Here is my submission for a SHORT story in the November Micro-story Contest for the Science Fiction Readers, Writers, Collectors and Artists group on LinkedIn. I made it into the final round this time. I hope you like it and will check out this great group of enthusiasts.
Adam Jones woke and saw he was heavily bandaged and lying inside a transparent chamber. It sat on a metal platform, and reminded him of a test tube. There was a flashing green light on the glass by his left hand. He reached out and pressed it. Cold air rushed in as the top opened, making him shiver. He climbed out onto the icy cold metal floor. He saw a rack of uniforms not far away. He walked toward it while pulling off the bandages, and seeing no wounds, pulled on a uniform and zipped it. He slipped on a pair of sandals and looked around. The room was 100 feet long and 20 wide. There were dozens more tubes, but their surfaces were coated in thick frost. The only door was to his left, so he headed toward it, not knowing what to expect on the other side. He turned the knob and as it was unlocked, he pushed it open and stepped through.
This room narrowed quickly to a pointed end, where a robot was sitting at a console, pressing buttons and moving levers. Windows lining the room revealed the panorama of open space. “Hello, Major Jones,” the machine said without turning. Its voice was deep and throaty, like Adam’s father.
“What the hell are you and where are you taking me?” he growled.
The robot turned and pushed out a second chair. The robot’s face was designed to look human, but joints were visible, like a ventriloquist’s dummy. “Please join me, Major. My name is Godfrey, and I was constructed to take you to a new home.”
With no other options, Adam came forward and sat down. “I don’t want a new home, Godfrey. I want to go back to my world.”
Godfrey smiled and replied, “You’re kidding, right? Don’t you remember anything?”
“What are you talking about? I was sleeping in my bunk and you kidnapped me.”
“Doctor Watson thought this might happen,” Godfrey noted as he continued pressing buttons. A single bright star was directly ahead of them. “Long term stasis may induce amnesia,” Godfrey said in a different voice. The first voice said, “I estimated that would take 5,000 years to occur and you have been here only 1,200.”
“I’ve been in stasis for a millennium?” Adam gasped.
“Yes. It seems you have forgotten the war. You were a highly decorated soldier, Major. The West was on the verge of victory when the fight went nuclear.”
“Wait, I think I remember some of that now. The capital was obliterated along with dozens of cities around the world. We have to go back, Godfrey. We have to rebuild!”
“Sorry, Major. We can’t do that. The last message I received said the radiation level was rising and would destroy all life within days. Your planet is long dead and won’t be habitable for a million years.” Godfrey pulled two levers and pushed his control stick to the left. A small blue planet appeared as a dot on the screen.
“Is that where we’re going?” Adam asked.
“It is a final gift from President Harven. They eradicated all signs of radiation poisoning in 400 men and 400 women. Their skin rashes, like yours, were bandaged. A man and woman from each of the twenty primary races were put on starships and launched toward 20 promising exoplanets. It was Harven’s hope that at least one ship would succeed and humanity would survive.” The ship slowed and settled into a low orbit over the blue planet. “You, Major Jones, and Evelyn Carter are the Caucasians on this ship. You are the hope of your doomed planet and this planet is your gift.”
The door behind them opened and others began to come forward, many still covered in head-to-toe bandages. “Godfrey, what do we do now?”
“I will take you to the surface shortly. For now, I think you should name your new home. Mr. Harven suggested each group add a letter to the name of the home world so it would never be forgotten. This ship was the fifth to launch.”
Adam sighed heavily, overwhelmed by fear and sadness at the death of his home planet. “Well, since E is the fifth letter, I guess we will call this place Earth.”