“Craig, I don’t understand.” Samantha asked, staring out at the vast city that stood before them.
“I don’t either.”
It had been their only hope. The planet had been dying and so had humanity. The leaps in science and technology, Dr. Harrison and Dr. Peterson’s discovery of the Flanagan Particle, the desperation in her fellow man – it had all lead to Samantha and her hypothesis. Her plan.
Sure she and Craig had discussed that something like this could happen. That humanity could somehow continue without them. But this… this was far from what they had expected.
They had designed the machine to transport all twenty thousand of the remaining humans 10,000 years into the future. The earth they left had been red. The destruction left by humanity leaving no fauna to keep the dust from surrounding them, from grating their skin, from making the ground and the sky almost indistinguishable.
Their hope was that the earth would be healing. That when their trip had ended they would see the green that had been in the pictures of their history books growing up. They did not expect to see the white and blue lines of an advanced city. The gold and silver and glass of decades long gone, gone even longer than the plants and animals, shining once again in the rays of the earth’s sun.
A crowd of humans surrounded them. They were so similar to themselves but their skin smoother, their backs straighter, their teeth white instead of black, their lungs clear, their eyes bright.Samantha and Craig and the rest of their worn down and dying brethren watched as a man in his early twenties, dressed in a fitted suit and polished black leather shoes walked up to Hilda, at 58 the eldest of the remaining humans.
Hilda, mouth opened, brought a hand to the man’s cheek. Tears welled in the corners of her eyesa as she gently touched him.Samantha turned to Craig and with a low quivering voice she said, “but the cryotubes all malfunctioned. Everyone died.”
Without returning her gaze, Craig answered, his voice was flat and emotionless, “they were. I saw them burn.” His eyes darkened as he watched Hilda embrace her long gone husband. “I watched Marcus burn with the others. Marcus Zimmerman, volunteer 119, 2nd group.” He swallowed, “age 52.”