A Purpose For Life



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Akira

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New story I happened to come up with. Been awhile since I did. Along this story, you will learn characters as the story progresses as well as their origins. The chapters will probably be on weekends. I hope you enjoy!

A Purpose For Life
(couldn't come up with a better title ok)


SESL: Space Exploration for Saving Lives
Date: June 4th
Year: 2051
Mission: Find new resources from planets to harvest. Resources to create energy and means of oxygen to help sustain life on Earth.
Crew of the Ignis: Andy Walter, Carmen Peppers, Josh Felix, Amy Heather.
Expedition to begin at: June 10th

Chapter One*

I never thought the world would come to this point, no one ever really expected it. Maybe some did, maybe people were too focused on themselves to realize the world around them was falling apart.
Having to depend on what we find in space to stop this world from bleeding dry was never on top of anyone's "To Do" list. The materials we need now only comes from the endless galaxy surrounding us, the world now does not provide what we need to live. We abused our home too much.

Now there is not enough energy left to help sustain life. We cannot grow foods, we only eat artificial foods provided to us.
Solar panels were only fried by the sunlight and would burst, yes, the Ozone layer is extremely damaged. The one thing we should have helped, the one thing that was suppose to be a shield against Ultraviolet light. A shield cannot always block blows, and our shield was not made of steel.
The government and programs aiming to help the Earth are allowed special equipment to use to get energy from sunlight. Getting one for yourself is illegal, and pricey. If you're someone like me who is a part of a program like this, you get all the benefits.
Walking out of our homes requires air masks with oxygen tanks and covered clothing from the Sun's harmful rays, but paying for the oxygen tanks each week is the struggle of it all. Some people can't afford the oxygen, and they end up dying in the streets when pleading for air. Every day is another day trying to survive.

*-*-*-*

"Ey, you awake yet Bonehead?"

"Wha...?"

I force myself to open my heavy eyelids to see a blurry image of someone above my head looking down at me, who frankly I really wasn't in the mood to see. My brother.
I blink away the blurriness out of my eyes.

"Alex, what in the hell are you doing here at...", I checked my watch on the nightstand, "11 in the morning?!"

I was even shocked by how late I slept. Alex throws my blankets off the bed and sits on my legs which gets me to jerk up from the pain, a method Alex always uses. This wakes me up a bit, yet I still feel tired.

"Uhh, did someone forget their big day today? The day my brother becomes famous and saves the world? Oh c'mon, don't tell me you forgot," he says.

I completely forgot.

"Oh... that yeah... that thingamabob... right..," I start but then begin drift off. I feel a sharp smack across my right cheek.

"Goddammit, Andy are you drinking again?!"

"What? Why would you think that?" Alex gestures onto the other side of the bed where one of my stashes was with a quarter left in it.

"Would it sound crazy if I said that was just soda?" I nervously ask. Alex shakes his head lowly.

"Yes it would sound crazy. Andy, you have to stop doing this to yourself. You cannot blame yourself for your wife's death everyday. We all loved Barbara. Mom, Dad, everyone. But that is why you joined the space program, that is why you joined SESL, so you can prevent the loss of other lives, to make a difference..."

"Enough of the speech crap Alex, I'm too tired to hear it. What is the point when I couldn't save the one most thing important to me?! The one thing that gave my life meaning Alex! Explain to me how I can move on from that, tell me. Because everyday Barbara comes into my thoughts and it haunts me. This is punishment to me, because I was suppose to protect her.... I was suppose to save her,"

"Andy, you can't find Barbara at the bottom of an empty bottle, you have to let her go. This is not what Barbara would have wanted you to do. This is not what Mom or Dad would have wanted you to do. This is not what I want you to do."

I let out a long sigh, "How do you know that?"

"Because they all loved us Andy. And I'm not telling you that you should abandon your love for them, but to move on from that pain that haunts you. If you only look onto the pain, you'll dwell in it forever and never see the chance of a better life."

"How can there be a better life Alex? The world is fucking rotting! How am I suppose to see a better life in this?!" I roar. The bottle on my bed rolls and collides onto my floor and breaks.

"Godda-..."

