Stuck

Shit. I’m stuck. I’m alone with 1,349 other people, but I am the only one awake. I have no idea if anyone will ever read this or if any of it will ever even matter, but it’s not like I have any other ideas right now and I’m not sure if I’ll make it out alive. Maybe I will find a way to transmit this as a message outside of my own personal hell hole, or someone will find it on my corpse, so let me give you the low down.

My name is Wade Walters and I am an award winning colonist on the Montgomery Inc., Delgado-2785, a titan class colony ship sent from Earth on a bazillion year mission to colonize and terraform a new planet outside of our solar system. Yeah, that’s right, I won the lottery and it gave me options. Option one was that I could stay on the overcrowded blue and brown ball named Earth and move my wife and myself out of the 6’x6’x4′ double occupancy apartment bed and into a proper living quarters that one could stand up in and that might even have more than one room and possibly a window to the outside world. I’d never have to work again, and we would live a life of luxury. Alternately, I could choose option two and buy our way on a colony ship and get the hell off of Earth and be part of something new.

We chose option two with the hopes and dreams of starting life over again. Not just our life but all of human kind. Well, sort of. It’s not like we will be the only ones there. There is more than one ship heading towards our destination. Not all will make it, but each is filled with humans like me, lottery winners and other rich types that could afford the three billion credits to buy a slot and dumb enough to sign their lives away for the chance at some breathing room or whatever else it was that people are hoping to find on their new home. Surely some are just adventurous, but I expect that many are running away from the slums of Earth or something else that made their lives there unbearable.

I sure did hit it big in the daily tax lottery. 7.4 billion credits. Enough for two tickets on the Delgado and then some. I told my wife Kim, and we partied like rock stars for six months on one billion credits after our two tickets were purchased. We were leaving forever and had no intention of leaving a single credit unspent. This was not uncommon for daily tax lottery winners and there was a whole industry that existed mainly to serve these farewell parties. Along with the legitimate industry though came the others. Some were seedy people dealing in any vice you could imagine, and others were simply party groupies that were usually very attractive and fun people that spent their meager earnings on appearances, tickets and bribes to just get into the places and parties where the rich were. During our seven month long bender, Kim and I had a blast. Under sea hotels, mountain view condo towers, real meat of every variety, fancy clothes, and pampering that we could only imagine. People helped us find ways to spend the money that we had in ways that we’d never imagined or even seen on prime time vids.

During this time, we grew both closer and further apart than ever. We held nothing back to the world and let other things out to each other. Four months in, with three straight days of no sleep and dilated pupils, Kim told me that she had been sleeping with our neighbor Dan for the past few years and that if “we” had not won the lottery, she would have left me for him within a few months. “The lottery saved our marriage!”, she exclaimed, but I walked out and ended it that day.

I took all the money, but could not take her ticket. Once it was purchased, it was non transferable and was tied to her DNA and countless bio identifiers.  I left her with nothing and no where to go and really didn’t care what happened to her.

I went into a spiral that continued for the remainder of the time I had on Earth and the money barely lasted. I spent time with an ever changing group of followers and lived out every fantasy I could imagine without inhibition. I lived as if I was dying and had the money to do anything I wanted.

My day finally came though, departure day. Well, departure preparation day. Since I was to be frozen with 1,349 other people for a journey that would take about 500 years, my body had to be prepared. This involved purging my system of tons of things, and not just the toxins I had been introducing for the last several months, but viruses, bacteria, and other things. Hormone levels were set to predetermined levels, nanos were injected to maintain my body and mind for the trip and stint plugs were attached into my veins and onto my limbs. Since I arrived alone, I did not have to see Kim until the last day.

Our pods were right next to each other and she tried to talk to me when we arrived, but I ignored her and when my pod closed, I turned my head from the side that she was on so that I did not have to face her for the next 500 years.

Well, that plan did not quite work out how I had expected, because I can see her now, frozen in her pod with a look like tormented sleep on her face. I have no idea how long it has been, but somehow, I am out. I am awake.  I am unfrozen and no one else is. I now sit naked on a rough floor grating typing this into a tablet that I found. It must have been one of the workers that helped put us into the chambers, because it did not seem to belong and was the only thing sitting out on the terminal that I dare not touch for fear of breaking something or killing everyone.

I awoke, crumpled at the foot of my pod with the lid open. I have no idea how long I was like that. It could have easily been days or minutes, but I removed the tubes from the plugs in my arms and legs, unattached the monitor wires and got out. I felt weak, but more than anything I was starving. The powers that be must have known that this would happen though because I quickly found an enclosure that was open on my pod that contained three food bars: pumpkin, chocolate and peanut butter flavored, and a four liter bag of water. I opened and ate one right away, but I am saving the other two since I have yet to find any other source of food.

I called out for others, but got no response. I tried to open the doors, but they were unresponsive to my waving my hands in front of anything resembling a sensor, pounding on them or any other attempt to get a reaction. There are no handles, levers or anything that I can push or pull. All I found was this tablet that I am typing on now. As I thought about my predicament, I realized that I may die here alone among ghosts of frozen people and felt I had to leave some kind of note, so here it is. For whoever finds this. I woke up early and have no idea why or what to do next.

My name is Wade Walters and I am a winner!

Feeding

His paws pulse as they lightly strum the ground with the blazing pace.  His eyes track the gray fur ball of a rabbit and his brain calculates the intercept course.  A slight course adjustment and he is set.  His open jowls drip with saliva in anticipation of the meal, but the fleeing rabbit takes an unexpected left and the wolfs momentum breaks.  A slight skid on the pine needles below his feet and then a strong break in a new direction send the wolf off towards his prey.  His ears rest flat on his head and he moves left then right around the trunks of the trees, barely noticing them since his eyes never waver from the meal in his sights.  The twitch in the rabbits hind quarters tells him all he needs to know and the rabbits attempt to juke in a new direction is the last decision it makes.

The wolf cuts to the right and snags the rabbit in his teeth.  He stops abruptly and slides on the pine needles then rolls to his side with the meal in his mouth.  He quickly rights himself and takes the life from the rabbit, snapping its neck with violent shaking and crushing its spine with his jaws.  He drops his meal and pants with his ears up while taking in his surroundings.  The smell of pine trees surround him and he hears water in the distance, but no others.  No danger.

His foot steps on the carcass while he pulls at the skin of the rabbit with his teeth, tearing a puncture hole open, dropping blood onto his legs and the pine needles below.  The fresh meat is exposed and the coppery scent of fresh blood floods his senses.  Nothing else matters and he tears into the fresh meat, crunching and swallowing bones and flesh as if there is no distinction between the two.

His belly full, he carries the head and trailing, fur covered skin his his mouth towards a tree and drops it unceremoniously.  He nudges pine needles over the remains, looks at his handiwork then trods off towards the sound of water, leaving his left overs to fester for later.