Today’s flash fiction was inspired by the recent announcement of the European Southern Observatory‘s discovery of a roughly Earth-sized planet orbiting our nearest neighboring star, Proxima Centauri. Planet Proxima b is larger than Earth, but could have liquid water on its surface. Proxima Centauri is around four light years from us. It’s a small red dwarf with a radius of around 60,000 miles (97,000 km), which is around 14% the size of our sun. It is estimated to have a mass of around 12% of that of the sun, and is 1.4 times the diameter of Jupiter.
Science Officer’s Log
- Week: 15
- Month: 4
- Day: 15
- Year: 47 (Post Earth Era)
- Logged by: Jamal Baines, Acting Science Officer
Last week our ship arrived at a three-star system, and stopped at the edge. I’m not sure why we’ve stopped because, before they disappeared, no one thought to warn me it was going to happen. It’s been two weeks since the adults who used to run things disappeared. Not sure what happened, but I don’t think they planned to leave.
I’m fourteen now, so I should be an adult about things, but I miss my mom.
The internal system is functioning as it should. Maybe we were supposed to stop here. The telescopes are observing the dwarf star of the trio, and I’m logging the information as it comes in. I just don’t know how to interpret it yet.
From outside, our ship seems like an immense moon or a small planet, but it’s an asteroid ship. We’re self-supporting so things are pretty complicated. When I first joined the science pod, Dr. Abrams told me that because we live underground, we’re safe from radiation and most stray comets.
I don’t know if anyone will ever go outside again, because I don’t know if anyone apprenticed in the maintenance pod was trained to pilot the O.A. Shuttles.
We finally got all the kids together for a meeting, and we have an idea of how to go forward. I’m not sure what I’m supposed to write here because we didn’t do anything other than deciding who was going to do what. The younger kids are afraid, and everyone agreed we needed the older kids to take charge.
Shelena’s oldest, seventeen, and she is captain. Darius is fifteen, and he’s first officer. They were apprenticed in the bridge pod, so she is most familiar with how Captain Gonzales ran things, and Darius is good at keeping things organized. Shelena knows where all the information is, so at least we’ll have that, and we can continue our education. I got to be science because that’s where I was apprenticing. Sanjay is 17, and is in charge of sickbay, for the same reason. The androids are functioning perfectly, handling the work humans don’t usually have to do, like running the mess hall and the sewage treatment plants.
There are only fifty-six of us old enough to have been apprenticed into the ship’s management systems for any length of time. The others are working in the areas where they were, still trying to learn from those of us more advanced. The pre-teen kids not old enough to have been apprenticed are minding the babies and little ones.
Darius thinks the adults got sucked into a dimensional rift. I guess that’s possible, but I can’t see how. But regardless, we have to support the farms, because they’re what keeps this ship’s environmental systems running. So, just like before the adults disappeared, we’re all taking our turns working in the agrarian pod. Things are pretty easy to work, if you know the controls. So far, we’re all getting along, no quarrels to speak of.
That’s all I can think of for right now. I’ll write more tomorrow because Doctor Abrams always kept a daily log, so I should too.
Science Officer’s Log © Connie J. Jasperson 2016