Dal and Chandra, Last Life on Earth chapter one
This is the first part of a science fiction novel.Your comments and suggestions for improvement would be much appreciated.
Last Life on Earth
Dal and Chandra,Last Life on Earth
Dal and Chandra Last Life on Earth
In a dying world Dal Smit is growing up hungry. Dal uses vid classes to study survival strategies. She is a full citizen of the Uni Republic which was pieced together by Planet Earth’s warlords and scientists from the dying remains of their Planet. Uni society is power and logic based. The Uni World Democratic Constitution gives everyone equal rights to attempt survival. But of course the people at the top eat more. Uni has a fragile truce with its former enemy Exar Planet. Dal is a loyal Uni child but she loves the Heroes and Heroines in the Exar battle epics who sing about the brave fight to protect a small planet called Green Edan. Dal’s vid teachers say, “Dal what side are you on?’
Chandra is an Exar girl growing up in a distant galaxy on living Planet Exarna. Chandra is a loyal subject studying under the rigid hierarchy of wealthy Exar nobles. The rich Exars escaped during Planet Earth’s collapse. They flew gigantic space ships to Exarna and conquered the planet. Chandra eats well on her Exar lord’s green rural estate but her family lives in a hovel. They lack the rights to property, education, and health that accrue to the nobles. Chandra doesn't really care that she can’t go to real school, but she is a natural athlete and she knows she could run faster and jump higher if she could only afford some of the expensive body implants the Exar scientists have perfected for the nobility.
In her starship prizon cell Dal had plenty of time to look back on her life.Deep in the secure cell of the Uni fighter Dal Smit,former Uni Cadet-Medic, fought claustrophobia. At least the interrogation and chem brain scans had been relatively painless, or maybe the examiners had just wiped her memories of torture. What a quick change in status. One minute she was hero cadet, the only Uni survivor of the discinto blast, now she was scum of the stars, traitor, on her way back to Uni Earth for further interrogation and sentencing. She thought she could handle the claustrophobia of tiny cells, but what if they threatened to kill or torture her mother,or her grandmother? Unis were her own people. They wouldn't do that would they?
Chapter one DAL MEETS RAN
Dal is co-pilot on a tiny fighter starship in deep space.Her ship flies at maximum thrust attempting to hide from the attacking Exar ships. Dal struggles to keep her focus as her hands fly over the ships controls. Her fighter dips and dodges into a meteor storm. Dal is losing power to the shield defenses. Her pilot Ran is increasing power to his thrusters.
“Give me more power for our shields.” She says.
“I need it.” replies Ran.
“We may be hit. We’ll lose our air.” Dal says.
“Don’t be a wuss. I’m dodging these rocks. Give me all your energy.” Ran says.
“No we need shields. We’ll be smashed.”
“I’m the captain Dal.” Ran glares at her with his beautiful emerald green eyes. His blond hair fans like a halo around his head. Suddenly he disappears.
Ran, Ran where are you?” cries Dal.
She frantically switches all the controls to herself. The asteroids shoot towards her. There’s no sign of Ran. Could he be captured by the Exars? Now she knows why he needed more speed to dodge the meteors. She dips and makes two fast turns. How long can she hold out. Here head seems to be exploding with conflicting messages. There is a crash, everything goes black, and her ship disappears. Has she been hit? Is she in space? Her heart is pounding, she gasps for air. She hears a voice.
“Dal this is the last time I’m going to call you.”
The flyer and space have all disappeared.Dal is still pedaling on her power generating cycle safe in her sleep/study cubical. Her mom has abruptly switched off her total vid array and started unhooking her head set. Mom looks angry.
“Ran’s gone off line for supper and Grandma Fay is arriving right now. It’s time for our family dinner party. I’m going to remove your vid privileges if you don’t listen to me.” Says Dal’s mom.
“Oh thank goodness Ran is OK.” Dal stumbles to keep up with her mom as they rush out of their tiny suite and down the corridor chutes to their condo complex entrance.
“He listened to his parent. Why didn’t you respond?”
“Mom, mom, I was flying the fighter. I didn’t hear you.”
“I’ve been calling you repeatedly.”
“The Exars were closing in, we had to escape.”
“Dal how many times do I have to tell you? Don’t use xenophobic war scenarios in your vid games. The Exars are no longer our enemies.”
“Its just part of the program mom. My whole class and Ran love it and if I don’t use it he won’t play with me.”
They rush down the staircases and arrive at the condo airlockjust as Grandma Fay’s flyer lands. The flyer makes contact with their condo airlock and they peer through the lobby porthole seing Grandma Fay. Fay strides through the airlock, strips off her breathing/radiation protection outerwear and drops it in the decontamination chute.Dal's mom could only afford accomodation at the edge of the city bubble, and some contaminents seep under the edges. So you can't be too careful. There is a swish of air as Fay leaves the airlock and enters the lobby. Fay sweeps up Dal to her massive bosom,she smells sweet like fakeflowers.
