October 16, 2147
Beneath me a blue jewel of a planet falls into night as a star’s halo burns briefly on the horizon. The halo dims, flickers, and then vanishes altogether. Quiet reflection fills the cabin of the shuttle and not a whisper is heard. This would be the last time we would ever lay eyes on the Sun’s golden rays.
When the spectacle is over the shuttle’s windows slowly begin to adjust tint and quiet conversation begins to seep back into the others. I remain silent and watch. As I do the grey jewel below us sparkles and pops into life as light bristles along its surface. Highways, cities, channels, and eventually satellites flicker of the darkness in a silent ethereal dance. I relish in the chance to see the landmarks of humanity’s ascendance.
Earth, our cradle, a home I feel I hardly even know. I am leaving it behind for a dangerous colonization venture across the stars. I will never see this place again. Nor will any of the others in my company.
My father nudges me and tells me not to be so mellow; he reminds me of all the problems earth has. I smile and reassure him. I will miss this planet, but I am ready to make my own way on a new one. Freedom and responsibility await me in an odd paradox. On one hand I will be held accountable to myself rather than to others. I can make my own friends and be my own person. On the other hand I owe it to everyone on my ship, and to those who supported me on earth, to see that humanity rises like a newborn star on this new Eden. They are my flock to shepherd.
I will rise to the challenge.