So, youre the one I hear is fool enough to take the seat? Well, as long as you dont get us all killed, I guess well be better off than we are today. Look, Im not saying you cant do it, but I am saying this isnt gonna be an easy role to fill. Therell be so many choices and tough decisions, but remember, if you give up, were all doomed. Were all countin on you now. But theres one more thing before the ceremony The elders have requested that you read a collection of journals from our clans archives. I know, I know, you learned all about things like Earth, the Galactic Wars, and the founding of the Galactic Senate in, what they pass off as an academy these days, but the elders believe these specific journals give the story a human touch and they think a leader needs a personal connection with the past. I think theyre all old whack jobs, but they might just have a point. Anyways, heres the first one, Ill go dig out the next one while you read that.
The last pages from the journal of Douglas Schaeffer:
April 22nd, 2147
Well it was a pretty dull day. Most of what I did today was to fix some bugs in the decryption algorithm were using to communicate with Solaris base. Even though its been 4 years in planning, I still cant believe we managed to put a manned observation satellite in orbit around the sun!
April 23rd, 2147
Yesterday was dull but today was amazing! The Solaris crew was able to pull an enormous amount of data from a series of flares. If the world only knew how close we are to controlled fusion, maybe theyd stop all this infighting. Humanity could be so much more, united and exploring space There was one odd moment today. When the flare activity died down and Solaris sent us the telemetry, we played it back from the beginning just to sit and watch, and I swear, just moments before the flares start, theres something tiny impacting the site of the flares. The guys all told me I was crazy and that its just interference but I know what I saw. Matt, the guy from spectroscopy, told me theyd run a more detailed analysis once they got done with the important stuff. Matts a good guy, but when it comes to his job, hes a pretty stuck up
April 27th, 2147
Ive been so busy, I havent had time for this, but I decided I had to make time to record it. The sun has begun a chain reaction which will cause it to go supernova. We lost Solaris station yesterday, but its hard to morn the loss of 20 scientists when 23 billion are probably going to die on Earth, and another billion on Mars base. Were evacuating as fast as we can, like its going to help…
They estimate we only have about a year before the planet becomes unlivable and maybe 5 before the supernova occurs. Even with our fastest shuttles at max capacity we might only be able to get 5% of the population to Pluto base. I talked briefly with one of the scientists doing these calculations, a German whos been here maybe 4 years, first name Henrich. Hes a short, funny guy who still manages to keep a sense of humor. He says they think anything on the dark side of Pluto will survive, but that whats left of the already tiny planet will loose its orbit. So those who can get there have a chance, but anything caught in space will almost certainly be obliterated. The other option is Neptune, but theres no developed base there, and the winds have proved to make colonization troublesome. It would most likely be a haven at best, but some of the bigger, slower shuttles can make it there inside the given envelope.
After all this, theres no way I can say I told you so, but when they reviewed the tape again, and took the new readings, Matt said there was definitely something that hit the site of the flares just prior. It was only there for a single frame before impact, and there was nothing on radar, so either it was traveling almost at the speed of light, or it was cloaked somehow. The only thing that could have caused this type of a reaction is an extremely heavy element. Who would do this, more importantly, who could do this? The nations of Earth may still be at each others throats, but no one seems prepared for this, at all, and I doubt they would sacrifice the earth to end this war Mars is pretty peaceful and populated mostly with pacifists, so I couldnt believe they would have anything to do with this, they might be closer to Pluto base, but theyre loosing just as much as we are. Ive also been told that it would take several times our total stockpile of the heaviest man-made element. At the risk of sounding crazy, the thought has crossed my mind Weve always thought we were alone in the galaxy, maybe we were wrong
December 26th, 2153
I havent had the heart to touch this book for nearly six years. Every time I look at it, all I feel is sadness for whats been lost Ive decided to make one last entry for posterity. We didnt make it to Pluto. One of our main thrusters overloaded and had to be jettisoned, so we took refuge on Neptune. Its cold, windy, and barren, but for a while, itll have to be our home. Most of the 700 million survivors that made it here are mostly still getting over the loss of Earth, but those who have moved on are already talking about exploration of other systems. One things for sure, we dont have the resources we need yet, hopefully our new home can provide us with what we need.
Today we watched in horror as our scopes recorded the Earth burning away, I thought this as good a time as any to finish this journal. The shock wave will hit Neptune and then Pluto soon but whats left of the old research crew, Matt, Ben, Henrich and myself, have concluded that the intensity will be diminished enough so that both planets will at least survive.
They tell me that yesterday would have been Christmas on Earth, but living through this tragedy for the past few years in space and now on this enormous planet, I just dont know any more. For that reason, theres talk of doing away with the old calendar, its nostalgic for those of us who survived, but the new generation isnt going to understand it.
If we live through this, Im going to need to put the past behind me and be strong for those now in my care. So, this is the final entry of Douglas Schaeffer. If you are reading this, then at least someone survived, good luck to you.