The Last Few Minutes

Trent Roman

It was human nature, he knew, to be self-destructive. For centuries, men had been fighting each other, constantly inventing new ways to destroy one another. Still, he could not bring himself to grasp what had happened. That, that self-destructive nature would push one to do what he (the madman) did; that the war had grown to the point where...

He shut his eyes tight. He remembered, before the war, when humans had once been an advanced and prosperous people exploring the galaxy around them. Powerful ships transported people from Earth and its in-system colonies to Alpha-Century in mere seconds. Technology was at its best, and Automated Mechanical Servants (AMS) served the humans, doing all those pesky little jobs that humans did not want to do. He was only a kid then, but they were the best years of his life.

A beep stirred him out of his sweet daydream. He glanced down at his ship's display panel, even though he knew what the signal meant. Mercury had been destroyed. One planet down, eight to go.

But there was really only one planet that he cared about, the green Earth. Not that it was really green anymore. The wars between the different factions of the Human Council had turned it into a barren wasteland. At first, the hostilities were insignificant: a minor disagreement here, a grudge or vendetta there. But soon war broke out, and armies of human soldiers once again met and did battle on the fields.

But soon all this would not matter. Another beep informed him that Venus was no more. He turned on the countdown to prepare for blast off. He knew he had to get away from Earth before the shock wave would hit.

He looked through the viewport and noticed the steam building under the ship's engines. He idly wondered where the madman was, whether he was also leaving or staying behind, as he should. All this was caused by the missile he had launched, the missile that imploded Sol. He finally took off, joining the fleet of ships that was preparing to flee the solar system. Soon after, the shock wave caused by the implosion of the Sol, reached Earth. The home of the Human civilization was now . . . forever lost.