Let's Leave Earth 2. The First Question

Updated: May 31, 2019

[Interior: A parking garage. Parked cars, columns, empty of people, bright lights, echoes.]


Narrator Further to previously.



Tourmaline So, what do you think?

Gneiss I don’t know.

Tourmaline Exactly.

Gneiss You?

Tourmaline The same.

Gneiss It’s a bit of a question.

Tourmaline I know. If anything, I thought we’d get there sooner.

Gneiss I mean, I suppose it’s progress that we’ve all agreed.

Tourmaline Well, of course. Such a stalemate!

Gneiss For hours!

Tourmaline Do you think it’s the right question?

Gneiss Well, I mean, yes, but I was surprised there were so many holdouts.

Tourmaline I thought the same! I’d have thought it would’ve been smoother.

Gneiss When Permafrost first suggested it, I did think it would be accepted straight away.

Tourmaline My only concern now is, well, with the question as it is…

Gneiss I know.

Tourmaline Exactly! I can’t help but wonder it it’s a bit vague.

Gneiss Look, at least we’ve agreed our group name.

Tourmaline Yes. Move Off Earth Project works.



Gneiss Ammonite was totally right. Putting Mars in pre-supposed the destination and Mission gave it religious connotations that were totally inappropriate.

Tourmaline Totally. Yes. All right, I’ll see you in the next session.

Gneiss Yep, let’s hope the question’s not too vague after all.

Tourmaline No, no I’m sure I’m wrong. Surely, it’s right and inevitable that on the issue of How to Leave Earth we, the Project I mean, have to open with the question “Where do we start?”


[Interior. Same as before.]


Narrator An afternoon later. It is a tea-break. Gneiss has a biscuit while Tourmaline has a fruit scone and a banana. Neither had lunch as the session over-ran.



Gneiss I wouldn’t worry, I think you made a very good point.

Tourmaline Well, thanks for saying so, I just, well, it had to be said.

Gneiss Quite right. We’d have only hit it later on, much better to bring it up now.

Tourmaline The way Crustacean looked at me though…

Gneiss Yes, it was an extreme response, but it’s an emotive topic.

Tourmaline Just because the science may get there, I think it’s dangerous to see it as destiny.

Gneiss I agree. Space colonisation shouldn’t be done just because we think it’s our purpose. You were right, we have to be clear in all calculations and quite a number of people would never want to leave.

Tourmaline But, as Crustacean said, if Earth dies…

Gneiss First of all, the Earth won’t die, it would just be Nature and the Climate.

Tourmaline Fine, fine, yes, but as Crustacean says…

Gneiss That’s evacuation talk, though, which isn’t an option yet anyway. We couldn’t move everyone all at once. That’s not how it works, we’d need pioneers and a frontier community first.

Tourmaline Do you think? You’d better bring that up when we go back in. What’s wrong with that, why do you look so worried?

Gneiss [In a whisper] I’m a bit nervous of Crustacean.



Tourmaline You can do this! It’s no moment to be nervous. I know Crustacean’s been talking a lot about the end of the world and the next phase of human existence being interplanetary, but we have to pull ourselves together and be practical.

Gneiss I have also been wondering…

Tourmaline Yes?

Gneiss Well, there are people here on the Project from all over the world, but who do they think will be in charge in the first space community?

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