Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
My skin is a grid of white tiles.
I’m on the moon, I’m naked, and I’m outside. I’ve been here for hours waiting for my target.
I turn my cue-ball eyes up to the sky. I don’t need to breathe but the batteries that power the whirring oxygenator that replaced my heart are running low. And I’m bored.
I look back down through the thick diamond-glass and resume scanning. The stars in the black sky behind my back don’t glitter. There’s no atmosphere where I am.
I’m perched way up at the apex of a recdome in a complete vacuum. I’m a snowflake on a windshield. I’ve become one with the temperature
They’ve done their best to recreate Central Park down in this recdome and for the most part they did a pretty good job.
Or so I’m told. I was a child when the aliens cleared us out and I had never been to New York.
At night here when the Earth is full, you can still look up and see the new shapes of the continents through the now-colorful clouds.
Can you imagine the terror and the chaos of The Lottery? A completely viable second earth had been set up, they said. An earth where we could frolic in controlled safety. Our race would not die out. We exhaled in relief. We’d seen what the aliens could do. Their technology far outstripped ours.
The catch was that this second earth they were talking about was The Moon. A series of tunnels and domes had been set up there.
The moon is not as big as Earth.
There was a lottery but the rules were dictated by the aliens. We had no say. In one way, that was good because it meant that not just the president and his staff would get to go but it was horrifying in other ways because the aliens didn’t have kids or wives. Those kinds of connections weren’t taken into account.
1/16th of the Earth’s population was teleported to the Moon. The rest were left on Earth and used to help with the experiment. No contact with Earth is possible. We don’t know what they’re doing down there.
I was part of a batch of humans that were changed to be able to exist outside. We are the police force here. They call us the wintermen. The meaning has become lost since there are no seasons here anymore but the name is apt. We’re white, we’re cold, and we kill things.
I stare down into the park and keep scanning.
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows