Author : Duncan Shields, Staff Writer
We were at Jason’s house partying when it happened. W6, The Rapture, Day One, whatever you call it where you are.
I remember everyone’s phones going off. They lit up in the darkness of the party, confusing everyone like surprise holiday lights or large blue fireflies. Everyone got the same message at the same time. Emergency Broadcast Signal, it said. It had links to instructions and details and those horrible words “safe distance”.
We turned on the television and rushed to our laptops and Jason’s computers. Trajectories were laid out, newscasters were openly crying, and the Moon Senate cam showed rows of empty seats.
Jason lived outside the colony limits. We’d all brought our transports and were going to stay over. No drinking and driving. We were responsible people. We turned off the music and went to the main viewport. In the distance, we could see the city underneath its glittering dome. Smoke from the first few fires started to smudge up into the air underneath it.
What sounded like an earthquake started about a mile to the right of Jason’s house and with a clank and hiss, sixteen circles irised open in the ground. We all turned our heads towards the vibration in unison.
The missiles came up out of the ground like angels in the darkness. Magnesium flares attached to huge pencils going up and up and up. He had no idea that there were missiles silos that close to him, Jason said a few minutes later. He’d heard rumours of an army base there but that had closed years ago, before he emigrated from Earth. It must have been automated and left on standby.
We all stood on the porch and saw the missiles arc into the sky and away into the night, joining other stars making their way to different destinations, pulling faint spiderweb contrails across the dark night.
The fact that there were missiles close to Jason’s house probably meant that area was a target, Ryan said. His dad was in the army over on Titan. That made us all realize that we wouldn’t live on after this in some sort of post-apocalyptic fantasy.
A few people suited up, airlocked to their cars and drove away to the city dome to find their families or away towards the far-off crater bowls where they thought they could outrun the radiation.
Most of us stayed at Jason’s. We all tried calling our parents and loved ones. Some of us got through. I didn’t. Then weak EMP waves from other impacts must have started washing through because the phones and the lights went out.
We sat there in the darkness. A few couples went to have sex until the end came. The rest of us stayed there in the living room near the big window.
There it was. Carrie saw it first. A falling star. Coming straight for us.
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