GENESIS | By: Ashley Egan | | Category: Short Story - Adventure Bookmark and Share



In the not too distant future... [2035]

The first chartered Space flight - Spectacular views of the Moon & Stars - closer than ever before witnessed by the human eye. Where Blue Sky meets Black Space.
8 Passengers, 2 pilots. The World’s most expensive Air tickets - but 4 of the 8 are the lucky winners of an International lottery:

Juan [long-haired Spanish beatnik), Diego [Latin American Burrito seller], Solomon (Physics Major & Winner of recent Nobel Prize for Junior Science] & Miranda [Nordic-looking athlete & Gold medalist for Womens Athletics at the last Olympics).

The remaining 4 are Koshi [a UN Secretary General], Siddharta [Leader of India’s newly elected freedom party], Caroline Chang [recently released Chinese-American dissident & University lecturer] & Nikita [red-haired Russian ex-astronaut].

For one day the World’s attention is diverted from the carnage of Wars & Natural Disasters [millions killed in recent Tsunamis & Earthquakes] as all eyes are fixed on the historic flight being broadcast across the global village.

All strapped firmly into their plush black leather seats - facing a vertical take off - the shuttle lifts off at 6.00am USMT from a specialised secure unit at Houston, Texas, watched by the World’s Media & Politicians (who had already tested the flight months before). Camera lights flicker & flash amongst the immense & deafening plume of jet black smoke emitted by the rockets either side of the craft as it fires toward the Stratosphere...
In a mere half an hour the ground beneath them is tens of thousands of feet behind & the blue glistening sky starts to take a darker shade. Soon clouds are replaced by the glimmer of stars & the brilliant sun ebbs away revealing only its reflection in it’s sister moon.
Excited, perplexed & feeling they are on a one-in-a-million mission of a lifetime, the 8 stare in wonder & awe outside the windows as the shuttle gently vears from vertical to horizontal, crusing along at a 1000 miles an hour, skimming the line between night & day in what is technically known as the Ozone Layer.

“If you look to your left you can see the moon as never before” states Captain Abraham from the security-locked cockpit, “Sure beats Venice on a rainy Day!”
Co-Pilot Theresa Mankovitz smiles serenely.

Great sparks of majenta lightning start to radiate around the aircraft, buzzing & crackling like a giant microwave. Some passengers look nervous.
“Just a little electrical storm” states Captain Abraham jovially, “Nothing to worry about - just a little more intense up here in Space, but this shuttle is titanium-proof solid & we assure you...”

A Sudden jolt, then a boom, then the airship begins to veer vehemently from side to side, jostling all within. Smiles turn to frowns, sweat begins to trickle, heartbeats race, eyes close & various forms of last rites are self-administered to mumbled prayers, signs of the Cross or mere silence as all hands are firmly gripped to the sides of their seats...

An Almighty explosion, violent shaking, apparatus thrown poltergeist-like around...
Screams, whimpers, “Oh my Gods”, then slience, pitch blackness, Still.
“Are we still in Space?” whimpers a pathetic Voice from the dark.
As the 8 relatively unscathed occupants eject from their seats, they stumble around in confusion for what seems like hours [actually minutes] until someone finds the emergency exit & turns the handle.
Emerging nervously & grateful to be alive, their spirits are lifted by the glistening dawn of a brilliant sunrise looming over the green-hued horizon.
Turning around from the wreckage of the craft, they find they have crash-landed on the flat plain of what appears to be one of many in a plush green mountain range, spreading as far as the eye can see, strewn with tropical vegetation.

“Boy, We’s in the Jungle man!” shrieks Juan in his heavy Spanish accent.

“Well Observed” States Siddharta, wiping a trickle of blood away from his brow.

“Everybody OK amigos” states a concerned Diego, “We lucky to be alive, thank the Mother of Jeez...”

“Yes, but more importantly lets check the Cockpit” reasons Koshi, always a stoical & sensible figure, “This is no time for sight seeing”.