"You want to know how this world can be better? Then why the hell did you join SESL in the first place? You joined that looking for hope of a better life, and a better life for a humanity where we don't suffer and that the death rate doesn't extremely increase every minute. You looked for a way to redeem yourself for your wife's death, well here it is! Stopping the death of billions of other people! Are you going to throw away that chance or are you going to be a man and suck up the pain and move on?"

I face the brother that I spent my whole life with. The alcohol addiction has been with me for years, but the respect for my brother has always been there.

"You're right, Alex..." I admit. Alex nods.

"Good. Now, wash up, get dressed, and pack up. You're going to be late," Alex commands.

"Alright Mom," I respond.

And think, today was where it all started.

*-*-*-*







 
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Cassette-Disk

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I like that you structured the first section of this as a report. It's a simple way to introduce us to the setting, as well as getting us interested in meeting the rest of the crew. The concept as a whole makes me think of a governed apocalypse. The world's gone to shit, but there's no anarchy--or at least not on the surface level. Plus space travel is always dope. I'm also interested in how Andy is going to play out. He's pretty angsty individual and I wanna see how he's going to react with the rest of his crew and whether or not they're going to be annoyed at him. I can see someone throwing him out of the airlock and into space because they hated his attitude, anyway. Keep writing when you get the chance!
 

Akira

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I like that you structured the first section of this as a report. It's a simple way to introduce us to the setting, as well as getting us interested in meeting the rest of the crew. The concept as a whole makes me think of a governed apocalypse. The world's gone to shit, but there's no anarchy--or at least not on the surface level. Plus space travel is always dope. I'm also interested in how Andy is going to play out. He's pretty angsty individual and I wanna see how he's going to react with the rest of his crew and whether or not they're going to be annoyed at him. I can see someone throwing him out of the airlock and into space because they hated his attitude, anyway. Keep writing when you get the chance!
I will be completely honest with when I first seen someone reply I was like:

But I'm so glad you liked the first chapter! And.... I like your thinking..... >:)
I will do that as soon as possible, I just need to finish school in 6 weeks and then chapters will become more common hopefully!
 

Akira

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I'm sorry for not posting a new chapter, lately there's been some serious things happening in my family and at times I don't have time to sit and do another chapter. Some weekends will have a chapter posted and some won't. Sorry for the inconvenience and hopefully summer vacation comes quicker than expected.
For anyone who has waited I apologize.
 

Akira

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Chapter Two*

Mission to begin at approximately: 5 hours
Andy/Leader of Expedition: waiting to sign in....
Carmen/Harvester: signed in
Amy/Medical Professional: signed in
Josh/Technician: signed in

Just another day in the ruins of D.C. Yep, you heard me, "ruins". Ruins is basically the description of what is all left here, and this is what I've grown up to.
I walked through the quiet outside world to here nothing but of the cries of those suffering around me. Hearing a cry from one person feels like a thousand more of them.
People usually don't talk to each other outside, kinda hard when you have a mask over your face breathing in what clean air you spent your money on. It'll sound muffled and confusing, so you would have to yell.

And you think traveling isn't so bad, hah! You're so off my friend. Because the little cars we all know cannot be used outside.
If one person drives a car, they're sentenced to death for contributing in polluting the world more, which we don't need at this particular time.

I don't need to get into details how cars pollute the world, you should know that by now. And you're probably thinking: "Ooh well Dr. Andy, seeing it's the future, society must had made cars that don't pollute the surrounding area right?" You would be correct. But unfortunately because of low supply, you need lots of dough in order to buy one. People these days are more smarter with their money and save up for clean air, water, food and medication. So picture yourself in this situation: What is the next best thing for transportation?
Bicycles.

I pump my legs against the pedals my bicycle in a hurry through the crippled capital of our once "great country" of the world. Ignore the fact that it's a Dora the Explorer bicycle I'm riding that my great great grandmother had when she was a child, but it is my only means for transportation I could find so you would have to use it too if you were as desperate as I was. I checked my watch to see I had to be to HQ in an hour and 15 minutes. This injected me with adrenaline to keep moving, to make it on time.

1 hour later...

