I looked out the window at the fading suns, the reds, blues, and pinks caresses the horizon in a display of color that I have never seen before. It was fitting considering it maybe one of the last I see on my home world
Against my parent’s wishes I had joined the explorations unit of D.S.E. I had heard stories of great men and women discovering new races at various stages of evolution, planets that seemed ripe for colonies only to have monsters that would tear you limb from limb and worlds where you’d think no life could exist only to find a thriving metropolises. The danger that went along with joining the D.S.E I’d like to think was the main reason my parent’s were concern about me join. The concerns they had didn’t stop me, I wanted a life of adventure, not routine and boredom.
At 1700 all the new recruits gathered in the intergalactic map room for orientation and assignments. A few of my friends had spoken about going to unexplored regions where they would be in deep hibernation on their ships only to wake fifty years later and have only aged a day. They’d return heroes like the space explorers of years before. The idea of waking from deep sleep to find that your loved ones had passed on and that the world your loved had change was something I wasn’t sure I’d want to come home to. If you came home at all. Deep space missions were the most dangerous kind.
“Hey Giblet, how’s it going?”
I turned and looked over my shoulder and saw Larry and Bob standing behind me. Giblet was a nickname I gotten in school because I once peed my pants during a Halloween haunted house. Not my best moment, but I was only five. I wondered if anyone here knew my real name? Then again Dick isn’t much better then Giblet…to think of it I’d rather be called Giblet then Dick. “Good, any idea where they might send you”’
“‘I hope deep space, that’s what I checked off in the survey.”
“I checked off the Helix Galaxy.” Bob said as he came to stand on the other side of me.
“What did you check off?” Larry looked at me.
“I check off undecided.”
Larry and Bob passed a quick look of confusion between the two of them.
“What do you mean undecided. All you talked about when we were kids was going to deep space and becoming a hero.”
“I guess I changed my mind.” I shrugged.
“Attention!” The chief officer entered the cramped room, with twenty new cadets it was shoulder to shoulder standing room only. Everyone came to attention and in behind him walked Space Commander Zed. He was said to have discovered the mining colony Serg that gave us an abundance of Cel-Gel warming coolant for our space engines.
“At ease fella’s.” He looked around the room eyeing everyone. When he met my eyes I felt a shiver flow through me. “Well right here I have all your assignments.” He tapped his finger against a v-log. “Some of you will be very happy but in here is a classified long term assignment. Before we get in to assigned duties, I need a volunteer for this long term off planet integration assignment.” He looked around the room at everyone, probably trying to see who might raise their hand, but no one was jumping to accept it. Integration missions were long term sometimes life sentences and that wasn’t for everyone.
“Okay you need more information huh. I can tell you this assignment has a life span of 30 years, you will assimilate in to the culture, and you will try to prevent an all-out extinction of the planet by influencing it through new discoveries. Of course this discoveries will simply be the invention of technology that we already have but used to bring a fractured world together.”
“A babysitting assignment!” Someone yelled out in disappointment.
‘Who said that!’ The Chief looked around annoyed and ready to hang someone.
“It’s alright chief. We believe that the planet Earth is worth saving. They have come a long way but with world destruction looming and the great wars that consumed many countries, they require leadership, and we need someone here to help guide them.”
Bob leaned over and whispered loud enough that Larry and I could hear. “Who would want that job? I don’t want to go there, not to that brown shit ball of a planet. Hell it will probably implode before whoever decided to do this gets there.”
“This will also grant you early retirement after your return to your home world after the thirty years. So before I pick someone anyone want to volunteer?”
I looked at Bob and Larry, they look around wondering who would be dumb enough to take it. “I’ll do it sir!” I yelled out. Bob and Larry looked at me in shock.
“What’s your name?”
“Private Dick Space sir.”
“Will Mr. Dick Space, the job is yours. Come get your itinerary.”
I stepped forward and took the v-log and looked down at it. On the screen in big bold red letters is said Confidential.
“I suggest you leave Dick Space, you have a long journey to pack for and some reading to do.” Zed looked to the Chief. “Show him to his new quarters where he will be staying until mission goes active.”
“Yes sir.” Chief said.
I turned my head and looked over my shoulder at Bob and Larry who were still wide eyed as they watched me leave. I still wasn’t sure how I felt about them, but maybe on Earth I’d meet someone else and make new friends. Maybe even end up saving a planet. One thing I did know is that on Earth I could be anyone I wanted to be.
February 9, 2015
D.S.E – Deep Space Exploration