50 human beings lived on a star. I always thought that a star was red hot like our sun, but I guess I was wrong. These 50 humans looked down at the earth every day, which to them now looked like a blue star. They knew that they had been brought to the star against their will by the American government. They kept telling the story of being taken, as not to forget. Their wives, husbands, children, parents, best friends….these they had all forgotten. They barely remembered what America was. It was just a name now, part of their creation myth. They had long forgotten what life on Earth was like. Sometimes they would dream about it, but dreams always fade so quickly.
When they first arrived on the star, woke up and found themselves there, they decided that they needed to work to survive. It was instinctual. You don’t just survive without effort, they thought. But there was no food to be foraged for, no water to gather. And after they flew into a horrible panic at the realization that there was nothing to be had, they huddled together and waited for death. But they didn’t die. A few of them tried to commit suicide, but the others stopped them. This too, was instinctual.
After a month they realized that they could survive with nothing, that their bodies no longer needed food, that nothing threatened them and that the only thing that mattered was their consciences. One of the 50 mentioned that they were now like Buddha, but they only had vague ideas of what that meant. Even the woman who had made the connection couldn’t fully explain it. The air around them was completely static, as if the atmosphere was somehow inactive or deionized or simply nonexistent. Therefore, they needed no shelter, as there was no hot or cold, no humidity, no rain or snow. They could exist in perfect stillness, needing nothing, wanting nothing, no longer at the mercy of the demanding systems they had previously been tethered to on Earth.
Now, after what we on Earth call years, they are still living on the star as motionless remnants of the life on this planet. A planet now inconsequential, a blue spark in deep space. They are living statues now, spread out over the surface of the star, each alone with the core of themselves, the center of what they were while still in some mother’s womb. They have reached back to the life we are each supposed to live. That which is deactivated by the world we have created here on this planet. The American government is watching them, waiting.