“Piece of SHIT! Turn on, damn it! —Testing. Testing.—OK, there we go. Red lights across. About time! I can’t believe this actually worked. No! No! Don’t you do it! You stay right there! Don’t make me hit—I swear to —There, that’s better. Holding the red. Nine minutes and twelve seconds. Moving on. How do I start this? Ages ago? In the beginning? No, no, too cliché. Once upon a time? What other way is there? Damn, why did it have to come to this? It should never be this difficult.
I suppose the beginning it is, but only for a moment. I really don’t see much of a choice at this point and I don’t have much time. When all else fails, right? Let’s get this over with.
Since time is slipping through my fingers and I don’t see any way out of this mess and never believed in miracles, I should probably just get on with it and get right to it. I’m not sure who’ll hear this, but I’d appreciate anyone at this point. Even the Blugenns could make their ugly appearance and I wouldn’t give a shit. I’m hoping this rigged relay will at least reach the Omega Gate, and local harvesters will pick up on my signal, but even at their top speed I’m guessing it would already be too late. Time moves funny out here. So I’ll make this proverbial message in a bottle as quick as I can and tell you what I know so far, to anyone who may be able to hear it. Damn, based on the clock, I’m estimating less than three hours before I’m nothing more than a bubbling flesh puddle, sizzling on the floor. I hope this works. I don’t want to go out like that.
The following is my official last will and testament, and full confession. I confess to my actions today in this manner to hopefully bring peace to the mates and children of the fallen. If this message is found, please share this with all remaining members of my family. They may be hard to find, some I haven’t spoken to since I was a child, and some won’t even care, but regardless they need to hear it. In fact, the whole universe needs to hear it. We’re in some deep shit—Right. Let’s do this.
I’ll start this off by saying; all great empires eventually come to an end. At least all the ones I’ve heard about have ended.
Earth was no different than any other self proclaimed empire throughout the cosmos. Earth was just a tiny speck of rock among many other puny specks of rock.
Five thousand years ago, the mighty Earth ceased to harbor life, as you probably already know. Or maybe you didn’t. Surprise!
The human’s planet continued to spin on its axis while orbiting the sun, and its tiny moon still rotated around the lifeless rock, but all living things on Earth’s surface were extinguished in the blink of an eye.
The destruction was thought to be the result of a cataclysm which wiped out all sentience in the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. Nothing survived in the galactic local group. Microbes, bacteria, and the building blocks of life were annihilated. Trees and flowers turned to ash. Thermal vents at the deepest points of the oceans stopped venting.
Some of our varied historians say an omnipotent malevolent force was responsible. Others tell stories of a cosmic explosion. A black hole was trapped inside, or might have collided with, another black hole, and the overlapping gravity wells pulled in a supernova, or a pulsar, or some such shit. I’m not a scientist nor will I claim to be. I don’t know how it happened. Who really knows what happened? All we have now are the stories, whether true or not, passed down from generation to generation. Fables of ancient worlds.
To be honest, no one really cares about history anymore, unfortunately, including me. There’s too much to do to even give the theories a passing thought. In the Exterior, my home at the outskirts of the Vega Grid, life moves too fast.
Once hearing word of the galaxy’s destruction and the Milky Way and other sectors now devoid of life, independent missions were established by volunteers, contracted through the Elite class, to retrieve anything in the cosmos that may prove to be of value. Remnants of cultures and fragments of history were salvaged from these long dead worlds and brought back to the Exterior for study and trade. When the travelers found something worth recovering, the galactic scavengers then sought out legitimate buyers across the region.
Everything has a price. And that’s where I come in.
Over the millennia these scavengers adopted the name, Truckers. An old Earth title. Transporters of goods. The front line for supplies. To those in the Exterior who’re hearing this, you owe your lives and livelihoods to the Truckers. If not for them, we would be merely a fraction of what we are today. We all need to stop taking everything for granted.
Sometimes the Truckers would be months and for some, years, before returning to the Exterior. Their extended missions would drain their ship’s drive engines, and they’d be forced to wait until enough energy was replenished in their reserve tanks, so they could have enough to jump back home. They’d return tired, missing their families, children and pets, but if they were lucky and diligent in their labor they’d have enough material stored in the cargo bays ready for distribution to keep them from having to venture out again for many months.
They’d find soil deep in the ground where it was still fertile, free from toxins, and usable for growing plants and crops. Plants you eat today. Perhaps eating right now. Are you enjoying that sweet corn? Thank a Trucker. Do those copper tokens pay your worker wages? Thank a Trucker.
They’d bring back gems, water and ice blocks, rusted chunks of steel, gold, coal, seedlings from the underground vaults, and the gases harvested from a planet named, Jupiter: Hydrogen, methane, helium, ammonia, and for a small elite group occupying the interior of the Exterior, sulfur was brought back for a reason we still speculate on.
Who am I to ask questions? Best to mind my own business.
That’s what I do best. I mind my business.
Jeremy Morang Bio: Father of two. Enjoys the simple life. Dreams to one day be published. Lives in a small town in Central Maine. Works with adults with physical and cognitive disabilities in a quality assurance capacity. Been writing seriously since 2011. Love my family, my new dog and relishing every moment with my wife. Enjoys eating dessert first. Works on a personal blog mixing fantasy and autobiographical stories named, Tales of the Chronicles.