Dream Colony I

The first full space colony was built on earth. Seems simple enough, I thought, a social experiment, mostly, test self-sufficiency, being completely sealed off, using nor needing nothing from the earth’s atmosphere. We were told that the materials used would even be able to survive on other planets, everything built to accommodate zero-g, if needed. It was a city that could be transported as a whole to a new world. I immediately signed my family up, and because of our wide, mixed range of ages and backgrounds, we were actually accepted.

The living quarters were nice, sleek and functional. Everyone had enough space, it never seemed cramped, but it was full. The entire ‘neighborhood’ (it felt more like an apartment complex) was very friendly, and had a great sense of community. We immediately made friends right next door, and all over. The selection process, I felt, was done very well. Every so often an engineer would stop by, and run little checks on things or whatever it was they did, we started to nickname them ‘the supers’, because they really gave off the vibe of superintendants. They all wore the same white jumpsuits, most were quiet and kept to themselves, which was fine by us, and others were kindly enough, with the occasional chit chat or banter in between their mystery tasks. Mostly they went unnoticed.

One night, we had some of our friends over for a small get-together, about 10 people in all. After a few drinks and a lot of laughs, we hear an announcement of the mass communication systems.

“Warning: The station will run out of oxygen in approximately 30 minutes. This is not a test.”
The room went silent with panic.
“Maybe it IS a test,” I said.
“Or a drill?” posed Jen, a hopeful party member.
“Yeah, the engineers should be around shortly to do, uh, something, right?” asked Pen, clearly too drunk to properly rationalize, not that I was much better.
“I saw a super come in here earlier… I don’t think I saw him leave, did anyone see him leave?” offered my sister.

Everyone paused in thought.

“Don’t think so…”
“I didn’t even see a super come in.”
“I just got here.”
Others shrugged or shook their heads negatively. If he was here, he probably didn’t leave.

“Warning: The station will run out of oxygen in approximately 25 minutes. This is not a test.”

“What do we do?”
“Well, aren’t red lights supposed to flash or some warning siren happen?”
“Why didn’t any of us pay attention during the readiness training?”
“There was readiness training?”
“Yeah, like, the first day.”
“Lotta good that does us now, six years later!”
“No matter, I’ll just go next door, and see if they remember anything, or know what’s going on, or remember where their manuals are. Simple”
“I’ll go with you.”
“Yeah, me too.”
“Fine, everyone else: relax, try to look for the colony handbook, maybe there’s something in there about this.”

I entered into the hallway.
“Hey, there’re those red warning lights!”
“Not comforting.”
People ran by in a panic as I went to the door across the wide hall. No supers. I opened the door, and went inside.

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