So my friend Kevin and I were talking about how we're "writers" who never write. So in order to fix that we gave one another writing prompts and wrote.
Here was the prompt Kevin gave me:
The environmental movement has failed. The ecosystems of the Earth are tipping into chaos. Hurricanes, droughts and freak ice storms ravage the land. Only a small band of colonists on an experimental space station orbiting the Earth are safe, but their resources are thin. The future looks bleak, but somehow the diverse colonists from the dying Earth must find hope.
And my 30 minute free write (please forgive me the cursing--when earth is dying and people aren't acting as expected I allow for some cursing):
“I can’t go on.”
Teresa looked up from her pillow, “Fuck you Frank. Fuck fuck fuck. I thought you’d be the last person to experience The Sickness.”
“Why? Because I grew up out here? Out here alone on a space station? Is that why I shouldn’t care that The Earth is dying?”
Teresa sighed and pulled herself out of the small Wall-Cot the two had shared that night. She wrapped her arms around Frank’s chest. He was wearing a white wife-beater—it had been washed often enough that it was a few shades darker than the interior of his Living Pod-- and boxers with little green space men with cowboy hats on them.
“I really can’t. Mom told me stories of The Earth, everything we learned from our virtual classes was based around the assumption that my generation would eventually leave Nimbus. Time is based off of Pacific Standard.” he was crying, his words came out elongated by the intake of his breath, “It’s like heaven to me. Its like heaven is eating itself because the angels rebelled.”
Teresa hugged him tighter. She ran her fingers through his short spiky black hair. “Frank. Frank, earth is… well its dying. Its as good as dead. And what you cry for as an angelic reality the rest of us see as… as home. My sister was in Tampa when Hurricane Thomas leveled Florida. My mom and dad might or might not be alive after the freak scorching of the great plains… I should be the one with The Sickness. I should be the suicidal one—trying to throw myself out a space lock to get home… to die with the rest of our kind.”
Frank pulled away from Teresa’s ever tightening embrace, “You’re the captain Teresa, you can’t break down. I just serve slop three times a day. My Earth, the one escape from Nimbus, is gone. The best I can ever hope for is serving re-processed food to your crew.”
“I don’t have time for this,” Teresa turned away from Frank, so he wouldn’t see her tears. She picked up her zuite-suit style uniform off the glowing white floor, stepped into the silver leg holes, pulled, and the uniform zipped itself up into one whole cloth uniform.
“Pod nine, open,” she said. It complied, every commandable part of Nimbus was auto-locked to Teresa’s voice.
She walked passed the doors to the twelve other pods in the Male quarters. Three, Four, and Seven were empty, their occupants had succumbed to The Sickness. Randal and Nate had both thrown themselves out of space locks. Tanisha had managed to snag Randal with one of Nimbus’ collection arms. He was stored in a freezer. Nate was floated away—slowly toward the blue orb that he called home—even as it’s ecosystem destroyed itself. She didn’t even want to think of how the ship’s botanist, Alphred Whitecliff had killed himself.
She returned to the Female quarters. Only one of the pods was empty. Alice had been Nate’s lover.
“Captain’s pod, open,” The pod to Teresa’s left swooshed open and the floor and walls began to glow.
She entered, pulled out her Wall-Desk and Wall-Chair and sat down. “Close door.”
“Two messages Captain.”
“Message one. Captain Dartanian, this is Commodores Perry and Wilson. We have some… rather bad news. After the destruction of the Southern United States and Northern Mexico by Hurricanes, Althea, Thomas, and Winston congress was dissolved by President Barnheart. The European Union and the Russian Confederacy have contacted the two of us and are asking us to join them in an attempt to stop this grab for power. We are about to declare the United States Space Fleet as an enemy of Barnheart’s tyranny.