JC.W
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Watchman

The Loneliness in Space of a Fallout World

illustrate by JC.W

I have spent ten years in geosynchronous orbit.

Only me. My companion flew back to Earth when he changed shifts, and he never came back.

That day, I saw a few mushrooms on the surface of the earth, then a few more, and finally counted a total of 150. Several times I saw something flying under my feet with a long track.

God, what should I do? To save more lives, I broadcasted on 121.5MHz to inform the planes to fly to New Zealand, where it had not been exposed to a nuclear explosion. I picked up the camera, and let the lens point there, focusing. After a while, I saw dozens of airlines coming from all directions. These planes have significantly increased their flight altitude to avoid nuclear shock waves. In this still pure sky, long tail clouds were pulled out from the tails of these planes. I saw an airplane coming from the Northwest corner. It had exhausted its maximum speed. I saw the mushroom circle behind it expanding, expanding. “Come on! Faster!” I cried in my heart... Finally, there was no trace of it in the sky, but it was left in my film forever.

Communication was interrupted.

I tried to contact the ground, and the headphones were full of buzz. No matter how I yelled, there was no response. At first, I did this for half a year, and then I gave up. A year later, I received a signal from the ground through a long-wave antenna, a conversation from the survivors.

From their calls, I knew where mushrooms came from. The reason was absurd. The head of state forgot to take his medicine that day. Oh, he forgot to take his schizophrenic medicine. He was furious and pressed the launch button.

I was angry too. I've been angry for five years, but what use is it? Because he didn't take the medicine on time, A nuclear war broke out, and I was trapped here alone, not even a person to talk with. What's wrong with you? Need to press that button? Even if your wife cheats, you don't have to do that either.

Don't ask me how I know. I can also refresh reddit.com here. There’s an experimental Wi-Fi network in space: Big West River. It consists of one million mini-satellites in low Earth orbit. Each of these satellites is one kilometer apart, forming a planar network of about 1,000*1,000 kilometers, floating over the central part of the North American continent. From my sight, they shine like a diamond carpet in the sunlight. I used a high-power directional antenna off the space station, played with some hack tricks, when going through the Big West River, weak Wi-Fi signals were received, but the network connection was stable. I wrote program scripts on a computer, and whenever I connected to the Internet, it's going to download what I wanted to read automatically. Most of them are novels, videos? Come on, it’s too time consuming, and downloading videos is unrealistic. Now, no matter which website server I try to ping, the response is timeout. Well, it's no big deal, it’s just that I can't vent anything through the internet.

I watched through the videos of my previous conversations with my family countless times, wondering how they are now. My child said he was going to Tibet, but I didn’t know if he was there. I can see the white spire of Mount Everest, even if it is surrounded by thick clouds. I'm so familiar with it! Because I told my children that to prove that the earth is round, you don’t have to go into space, just climb Mount Everest. If the earth is flat, your sight will never be interrupted. From the top of Mount Everest, you can see the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. In fact, you can’t see the Statue of Liberty there, or Japan, or Beijing.

Forget it. I’m not going to think about it. We can’t get in touch anyway.

According to the area distribution of mushrooms, only one third of the people can survive.

Bastard, why don’t you take the medicine!

Maybe everyone forgot me. How can they see me through the thick radiation clouds? Who would risk his life to talk to me? Maybe they think I’m dead!

If it hadn’t been for good psychological quality, I would have collapsed. When I wake up, I move my hands and feet, talk to myself, enjoy myself and watch the scenery on the earth ground. Actually, there is nothing beautiful at all. Where is the scenery?! The blue planet has changed color! Do you think it’s still aesthetic? Can a thing without aesthetic feeling bring you hope?

I don’t know. But five years ago, I found a glimmer of hope for myself. I adjusted myself to the night side so that people on the ground might be able to see me, at least those near the Arctic or Antarctic, where there are two places that are not covered by radiation clouds. I controlled the solar panels of the spaceship, and let it reflect the sunlight from different angles, so that people on the ground can see me; a flickering me, which is worth trying. But you have to remember, the flash of light must be irregular, just as Morse code. For this, I programmed on ship’s computer, controlling the action of solar panels, sent out a message, “SOS”.

Five years, no one contacted me.

I once broadcast to the universe, fantasizing that there are aliens to save me. Ha-ha, stop dreaming, there are too many things worth saving in the vast universe.

