Dr. Brock Stewart’s eyes flashed open and adjusted to the dim red light. His blurred vision attempted to focus, and upon focusing immediately wished it hadn’t due to the horrible sight it saw. Broken machinery was all around. Floor tiles were ripped from the ground and exposed the raw wood underneath.
Brock got up on his shaky legs trying to stable himself against the gentle rocking motion that he felt. He walked cautiously to the door on the opposite side of the room. As he approached it, it opened.
The other room was a large courtyard-type area, with hundreds of people milling about, carrying large metal tanks, lugging wheelbarrows, and engaging in other sorts of work.
He ran up to a person with a heavy steel backpack on.
“Where am I?” he asked.
The person looked shocked. He felt like it hadn’t been THAT long ago since the incident occurred. But maybe this man was just going insane, as many had on this long voyage.
“Aye, I gotcha. My dad lost his memory, too.”
The man reached into his pocket and produced a very small disc, about the size of a donut hole. It was marked with a black pen “Propaganda History Video.”
“Watch this. It’ll jog your memory. Hope you feel better soon.”
“But how do I watch it?” Brock asked.
“Geez, it’s worse than I thought,” the man said. “Go to the viewing center over there, put the disc in the slot and watch the video.”
Dr. Stewart walked up to the small double doors marked “Viewing Center (Uplifting Material ONLY).” He pushed them open and found a room with a few box TVs scattered around, each connected to a device that looked a bit like a DVD player, but also different.
He placed the disc in the slot, and almost immediately a grainy video started playing.
“In the year of 1982, a group of delusional so-called ‘scientists’ launched a primitive spacecraft designed to be a long-term living vessel for hundreds of people. This vessel was called, quite appropriately, the Defectum.”
Brock stared at the screen in fascination.
“Unfortunately, these scientists were so incompetent that the Defectum drifted off into space and came into the atmosphere of Corrumpere, which was under the rule of the great Ineptias government. The generous ruler offered them a bargain: join us or die. The starved passengers agreed, and are now happily working under the rule of our great and generous regime, so that together we can build a better tomorrow.”
The screen flickered out.
by Brigham Larson
Photo courtesy of needpix.com