The Fall of Terra #41: The Doom of Mankind


The currents dragged Silver to an orbital station.

Why had she lost control of herself?  Was something else influencing her?  It had been centuries, millennia even, since she had felt worry and panic.  What was influencing her?  She had felt the presence of the alien watcher, Rubic’lan’as’tor, nearby but he never interfered with others, simply watched.

She wondered if perhaps she should approach him.

No, the idea was ridiculous.

He wouldn’t deign to talk to her, let alone have a full conversation with her.

He was, like so many of his type, aloof.

She shook the thought away.

Where was she?

She looked around at the Terran orbital station.

People were gathering around a massive wraparound window, sobbing and wailing.  She phased through them to stand at the window.

Horror struck her as she witnessed it for herself.

An asteroid.

It was wreathed with smoke and chemical fires where she was sure the Navy had attempted to stop it.  They had failed miserably, judging by its approach.  It seemed to her to be like something out of Tartarus.

Without realising what she was doing, she was leaving the station, and roaring through the currents to stand on the back of the asteroid like a hunter about to strike at a dragon.  She gathered all her might, all her control over time, and spread it over the rock as it rumbled and tumbled towards the planet.

It shook and chunks fell off, but it was too big.

Her nose started bleeding, and she could feel herself losing control.

The rock started slowing.

She screamed and the rock cracked.

She collapsed, exhausted by the monumental effort, and her subconscious automatically dumped her back on the station.  Silver stood up just in time to watch the asteroid slam fully into the planet’s surface.  For a brief millisecond, it seemed as though it might bounce back off, but it crumpled, ploughing through atmosphere and planetary crust alike.

It shattered the planet’s outer layers like an egg, dust clouds spreading outward above the massive cracks it produced along the familiar surface.  The oceans around it boiled and evaporated as the extreme heat of its entry into Terra’s atmosphere came down with it.  The atmosphere itself briefly bulged around it, trying to compensate, before settling back down.  Electrical disturbances flashed through the clouds, stronger than any lightning, striking anything within reach.

Silver felt sick.

How many people were still down there?

How could this happen without her people knowing?

She closed her eyes, and pictured Andromeda’s galactic core, the temporal streams flowing to the central supermassive black hole.  She mentally called for help, reaching out for her fellow Timewalkers.

Nobody answered, as if cut off.

But she found one nearby.

And it wasn’t one she had thought to find.

The creature that many knew as Gold.

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