TITLE: Generation Zero
GENRE: YA Science Fiction
I hear the voices even before the MagLev Transit comes to a complete stop. "Science Deck Sector One," the computer announces as the door slides open.
Two Gen2s in the light-blue Science uniforms step into the MaLT, too engrossed in their conversation to notice me. But I recognize them. They transitioned from Commune two years ago with the twins.
"We're still jettisoning bodies?" the girl, Kendall, says.
"While we're still in orbit, there's no other way to get rid of the corpses," says the boy. I think he’s called Aryan.
I maneuver around them and hop out into the lobby. Just as the MaLT door seals behind me, Aryan says, "Hey, Kyra, see you at Assembly...and congratulations."
"Er, thanks," I mumble to no one in particular as the MaLT whisks them away to Shuttle Bay Four. They're probably headed down to watch the disposal. I wonder which poor crewmember has succumbed to the Defect today.
Standing in the silence of the Science lobby, I tug on the collar of my ceremonial uniform. Last day as a juvenile crewmember. Finally. Everything would be perfect if there weren’t an actual transitioning ritual to endure. All those people watching me.
I practice the relaxation breathing my tutor taught me. It only makes me dizzy. Resting my forehead against the wall, I run my fingers over the raised etchings on the cool surface. I jerk upright. I’ve just used our most sacred memorial as support for my frayed nerves. The Chief would so not approve.