I’m surprised this viewport doesn’t have a permanent imprint of my nose on it.
Every spare moment, what few I’m given, I’m here – staring down at lights on a world I don’t know. Our teachers won’t talk about it much, other than to say that the corporation our parents work for is down there. They know no one’s ever been sent Earthside, no matter what WalCom promises.
I know it too – I hacked the system to check. That’ll get me spaced if they find out and they’ll make up some story about me, just like they did for Eran. She’s the one who told me that no one’s ever been sent back to Earth; she told me to check it out for myself, and she was gone the next day. We got a message saying she’d been sent Earthside for further training in chemical and fluid dynamics, but they didn’t cover their tracks very well this time. The shuttles that left around her supposed departure window were strictly cargo or outbound to Luna, and the lift was on its way up.
I wish I could have said goodbye. I wish I didn’t know that I could be next.
My family contracted as technicians to help finish WalCom’s perma-link station, with an option to go Earthside once construction was finished. There’s always an excuse, though, for why we can’t go back. Not enough space in the lift, too many paying commercial customers, blah blah blah. But they aren’t going to let us go back – they’ve got us here, why should they pay to lift more techs into space?
The stars in my night sky are the lights of Earth.
I will never reach them.
©2012 Christine Clukey Reece