It was the 25th century eight volunteers had been chosen to go into outer space. Each person were from different walks of life. They weren’t scientists nor anything special just regular people who had chosen to give up living on earth to move on and live in the darkness of space for ten years.
Elizabeth was a medical technician studying for her medical degree. Upon the ship she was one of the four women chosen and there were also four men aboard. Neither of them had a significant other aboard. They were like strangers aboard a cruise ship.
Elizabeth, Nathan, Dan, Kate, Sharon, Emily, Richard and Steven were the eight people chosen for this. They had all applied of their own free will. Each morning they had different tasks to perform. Exercise was in their schedule every day as for the eating well they were all set to different meal plans based on their diets. Some of them had knowledge of the basics of their field of study.
Liz and Emily were medics, Nathan and Richard were engineers, Dan was the only actor aboard with his study in learning to grow plants in space. He was one of the few that had less qualifications than the others, but he was a quick learner. Steven was the only one with weapons training. He had came out of the Navy Seals and applied for the hell of it. As for Kate well she was their leader, she was trained at NASA for eight years leading her team in and out of space missions. Sharon was a part of Kate’s team so she was second in command.
The ship had AI technology and had guided them all each day. Dan was looking at the leaves of his tomato plants. He was proud of his work as he reach for a tomato that was ripe he squeezed it. Liz peaked at him from around the corner. It had been 2 years that they had been aboard the ship some of them had become close, but not Liz. She had a crush on Dan for a while now though she never led on that she liked him like that.
Steven came around and touched her shoulder. “Staring at him again, Liz?
Her black hair was laying on her shoulder. She looked at Steven. “I was gonna ask him if the tomatoes were done I am curious to make a salad.”
Steven pushed her forward. “Well what are you waiting for?”
Liz cursed at him under her breath. She walked over to Dan eyeing his progress. Dan smiled. “Hi Liz.”
Elizabeth smiled and touched the tomatoes. “Looks good. I was wondering if any are ready I would really love to make a salad for dinner.”
Dan walked over to a bin. “These are done take what you need.”
Elizabeth took a few tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers and carrots. “Thanks. Would you like some of it after I cut and clean them?”
Dan nodded. “Nah I can grow stuff but I hate vegetables. But what the hell save me a small plate.”
“Sure.” Elizabeth walked down the hall. The computer had monitored them so when Liz’s heart beat spiked it knew of her attraction to him.
The computer spoke as she walked. “You should ask him out Liz.” “I would but he has a girlfriend on earth and my boyfriend and i just broke up. I don’t think it's wise.”
“He hasn’t contacted her but once since we’ve been here. Just remember your mission on this ship is to get to know one another and see if it is possible to live as one. Your daily exercise will commence in one hour.”
Liz sighed she hated their daily exercise especially since they all had to be naked. The exercise chamber did not have weight lift machines or treadmills. Every week it was something different. Emily looked at her swimsuit. “Hey Liz were Dan’s tomatoes done?”
“Yeah I was on my way to make a salad for dinner. You want some?” Liz said walking to the cafeteria.
“Yeah would love some.” Emily took her towel. She was pretty with blue eyes and blonde hair and a body like a godess.
“I’ll make a plate for everyone.for dinner.” Liz said as she entered the cafeteria. She seen Nathan there eating breakfast. He waved and took his bowl to the sink. “Good morning Liz.”
“Morning Nathan. Dan’s fresh produce were done. I am making a salad for dinner.” She happily laid all the things in her bag on the counter and went to wash them. Nathan looked at the tomatoes. They were bright red and looked juicy.
“Looks good can’t wait.” Nathan said as Kate came in.
“Morning Nathan, Liz.” Kate was in her uniform. She was marked as the captain of the ship. Her suit was a very pretty royal blue with Kate’s natural red hair well that made a combination.
“Morning Kate, We’re having a salad for dinner.” Liz was cutting it and putting it in a bowl. She had a small bowl that was set aside for Dan.
“Sounds good Liz. Has Steven came in yet? Kate was asking when Steven came in. “Hey what’s all the standing around for aren’t we supposed to be in the exercise pod for our naked mud wrestling?”
“It’s not mud wrestling it is to exercise our bones since there’s no gravity here. We need a workout to get our bones ready for when we go back to earth.” Kate explained.
“Yeah it's like walking through the trenches naked.” Steven made fun of it.
Richard came in stretching. “Is that tomatoes I smell?”
“Sure is thanks to Dan and his botany skills.” Liz covered the bowls putting them away for later.
“Thank god for him then. Being a vegetarian on this ship is scarce.” Richard said aloud.
Dan came in shortly after smelling the salad Liz had made. “Is it all good?”
“Yeah everything was perfect thanks Dan.” Liz washed her hands putting the knife in the sink.
Dan looked happy that he finally felt useful for once. He looked at Sharon and Emily come in. He had liked Emily, but she was with Richard who was taller and built. Dan didn’t think he would stand a chance with her.
Liz seen the way he looked at Emily from a woman’s point of view she knew that he liked her. She went to her quarters and removed her clothes and grabbed her robe. The exercise pod wasn’t that far from where she needed to go. Some of the others walked there with her she was smiling seeing Kate come along.
