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It is the year 2068. The world’s richest and most intelligent people have moved to Mars to colonise and to begin a new ‘super’ race – the beginning of evolution into a post-human species. The Martian youth are allowed their first chance to travel back to Earth after completing a full formal education to get a full understanding of the project, and to see the importance that Earth, as a planet, still holds for the post-human race.

Note: This is intended to be the first part of either a 2 or 3 part story. The rating and genre will likely be justified in later chapters.....

Submitted:Jan 20, 2013    Reads: 261    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   

Nim slouched on the armchair in the corner of the room and started rolling a joint. She pulled her dark hair back with one hand, and, needing a wash, it stuck in awkward position, as though it should fall back. She pinched the end of the joint and twisted, then drew a lighter from her pocket and flicked the flame on all in one expert motion. The look of both relief and mischievousness painted her face as she sucked in the first breath, letting it fill her lungs. Pad rolled her eyes and shook the pillow on the bed before jumping up and shifting herself into a comfortable position. She picked up her book from the bedside table and sighed, "That smoke really is dreadful, Nim, you know we're not allowed it."

Nim smiled. "They won't find out. Besides, I bought it from a Martian authority, it wasn't tracked."
Pad debated the point with a long, disapproving silence, a technique which she had learnt was the best way to deal with her delinquent twin.
"I don't think I'll ever go back," Nim said.
"We have to, though."
Pad was used to Nim's premature nostalgia of Earth.
"It's so much more… dangerous, wild. I really feel like I'm getting to my roots here."
Pad knew that their family wouldn't allow them to stay on Earth, for precisely the reasons Nim had fallen in love with it. It was a lower demographic here, a primitive way of life.
"Do you want to go out tonight? These old Earthen cities won't be here much longer. I want to experience nightlife like our grandparents did, as much as I can. Smoke and alcohol and street food… music that shakes your whole body in obligatory rhythmic pulses and you don't even care, you just go with it, and your clothes are damp with sweat that isn't yours… and everywhere is just stumbling, dizzy, happy people. Free people."
Pad looked over at Nim who seemed completely swept up in a mixture of her own wonder and love of Earth, and the wistful, evocative tales their grandmother had told them of what she called her second life. A life determined by the moon, a body as important to the Earth as the sun, only it governed a more electric time of day, a dark time. A life where the fatigue of day was forgotten by the young and clubs and bars consumed them as they, in turn, consumed their product.
Even Pad's imagination had run wild at the stories Nana had told. She secretly loved it all as much as Nim, but was afraid to immerse herself completely as she felt that the experience required the ingestion of substances that were forbidden even to Earthets, let alone them. It seemed unfair. They were supposed to be superior beings, so why could they not enjoy the same rights as Earthets? Pad questioned the Martian laws, not to mention ethics, but despite this did not dare overstep her line.
Nim, on the other hand, had no qualms in travelling the closed-off road. She slipped deeper into her illegal euphoria and every now and then sat up, alert with epiphany, to inform Pad of some other radical theory or idea.
It was, as much as she willed against it, rubbing off on Pad. She put her weathered paperback aside (which she was reading more for novelty than for literary stimulation anyway) and asked Nim if she wanted any particular music on.
"Let's listen to some of Nana's favourite bands from when she was young. That was the Golden Age. 2013. Take me back to 2013, Pad. Let's just pretend we are teenagers in Nana's time, we have no idea that the Plan is to be announced and enacted only a decade from now. Nana does not know that she will marry one of the world's richest men - a man she has already met. We are Nana, a young and free Nana that takes the world as it is and as though it will always just… be."
"Okay, Nim, well if we're Nana, I'm the guilty conscience."
Nim didn't even pick up on Pad's self-mocking sarcasm.
"I'm going to do everything bad tonight, Pad. If you won't come, I'll go by myself."
Pad, who had already made up her mind, pretended to think about it.
"Well if I won't do that smoky thing, how will I have fun?"
"I picked something else up. It was for me, actually, but you can have it."
"What is it?"
"Go and look in the fridge."
Pad gave Nim a sideways look, and went to the kitchen. Quivering with fearful anticipation, she opened the fridge door. There was a brown biodegradable bag around something which seemed suspiciously bottle-shaped. She peeled it down to reveal the neck of, indeed, a green glass bottle. She tore the bag completely away. A bottle of wine. Not like the expensive, highly-taxed, elaborately-packaged bottles of red wine imported from Earth that sat in a secured cellar at home, but a clear liquid with a cheap-looking label that simply read, "White Wine".
Nim judged Pad's silence and called out, "It's the seriously cheap stuff, they said from the bottom of the tanks or something. You never know what it will taste like, but it does what any other wine does. I figured we don't even know what the good stuff tastes like, so it wouldn't matter."
Pad took it from the fridge and held opened the lid, not knowing quite what to do with it. She sniffed it.
"Eugh, it smells disgusting!"
Pad got a mug from the cupboard and poured some into it.
"What's a normal dose of this stuff?"
"What, to get drunk?"
"Yeah, I guess…"
"Umm, you'll be pretty good off the whole bottle."
Pad looked at it, stunned.
"Really? All of it?"
"Actually, it's your first time. See how you go with half."
Feeling slightly better at not having to drink an entire bottle of the foul-smelling liquid, Pad took the bottle and half-filled mug back into the bedroom.
Nim was checking the sound system for music.
"What did they listen to in 2013?"
"I don't really know. Put on some Grimes." It was the only name Pad could remember from Nana's 'when I was your age' stories.
The sound that came from the speakers was the strangest experience for both of them. The music, teamed with their 'time-travelling' intention, took them to a new level. It felt real. The music seemed to have its own disposition, an old originality that spurred in both of them a realisation, not for the first time, of their love for music. This music was from a time when Martian music didn't exist. It was from a time only years before distinct planetary races emerged and global unification, which was only just beginning to manifest itself, was destroyed and reemerged in a different, more dangerous form. It evolved into unification by mutual hatred. Hatred for the wealthy, who had gone so far as to claim that their wealth made them eligible not only to advance into a promised future but to prevent the less privileged from advancing into that future - or, as Pad and Nim both suspected, any future at all.
The music had plainly evoked a similar train of thought in both of them, perhaps more so in Pad, who was not in the same state of nearly-unshakable elation and quasi-sincerity as Nim was.
Nim took a long, final drag of her joint before arranging the assembly of the next one.
Pad drank her wine to the bottom of the mug, pushed it aside, and picked up the bottle, drinking straight from it. It was time. It was time to go against everything they had been taught at home. It was time to turn against the law. It was time to indulge in the bitter, cold fun of the urban Earthen nightlife with all the Martian guilt and self-spite they could muster.
"What do we wear? In the night?"


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