Fran betas and 2browneyes, ceceprincess1217, and Lissa pre-read the OS for us, but Judyblue has come on board for the fic.
My name is Amelia, and today I watched the world end.
Before this, I was nothing but an English professor dating a historian named Theodore Swan. I lived in an apartment in Cambridge, working for one of the most prestigious colleges in the United States. I had no reason to suspect my life would change so drastically although I can't say the same for Theodore.
The night everything changed, Theodore came to my apartment to propose. The word 'yes' had barely left my mouth before six federal agents burst through my door, demanding I come with them.
I was left with no other choice. Theodore and I were outnumbered. He screamed after me as a strange man dragged me from my home, the others cornering him.
I asked the stranger if I was under arrest, but he responded with a simple, "Amelia … I'm sorry for the intrusion, but we have little time for this. Please buckle your harness. Your flight is set to leave in ten minutes and we cannot afford to be late."
I was about to ask him what he meant when I felt a sharp pain at my nape, followed by an acute numbing sensation. My vision blurred, my head lolling to the side as the man pulled a small syringe from my neck. One second I was stricken with fear, the next I was encased in darkness.
I awoke sometime later to an oddly familiar voice. My eyes strained against bright overhead lights, my head spinning as I regained consciousness. I glanced to my left and panicked, discovering I was hooked up to a machine.
"Amelia, I'm Doctor Cullen." My head snapped upward, my eyes met with a dark haired man who I immediately recognized—he was on CNN recently. "I'm sorry; you must feel very confused at the moment. I promise you there is an explanation for all of this."
Doctor Cullen explained to me that I was in a hospital getting my blood and body checked. When I asked him why it mattered, he told me, "Because your mind and blood are pertinent to the continued existence of the human race."
The explanation I was provided was in the form of a short video. In less than twenty-four hours, I was to leave Earth with a selected group of people. We'd travel to a planet that would take well over one hundred and fifty years. I later realized scientists had known for decades that this day would come, and we were never to find out about it until now.
I soon became acutely aware there would be no choice in the matter. In the blink of an eye, I'd become a science experiment. My entire existence up to this point ceased to matter. Life on Earth was coming to an end; everyone I knew and loved would die.
And they did.
I watched as Earth disintegrated in front of my very eyes through the porthole of a spaceship transferring hundreds of passengers to the Tesla Enterprise. Everyone cried as they watched Earth end—with it, all their loved ones. I was sure everyone I knew was gone until the moment I was delivered to a pod for educators such as myself and was met, face-to-face, with Teddy.
Hope slowly began to restore itself.
I threw my arms around him, sobbing uncontrollably. He held me for what felt like hours, also crying silently. I then asked Teddy if he knew what they wanted from us, and he cleared the tears from my cheeks as he replied, "They want us to replenish the human race."
The journal nearly flies out of my hand as a digitalized voice rings through my ears. I glance up at the blue hologram flashing across the room.
"Y-yes?" I ask, closing the journal and tucking it beneath my arm as JAKE drifts forward. His screen changes to a video of a woman.
"Your mother is standing outside the door, would you like her to enter?"
My eyes widen. "Yes, please, let her in. Thank you, JAKE."
"You are welcome, Isabella." His hologram closes and the white doors to my room slide open. My mother emerges from the hall dressed in her standard crème suit, her hair wrapped in a neat bun at the top of her head.
"Is everything all right?" she asks hesitantly, her eyebrows drawing together. "The Mating Announcements are about to be made. Why are you not ready yet?"
"Oh," I murmur, glancing down at the journal under my arm. Her eyes are drawn to it as well, her expression confused. "I found this in the ceiling," I inform her, knowing there is no point in lying. "It is a diary Amelia Swan kept, dated all the way back to 2150."
Her eyebrows rise. "Really?" she asks. "What does she say?"
I hesitate. "I have only just begun reading, but from what I can gather she was a very, um…" I pause, searching my brain for the correct term. "Passionate. She was not brought here of her own free will."
"Of course not. Most individuals were handpicked by the commander and forced onto the ship. They would never willingly leave their families behind."
I nod, already aware of our history. One of the first things we learn on Tesla is why our ancestors were transferred here. I know that the captain at the time chose a very specific group of individuals from all around the world, each of whom were assigned to one of the five pods; Education, Engineering, Farming, Healing, and last but least likely, Commanding. The Commanding Pod is the smallest, yet most powerful sector of the ship.
