Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lost Convoy, Part III: Ragnarok

The term that seemed to catch on with all the media outlets was Ragnarok. Ray remembered reading somewhere, once, that term, probably in a Marvel comic, something about Norse mythology. At any rate, it really was the end of the world. None of the physics he had ever known seemed to work anymore. There were thousands of people who had simply floated off into space, even. He didn't like to think about it. Here he was piloting a small remnant of humanity to an uncertain future, and he couldn't bare to think of the past.

But it kept coming back to him, an image that seemed burned into his inner eyelids, and every time he closed his eyes, he saw it again, and every time he slept, he saw it again. He couldn't avoid it. The horror! But somehow he had survived, long enough to lose track of the rest of the convoy. He checked the navigation board, to see where he was, but it was malfunctioning, and all he saw outside of the cockpit was stars, an endless wallpaper, and without the navigation computers, he could be spinning endlessly forever, or at least his corpse, and everyone else he'd brought with him. He tried to bury the guilt. But all he saw was the planet that he had once called home consume itself, over and over again. The scientists couldn't explain what had happened. There was so much rampant and spurious speculation in all the remaining newscasts, he felt ashamed for humanity. Well, this is what you get.

Finally, and Ray had no idea how long it'd been, the navigation board lit up again, and he could plot a direction again. He still had no contact with the rest of the fleet, and he felt resigned to that fact. Better minds than his would have to figure out how to fix that. He felt no less skilled than a child, an infant, useless, and how exactly had he been granted the fates of so many souls? He made the decision to open communications with the passengers. He had no idea what to expect, if they even guessed what had happened. He had no idea what kind of instruments they might have brought with them, or if any of them would still possess the presence of mind to utilize them. That was how he came to meet Clive Lockwood.

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