“Pepehi kanaka o ka honua”

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2 years ago

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His first instinctive reaction was an unimaginable wave of relief washed over him, which almost buckled his knees. Then, as his brain caught up with the scope and gravity of what had just been done, he thought his head would explode. Finally, his mind realized that there was one thing left for him to do and that he was the one who would have to do it. He would have to tell everyone what had been done, and what the consequences would be.

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Lonely

The emptiness of the facility he was in, alone, pressed down on him, on his emotions, nearly incapacitating him. He regretted his loneliness, but it was pointless to ask others to sacrifice their time.

What he had to do,
what was to be done,
could be done by one,
and only one.

And that one was him.

It was part of the job he was elected to do, and he would do it.



To the best of his abilities.



His gut clenched into a knot while his chest felt like it contorted so much he couldn’t breathe in. His mind felt like it was disconnected from his brain, replacing the continuous torrent of thoughts that had been going on for the past five days with a deafening silent white noise. And it was all because of those three words he had just spoken. The command he had given the AI-Interface and the Quantum Supercomputer it controlled. “Initiate Final Sequence” he had ordered.



Emotionless

“Initiation Sequence completed successfully. Algorithm sequence in progress. Completion predicted at maximum effect location. Probability of imparting projected 8 degrees course deflection 92%.” the cold computer-synthesized voice droned emotionless.

Speaking from the culmination of all the knowledge, technology, and science that humanity had brought forth. Yet still incapable of making that voice a less lifeless one.

He shook his head as he scowled at his mind’s incredible lack of focus.

Here he was thinking about the lifelessness of a computer voice, while he had just…

While they would all….



His mind threatened to be overwhelmed and shut down, as realization set in more and more.

But no, he couldn’t allow that! The words of the AI had meaning, and… they gave him one last task.

They meant that the deed was done. It was finished. There was no more point in discussions, debate, doubt, or anything else that they had all been through the past five weeks.

The decision had been made. the command is given. The AI-controlled systems had carried out their instructions. Even if they would suddenly come to a unanimous agreement deciding against the whole thing it would be too late.

Nothing could stop it now.

The only thing left to do was let everyone know, and then... then what?

Nothing......



wait until it was over.



He looked at the huge digital clock that hung above the wall of displays and noted that the computer had conveniently set it to a count down.

2 hours, 12 minutes and 32 seconds, 31 seconds, 30 seconds…

He turned his gaze away from the countdown, took a deep breath to compose himself, and then forced his left foot to take a step towards the exit. The second step took only a little bit less effort, as did the third. But by the 10th step, he was walking at a steady pace. He was, again, able to disconnect his expression as well as his movements from his emotions and thoughts which was the only way he would be able to face anyone to reveal what they had done, let alone stand before all of humanity and explain to them that more than 90% of them were essentially already dead.

The doors opened as he approached and he walked through the doorway into the conference room beyond them, crossed the creepily silent and empty hall filled with empty chairs, and took position behind the small dais.

A few more deep breaths did little to calm the inside of his mind but it would just have to be enough to get him through this one final difficult task that came with the job he had accepted almost seven years before.

He could still hear himself solemnly say the words that formed the oath that so many before him had taken when they had started the job. “to the best of my abilities” echoed the last words of that oath in the back of his mind. He had been one of the first to omit an appeal to a deity for help. Would it have made a difference? He doubted it.

He nodded as he silently came to the conclusion that he could face the world knowing that he had not broken that oath.

He had done everything he could have done and he had done it to the best of his abilities. He would complete his work, carry out this last responsibility, in the same way.



To the best of his abilities.

He pressed the button on the dais before him, squinting against the glare of the light that exploded from the lamps in front of him.

A couple of seconds later one red light blinked into existence telling him that, for better or for worse, he was now transmitted, in a global broadcast, out into the world to an audience of over 16 billion people around the globe. He was glad he had the foresight earlier to write down the things he had to say. His brain was working so slow he was relieved he could even read the text and transport the words to his mouth!

