Author : Elbie Kruger

I was born on the Calcarus colony settlement, a city floating 50,000 miles from planet Earth with a breathtaking view of the solar system. Having been born in space there were perks, however there were also drawbacks. You became used to cramped spaces and the lack of privacy, having known no other kind of life, but I, unlike many of the colony’s inhabitants, could not get used to people’s desire to someday live on Earth.

I must admit it was a surprise when Calcarus Regional Administration decided I should be one of only five space colonist to qualify for a month long surface trip. I was sanctioned to attend a major medical seminar on behalf of the colony.

As a high ranking Medical Officer on Calcarus I suppose I was a logical choice. The extra credits would lift my medical rank to level 7 and also meant I would qualify for my own room.

On the day of our departure I met my fellow travelers who were all extremely excited to say the least.

They kept on blabbering about how fantastic the trip was going to be. The one girl, I think her name was Menusa, went on and on about seeing real live animals. Personally I have never seen a real live animal and the only animals I have ever seen were from documentaries about Earth. On the colonies animals were strictly forbidden. This was mainly due to the fear of animal diseases, however I can honestly say after her non-stop whining about animals that I would happily die without ever wanting to see one.

We entered the atmosphere on the dark side of the planet, which meant there was not really much to see. At least the entry was quite a rush.

Upon our arrival at the spaceport we were quickly off loaded and huddled straight to our residence via hover tubes.

The rooms did not differ significantly from our rooms on Calcarus, obviously this was excluding the fact that they were about double the size. The bed was so huge that I actually had trouble getting comfortable.

I finally gave up trying to sleep around 5 am and being ever so slightly agitated and more than a little bored I decide to explore my surroundings. At the main entrance hall of our residence there was an exit to the outside gardens. We had no gardens on Calcarus, hydroponic food plantations sure, but the luxury of gardening for fun was never an option. I decided to take a stroll through the gardens, after all I was on Earth might as well enjoy it.

As I walked outside the sun started to rise over the horizon. Hues of red, yellow and purple streamed into the sky, a magnificent symphony of light and color. I had never witnessed something so spectacular or nearly as beautiful. When the sun finally emerged I felt my heart explode with emotion. Tears filled my eyes as the warm rays of the sun enveloped my face.

I don’t know exactly how to describe it, it felt like a complete sensory overload as my mind tried to process the absolute bombardment of beauty.

All around me I could see rolling hillsides covered by the most exotic blue sky. The smell of grass and fresh air filled my nostrils as I took the deepest breath I could. It felt like the first breath of my life.

As my mind regained control of my senses, I came to a complete realization.

I could never go back to the colonies.

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