"What's your role...I said, what's your role son?" He beckons at me, this man, green overalls and a strange BNV sign on his jacket. "I'm not sure of my role, I forgot," I'm lying I have no idea what he's talking about, he looks unimpressed, I look scared. "I suggest you find your role on this mission son and come find me when you have."
He strolls away into the crowd, a crowd of people all wearing different colored uniforms, all overalls. Green, blue, red, a crowd of people who all have a role on this mission, a mission I have no idea about and a mission that requires I find myself a role pretty sharpish.
We're outside Euston Station in London, bemused commuters stare, there's easily a hundred, maybe more. All of us have artifacts, possessions, a lunch box, cds - a chubby man in blue overalls clutches a plant. Things that signify our culture here on earth - as the email advised us to, the email..."Arrive outside Euston Station between 06:00 and 06:45pm - your employee number is Keyjon6 and we at Brave New Ventures suggest you select your career path for the mission."
My career path for the mission, now I remember looking at the list, the guard before had startled me but now it's coming back. I was a stabilizer, how could I forget, I think my role means I'll help fly the ship - at least I hope that's what it means.
"Sir my employee number is Keyon6 and I'm a control stabilizer", now we're rolling, he looks back, smiles and welcomes me to Brave New Ventures; "Join this queue here son." I'm in, simple, now as long as no one realizes I have no idea what a control stabilizer actually does for a living, I should be flying this ship in no time.
We set off marching through Euston, alarming cyclists and scaring pedestrians as we pass to the ship. We reach a huge building and I'm slipped inside a side door, this must be where the ship is kept, I note. "Hello sir will you be dining with us this evening?" "I hope so", I respond, "We have a two year flight ahead of us."
"This is Meredith, she'll show you around the ship and get you acquainted with the lay out, then you'll be taken to eat." I'm led up a white staircase and into the bar, I need a drink so head straight over - I'm with at least seven other BNV employers. An engineer, control operator, pilot and control stabilizers like me, and it seems we all want a drink.
Meredith is strict, stern and straight. Dressed in a tight, white suit with long blond hair, she's deadly serious, keeps staring at me but seems ok while we grab refreshments, after all, she's already told me I'll be going into hyper-sleep for a very long journey, one drink can't harm, can it?
The bar? All staff are dressed in white overalls, their BNV logos proudly displayed. I order two drinks but quickly realise my earth pounds don't work on the ship. They're quickly traded for plastic space currency, swapped for drinks and the team is led inside a long red tunnel, x-ray scanners detect our movement and display it on the wall. 10 minutes from Euston Street Station and I'm on board a ship in what seems like 2055.
Plants decks for producing natural oxygen, interesting specimens: a rotting cauliflower, long rows of white space suits, science labs, relaxation rooms, the artifact room - the objects people clutched earlier now hanging from the roof. Another room with a talking computer, hats for people to interact, lasers, real life pong rooms - now this is a job. Control stabilizer Ryan, reporting for duty.
Meridith remains rigid, a little cold but always hospitable, her cold stare is unearthing and she begins to warn us away from certain crew members, especially one man who continues to ride in circles around the ship on his bike.
Before I have time to ask Meridith where exactly we're going I'm introduced to a new team and whisked inside a dining room. A bright, eye straining room, entirely white, before I notice the neon lights that cool my eyes, we're in the dining room and seated in no time. 'The Future Paradise Dining Experience' awaits.
I'm served by a robot, this is not a negative remark on the service, she is actually a robot. Explaining she feels no emotion and that she is here only to serve my dinner - I guess that's what you'd expect in the future, I try to chat with her but it's difficult so I order my dishes of mixed vegetables and salmon.
Throughout all this, a women seated at a piano is playing away, maybe she's also a robot - who knows, she's certainly scary. The food is quick, simple, tasty and light - just what you'd expect from a meal in space and after this we head off to the loading dock for hyper-sleep before we eventually land two years in the future and are taken downstairs.
I've been fed a lovely meal and as a control stabilizer start to help moving cargo around the ship - I could get used to this - a steady job shifting cargo in space, the Future Paradise Dining Room just upstairs, their airy white and simple surroundings, maybe I'll even grow to like the spooky piano player.
Ready for the long haul I settle into the job only to find I needn't bother - bang, the shutters rock, people shout and run around, one man is down screaming in agony, people rush to help - no one has properly briefed me - I really don't know my role - I run across the ship only to see someone flying towards me in the air - we've only just set off and it already got serious, I've only just finished my first first course.
I run and join a queue of workers that's formed and we are herded downstairs - I'm told to choose my chamber so I go for two - it seems the least busy and for some reason the safest - there's just enough time to grab some deliciously warm, sickly sweet popcorn and we're into the chamber - glasses stuffed on our face and we're seated.
My life on the ship was amazing, my vision is all of a sudden blurry, the glasses changing my view - the Future Paradise Food was wonderful, I wonder what the crash has made of the restaurant - a wreck I assume - the food crushed on impact.
My job, my role, my part in the team now over, ruined by whatever it was that killed the others and made us crash - then I look down and see the screen, the popcorn in my hand, the glasses on my face and realize it's all just a movie....or is it?
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