Sasha’s head snapped back up from her slump in the seats. She groaned, trying to stretch out but her body was still too stiff. She looked around. Everyone was still asleep. She looked out the window. The ship wasn’t moving and they were on the outskirts of the Glitter Freeze. She unbuckled herself and slowly got up. She noticed the door was slightly open. She slid it open a bit more and slowly stepped out. It was still dark on the ship, so she hugged the wall. As she slowly made her way down the hall, the ship jerked to the right, causing Sasha to fall over. The ship started to glow pink. They were back in the Glitter Freeze. She stared out the window, watching the swirls of pink fog blow by, the twinkle of starts millions of miles away made her tear up.
Something told her to go back to the safe room. As she closed the door and strapped herself back in, she watched the window again. In the middle of this pink fog was a small space station which housed a portal. The portal snapped on as the three ships approached it. The two smaller ships that had pulled early had begun to attach themselves to the children’s ship and started to speed up.
The hissing in the room started up again and Sasha fell asleep once more.
As the ships sped toward the portal, the two ships pulled away, hurling the other ship into the portal.
The ship blasted its way through space because of this portal, blasted itself into another galaxy or two, looking like a shooting star to a small child on a planet far away. The ship sprinted through space for a week, before it slowed down and came out another portal. Two ships swooped in and attached themselves onto the ship, slowing it down to an acceptable speed and steering it back on course before flying back to the portal.
A few hours later, the safe room blasted fresh, cool air, waking up the children.
Disoriented, they freed themselves from the room and stumbled into the galley and started to eat everything they could. When they had readjusted, Sasha, Ron, Ree and Aya huddled into Sasha’s room. She pulled out her little computer.
“I had it keep reading where we were,” she said, pulling open the map.
They all stared at the screen.
“There’s no way we traveled that far in a…” Ron started.
“Week,” Sasha finished.
“Get the fuck out, we were out for a week!?” Aya yelled.
Ree rubbed her temples. “Why the fuck do you need to be asleep for a week to get to this resort? Do they not want people to know where it is?”
They got back into the swing of things after a day or two. The computer went off that they were entering the solar system where Plastic Beach was. They had another month. The solar system had hundred of planets, most of which were dead. This system seemed like graveyard so far.
Ree tried her hand at the cookies again. They were a lot better than last time. The triplets learned their multiplication tables, the twins could write sentences, Aya could 500 crunches, Sasha read the notes the computer took and wrote some her own, Ron messed with the ship.
“So, like, do you think the whole planet is a beach??? Is it like… a planet made out of recyclables?”
“What if it’s prison planet and you gotta clean up all the trash of the galaxy!?”
The smaller children talked to themselves at dinner. The older children played with their food. The gloomy questions didn’t help with the fact that all the planets looked like were thriving planets. It reminded them of Granny and Grampa.
Sasha suddenly had a thought and it worried her.
“What if… This place isn’t… Safe for children?” She suddenly blurted out. Ron’s face dropped. They had two weeks before they got to Plastic Beach.
“The Bucket,” he said, looking at Sasha.
“We put them in the Bucket. And we can use the radios? I read that they can go up to 20 miles.”
For a week, Ron taught Horne how the Bucket worked, what buttons to push to get it to work. Aya and the little ones helped stock it with clothes, food and the many boxes of Super-fast Jellyfish Horne had won at the carnival.
“Once it reaches a week, just get out of here, okay?” Ron said, looking into Horne’s eyes.
As they approached Plastic Beach, they buckled in the kids and left deck 3. The ship was headed to the coordinates of the docks of the resort.
Plastic Beach was a desert planet, the resort having the only place for “water” in many miles. As the ship soared to the docks, the hatch door opened at the bottom of the ship, dropping the Bucket into the air.
Horne tried to straighten out the ship, the struggle to regain control made them panic and fly toward the sand dunes. Ron turned on the radio on his end.
“Horne, it’s alright! Just relax!”
“They’re trying!” Tere said into the radio, laughing.
Ron turned the microphone off on his end, staring at the green light that show that Horne’s was still on and working.
As the ship moved its way into the docking station, the older kids grabbed their bags, trying to pull off the tourist look. Ron had on his jean jacket, Aya had her tank top and wide pants, Sasha’s skirt/legging combo, Ree’s giant sweaters and boots.
They walked off the ship, clinging to their bags. The sun almost blinded them. Hundreds of people were waiting in the entrance way to the resort. The made their way to the commotion.
Aya watched everyone. These people didn’t look like vacationers. They looked like people fleeing something, refugees. A group of triplet female aliens, appeared in front of the people.
“Hello,” they said in unison, giving their audience a gentle bow.
“Sorry for the confusion. We just wanted to give you all the best experience you could possibly have. However, before you go in, please say hello to the resort owner.”
They walked off stage.
A very skinny man with red skin and yellow eyes slinked his way onto the stage. He had four arms and was wearing a smoking jacket and slacks. He grinned.
“Good morning everyone. I’m Captain Raz,” he bellowed, waving at everyone. Some people in the crowd waved back.
“Plastic Beach is my… home away from home and I cannot wait for you all to make yourselves comfortable. Please, enjoy yourselves, take a load off, escape your problems. Be at ease here. After all, haven’t you earned it?” He asked. Some of the people yelled to agree with him.
“I hope that you all stay here forever, with me. With us! We are a family now and I can’t wait to get to know you! Welcome to Plastic Beach!” He grinned again, disappearing into a pitch black prop, his smile lingering against the dark.
The gates opened and people rushed in. Sasha was bumped by someone. They locked eyes for a moment before the person walked away. Sasha raised and eyebrow but squeezed her hand, noticing something was in it now. As they followed the crowd, Sasha opened up her hand, opening the note inside.
“He Watches. resist.”
A tall man was suddenly in front of her.
“Ticket,” he demanded.
“Oh… Uh…” She stumbled for a second before handing him his ticket. Ree, Aya and Ron handed their tickets to him as well and followed him onto a tram. The man took their bags. The tram chugged up a sand dune, before peaking.
The resort of Plastic Beach had tall hotels, a casino, amusement parks, a church, food and all the debauchery anyone could ever want. Everyone glanced at each other, before staring at the resort again. Trees and grass went on for miles it seemed, rows of pools went one for a mile or two. As their tram pulled into one of the hotels, the man made them follow him into a pent house suite. He dropped their bags off by the door.
“Tomorrow morning there is orientation,” he said before leaving the room.
The young adults stared out the giant window that over looked the resort.
They had never been this scared.