Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Birth (infancy) (08/20/09)
TITLE: Forever and Everywhere
By Allison Egley
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"You know, Perdana, you are the start of something new for our world. The very first native of Antu. I hope you like it here. It's a long way back to Earth. But then, you won't know anything else, will you?"
Sarah had considered going back to Earth earlier, but then she got pregnant, and the three year journey was out of the question. And now? She really had no choice.
Those who had colonized the planet were depending on Perdana. Her birth was instantly beamed to all citizens through their Opti-Vision glasses. Not exactly the privacy Sarah was hoping for. Somehow she had managed to snag a few moments of peace inside the medical pod. The doctors finally shut off the Insta-Feed devices and quietly slipped out of the room.
"Oh, Perdana, I wish I knew what was in store for you. Will you get to live a normal childhood? What <i>is</i> a normal childhood here? I guess you'll get to decide."
Sarah chuckled to herself. No, actually her daughter would not define normal for this planet. Neither would the first boy, scheduled to be born in just a few weeks. Their lives would be constantly watched, and the citizens would demand they be the new rulers, when they came of age. It would be the children born after these two who would help define the new normal.
Maybe she should have gone back to Earth. They'd still be more than two years from landing, but at least once they got back, they'd be normal. Was growing up in a space shuttle better than being the first native on a new planet? It was a question no one could answer. After all, no one could be two places at once. That technology had not been discovered yet, and frankly she hoped it never would be. Better to have to make those life choices, even if she questioned them for the rest of her life.... wasn't it?
One would think with new planets being colonized there would also be an instant transport system; but no, the rocket system, first developed thousands of years ago, was still in use. Oh there had been improvements, of course, in design and speed, but space travel was still slow, relatively speaking.
Sarah heard a knock on the door, and a nurse gave a tentative wave. She gave a weak smile and motioned her into the pod.
"How are you doing?" the nurse asked.
"About as well as could be expected, I suppose, given the circumstances. Did I make the right decision?"
In the hours before the birth, Sarah had shared her thoughts with the nurse, and she didn't even catch her name. Or, if she had, the pain medications had wiped it from her memory.
"That's something only <i>you</i> can answer."
"But what if I can't? I still don't know, and now it's too late. And I'll never know what life would be like if I'd made the decision to go back."
"Trust in the Creator. He made this planet, just like he made Earth. He put the same thought into Antu, and He cares for us on Antu just as well as He does back on Earth."
"I know, but.... I'm sorry. What's your name? I think those pain meds really knocked me out."
"It's okay. I'm Bethany. I'm named after my grandmother, who died in the first attempt to colonize Antu."
"Wow. So you feel at home here, don't you?"
Bethany laughed. "I wish. My grandmother's dream was also my own, yes, but it didn't make the change any easier. I still wonder about life back on Earth. The Insta-Feeds help, but it's not like being there. Well, we'd better stop chatting. The real reason I came in is because we've got a mob out there. She smiled at Sara and Perdana. Are you ready for your first press conference?"
"As ready as we'll ever be. Just give us a minute, please. Tell them we're on our way.
"Well, Perdana, I hope you're ready to begin a grand adventure. Just remember; the Creator is the same yesterday, today, forever, and everywhere. You won't go wrong with Him."
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