Nobody expected the end to come so suddenly. The lottery was treated as a joke. Every family was given a number and a classification. My wife and I were put in a pool of people sixty to seventy years old. Officially we were “Blue 0602.”
All this started, I guess, with global warming, or maybe it was the latest skirmish and germ warfare; then again I think it mostly had to do with XQumen disease – which had taken nearly half of the world’s population. We didn't have to leave, but the disease, so we were told, would take the other half of the human race. Whatever the reasons, every willing family in the whole world was classified. The idea was to fill a new colony which would be established in a series of subsurface cities built on the planet Mars.
With military precision we were taken to departure points. We were somewhat dehumanized, stripped down, medically examined – I suppose it was to make sure we were not carrying the XQumen disease – and then we were given sterile jump suits. In a nutshell, that’s the story of how we got here, in this Mars bound Yacht.
Okay, good so far? So, this thing is automatic, sort of. Allow me to explain. We were told that the ship would travel on a tractor beam to our destination. I was never good at physics, which is probably why when they originally explained this, my first reaction was, “yeah, right.”
Sure enough, the ship rolled when it was supposed to roll, and we watched the earth explode – high powered explosive charges set by the world’s nations; the only solution for the XQumen disease. However, it, the ship, didn’t roll back. According to the on-board administrator, it was a physics problem. I could have told him that.
The second half of the problem, it seems, was that our ship was been picked up by another tractor beam – from somewhere in space. The on-board administrator has no answer for this one – probably has something to do with physics.
So, we are being pulled into another star system; I saw the guidance panel go berserk when we topped out the speed dial. Another star system is about to greet the arrival of a hundred and seventy folks from a non-existent planet, which used to be in another part of the galaxy. We are not scientists; we are families, cooped up in a big boat in space - a general cross-section of the population as it existed at one time on the planet earth. I hope the new planet is ready.
I put my pen down and looked back into the cabin.
My wife approached. “You look tired. Have you written all night?”
“What’s night? I’ve been up for a couple of hours, just journaling.”
“Can I get you anything?”
“Tea would be nice.” I rubbed her arm.
“Be right back.” She headed for the galley.
Families were coming out of their sleeping quarters, having breakfast, and generally starting their day. Today is Sunday, we have a twenty-four hour clock. So, some folks are lining up chairs in the bow of the cabin. That means we are having church. Good. We need to worship the Lord; because He has set us on a path. I am glad I am lost, as it were, with a hundred seventy Christians. I think only Christians, headed for possible oblivion, can stand and say, “thank you Jesus.”
Corporate worship on the old planet was changing. Only the truly faithful were attending a church of any kind. I always figured folks would fill the churches when the things got bad, but the panicked reactions were the opposite. Our little congregation thinned considerably. My wife and I were quickly becoming a minority in our church age group.
“Tea is hot. Be careful.” My wife set the cup next to my chair.
I pointed to the back of the ship. “They’re setting up for church.”
“Shall we go to the early or late service?” she teased.
I nodded toward the chairs. “I think there’s only one service today.”
“Good thing, the football game starts at noon.”
We both laughed and leaned back in the chairs. Neither of us spoke for a moment. We missed the old life, our little church, worshiping with our friends.
“So, big guy, what’s your message today?” Her brown eyes twinkled.
“Psalm 31:24. Be of good courage.”
She took my hand. “Can’t wait.”
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