In the 25th century, we lost mother Earth and we've been enslaved by a higher civilization
| Please read Back Home preface before read Ch.1|
Ch.1 The lull before storm
'Just three more hours,' Chris looked at the clock. He was stuck in this spaceport for almost three months, and he felt he would going to die if he needed to stay here for another day. This spaceport located near an asteroid belt in spiral galaxy Gava, and belonged to a biowall metal mining company Erda. The spaceport was small, more like a watch tower to keep track the mining drones of their functions. There were thousands of mining drones working in the asteroid belt. They were pretty developed, normally Chris did not need to worry about them, but sometimes some accidents might happen, like a meteor may hit those drones. At that time, Chris needed to drive the construction ship to the damaged drone and dragged it back to the spaceport to fix.
Chris liked his job, a lot of free time, decent payment and the best part of it, he did not need to deal with those radiation metals. However, there was one disadvantage about the job, flying construction ship through an asteroid belt. You never knew what would happen out there, but according to statistic, every ten years, more than 500 pilots dead. But for Chris, it was more like an adventure.
'Ok, now I just need to wait 30 more minutes.' Chris got exciting, after 30 minutes, he would come out of this nowhere spaceport back home and enjoyed his 10 days vacations. He already packed, like two days ago. He could not wait to go home, to breathe some fresh air and to see his family. Chris missed his family so much; the greed company did not want to update the signal tower, so he could not get any messages from his mom, 269 lights years away. Lonely was the only thing that Chris hated here, oh, and food. The food was nutrition bars, a bad kind of, tasted like the dog shit, according to Chris. To keep the employee health, the company did not allow their employee bring their food, but the truth was they did not want to spend unnecessary fuel sending their employee to the hospital.
Chris sat in the front of control set, and the control set had a giant scare; it divided by thousand small scares. Each of these scares represented one drone, and Chris could see these scares and noticed what problem the drones might have.
Chris' eye left the scares; he lay in his chair closing his eyes and started to image what mom would make for him. When Chris was in the middle of his fired noodle and tofu soup dream, one of the scares started to alarm. A drone was dysfunction and needed to fix now. That whole scare reddened and kept making ear-piercing noise.
'Not now!' Chris yelled in his head. He opened his eyes, and using his finger zoomed in and draped that scare in front of his face. That was No. 3087, in the deep of asteroid belt, not easy to reach. Even Chris did reach to this drone and got it back to the spaceport; it might cost him another half day to fix it. And now Chris only had, 10 more minutes. Chris shrugged his shoulders and put his VR transport helmet on to get out of that annoying noise.
VR transport helmet was the most popular technology in last half century; it could transport the host will enter into the virtual reality world. In the virtual reality world, you could not notice the difference between the real world. Because it was so realistic, a lot of people indulged in it, the government had no choice but made a law that each person can only spend 5 hours in any virtual reality world. The game Earth was Chris' favorite, rainforest, and desert, everything on earth was attracting him.
It was so satire that we could only be on earth in a virtual reality world. Especially the loading scare and the back voice, you would be in a spaceship that back to earth, and a beautiful voice would say to you, "Welcome back to earth." We still did not find a way home, even it has been over hundreds of years.
When the clock turned to 5 Pm, the spaceship that Chris had been waiting arrived. The spaceport's gate started to stretch and hooked up the spaceship. Someone walked into the control room.
"Jesus Chris, did you hear that noise!" That guy took off Chris' helmet; the suddenly alarm noise made Chris a headache.
"Yep, I heard it, that why I put my helmet on," Chris said. The guy who would take Chris' shift was Thomas, a typical small brain big body guy, well not really a big body either. Chris did not like him at all, in fact, Chris had no idea how a guy like Thomas could have any chance work here. Perhaps working in the factory was more like what Thomas would do.
"If you heard it, why you did not check the drone." Thomas got angry; he did not explain that the first second he got here he needed to drive through the asteroid belt to fix a damaged drone.
"Well, caz my shift ends right now." Chris jumped out the chair, picked up his package, "key card." Chris opened his hand and motioned Thomas giving him the key card to access the spaceship.
"You did not finish your job, Chris, I am gonna report it." Thomas reluctantly gave the key card to Chris, "I'm gonna report this." He repeated like he keeping repeat himself Chris will fix that drone.
"Yep, yep, just do whatever you want." Chris did not want rise any conversations with Thomas. He was that type of guy that you do not want to communicate with, a typically social awkward guy. Chris did not worry at all, he was the best pilot in the whole company who can fly through the most dangerous and complicated asteroid belt, they would be insane even to think about fire him.
The spaceship was an old spaceship, probably older than Chris, with Lv9 of warp factor engine. The latest engine already updated to Lv9.6, 1.5 times faster than a lv9 engine. It would cost Chris a few hours to back home. However, Chris did not care about these, all he thought were back home giving his mom a big hug and enjoy the homemade dinner.
Chris entered spaceship, checked the ship's state and then fired the engine. Space travel was not easy, a lot of people did not have the license to fly in the space. It was not like some science that you can just plug a chip into your brain and learn it. It required a lot of practice, promptness and a big heart, which was confused Chris how Thomas got his license.
