The Earth was nearly in ruin.
The overuse of pesticides and other harmful chemicals had ruined the atmosphere and poisoned the soil. Nuclear war had broken out, and the United States Government had for overstepped its bounds, growing nearly into a totalitarian regime.
They ruled by fear.
Like the in IRS scandals today, they were targeting Christians and conservative groups, making their lives miserable and even 'eliminating' them entirely if they were too influential.
One day, they decided to do this to my family.
An unofficial-looking official came to our house and walked in - he didn't even knock.
He wore a white hazmat suit and carried a clear container (full of a glowing, sickly-green, viscous liquid) with a spraying mechanism.
We all knew what it was - a deadly, flammable chemical (its name started with an 'e', but I don't remember exactly what it was called) that caused something like radiation poisoning, but it killed far more quickly and painfully.
He said something about 'official business', then how our 'interfering in government affairs' had gone 'too far.'
"Do you know what this is?" he asked obnoxiously, like a stereotypical supervillain from a child's cartoon. Not bothering to wait for an answer, he confirmed our inferences.
Paying no further heed to us, he cackled wildly and began saturating the floor, ceiling, and walls, looking everything like a firefighter from Fahrenheit 451.
We rushed into our rooms, threw on our own protective suits, tossed anything important into backpacks, went outside, and hopped into our jeep.
Our yard was full of hazmat-suited government agents, spraying everything in sight with chemicals. Oddly, no one attempted to stop us.
We arrived at our friend's private airport where he was readying the last few planes that would take people to a more habitable planet he'd discovered. There wasn't room for all of us on one, so we had to split up and each take separate flights.
The interior of the plane I boarded was like none other. There weren't rows of seats; it looked more like a cross between a spacecraft from a science fiction film and a boat (I can think of no other way to describe it).
The other passengers were mostly middle-aged to older adults: a brunette named Mariel and an old man that looked like he could have been the brother of Doc Brown from Back to the Future introduced himself as Gray, but the rest didn't introduce themselves (or speak at all, for that matter). Three of my friends from school, Peter, Alex and Nathanael, were there as well.
Takeoff went as expected; everything went normally until the third hour of our journey.
Out of nowhere, everyone except my friends and me rose silently. Gray opened the two hatches that led to the escape pods. Mariel pulled out a gun and pointed it in the direction of my friends while backing through an escape hatch.
"Sorry, kids. You four have been chosen to start a repopulation colony on Earth," she said, though we all knew it was a stinking heap of rubbish.
They all worked for the government; this was their plan all along.
Our friend had betrayed us.
Lando at Bespin all over again.
I brainstormed for ideas to get us out of this mess. Alex tried to stop them, but Mariel shot her for her efforts - her aim was true and she died instantly.
Before we could do anything else, the escape pods shot into space.
Peter, Nathanael, and I were left in a plane we couldn't fly over a dying planet with the world out to get us.
I ran into the cockpit; the pilot and copilot were gone and the plane was losing altitude.
"PARACHUTES!" I screamed to my friends.
"GONE!" Peter shouted in reply.
"Scour the place!" I ordered as I frantically scanned the control panel. I found a joystick and pulled it back, hoping that it had something to do with controlling the altitude.
All at once, countless figures appeared on the radar as a crash followed by an explosion jarred the aircraft.
We were hit!
Alarms blared and lights flashed as the air screamed through our failed engines.
We were going to crash.
Nathanael and Peter appeared suddenly with three parachutes.