The Labour Planet - A Working Title - First Draft
The Labour Planet - Part One - First Draft
There was complete and utter chaos at the landing strip. Jamie was unsure of what to do next. He needed to get to the front but as he looked around he was reminded of his grandfather's words. He had once told him how he had seen people panicking to get away on the last helicopters out of Vietnam. As Jamie looked around trying to find a way through his grandfather’s words came floating back
“Son,” he said, “people were clawing their way to the front. They were trampling women and children underfoot, pushing and shoving and even knocking babies from their mother’s arms.”
Just like his grandfather had described, things were turning very ugly here too. Jamie suddenly cried out as someone rammed into his back and knocked him to the floor. Though winded and gasping for breath he knew he had to get up quick or risk being trampled to death as people ignored his plight. He was trying to find a way through a sea of legs, looking for a gap however small where he could find enough room to stand up. Then a big black hand reached down and pulled him up and Jamie saw the hand belonged to a giant of a man who had held the crowd back for a nano second but enough to get him back on his feet.
“Thank you,” Jamie gasped, “thought I was a gonna!”
“Look out for yourself, son, I might not be around next time.”
With that he was gone but as Jamie pushed and was himself pushed he could see him in the distance. He was so huge he was head and shoulders above the rest of that forward thrusting throng.
It had been announced on the news every day for the past week. This was going to be the last ship. After this there would be no more. So, they had come in their thousands all trying to get on board knowing that if they didn’t they were doomed to perish. It was the same all over the globe in every country people had been told today would be the last day. Jamie wondered how things had got so bad that it had come to this. Why had the people responsible for this chaos not been stopped? They should have been stopped.
They should have been stopped when they started chopping down the rain forests, and for what? Greed! Pure greed! They had displaced the natives of the forests, they had decimated the animal population and they had turned a fertile land in to a wasteland that now couldn’t support any form of life, let alone human life. These business moguls had ignored all the evidence about CFC’s being responsible for making a hole in the ozone layer and carried on using them. They had used pesticides and genetic engineering all to turn a profit and the population of every country had stood by and let them do it. And this mind boggling chaos was the price they would pay for their apathy. His father had told him how he had nearly lost his life when a thirty foot tidal wave had hit the coast of Cornwall when Jamie was two years old. His mother had perished but his father had just managed to grab Jamie and cling to a piece of floating roof until the worst was over. That tidal wave was the result of the ice caps melting through global warming. Then there had been nuclear accidents and leakage from the nuclear waste that had been ’safely buried’ underground. All these things combined had set off a chain reaction that now could not be stopped.
The planet Earth could no longer sustain human life. It had been used and abused the result of which was this desperate chaotic charge to get on the last ship to a new planet. Anyone left behind would perish within a month. That was how long it would take for the last of the food to be used. Jamie wondered when that happened, would they turn on each other? Would they revert to cannibalism? There had been reports of incidents of it in every country as there was not enough food to go round and people fought even killed for food. Entire populations were starving. People were dying and disease was spreading through lack of nutrition and clean water.
Jamie had lost his mother when he was a toddler but his father was next to go. He had been quietly starving himself in order to keep Jamie and his own father fed. Then Jamie’s grandfather had been killed by a hungry mob for a handful of carrots that he had managed to grow on that barren piece of land that his grandfather always called ‘his allotment’ whatever that meant. Since losing first his father and then his grandfather, Jamie had had to toughen up or starve. He had done things he was not proud of. He had even killed a man but he didn’t want to think of that now. He needed to focus totally on trying to find a way to get on this last ship. As he pushed and was pushed himself he suddenly felt something soft and squashy underfoot and looking down he saw it was the blood covered body of a man, trampled to death by this fear crazed mob. He lifted his foot from the big, black hand he was treading on and once more started pushing and trying to find a way through. The need for survival buried his conscience as he surged forward. He had no time to dwell on the fate of the black giant who had saved his life just minutes before.
Now his own survival depended on him getting on that ship at all costs. He knew himself well enough to know that if he got any where near the front he would push and shove and trample the same as anyone else here. He would not even think about it. Then it was as if he could hear his grandfather’s voice. “Son, go to the left…go to the left there’s a gap.” Jamie half looked, not really expecting to see a gap but, unbelievably, there was a way through and he fought every inch to get there. He pushed and shoved until finally he knocked an old lady to the ground. He hesitated, he knew if he stopped to help her he would miss his opportunity but something wouldn’t let him just leave her lying on the ground awaiting certain death. He stopped to help her just as the black giant had helped him. Jamie hoped he wouldn’t meet the same fate as the black man. But once the woman was back on her feet he left her to her own fate. He was almost at the door to the ship when he heard a voice from inside.
“Okay, push ‘em back…we’ve got enough now”
One of the heavily armed guards standing in the doorway took out his gun and fired into the air but as he did so his belt of ammunition suddenly came undone and it fell at Jamie’s feet. Jamie picked it up and looked at it not knowing what to do. Then the guard said.
“Hey you, you with the belt…come on board but be quick. You’re the last one. I’m setting the doors to close.”
Jamie quickly climbed up. This time the guard fired into the crowd. People were screaming, clawing at the ship pleading with the guards but they took out their weapons and were about to fire directly into the crowd when the doors made a funny hissing sound before they slid shut blocking out the noise from the crowd.