My name is Lauren Ellis and I am an outcast.
Sounds weird? Well, it gets weirder:
I am an outcast in a society composed solely of outcasts.
Yes, that is right.
My EVO 9th profile can explain that better:
"An energetic healthy girl. impressive athlete. Median grades in most of her classes. Unfortunately lacks the will of being productive. Shows no sign of an effort to evolve. Often exhibits bad behavior. Being able to put her, and her friends in delicate situations, several times, due to reckless attitudes.”
I guess “troublemaker” would be a harsh word to appear in a school profile.
Yet, being polite with my personal profile didn’t stop my instructors to send me to my third cleaning shift, this year.
Punishment for being myself. And our school period started only two months ago. If we still had that famous Guinness Book, from the history books of the old Earth, I would feature in their pages. “The girl with the highest number of detentions in the history of the Caravels.”
So, here I am. Staring at this Immense darkness, outside the giant windows of the "Immaculate Saint Mary". One of the three exiled Caravels, drifting in space, propelled by the energy of solar winds.
Right now, layers of transparent plexiglass, covering rounded holes in the hull, are the only things separating me, from the rest of the Universe.
Me and this stupid ionic mop. Whose handle I am using to support my arms.
I was sent to clean the corridors that lead to the EVO Institute.
First, they gave me and other poor kids from detention a lecture of how important is to collect residues and molecules. All for the good of the entire ship`s population. We listened for two hours how molecule recycling prolonged the life of everyone on board of the caravels. That we should see our job with pride rather than a punishment.
What I want to see is what lies behind the ship's windows.
It is so dark out there, that instead of seeing a perfect view of space; what I see is the nitid reflection of this silly girl. In her synthetic school uniform looking back at me, with a vast empty metallic corridor, behind her. A bothered teenage girl, kind of cute, instead of sexy. Pink freckled cheeks, a small button nose, thin lips, and wide green eyes. Always trying to look different. Wearing her dark lipstick and leaving her red hair uncombed. Falling in an irregular and messy cascade of threads to her shoulders.
Damn, how I look boring, in my EVO 9th uniform...
I wonder, if that reflection would look better with a smile in my face; however, I don't have the slightest urge to give it a try, at the moment. I see that lost girl, that looks like me, staring back at me, smirking.
I ignore her.
In an attempt to look past her image, I force my eyes to see the stars outside the window. The blurred images of stars so far away, that our engines will never be able to take us before we all die.
Instead of scrubbing the dirt floor as I am supposed to do.
It is Impressive how the superposition of those two images seems to represent our own life inside the Caravels. When I see that the image from the inside is a lot more visible than the image from outside I feel that they are like our future. The highest probability of future lies in traveling the solar system, in this aimless ship, until we get dead. Compared to a small glimpse of hope of getting out of here someday and have a new life on some undiscovered planet.
The hope of landing the Caravel on some ground that can sustain human life...
Even the images that I see are trapped in this metallic coffin.
Where, I, Lauren Ellis lived my entire existence.
Inside "The Immaculate Saint Mary", the biggest caravel, the flagship of a small fleet consisting of three space vessels. Fated to drift forever in a vast and sparkling invisible path, pushed forward by enormous solar wind sails. A forced voyage, to the depths of the solar system, that began several generations ago.
With luck, beyond the boundaries of the solar system.
We, the descendants of the survivors from three prison ships exiled from Earth. The Immaculate Saint Mary, the jewel of the Scientific Founder's Domme and their sister ships: La Pinta and La Niña.
From where I stand, It is not possible to see any of the other prison ships anymore. We lost visual and radio contact with them when the caravels reached the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. That happened because the Immaculate almost collided with Ceres. Somehow our Columbus crew managed to fire the retro rockets in time. That changed the direction of our ship before we crashed in the enormous asteroid. But, we lost track of the other Caravels, in the process.
I still remember that terrible month, we all thought that was our end.
Some vellers, taken by despair, committed suicide. we suffered an increase in violence. News of riots, gang fights, lawbreakers, and invasions spread from every corners of the ship.
But, when the council appeared in the giant screens of the dome capital, things started to calm down.
No one has any idea what happened with La Pinta and La Niña so far. Our scientists are developing some sort of deep space probes to try to reach them.
And now, we are not only exiled from our home planet, but alone.
Our sister ships: gone.
“These floors won't mop themselves, you know.”
My daydreams got interrupted by a known voice.
I turn my head to find Belle, one of my classmates, struggling to scrub off a weird spot in the metal floor below her feet. Her long black hair tied in ponytail dances in her back when she moves the cleaning machine.
How can she make such a boring EVO 4th suit, look so great?
I envy her like almost everyone that I know does, but It is impossible to not like Belle, and believe me, I tried.
I smile back at her, and pretend to be funny:
“Don’t tell me that “the best Evo 4th student” was also sent to do forced cleaning shift?”
“Of course not Lau.", she gives a wide smile that makes her look even more beautiful," I volunteered myself to this important assignment. And I got very happy when they sent me here to help you. ”.
Of course, how could it be another way, I thought to myself.
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