Do you think there is another you in this universe? Only a short while ago, I thought the answer to this question was yes. There are how many parallel universes in existence, and how many of you exist? Dream is the chink to parallel universe. When you dreamed of yourself, you saw yourself in some space-time. Dreams are true, aren't they? In real life, sometimes you feel as if you have experienced a certain moment, and have the feeling of being acquainted with each other.

One day I dreamed, a bright spot came from the depths of space and grew bigger and bigger. Slowly, I saw clearly that it was an UFO. It flew to the cabin and stopped. Through the porthole, I saw them walk out of the UFO, and open the emergency hatch opposite me. A moment, everything in the cabin flew up and was sucked out. I thought I would suffocate, but I’m fine! Outside the cabin door came three men in space suits. It seemed that I knew them and when they took off their helmet. Yes, they were my space station guys!

“Ray, are you all right?”

“Yes, I’m fine.” I am about to cry with excitement.

“Come back with us.” He stretched out his hand.

I stretched out my hand and tried to hold him, “wait for me.” I walked towards them, but there was a force pulling me back.

“Come on, Ray, we’re leaving.” They were moving backwards, farther and farther away from me.

I jumped over and shouted “Wait for me!” The hatch door was still closed. They left.

I pounded the hatch door with my hand, the space station started to sound an alarm, and started falling down.

I woke suddenly with a start.

I noted down what I had experienced in my dreams, one story after another, for a long time, and it accumulated a thick pile of paper. It’s possible to produce an album! And I gave it a name, “polychrome books.”

I have been relieved; I no longer hate the man who did not take medicine, no longer complain that people did not find me, I no longer look for ways out, on the contrary, I think I am very good here. This is my little shelter. I’m happy here, and don’t have to worry about survival.

The capsule, I’m the only one left, seemed empty. When they were there, we often played the game of space flying fish in the cabin, flying from one cabin to another through the hatch door. A ball for circular motion is hung at the hatch door. Just don’t hit it when you cross by the door. I picked up this baseball with Alex Rodriguez’s signature. It was the space agency director’s memorial gift for my ten space trips. I looked at it and smiled inexplicably. I tied the ball with a rope, hung it over the hatch door, straightened the rope, patted the ball gently, and it began to do circular motion. I went to the other side of the cabin and put on Washington Redskins’ helmet, then lifted my feet up to the bulkhead, kept my body parallel to the ground, bent my legs, pointed my head at the front door, and stared at the spinning baseball. Took the right time and counted, “One, two, three,” in my heart. With a kick of my feet, I shot out like a barracuda. Very good. Successfully passed. Touchdown! This time I adjusted the speed of the ball faster. I was challenging myself. The difficulty had not been won, and this time was no exception. The ball hit my helmet heavily. Once more, the ball hit my body. Ouch! I leaned against the hatch door, took off my helmet, and gave the ball a heavy pat.

I can go without food for a few days, the longest time I had slept for a week. I missed Christmas several times, so what? There are no reindeer or Santa Claus in space. Do you think I haven’t tried to find it? Of course I did, and the correct answer is, No. Anyway, the best way to celebrate is to have a beautiful dream. Low metabolism brings low consumption. Supplies can last a long time, and I don't need to worry about that. But, maybe I can open a service called “ISS Tracks Santa,” let the children call me! So I can give them a hopeful and happy answer, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.”

I read a book when I’m free. I can even recite The Complete Works of William Shakespeare backwards fluently. I began to study Buddhism. One flower, one world, one tree, one bodhi, one heart, one pure land, one person, one Buddha. Now, my skill of sit in meditation is very good. Sit down, and I feel like I’m in a clean world. Meditation, there’s no cosmic noise around. When I sat in meditation, I float when I don’t pay attention. It feels like a fairy. I regard the present situation as my self-cultivation. I hope my practice can bring me a pure land.

If only I had a female astronaut accompany with me, maybe we already have the next generation, that’s a real astronaut. You asked me who I would choose as my space female companion? I would say she is the heroine in VOTOMS. Honestly, how I want to sleep with her forever in space, just like the hero.

Everything has an end. When that day comes, then I’ll worry about it.

I’ve compiled a book of pictures of the earth I’ve seen over the years. I am most qualified to say to others, if there’s that person, what the fallout world looks like! I hope one day someone will find me, whether Earth people or aliens, and see what I have left behind.