By David Burman
Jared could feel the world closing in on him. The uncertainty of his actions and his possible impending death would have caused any normal man to sweat but this was a luxury his curse would not allow him.
A female voice sounded throughout the transport, “Three minutes until drop”, her voice could have been considered seduction had he not known its origin. Jared sat forward on his drop preparation chair and looked left then right down the corridor of the transport, he watched as the rest of his comrades who were also about to take the “Leap of faith” prepared themselves, why it was called the leap of faith eluded him though it did seem to give it an air of mystique. Jared looked to be in his early twenties though he was much older than that, standing just over six feet with short dark hair, deep blue eyes and soft features he would have been considered a good looking man under normal circumstances but dressed in an all-black reinforced carbon fibre suite it was pretty hard not to bypass that thought “
Two minutes until drop, preparation phase initiate”
Bodies in all black carbon fiber drop suites lined both sides of the transport facing each other, waiting, praying, meditating, preparing but mostly just waiting. They were now starting to put on their helmets to allow their eyes to become accustomed to its visual system if not already having done so. Once the helmet becomes locked in place the suit would be completely self-contained and would protect the wearer from all outside conditions and influences. Jared took a deep breath and placed his last piece of kit into position, he could hear the helmet locks grab the guides on the neck of his suit, all went black for a moment and then the screen exploded into a multitude of shapes and colors. “System online — Welcome Jared”, the voice was the same as the transport intercom and she was known only as Mother. Mother controlled all that was the world in which Jared lived, her prime directive was to protect the society even if that meant sacrifice, and she was not only his protector, guide, and mentor but also his judge, jury and executioner so to speak. The driving force for mother was the preservation of the society at all costs. Her voice was heard by all regardless of whether they were wearing their helmets or not “One minute until drop”.
Jared stood and did a final check as he moved to stand over his drop tube, wrapping his arms across his chest he grabbed his shoulders as he had done a hundred times during training, but today was not training it was the real deal, this was it and there would be no turning back “Drop in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1″ there was a simultaneous clank and all tubes opened under the feet of the leapers and with that the drop bay was empty. Jared’s mind was racing, he had trained for nearly a year before his rushed inclusion on this mission, he and his entire class were invited to join the drop at short notice, though invited was a loose exaggeration, the drop was even looser. Taking a deep breath he focused on the task at hand and settled his mind, he managed to calm it from one of fear and anguish to that of fear and excitement, only mildly a step up it was none the less a step up. As he built up speed during his tube run he felt as though he had been trapped in his endless free fall for an eternity but in truth, it had been only a few seconds by the time he exited. He was well and truly feeling the force of gravity but also the stability of his training. In a free falling standing position he looked around to see the rest of the leapers all clad in black exiting the belly of the beast known as the transport, not a very original name but it did the job. Mother spoke to the entire team “Proceed to barrier destination, auto guidance system will deploy on target” Instinctively he went from a standing position into the head down position and lined his free fall with that of the destination now showing on his visual system, within moments he was travelling in excess of three hundred miles per hour, he and the other leapers were moving at terminal velocity when Jared acquired his target. The soft red glow emitting from his prize was enticing, magical, alluring, it was all he had wished it to be and more. Like a floating pool of water suspended in a groundless sky, his focus was more intense than he had ever maintained during his training. Jared and his comrades had one chance and only one chance to hit their portal. Jared turned his head to see one of his fellow trainee’s strike their target with pinpoint accuracy, it was like diving into a floating puddle only to not come out the other side. A flash of intense light and energy and then his comrade was gone. Fear took hold of Jared again, “
What if I miss, What if I don’t miss, what’s on the offer side?” Jared was in a panic “
Jared my boy, all will be as it should be,” Mothers voice was soothing and calm, “you will be who you should be!” Jared could sense the energy of others as they hit their mark and passed through the portals. It was his turn and the time was fast approaching. Jared gritted his teeth so tight he was sure they would explode under the pressure, Mother spoke to Jared for the last time “Goodbye Jared, until we reunite.”
Jared slammed into the shimmering portal and instantly felt the blinding pain and then he was gone, his mind was clear and ever present but his physical state had ceased to exist. He was energy floating in a void of answers and visions, he knew the outcome to questions he had yet to conceive, and his mind was a collaboration of power and possibility. With no concept of time, he could have been there for a millennia or just a moment, it did not matter, he was at peace, then the hand grabbed him and pulled him towards the light.
The doctor handed the newborn to its mother “Congratulations Pam, you have a beautiful baby boy” Pam held the child tight and gazed into his deep blue eyes and studied his delicate soft features, “I think I’ll call you Jared, welcome to the world, Jared.”