Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2017 Day 5: Abandoned

By Robin de Voh on 2017-10-15

It's been 3 years since they left. Life has become harder since, but we're holding on. The station is mostly empty, but those of us who were left behind have managed to make do so far, scavenging and using the equipment that's still working to our advantage.

It wasn't financially feasible to keep it open, Plutoid Corporation claimed, after the station had had its 10th year without profit. For a 60-year old station, this was considered to be a quick pull-out. They evacuated everyone over a period of weeks and shut down most systems, leaving the rest on in case they ever decided to come back. If they hadn't everything would have frozen over rather quickly.

We weren't supposed to stay behind, but they also didn't know we were here. It was illegal to procreate outside of Earth, since the gravities elsewhere were simply too different. We would never be able to go to either of the main human planets, as we would crumple under both their gravities and atmospheric pressure.

But our parents had done so regardless. Be it through a rebellious streak or by accident, children had been born, and they had been hidden. The Earth did not look kindly upon those who did birth children off-Earth, creating planetary outcasts that could never truly be human, and punished them harshly. It started as making an example of them, but it ended up being the default punishment.

So when the evacuation ships came, most of us had had to stay behind. Some of us were as old as my parents were and some of us were just born before the evacuation.

Even while the station was active, there had been older parts that simply weren't used anymore. It had been easy enough to restore power to some of these parts, and that's where we lived. Our parents would visit, carefully and terrified, and some of the older ones took care of us when no parents managed to visit for a while.

There was a moment where I realized just how odd this situation was, and that thought never really left my mind.

On the one hand, we were here. Just accept us. We're humans, just like them, we have a place amongst humanity. Even if we can't live in the natural environment on Earth, it would be easy to provide us with a place with limited gravity elsewhere -- on another station, a grav chamber, something.

On the other hand, however, I blame our parents for bringing us into this part of the world, under these circumstances, knowing full well that it wasn't just against the law but surely morally objectionable. I would never do it, and I was born here. The consequences are simply too great.

When I look at the ragtag bunch of people still here, I see odd caricatures of what I know humans are supposed to look like. The gravity here is 1/20th of Earth gravity. The people born here are absurdly tall and thin, having never really had any weight of consequence. My own arms are so skinny it makes me uncomfortable.

Our bones wouldn't survive atmospheric re-entry, let alone walking on Earth's surface.

There was no future here. We couldn't grow our own food and we couldn't keep recycling the water, since we're running out of chemicals and filters. We were slowly dying but not everybody seemed to realize that.

Some of us did, however.

I'm not sure whether this recording will reach anyone, as I'm sure nobody's looking for communications from this station anymore. But if it does, let it be known that we, the 70 abandoned children of Haumea station, chose our own way out. We can't leave here. We can't survive here.

At 0900 today, the 15th of October 2427, we will blow up all the airlocks of the station simultaneously.

We chose not to die slowly.