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Station 10, 2364, "How Colleen Escaped"

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Mar. 4th, 2006 | 10:14 am
posted by: mirror_odonnell in en_fanfic

This is a fanfic on how Colleen escaped from slavery. She was, at the time, twelve years old and living on Station 10. She knew Henry well, and they were in fact best friends. The ten-year-old Talaxian was a technical genius, and Colleen feared their intelligence would soon be discovered and they would both be taken and brainwashed, like her brother Matt had been.

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from: mirror_odonnell
date: Mar. 4th, 2006 03:18 pm (UTC)

It was an exhausting thirteen hours of endless work for twelve-year-old Colleen. She was expected to work as much as she could in Ore Processing, lifting whatever was light enough for her, shoveling Ore in tiny, inefficient quantities. Why would the Alliance put an undersized child in Ore Processing? Because that was this week’s rotation of manual slave labor. Last week it had been organizing medical supplies. The week before that, it had been sorting Cargo containers. And next week, Colleen feared, would be the week they took her away from her parents.

She had taken the test, just like Matt, only she had taken it later than he had. Her parents had protected her against it. They didn’t brainwash you in Ore Processing, even if they did break your back with work. But they did when you were taken because you were intelligent. Matt had been taken at eight, and it was only a matter of time before they discovered Colleen had a brain as well. And poor Henry Conner—Colleen was sure her best friend would be taken and brainwashed completely, if not killed. He was an engineering genius.

She would never forget the night Matt was taken, and her talk with her father.

“Colleen, you’re a very smart little girl,” he had said to her. She was only three at the time, but she still beamed with pride. “Now listen to me,” he had told her, gripping her shoulders as he knelt down so they were closer to the same height. “You can’t be smart around them. They’ll take you away from us, sweetheart. Don’t ever read anything in front of them. Don’t count. Don’t let them know you can learn. And don’t worry, honey…we’ll always know you’re smart.” He had been crying as he said it, and Colleen had been afraid. But what he said, even if she didn’t completely understand it at the time, had stuck with her. She hadn’t read, written, done math, or proven that she could think around the Alliance. But they had still given her the test when she was eleven. And it was only a matter of time…

But right now she didn’t much care. She was exhausted, and she still had so much work to do. She walked as quickly as her tired little legs could carry her into their slave quarters, where she sat on the dirty bed, and pretended to automatically be asleep. When people stopped staring, and she was sure they didn’t notice her, she got up slowly and slid the PADDs out from under the bed. The other slaves living in their quarters with them seemed to be too preoccupied to notice, and even if they did notice, they weren’t going to call her on what she was doing.

Fighting to stay awake, Colleen read her parents’ shuttle manuals. She had been working on this one for quite some time, and had nearly memorized the layout to it by now. She saw a small flaw in the engine that her parents had no doubt fixed by now. They were old, incomplete manuals anyway. But they were enough for a twelve-year-old to learn about ships. She knew all the steps to how to fly one, and how to fix one, but had never been in one. She was born here, on Station 10, as her fellow slaves called it. Henry said that wasn’t its name anymore, but what did he know? He was 10. He didn’t understand pride yet.

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