The last speech

“My fellow humans. I am President Jan de Boer, President of the United Nations of Earth. This transmission is being broadcast using all known means and methods and will reach almost 98% of the Earth’s population. In a few hours, the broadcast will also reach our colony on Mars. The means to achieve this all-encompassing transmission has been developed over the past decade as the Global Emergency Information Delivery System. One article of the United Nations of Earth charter that united our planet’s nations into one stated Earth’s resources, science, and technology should be put to creating a means of transmitting information to everywhere and everyone on our planet in a way that everyone everywhere could receive, with no expensive or complicated equipment or knowledge.”


“We succeeded in that task. It saddens me to my soul to know that I will not only be the first to use it, but I shall also be the last. The information that I am to impart to you gives me even more sorrow still. For it is my awful but solemn duty to inform you we are all members of the last generation of the human species to exist on this planet. In just under two hours from now, the energy in all the nuclear and antimatter weapons in humanity's arsenal shall reach a single point not far outside our planet’s atmosphere and detonate."


"The deployment of the delivery systems farthest away from this point has already occurred, coordinated according to a complex algorithm calculated and executed by the G.A.W.C (Google Amazon Walmart Cooperative) Quantum Supercomputer. The purpose of concentrating and unleashing all that energy at that one location is to slow down, destroy or, in any other way, prevent the recently discovered planetary object from colliding with our planet, our moon, and annihilating all three on impact.”


“The GAWC Quantum Supercomputer has calculated that, if unaffected, the energy and matter such an event would create would, because of the direction of our planet in its orbit, combined with the direction from which the planetary object intercepts it, be sent onto a path that would cross the orbit of the planet Mars. The amount of energy and matter that would be unleashed upon Mars would, with no scientifically reasonable doubt, cause the surface of the planet to liquefy to a depth of over 90 kilometers.”


“In short, if unaffected, X, Earth, Luna, and Mars would be extinguished. The detonation of our arsenal cannot prevent our planet, and our moon, from being annihilated. Nothing shall survive the event. The energy unleashed will, however, with a probability of 92%, affect the energy and matter resulting from the annihilation to travel just enough for it not to intersect the orbit of the planet Mars. .”


“The cruel reality is that, though we shall all die from the energy unleashed by our own arsenal of weapons, our brothers and sisters on Mars will survive. The countdown is now at 1 hour, 49 minutes, and… 10 seconds. I have no words of wisdom or solace for you. I am sorry. May our Martian brothers and sisters live long and prosper and carry on the existence of humans…. Of humanity….”

For moments he tried to come up with something, anything, he could say that would be worthy of the moment. Something that, when the transmission reached the Mars colony, be recorded for history perhaps.

But nothing came to mind, and so he ended the broadcast. Deflated his knees buckled and he fell to the floor. Now his last duty had been fulfilled. He had killed all life on planet Earth, saving the small pocket of life on Mars, and then he had told the world. He had done his job, and he’d done it to the best of his ability.

He’d killed over 16 billion people, just to deflect a ball of rock named “Pepehi kanaka o ka honua” by the astrophysicists that had discovered it, a few degrees off its course. As he lay there he couldn’t help but laugh. Harder and louder and more manically he laughed, and could neither stop nor think of why he was laughing.

He laughed and laughed until the microsecond of heat preceded the microseconds of vacuum that was followed finally by the embrace of the end of existence.

THE END

(A bit of fiction from me I posted on writing.com a long time ago. It was not getting read over there so I thought i'd give it a second chance over here. Tell me, it it any good? Constructive criticism invited!)

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2 years ago

Comments

Indeed. Truly an inspiration he is. He deserves appreciation 🤗

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2 years ago

Hi Melissa, thanks for your reply, but I think there's something gone wrong. Now, with me it's never impossible the problem is just a lack of intelligence on my part, don't get me wrong. But its like I'm missing part of the conversation here.

What is indeed a reply to? And who do you mean by "he"?

If you mean the main protagonist in my short story, I agree with you as far as the appreciation goes but I wouldn't go as far as to call him an inspiration. I do wonder sometimes if i'd be able to hold myself together and do what must be done in an extreme situation like that.

No answer yet though...

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2 years ago