[insert holy music] I made it to the front entrance of SESL HQ, after one antagonizing hour and not feeling anything from my feet to my waist. The HQ is simple really, just an old abandoned NASA building. Seeing as SESL was able to find out more about the universe than NASA had ever in the last decade, SESL took over the global space research. For all you who love NASA, I'm sorry to tell you this.
I make my way to the front entrance and I see two guards standing in front of the gate ahead of me. They move closer to the middle of the gate and I could tell they were preparing to say something to me. One clears his throat.


"Password," Thing One said.

"Password? What 'password'? There's a password now?"

"Password now or you will be vacated off the premises," Thing Two warned.

This irks me. "Now you just listen Men In Black, I am-"

I couldn't believe this. Right now, when I'm almost late to my last important conference before the mission, and I have to have a password.
I hear a voice coming from Thing One's walkie talkie: "It's alright Jeff, he's confirmed. Let him in."

He nods towards me, "Go on ahead sir, sorry to trouble you,".
They open the gate behind them and ushered me to go in. Thank God...

*-*-*-*

I take off my mask and inhale the fresh, warm air around me. I put my identification card into the slot next to my locker, waiting for it to process.

"There's no need for that, I signed you in when you arrived. You're all set, Andy," a voice says behind me. Carmen.

"Heeeeey Carmen, how are you? It seems you still can't afford to have a good relationship with anyone these days, you should really make yourself look ugly to match your soul," I begin as my combat. Carmen can be a mean son of a b*tch sometimes, but she can be extremely hot too. I guess that's why her last name is "Peppers". I hated it and loved it at the same time.

She snorted at my remark, "Aww, cute. Really. I guess you still can't get over your addiction, hmm Andy? Maybe you should stop disgracing yourself in front of my crew and start acting like you're an adult for once."

That was what did it. Feeling burning fury I slammed her back into the locker behind her, I felt her whole body jolt in my hands from the pressure.

"You shut the hell up about my addiction! And that is not your crew out there, that is my crew. Do not forget your place Carmen, we are all important here, we have our own specific duties. Does it say, 'Carmen, Leader of Expedition?' No, it says 'Harvester'. Now remember that child," I spoke in a dangerous tone.

She slapped her hand across my face leaving a burning feeling.

"Don't call me child. At least I was here on time, 'Leeeader'," she does air quotes with her fingers, "anyway, see you at the meeting Andy. I'm sooo looking forward to it," she says sarcastically.
Carmen walks away and it felt as if the evil in this room went with her, I wondered if she was a beacon of evil. But I didn't dwell on the thought too much, I had a conference to go to.

*-*-*-*

I'm sorry this chapter was so short, I'll try to make them longer soon.

 
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This totally blows me away. I kid you not. I did not expect this to be a dystopian story. Let alone enjoyable characters with great character and emotion to them. They feel like real people. I shouldn't of laughed but, chapter two has such great sarcasm in it that I have tears in my eyes. I absolutely love how deadpanned it is about cars polluting the ear. And the need to use a bicycle as a way of transportation. My goodness, this is a FANTASTIC story that I'm loving every minute of. Furthermore, it makes me think about what a future of it would be like. I also question my beliefs on such a thing. Anyways, I would think Andy would try harder to save his family in replace of failing his wife Barbara in the first chapter. However, this is just me and my thought process on the first chapter. Which was awesome! You've improved so much in story telling, Howler! xD Oh and the chemistry between Carmen and Andy were really interesting! Not entirely in a romantic way, but it certainly captured my attention. I wonder if Carmen is the one who can see the real Andy, or if she's simply good at pissing him off to get beneath his skin for reasons not quite clear to me yet. I might be putting too much thought into this. Well done, Howler, well done!
 

