The Last Hope

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The history of The Bubble was beyond memory. No one could recall where it had come from or why it existed, but it did. Omnipresent and surrounding, containing the lives of those inside. What was remembered were the attempts to escape it, few and far between though they were. And of course all unsuccessful. No one on the inside knew what existed beyond the white semi-transparent dome, and that unknown drove them. Trapped in the philosophical cave and never gaining a higher understanding.
And so it was that on a bright day the last hope traveled through seldom-used streets in the middle of a caravan of black vans. The day was not bright with sunshine, but rather a white, artificial bright. Then again, so was every other day. The inhabitants battled every day with the drudgery. They innovated, created, and studied. But millennia of research and they had only come up with one viable solution to their foremost restriction. The Hope had known he was a possibility from an early age, but had ignored it most of his life. His probabilities paired up correctly. Or at least they would at some specific time and place.
The time was soon and the place was a few turns away. He had never been to the Edge, as they called it, before but knew it well enough. As the vans turned right onto what barely qualified as a dirt track he caught a few stable glimpses in the midst of the bumping. The base was milky white and seemed to give off an ominous glow. Like a never ending mist his fate beckoned him to come. And come he would, there was no other alternative.
As the vans slowed down he closed his eyes and thought.

What do you mean you want this to end?
I can’t…don’t know how to explain. It’s gone on for long enough
But we have been going great.
That’s the problem.
What?
I’m not meant for this. I can’t.
You can’t what?
Can’t do that to you. I’m sorry.

“Here!” a gruff voice exclaimed from the real world. The Hope looked up slowly, his painful recollection still mildly inhibiting his senses. The door next to him slid open and the world got brighter. He got out of the car and stood, somewhat unsure of himself. The trepidation mixed with hope. This was not who he was, and yet it was what he had been called to do. No normal life had ever been a possibility. But somehow he still had a grain of hope that things might return to normal if the task ahead was completed successfully.
For being a rare occasion of such import, there were few present. A cameraman, drivers, and a small contingent of scientists. But most were not aware of matters as these. The general population was kept out of the loop in an attempt to stoke hope. Every single person knew that there would one day be a solution. But those high up knew that there was one solution, one hope. And it was not worth betting odds. The sheer numbers of variables lend to endless calculations and only on a prayer’s wish would something come of it. But here he was. The matching probabilities unveiled a chink in the armor.

You know you have to go through with it.
Come on, Caleb, that’s crazy talk.
Your entire life is leading to that moment. Our parents wanted it.
But my life here.
Your entire life has been leading up to what you know you need to do.
I envy you.
And I you. But do not dwell on what could have been.
I just want to live as others do.
In ignorance? In dull monotony?
In stability and love and acceptance.
But you cannot in good conscience.
I know. And I have known. But I resent it.
Well accept it. You were placed here to tackle a foe from whom you cannot turn.
But why?
It is not my place or knowledge to say. But I will say this: Rise to meet the beast.
There is no possibility of success.
While you live that statement remains false. Rise to meet the beast. In getting up you may find that you were sitting on a throne all along.
Your wisdom falls on stone ears.
But it touches your heart. It gives you hope.
I find myself in great need of hope currently.
Then you do not know yourself.

The Last Hope was preparing to jump into the unknown. It should work, but he didn’t care if things went the other way. He had made his decision. The world was a blur. People surrounded him but he gave no thought to their words or actions. Instead he surrendered. To what he knew not. Circumstance, fate, or a supreme being. The calculations, the effort, the preparation, none of it gave him more confidence than his feeling of success. He had risen to the challenge. He had grown into his name, full of hope and confidence. The leap had been taken in all aspects except the physical and his life’s course now depended only on a few well-spaced electrons.
He suddenly found himself laying down on a contraption which then turned so that there was optimal chance of success upon impact. Crazy, it seemed and yet fitting. A tall scientist stood to his left and looked down with a smile on his face but a worried glint in his eyes. His lips moved but the Hope heard nothing. Then it began. The twenty meter journey to the bubble was effortless on the self-moving cart but his heart began to pound. The Bubble grew and grew until it consumed his field of vision. And then the artificial gray gave way to a bright green hue.

About the Author: 
Spencer Matthews is a senior in high school in California who has a hobby for physics and aspires to be a mathematician. He loves writing and being creative.