Wednesday, January 4, 2012


The prompt this time was to include a countdown of some kind, and use the following words: three, night, wire, sweat, run. Terrific prompt! Please enjoy.


8:00 a.m.

I’ve decided to begin keeping a journal today since I’m truly not certain exactly how much time I have left. We all know our time will run out, but when you are literally provided with a countdown, priorities make a massive shift. My entire career has been spent taking notes, documenting procedures, and recording results. However, at this late stage of my life, I feel this need to share parts of myself. Who may find my journal, or whether it is found at all, is not relevant. That a record of what has, and will occur, is.

I have swallowed all three of my morning capsules and feel quite satisfied. I can only wonder what it was like in centuries past when people sat together around a table and ate their meals one bite at a time. As a child, learning about this barbaric practice of placing chunks of various items of food directly into one’s mouth filled me with revulsion. Ingesting capsules pre-filled with the ideal amounts of nutritional materials was so much more time-efficient, tidy, and resulted in maintaining excellent health. Remembering some of the photos in my history books however, brings to mind the social aspects of what had been referred to as ‘meal time’. Parents and children sitting together and sharing the events of the day: A ritual long since abandoned as a frivolous waste of valuable time. I can but only wonder how it felt--that sharing--that familial contact. Well, no point in dwelling on that which will never occur. None at all.

I shall dress now and take a stroll to get some air and a bit of sun. ‘A bit of sun’? That almost made me smile. Almost.

11:00 a.m.

Before today, I’ve never been able to appreciate how much pleasure can be found by simply taking a walk. Working day in and day out, morning to night for all those years has crippled my ability to enjoy life outside of my lab. Now that work is no longer an option, and I have the time to simply live, my clock is swiftly winding down.

Enough self pity. Nothing can change the course I’m on. But perhaps if I explain, no one will end up traveling this same dark road. ‘Dark road’. That almost made me smile. Almost.

The World Government was my employer. I worked in a classified unit of the Scientific Research and Development Department. My unit was all over the spectrum project-wise. Agriculture, water preservation, and other-worldly issues were only a few. It was the potential habitation of planets other than our own that was my specialty. My duties were strongly focused on finding alternate ‘earths’, if you will, just in case. ‘Just in case’ what was never made clear.

We are currently in the year 9,472, and space travel is quite common. It’s the problems associated with complete relocation that I was assigned to resolve. Not an easy task to be sure, but I did manage to make quite the breakthrough.

No need for concern. My entries will continue. First though, my scheduled three capsules for lunch and then a brief rest are in order. Definitely brief since time is of the essence. Today.

2:00 p.m.

I was covered in sweat when I awoke. I had a terrible dream while I rested. I didn’t take the pill that suppresses the dream state this time. No. I wanted a dream. Any dream. A last dream. It was terrifying. It was a delight.

Returning to the matters at hand, I found several habitable locations just outside our solar system. One could literally take their pick. All quite abundant with rich soil, drinkable water, and a bright and durable sun. The elaborate systems we currently have in place would not be required. Life on those planets could be likened to the days of old, so to speak. Kind of a way to begin again. Tempting to be sure.

One evening after working late while making my way through one of the administrative areas, I happened upon a frayed wire on one of the countertops. Quite the unusual find, since use of such materials had been obsolete for some time. I decided to ask one of the technicians about its significance when I heard what sounded like an argument coming from one of the conference rooms.

Yes, I live in an advanced society, but that old adage about curiosity still reigns supreme. Unfortunately though, I also now understand the reference to death in that saying. Government officials were arguing about which individuals would fill the few still empty seats on the craft that would be departing soon for one of the worlds I had identified. All the government and scientific personnel deemed necessary had their space assignment, but there was room for what was being referred to as ‘regulars’. How the regulars would be selected was the reason for the debate.

It was stated volunteers from the general public could not be obtained since knowledge of the voyage would incite a world-wide panic. I had to find out why, so I burst into the room and demanded to know what danger seemed so imminent and was so catastrophic so as to generate planet-wide fear. My questions were answered and I was dismissed as a child would be when the adults are discussing grown-up topics. I was insulted. I was angry. I was not totally surprised.

I believe I shall go for a last walk on my last afternoon. I will continue. You have my word.

6:00 p.m.

The light is beginning to fade as evening approaches. I am enjoying my three evening meal capsules and I will again forego the dream suppressor. I must dream tonight. This night. My last.

They knew I wouldn’t share their secret. What could be gained by spreading terror. That, of course, is assuming anyone believed me, which I knew was highly unlikely.

Our world was on a course for destruction. Not at the hand of some God or because of some signs and symbols long since disproved to be accurate. It would end at the ends of its own government.

Frustrated by society’s failure to rise above the level of depravity that has always been allowed to flourish, the ‘powers that be’ decided to ‘erase’ this mistake called Earth and build a civilization elsewhere. Over time, special charges had been strategically placed in, and around, the core of our heart and soul which bears the name ‘sun’. Once their craft is at a safe distance, buttons will be pushed and our brightest star will be no more. No one has ever been able to state with any degree of accuracy what would happen to the sun if it burned out, or was destroyed by some outside force, but one thing is for certain. Without it’s light and warmth, this world called Earth cannot continue to exist. I doubt that anyone could say exactly how long Earth would be able to survive or what events would occur as it were dying, but die it would, and I have the feeling it would not go quietly into that dark night.

A drastic fix surely, but the only one possible? That is a question for those wiser than I. There was no space for me to join these self-appointed judge and jury pioneers. Frankly, if I had been invited though, I would like to believe I would have gracefully declined. At least, I hope I would have.

I’m going to sit outside for awhile and enjoy the night sky while I can. While it is there for me to enjoy.

10:00 p.m.

I am going to close now. It is time for sleep. The end should be coming soon and perhaps that is best. Perhaps that’s been the plan all along…