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Fiery streaks were drawn across the sky, visible by day and night. The distant thunder of objects breaching the sound barrier as they entered earth’s atmosphere was omnipresent, followed by the appearance of yet another streak, with its trailing tail of smoke and fire.

Celestial objects of all shapes and sizes were hurled from their natural places in the solar syste by the approaching catastrophe in the shape of a neutronstar.

Gravitational tugs had thrown grains of dust, asteroids and other bodies out of their orbits. So far earth had been lucky to only be showered by smaller objects, not by the hundreds of asteroids, comets and moons large enough to wreak irreversible havoc.

Another hypersonic boom, a ball of fire engulfing a rock, a trail of fire and smoke.

 

“That is all?” dressed casually in the hempen clothes she always wore, the therapist looked up from her notes.

“It repeats night after night. Often several times a night.” Nye Monroe was tempted to jump at the therapists throat. “Miss Monroe,” Dr. Donal shifted in her chair. “each and everyone of us lost friends, family, in most cases close to everyone we knew,”

“They aren’t dead yet!” Nye jumped from the couch. “That is my problem! A fucking neutron star will tear the earth apart, down to atomic levels. My friends, my family, everyone I know, who is still on earth, will be torn to shreds in twenty years, and here I am safely tucked away on this ship, heading out towards a new world!” Nye took a deep breath, only now realizing that she wept uncontrollably, that her voice had changed from anger to hysteria.

“You’ve known for your entire life that this will happen. Yet, you didn’t turn to aimless despair. You worked hard, went to university. You are now twenty-four years old, and overcame that urge.” Doctor Donal typed a few words on her tablet computer.

Slowly Nye inched back to the couch, sitting down she wiped her tears away. “There are thirty thousand people aboard this ship.” thinly whimpering, her voice trembled, “I guess I can find friends somewhere.” she sighed almost not audibly.

“And in the ships launching in five and ten years from now, a total of sixty thousand more will follow.” Doc Donal added with an encouraging smile. Which will be five years behind us if you could leave and stop to wait for the second ship. Five more for number three. Still plagued by the urge to jump at Doctor Donal’s throat, Nye tried to suppress that thought.

The Explorer was the first of three identical ships. “I hope I’m not going to make long distance friendships there, that I will never be able to visit, or meet anywhere in person.” Nye replied to the therapist. Surely she would receive some encouraging reply that would make Nye have homicidal fantasies involving Doctor Donal.

But nothing of the sorts. “You already got to know people on Explorer,we’re two years into this journey. Surely you have found people around you that you would call friends?”

 

Nye left the therapy rooms.

Mandatory psychological evaluation was gnawing on her nerves almost as much as her nightmares. Through the artificial sunlit hallways, next to thriving plants Nye made her way to the tube network. Three levels below her was the office she worked at. Often she caught herself staring at the walls and ceilings of the hallways in wonder. Light and simulated sunshine shone from the ceiling for the plants to grow most efficiently, to give the human population the illusion of daylight. Supporting the psyche as much as vitamin D requirements.

Mesmerized by the beauty of a blossom near the entrance to the tube network Nye missed her ride.

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