Steven was coming too. He was yelling. “Who’s ready for naked mud wrestling?” Richard laughed and Dan was at the back coming with Sharon as they talked.
At the door they all removed their robes and sat in the center of the room. It was pitch black, but was lit enough to see where they were walking. They all took a seat and waited for the computer to tell them what to do.
“Lay down please.” The computer stated. They all laid back and waited when this substance like mud entered the room they began to slightly sink then the computer instructed them to kick like they were running through the mud. It was hard to move their legs at first the sloshing of the mud was not heard. But they now knew why they had to be naked cause getting their clothes full of mud was just a mess.
Liz felt the workout in her legs as she had never experienced this before. She closed her eyes just moving her legs like she was walking on earth. Eventually over time she got tired and the mud receded back to wherever it came from. From above it started to rain it was good to feel the water wash off the mud off their bodies. No one could really see, but it was enough just to peer around looking at shadows.
Dan felt all the mud was off his body and walked over to get a towel. Steven was glancing at Liz he could see the outline of her body. No one knew he carried a crush on her. He never expressed it at all. He moved closer to her and put his hand on her.
Liz felt the hand on her hip. She looked behind her and couldn’t really see. The hand moved feeling her body she moaned just feeling it touch her. ‘Whomever is touching me please stop.”
Steven took his hand and placed it between her legs. “You want it to be him don’t you?”
“Yes I want him.” She admitted in the dark. “He won’t want you he wants Emily. Dan will never touch you.” Steven walked away.
Liz got her robe and put it on she walked back to her quarters and took a seat. She had never thought of Steven to like her so she put a lock on her door. Once she got dressed she went out to a window watching earth below. Liz was lonely aboard the ship and she was lonely on earth it made no difference where she was.
Dan came behind her seeing her stand there by the window. “It took me a while to have the nerve to glance outside. Are you okay?”
“No not really. Steven touched me when we were washing off. He said he liked me, but I didn’t want him.” Liz told him.
“Wow I am sorry you should talk to Kate. I thought you could use a friend. Come with me to dinner.” Dan offered.
Liz seen something strange outside. She looked a fright as she seen a missile on earth hit a city. “Kate get hold of mission control asap.” Dan came close to the window seeing something out of his nightmares. Warheads were bombarding every city on earth.
Kate heard Liz and contacted mission control. “Dane can you hear me? What is happening?”
“Hey Kate I hear you we don’t know what’s going on but were safe down here and i don’t know if we will lose communication but if we do i will get something working for you. The ship will guide you just tell L level 35 A4795 Dane DeHaan special opts.
“L you heard Dane enter code A4795. Level 35” Kate repeated to the ship. They called her L for short, Leavy Telis Mark 5. That was the name of the ship. She had become the top level intelligence for the mission. The ship moved and when it did the planet looked so ugly with nuclear fallout. Liz cried knowing that all life below had perished for those who were not in hiding or safe from the radiation. She looked at earth and everyone was quiet not saying a word.
“L we were to stay here for ten years. What’s the outcome if we stay longer?” Kate waited for L’s analysis.
“We have a reserve for five years extra but no more than that.” L said.
“Ok we will settle here to the end then down to earth. The radiation should clear out by then if anyone is alive. We will gather everyone and make some sort of safe haven.” Kate leaned against the console.
There were tears in Liz’s eyes. She looked at the others they were all shocked by what had happened. Dan had tears in his eyes as well. His whole family was dead as for his girlfriend well they had broken up when he had got aboard Leavy. So there wasn’t any regrets. Liz ran out back to where she was. The window showed her earth, her home away from home. “Everything’s gone.”
Dan came out of the darkness. “Liz?”
Dan had spoken up but not said a word. Liz went to him and held him. Together they cried it was hard to let go because they knew they were all they had left.
Steven saw Liz and Dan together he held a thumbs up when he was passing by. Liz smiled pressing herself closer to him. Dan spoke, “Liz?”
“Yes Dan what is it?” She pulled from him wondering what was on his mind.
“Seeing as everyone is together here and I never have. I was wondering if you and I could go out on a date or something?” Dan’s eyes looked into hers they were red from crying.
She nodded. “Yes I would like that.” Liz had loved that he had asked her out. He was not like other men who were all grabby and would take her to their bed. Dan was a different kind of man with more respect for women than Steven or Richard had.
Dan smiled. “I’ll have to have a chat with Steven. Excuse me.”
Liz nodded. She watched him go so she walked back to the infirmary. Emily was there with Richard. “Do you need some time alone?” Liz asked when she seen them.
Emily let Richard go. “No. We’re fine. Kate wanted to check our medical supplies.”
Liz walked on and began looking. “I was suppose to graduate this week. I was gonna call my mom tell her that I am now finally a doctor. But I guess she’ll never know.”
Emily walked over to her. “She knew. She knew you were a good doctor.”
Liz leaned on Emily. She shook her head and smiled. Richard looked at them both. “We have each other now.” He hugged them both in a group hug.