Everything and everybody is synthetic here: only the richest of the rich could afford to leave the dying earth behind. Everything here had to be built, and everything needed had to be brought. But everything is not enough anymore, for nobody here.

The flat and soil-red buildings are our new home now. Everybody knows everybody. For some, the arrival on this red stone flying through space was difficult, they had been used to glamor and glory, but life here is better described as hard and boring. Money as a concept has been abandoned.

Everybody here is a scientist. We harvest our vegetables, grains, and fruit inside of big, perfectly round holes filled with bright white synthetic soil; every single item looks the same, nothing has a smell. Well, that is not true. Smell has become something foreign to us, as the breathable air inside our station stinks because of the filtering chemicals used to make it breathable. To put it better, everything stinks of metal and oil.

Everybody needs to work, everybody contributes to keeping us alive, and every breath taken by anybody is a fight against the sheer emptiness surrounding us. We fight against an atmosphere so deadly to us it becomes ironic at times. But laughing is something people here hardly do. We are supposed to laugh when we are finished building a place we could call home.

At night we sit together. The dark sparkly sky is something everybody has memorized here, and we look up to find earth, small as any other star. Together we admire her, in silence.

Everybody here knows the painful truth. And we all feel it, inside of us, as we deeply drown in loneliness, all together. Humanity thought that this would be our start as an intergalactic force, conquering the cosmos, victory after victory. Humanity never thought it might be like this, trying to live inside of death itself. Humanity thought it would be easy, and prestigious. But in reality, we humans are overcoming what it once meant to be human. We must build our new heaven, in this red and dry world, but it will always stink of metal and oil.

Because we thought that going away would be easy. We are infants who lost their mother. We chose it to be this way.


The colony is our last chance.


Text und Illustration: Mara Wehofsky