My story is finally about ready to go to the moon. Lunar Penal Colony Part 5 deals with the processing to get to the moon. Most likely, parts 2-5 is mostly going to get redone and significantly trimmed. There will most likely be certain elements that I will keep, possibly reordering the revealing of the backstory to coincide with things that happen during the processing. A lot of what was written was needless filler, just a way for me to keep things moving in my own mind. I’m sure there will be a lot of adjustments if and when I complete this rough draft. Still, I must say that I’m enjoying the writing process, and seeing these ideas being laid out, even if I know that some of it will be thrown away later.
I’ve given it some thought, and while Part 2 had some interesting addition to the backstory, most of what happened after Part 1 has really been filler material. Most, if not all, of it will probably wind up on the cutting room floor. Even this part will probably be erased if and when editing actually happens. I’m going to continue forward with Part 5, as if nothing is going to be cut. I don’t know what might be usable from each part that could wind up in the edited version later, in one form or another. – Trasee
Two guards woke me up the next morning to take me from my cell. There was no breakfast waiting for me, nor was I given a chance to relieve myself. Get up, get moving, no time for anything else. I hadn’t eaten anything yesterday, and was sick after arriving last night. I was very hungry now, and my bladder was quite full. I didn’t bother to protest, though, because I knew it wouldn’t do any good. That, and I don’t like hearing the sound of my voice.
The guards led me down the hall to a what appeared to be a full bathroom. There was a shower, a toilet, a sink, and even a large trash bin in the room. There was a seat in the shower, and a bar attached to the wall next to it. I hadn’t had a shower for several days. In fact, I haven’t even had a change of clothes. If I was going to be allowed to shower, that would be wonderful.
“Take off all your clothes and put them into the bin.” I looked at the guard wondering if he was serious. Why would I throw away my clothes? And if I did have to get undressed, were they both just going to stand there and watch? “You heard me. Strip!” I could tell he meant business, and I certainly didn’t want him to get any angrier, so I did as I was told.
“Now, use the toilet then sit on the shower seat.” I looked at the guard again. It was clear I would have no privacy at all. I sat down on the toilet and let my full bladder empty. The guard gave me a weird look as he saw me sitting, but said nothing. After I had wiped, I went over to the shower and sat down. The guard came over and cuffed my hands together, then attached the cuffs to the metal bar. I wondered how I was supposed to take a shower if I was cuffed to the wall, but again, I stayed silent.
The guard who had been giving the orders stood to the side, while the other exited the bathroom. A moment later, an older woman entered in his place. She was wearing a some scrubs with drawings of children playing scattered across it. “Hello, I’m Mindy. I’m going to be your nurse. Can you tell me your name?”
I could feel the blood rushing to my face. I was already feeling exposed with the guards, and now that I have a woman in here, observing my naked deformed body, it was quite embarrassing. “Val.” My answer was short and to the point, not wanting to say more than I absolutely had to.
“What’s your last name, Val?” She made no comment about the ugly sound of my voice, as if it was just another perfectly natural voice, even though I knew it wasn’t.
She swiped her finger on the tablet she was carrying. “And your birth date?”
“April 17, 2092.”
“Oh, it was yesterday. Happy birthday.” She gave me a good natured smile. Why would she say that? She was here to process me to go to the moon. She knew I was a prisoner. How could she really think my birthday would be anything even close to happy? I wanted to be hurt, upset, but the smile and sweetness of her voice was disarming, and I simply nodded with a half-smile in response.
“Ok, I found your information. I see here that you are special needs. Accident on April 17, 2105. Oh, your birthday. So sorry to read that. It’s quite amazing you’re still with us. I’ll make sure we note the brain damage and avoid any medicines that would adversely affect your brain functions.”
She was so nice. I don’t remember anyone ever treating me this nice, not since my parents, that is. Here I was, a reject, a prisoner, being sent to the moon. Someone not even worthy enough to be kept on earth. Even though I hated talking, I had to ask her a question. “Why you being nice to me?”
She looked me in the eyes with a smile and a twinkle in her eyes. “Because everyone deserves to be treated nice, no matter who they are. You apparently had a long series of unfortunate events that led you here, but on the moon, you’ll be given a new lease on life, a second chance for the happiness that has eluded you for so long. I know, I was one of the first people to be sent there.”
I looked at her in shock. She had been a prisoner, and now she was a nurse preparing me to go to the moon? It had to be some sort of a cruel joke. Yet the look in her eyes and the sincerity of her voice told me that she was most likely telling the truth. I couldn’t comprehend it.
“Now, let’s finish getting you processed. I’m going to start by shaving you. I’m going to remove all your hair before I give you your shower. The water is specially treated to completely disinfect your body. When I’m done, I’ll dry you off and we’ll take you to the medical bay. Any questions?”
“Your clothes are going to be incinerated. You’ll get new clothes once you get to the moon. I’ll give you a hospital gown in the medical bay.”
I didn’t ask anything else, so she began to do what she told me she was going to do. Using a sonic razor blade, she started at my scalp, slowly working her way down my body, letting the specially calibrated sound vibrations and laser swipes cut through all my hairs, leaving my body completely smooth and hairless. The shaving was a slow process, and quite uncomfortable, especially around my genital region where it was even a bit painful. She apologized for the pain, as she finished doing her job.
