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Grade
8

 

Memories

 

       The first thing I remembered was meeting my two companions and none of us having any memories at all. We were all a bit shaken and I felt like I was missing some key information. My mind was blank, and I was nauseous. I felt like I just got off a really fast roller coaster. It didn’t make sense that all of us were memory-less and in a very strange place.

    The landscape was rocky and tinted orange, but below the cliff on which we stood, sprawled a wide jungle. The sun shined in the sky above me with a strange red hue. It was about halfway down it’s decent in the afternoon. The area felt very alien to me. I was sure I’d never been here before in my life, but here I was now.

    “So,” I asked the two people who were with me, “What should we do now?”

    “Well, since none of us remember anything, we are at a great risk. This area seems uncharted, and who knows what creatures could lie in that jungle. We should find shelter, food and water,” replied one of my companions.

    He was a man, probably in his late thirties, but it was hard to tell and even harder to find out since even he didn’t know. He had dark brown hair and was stocky. He seemed very intelligent.

    The other person was a woman who looked around thirty. She was short and had blonde hair. She had a confused look on her face, but seemed to understand what the man meant and agreed with him.

    She said, “Yes, we should get to somewhere safe before nightfall.”

    Soon we were climbing down a rough and narrow path leading to the bottom of the cliff. We hoped we could find a cave or crevice along the rock face that would serve as a shelter until we could find or build a better one.

    I stared at the jungle looming below us. It was too green and the trees were far too large. Their leaves were wide and rounded, and seemed very thick. It struck me that I was comparing the forest below me to what I thought a forest was supposed to be like. How could I know what a forest really looked like? Were some of my memories still in my head, hidden somewhere just out of my reach?

    I looked into the sky and at the sun. I was sure the sun shouldn’t be red in the middle of the afternoon, but it was. Again, I felt that this was a memory just out of my spectrum of thought.

    The man in our group (I didn’t know his name, or even my own) yelled that he had found a cave to serve as shelter for the night. I followed him to the entrance and stepped inside. It was dark and damp, but would work for tonight.

    We were all tired from the hike down the cliff, so we sat down to rest. I noticed that the woman seemed very worried. I figured that anyone would be worried having no memories and being stranded in a strange place, but she seemed focused on something else.

    “What’s wrong?” I asked her.

    “Nothing,” She replied, “I just feel like the sun should have set already. It took us several hours to get down the cliff to this cave, and it was already late in the afternoon when we woke up.”

    I hadn’t thought about this when I was looking at the sun. I left the cave and looked into the sky. Sure enough, the sun was in the same position it had been in hours ago.

    “Well that’s not right,” I said, confused, “It should be night right now, but the sun hasn’t moved an inch. Come to think of it, the sun looks very weird right now, doesn’t it? It’s red instead of yellow.”

    So the sun no longer set. That was weird. I wondered what kind of event would have caused such a strange phenomena. Then again, what do I know about how the world works? I don’t even know my own name!

    The world wasn’t working the way it was supposed to. Also, as far as we knew, there were no other humans inhabiting it. Then I realized something. Perhaps this isn’t the same world I seem to know. Maybe it has been altered beyond recognition. Or maybe this isn’t even the planet we think it is! As I wondered these things it bothered me that I would never know the answers unless I could somehow get my memories back.

    Even though the sun wasn’t setting, we decided we should still get some sleep. We traveled back a into the cave for a few minutes and found a soft patch of ground that would be more comfortable to sleep on than the cold stone of the cave.

    “Should we have someone stay up and keep guard while we sleep?” The man questioned.

    “Normally, I would say we should,” responded the woman, “But we have seen nothing hostile yet. In fact, we haven’t seen any animals but ourselves.”

    “I don’t know,” I said uneasily. “Just because we haven’t seen anything, it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Who knows what lies in that jungle.”

    “I think we’ll be alright,” said the man.

    We decided not to have a guard, which still seemed like a bad idea to me. I worried about lurked in the shadows that we weren’t seeing. Soon I fell asleep.

    I awoke to a horrible shriek that jolted me out of my sleep. There was something right outside of the cave! My companions were also awake and had already taken cover behind some rocks in the cave. I jump up and ran behind a rock. As I looked over my rock, I saw very large creature with huge talons and massive fangs. It was over 6 feet long and had purple scales and skin that looked like it was made of stone.

    I guessed that we couldn’t kill it by hitting it with anything, or throwing rocks at it. Pushing it of the cliff would probably be the only way.

    “We have to push it off the cliff!” I yelled as the beast slowly entered the cave, “We are going to have to lure it to the edge!”

    “I’ll go around to the left of it,” said the man, “One of you has to go around its right side while the other stays back and distracts it.”

    “I’ll go around the right,” I said.

    The man and I slowly crept toward the monster. Suddenly, the beast jumped and knocked me over. I slammed into the wall of the cave.

    “Over here!!!” Yelled the man.

    The monster turned and bounded after him out of the cave. I winced as I stood up. My back was in extreme pain. I scanned the area in front of the cave. The man was sprinting toward it, and the creature was right behind him. I knew he wouldn’t make it outside to push the beast over the edge of the cliff. The woman was still coming from back in the cave, and I knew that I had to go help the man. I limped to the edge of the cliff where the beast stood. With my last ounce of strength, I shoved the beast off of the ledge. I could hear it shrieking as it fell and crashed to the ground.

    My companions pulled me back into the cave and took to our resting area. They said that one of them would keep watch at all times. I was exhausted and fell right asleep.

    When I awoke I was in a different place. I realized I was dreaming, but it seemed more real than just a dream. My hands and feet were strapped to a metal chair. I was in a dark room mostly made of gray metal. It was cold, very cold.

    I waited in the room for a long time. My eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness, and I noticed there were no windows and everything seemed airtight. I wondered what kind of facility would have a room like this, and why I appeared to be held hostage in it.

    At last a door slid open, and a man walked in. He walked right up to my chair and stood before me.

    “I assume you have many questions,” he asked me.

    In the dream I answered him, except it felt like I was listening to myself talking.

    “Yeah, just a few I guess,” I sarcastically replied.

    “You think this is funny, hmm? You were captured by my organization, very far from home, and you think this funny!?”

    “First of all, I have no idea who you are, which either means you are a random, crazy person who just decided to capture me one day, or you are someone who is very good at staying hidden and secret. I think the second one is a lot less probable. Second, I happen to be a very powerful person with powerful friends who will probably come to rescue me if you don’t release me.”

    “You really think we didn’t take care of your ‘powerful friends’? There is no one who will come to save you.”

    “So you have captured my allies,” I noted, “Now you have my attention. Explain.”

    “I thought you’d never ask. First of all, my name is William P. Blant. I am the leader of the AHO, the Anti-Humanity-Organization. Here at the AHO we believe that humanity causes more problems than it solves. Humans have eradicated countless species and have used up nearly all of the world’s resources. If we continue at the rate we are currently using resources, humanity will collapse, and we won’t just destroy ourselves, we will destroy the Earth. When we run out of resources, every country on Earth will fight for what little is left. Nuclear weapons will annihilate the planet and destroy all life.”

    “Your point is valid, however I don’t think destroying humanity is the solution to our problems. If we develop better recycling technologies and alternative energies, we could save the Earth. When our population reaches its maximum capacity on Earth, we can colonize other planets. In case you didn’t know, I am a scientist focused in many of the fields I just mentioned. My team and I have already developed alternative energies, and even ways to efficiently travel to solar systems hundreds of light years away in just a few months.”

    “You thought I didn’t know you were a scientist? I know of the powerful technologies you are developing, but I don’t think they will help humanity at all.  The only useful one so far has been your warp drive. That is the reason I captured you, to make sure you didn’t release your inventions to the world, Edgar Jordan.”

    Edgar Jordan! That was my name… I suddenly remembered everything! This wasn’t a dream, it was memory, a memory of something that really happened to me!

    In the memory, I continued to speak, “Don’t you realize that all of the things I’ve invented solve the problems you think destroying humanity will solve? If you really want to fix our problems, then why don’t you help me?”

