by Shae Dema
A brief sketch of the other settlement on Syrus
|No one ever sleeps here. At any given time someone is screaming or cursing. Or worse, crying. It never stops. Not in the dead of night. Not when the sun finally makes it over the dead sea that marks one side of our little home.
They don’t worry about us escaping by sea. The water isn’t really water here. Not without the treatment to remove some of the salt. You’d sink before you could make it out past the mines they’ve seeded the coastline with. And even if you could make it to the minefield those buoys of death are so close together that occasionally they bump and go off all on the whim of the tide.
The guards, the human ones anyways, don’t pay the shows much mind after the first week or two. The droids never do pay attention. But we have a daily pool how many of ‘em will go off in an hour or a day. If you have the goods to bet, the game can make you rich. But just as often it will leave you a shell waiting to be broken.
The only other way out is hitching a ride on a transport that only goes back to Earth.
That ain’t an option for anyone here. Well not the residents.
That’s what they call us now. Residents. We live and work here as if we were still on Earth. We get paid in creds just like back home. We live in crappy apartments, just like home. And we get the same treatment. We’re ignored or abused by system in place around us. The only real difference is that we all wear the same uniform.
The chips we’ve had implanted as kids carry all the information the system needs to ensure we don’t have access to things like firearms and decent food.
I’ve seen the human guards eating bread that hasn’t been frozen for months on end. Fresh fruit. Hell I saw one that had chocolate on him. The real stuff. Not the synthetic crap they have at the Resident Stores.
We can go anywhere on the planet, but we can’t leave it.
There is talk about a group of us leaving the Centre and going to the mountains. There have been rumours of construction going on.
Kid and Ryder, my roommates, say that Cypher, some big shot from Earth that was one of the first here, is keen on going. I’m not so sure. I’m not big on gambles and going to the mountains is a pretty big gamble. There’s no water out that way. Kid says Cypher has a way around that, but he doesn’t sound so sure. Ryder agrees that water is a problem, but if there’s a new settlement out there then they would have figured that out by now.
Syrus doesn’t really have much rainfall. And the ‘water’ you can find is usually salty that you’ll die faster if you drink it. I don’t know how they will find drinkable water out there.
Kid seems set to go which means Ryder will go along to try to keep him out of trouble. She’s good like that. But she’ll need back up. That means I gotta go with ‘em. I don’t want to, but I’ve been watching Ryder’s back since we were kids on Earth.
We joined The Nationalists together right out of high school and we’ve been through more than we had a right to survive. The fall of Lincoln and Paris, the raids on Cambridge and Harvard, and being shipped off to Syrus after the failed attack on Halifax.
I gotta go.
I just hope there’s something out there for us to find. Preferably something with drinkable water.