Lunar Penal Colony – Part 1

This is a first draft idea. I have no real thoughts on where this story could go. Just an idea for a penal science station on the moon. I have a rough beginning, and a couple ideas of what could happen, but no end or plot in mind. This could go well, or, most likely, go completely off the rails. Should be interesting to see it unfold. – Trasee

I looked up at the clock hanging above the door. It’s 10:55am on Friday, April 16, 2117. It’s my twenty-fifth birthday tomorrow, and in five minutes, the rest of my natural life is going to be decided by a jury of twelve of my so-called peers. I know what the verdict is going to be. I’ve known it from the moment I was arrested. I’m going to march in there, the judge is going to tell me to stand and then he’ll ask if the jury has reached a verdict. They’re going to say guilty, and there’s nothing I can do about it.

The door to the room I was locked in opened and a short woman in a blue dress entered the room escorted by two guards. Her name is Mabel, and she is my court appointed legal representative, since I can’t afford one of my own. It’s a mere formality, of course, because the law required it. My guilt was certain before they slapped the cuffs on my wrists barely two hours ago.

“It’s time. Come with me.” I took a quick glance back up at the clock as she spoke. It’s now 10:56. She’s wrong, it wasn’t time. I still have four whole minutes before I’m sent away for the rest of my natural life, however long that might be.

One guard stood to my left, another to my right, as I followed Mabel into the courtroom. I didn’t even have time to sit before the bailiff told everyone to rise as Judge Reggie Talbot entered the courtroom. The dark skinned judge would be the one to hand out the sentence immediately after the jury of my peers delivered the verdict. Again, a mere formality, as for the last 17 years, there has only been one sentence ever handed down.

“Mister Foreman, have you reached a verdict?”

So, it was to fall to the elderly Asian man to put the noose around my neck. I watched him as he pulled out a piece of paper to read in response to the judge’s question. “We have your honor. In the matter of the people vs. Val Edelstein, we find the defendant guilty of chronic unemployment.”

Yup, that’s my crime. Chronic unemployment. As hard as I tried, I could never hold down a job and I have no family to rely on for help. Now this is where I find myself, the day before my birthday.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the court thanks you for your time. Mr. Edelstein, in view of the guilty verdict, you are hereby sentenced to the Lunar Penal Colony. You will be given five years to make yourself a productive member of society at which time you will become eligible to return. The shuttle to the moon will depart on Monday, May 3, which will signal the official start of your sentence.”

With a bang of his gavel, my fate was sealed. He says my sentence is only five years. I know the truth, though. I’m never coming home. No one who is sent to the moon ever comes back to earth. No one knows why, and no one bothers to ask. They’re safe. They’re happy. No one’s living on the streets to make them uncomfortable. So, yep, in a couple weeks, I’m going to join the rest of the discarded souls on the moon. Happy birthday to me!