Author : Roi R. Czechvala

She squeezed his hand, hard, as the main engines kicked in. His fingers turned white. It was her first launch, their first as husband and wife. “Take it easy Sweetheart. I’ll need that hand later.”

“Sorry.” She said, releasing his hand. “Is it always like this?”

“This is nothing. Just wait until we lift off from…” Her look of terror stopped him mid-sentence. “Just kidding Sweetheart, actually this is one of the rougher ones. You get used to it.” She looked doubtful, but managed a weak smile.

Once in free fall she relaxed, unbuckled her harness, and wrapped her groom in a lung crushing hug. “I love you so much. This is the best honeymoon gift a girl could ask for. I just wish we didn’t have to go into stasis.” She stuck her lip out in a pout. He kissed her.

He awoke from stasis first. “Honey, are you awake?”

“Yeah,” she said muzzily, throwing her arms around his neck, “I’ve missed you so.”

“It’s only been twenty minutes subjective time.”

“Yes, but I know it’s been six months.” She nuzzled his neck.

“We land in forty five minutes. Come to the port, I want to show you something.” They made their way through the crush of other recently awakened passengers to peer out the tiny quartz porthole. “See there,” he said, “that brightly lit area? That’s Crippen dock. Off in the distance is Port Chaffee. I spoke to a few crew members who woke up yesterday. According to the latest reports, this promises to be a most spectacular meteor shower.”

“You spoil me, you know that? This is for you.” She pulled him to her lips.

She gazed in wide wonder at the night sky above Port Chaffee. “The sky is so beautiful here. It’s almost as if I could see forever. It’s so much clearer here than back home.”

“That’s because of all the fine dust held in suspension in the upper atmosphere on Mars. Remember how clear it was when we went to the top of Mons on our first date?”

“How could I ever forget? It was breathtaking, but nothing like this. I’ve seen pictures, but I never expected Earth to be so beautiful, so green and full of life. I’m so glad we came. I’ll never forget this.”

“Everybody should see the birthplace of humanity at least once in their life. I’m just happy we can see it together.”

“But what will protect us from the meteors? Won’t they strike us here as well?” she asked, her voice filled with sudden concern.

“Yes, but don’t worry. Do you see that faint shimmer in the sky? That’s the Tesla Field. It extends around the entire globe. Nothing will penetrate it.”

Far above she could see the T Field shimmering protectively. “If you say so.”

“I wouldn’t let anything happen to you… Look, it‘s beginning.”

The impacts were moderate at first, but the frequency quickly increased. What had been single strikes here and there turned into a massive onslaught that melted into one another until the planet seemed to blaze in orange white fire.

The now incandescent atmosphere began to strip away in brilliant streamers borne upon the solar wind. “It’s so beautiful,” the young bride said, her eyes wet with tears.

Safe on Luna, in the comfort of Port Chaffee and snug beneath the impenetrable umbrella of the Tesla Field, the young couple watched, from 384,403 kilometers distance, the last of Earth’s oceans boil away into space.

“I love you,” she said softly.

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