A new 'Earth' is found, but can it really change a thing? One pessimist doesn't think so.
No, it’s “On the new Earth, everything will be better!”
I doubt that, but people still think so no matter how loudly I disagree. But yet, here I am. Strapped to the seat on a rocket that is supposed to take me there. I had several degrees in agriculture and terra-farming, so I was one who got ‘the honor’ (drafted) into the project. I knew the most about nature and livable conditions, so I was ‘their best chance to succeed.’ I was probably the only one who had brains enough to see this was a horrible idea.
We already destroyed one Earth, why should we be allowed to go find another to do the same?
Jeremy says I’m just a pessimist, that I don’t look at the nicer things in life and just focus on all the horrible things that are happening. I just look over at him and say “I see you, don’t I?” He always blushes and then mutters something depreciating.
I really am glad I managed to bullshit him into the mission. I demanded to the high-and-mighty politicians that I refused to cooperate whatsoever if my lover couldn’t come. The disgust they showed for me at that demand was obvious, but they still bent to my demand. Jeremy was excited enough to see the new Earth for both of us, so it works out, in the end. I figure if he can be the enthusiastic one for the ride, the others might not lynch me for being the raincloud over their parade.
“I can’t believe we’re acgtually going,” Jeremy tells me, his hand sliding into mine from where he is secured inside the shuttle. I squeeze back, trying to push aside my doubts and letting him enjoy his moment.
“I’m just glad you’re coming with me,” I answer. He beams at me, even though my words lacked any enthusiasm. He’s used to my attitude on life; why he is still around sometimes to put up with me, I will never understand. He claims I have many good qualities and I am a kind, caring person, but I don’t see where he gets those claims from. I’m an asshole, and I know that. I hear it often enough and have enough self-awareness to understand the reasons behind that.
The countdown begins. I feel Jeremy grip my hand tighter, his nerves kicking in, and I just let my thumb brush over his. One of the woman – the only woman – on our mission looks over with neutral eyes.
“Ready for the future?”
“No.” My answer is simple, and I don’t offer an explanation when she gives me a skeptical look. I turn back towards the ceiling and close my eyes. I hate traveling, and I doubt space travel will be any better.
Finally, after god-knows-how-many hours of waiting, the last few seconds are ticked off aloud and soon the shuttle starts vibrating heavily. I can feel Jeremy clutching my hand in his, and we are both anchoring each other to sanity and reality as we break through the atmosphere and the shaking subsides. We are released from our restraints and allowed to move around at this point.
“Gentleman, and ladies,” the last directed to the only female, “it will be two weeks travel to our destination. Take time to know each other, for the next few years you will have only each other to talk to. You know the mission, and accommodations already before having agreed to the mission, so I’m not bothering to parrot those. Any questions look in your folders.”
There were six of us going to the new Earth. Jeremy was the only one without a purpose other than coming with me, but I could put him to work; it didn’t take a genius to collect water and plant samples if shown how to.
“I’m Sara Whitmore,” the female says, “I specialize in meteorology. I’m here to track weather patterns over the entire planet.”
“Bradly Peters, geologist. I’m helping with construction survey.” I look at him as he says this and ask, “why does that matter?”
“Earthquakes, unstable foundations, zoning. I check to see which parts can have buildings constructed safely.” I just nod, humming in agreement. Makes sense now. They’re looking at me, and I sigh.
“William Hagenbach, botany specialist, agriculture specialist, chemist… I’m making sure you all don’t end up eating something strange and killing yourself.” I hear someone mutter, ‘cheerful fellow, isn’t he?’ and I snort without commenting. Jeremy laughs nervously as eyes fix on him.
“Jeremy Sholtz, I’m here with William as an assistant.”
“Mikael Brezinksi, the animal and insect guy,” the last man says, his accent heavy. I grin wryly and look over towards him without turning my head.
“So if I find a pet of unknown origins, you’ll be the one who tells me what to feed it?”
“I can let you know if it will eat you while you sleep,” the man replies in good humor. I have a feeling I will end up getting along with him.
Jeremy and I are resting in our bunk, the ‘evening’ schedule in play right now.
“How are six people supposed to do all this work?” He asks me, and I tighten my hold on him, my fingers playing with the ring I wore.
“That’s why I refused to leave you behind. We will be there at least ten years.”
“Oh.” And it was all that needed to be said.