Veering round to the front of the relatively small craft - still intact but badly burnt & battered [a hanging wing & smashed up tail do not indicate an easy exit], the eight survivors peer into the clouded window & jump back in horror.

“Oh my God!” screams Miranda, clutching her left arm which she suspects is broken [being prone to many sports-related injuries].
“Is he de...” begins Nikita in a stuttered Russian accent.

A groan is heard, & the four at the front begin a hasty smashing of one of the already cracked cockpit windows, no enttrance being available from the heavily secured door within.
The body of Captain Abraham is slumped motionless on the detailed control panel, but next to him, still strapped firmly into her seat is co-pilot Theresa Mankovitz, her black hair strewn with blood trickling down her face, badly hurt but still very much alive.


The 9 survivors assess their surrounding with a mixture of awe, bewilderment & thankfulness to be alive, but soon those thoughts turn to Rescue & Escape.
Enough food in the airship to last them days, but no sign of a radio signal or means of communication with the outside world.
All mobile phones have no coverage, no Internet connections & not a sign of civilisation for miles around...
Being strung atop a mountain in the middle of a rainforest doesn’t help either.

Days pass, even weeks. Blood is wiped away, broken bones are rudimentarily fixed & Captain Ishmael J. Abraham is given a dignified funeral wrapped in palm leaves & set alight atop the mountain [decomposure is rapid in the humid climate].
A makeshift headstone of a metal plaque from within the aircraft declares [beneath the roughly carved initials of the deceased captain]:


“XANADU 003: One Giant Leap for all Mankind -
In the Event of an Emergency please use all available Exits”
Scars heal & Rifts are formed. Arguments ensue & bonds are made & broken. Promises are not kept, solutions don’t work out & some come close to calling it a day.
Juan threatens to kill himself if no escape plan is formed or rescue team arrives [he tried once to escape down the mountain but was cornered & chased by a marauding ocelot].
Miranda tried running but came down with a bad bout of malaria despite her olympic fitness & was laid up for days sweating profusely & at death’s door.
Diego just muttered to himself about the rudiments of fixing the space-age aircraft & flying to the nearest town, but Nikita the ex-astronaut & Solomon, the Science-major [as well as the rest of the group] knew this was impossible given the stae of the craft & the powerless electronics, after every other possibility had been exhausted.

Caroline Chang went so far as to suggest they were lucky to be alive & that this could be their chance to build a new civilisation away from the destructiveness & environmental-dilapidation of man [but then compared to 12 years in a North Korean prison even this was paradise].
Siddartha mused quietly amongst himself, spouting the odd quasi-religious mumbling & occasional proclamation of “Everything is as it should be my Brothers & Sisters”, & Koshi remained, as always, cool calm & collected, although even his patience was wearing thin by now...

Food was abundant - & fresh daily. Tropical Trees grew plentifully all around, producing sweet edible fruits, & by now even the usually burrito-guzzling Diego had taken to shooting brightly-coloured birtds out of the sky with a bamboo bow & arrow.

Parrots were adopted & monkeys came to play, & liasons ensued in this tropical paradise arrived at by the most unforseen of means.
“Amazing isn’t it...” said Juan one day as he lay on his back on the lush green grass of the mountain top staring at the clear blue sky above. Not a plane to be seen, just streaks of pure white cloud, the sun glistening inbetween.
“What?” replied Miranda, her broken arm healed by now from a makeshift bamboo splint & layers of freshly dug mud [red up here]. The duty-free whiskey helped too.
“...That it only seems like yesterday that we were flying through Space & now we’re on the top of a mountain surrounded by jungle staring into the Sky...”

“And wondering how the hell we’re gonna get out of here” interjected Solomon, a usually terse & taciturn character, who, despite his younger years, usually only piped up when talking about astro or practical physics.

“Time is a great healer” stated Siddartha staring obliviously into the distance.

“Yes but Time has not prevailed in getting us out of here” replied Nikita, “Nor have the Authorities back home, How long do you think...”

“The Chance of them finding us up here or believing we are still alive are very slim” stated Caroline Chang, “for five years my family believed I was dead, & if it were not for the US foreign office intervening, I would be.”

