‘Hostile Environment’ by Robert Whale, Year 9, Thomas Clarkson Academy

A planet beyond saving. Everything is so technologically advanced that it is difficult to discover anything natural. The streets are empty and dead. I had already examined my surroundings, knowing that this place was perilous, not safe for the typical individual to pass through without taking significant risks. But I knew this was where I’d find my aim, the mission I’d been searching for since my abduction. The decision to travel had already been made for me, so I had no choice but to proceed.

Things began to go wrong right away. I knew which building I needed to travel towards, but it was difficult to see owing to the overwhelming quantity of lights. I was worried since I was accustomed to nature’s tranquilly and pleasant sunlight. It was difficult to concentrate on, though. I felt claustrophobic as I walked through the tight streets, attempting to find the best way to my destination. It was just the general style, but something about this place felt odd, as if it was trying to be realistic yet failed to do so.

The massive edifice in front of me sent shivers down my spine; knowing that what I was seeking for was inside of this facility initially turned me off the journey, but I knew it was necessary. Despite the rugged exterior, the interior was quite comfortable. It was the ideal temperature, and I immediately imagined how this would be higher up. There would be too many steps to climb before becoming exhausted, and the lift would take forever. I eventually chose to continue my trek utilising the steps because it would be easier to inspect each floor along the way. There were almost 250 levels, so I figured the sooner I started, the faster I’d complete.

When I got to floor 127, I saw what I was looking for. The warmth from it radiated around the room, and I had finally discovered something on my own. I was overjoyed to be doing something on my own, and I began my descent swiftly in order to survive. I had sent him a message letting him know I was returning, and then everything went dark.

The message was odd at first since it was encrypted, but after a little inspection, I recognised what had happened. I had to rush to fetch my helmet and weapon before running out the front door, knowing that it was never too early. An emergency message always motivates me to move quickly, and before I knew it, I was there. Knowing the professor’s proclivities and having fought him several times before, I knew this was his doing right away. I needed to make things right; all I had to do was find her and get home quickly. Hopefully I wasn’t too late.