18 years, out and and back at High Gee, we found the planet, surveyed it, and sent the data back to Mars, by the time we get back, the colony ships will be halfway there.I dream of my sweet Gwendolen, in stasis back home, we may be forty when we meet, but we will be rich.
I get a call from the first mate, an old friend and even older sailor, telling me we have a problem on Mars, and what may that be, I ask? “Mars is gone” is his answer…….
Setting a fast course to Mars involves an Earth flyby, so we set course, as We rounded the planet there was a soft voice in the back of my mind calling to me, stay, as we left Earth’s gravity well I couldn’t escape the voice.
“On station Sir” I heard but wasn’t really thinking about much more than the devastation below, our Planet, 500 years to build, independent, an entire planet, gone, who did this?
(memory access, date, 2211)
After the CCP blew up enough satellites that we Couldn’t launch, creating an almost impenetrable barrier to space, Elon kept flying, losing one in twenty Marsliners, better than any government, and Mars was reborn, as an independent colony. After the War of 2105, the Earth had had enough, a small SMOD came down in The English Channel, and Albion was finally lost, to the sea.
“Do we go down?” I’m not sure, or ready to see, but I set the coordinates for Gwen’s stasis Unit, and after a moment’s hesitation we head in to atmosphere, Damn I wish we had Buffeting Tech in these old machines, the Atmo stresses the hell out of this old bird, but we’ll be fine..
“Skimmers out Sir!” as I climb into the lead boat, the silence is deafening, my city, gone!
Of course the Stasis building still stands, it was built that way, so it’s part of the story, anyway,
As I approach I hear a voice, help me, please, is that Gwen? Or am I mad, losing your planet can do that you know. As I search through the rubble, I find what’s left of her chamber, her Dead inside, and weep.
All these years gone,
Wasted as fairy tales,
Of lives never lived,
And dreams not shared,
Nuclear Winter had closed all but Kazakhstan,Boca Chica and of all places Auckland, we chose Palmdale, hoping for civilization, and a place to rest. We soon found out that the bikers had overrun the town, so we launched, maybe you could say greyer pastures, at this point we are lost, the Belt? Maybe they won’t blow us out of the sky, I won’t risk it. We don’t have the Fuel or time for Centauri Proxima, so we are stuck in this Gravity well, what to do? I decided the Cylinder at L5 would do and we set off, when something strange appeared on scope.
Damned if it didn’t look like that thing from the old Kubrick movie from the 20th C, remember? The one with the monkeys who took over the Earth? God I love those old movie chips, I digress,
“Sensors, what the hell is that thing?” “Dunno Sir, we can only detect it through the IR spectrum, and hot for a Black body, lot’s of energy in it I’ll bet” I turned away as he stated the obvious, and plotted the things course, turns out it was headed to the same place as us, so we make chase.
We matched course and speed, keeping out of what we thought was sensor range, and waited, and at this rate it would be two and a half weeks before we even get into signal range to warn L5, then the shit hit the fan. “Captain, they are painting us” Damn it! “Any weapons systems detected?” as if we could tell, “not that I’m aware of” I walked to the forward port and sat down for a smoke, and some thought, my crew knows what they are doing, calm, cool and efficient.
I woke up under emergency lighting, aching from the increased gravity, What the Hell? “First Officer, what’s our status?” “ not quite sure Cap, I need to stop this infernal spin, and we are accelerating” I pick myself up and get into a grav chair,”get it done First, and would someone tell me where we are pointed?”Sensors pops up cheerily, too cheerily with, “oh, that’s easy Cap, we are on an impact course with Tycho City”
To be continued,