The terraforming of this planet had been happening for centuries, each new team trying a different method, a different direction to hit the problem from. But the funds were no longer there. The government wouldn’t extend any new grants for the project, deemed as a lost cause, at least for now.
This current lot were acting on the behalf of several mega-corporations, one of which was an alien firm very interested in the project. Venus was an untapped incredibly rich resource, or so the corporations’ reps claimed.
The scientists involved were on their last tether.
They were getting nowhere.
Centuries of research was nothing more than confusing rubbish that contradicted previous findings, Venus’ atmosphere and structure making sensor readings difficult.
Dr. Malvolian Reed stood at the very edge of Atalanta.
The small space station in orbit was beckoning him in.
He had had enough of this place.
Enough of the arid dusty landscape, and the fiery skies. Enough of the heat. Enough of the cramped and claustrophobic hazard suit, and breathing from a finite oxygen tank.
“Venus Station, this is Reed, come in.”
“We hear you, doctor.”
“I’ve finished the survey.”
“I think I saw a tumbleweed a few minutes ago.”
The chuckling down the line was heart-warming. At least the others were of a similar mindset as he was.
“Barren as ever?”
“Yep. Teleport me up, please.”
“Hang on, we’re getting some interference, doctor. There’s something on the sensors.”
“Holy frag, it’s an asteroid!”
There was genuine fear in that voice. He could hear others in the background, and his own breathing became noticeably louder in the confines of the sealed suit.
Surely an asteroid wouldn’t be a problem? Certainly nothing big could get past Jupiter from outside the system, nor could anything get past the massive amounts of starship and detection technology that existed across humanity’s home?
“What’s going on?”
“It’s coming right at us, Reed,” the voice practically screamed. “It’s massive; our weapons aren’t even scratching it. Oh gods…” The line cut off after a massive bang nearly deafened him. There was a hum that passed through the ground, and he craned his neck to look up where he thought Venus Station should be.
He knew he wouldn’t be able to see the orbital structure.
He had never felt so isolated and alone.
The flammable clouds parted and ignited above him, and he was thrown to the ground by a shockwave that would have killed him it not for the exo-skeleton of his suit.
He had about two seconds to see the chunk of asteroid fill the sky before it hit him, and smashed Venus to pieces, the volatile planet coming apart. Only minutes before Earth finally died, Venus became a slowly spinning cloud of rock and dust.