Then came the shower. The head of the shower detached, and she was able to hold it in her hand. She told me to close my eyes as she sprayed the water over me. The water had a strong odor with it, which must have been the disinfectants and anti-bacteria mix in the water itself. When all was said and done, I was dried off and, as promised, escorted to the medical bay. I hated being so exposed as we walked down the hall, but I knew there wasn’t anything more I could do.
There were lines of hospital beds in the medical bay, several of them had other prisoners in them, all just as hairless, all wearing blue hospital gowns. Every one of them had an IV going into their arms, and they all appeared to be sleeping. “What’s going on?”
“Don’t worry, everything will be fine. Just lie back and I’ll take care of the rest for you. Let me help you get this gown on.”
“But why are they asleep?”
“It will be a few days before you leave for the moon, and a couple days in space. It’s better for everyone if you just sleep until you arrive on the moon. Don’t worry, you’ll be well taken care of.”
Her smile and voice was calming and inspired trust. What she said made sense, I guess. I followed her direction and lay down on the bed. I gasped as I felt the sting of the needle pushing into my vein at the inside of my elbow. “Now count backward from 100.”
“100… 99… 98…97…” That was as far as I made it.
Part four of Lunar Penal Colony is finished. I’m not quite as happy with this part. I’m trying to move things to the moon quickly, but I think I might be just adding some pointless narratives right now. Showing the journey from the courts which will eventually lead to the moon. Almost felt like I was grasping at straws with this section. I’m guessing some of what happens between the courts and arriving on the moon will probably end up on the cutting room floor later. For now, I just keep things moving, and worry about cleanup later.
I was awoken early the next morning by a guard sliding a tray of food through a slot on the floor of my cell. “We leave in an hour.” He said simply as he continued on his way.
Rubbing my eyes, I sat up, and looked across the hall to Beach Bum Barry. He was still asleep, a dry yellowish-white sliding down the side of his face. Odd color and consistency for drool. I looked a little closer. I didn’t see any motion from him at all. That was when I realized it wasn’t drool that I saw, but vomit. Sometime during the night he must have vomited in his sleep and choked on his own vomit. I quickly averted my gaze, no longer having the desire to eat.
After recovering from the initial shock of a dead man in the opposite cell, I sat down on the toilet to relieve myself. One good thing about Beach Bum Barry’s passing is I didn’t have an audience for the bodily noises that ultimately and embarrassingly surfaced.
The guard returned in what I can only assume was an hour, as I had no clock or watch to tell time with. I said nothing as he put the cuffs on me and escorted me out of the detention center. I was lined up with the other prisoners, a lot more than were on the bus yesterday. There were several guards, all holding knock-out-rifles, escorting us toward a large cargo plane sitting on the runway.
The inside of the cargo plane was fitted with bench seats, similar to what was on the bus. Like the bus, we were each chained to our seats, secured for our trip. I tried to count the number of prisoners on the plane, but lost track after twenty. My brain injury made it hard for me to keep focused. If I had to guess, though, I would say there were over one-hundred prisoners that were on their way to the moon.
I was squeezed in between Weeping Willow from the bus and a big burly man with wild hair and beard who I named Lumber Jack. Weeping Willow was still crying, but it was much more subdued than the bus yesterday. I guess she’s starting to accept her fate. Being stuck between an overweight woman and a big burly man made for a very tight squeeze for me, which only added to my discomfort. I pulled my arms in as close as I could, and hunched over slightly, eager for the flight to be over, and we hadn’t even taken off yet.
It wasn’t much longer before I felt the plane jerk as it slowly started to move. I could feel the floor and seat vibrating, and could sense the acceleration, despite not having any windows to look out. When the plane began tilting upward, and I could feel gravity pulling me against the back of my seat, I was suddenly thankful I hadn’t eaten the provided breakfast. If I had, it probably would have wound up all over me.
I focused on my breathing, slow and steady. I could feel the waves of nausea, but did not want to give in to them. The feelings of nausea subsided slightly when I felt the plane leveling off. How long were we going to be in the air? How long before we’re back on the ground again? I had no way to know, so the only thing I could do was to continue to focus on my breathing. Breathe in. Breathe out slowly. Ignore the lump in my throat. Just keep breathing.
Suddenly, the plane shook violently. Did we hit something? Maybe a flock of geese? Were we going to crash? Several of the prisoners cried out in fear. I think I was one of them. My heard raced, the lump in my throat got higher, and I could taste the bile on my tongue. My breathing quickened, I was going to throw up. No, I’m not going to make a mess. I forced my mouth to remain closed, fighting back the nasty taste of the bile.
It seemed to last forever, but it was probably only a couple minutes. I felt hot, sweat dripping down my forehead. I swallowed more bile, the nasty taste lingering in my mouth. Weeping Willow was crying harder again. Lumber Jack was just sitting calmly, as if nothing had happened at all. How could someone be so calm. I looked at him dumbfounded. He must have seen me looking at him, as he turned his head to look at me.
“What’s your problem? Can’t handle a little bit of turbulence?” He scoffed and turned away, looking forward again. “Just don’t puke on me, wimp.”
The rest of the flight was much the same. We had more of what Lumber Jack called turbulence, but at least this time I was more prepared for it. I still hated it, and it still brought the bile up, but I refused to let it out of my mouth. I was so thankful when we finally landed and were escorted off the plane into another detention center. Once in my cell, I let the meager contents of my stomach release into the toilet, and washed the taste away with water from the sink.