The Fall of Terra #35: Interrupted


They had been having such a fun day.

The packing, of course, was a nightmare, but the journey to Edginton was full of laughing and games.

They had only just arrived, when Langton caught sight of a news feed.

Dozens of others stood in the water park’s entrance lobby.  Whilst Ophelia checked in at the desk with the kids, Langton became enthralled with the newsfeed.

“What the frag…” he whispered.

“It’s been playing over and over for the last ten minutes,” somebody said beside him.

The Prime Minister, Conrad Joknass, was seated, his head and shoulders visible, the holographic newsfeeds showing him on every channel, even the entertainment and drama channels that sometimes played here.

“Good afternoon.  I…”

The PM choked, trying to force words out that wouldn’t come.

“I…  At oh-eight-hundred hours Navy time this morning, the government was made aware of an asteroid headed directly for Terra.  This asteroid is only seventy-five-percent smaller than Luna; if it hits the planet, it will destroy us.  We are talking an extinction-level event, the end of life on Earth.  A Navy battlegroup attempted to destroy it soon after it was discovered, but were unsuccessful, almost all of the ships destroyed.”

He stopped, composing himself as his bottom lip trembled.

“I hereby give the order to evacuate Terra.  Please do so in an orderly and calm fashion.  Anybody who owns a starship is to fill those vessels with as many people as you can.  Do not leave without filling your holds; the Navy will be doing the same.”

Langton was still staring wide-eyed at the holographic display when Ophelia tapped him on the shoulder.

“What’s going on?” she asked.

He frowned, unsure what to say.

People were starting to leave in a hurry as the news spread through the park.

“It’s time to leave.”

“We’ve only just got here,” complained Edward.

Ophelia was watching the repeated transmission.

“We have to leave,” she agreed.  The crowds leaving were getting more populated, panic on their faces.

They grabbed the kids and ran.

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