“MUM!” the girl shouted.
Parine came running in, thinking that her daughter had hurt herself. She was standing in front of the home entertainment system, the newsfeeds hanging in the air, holograms showing one thing.
The daughter whimpered and buried her head in Parine’s shoulder.
Parine offered up a prayer to any god that could hear for the souls of those lost, and the health of those that had survived.
* * *
(Alliance of Independent Worlds).
Premier Zagatik watched the newsfeeds intently, long bony fingers steepled in contemplation. He played with his long wispy beard whilst the Alliance military guards stood watch impassively. He saw one of them flinch at the sight of Terra’s doom.
Contact had only been made recently, but the Terrans were a true superpower, a foe worthy of respect.
The destruction of their homeworld would change things.
* * *
Police Sergeant Habib stepped up to the cottage door.
She wrapped it loudly with her knuckles so as to be heard both in the house and out in the gardens.
She hated this part of the job.
The door opened, and the occupant smiled, her lovely face a radiant picture of happiness. But Habib kept her face as neutral as possible, making other woman suspicious.
“Katrina? What’s going on?”
“Can I come in?”
“What’s going on?” she said more forcefully.
Habib sighed, removing her peaked cap. The woman, Andrea, looked on in horror, realisation setting in.
“It’s your brother. He was on a layover on Terra with his unit…”
* * *
By Julz Scott
I was in complete denial, even the fires, the screams didn’t make it real.
A scene from a movie. This really could not be happening. All communications were gone. I was kidding myself right? I began tidying the house, why would I want to leave it in a mess?
I would be returning later.
How could we be destroyed?
Had to be some kind of gimmick.
As the top of my home opened violently, I still thought…
“It’ll never happen to me.”
* * *
By James “Gray Wolf” Purcell
Where was I?
I was stood on earth when it collapsed, neither the builders nor the travellers could sense me or see me but I was there.
Behind me the last gateway stood shaking on its foundation, electrical crackles arced across its surface.
“It’s time to go.”
“I want to see this world’s finial moments, I am not as travelled or as old as you, I still have an attachment to here.”
“This isn’t your world anymore, history has forgotten you and now you must forget it.”
He was right; this world was supposed to have outlasted the world I now call home. I watch bubbling lava approach and with a heavy sigh, stepped through the last portal to the other world.
* * *
By David Ploss
Where was I when Terra fell?
Why, I was Pooping. Gripping the rails of the handicap stall, in an effort to power-squeeze the final dregs of my last World-Gone-Dead party. I watched through the hole in the roof, where people had crashed the automated taxi cab before running into the hills. I could see it, the asteroid… A bright spot in the sky getting larger.
“Time to go,” I said aloud…
To no one.
As I heard the final plop in the bowl beneath my bowels… I reached for the paper… I pulled on the exposed square and it came off in my hands…
Noooooooooo! I stared in disbelief! No more paper?! This cannot be! I used the remaining square to mop up my tears… And prepared for a long and uncomfortable leg-numbing sit… At least there would be no one left to witness my embarrassment… What with the planet about to disintegrate…
Where was I when Terra fell? I was stuck… With poop on my butt…
* * *
The kids were playing tag in the garden.
It was a beautiful day, and the big family reunion had benefitted from a roaring barbecue. But it stood still, smoke lifting away from it, but no food cooking. The adults were all gathered around the newsfeeds, staring at the holographic display.
The kids, bored, came charging in, wanting to know why nobody else was outside.
They were told to shush and stay still in no uncertain terms.
On the display there were watching, the words TERRA GONE appeared.
The kids were confused.
What was Terra?
And why was it gone?
Did somebody lose it?
The adults didn’t answer their incessant bombardment of questions, continuing to watch the broadcast, murmuring prayers and curses in equal measure.
* * *
The bar, smoky and filled with booze-addled thieves, murderers, mercenaries, and other unsavoury characters, was playing the newsfeed as well.
A cheer had gone up for the news of Terra’s demise.
Many of them had arrest warrants on their heads, issued by the Terran Navy and Parliament. None of them were sad, some even whooping with joy.
Life had become so much easier for them all.
* * *
It was everywhere, the image of the planet detonating spectacularly and breaking apart into a small asteroid field spreading across the Nineteen Galaxies. It was across every news channel, every media outlet and every broadcaster reported it.
There were riots on Calonis III, people using the crisis as an excuse to cause mayhem. The riots were put down after thirty-six hours by the local Police and a visiting Terran Army unit. On Cargon Prime, there was a week of mourning declared. Across Terran territory, there were public cries of disbelief; nobody understood why this had happened.
Deputy Prime Minister Greedel was sworn in as acting PM until the next general election, and declared a state of emergency, despite many behaving as if it was already enacted. Fleet Admiral Kombat, the head of the 1st Fleet was declared the High Admiral, taking the position of First Star Lord, supreme command of all Terran militaries.
The rescue operations were almost completely unnecessary, the only survivors having already left the planet before it had died brightly.
Pluto Station, no longer needed was downgraded to a listening post, leaving it and Titan the only habitats in the Sol system. The star system was declared off-limits to all but the Navy, Terran society scarred permanently by the loss of their homeworld.
Things would never be the same.
* * *
In the deep dark at the centre of this universe, something stirred; something incredibly ancient and massive. Seconds later, it was joined by another, and then another until there was a whole fleet of them.
They moved out of the crèche of ancient dying stars, tendrils of dark energy sucked the stars dry until they became nothing more than imploding supernovae. The ships, for there was no other classification that would justify the monolithic behemoths’ size, powered forward.
Their strange engines, bloated but not entirely in the same universe as the rest of the ships, buzzed and hummed, pushing the ships out into the universe.
The lead monster’s bow glowed as a bright as a million suns, and fizzling lightning leapt from it into the dark of space, coalescing into a point far away. The point of light ripped through space, erupting a clean hole that poured forth the blue swirling pattern of the Linkway.
The leader churned forward and into the newly made Linkway entrance.
The Builders were coming.
* * *
The screen in the entertainment store window showed the demise of Earth.
Or Terra, whatever the whim was of that time period.
TERRA GONE was the headline.
The planet broke up and was gone.
The man watching –if you could call him that- stared intently at the newsfeed. He kept the horror of what he was seeing from his face that he surely felt, nibbling his lip and fiddling with his bow tie.
Unflappable, he clicked his fingers.
“Well, that won’t do at all!” he exclaimed.
Those around him stared at him like he was mad.
Of course he was mad.
In a blue box.
Nobody saw him leave.
Only heard his voice cry out excitedly.