“Darling, you’ve grown so much,” She says and drops Dal to scoop up mom Sal. Grandma Fay has a special beauty. To day she has golden hair and flashing purple eyes which contrast nicely with her smooth black skin. Her voice is legendary but in real life she looks and sounds and smells even better than on her world famous vids. She towers over her pale quiet daughter Sal who blinks as she looks up at her mother.
“It’s wonderful to see you Sal,” Faye says to her daughter and gesturing to her parcels adds “Dal darling aren’t you hungry.”
“I’m always hungry.” says Dal her mouth waters as she smells the real food in Grandma Fay’s back pack.
Dal’s short fairer skinned mother Sal seems to fade away when she is next to towering beautiful Grandma Fay. Since Fay has lots of parcels and also lots of credits Fay shows her credit impant to the lift scanner and the three of them ride the lift all the way up to their 42nd floor cubical. They greet daddy Jon who is pacing impatiently in the small space between entry door and the new expandable table in the tiny family cubical/apartment. Dal is excited because she is about to experience her first face to face family dinner with a real table and even real natural food provided by Grandma Fay. This is a special celebration dinner for mom’s PhD graduation and her marriage to daddy Jon. As Dal approaches the table she remembers she was supposed to program a congratulations song for her mom, she was so busy in the war vid she forgot.
Everyone is a bit tense as they find their spaces at the new table.This is the first chance for Grandma Fay to meet Dal’s new dad Jon, face to face. Tall dark haired and narrow faced, Jon used to be mom’s PhD supervisor. Now suddenly he’s her stern husband and Dal’s dad. He glares at Dal “You are always late.” Dal looks down. She doesn’t reply. Grandma Fay grabs her hand under the table.
“Dal darling it’s so wonderful to be here with you," says Gradma Fay. " You are so thin Dal. Soon you ‘ll be ready for your first beauty surgery treatments. We'll fill you out a bit.”
“You know we can’t afford that beauty nonsense,” says Jon.
“The food is delicious,” says Fay ignoring Jon’s rudeness, “After dinner let’s all sing.”
“Yes, yes. Grandma, please can we have a special song for mom’s graduation? Could you sing “Lord of the Mountains?” asks Dal.
Grandma Fay smiles brightly.” What a delightful idea, you’ll have to help me darling.”
Dal digs into her delicious fake chicken cutlet; real blue-green algae veggies and pink realsugar treat dessert. As she eats she keeps glancing at Grandma Fay. Dal's skin is a little darker than Mommy Sal. More like Gramma. And Dal also has curly hair, but it's brown not golden like Grammas.She eats enthusiastically and too soon most of the food is gone. Dal slips some of her realsugar treat into her overal pocket for Ran.
While the robot cleans up, Grandma Fay arranges the family for singing. Fay tosses back her golden locks stands in the center and assumes her famous Diva pose with her right hand raised. She motions Sal to stand on her right with Jon next to Sal. She places Dal close to her lowered left hand.
“Now I’ll start the first verse, Sal will sing back up and Jon and Dal-you sing the chorus. “
Grandma Fay pulls her mobile vid from her breast pocket and says “On.”. Instantly the room’s lights dim to a cool blue,clouds whirl aoud them and they all stand breathless on the holy mountain top. The gusts of the epic music join with the wind that blows their hair in swirls. Dal feels shivers up her spine as Grandma intones the first somber stanzas. She’s only heard Grandma sing on the Famous Diva Fay vids before, never like this in real life. Mommy Sal starts the wavering back up melody, the music picks up speed and suddenly its time for Dal and Jon to join the chorus. Mommy taps out the complicated rhythm on Jon’s arm and Grandma helps Dal. Dal manages to pick up the rhythm and to sing along but Jon is hopeless. He doesn’t even attempt to hum along with the chorus. When he can’t follow the beat he just frowns, pulls away from Sal and sits down. The women continue the epic without him. As they finish and the lights come up he claps loudly. Sal is beaming with tears in her eyes.
Jon's grey eyes are cold but he shouts: “Bravo! Bravo! Just like the world famous vids of Diva Fay. And you don’t look a day older.”
“Thank you thank you Professor Jon. I maintain myself so well with my beauty treatments.” says Fay.” But Professor Jon, why did you give up the song so quickly?”
“Mom lets not discuss it.” says Sal.
The next day Daddy Jon says “Hurry up Dal.” He is driving with her to"face–to-face school". At VidSchool all the kids are supposed to meet face to face once a month. They can usually only afford to do this twice a year. Dal doesn't want to ride anywhere with Jon. In the tiny sealed transport car she gets shoved close to his big hot body. And she cant see anything since the car seals so tight to the condo and then to the school so they don't need to put on survival suits and they don't ever get outside.
Despite the tight car trip with Daddy Jon,Dal is happy to go to face to face school,since she will meet Ran face to face for the first time. She can't wait to see him and really hug him. And she wants to tell him all about her dinner with Grandma Fay, the food and the singing. She has snuck a tiny bit of the real sugarsweet in her pocket for him. And she will agree with him that they need more power to the thrusters for their space war vid. She rushes into the real classroom. But Ran is not there.
Go to Chapter 2
Do you want to know what happens next???
Dal and Chandra Chapter 2 Dal leaves Earth.
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