Author : Bob Newbell

Lieutenant Thev’s cephalon bioluminesced a faint yellow. Clearly, he was nervous. “You do realize, Thev, that this is the most carefully planned celestial engineering project in galactic history?” Thev turned his cephalon to face Project Director Grojjun. The gesture was out of politeness and not necessity. The position and field of vision of Thev’s eyes allowed him to see Grojjun standing behind him, but it was respectful to observe certain protocols.

“Sorry, sir,” said Thev. “It’s just, well, there won’t be any second chances. This is it. This is the ancestral home of all sentient life in the galaxy.” Thev turned his cephalon back to the large viewscreen that comprised most of one wall of the bridge of the ship. “This is Earth.”

Grojjun looked at the aging planet their ship was orbiting. But he was more concerned with the aging star that lay eight light-minutes in the distance. The Sun was nearly eight billion years old. It was larger and redder than it had been when Earth was the sole repository of intelligent life. As the human race had propagated itself throughout the galaxy and biologically re-engineered itself into thousands of exotic forms capable of thriving on millions of worlds, the Sun had continued its long, slow march through the main stellar sequence and was now becoming a red giant. Sol was becoming decrepit. And the human race and its progeny couldn’t stand the idea that their ancient homeworld would be reduced to a cinder if they stood by and did nothing.

“Earth has faced destruction countless times in her history,” Grojjun reminded the lieutenant. “Asteroids, volcanoes, ice ages. As recently as 10 million years ago a minor adjustment to the Moon’s orbit had to be made.” Thev’s cephalon maintained its yellow hue. “But, Director,” said Thev, “what we’re about to do. No one has ever attempted anything on this scale. The complexity of the calculations. The sheer amount of power and the utter precision with which that power must be controlled. I can’t help but worry.”

Grojjun was about to make another attempt to reassure Thev when a message flashed across the lieutenant’s control panel. “Sir,” said Thev, “all orbital and ground stations report ready. It’s time.” Grojjun looked not at the Earth or the Moon, but at the Sun. “Goodbye, old friend,” Grojunn said as he pressed the flashing green holographic button on the control panel.

There was no flash of light, no tremor, no feeling of movement. There was nothing at all to suggest that the fabric of spacetime had just been torn asunder on a scale without precedent in four billion years of recorded galactic history. To an outside observer, the Earth and Moon would appear to have simply vanished without a trace.

On the viewscreen, Grojjun and Thev saw what appeared to be the Sun suddenly shift a few degrees to the left and simultaneously change from reddish-orange to yellow-white in color. “Director!” Thev exclaimed. “It worked! We’re 43.3 light-years from our previous position. The Earth and Moon came through the wormhole perfectly intact. We’re in a stable orbit around 58 Eridani!”

Grojjun looked at Earth’s new parent star. It was almost the identical twin of old Sol except that it was billions of years younger. Thev breathed a sigh of relief as his cephalon faded from yellow back to a sedate and happy dark green.

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