Chris spent nearly 6 hours to get home. It was on a space station called Sirius, the 8th biggest station that had 200 thousand people live in, near Gaea planet. Chris has never been to Gaea in his entire life, that planet was only for rich and powerful people, he did not belong there.
Chris slowed speed when he about to reach Sirius. He got a message from control tower that he need to berth at the east side of the dock, No. 2989. It was great to be home, especially when Chris heard the greeting message from the control tower, "Welcome to Sirius."
Chris berthed spaceship at a dock, got off from it, and took a big breath. This was the first time he saw other people in three mouths, well Thomas did not count. Sirius had a big busy dock, you could see ships landing and taking off a lot, and you also can see not just human but also aliens, majorly Czochralski, big head, four arms, green skin, not Chris' favorite.
When Chris got home, his mom Linda was already home cooking Chris' favorite dinner.
"Mom!" Chris was so exciting to see his mom, it only has been three months since they met, but Chris felt like three years. He ran to the kitchen and saw Linda was standing back of him cooking some delicious food.
"You back, Chris." Linda turned back, embraced her son and gave a big kiss on his cheek. "Happy birth day Chris!" Linda looked Chris up and down, "You are thinner before you left."
Chris used his finger to knead his knitted eyebrows, "Mom, it is not my birthday, it still has 2 months." Chris loved his mom to death, but there was one small problem, Linda could not remember his birthday. Chris felt that his mom was getting old, so that was why she keeping remember his birthday on a wrong day. But Linda was only 57 years old, she just passed one-third of her life, she could not get aged that fast. Chris did not understand, but he thought there was some problem with his mom. Sometimes, when she looked at him, Chris felt like she was looking at another guy. And this weird feeling was growing when Chris was growing. Chris tried to convert her to see a doctor, but she refused due to she was an amazing doctor, and
she said she knew she was fine.
"I know, I know, it is not today, but when your birthday you will be gone, so why to celebrate 2 mouths earlier when you still here." Linda smiled at Chris, and touched his face, "I brought you a gift in your room."
"Thank you, mom, you are the best!" Chris kissed Linda on her forehead and ran into his room. There was a digit gift box waiting for him. Chris expected that would be a new VR transport glasses; he has been saving money for that for a year. The VR transport helmet Chris had was old and too heavy to put on, Chris wanted to get away it for a long time, but the latest VR transport device was way too expensive.
When Chris touched the digit gift box, it opened automatically, and a new VR transport glasses was laying in.
"Oh, my god! It is the VR glasses!" Chris could not believe what just happened, he laughing and jumping, ran back to the kitchen and hugged Linda up to air. "Oh my god, thank you, mom, thank you so much!"
Linda got scared, and used a spoon on her hand knocked Chris' hand softly, "Ok, let me down, I need to finish this soup for dinner." Linda laughed, she was glad that this gift made Chris happy.
"Thank you, mom, what are we going to eat?" Chris put Linda down, and forwarded his head across Linda's shoulder, trying to figure it out by himself.
"They were your favorite ancient Chinese style." Linda patted Chris' head and asked him to set up a table. Linda loved to cook for Chris, even with all these autocook machines. She loved to see the smile on Chris' face when he ate her food; it made her day.
The dinner was simple, two vege dishes, a pork dish, and a traditional soup. However, just this simple dinner cost Linda almost a whole month salary. Ever since we lost earth, the food was always the biggest problem for the human race. Without enough land to grow all the food we need, the price of normal food increased 100 times more. Thus a lot of people have to eat the nutrition bar to survive. This was probably why they have been living in a small cell apartment forever, with Linda's salary they could move to a nicer place to live. However, if let Chris choose between food and a big apartment, he probably would be happier stay the same situation.
The dinner went great, Linda and Chris talking and talking. Have real food was a blessing, Chris ate them slowly; he wanted to enjoy every chewing, every bit, feeling the taste exploded in his mouth.
"Do you have anything to do tomorrow Chris?" Linda asked, they already finished dinner; the table sank with all the dishes and a new table top formed from the table side. It was an auto-clean table which can clean the top and all the things on it.
"Nothing mom, just relax at home, what you want to do?" Chris actually already have an answer for what Linda would do tomorrow, she wanted to ask Chris to go to the Hero's Memorial. That was kind of family tradition, every weekend Linda would take Chris to the Hero's Memorial. Chris did not understand why his mom was so obsessed to go there; he knew this memorial was built to pray their big hero Ares Simon back from a coma but did that just doctor's job? Ares Simon was the commander of Nemesis, he was the one used less than two hundred ship defect Czochralski's thousand class fleet, and brought attention from United Laniakea which sending human race free. He was a big deal, great commander, and the best pilot. Before he went to coma, he said he would lead human back home, back to our galaxy and fought earth back. He was the hope and bright light for human, for an unknown reason he went to coma, everyone prayed for him, hoped he would back soon and led us back to our real home.
