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Authors: Ariana
Characters: Tony Verdeschi
Show Year: Y1
Rating: PG
Date: 1999
Tony Verdeschi reflects on his life as the Alphans reluctantly prepare to celebrate the year 2000.
Average Rating: 4.0/5 (based on 1 reviews)

They say 2000 -- zero, zero
Party's over, oops, out of time
So tonight I'm gonna party
Like it's 1999

Prince - "1999"

Tony stared listlessly at the calendar on his wall. With a sigh, he ripped it off its peg and tossed it aside. Another few hours and he wouldn't need it anyway. It wasn't as if he had a new calendar to put in its place, but after three months of staring at successive images taken on Earth, he had come to feel that the airbrushed young women with their improbable curves and artificial poses were mocking him with their daily reminder of what he had lost. We're on Earth, they seemed to say, and you're not.

Earth. That little rock which he had been so eager to leave a few months earlier seemed like a distant dream now. He had lost everything; his parents, his brother, his girlfriend, all the material possessions he had proudly accumulated in his lifetime. All that was left was the little he had happened to take with him when he came up to Alpha. A couple of books, some magazines, a few CDs. Hardly the sort of selection you'd choose to take with you to the desert island the moon had become.

In some ways, Tony had become used to the routine on Alpha in the nearly four months since Breakaway. It was easier to bury oneself in the day to day survival work than to face the reality of their situation. Tony had even let his birthday go by without a mention, though he had been indirectly reminded of the date by the lamentations of his German colleagues. November 9, 1999 was also the tenth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, an event the Germans had apparently planned to celebrate with their families. Tony had been planning a little celebration of his own with his girlfriend on Earth, for his 33d birthday.

Today, the whole of Alpha was remembering celebration plans which could never come to fruition. A few months ago, their plans for this day had been their main subject of conversation. Some had tickets for the Millennium Dome in London, others were going to be the first to party in Fiji, or were just planning to enjoy a quieter celebration with their families. But now the year 2000 would be greeted with sorrow and apathy, not joy.

Tony remembered being a little boy, counting with his brother the number of years before the year 2000. He remembered the disappointment he had felt when he realised he would be a big 33 when the much awaited year would come. As a child, he had thought he would be too old to enjoy it at such an advanced age. Then there were other memories. Movies about how advanced humanity would be by then, about meeting aliens and exploring the universe, about exotic leggy women in plastic suits. A job in space which brought Tony that much closer to his childhood dreams. Then lots of hype about bugs and the end of the world, particularly after the solar eclipse in Europe in August 1999. Well, maybe Nostradamus had been right after all. Only it wasn't the whole world which had come to an end. Just Tony's and that of the 310 other Alphans stranded on the runaway moon.

It was nearly 1900, Tony realised as he looked up at his clock. Some of the young Alphans had planned a party in the cafeteria and Tony had agreed to go, though there was little to celebrate. So December 31, 1999 2359 GMT would turn into January 1, 2000, 0000 GMT. Big deal. Tony couldn't help remembering that he had arranged to be in Florence with his parents. He was going to bring his girlfriend and introduce her to his parents, perhaps the first step towards a more serious relationship. But that was all over now. No girlfriend, no parents. No Millennium celebrations in his native Medieval city. Just a half-hearted party with a bunch of work colleagues who were little more than strangers to him.

Still, he reflected, at least he was alive to celebrate and had someone to celebrate with. He made a half-hearted smile as he headed out of the door. He had to make the most of his colleagues. They were all he had left.

Copyright (c) 1999. Reprinted with permission.
Space:1999 is (c) 1976 by Carlton International Media.
All stories are the property of their respective authors.

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