May 16, 2011

Kybernatia- by Clare Dargin


Kybernatia was supposed to be humanity’s newest paradise but that dream is all but gone. Ruined in an horrible terra forming accident, the planet was deemed no longer fit for humanity. Gabrielle Burle, project manager for the development of the planet, was forced out of her job as a veil of secrecy suddenly shrouded the planet.

Determined to find the truth, Gabrielle goes on a journey of discovery that leads to the one man with all the answers.

Kybernatia, an aquamarine-blue planet with islands and continents of sandy gold and dark brown, filled the view screen. Happy people with large white perfect smiles romped through scenes of beautiful sandy beaches while sapphire blue water washed upon their tan bodies. Lush forests and cozy mountain getaways flashed, wrapping up the almost Edenic view of this once beautiful planet. The commercial ended slowly for Gabrielle. It brought back all the memories she had for the little planet that had been devoid of all forms of life. A sober-faced reporter appeared upon the screen pulling her from her memories and bringing her back to the present as he grimly stated the realities of the horrific planetary accident.
“You’re not exactly fired, but we think it’s best that you move on,” Dr. Linwood said, interrupting the news anchor's controlled-yet-cool delivery of the news. Dr. Linwood appeared sympathetic to her plight, but she knew he was just covering his back. It was, after all, Washington, D.C., and if you didn't cover your backside, someone else would do it for you.
Still, she tried to hide her surprise. Couldn’t he had at least have waited until all the people had been removed from the planet before kicking me to the curb? All of a sudden, their playful banter and office talk seemed like it was just that: talk. They hadn’t been friends as she had hoped.
Unable to speak, Gabrielle Burle continued to stare at the disturbing and tragic images on the view screen inside her office. Emergency craft of all shapes and sizes sped to the planet as smoke and plumes of ash erupted from its surface. They could see the hospital ships close in as the wounded and seriously injured were brought aboard for care.
Gabrielle gazed helplessly at the scene. The once-promising new home for humanity went up in smoke, right before her eyes, along with any hopes of ever working in Washington again. Clenching her fists, she dug her nails into her palms as the pain of the destruction ripped her heart in two. It was all she could do to keep from crying. Kybernatia had been her project, her baby, and now it was in ruins.
As a planetary developer specializing in the area of terraforming, Gabrielle had had experience in the field before, mostly with small moons and a few of the satellites around Jupiter. Those developments were mostly for mining purposes; Gabrielle’s specialty had been negotiation of contracts with labor unions specifically for the development of planets. Kybernatia had been her largest work to date, and her dream job.
Devastated, Gabrielle could hardly believe her eyes. Opening the door to the closet across from her desk, she stooped down to pick up an empty box. She had used it to carry in a few plants she’d bought to sit on the window sill, along with a few other things to decorate her office. Now, she would pack her stuff to leave permanently. Looking at her reflection in the office window, she could see dark circles around her eyes from stress, and her once nearly flawless umber-colored skin was now blotchy. Her long mahogany hair cascaded limply past her shoulders, completing the look of depression she felt inside.
As she gathered her things, Dr. Linwood placed his hand on her shoulder. She smiled bravely, feeling a bit of ire rise up within her
“Don’t bother,” he said evenly. “We’ll send them to you.”

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