Before you begin reading, I just want to explain a few things about this story that I have worked so hard to develop.
For starters, it doesn't revolve around characters from the show such as the Shannon family, Commander Taylor, Mark Reynolds, and Alicia Washington. Though I do mention people like Taylor once or twice, this is by no means a story from their perspective. Instead of playing up the (in my opinion) over-used romance between Maddy & Mark, a secret romance between Washington and Taylor as I've seen so many times before in fan fiction, or anything else, I decided to create my own characters. I wanted to make the story my own; something I could control and have complete choice over what happens next every step of the way.
Also, it may seem like the chapters and writing go on for years. On Microsoft Word, the chapters range from 3 pages in length to just over 9 pages, though most are an average of 7-8.5 pages long.
Another thing I've noticed with most of my writing; I try to be very detailed with my descriptions of people, settings, & events, and it may mean that an entire day can take two or three bulky chapters to get through. One chapter alone might take place over the span of only a few hours. A good example of this would be how I've written likely 50+ pages and am in the process of writing chapter 13 but I am only on the family's third day in Terra Nova (as of 3-22-12).
Please do not expect any sex scenes and please do not expect much cursing apart from the occasional word.
As I rounded the corner down the dusty, cold hallway, I zipped up my black vest almost all the way up, leaving just a few inches unzipped at the top. This was partly to stay warmer, and partly as a preemptive way of keeping the vest in my possession if I were to get mugged just one floor below my own home, in this dirty, garbage-filled hallway. My vest was filled with real down feathers, making it a rare commodity in a world where most natural flora and fauna are non-existent, killed out by humans. People were more and more willing to do just about anything to put food on the table for their family, even if it means mugging a fifteen-year-old girl. It had cost us nearly four thousand dollars to attain.
Taking in a deep breath through my reBreather, I coughed as the particles of pollution that weren't filtered out reached my lungs. The air was getting worse and worse each day, and even a reBreather wasn't doing much to filter the air. Something made a loud, metallic bang! behind me somewhere as I hurried up the concrete stairs to the next floor. When I got to the door of our apartment, fifth from the stairs, I slid an entrance key into the slot and let myself into the main room, a small space that acted as entranceway, living room, kitchen, and dining room. Locking the door behind me, I pulled the reBreather off and dropped it into a basket on the floor that already contained two other reBreathers. I guess I'm the last one home, I thought to myself.
"Hello?" I said as I hung up my vest in a closet that was hidden behind an ugly floor-length mirror.
"Look who finally showed up," said my seventeen-year-old brother, Jacob, sitting on the sofa where he had been reading a book, "Mom said she has to tell us something important, but she wanted to wait for you to get home first before telling us." As he finished saying that, our mother came out of her bedroom.
"Good to see you," she said, sitting down across from my brother in a chair, "sit down, Adri," as I sat down next to my brother, I took in my mother's appearance. She was wearing a pale grey blouse and brownish, fitted pants underneath her crisp white doctor's coat, embroidered with her name, Dr. Prevot. She had close to thirty jackets exactly the same that looked like this one. Her wavy chocolate-brown hair was loose except for a small section that was pinned back with a bobby pin, making her ivory skin look even more ivory in the poor lighting of our apartment. Her grey eyes matched her shirt almost perfectly, apart from the few flecks of green around her pupils.
"I've got some news to tell you two…some news that will impact our lives permanently." My eyes widened.
"Did you lose your job?" I asked.
"No, of course not, silly. This is a good thing…something absolutely incredible, in fact." She said.
"Then what is it?" Jacob asked. Taking a deep breath, she held each of us by the hand.
"When I went into the break room to have some coffee today before work started, I saw that I had a letter in my box. It was a letter of recruitment for Terra Nova." My jaw dropped to the floor.
"Are you kidding?" my brother said, his voice cracking as it did when he was surprised, "This isn't a joke, right?" She smiled.
"No, Jacob, I'm serious. They've asked that I come on the ninth Pilgrimage."
