Physics is an interesting thing, I wish more people understood it. Alas, most people, these days, think Physics is a lie made by the Liberal Left, and it’s radical followers. Which is why I’m here, in this tube, 23,000 miles above the planet.
We left. Those of use that could leave. It wasn’t cheap. It wasn’t easy. Millions of us died because we couldn’t leave.
You might think it was the rich ones of us who survived, and who now live in our little tubes, floating in space, in geosynchronous orbit around the planet that was once our home. It wasn’t. The richest among us worked to find those most deserving of surviving. The ones of us who cared, who helped our neighbors, supported science, and the active quest for knowledge. Those of us who fed the homeless, and the hungry, who paid the medical bills of others, though we couldn’t afford to pay our own.
I walk to the end of my tube, each morning. Well. I call it mourning. That’s when the tube rotates far enough for the sun to start shining light into it again. I walk to the end of the tube, and watch the sun rise. It’s a bit different than being on Earth. No colors. No light shows. Just a sliver of blinding light that enters from one side of the tube, and slowly arcs to the other.
The tube spins about its center point once every 24 hours. Eventually, it will slow down, but that will take centuries. There’s not much friction here to slow it down.
It also rolls. Endlessly. And actually, quite rapidly. About the axis through its entire length. That’s how we get gravity. The tube spins fast enough to throw us into its sides, simulating gravity. Move to the center of the tube, and you will float there for days. Maybe weeks. Before the motion of the air in the tube will pull you far enough off center to smack you into the side of the tube.
This is where we live now. We’ve escaped the conservative hell that Earth has become. The hell that says science is a lie, you can get medical care if you can afford it, otherwise you can die, you can work like a slave for a company, and then live in company provided housing, until you die, or until you piss off someone higher up the company ladder than you. If you do that, you can’t work for anyone. Ever. This is how they keep everyone in line.
You work for the companies. Or you die. It’s that simple.
I’m free of that, here in my tube. I live here with a female of the species, in the hope that we can continue to survive as a population. Right now, travel between tubes is limited. But, we’re working on that. It’s desperately needed to keep the gene pool functional. Too much inbreeding, and we will die out.
It is sad, really, to stand here, each morning, watching the sun rise, knowing what is happening on Earth. Watching the Earth’s atmosphere become more toxic daily. Watching those who still live there die out, and be replaced by machines. Watching the oceans turn die from the solid wall of plastic waste that covers them.
But someday, when everything has reached its end, our descendants may return to the planet. After the biosphere recovers from what we humans did to it, despite what our sciences told us, and the warnings we had of our impending self destruction.
In the meantime, we will be here. In our tubes. Floating along. Doing our best to survive. Dreaming of a world that could have been.
It’s week 118 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can read about Miranda’s small fiction challenge here. Please, go read Miranda’s short tale this week, and any others that showed up. The tales are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed.