His Own Lonely Planet

by on December 26th, 2010
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“Welcome back, Mr. Blue. You may feel some numbness, slight paralysis, dizziness, and faintness, loss of hearing, sight, smell, taste, or touch. Please remain calm, as these symptoms are temporary and will be completely abolished within a maximum time limit of seventy-two hours. Due to your inevitable amnesia, I will continue to explain your situation. With scientific advances far-exceeding your intellectual threshold fueling this situation, I will give you a simple version. You have been in a stasis for approximately one-hundred seventy-five thousand seventy hours, thirty-six minutes, and thirteen seconds when this recording started; though almost two decades here, many more have passed on your previous planet Earth. You have been awoken ten days prior to landing back on Earth; this is to ensure you regain your best health and read up to build up lost knowledge. According to the on-board atomic clock, you will reach ground in two-hundred twenty-nine hours, fifty-eight minutes, and twenty-three seconds. Please remain calm upon your new planet, and try to record unusual changes to Earth’s cosmetic, chemical, or habitual make-up. If civilization still exists, these comparisons could be invaluable. Though I am a low-level bio-computer, I, as does science, thank you for your contribution.”

Blackness flew by out the small, oval window, streaked with long shimmering lines. The interior of the metal bubble was dimly lit by a gas bulb, which barely illuminated the immediate area around it. Twain, Darwin, Rowling, Tolkien, Sagan, Elliot, Faulkner, Morrison, Marx, Poe, Said, Culler, Butler, Sedgwick, Bellow, and hundreds of others lined the bookcases that made up the ball’s walls. A small metal container sat in one corner, so Mr. Blue could relieve himself. Leather bound notebooks, ink pens, and a box of rations were the only other fillers.

The gravity particle inhibitor that wrapped around the bubble pinned Mr. Blue to the microfiber floor as unrelenting sickness made its way through his throat and out into the metallic bucket. Forty-eight hours later, he was well enough to stand, walk, eat, and even do some light reading. Startling shrieks announced every twenty-four hour passing. By the ninth shriek, Mr. Blue had read one of the bookcases, noting any interesting information down.

As the seventy-second page of some wizardry school novel cracked, the shimmering streaks shrunk into glittering, distant dots. The giant ball closest to the bubble filled half the window. Mesmerizing aura surrounded the blue, white, and green behemoth. It took a while for him to identify the beauty, he couldn’t remember what the robot had said; an encyclopedia gave way to the gentle giant’s name.

Earth.

Mr. Blue’s eyes grew larger as the bubble inched closer to the ball, finally kissing the outer edges. A fiery orange glaze coated the vessel as it throttled towards the green below. The woman’s voice yelled out for the tenth time before the bubble popped in a sea of dirt and vegetation.

Mr. Blue woke in a fit of coughing while his head screamed with pain. The gas bulb was crushed, with the contents slowly seeping out. Black filled the bubble, except for a sliver of light that came through the window. Absolute silence was everywhere; the only certain thing on this strange place. He sat against the now empty bookcases, basking in the quiet, staring confused at the strewn about literature and references. A loud crack broke the cold nothing and jolted his focus to the oval window. As his gaze met it, the window shattered and disappeared. Mr. Blue stood and slowly climbed through the portal into his brand new, old planet.

The opening emerged out into a deep forest, where the giant overhead canopy blocked out most of the sunshine. It seemed to stretch infinitely in all directions, though a dirt path said otherwise. Not even a bird chirp could be heard as Mr. Blue shuffled down the path, partially blinded by the overwhelming color. Unused limbs led him through the winding green for hours until brighter colors of plastic yard toys and brick came into view. Many of the open yard houses were splotched around the area.

Mr. Blue flipped through his notes till empty and desolate communities popped up. He quickly looked over the words outlining his situation. Perhaps the woods were the problem, as they could easily shade terrible creatures or even hell-bent cults. That was just the woods though; maybe it was an outer cause, a viral panic or international/interstellar invasion. Mr. Blue’s heart sped up as an unfamiliar feeling swept over him, the feeling of fear.

Seven houses lined the wide-set cobble street; all set a good distance apart with varying land size and architecture. The insides were generically set though, as all had rotted furniture and rusted antiques. Distant futuristic machines lined the entire house, though they looked far more advanced than the bubble’s hardware. Perhaps some sick social experiment where they locked people up in organized, furnished cages and gave them undying laws, just to see what would happen. A haunted ghost town was another theory that crossed his mind as he stumbled past brownish automobiles and vine blanketed walkways.

Mazes of these houses eventually led to the center of the empty forest town. Post office, grocery store, medical center, police station, schools, cafes, and the church; all the essentials nestled in the square mile. The architecture looked decayed, but not as much as Mr. Blue thought should be after all the years. Dusted over windows revealed faces and shadows that quickly faded or shot away; cameras that were turned seemed to always somehow turn their gaze to his path.

Paranoia was absent, only strong confusion and curiosity was here with him. Struggling survivors could be watching him, making sure he is not infected, or worse, a necromancer of dark arts sent to wipe out their weak resistance. These people were sure to be here, the ghastly faces he barely saw, or the tap-tap of footsteps that barely caught his ear. As their savior, he came from the heavens; they must be hiding in hell.

Dust flew through past light trickles as the heavy metal door swung open, all that stood in the tin shack was a broken chair, leaves, and a flat panel of wood blocking a hole in the floor. The shack was located just down the street from the bank. Every building in the area seemed to be locked besides the diner, which Mr. Blue thought could house creatures, wizards, a viral infection, or some sort of foreign invaders, and the shack he was now in. A metal ladder descended sharply into the hole of darkness and after a few minutes of investigating, Mr. Blue started climbing slowly down, and then slipped, dropping a few feet to the hardness beneath. A dim light swayed at the end of the black, which caught his attention as shaky hands felt their way along the wall to the light source. Atrocious smells hit him from every direction; never had such scents hit him like these.

The swaying light edged closer and closer as Mr. Blue finally reached the swinging bulb. It was a generator room, housing just that on all perimeters of the room, though in the center, under the fading beam, was a pile of angels. They must have been angels, since they wore the same gravity inhibitor suit he did, though theirs were more faded, dirty, and more ripped than his was. Some were still human, others were rotted, perhaps undead or infected upon death, even skeletons were scattered in the pile. Mr. Blue just stared curiously, until he realized that they would find him here, with the fellow angels. A background bang lit his fuse, shooting him back down the dark corridor until he slammed face first into the ladder, which fazed only for a second before he shot up the ladder, out the shack, and into the cold night air, dusted with the pine smell.

Long deserted buildings and homes sped by as Mr. Blue ran, and then sprinted as fast as he could to the dark diner. The glass door flew open, hitting the bell and letting out a chime that stopped Mr. Blue as he hopped the counter. It echoed in his head; such a mysterious and new sound. He stood dead still, listening for the fading rings, taking each of them in. A minute later, silence covered the town once again. Mr. Blue looked out, though not seeing anything in the black outdoors.

Tick

The small, insignificant click filled the room, about sixty seconds a minute he thought. For ten minutes, Mr. Blue stood in awe, counting the simple ticks that happened; six hundred in the six hundred seconds. Mr. Blue approached the source, a small circular clock hanging on the wall. Every other clock was stopped on the same time, though this one continued to tick and tock. It all clicked together, the fall, the walk, the pile, the clock. The glass doors blew open again as Mr. Blue ran, fruitlessly, down the street; the taps of footsteps and flashes of faces followed closely behind him.

“Welcome back, Mr. Yellow.”


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