He’s crazy. This PhD student we’ve got in our place. Granted, we are living underground, in an abandoned missile silo, so we all have our eccentricities. But this guy has really lost it. We think he’s acquired a real missile–a fucking nuclear powered atomic bomb thingy. He keeps playing with the control room, like he’s setting up for something.
He’s done it. This place is on lockdown. There’s apparently no way to stop the bomb. The whole system is rigged on a death-lock. If anyone tries to tamper with it, the missile goes off immediately. We’re certain he’s got it aimed at Moscow. He’s going to trigger the doomsday scenario. He’s on some kind of ‘world must reset itself’ binge. Bunch of fucking philosophy major bullshit. The whole world knows. It’s on the news. NATO was alerted that a formerly deactivated launch center has triggered an offensive attack and it’s gong down in the next two hours. Seems like a long time. Maybe the government will be able to break into the silo and stop this thing. Maybe they have a backdoor into the system and they can stop it for real. I’m kidding myself, of course.
I’m not certain but I suspect he thinks the russian defense system won’t work, like it’ll be delayed a few hours in responding. Just enough time for the US of fucking A to take full offensive and finish the job in fear of the final retaliation. He thinks some people will survive this thing. We don’t even try to argue the ecological impact that will undoubtably carry radiation and death to every door of the world. Even if half the world is destroyed. We are all members of a fragile web. He’s fucking with the web.
The radios are all scatter-cast. They hiss and jibe in a frenzy with broken reports and speculation. The World is onto this place. Everyone is kissing their loved ones. Ready for the end of the world.
He likes me. Some kind of comrade in arms thing. We’re bunkmates, telling stories of our childhood and fucked up upbringing. We know each other’s secrets. I should have known he’d go ballistic on the entire world. But he has some kind of escape mechanism.
We are going to the moon. He’s got this advanced military device that can teleport (or some crazy science) us to the moon in no time. I don’t know what to say but he’s invited me to watch the end of the world on some odd little secret military base with him. Before I know it, we are beach-towel-laying on the moon, just outside of the base station, staring at Earth and the whole thing just looks so sad and fragile. I ask him about space suits and he says he didn’t have time to pack them but the air filtration and ventilation system inside the base will allow us to breath outside within 20 feet of the entrance. It’s just blasting us with oxygen, faster than the void of space can rip it away from us. My hair is in a permanent wind gust pattern the likes of which Morrissey has never known.
I’ve got to get back home. This moon-base is freaking me out. It’s a dome that looks like something out of a James Bond casino scene. There’s a Jukebox and a sassy waitress, booze and billiards. I feel like throwing up. I jump for the transporter while his back is turned.
One of my housemates reminds me that I have an experiment brewing. It’s a form of nano-machine powered ectoplasmic fluid that will melt through just about anything, even heated enriched uranium, releasing safe, eco-friendly waste into the air. The missile is right in front of me and I drizzle the beakers all over it. The cap melts, revealing a super-hot plasma sphere. Canisters of all kinds of deadly crap are sitting inside the missile, melting together into the ultimate weapon. I don’t know what to do but I keep splattering the fluid all over the device. The timer is ticking. It’s getting hotter in here. I can see that if I continue to eat through the material, this whole place will fill with such heat and fire that all the oxygen will burst into flames. We will all die. I prod the goo, trying to get it to work but something in it has just given up. It’s just laying there in spatters like inert spit–a worthless affront to the inevitable. Like the whole of physics has just flipped a middle finger to this crazy species.
I envision the end of the world. The ecto-acid goo isn’t preventing the apocalypse. I can’t stop the timer. My flatmates are hiding themselves in self-flagellation, coming the form of last minute video game victories and alcoholic drinks–they’ve given up. I can hear the military, with their best men, banging on the top door. They want in–knowing full-well the best they can do is put a bullet in my flatmates and me. I can’t open the door from the inside. It’d be worth a try to give them a chance at stopping it. This is happening. We’re all going to die.
The timer counts down and I can hear, through the distant crackles of the kitchen radio, the cries of mothers holding their young. The missile fires. We watch it go up into the air and all we can do is hold our breath.
Russia has a hand on the trigger. The US has the same. Everyone ready to kill and die but not willing to fire until it’s set in stone. Thank fucking reason for that. Nobody in the face of the earth breathes for a long time.
The missile keeps going. It goes up–and when it should be turning toward Russia, it doesn’t. It just keeps going up, through the atmosphere and into space, off to detonate somewhere else.
I gasp for air as all the oxygen in the planet moves in and out at once.