Last Light - Refugee

JesperSB - Last Ligth - Ringworld adventure

1: Wake Up

    The alarm was blipping.
    I waited for a second.

   Have you ever been comfortably resting in your bed, and then the alarm sounds.? Ruins a perfectly wasted morning.
   The alarm bibbed a low and a high note, and that meant life-support, and that was me. I was told by my grandma that I was born under a lucky star. In a universe where the last stars had burned out, that meant nothing.
    I started to rise. Next to me laid my genius wife, and our three-month-old daughter. She was the genius, I was the practical guy. She was the Meme-Lord with the high salary. I was the screw up, who was hired to fix her power cable.
    I got up, and put on my yellow jumper. I used this yellow jumper because it was the only free one on this planet's last ship. On the top bunk laid two teenage girls, aged fourteen and fifteen. Both are fertile. They were checked before getting on the ship.
    My luck and my skill with duct tape was why I was here. This was the last ship off the planet, before it was destroyed. I exited the cabin, and stepped over a person on the floor. The corridors were dirty, and filled with people.

   The life-support was working too hard. The ship wasn't working great, when we got it off the planet. It had been in a junkyard for maybe fifty years. The inside was used by teenagers, (for a love nest), mice, rats, and chickens... for normal nesting. Maybe not in that order, and lastly, it was a garbage container.
    I made my way to the life-support area.
   We left the planet, and our star system, because of the supernova. We knew the star was dying, and the great leaders had slowly moved the planet away from the star. But they had made a simple calculation error, and the star went supernova ten years early.
We were on the night side, when the Super Coronal Mass-ejection hit the planet. I came to the door of the life-support and watched my wingman look at the machine. I asked: "So Delic. What is it this time.?"

   He shook his head:
"The system is overheating.
Can we kill maybe ten people.?"

      I smiled. It was a standing joke, and then not. He spoke differently, because he was a wraith. A blue floating ghost with no real body. He was a man of some unknown race, and now he was a semi-ghost. I entered the room: "We could vent the wraiths into space. Would that help.?"

     He smiled his ghost smile at me:
"We are not the ones taxing life support."

    I nodded at his meaning. He was 'looking' at the system. The wraiths could see through all spectrums of light. But they had a hard time touching anything solid. And that was where I came in.
    The hands of the ghost.
    He was watching something beyond the system. Wraiths also had a form of precognition, or future vision. He knew what was going to happen if he watched for it.
   He pointed to a joint:
"Duct tape there, and a double layer."

    I found a spool of black duct tape, and ripped of a piece. I placed it where he said, and did it one more time, for a double layer effect.
    He nodded while looking at the joint:
"Jenson. Now turn on the system again."

    I turned to the control panel and reset the breakers. I started the system up again. It took a couple of minutes, before the light turned green: "Is it just me, or does the light take longer to turn on each time.?"
    He blinked his eyes:
"Seven point three minutes.
    No. It is the same."

   We stood for a couple of minutes to make sure the system was working. I smiled at Delic: "We could plant trees, that would help with the system. We just need.... seeds, soil and water."
   He looked at me, for a couple of seconds:
"That will save your life...
But not right now."

    He exited the room, and went to his race's area. They liked it hot, and lived close to the Fusion reactor. He once made a joke about his race. They were a normal race, like humans... But a warlord made a terrible weapon that killed the bodies of everybody on their planet, but the wraith kept existing.
    I put down the roll of black duct tape I had in my hand. If I had to write a book, I would write about Duct tape. The title, 'Duct Tape for Dummies.' came to mind, or maybe 'A thousand and one ways to use Duct tape'.
    I went back to my cabin. I opened the door, and looked in. We had no real privacy, but my daughter still had to be changed. I stopped at the door and watched the two ladies in my life. My wife smiled up at me: "Just another glorious day.?"
    I smiled at her: "We are alive, and our daughter is alive. This is the main goal. Then we figure out the rest as it comes."
   She smiled at our daughter, as she changed her diaper.
   I closed the door and sat down in the dirty corridor. I thought back over the last three years. I met my wife, Shesho, a little over three years ago. I had just started my new job as an electronic repair guy. She had blown a power line, and needed a new one.
   I entered her exclusive high rise, and was checked three times before reaching her door. The door was a black security door, and the doorbell sounded nice.
   She looked like she had stepped out of a magazine, she was in a nice dress, and holding a cup of coffee. Like a picture, from 'Home of the Rich and Famous'.
    I was unwashed, and not that freshly shaved. I had some different types of power-lines with me. I asked what type of cable she wanted. She knew nothing about it.
  I replaced her power-line, and cleaned up after myself. As I waited in the hallway, because I needed a signature, I watched the pictures on the wall. She had some of her own memes posted on the walls of the hallway.
   I started to read them, and some of them I even laughed at. She wanted to show me some more, and we started talking. After an hour, I had to get to the next customer. A week later, she had the same problem again.
   This time she had spilled coffee into the power-line, and she had asked for me to replace it...
She was in another dress, and she smelled really nice. After the job was done, we spoke some more, and exchanged phone numbers.
   I, being an idiot, never knew what was going on. She started asking for help with judging her new memes...
   One night, she messaged me, and asked for me to come over... She opened the door in nothing but her underwear. She had made a booty call, and I had taken a shower after work that day..
    That was my luck, coming back to help with my male pattern blindness.
   She had broken up with a high level lawyer, and wanted something else. I was something else. I had failed as a plumber, a gardener, and was trying my luck as an electrician, maintaining the city's electronic systems.
     She was a high paid meme lord, and had changed the minds of the public many times. You chose to wash your hands after being on the toilet.? She had made a meme that made you do that.
     You chose to vote for the girl, with a nice smile.? She made the meme that made you do that.
    We were on the night side, when the supernova hit, and we had to scramble to get a ship off the world.
    The really rich and the VIPs had taken the new ships, and the 'not so rich' took the newer ships. We were way down on the list... She was told about the ship by somebody who had left the planet. We had three months to get it back up and working. We left the planet and made it into space.
I could see the planet from space. My first trip off the planet. The coronal mass ejection had burned two-thirds of the planet.

    We only survived by luck.