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ZERO DAY

Chapter 5

The next morning, you awaken to a deep navy blue sky.
Beyond the horizon, through the towering rows of solar wind turbines you see the faint glow of dawn.
You wake Cyan up and start walking back toward the silo.

“So what happens if this doesn’t work? I mean, launching a silo into a meteor is..”
“Our only hope” you say as something catches your eye

.
Suddenly you see it.
In the east.
Like a bluish pink moon with a tail.
“MEGA.”
“It’s real…” Cyan says fixated on the object “not that I doubted it but...”

You continue in silence toward the Silo,
watching it through the lens of the deep indigo predawn atmosphere.

It’s mesmerizing.
A strange deja vu washes over you.
You’ve seen this image before somewhere.
A traveler at the end of a long journey, approaching their final destination.
Where did you come from?
What do you know?
Who are you?

Eventually the Silo comes into view.
You can tell something is different, it’s entirely lit up.
As you approach you feel the ground beneath you shake.
“Must be the engines warming up.”
“Morning!”
Suddenly Xeno hops down from a scaffolding support.
“Ready to save the world?”

“So what exactly should we expect when this thing explodes?” Cyan asks
“Best case scenario? An impressive fireworks show.”
He replies picking up a large fuel hose.
“Worst case scenario? Total devastation.
Our timing has to be perfect, we need to hit it the exact
moment before it enters earth’s atmosphere which…”
He looks down at his watch
“…by my estimates is in about 1 hour.”

~
You wait patiently in the control room across from the silo with Cyan.
40 minutes pass.
The only window is facing away from MEGA,
but you can see that the sun has started to rise.
The sky is turning from a deep pink to red.
The noise from the engines is becoming almost deafening now.
Finally Xeno enters
“We’re almost at 100%.” He says locking the door behind him “This is it.”
Suddenly his computer lights up.
“TARGETTING SYSTEM FAILURE“



“What does that mean?” Cyan asks urgently
“I don’t understand…” Xeno smashes the side of his computer
You look over at Cyan “It can’t be good.”
“…the fragments… the parameters were perfect. I don’t get it!”

He pauses.

“There really is only one option then...either I go or we all go.”
“What do you mean?” You don’t like how he said that.
He looks out the tiny window.
“I’m going up.”
“What!? Xeno. You're joking right?…”
You can tell by the look on his face he’s not joking.
"If I don’t go you know what happens." He laughs
"Besides this is why I built the manual override.
The AI will look after things around here.
I'd rather go out a hero than die a-"
"NO!" you interrupt him " No man. were gonna fix it you're not gonna-"
He puts his hand on your shoulder.
Your eyes well up.

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