“How would you receive the end of the world?”, she asked.

“Laureen, are you ok? Why would you ask that?”, I was puzzled. This strange question just out of the blue. That was two weeks ago. Today I watch as the people around me have given in to the chaos that has unfolded. The end of the world. No one could believe it when the news broke. A rogue planet was detected rushing towards the solar system. Its passing would pull every other planet and alter their orbit. Estimates placed the rogue planet passing just a few miles from Earth, but it was enough to tear the crust away. So now we waited. As the end of everything within our civilization slowly arrived. Financial markets were the first to crumble into dust. People lost any motivation to continue going to work. A few still did it to preserve what little normalcy they could. Others tried helping each other out, but there was no denying the panic that took over most. I sat on the balcony of our home near the Quincy shore. Laureen, recently celebrated her 16th birthday. She was sitting next to me, and I said, “Now you see how I would receive it. With you by my side. People are bound for death, it is an inevitability of life. It often begs the question of why read the story if you already know the ending? Because the journey is always worth taking. Whether for good or for bad, we did what we could with what we had. Me? I’m proud to have been able to raise such an incredible daughter”. She laid her head on my shoulders. Lifted herself again and told me, “I was actually looking forward to college, physics was going to be interesting”.

A low rumble could be heard and felt this morning. Outside everything was eerily quiet. The planet was set to pass by today at midday. I was making what little we had for breakfast. Power has been out for a few days already. After breakfast I went to sit down on the balcony again. It was almost midday. Everyone could make out the planet in the sky already. A cold darkness swept across the area. I looked around for Laureen, I couldn’t find her. I wanted to run to look for her, but my body didn’t seem to respond. “I guess, this is it”, I said to myself while looking at the sky.

“Dad, wake up.”, I heard her voice clearly. Stunned and confused I noticed I was lying down on a bed. “So, did you like the experience?”, she asked calmly. Without hesitation I answered, “It was horrible, why did you make me do this again?”. A rush of memories ran through my mind as if a train was running through hundreds of stations, leaving every passenger safely on them. “The idea was to experiment historical events through the eyes of people living at the time as captured by the light data we acquired”, Laureen explained. “Yes, yes of course, how could I forget? It’s still very disturbing. Thank goodness we were saved”. We will remember the solar system as the birthplace of humanity but the universe is full of things to discover. “We should try to search for our saviors next”, I suggested. That question had been on everyone’s mind after the incident. “You know they sent the ship and everything else automatically, there is little evidence they’re still around. I’ll see what we can arrange, for now you should get some proper sleep dad”. “Yeah, no sense in lingering here”, I got up, walked to my quarters, laid down in bed and fell asleep.

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