Akira

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This totally blows me away. I kid you not. I did not expect this to be a dystopian story. Let alone enjoyable characters with great character and emotion to them. They feel like real people. I shouldn't of laughed but, chapter two has such great sarcasm in it that I have tears in my eyes. I absolutely love how deadpanned it is about cars polluting the ear. And the need to use a bicycle as a way of transportation. My goodness, this is a FANTASTIC story that I'm loving every minute of. Furthermore, it makes me think about what a future of it would be like. I also question my beliefs on such a thing. Anyways, I would think Andy would try harder to save his family in replace of failing his wife Barbara in the first chapter. However, this is just me and my thought process on the first chapter. Which was awesome! You've improved so much in story telling, Howler! xD Oh and the chemistry between Carmen and Andy were really interesting! Not entirely in a romantic way, but it certainly captured my attention. I wonder if Carmen is the one who can see the real Andy, or if she's simply good at pissing him off to get beneath his skin for reasons not quite clear to me yet. I might be putting too much thought into this. Well done, Howler, well done!
Ey! Thanks so much Kitkat ^.^.
It took a lot of thinking after awhile to come up with a plot. Now if I can just make chapters longer, that would be great. Again it has been awhile since I posted because of several antagonizing school assignments and tests/quizzes that has me overwhelmed. But I have not forgotten this story, I've been coming up with ideas while I have breaks from doing work. And yes, we'll find out a bit more from Carmen involving how Andy and her know each other. Other characters of the crew will also get their spotlights soon enough. More to come soon!
 

Akira

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Yay! A boring weekend! Time to update this! I'm excited to add all my ideas and create some more chapters. Now in this chapter and possibly throughout the story there will be flashbacks introduced so whenever you see "<___>" the story is moving to the flashback.


Chapter Three*


Mission to begin at approximately: 4 hours
Andy/Leader of Expedition: signed in
Carmen/Harvester: signed in
Amy/Medical Professional: signed in
Josh/Technician: signed in
All crew shall report to last meeting at exactly: 10 minutes



I gaze down at my watch, knowing that the meeting is only mere minutes away. Every second that ticks under the glass cover of my watch makes my heart race faster and my legs weak. This is it. The time has come that I have to find the strength to lead this team to a successful mission.

"I got this, I got this, you got this Andy..." I pause, thinking.

"I don't got this, I don't got this..."

I pace back and forth, knowing that this time will come one way or another, whether I wanted it to or not. I'm going to have to face the people in that room even if I hated it. But what would everyone think of me? A drunkard, not being able to hold his shit together. They may think of me as a horrible choice of a leader, maybe Carmen was right...

"No! Carmen is wrong and I can do better," my conscience tells me.

I continue to gaze at the watch, thinking how time has gone by so fast. It almost makes me overwhelmed with how long it has been, and always remembering of you. Do you remember that night?



<3 years ago>


"Aw shit..."


I stop my bicycle to see what I just rode over. I get off to see what what it was. On the ground I glance at my broken watch with its glass sprinkled all over. Picking the watch up I realized it was under my bicycle tire, I ran over it. Oops. I sigh as I look as I face my bad luck and put the watch in my pocket.

"And that was my last watch too".

I ride back home late, knowing she was waiting for me by the door. No, she doesn't have the door open stupid, that's just a waste of our clean air for our apartment. She isn't that crazy, I mean she can be but not that much. I jump off the tiny Dora bicycle and enter into my warm cozy home, taking off my mask and air tank immediately afterwards and setting it aside.


"You alright hon?" was my greeting.


"Yeah, lost track of time," I hold up my miserable broken watch, "I'm sorry I'm late I-"


"Shhh..." she hushed me, holding her soft finger to my lips, "It's alright. I just finished supper so it's not cold. I was a little worried about you, but I'm glad you made it home safely and on time to eat."


She had a plastered smile on her face. I could tell she was depressed. And not only that, I could also see the marks of streaks from tears down her face. I feel terrible, I know how much she hates staying at home and me going off into the wasteland beyond, but unfortunately that's society nowadays. Women have to stay in their homes all day every day, even if you don't have children at home. It is a law everyone has to follow, unless of extreme emergencies which surprisingly does not happen a whole lot. Or if a women lives alone. At this time in age, there is no divorce when there is children. There cannot be only one parent to watch their children, you can't bring your children outside because there's no special equipment for them. Someone has to stay home and the other collects food, pays for oxygen tanks, etc. It's just the way it is.


I go with her to the kitchen, rounding up her seasoned grilled chicken on a silver platter and wait for her to grab her own plate. We may have artificial foods, but there still are animals surprisingly alive that are treated. In facilities who breed animals, they have some animals who are sent off to some hungry people for dinner. What? I know that sounds bad but that's what farms are like in the past and the facilities are basically farms. And they don't kill every animal. But when planning to shop for meats instead of artificial foods, you need a fat wallet.

