Author : Todd Hammrich

I never thought I’d live to see The End. In fact, the way I figured it, no one should see The End, I mean, that’s why it’s called The End, there is nothing after that, and certainly no one to see it. And yet, here I was. Floating gently in the shuttle. Watching the Earth float by in the view port. And I had seen it happen.

Being an astronaut was every young boys dream, and I had always been a dreamer. I trained and worked my way through courses, evaluations and simulators until my dream came true. There was much to do in space. There was quite a bit of it and we were trained to take it all.

My first mission was to help in construction of a small research station and I’ll never forget the excitement I felt at the prospect of being launched into space. The day of the launch passed like a dream. The final checkup with the doctors, the meeting with the mission director and the small medicine bottle given to me before take-off, all of it was a blur. The pill was standard procedure in case of malfunction or serious accident and every astronaut gladly accepted the small dose of reality for a bit of their dream. After four days in space I returned successful and my career was off.

As World War III broke out my missions became even more critical. Whoever could conquer space would win the day, as the War for Earth would effectively end. On my third war mission, a communications satellite repair, I witnessed it. The End. It happened without warning. I was in the shuttle while my partners worked on the satellite when the missile struck. I don’t know whether they knew we were there, or if they even cared, but the satellite was destroyed. The shuttle drifted away, atmospheric containment lost in several areas. Luckily the command area was sealed off and pressure contained. I was still alive.

Out the view port I watched it unfold like a horror story or nightmare. My dream had saved me, but the non-dreamers below were doomed. Streaks of fire filled the globe from horizon to horizon. Missiles streaked from every country in the world. One by one the cities darkened until there was no light left.

I had enough air to see it all. No one answered the radio. Maybe no one was left. I saw the world die. I saw The End. There was no more lights on that large barren rock below. It didn’t matter anymore though. I smiled as I watched the world. An empty pill bottle floated gently beside me. Maybe it hadn’t been The End, either way, mine was coming soon.

In the beginning God said Let There Be Light. We came forth unto the world and were not satisfied. We looked outward to space and we tried to take it. Man was not satisfied with what he was given and Man said Let There Be Darkness and we were no more.

The End.

Discuss the Future: The 365 Tomorrows Forums
The 365 Tomorrows Free Podcast: Voices of Tomorrow
This is your future: Submit your stories to 365 Tomorrows