“I’ll admit, I thought about it, but I truly believe that you will not save humanity. You will just help it to go down with more of a fight. Speaking of it, we have been here for a while now, and I have other matters to attend to. We will be releasing a bio-weapon designed to target all humans in about a week. As for you, well we will be dropping you and your team off at the lovely planet Gliese 581c. Don’t worry, It has habitable conditions, and you and your team will most certainly have a chance of survival. Although it is nothing like Earth and has a constant season and no rotation. Who knows, you might be the last humans in the universe.

“Wait, you can’t do this! What about your organization, your family? Are you going to kill them too?! This is crazy, you’re crazy!!!

“Everyone who works for me has agreed to their fate, and much of the world understands my motives. As for those who don’t, well, they won’t be around much longer to oppose me. You and your friends certainly won’t. I am also aware that you will likely go mad if I leave you on an unknown planet, so I will give you some mercy. I will have your memories erased and you will remember none of this. It will be peaceful, in a twisted way.”

That was the end of the dream. I woke up slowly. I still don’t remember having my memories erased, or much of what my life was like before. I do remember who I was, though. I remember what I did, and I know what I have to do now.

I thought for a long time. The man, who I now remembered as Jake, was on guard duty at the entrance to the cave. I remembered him as a revolutionary scientist in the fields of engineering and robotics. He built more efficient and stronger buildings, and robots that could build these buildings, as well as perform many other useful tasks.

I tried to think of a way to explain to him what had happened. I couldn’t think of how to put it. I decided to come up with a plan before I told Jake and the woman, whose name is Mary.

William Blant had told me that we were far from home on a planet called Gliese 581c. I remember studying this planet. It orbits the red dwarf star Gliese 581, and was thought maybe to be habitable for extremophile forms of Earth life, although other planets in its system were more suitable for life. Apparently it can actually support humans and probably most plants, seeing as how tall the trees in the jungle are.

Another thing I remembered about the planet was that it doesn’t rotate. That would mean that one side is always day, and has extremely high temperatures, while the other side is pitch black and freezing cold all the time. We must be in the middle between these two extremes. Since the planet doesn’t rotate, that also explains why the sun never set.

I began to wonder how we had gotten here. We were so far from Earth. I remembered when Blant was talking about my inventions, he mentioned a warp drive. He said that it had been useful. I guess he must have stolen it and used it to take us here. It was weird that he went through all that trouble just to maroon us on a deserted planet 20 light years from earth. I wondered if he had other things to do along the way.

I started to realize that Blant would be destroying humanity in just a few weeks! Once he returned to Earth, he would launch his bio-weapon. He might even have someone else at the AHO launch it before he makes it all the way back! As far as I know, I’m the only one who knows this. I am the only one who can save humanity. Actually, if Jake and Mary get their memories back too, then they will also be able to save us. Maybe if I told them everything, it would trigger something. First, I wanted a plan.

If Blant was using warp-class starship, then it would have definitely had a shuttle or escape pod to drop us off here. He wouldn’t bring his ship into a planet’s atmosphere. If it was a shuttle that dropped us off, then they would have gone back up to the ship, and we would have no chance of exiting the planet. If it was an escape pod, then there was a very small possibility that we could reprogram it to relay a signal to Earth. Unless of course Gliese 581c had an atmosphere that rendered radio signals useless. It was in a system very different than Earth’s. If the craft couldn’t relay a signal from the surface, then it would have to be launched into the upper atmosphere or even space. The chances of it having enough fuel for that were low.

We also didn’t know where the pod was. It wasn’t at the site where we had landed, which made me wonder if it had been relaunched, or if it was buried. It could even be invisible! If it were invisible, we certainly wouldn’t have seen it when we exited it. Or maybe we were dropped off in a shuttle like I had also proposed.

I decided that we needed to search for this supposed escape pod. It could be the key to saving mankind. I would tell Mary and Jake everything about  who we were, and what Blant had done. I would tell them about my plan and we would head out for the pod soon after.

The fate of humanity rested on our shoulders. If we couldn’t relay a signal, then William Blant and the AHO would succeed. If my plan didn’t work, then humanity was doomed.

I got up and walked over to my two companions at the entrance to the cave. I began to explain to them everything we had forgotten.