Author : Art Klein
The moon looked bigger than ever. That shouldn’t have surprised him. He knew it was bigger because it was closer than ever. He also knew it was getting even closer. But how big it looked tonight really did surprise him.
“How long do they think we can survive after you leave?” she asked.
“I don’t know. They said a few months, but the quakes are more violent and the tidal waves higher than they originally predicted,” he answered. After a short pause, “I don’t want to go without you. I’ll stay.”
“Don’t be a fool,’” she snapped. “You were selected for the team because you’re a Level 12 scientist. Why die here with me when you’ll be much more important where you’re going.” It wasn’t a question. It was a statement.
He looked away as he felt the sting of tears forming in his eyes.
“Don’t go sentimental on me,” she said. “You still have a lot to do before you leave. All the equipment you’re taking still needs final testing. You’re going to be an important part of building a new world.”
He looked at her for what seemed like a long time. She was right. The team of scientists and engineers didn’t know very much about the new world to which were they would travel. They knew the new planet was in a habitable zone around its star and that it’s about the same size as their current home that was coming apart because of the increasing pull of its nearing moon. He didn’t want to think about the final collision.
“How soon will you be leaving?” she asked.
“They said we’ll need to go sooner than they originally thought because the moon’s orbit is decaying faster than before,” he answered. “Now they’re saying two weeks or less.”
He heard her sharp intake of breath, but she said nothing for a moment. Then, smiling at him as she slipped her arm around his waist, she said, “Then let’s get home. We have better things to do where no one can see us.”
He nodded quietly as his thoughts drifted to the planet on which he and the team were going to build a new life for a select few; a planet orbiting its sun in the company of seven others.