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My name is Robert Emil Ramirez. I’m an astronaut, the best in the universe. Now, I’m not an astronaut who trained his whole life to become an astronaut, I hadn’t had ambitions to be an astronaut since I was young. I was born an astronaut, forced to be an astronaut. I really had no say in the matter.
See, in the place I come from, when you’re born, they plant a small microchip in your brain. The chip programs you to have the talents they want you to have. There are chefs, musicians, archaeologists, and every other job imaginable. But I got stuck with astronaut.
Right after I was born, when I was just a baby, they put me on a gigantic spaceship and shipped me off to some new planet. I was in charge of the ship, and remarkably I knew exactly what to do.
The Parkolians raided my ship when we I flew over their planet, Parkol. They thought I was going to kill them. When they realized I was just a baby, the captain of the ship took me in as his own son. I’ve lived with them ever since.
We lived in a spaceship, my dad being commander of all transportation here. The ship was chained to the soft earth, floating gently in the air. Sometimes we would unhook our ship and fly to wherever we wanted to and take a vacation.
One day when we came back from one of our trips, we found Earthlings waiting on us. They were power hungry and wanted to destroy our planet. We had never done anything to them. We were harmless and didn’t know much about war or fighting. We lost.
Now I’m sixteen and I’m once again on a spaceship. I don’t know where I’m headed, but I now it won’t be fun. I look out the window, planets zooming past me. Those planets look peaceful and I would give anything to be there. Anything.
I was alone now, probably the only Parkolian to survive. I was only alive because of my father, the Parkolian Head Traffic Officer Desmond. He built a spaceship, knowing what was coming, and sent me off in it. The ship is programmed as to where to stop.
I’m flying through the air at top speed, millions of miles an hour. The spaceship is starting to slow down. It gradually falls to the ground and stops. I step out and see a whole new world before me.
I take a deep breath, the air pure, not filled with smoke like it is on Parkol. I close my eyes for a moment and just stand there, not quite knowing what to do. I open my eyes and look at the wonders of my new home.
There’s an ocean before me, the light wind gently rocking the palm trees. Water comes of the top of the water and gently sprays me, I can taste the bitter salt. The water gleams bright blue, dolphins swimming happily in and out. My feet dig into the soft sand. There is a thing in the sky, a big orange circle. It is very bright, it looks as if fire is shooting off of it. I must shield my eyes when I look upon it. We didn’t have that where I was from, we just had moons. Cold, dark moons. I don’t know where I am, but this is truly paradise. The Captain chose a good place to send me.
I begin to calm, my racing heart finally settling, but my sadness resurfaces as I look into the distance. I see Parkor, a small dot in the distance, a speck upon the world. My world, my whole life, is exploding in front of me. It bursts and the intensity is so bright I have to clench my eyes shut. There is one final flash of green light and my planet is gone, never to be seen again.
I look down at my deep footprints in the rich sand. They make a trail from the spaceship to where I am standing now. My spirits fall even lower as I realize that my feet will be the only one to touch this soil. There were no other people here. It was just me and the animals.
I jump into the water, the dolphins swimming around me. I swim to get rid of my pain, the deep sorrow that shakes me. I dive all the way down to the bottom, the fish marveled by me. When my lungs felt like they would burst from lack of air, I pushed myself up toward the surface.
I look back to the sky, as if I may be lucky enough to see that little speck that is Parkor, but I have no such luck. My eyes flash back to the sky. I see movement, a spaceship. They land on the ground, the force of their landing blowing me back.
My eyes squint through the hot air coming from the craft. I see three people step out of the ship.
“Who are you?” I ask.