Kepler Colony, the Moon: 16 May 2107
They watched the screen showing the launch of the Asteroid Diversion Task Force ship as it lifted from the Moon to rendezvous with the asteroid.
"It's a waste of time, isn't it?" Amelia stated, wordlessly.
Ross nodded his head in agreement and replied in the same manner. "But they have to be seen to be making the effort, as futile as it is."
He paused and grimaced, and Amelia caught a stray thought from her husband.
Amelia: "This, then, is the test we've been waiting for?"
Ross: "I wouldn't exactly say 'waiting for' or 'test'. This will be much more than a mere test – a challenge."
Amelia: "Yes, off the scale compared to what's gone before."
He laughed out loud. The echoes rebounded off the walls of the sparsely furnished room.
Amelia: "Has the process been worked out?"
Ross: "As much as it can be. Thompson and his crew are back on Earth strengthening the links."
Amelia: "You're still returning to Earth, then?"
Ross: "He's in his nineties. He can't be expected to handle this alone. So, I must go, I have to."
Amelia: "And me?"
Amelia: "I'd rather be there with you."
Ross: "I wish that, too. But transport is going to be a problem."
Amelia: "Emily is working on it."
Ross concurred. If anyone could invade the computer systems to obtain further places on one of the ships returning to Earth, then it would be Emily. Memories that had no right to be in his head held a catalogue of events that would not have been possible without her talents. He, or rather, Rayburn, had unlocked more than he had planned nearly forty years previously. Ross pondered whether he could persuade Emily to return with him but she was one of the core members on the Moon. He didn't want to risk losing her with what they were contemplating.
Amelia: "It's such a shame that Doctor Ashley couldn't achieve transfer."
Ross sighed, acutely remembering the loss of Rayburn's friend. They'd arranged a suitable volunteer and Ashley had appeared to fully understand the transference process that Rayburn had used upon himself.
However, the attempt had failed and it was still a shock to the whole community that both the donor and recipient had been lost.
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The Moon colonists watch in fear as an asteroid, far larger than the one that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, plummets towards the Earth. The collision leaves the planet blackened and lifeless. Can the colonists survive their sudden en...