Instructions: Read or watch Slam Anderson's story, "On This Orbit Day," then VOTE on the ending using the poll below!
oN THIS ORBIT DAY
Earth Residents also known as Ereses (e-res-es) removed themselves from the Universal Council (The UC), millenniums ago. Now, on this Orbit Day, an Eres will speak on behalf of all Earth Residents.
The Universal Council (UC) called an urgent meeting on the Moon in the old observatory used for solidary training. In an almost forgotten past it was the base for Earth Resident’s Star Leader. A dome palace with a glass ceiling that provided the perfect view to the galaxy moving, existing and rapidly growing. Now, it is the most deserted place in the galaxy. There was no seating in the observatory. The nine Star leaders stood in a crescent shape facing the entrance. Outside the grand double doors that hung carelessly on their hedges were their protectors and three Eres (e-res) survivors. The Head Star, one of the youngest to hold the title and still new to his role, didn’t ask for a test. He gripped the knot of his belt and walked in front of the UC members who were the leaders of their residents, referred to as Star Leaders. Several of them were his friends before joining the council. One was his kin-sister born on the same orbit day on Mars. They trained together, learned and answered the council call together.
“The Eres has told us that Earth is rotting in reverse,” he spoke slowly trying to translate the crisis told to him by the star-struck Earth Resident Dr. Green. “There is an infection in the air, leaves are passing diseases down to their roots and the roots are infecting the soil. Nothing will grow anymore. Starvation and dehydration has turned them into beast and monster. There resident has turned against them. They are in need of a new home.” The room was quiet besides the sounds of cracking glass from the ceiling.
“We are not here to condemn Earth Residents. This is not a day for us to empty the atmosphere with the past. This Eres will be given the respect and time given to all who come to speak on their Resident’s behalf.”
“Humble Star, what about the respect they gave to the Orbiters in Mars? How can you request respect?” Bellum, the Star Leader of Mars exclaimed, as she reflected on the recent attacks on Mars that prompted this meeting.
“Because Star it isn’t this Earth Resident that torn their flesh and spirits. We need to at least hear what the Earth Residents has to say. Everything we know about them is recycled knowledge. Whispers and one-sided journeys written down and taught to us as history. This is an opportunity for some truth,” the Head Star attempted to reason.
“Truth is in their actions!”
“We’re here to decide one thing. To help them or not. This is not a trail for individual crimes, Bellum.”
“Well, it should be!” Bellum could barely contain her anger and was fighting even harder to hold back her tears. "We lost too many," she told the Head Star after the Ereses attack on Mars Resident. "Losing one orbiter to rightful death is hard but losing a hundred because of “unnecessary death” is flesh-cracking." She was honored to be a Star Leader of her home Resident, this meeting to her was a sign of failure.
“Your kin will not be forgotten Star Leader but you cannot grieve them through others' death. If you believe that then I know you will make the decision honorable of a Star.” The council members looked down at the belts glowing around their waist; a reminder of the everlasting oath they took. When the Head Star felt the council was calm enough, he motioned towards the door, “bring him."
Dr. Stephen Green walked into the observatory like he was holding a secret that would fix all that was wrong. He had a guard on both sides and his hands tied in front with glowing rope.
“Present yourself to the council?” The Head Star directed.
“My name is Stephen – Dr. Stephen Green. I was – excuse me – I am a scientist from Earth’s Space department.” Dr. Stephan spoke as wobbly as he stood. He was tall, slender, and unsteady; like if he leaned over too far he would probably snap in half.
“Saint Stephen, Your residents sent you to speak on their behalf. This is a deliberation. Once your case has been made, we will decide as a whole the answer your cries. But the previous actions of the Ereses on Mars will be taken into account.”
