Journal Entry: January 14, 3014
A group of us were sent to Earth today to take readings and make observations as part of the Bi-Century Progress Check. The opportunity to do so was one of the reasons I joined The Collective in the first place, since they were the only ones authorized to set foot on the planet anymore. When my name came up I was thrilled to finally get down there.
The ride in was uneventful. Stunning, of course, and the ship was eerily quiet as we all got our first glimpse of the sun cascading through the atmosphere and the red-orange glow of the superheated air spreading away from us we sliced our way through. But there were none of the bumps and bounces reported on previous missions. It seems that The Collective have finally smoothed over the landing process.
Once on the ground, we deployed and I surveyed the deserted landscape, observed the clear delineations, the markings where the land had been divided and raped, and marveled that they remained after so much time had passed. The Collective had hoped that Earth would have begun to heal itself already but that did not appear to be the case.
I resisted the urge to remove my protective visor and drink in the colors as they were meant to be seen, but I felt it unwise to risk getting contaminated with anything that might still be in the air. Besides, the black and white suited the setting, suited the mood.
Something on the horizon caught my eye and I made the slow trek across the dusty ground to find a dilapidated domicile. It seemed odd that it had remained after so much else had faded away to nothingness. It seemed out of place. And, yet, it did seem right at home, crumbling walls and collapsed ceiling, at the same time. A relic of the old people tied to the ground they had destroyed. A monument. A reminder of the damage they caused.
I gathered my samples from near the building and then made it back to the ship just as they were preparing to launch. My manager wasn’t pleased that I had called it so close. But, I wasn’t alone in straggling in at the last moment. Most of the crew were determined to make the most of their time on the mythical land. Who could blame them for that?
While the images will haunt me for the rest of my life, while I know I will feel sorrow that I will never step foot on Earth again, I am glad I went. No regrets.
You could probably read some sort of scathing commentary on our current state of affairs, our current use of resources, etc… but that really wasn’t my intent. I just saw the picture and, as is usually the case, went where the words took me. That being said, I do welcome any discourse along those lines you feel up to chatting about, just let me know in the comments.
And, if you want to play along, this post was in response to moi’s Picture Writing Challenge for the week. What do you see? Write it, link it, post it.