To most of us, it was as if the world had just ended. A large handful didn't know what the hell was going on. Rumours spread. Some said a prisoner had gone rogue, or a fire had started in the canteen. Some even spoke of a warden who had grown tired of the isolation and released a prisoner for entertainment purposes. Whatever had happened the entire prison in meltdown. Wardens were all over the place, prisoners running around and the computers had gone crazy, they certainly had a lot of work to do. Shortly after, the fire sirens started, along with the breakout and the swimming pool alarm with it. All this caused an enormous amount of noise, the dome rang and the sound was deafening.
No warden was worried about escapes. Yes, they had their work cut out chasing inmates, but who`s going to escape from a prison on the moon? After 30 minutes of me staring, Becky Richardson shrieking and gasping, wardens fat and thin swarming everywhere, it was all cooled down. Half a dozen prisoners were put into solitary and that was it.
A few days later, we were told that it was a prisoner who had broken loose. I was horrified to learn it was a close friend to me, Daniel Fisher, who, whilst cooking lunch for the other inmates, had used a funnel, some cooking gas and a lighter to blow a small hole in the wall “Jeopardizing the lives of all prisoners and crew.” Was how the director described it. Somehow, I couldn`t believe this so I requested a visit to go and see Daniel in solitary. I was granted a five minute meeting and soon I found myself being paraded through the complex labyrinth of the solitary confinement block. We reached a white door set into a white wall, it looked sterile. One or the wardens activated a touchpad on the side of the door and it hissed open. I was tossed inside. They door was slammed shut. I was left in a blank room, the walls were white. Objects in the room were few and far between, the only items were a single chair and a table, the table was empty, the chair was not. There, with his head in his hands was possibly the closest friend I ever knew. Daniel Fisher was hunched over the table, which itself was unusual for him, his posture and expressions were often immaculate. There was no sign of movement and for a second, I thought he was dead. I circled around the room wondering what happened to him, when all of a sudden he snapped his head at me, leaving his hands empty. His eyes were glossy, he lacked all the pompous air that once surrounded him. He spoke, his voiced rasped like grinding rusty metal. Again, he lost the deep, proud voice that once defined him
“What do you want?” Is all he said. I was shocked. Never, even in our greatest upsets, had he ever called of me in a pessimistic, almost dissatisfactory tone. The silence that followed was so tense that I still believe to this day, that it never ended. His silence would carry him to his death. I stood and stared. His eyes never left me for a second as he reached into the back pockets of his orange overalls, and pulled out a handful of something, I was tentative he might somehow be trying out an elaborate way of killing, but my worries soon turned to astonishment as he emptied his hand and let its contents empty itself on the table. It was soil, earth, life.
I just stared.
“Y-you found this through the wall?” He nodded and continued to stare at me, not deviating any eye for a millisecond to marvel at his find. I had so many questions and I was just about to start but Daniel raised his hand reached his other hand under the desk and pressed something. A faint buzzer was heard and the outer locks started to unbolt. Daniel snatched my left hand, picked up the small clump of soil, placed it in my hand and closed it in a fist around it. With the air and grace of his former self, he seeped the remaining dirt onto his hand and back in his pocket, his face still centimetres from mine. His eyes not deviation from a second, my fist clenched tight around the ball of life. The warden came running in, hey grabbed my arms and started to drag me away, our eye contact didn`t broke until the door closed behind me.
I swiftly pocketed the dirt and let them march me back to my cell. Today had given me hope, today had given me a new hope, a hope that we might not be alone, we might be on earth...