We abandoned our home long ago. We abandoned the ball of rock in search for a replacement. We left for the stars, so, so long ago. Our home was on the brink of destruction, and they had all decided, long ago that it was best if we left it, our toxins and our waste ruined our home and thus it turned against us, the water was poisoned beyond use and the sky had turned a muddy brown, goodness knows what it would be like now, broken and bleeding, slow and sick.
We are still searching for a home.
As we have journeyed through space we have found many worthy planets for our colonisation, but they were all inhabited by creatures who did not simply want to give it up for us. We have dropped off groups here and there in different worlds to give them another life, people who just want to live, and to stop flying around in this dangerous vacuum. Because it was dangerous, and mostly unknown.
It is now the year 3982 and it was the year 3970, August the eighteenth, it was calm, out there, in the silent vacuum of space. Distant suns and planets were twinkling; and that was when it soundlessly snuck upon us, an almost invisible cloud that engulfed almost all of the fleet. I was only a young girl. I was only seven when it struck, but all I remember was pain, and sounds around me of screaming. Many people died that day. The Day of Agony, it was known; the day where most of us had to endure the gut wrenching pain.
Not a lot of us knew what exactly the dark mass of cloud was, and why it moved. You see it wasn’t just a stray piece of nebula, and even if it was it wouldn’t have hurt us to that degree, it was something completely and utterly different. It soaked into the skin of everyone it came in contact with. Our thick metal hulls could not hold it back. It damaged nothing structurally, just the life, just the humans. Many people described it as if something invaded their minds. It was later revealed it was a radiation cloud off a distant supernova from a long time ago. Whatever type of radiation it was, was unknown, but it did things to many people, besides killing, it changed them structurally; genetically.
We were no longer the somewhat bland human race, but we had evolved and gained abilities. We had become mutants. It was like a broadening of the mind, some people had said, people had all sorts of abilities, basic manipulation powers, casting abilities, others also gained physical differences, they grew extra arms, their skin became transparent, their hair turned to smoke or they grew tails. Some used their newfound abilities to help, some using their enlarged brain to help figure out complicated astrophysical equations. Others became violent, killing random people because they ‘wanted too’. Even I was affected.
Originally scientists were confused. They saw a slight mutation, easily an insertion mistake in my DNA, they weren’t sure that it was because of the cloud because it seemed to be a silent mutation – or rather one that didn’t express any physical traits. I had it, but I didn’t have it.
But, I once remember, a year or so had passed and I was almost ten, and I was walking back down the hallway from school. There was a scary shape, I remember seeing. It was a person, a man, and he was coming towards me, looking angry and he was frightening me. He had had me against the wall, screaming at me, saying mean words. My mother always said to kick men where it hurt and to run away. And I remember trying, but I was only ten and the man was strong, and he still held me against the wall and he was yelling even louder at me. I didn’t know what happened, but something snapped, and I glared at him and told him to leave me alone. My voice was all growly, I remember, it scared even me.
He screamed and ran away from me like I told him too. Then I cried and ran home and threw up.
That day has been etched in my mind ever since then. I certainly did not know what had really happened, it just did. I was ten and I had never been a violent or scary or a mean little girl. All that I remember seeing as a result of it was an image in the newspaper of a man who jumped out the airlock into space, who had been raving on about some dark creature. I was scared, for a long time. It wasn’t until I was fifteen that things really changed… not just for me but for everyone aboard the Human Fleet.
He is called The Alpha. When I was a child he was a much more respected leader, but something changed in him, something turned him dark and angry all the time. Now, he was feared and hated. Every single person who has tried to go up against him as ended up dead. Every single one, and someday I see hordes of people on the news at six trying to storm the place and end his tyrannical rule.
It began a few months after The Day of Agony. Our leader told us to all who was fit and able to enlist in a tournament. It would be to test our strengths, he said, our new powers. Our will. It started out like that but became something sinister and cruel. Something that would change this whole fleet, and everyone in it.
It was called the Void Tournament.
The Void Tournament happened all year round, and it was a tournament like you would expect to see in those violent video games. I have been a participant in the Tournament, which refreshes every year, or five years now. It is none other than a fight to the death for the glory of being the best cold murderer. It is only rarely that people die in this Tournament, and this is why it is even more hated, and therefore even more forced upon us. We are not sure what or how, but after a person is killed, however, they are respawned. The gaming law of multiple lives had been personified and created for the entertainment of the sick minded and the bored; such people with no social lives that they would rather cheer at their screens at their own race being truly killed, over and over again.
The Void Tournament is the human races burden, is my burden. No one knows how we come back, but sometimes, a little part of the mind wants the torture to end, and that is when you get good, when you get really good. When you lose your heart and grow colder than the vacuum we are forever surrounded in.
We do not know how we survive and are reincarnated back alive instants later, but it is the only reason we fight, the only reason why we keep it going, to rebel is to truly die to our cruel leader.
But when I did find out just how we are brought alive… well. I guess you will just have to read on.