Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Collision Course

It’s not that unusual, really,
the asteroids hurling themselves
at our colony.
It happens all the time,
but we blow them up
before they crash, of course.
X-457, for example,
could have vaporized us all,
and that’s just one!
We usually are on a collision course
with around 250 a year, on average.
It’s such a routine occurrence
that now it’s kind of a party
if we dodge an especially big one.
About a month or two in advance,
the governor will announce
that the enormous rocky projectile
is rushing, unwanted,
headlong at us.
On the news, they’ll discuss its size
and what would happen if it did
actually hit us,
and everyone shudders,
and some people panic
and apply for transfers off the colony,
and some people are convinced
that the fail-safe system will fail this time,
and some people, the religiously minded,
pray and hope for some kind of
apocalyptic redemption.
But most of us just go about our
day-to-day lives,
secure in the knowledge
that the Alliance will take care of it,
strike it with a missile like a piñata,
while we sit with picnic baskets and telescopes
under the stars,
oohing and aahing at the resulting meteor shower
as the fragments of the asteroid
burn out magnificently in our atmosphere above.
And we would be doomed
in the face of mechanical failure or simple human error,
but would it be any worse than
the endless storms on Indra 42-S?
Or the sand typhoons
on Seth 938B?
Or the fact that Janus 51 will definitely
crack in half at some point,
but no one knows quite when,
and the weather is pretty nice,
so you’ll still be on the residency
waiting list for at least 10 years.
So better to have a night out,
with friends and family,
eating all the best imported foods,
crack open an old bottle of Earth wine,
sing songs,
scratch your dog’s ears
and kiss your lover,
you know,
just in case.

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