Skip to main content

Jumpers



The fleet of ships that now held what remained of humanity inside their titanium hulls hovered at the edge of space. The mood was somber as everyone waited in a quiet tension pendulating between despair and mind-shattering terror. The powering up of the colossal nuclear engines sent gale force winds ripping across the planet.  This was the beginning of their latest exodus, just another jump on their way to the last. 
Human civilization's only hope rested with an asteroid that was hurtling in their direction. The appearance of this interstellar ballistic was heralded as a miracle, and indeed it was their only hopes of escaping the world they devoured. When it screamed past the desolated little planet, they would launch themselves at the oncoming cosmic projectile it in a desperate attempt to cling to its jagged surface. It's projected trajectory was set to take it just outside the orbit of a small planet dubbed Toba. An infinitesimal but livable planet.
 There wasn't enough fuel to get to Toba on their own, and the asteroid moved with a far greater speed than their vessels ever could. A significant portion of what they had left was going to be used landing on the asteroid. Riding on the back of the planetary fragment was their only means of reaching what would probably be their last sanctuary in the cosmos. It was one more chance to continue their process of perpetual Armageddon.
 It had been almost 18 years since they last made a jump.  The society and the machines that sustained it was being starved of every necessity of life. The last time these nomads attempted to ford their way just a little deeper into oblivion thousands had died. Forlorn people watched helplessly from observation decks as ships carrying their families missed the mark and drifted haplessly away into the cold nothingness of space disappearing into the darkness forever, as deadly a proposition a jump was staying where they were was certain suicide.
 There was a cynicism prevailing among the dwindling population forced to face, at least on a subconscious level the prospects of the homo sapiens obliteration. As the deprivations grew in severity and permanence empathy disappeared, and there were those who began to look at the rapidly diminishing population as a means of taking what they needed to stay alive just a while longer.
 It had been generations since humanity had set foot on the little green and blue orb that had facilitated its birth.
The people born in the confines of the Leviathan vessels spent much of their lives in their synthetic habitats, never knowing the touch of the ground or the rays of a sun. Just as they trusted their decimated celestial home to provide for them, to cultivate its own terminal sickness, they were now dependent on an artificial system that existed in a world of algorithms and binary code.
 It was an intelligence that far exceeded that of its architects, but that is precisely what made it vulnerable to failure. Imperfection can never create perfection. 
The remnants of civilization and very likely the last generation peered into space waiting for the furiously burning tail of the asteroid to come into view. In an instant, their engines fired, and the armada blasted itself, full speed at their new host. The ones that survived the jump and landed safely on its surface would use it to simply propel themselves ever deeper into the cold eternity.  

Become a Patron!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

There are no closets in foxholes

Private Stuart Breyers had joined the marine corps during peacetime. The plan was to use his two-year hitch as a transition period into becoming an independent young man. Not six weeks after his 19th birthday the boy’s limited term of existence had been significantly curtailed. He had no more years to look forward to only mere moments.
He walked in a single file line with his comrades under the darting eyes of their Japanese captors. His fingers were laced behind his head, and he didn’t dare move his hands to shield his eyes from the blinding tropical sun or the salty sting of his sweat. Breyers had spent his life in the vast cornfields of Middle America where the grey skies of winter lingered for months on end. The Pacific sun turned his flesh a pulsing red. The Japanese fleet loomed ominously in the still crystal blue waters. The massive steel barrels of their guns had returned to their resting position. Occasionally a grenade blast in the thick jungle rattled the birds out of the tr…

The Borderline Angel of Death

I would like to thank Burning House Press for featuring this piece!

At the age of thirty, Daniel Lufto lived alone in a single bedroom apartment. In his first thirty years on Earth he had made very few lasting connections, and at this point, his existence had virtually no perceptible impact on anyone else. He was just another recurring face on the bus ride to work, a vaguely remembered customer in the local liquor store.
As a human being, Daniel existed on a strictly interim basis. His home was even on a month to month arrangement. On any day he and his meager belongings could be swept out and with that almost any trace of Daniel's corporeal existence.
Daniel wasn’t so solitary by choice. He and the world around him could never find the proper way to engage each other. Daniel grew up, but he never developed into a fully fleshed out human being. He had no particular interests or hobbies absolutely nothing could captivate him. It was as if he had been deprived an imagination and was…

The Bronze Bull

After the Mormon army armies reached the east coast, they set to work salvaging and restarting the long-abandoned foundries scattered across the landscape. The blast furnaces once again were swollen with molten steel, and the towering brick stacks erupted with volcanic ferocity. The forked flames lashed at the clouds and the billowing smoke blackened the sky heralding the ascendancy of the continent's new masters.
Roaming bands of scavengers had been picking at the bones of New York City for decades. THe nibbling quickly turned into a full feeding frenzy. Legions of landless farmers and rootless laborers descended on the ruins. They worked as ceaselessly as termites to hollow out the steel carcass.
John Nelson had traveled a long way to get a look inside the old city. He was a Captain Edler in the Bringham Young regiment an outfit that had spent the better part of a decade fighting across the continent. The spry young Captain was an avid student of history, and even though dead o…