"This was different," I mumble. She glances at me with a questioning look. "Amelia Swan was mated with someone she claimed she loved."
Her eyebrows lift in surprise. "Hm," she hums. "What are the odds? One in a thousand, I suppose."
I nod in agreement. I have heard that term rarely during my lifetime. Most people on Tesla are foreign to the concept altogether. Working in the library, I am often exposed to words others do not understand. Words that stood out on places like Earth, but do not apply here. I have wondered if it were possible for individuals who were mated to experience love, but have never heard of any such case.
"Well," my mother sighs out. "You should be going soon. The announcements will begin and you cannot miss them. Remember, Isabella, this is your duty."
I narrow my eyes in her direction but do not argue. "Yes, ma'am."
She nods and retreats from the room. I huff out an agitated sigh and sink down on the bed, tucking the journal beneath the mattress to ensure its safekeeping. I pull my hair into a bun similar to my mother's, attempting to avoid the trepidation I feel toward this day.
I was born not a native of Earth, but rather one of the Andromeda Galaxy, as were my compeers and those before us. For the last one hundred and fifty years, our existence has continued to thrive on a system that consists of two missions: service and reproduction. As I am seventeen-years-old, I have already mastered my profession as a librarian in the Education Pod. Meaning, I have only one duty left to fulfill.
Our companions are handpicked for us from the Commanding Pod before we are even birthed. It is something we are taught to accept and embrace, for we would not exist if it were not for this predetermined copulation.
However much I tell myself that I have nothing to fear, there is an anxiousness that clings to me throughout the morning as I prepare for the ceremony. Jitters, I suppose, or perhaps I am just overwrought after learning that people like us, who were chosen to breed together, could do something more than simply coexist. I tell myself that it is absurd, and yet Amelia and Theodore Swan are proof of ardor's existence.
I exit my efficiency unit and keep my eyes trained to the floor on my way to the elevator.
"Isabella!" I look over my shoulder and notice Angela approaching. "Good, you are just now leaving too. I am glad I am not the only one who is running behind."
She waves her hand, shining the silver tattoo on the inside of her wrist over the crease in the door. A blue beam flashes and the doors slide open.
"I was reading," I explain as we board the conveyor. "That journal I found, the one that belonged to Amelia Swan."
"Oh?" she asks as the doors close. I feel a slight shift as the room carries us up to the next level. "I was wondering why you did not show for breakfast this morning, but I figured you were not feeling well. Mating Announcements usually tend to incite some anxiousness, but it is completely normal."
I manage to nod, agreeing with her. "Yes," I murmur.
Thankfully, Angela does not question me as the doors reopen on the sixth floor, the highest and commanding sector. We keep our heads down as we quickly walk the hallway. When we reach the center of the pod, Angela uses her wrist-key in an attempt to open the door.
"It won't work," I inform her. She turns to me with a perplexed expression. "Our keys work in our pods only."
Angela would have no way of knowing this—she has only used her key in the Education Pod. We have never had reason to use them outside of our own pod because the doors to the commanding center are always open when we are needed inside; which can only mean one thing.
"We are late," she mutters.
I nod, taking a step back. I open my mouth to suggest we knock, stopping as the door slides open. My eyes widen at the blond-haired, green-eyed figure approaching us. The man is clad in a silver suit that clings to his form, his name sprawled in dark gray letters across the left side of his chest.
"C-captain Cullen," I stutter, awestruck.
Captain's gaze falls on me, his eyebrows lifting. "Isabella," he states, the corners of his lips upturning as he glances to my friend. Angela blinks at him. "You two come inside, we were just about to begin when we noticed your absence. Are you feeling all right this morning?"
When I realize he is awaiting a response from us, I nod. "Yes, Captain. We are fine, thank you. Just lost track of time."
He smiles and steps aside to grant us enough berth to pass. I move forward, my eyes widening as I take in the room, overwhelmed at the sight of the large body of people. They are all seated in blue glass chairs, chattering about as though this was just another routine assembly. There is a stage set at the forefront of the room with a hologram flashing 'Mating Day' across the top.
"Please find your pod-mates, girls," I hear Captain say. "We have much to discuss and should not waste any time."
Angela and I quickly find the Education Pod and take our seats. Captain walks over to the stage and assumes a position beside our Co-Captain, Peter Denali. The chattering stops abruptly, the room growing quiet.
"Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Mating Announcement Ceremony," Captain begins, smiling. "As you should know by now, I am your captain, Carlisle Cullen, and this is my Co-Captain, Peter Denali."
