I remember how it all started. The beginning of the end. I lived on Titan Station, a sprawling metropolis built onto the last fragment of Saturn’s moon, Titan. Population: A lot. I knew something was wrong with that place. Tiedemann was doing something in the government sector with the Unitologists.
I need to go back to the beginning. Back to when it all began. To when the end started.
This is how my world ended.
This is how it began.
Titan Station, August 16, 2510.
I woke up for school, like I always did. My mom prepared breakfast, blueberry pancakes and bacon. I loved bacon…
Anyway. Back to the point. The first week of school was over. I already missed Summer Vacation; all the fun, free time, and countless hours hanging out with my best friends. So much fun, so little time.
“Do you have your required reading clip for me to sign? It’s worth ten points, and I don’t want you getting off to a bad start,” my mom said. I swallowed a mouthful of pancake and held up a finger. I reached down into my backpack and pulled out the wrinkled blue slip of paper. I handed it to my mom. I found it stupid; I was a senior in high school and my mom still looked over my stuff to make sure I did it right. If I got it wrong, my own fault, right?
My mom handed the slip back to me. I took it back and crammed it into a dark corner of my backpack. I finished my breakfast and walked out to my car. My mom blew me a kiss and a wish of good luck. I shrugged off both. My dad was already at work, but I was already imagining him scolding me for not responding to my mother’s goodbyes.
As I drove to school, I passed row after row of Unitology signs. Bunch of religious nut-jobs if you ask me. These “Unitologists” believe that some alien force created us, and that we can all achieve “Heaven” through believing and death. Once again, a bunch of nut-jobs.
Newsreels flickered on in the main square of The Sprawl, the common name for Titan Station. Homicides, everything was about recent homicides today in the news. Brutal pictures flashed on, pictures of people beaten and stabbed and shot. I turned my head away from the sights. It was too early in the morning to deal with all of this.
I drove on to school. I found my usual parking spot and pulled in. I walked into school and was almost immediately joined by Kyle, my friend. “Yo, Jacob! You seen all these stories? About all these murders, and how, out of fifteen deaths, they’ve only arrested three people?” I shook my head. “Dang, man? Where’ve you been? It’s been all over the news.” “I kind of guessed that.”
The school day went on as usual. Going from class to class like a zombie, not thinking or, for that matter, caring. Bumping into random people in the hallway. Enjoying the twenty-minute break in the schedule that was lunch.
Today was different, though. The Unitologists were going off about the end of the world, more so than usual. Brief news updates on my phone said that the government sector and the mines had been closed off. More homicides.
Somehow, during the course of the day, I found myself walking next to Lauren. The only person in the entire school that didn’t hate me, next to Kyle. We talked for a while as we walked. It wasn’t so much a friendly walk and talk. It was like we were in alternate dimensions, conversing through a barrier.