Author's Note: HELP! 1st attempt at any kind of love interest in story. Comments or Pm's welcome.
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Sgt. Amy Coulver lay in her bunk. She did not feel monstrous or dying.She felt sad,disappointed, angry, as well as other emotions that she could not acknowledge. She was trying to convince herself that her duty as a U.S. Aerospace Reserve member called to secret active duty was to report the strange and amorous feelings she had begun to experience to Maj. Rhett Meyer, who seemed to be the main subject of these feelings of femininity, but reporting such feelings might be seen as a rather forward move, a rather major maneuver, from a seargent to a major. As a woman with deeply-held Christian beliefs, she did not want to be misperceived by Rhett. She likewise felt that reporting the discovery of life on Mars was paramount, yet it had been forbidden. Again, as a Christian she felt that all life, on whatever planet, was God- Given; and she could not reconcile the order of secrecy with her upbringing as a Christian and an exobiologist. Little did Sgt. Coulver realize that Major Meyer was tempted to make a major move on Amy, but making his feelings for her clear could be seen as pulling rank, a practice frowned upon in this women’s and men’s army. Rhett’s feelings were similarly conflicted regarding life on Mars, but he had his orders and was more accustomed to obeying orders, generally without question but never without thought.
A number of years earlier…
Mankind seemed perhaps on the verge of ensuring the extinction of his own kind- (Houlocide? Evolution?) when unexpectedly...
The asteroid only just barely avoided striking the Earth, in odds given at billions to one (for a miss), unexpectedly. Given as millions of years had already passed without such a major strike, the argument might well be made that we were overdue for extinction, as the dinosaurs died sixty-five million years ago when a giant rock killed most life on Earth, and created a popular vacation destination.
Much less unlikely, given the highly unlikely close pass of the asteroid; was the actual skimming of Earth’s atmosphere, creating a multi-colored light show tens of times as bright as the mid-day sun, in colors never seen so vividly as in dreams. This was but a prelude to the explosive fragments diverging wildly from the main space rock, which, in a pattern seemingly belying chance, impacted relatively sparsely populated areas of the Pacific Ocean, yet made a huge impact on a significant fraction of the human race, when several of the fragments blew up spectacularly in the atmosphere. (Luckily, due to new Tsunami warning systems set up early in the Twenty-First century, most residents of the endangered islands were able to board ships and ride out the Tsunamis, although the islands they had evacuated were mostly gone.)
Amongst even the most radical of doomsday cults, a ray of light allowed for the survival of some of the devout; but a direct hit by a massive asteroid would void the survival of even a single human- be he devout, degenerate, decrepit, or infidel. The destruction of all mankind on planet Earth by a random rock was unacceptable. Despite the lack of any signed treaty, more of Mankind’s resources were devoted to space, and tiny target Earth’s place within; and a lesser amount devoted to means of war.
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesman and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do."
- Ralph 'Where's Waldo' Emerson
"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like. And I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve."
- Bilbo Baggins