The Head Star's words deflated Dr. Stephen’s confidence or maybe it was the sudden reality of his situation. Here he stood in front of what he grew up believing was a fictional group, a tall tale like the tooth-fairy and Santa Claus. To Earth Residents: the Universal Council was described as a group of people in charge of granting wishes; but they would only grant wishes made upon a shooting star or wish carriers. Dr. Stephen had been trying to contain himself since his capture by the UC. How could anyone born in his century on Earth know that the Great Universal Council was real!? And they aren’t fairies with wings, instead they're giants at least 10 feet tall, with glowing belts and white robes that dragged on the ground. Their hair was gray and dreaded into thick ropes bonded by metal chains. The scientist in him was mesmerized. He wanted to sit down and analyze everything about them and at the same time he wanted to forget them. Standing in front of the council he didn’t know where to begin. The stories told to him always stressed the importance of being “humble” when making wishes. His father always told him; make sure your wish isn’t completely selfish, son.
The Earth Residents made a national plan of evacuation when leaving Earth became the only solution. Everything had been consolidated as much as possible on Earth to conserve resources. The plan was to send a few soldiers and scientist to Mars to check the safety and stability of the planet. Dr. Stephen still didn’t understand how they didn’t detect life during their research; civilized, structured and highly advance life.
“We were looking for safe landing space.” Dr. Stephen said apologetically trying to explain the incident on Mars.
“In the middle of a Village? Truth from an Eres.” Bellum hissed. She wasn’t interested in hearing the Earth Resident explanation.
“Ereses?” Dr. Stephen repeated in a figurative tone, “Ereses? Ereses?”
He tossed the word around in his mouth like he tasted a foreign fruit and was determined to pinpoint its origins. This encrypted language intrigued him, and he suddenly wanted to write a book about it. He wanted to know its rhythm and reasons. He tried not to show his inappropriate overexcitement in such a life-threating situation but it was difficult to contain. He was living in his dream and nightmare at the same time and didn’t know whether to feel afraid or fulfilled.
“Yes! Eres. Earth Resident, that it what you are! You are from Earth right? Humble Star, do we really need to go through this? We are fully aware of why we are here! Let’s us say our piece by way of vote and let our existences continue.”
“Wait, look we didn’t mean to kill your… people. We didn’t know you were here. I am sorry. I am sorry on behalf of the soldiers. I had no control over them. I am just a scientist, a really good one though. I am a really good scientist,” Dr. Stephen said snapping back into his reality and the purpose for his mission. “It’s airborne now. The disease or whatever it is, we honestly don’t know. From what we’ve been able to fine there is no cure. Some people or Eres are immune but we don’t know why or how. There is no logic to whatever this is just a lot of random death. Food supply is low. There is no government, police or money. We are going insane! It’s only a matter of time before everything rots and dies completely. We have to leave Earth, but we don’t know where to go. Please help us. We will right all our wrongs. I know it’s a big wish but it’s not just for me. Please.” Dr. Stephan removed his glasses and wiped his tears.
“Have you spoken your piece Saint Stephen?” the Head Star said with no emotion or concern towards Dr. Stephens’s tears or pleas.
“Yes, I am truly sorry for the lives you lost but the ones responsible have already paid the price for their mistake with their own lives. Please don’t make all of us pay with ours.”
“Whatever fate comes upon your people Saint Stephen, it will not be due to anything we made. It will be consequences for the actions your people made.”
Dr. Stephen looked into the Head Star’s eyes like he was waiting for his fate to be revealed. He was the stereotypical genius that was bullied and out casted through his childhood to young adult years, but every nerd has their day he thought, maybe saving mankind could be could be mine. Dr. Stephen took one more look at the Giants that he once imaged with wings and wands. He looked at the Head Star and offered one last plea assuming his fate and all Earth Residents fates was in his hands; “I ask for mercy if you have any left for us.”
“There is always room for mercy.”
The guards escorted Dr. Stephen back outside the observatory. The Head Star looked around at the Universal Council. They stood in silence, before they were sure of their decisions, now even Star Leader Bellum, stood in deep mediation.
“Centuries have shown that Ereses thrive off of destruction. But we know change is constant. We would be risking our existence in helping them, but helping is the reason we exist. Millenniums ago an Earth resident Star Leader was member of this council. We can waste fragments of our existence going through the old or we can move on in start the new. What should be and what can be, not what was or is. I am not trying to persuade you. Your decision is yours; make sure it is one you can live with for eternity without guilt or shame. It is your duty to not only act on behalf of yourself, but the Universe. Star Leader Bellum, you will vote first.”
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