The crowd erupts into applause, some even cheering at his words. Captain laughs, lowering his hands.
"We will land on our new home planet shortly, and I am sure you all feel very eager to get there, but today is not about discussing Alterna," he says, causing the room to go silent once more. He pauses momentarily, several different emotions crossing his face before he begins. "This day is perhaps one of the most significant in history, as your generation will be the first to begin to harvest new life on Alterna with the person chosen for you within your pod. Together, you will continue to thrive on Tesla, until we set foot on our new planet."
There are several frantic clapping hands in the audience, which are silenced as Captain raises his hand. "I would like to begin the announcements by starting out with my son, your future leader, Edward—"
Angela leans into me. "Here we go."
I am about to respond just as Edward Cullen stands. Clamping my mouth shut, I take in the smoothness of his gait as he saunters over to the stage, the silver of his suit shimmering in the bright overhead light. He seems so confident, almost prideful as he meets his father's side, flashing us all a smile that somehow melts the sweltering anxiety in the pit of my stomach.
We have known our future captain since childhood, having attended school with him until we reached the age of fourteen, where we were divided and sent to begin training specialized for our pods. We have always known Edward would be our next leader and have treated him likeroyalty, as would be expected, and is such.
Edward begins to rattle off a speech about how thrilled he is to be captain, and I notice Mike Newton, a future mathematics educator, rolling his eyes in agitation.
I lean toward him, curious. "What?" I whisper.
"Self-righteous," he mumbles, staring ahead. I divert my attention back to Edward, listening intently to him.
"…it is a great privilege to be elected as the next leader…"
"Elected?" Mike murmurs. "He is Cullen's kid. No one else stands a chance against him. Even if this were a democracy, which it is not, we would not get a choice. The Cullen and Denali family will overrule us until the end of time."
I settle back in my chair, contemplating his words as Edward continues his speech.
"Thank you, Edward," Peter speaks next, patting Edward on the back before turning to us. "I would like you all to welcome Edward's new mate, Tanya Denali."
Tanya is the next to stand, and my eyes are immediately drawn to her attire. She is dressed in a gorgeous, dark gray, skin-tight suit, her matching high-heeled boots clinking against the floor as she makes her way forward. Edward holds his hand out to help her, her long blonde tresses bouncing as she bounds up the stairs. The crowd continues to cheer for them, but I am slightly befuddled.
I turn to Angela and she notices me immediately, lifting her eyebrows in confusion. "What?"
Unable to form a coherent thought, I quickly shake my head and return my eyes to the couple before me. They are holding hands and smiling at us as they take their seats on the stage beside Peter Denali, watching Captain Cullen intently as he walks to the center of the stage.
"We will begin the announcements with the first level of the ship, the Education Pod. I will start listing the male names in alphabetical order."
Captain begins calling off names and people are met with their mates, none of whom seem fazed by their prearranged companions. Mike Newton is the sixth name to be called, and he grumbles something under his breath as he stands to pass me.
It is not until Angela's name is called and she is matched with Mike that I begin to question the effectiveness of the partnering system our leaders have put into place. We are assured from childhood that the commanders take special care in determining who we are paired with, but I wonder how thorough they could possibly be in such small pods.
The system is set so that our bloodlines remain pure and no inbred offspring is produced on Tesla, yet our mates are always limited to those within our own pods. We are taught that by mating within our own pods, we will continue to grow and expand our knowledge base on one particular subject.
I speculate that questionable logic for a moment, but not too long, as my name is called. "Isabella Swan," Captain says, gesturing toward Eric Yorkie.
I narrow my eyes momentarily before standing. I brush through the crowd and meet Eric's side, taking his hand. He sends me a smile and a wink. "Hey."
"Hi," I reply, keeping my head down as Captain continues with the rest of the names.
I lift my eyes and find Angela watching me intently. I stare back for a moment, wondering if she finds this as questionable as I do.
I am not sure, but I intend to find out.
So, here's the first chapter and it is a collab with Vampiregirl93. We will be taking turns with A/N and review replies. Odds will be Fyre, evens will be Vamp. I absolutely love everything about this story so far and hope that the Sci-Fi label doesn't scare you away. We're hoping to bring you a completely unique take on the future of the human race.
We've expanded and tweaked the original OS and there is lots of new material, during and beyond. We hope you enjoy this much better as we were able to delve deeper into our characters.
See you next week :)