Chris did not hate to go there, he enjoyed to there when he was young, but with time passing, Chris found out he looked more like Ares Simon, and it brought him a lot of troubles. If Linda did not tell Chris his father died in ancient before he was born, Chris would literally think he was Ares' son. They looked like a twin, everyone who familiar with Chris told him that, thus every time he went to Hero's Memorial he has to wear a mask, and it made him looking creepy. That was the main reason Chris did not like to go now.
"I just want to know, if you are free tomorrow, do you want to go to Hero's Memorial with me?" Linda looked at Chris, her eyes peering at him like they are saying, please go, please Chris. Of course, Chris did not want to disappoint his mother, he said, "Yes, I will come with you, mom."
"Thank you, Chris, I know you do not want to go there." Linda held Chris' hands, smile kindly. Chris saw some crow's feet on Linda's face; she was growing old, and it made Chris sad.
Bed time, Chris could not go to sleep, he was too exciting about his early birthday gift, VR transport glasses. He could not wait to put it on and saw what the difference between this glasses and the old helmet was. Chris put VR glasses on, the glasses scanned his iris, and transport him into VR world.
"Welcome to virtual reality world, this is your first time come here, please read the specification before you use any of virtual reality world's product, and please remember, according to VR decrees, any players could not play in the virtual reality world more than 5 hours. At last, we hope you have a great day."
When Chris into virtual reality world, the beautiful voice of guidance sounded in his mind. That was so weird, it was not the first time Chris into virtual reality world, and he has been playing VR game earth for almost 5 years. It did not make any sense for Chris. Chris tried several times by taking it off and put it on, but every time it would say that was the first time Chris entre the VR world.
Chris never used iris scan to log in; the old VR helmet would auto-bind his ID chip which in the side of his right shoulder by bioelectricity. Maybe that was the problem, Chris thought. However, all the ID chips connected to the personal data base, including iris, the VR glasses should recognize him by scan his iris. Chris did not understand what went wrong, he trying to connect his ID chip with glasses by hand to give a last try. If this did not work out, the glasses maybe were broken.
Chris put on the glass and entre VR world again, but this time he canceled iris scan and set a program to connect glasses with his chip. When the glasses connected the chip, the voice did not say welcome Chris for his first time. Instead, the voice said welcome back to VR world. Chris knew he succeeded, he still did not know why it did not recognize his iris at the first time, but he really did not care, now it was time to play some Earth.
"That's, that's not possible." In a control room, an officer spoke.
"What's not possible?" A man heard it, walking behind that guy and asked.
"We just receive a signal sir," Officer posed a while, pointed on the scan shakily and continued, "It's, it's from Ares! Ares Simon!"
"What? Ares Simon? That's not possible!" It shocked that man, "How did you get his message? Ares Simon already died!"
"I do not, I do not know sir, but we just got his iris scanning message, it looks like he's trying to get connect with VR world." That officer checked this message twice, and both said it was Ares Simon. A message from a dead man, that was not possible at all especially on this team that they all knew Ares' death.
"I checked it twice sir; the iris scanning is 100% match. That is Ares Simon; he is still alive!"
"No way! I buried him in my own hands; there is no way that he is alive!" That man got angry, he grabbed that officer's collar and lifted him up like lift a chicken, "How dare you tell me he is still alive! I buried him! I!" The vessels pumped out on his temples; he buried Ares like twenty-five years ago, and that was the most difficult time in his entire life. Ares was one of his best friends dead, his brother and his ephor. Also, he buried the hope and future for the entre human race. The masses did not know that Ares already dead, they were still hoping that one day Ares would come back and took them home.
"Sir." The officer scared, he knew what this man capable of, no one in this team wanted to piss him up.
"You sure?" He asked again.
"Ye, yes sir, I am pretty sure it was Ares' iris message." It was a little hard for that officer to breath when that man lifted him up in air.
"Where is him?"
"Find him! Now!" That man put the officer down and gave the order.
"Hurry up, if we got this, they got it too; we need to find Ares before those bastards."
"Yes, sir, I will call all our troops."
"If it was really him, then, we could finally start our plan." That man whispered.
At the same time, in a monitoring tower of Gaea, a three S secret document was sending to the higher office. No way knew what inside, but when it opened, the government called all officers to the assembly room. An impossible thing happened, and it would shift all their futures.
"Gentlemen, I think you all get the message now, the question is what should we do about it?" Someone spoke in the assembly room.
"This is insane! He is already dead! How could he still be alive and outside?"
"I know your question, Mr. Flagg, remember 25 years ago we made a program?"
"Yes that program was our future, what about it?"
"Well, you see at that time we might made a small mistake."
"A mistake? A fucking mistake? Do you understand how important that program was! What kind of mistake was it?"
"I get your angry, Mr. Flagg, the mistake we made was we let a wrong person in charged, and that was Mrs. Simon."
"What! Are you lost your fucking mind? Mrs. Simon was in charged in that program?"
"Thing already happened, now we need to figure it out what we should do! How much time do you think we have! If we got this message, they must had it too! And you guys still fighting, we need to find Ares Simon before they do!"
Suddenly, the whole assembly room silenced, the storm was about to come.