“But ain’t nobody intervening here Signoreta” chirped Diego, “Meeza think I be better off eating birds all my life”

“Eating birds maybe ain’t such a bad thing” said Juan slyly, turning his head to Miranda.

“No!” A Sudden Shout was heard & all heads turned.
Theresa Mankovitz was standing at the edge of the plateau, a sheer 500 feet drop, with her arms stretched out Rio-Christ like.

With unprecedented speed, Koshi Aman-Obega, 35th Secretary General of the United Nations, rushed to the desperate woman & pulled her back in a bear hug.
Falling to the ground in a heap, this usually reticent man in a torn-up tuxedo, & normally rational co-pilot found themselves in a heap on the ground, Theresa an emotional wreck on the brink of isolated-enduced suicide, crying profusely, & Koshi, comforting her in the only way he knew how - by saving her life.


For five long years they lived - isolated, alone, happy, hungry, suicidal, jovial, jubilant sometimes, but all the time realising that they would never be found & the chances of being rescued or even acidentally discovered in such a remote place were highly unlikely. The only option was to live - eat & breathe & build makeshift fortresses. Sometimes sleeping all together, othertimes alone, sometimes with each other.
The wreckage of the plane/space-shuttle had long since been dismantled & it’s glistening parts strewn all across the thick foliage of the plateau in an attempt to attract attention, but to no avail. Even the deafening din it made as it’ s remains were pushed down the near-vertical slope was not enough to warrant the eyes & ears of any passers by - if they were any. Up here was Paradise - but at a price. An unintentional destination that had brought 9 very different occupants from all over the world together. An isolated garden of Eden without even an Apple Mac to byte on & contact the outside world - for good or for bad.
People cried, people died, people fucked & fought. The patter of tiny feet was not long coming before eventually, many years later, some of these braver more adaptable offspring did find their way down the side of the perilous mountain, & the next one after that, & beyond the range itself...
Some ran, some walked, some stopped along the way & bulit shelters. Some settled by rivers, some under trees, others in caves & some in mudhuts. Some grew dark & tanned, others cold & fair - enduring ice & snow, while others languished in the desert heat - squniting their eyes to avoid the sandstorms.
Some stayed by the sides of seas & lakes & prayed, adorning themselves in brightly coloured robes & face paint, singing the hyms of Father Siddharta, while the wise words of Koshi were passed down through generations.
The Call of Chang was heard by many & civilised whole cultures, & the strength & serenity of Nikita lay dormant in the children of continents for years to come...
The kids of Juan & Miranda danced & played around the beaches of warm land-locked oceans, & their free spirits echo through the sands ‘til this day.
Diego’s descendents conqured countries & built empires, but with this came great destruction, & Solomon’s Secrets were passed down from Father to Son - sometimes at the cost of persecution by others.
Only Theresa Mankovitz remained at the place where fate had landed her, & the child she carried in her womb grew tall & strong like his father & became the king of his domain - mating with the natives who by this time had reached the isolated paradise, building a vast & fortified palace in his honour. Even they told stories of his reign & carved his image into stone, as that of his children, & his children’s children.


Two archaeologists from the Royal British Museum are trekking through Venezuala atop a high lush green plateau surrounded by jungle in a mountain range thousands of miles from Civilisation. An expedition endangered only by the wildlife & diminshed funds of their sponsors, they are about to pitch their tent for the night when one stumbles upon a glisten in the undergrowth. Pulling back the weeds & clearing the thick red peat, a bewildering sight shines before them. No stone carving of ancient men & elephants as usually found in these parts, but someting altogether stranger, but disturbingly familiar:

“XANADU 003: One Giant Leap for all Mankind -
In the Event of an Emergency please use all available Exits”

Except one tiny detail:

The Year is 2033.

Somewhere in another part of the World, the 46th President Nelson T. Rockefeller is endorsing the first test flight of the Inter-galactic Space Flight.


Copyright 2005. Ashley C. Egan

The End.

Click Here for more stories by Ashley Egan