"It makes perfect sense, though," I said, finally getting over the initial shock, "you're an optometrist, a surgeon, an OBGYN, and a dentist… you're exactly the person they need in a place like Terra Nova. I doubt that there is even an OBGYN at Terra Nova…maybe a midwife, if that." It sounded rediculous to name all her specialties, but they were key in getting us to where we were today, learning this news. She smiled and nodded to me.
"That's almost exactly what they said in the letter… they said that I am highly trained in many skills that are greatly needed there." She pulled a crisp white letter out of the inner pocket of her jacket, handing it to my brother.
"When is the ninth leaving?" Jacob asked after reading it. I took it from him and read it for myself.
"The 19th of May," she replied.
"Good god, you know today's the 16th, right?"
"Of course. What does that have to do with it?" she asked.
"You'd think that they would at least give us a two or three week's notice in advance, right?" he said.
"No, they only do that for those that won through the lottery. Those who are going because they get recruited usually aren't told until a few days before the pilgrimage leaves for their own safety," I told him. My mother nodded.
"Safety?" he asked.
"Yeah," I continued, "they don't inform the recruited people until a few days before for their own safety. If they were to tell them way in advance like the lottery winners, chances are, they'd go around telling their friends, and then chances are, they'd get murdered by someone trying to take their place for the pilgrimage. It's happened before." As the information sunk in, he started to nod, "the more valuable the person, the shorter amount of time the give them as notice before the pilgrimage date."
"Don't the lottery people still risk getting killed?" he asked.
"Yes, but the risk is much lower because they get to go by chance, not based on need… they were chosen at random, so killing them wouldn't guarantee any certain person a place in the next pilgrimage…it would be a random selection."
"That makes a lot of sense, actually." He replied, looking at our mother.
"Did you tell anyone that you got recruited, Mom?" he asked her.
"Only you two…I know the dangers of talking about such things, so I kept my mouth shut all day. I'll tell you this, thinking about going to Terra Nova made a crazy day of work a lot easier." She told us.
"Do we get to go?" I asked.
"Of course. They said that I could bring up to three people who are family by blood, and that means you two, obviously, and then if I wanted to, I could bring someone from my family- either one of my parents, or maybe even your cousin Ally, since she's orphaned." The 'Family is Four' law was passed just weeks after my mother was born in 2112, so her parents couldn't have any more children. My mom's older brother had one daughter with a girlfriend who died from the pollution when their daughter, Ally, was two. Ally's dad went through to Terra Nova when she was ten because he won the lottery, but he couldn't take her because he only won a single ticket. She lived with our grandparents ten miles outside of Chicago, while we lived in our cramped apartment in the heart of Chicago, less than a mile from Hope Plaza. At 15, Ally was only one month younger than me.
"When should we contact her?" I asked my mom.
"How about tomorrow? We were planning on going out there tomorrow anyway, so we can sit them down and explain everything to them. It also gives us the chance to express the importance of keeping quiet about it to her." she replied.
"Okay…so, then what are you going to do the next couple of days?" Jacob asked.
"I was planning to just go to work like normal, and then at the end of the day on the 18th, I was thinking I'd say goodbye to all my coworkers and then just go home. That last night we spend here could be very dangerous, mark my words. Even though there are only a few people there, I wouldn't put it past any of my fellow doctors to try to, uh, eliminate me." She told him.
"So…what would happen if you got killed? Like, to us…would we still go?" I asked her.
"Of course. Since your uncle is there in Terra Nova, they would legally have no reason to deny you your places on the pilgrimage. They could get in big legal trouble…really, really big legal trouble." She told us. Shaking her head, she stood up.
"Let's not ask any more questions, okay? I'm going to call the recruiters and inform them of our choice. In the letter, it said that some more information will arrive in the mail tomorrow." Taking her phone out of her pocket, she climbed up the spiral staircase to our small loft that she used mostly as an office, leaving us to contemplate our futures.