for some years before being sold to a family who moved from Dublin. Dublin was once the main metropolis for Ireland until it was flooded. You can still seem the tops of some of the main buildings poking up through the water. Unlike other cities,Dublin did not have many very high buildings and there is little to see, or to catch on a vessel, which is the opposite of other places. For example, it is used to lethal to travel across where the flooding above North America at one stage because of the sky scrapers. We lost many exploration vessels in the early days before the new oceans were mapped. Of course, our navigation has powered on tremendously since too. Now, any remaining outshoots have either been topped or warning cones erected. It is scary to look down through the water and see the outlines of masonry below. Many millions of people were trapped in the floods and after the conflict, their bodies bobbed like scum at a beach. Now, an occasional shifting of plates or slow collapse of buildings under water, means bodies are released to the surface, just bones of course now. But sometimes a doll or some plastic artifact pops up, looking the same as it did some 200 years ago.
Anyway, back to my billet. This house was famous in its own right, and not just as a survivor of the local flooding. One thousand years ago, exactly to this year, the then owners divorced. Divorce means separate from a married state and was a very painful experience. Marriage was the main cause or precursor to divorce. Both historic situations seem to have been managed by couples at their volition and it appeared people ping-ponged between these two legal contracts, but not often very happily, while at the same time incurring great and unnecessary expense. I am not quite sure why it cost so much money, but I think lawyers may have had something to do with it. Lawyers are banned from our world, only mediators remain.
Now of course, we are programmed to be compatible with our mates, and when we move rotations, sometimes our help mates are switched, especially if there are sound physical and geographical reasons to do so. It makes for variety and we don’t do love any more. Love and hate were blamed as the two big reasons for the earth failing in the last millennium.
As I understand it, a thousand years ago, people fell in love and got married. But sometimes it didn’t work and rather than just re programme to a new mate, people fell out of love and into hate and got divorced. There were just too many emotions, which we have also largely banned too. It makes for a calmer world and we will survive this way.
Anyway, back to my story. The couple divorced and he went to live in the UK. This used to be a country next to Ireland but sheer volume of people trapped on the island during the conflict meant it capsized and most of them were lost. It was a very smelly part of the ocean for about 50 years as the bodies decayed on the surface. New prevailing currents meant the dead populace floated over to where Europe used to be. This was lucky, else the few green patches in Ireland would have ended up as rotting dumps and we would have lost a valuable source of oxygen for earthly billets.
The woman who was divorced and who remained in my billet, Raheengraney House, in Ireland attempted to sell the house. She used a digital format, a precursor to our current ultimate reality, called the internet to find a buyer. She became a global sensation but despite finding a buyer, she was locked into a deadly financial bind. In those days people used money to buy things and organisations called banks held the money. They said what the people could and could not do. In fact, people did not own the money at all. It was all owned by the banks. But these banks had a stranglehold on the people at that time. Of course, with the abolition of money, banks have long since gone, but they were a parasitic curse inflicted on ordinary people.
I have since discovered, the woman went on to win the lottery. This we still have of course, but in those days it only delivered money. She bought back the house and lived there to a great old age of 96. She wrote several novels, her first becoming accredited reading for state schools until they banned cursing. It is still used as a social document in some teaching establishments. It is called Running out of Road but when I tried to read it, the banned text (mostly cursing I understand although some sex also) meant I could not read one in twenty lines. The bits I could read made me laugh though. Did I mention sex? That is also banned although I know some rogue cadets have been caught trying it. They were given emotion blockers and send on early to the Venus Satellite, and despite its name Venue is not a good satellite to spend time on. Anyway, the woman had a great time writing all about cursing and sex. She became quite famous for that too I think. She had a happy ending which I like, although happy endings are largely frowned upon from mainstream reading materials. She married once more, won many awards and even had her own television programme – on those box entertainment toys.
I only subscribe to one lottery – we don’t do money anymore – but the New You Lottery offers a new cloned body which I can claim at any time. They are very expensive to produce and so only a couple of clones are created each year. If I win my lottery I aim to replace and remodel myself at age 46. This will be the perfect time and I will also trade in my old help mate for a new one, around a twenty year old should be perfect. They say some things do not change.
© Jillian Godsil 2012