Author : hraesvelgr
“Solar Systems are easy to program. Way easier than I thought.”
“Told ya so,” I could hear the Director’s voice crisp and clear. “Did you enjoy the challenge?”
I smiled down at the still water of the lake before me, reflected in it a perfect image of Earth and its moon as viewed through the dome of my Surveyor Station. The sight was pristine, perfect; not just the beauty of reality as a canvas, but now that I knew every detail of the situation’s physics, now after I had run millions upon millions of equations, sorted through mathematics that had previously been beyond my imagining, I could appreciate the movement of the planets and satellites in a way no other human being would ever be able to.
“Yes,” I answered plainly, after a long pause, having almost forgotten the phone at my ear. “I mean. I love what I do.”
“Someone will be there in the morning to check on your productivity, but from the sound of things, I’m guessing all those recommendations were right about you.” The Director’s voice had a certain allure to it; one that told of a promotion, maybe even a bonus or an upgradedÂ Â Surveyor Station. “Once I get the report, kid, there’s a chance we can talk about getting you to work on Letser 920. It’s a sixteen-planet job.”
More work! I stifled a small laugh of sheer joy, still eyeing the reflection, watching as the moon drifted gracefully so near earth that it looked for a moment that the two might touch. “I’m up for anything you can throw at me, boss. Now that I have a handle on it, I could probably even build a solar system from scratch.” There was a flash of light in my little lake, reflected from above where the sun was peeking out from between the two celestial bodies. My distracted mind thrummed over the math of the event for a moment, and there was a little tick in my subconscious telling me that the sun was still three hours from that sort of dawn. The Perturbation Theory could account for that, maybe. But, reallyâ€¦
My thoughts paused to reprocess what was going on, taking their time, going over the calculations I’d run and trying to figure what hadâ€¦
Happened. I snapped my head away from the reflection. Looking up, I saw with my own eyes, the flash of light hadn’t been from the sun; Earth had just suffered a head-on collision with its own moon. “Son of a bitch!” Goodbye, Africa.
For several seconds I just stared upward, speechless, only partly hearing the director’s inquisitions about my sudden explication. I could see it all now: the perturbations that had gone wrong, the prophetic calculations of what was to come, the Earth breaking apart, the orbits of the other planets all skewed into catastrophic spirals. It was to be a dead solar system. And what’s worse, it was going to be hell for me to score even a two-planet job after the Director heard about this one.