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Love’s the Same On Every Planet
CHAPTER
1
Gone
Vera gazed from window of thick glass, staring into space. Literally.
She was aboard a GoogleWISE, a type of emergency space aircraft. WISE stood for Worldwide Space Evacuation. Vera didn’t really understand the “worldwide” part. More than half of the planet didn’t make it onto the fleet of space planes that rushed across the world, trying to save the human race.
She remembered the command issued on the projection screens of every skyscraper by Janae Paxt, the president of the United Nations: Don’t Panic. Everyone will be saved.
Scientists had predicted it in 2013, when they saw a large asteroid floating near the Earth. In space, it was a speck of dust. From the earth, it was giant. It was said to have a force of at least several thousand atomic bombs. NASA said there was a one out of 63,000 chance it would hit the Earth, but a miracle had happened. Or more like the opposite of a miracle. It was going to hit the earth. Humans would go extinct, just like the dinosaurs. Vera still couldn’t believe it. It had been her home for fifteen years. Yes, it was a home without polar bears and barely any trees, and smog and and pollution in the murky skies, but it was also the home where she grew up, living with her mother and father, learning to love the world she was in. But now it was going, slipping away.
“Vera.”
She turned around to see her dad close the door of the little room they now inhabited. He walked over to the mattress she sat on and enveloped her in a fierce hug.
“You okay?” he said sadly, his brown bangs casting a shadow over his thick glasses.
“Dad, where are we going?” Vera asked, realizing how choked her voice sounded. “Are we just going to live in this plane for the rest of our lives?” She rocked back and forth in her father’s embrace, desperate for an answer.
“Well, honey, I’m not really sure, but the flight commander says we’ll be traveling to a different planet, similar to...Earth,” he said, pausing before the last word. “The other....creatures on the planet will help us.”
Dad stared out the window, light reflecting his GoogleGlasses. He gazed at the Earth, now a tiny speck surrounded by blackness. Vera didn’t speak, silent tears beginning to form in her sea-green eyes.
“Things are going to be very different,” Dad said gently, wiping the tears off her face, and brushing her curly brown hair behind her ear, his expression unreadable. “We’ll be leaving many things behind.”
Vera adjusted, sitting on his lap. “So many people are going to die,” A long silence unfolded. “Dad...”
“Yes, Vera?” he said, cradling her small body. Vera felt more like a three-year-old than fourteen.
“Why is mom on Earth? Why isn’t she with us?”
“Oh, Vera,” her father said, tears now trickling down his face. “You know your mother. She’s a free spirit. Callista would never jump on a space plane and ride to a different planet just to survive. It may sound cliche, but she wanted to live her last days, not survive the rest of her life.”
Vera thought for a moment. “If mom decided to stay, and it’s the right thing for her, what’s the right thing for us?”
“I don’t know Vera, I really don’t know.”
The two silently sat together as the Earth disappeared out of sight, the fleet of GoogleWISEs flying farther into space with every breath they took.
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