And here I am, giving my story of The Child of Destiny another go! This is my work for Camp NaNoWriMo. Check the links page for further details! Thoughts so far would be greatly appreciated. 😀
The planet was Enceladus. It is a world comprised of ice that is surprisingly teeming with life. The people of other worlds had always thought that it was an inhabitable world. That is, until the domes were built in the numerous craters that meteors had created over the millennia. The planet was farthest away from the sun of its system and was the only planet of its name. Its days were short and only those who were deemed strong enough after initiation could live on its surface. The lone moon of the world orbited on an abstract route and made the days pass in a lazy manner.
Even as the lazy moon as it was called by the people of Enceladus lived on its surface, several stations orbited the planet that were teeming with young life. It was there on those station that the young were bred for habitation. They began their studies at an early age and did not hesitate to send the weaker children to a lone station farthest from the planet. These children were special and were deemed to have special gifts that would be vital to the prosperity of their world in the near future. These little ones were far and few between. They were pale skinned, light haired and bright eyed children who were sent to a lone man for care.
This man was known merely by the children as Daddy. He was as old as the station and the stripes on his black uniform were that of the dark green that symbolized the station of those who were tasked to care for the young. It was a precarious task that few were given. His grey eyes were gentle and his head was void of hair from years of service. He walked with a slow gait that showed his old age. Soon there would be one who would come to replace him but that day was not today as he walked through the winding metallic corridors of his home. His left hand was wrapped around the tiny, pale hand of a young girl with startling blonde hair and icy blue eyes.
She was the happiest child that Daddy had ever come upon and she became the apple of his eye. She was tiny in comparison to the other children and was destined for great things Daddy just knew. The two of them walked down the path to the centre of the station known as The Crib of Greatness in silence. She was almost with him for every waking hour of his work and as such had named her Jem for the brightness of her eyes.
“Daddy, where are we going?” she asked in a light airy voice with eyes full of curiosity.
He gave her hand a gentle squeeze as they arrived in the centre of The Crib. Jem had been in his care since she was an infant and she was finally of an age where she would face the initiation right that would determine her fate. All of the other children were already inside of the lined pods that would be sent to Enceladus as soon as the last pod was sealed and the child slept soundly inside of it.
“I am afraid that it is time for us to part,” he explained to her sadly as his shoulders hunched forward as if he were in pain.
“Part? What do you mean Daddy? I want to stay with you,” she replied.
“If only that were possible my sweet Jem,” he said wistfully. “Do you remember the stories I have told you over the years?”
She nodded hesitantly but she still did not comprehend what was happening.
“Good girl,” he returned gently. “Do you remember the story I told you about the children who breathed in the cold air of the planet to become stronger?”
She stopped moving for a few moments before Daddy pulled her forward and she finally shook her head. Daddy patted her head gently before he picked her up. She clung to him tightly and trembled in his arms as he placed her in the final pod. “When a child living in The Cribs reaches your age, it is time for them to go to the surface of our homeland. It is in this place that you will meet a man even older than I am. If you are strong enough my little jewel, a stripe just like mine will appear on your clothes and you will begin to learn the complete ways of our people.”
“Daddy, no!” Jem cried and reached out her small hands to grab his shirt. “I do not want to go down there. I want to stay with you forever!”
He felt his heart breaking as large tears began streaming down her face. He tucked a blanket around her legs and patted her face gently, wiping the tears from her eyes. “Hush, little one. If I could keep you here, I would but I cannot. It is time for you to join our people. You will have a new caretaker who will care for you, teach you.”
“You can care for me can you not?” she protested stubbornly.
“My child, our time is short in this place and you are destined for greater things than living in The Crib of Greatness can ever give you.” He said, his tone full of finality as he kissed her forehead and sealed her inside the pod. “This is goodbye my sweet. I will never forget you.”
He watched as she pressed her hands on the lid of the pod, attempting to open it and gain her freedom as he pressed the button that would put her to sleep. She was far too innocent to join their people, too naïve and full of dreams that were full of beauty. He hoped that she would forget this time and put it behind her as her actions grew slower. She tried to fight with all her might but eventually, she fell back into the protective padding of the pod and the straps that would secure her for her short journey wound their way over her small frame.
If he could, he would have kept her by his side forever and taught her the ways of The Crib but she was not meant for that kind of work. Daddy went to his console with a heavy heart and began to enter the commands into his workstation to jettison the pods down into the domed Crater Towns the children would call their homes. From that point forward, they were out of his hands and would be sent into the hands of strangers who did not know them. As he glanced at the trajectory of where the pods would land, he determined that most of his children would be sent to the Capital. He smiled as he knew that they would be in the best of hands.
“All pods are ready for ejection,” the computer announced in its monotonous fashion.
“Right,” Daddy sighed as he entered in the final commands. “Goodbye my sweet children of greatness. May your journey to the Angbroda be filled with strength and guidance.”
With his heart nearing its breaking point, Daddy entered the final command and watched as the pods ascended into the launching bay above his head. “Be strong little ones.”
The pods were sent into the starry surroundings before they began their guided journey toward their new homes. He prayed to the Gods of their world that they would find their way to gentle caretakers and the best teachers their world had to offer. It would be a difficult transition period for some of them but he had done his best to instil the tenacity to thrive in all of his charges.
Their time was just beginning.
“Captain,” a young officer called. “The Crib of Greatness has released its pods into the atmosphere.”
“Excellent,” the Captain confirmed. “Have all of the Crib’s children been assigned to the available caretakers?”
“Yes, sir.” The young office replied. “Except for one. A young girl named Jem by Daddy.”
“Are there any available caretakers for this child?” The Captain inquired.
“Only one, sir.”
“Who is it?”
The young office punched in a series of commands into the console stationed in front of him before looking up at the Captain warily. “Zosimus.”
“The old man?” The Captain balked before laughing. “Very well. Tell Zosimus to head to the landing deck with the rest of the caretakers.”
“Yes, sir. The child’s vital signs are weak though. She may not survive entry into the planet.” The officer explained.
“Summon the medical team in case something should happen to the child. A child lost before they have even been initiated is a terrible lost for all of us. Zosimus may be the perfect caretaker for this girl.” The Captain murmured thoughtfully.