I sit at small dining room table with two candles lit in the middle, filling the room with a cinnamon scent. My favorite. I inhale the scent as much as I want to inhale this food. 6 hours has starved me.


We begin to chow down the food, my taste buds savoring every flavor. I continue to eat, well at least I was. She was only picking at the food on her plate with her fork and made small bites out of what chuck of meat she had on her fork. I try think of something to cheer her up.


"You didn't burn the food this time, or burn the house down," I play with her with a sneaky grin.


She returns back to Earth, "Huh? What? Oh, haha yeah... that was a good one..." she goes back into her long gaze into her food. The sight of her uneaten food makes me want to shove the whole thing into my mouth.


"C'mon, eat! I'm not going to have a big enough belly to hold all this food in," I reassure.


She nods slightly, "Y-yeah...ok... just...oh Andy"

"What?"

"I-I...I...I....I can't," her expression twists and she drops her fork on the plate. She holds her head with shaking fists, shielding her face. I knew what was about to happen.

I ran over to the other side of the table. She slides off the chair and into my arms, bursting in tears the moment she wraps her arms around my neck. I feel her body violently shaking more than her hands, trying to fight her emotions. She mumbles gargled words while she smothers her face my shirt, already soaked from tears. I lay there with her on the floor rubbing her back and holding her close.



"What? What has gotten you so upset hon? The food wasn't bad, I was just joking" I ask, but I knew the real answer. And it's like she heard my thoughts, because she said it for me.


"You! I-It's you! I sat h-here in this seat for 6 hours Andy. 6 hours! You're always gone every day and leaving me here alone not knowing if you're alright out there or if you are hurt or in danger... I would never know until either you show up here alive or in a coffin! And I wouldn't have been able to have done anything..." her voice cracks at the last word. I lift her head off my shirt, wiping away her long drenched red hair away from her wet face. Her face is flushed and her eyes are almost the same color, but I could still notice the brown chocolaty eyes. I rub my hand gently on her face, wiping away her tears. She looks at me with fear I've never seen her show towards me before. I felt my heart shatter at the sight.


"Nothing will happen to me. I never leave far from home, you know that. The Animal Treatment Facility is just a mile away, I'll never be far from you. Even if I am dead..." she begins to cry again, but I quickly continue, "...if I ever die, I'll always be with you. Never think you will ever be alone. You are never alone in this world, and I will never leave you. I love you, and no matter what nothing will make me disagree."


Her expression releases tension, and she wipes her dripping nose.

"Promise you'll always be with me?" she muttered.

"Promise. I'll let nothing ever happen to you. And I'll make sure that I'll always be there for you," I answer immediately.


She's grinning now, from ear to ear. This just put my shattered heart back together. She turns away from me and from her pocket she pulls out a medium-sized box.

"Here, I've been meaning to give you this. I made it by hand, just for you," she gently grabs my hand towards her and puts the box in it.
.

I opened the box, curious of what may be inside. I see that it's a watch, coincidence.

"I know how much your watch has been dying on you lately, so I made you a new one," her voice softens, "now can you be here on time?"


She chuckles and I hug her one more time.

"I promise I'll always be there for you, no matter what,"

Opening my hand, I find that I'm till holding the non-digital leather watch. It was absolutely perfect.



<3 years later>


I take the watch off, looking at the silver back of the watch shine from the light outside a window nearby. I grin, running my finger across the writing on the back. Memories of you flood back to me, but these memories fill me with joy. I'm happy I ever got to know you and love you.


"I hope you're proud of me..."


On the back shown in cursive, "I'll love you till the end - Barbara Walter" etched in the silver.


"...Barbara."



I wrap the watch around my hand and tighten it. I open the double doors in front of me to the conference room. I look one last time at the one last thing I have of you, before looking at the people gathered in front of me.


"Well Barbara, here I go."

*-*-*-*
 
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KingdomKey

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This chapter was really good. I'm kind of devastated at the thought of women having to be home like that. Even in such dire circumstances it seems like a cruel kind of law to have. I know women are useful for a number of things, but if it were me, I'd go out there! I can't sit at home for six hours without going crazy. lol. Anyways, I really like seeing what things were like for Andy three years ago. And seeing what the watch means to him because, it makes my heart feel for him as a character. :)
 
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