The meteor had been predicted to hit the largest city of Kolasi, the city of Hel, where 50% of the planet’s population lived. Many beings had tried to get off the planet, or at the very least away from the city, but due to its mostly poor populace, only the rich managed to escape at a timely pace. External governments had tried to do small-scale evacuations, only to be fended off by the Kolasian leaders, claiming that they looked after their own.
All the majority could do was wait for their impending doom, while they carried on with their lives as normal. Working, commuting, sleeping, playing, they tried to ignore the horrendous asteroid that was hurling towards their home. Many considered escape, but they all knew it was futile unless they could get off the planet. Escaping Kolasi was really the only way out, as everyone had seen the news reports.
While extraplanetary television stations had reported repeatedly that not just Hel would be destroyed, but the entire ecosystem as well, the local stations reported very little. Instead, they played calming shows, every single one of them airing with small timers in the corner. Timers that counted downwards, towards the estimated time of doom.
The impact though was only the last stage. The meteor was large. Before it even hit the ground, it would scorch the atmosphere, evaporating the planet’s limited oxygen and nitrogen supplies, while bombarding the rest of the planet with acid rain and asteroid shrapnel.
Some races had gone a step further to try and protect the citizens of Kolasi. Some had tried to knock the meteor off course. Others had wanted to blow it up, only to be told that the meteor’s remains would demolish the planet anyway. Attempts had been made, but none had succeeded. It seemed as though the gods had conspired against them.
So far though, there had only been minimal deaths. The panic had caused injuries. The shards of cosmic matter burning up in the atmosphere had caused accidents. But there had been relatively few deaths. Yet. Because the chaos wasn’t due to begin yet.
The timers on the screens, they weren’t all the same. One counted down to the estimated time of impact. The other counted down to when the fallout would begin. The larger shards of death, the heating up of the atmosphere, the acid rains and violent storms.
That date was the 10th of the First Month. In the evening, when the children returned home to eat, when the parents finished at work, when the television sets would be switched on to watch the news. It was almost as if the meteor had impeccable timing.
The 10th arrived, faster than anyone expected. The meteor could be seen throughout the day, steadily glowing brighter. Despite the impending doom, the weather in Hel had been pleasant, the sun had been shining, the sky was clear. There was a distinct lack of bird song and many pets had gone missing, but everything seemed… normal. Almost in celebration, everyone had finished work early and headed home, to spend time with their loved ones.
As millions of families ate dinner and watched television, the timers ticked down. At 19:37, one of the timers hit zero.
Immediately, every channel switched to a news station. Everyone prepared for the worst. Children wept. Couples held each other close. The entire planet sat silent, holding their collective breath.
But nothing happened.
They waited some more.
They waited longer.
Still, nothing happened.
Slowly, people began to leave their homes, standing outside and peering into the skies. The night should have been lit up with the first meteor showers of death. But there was nothing. Just the normal collection of stars that normally filled the night sky.
At first, no one knew what was going on. Slowly but surely though, celebrations erupted across the city. They had been spared.
Yisini threw popcorn across the living room. “WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT FOR?”
Epani blinked in confusion. “What?”
“You fucking cockteased me! You promised explosions!”
Epani was still confused. “I do not know what happened…”
“Where did the fucking meteor go?”
The Panelix sighed as Yisini continued throwing popcorn around. She got up from her waterbed and wandered into the food pantry, pausing only to glance out of the window.
“Like, what the fucking fuck! I wanted it all to go kaboom! I was going to make cool new stuff there!”
Epani though didn’t answer at first. Yisini peered over her own beanbag, only to see Epani still staring out the window. “What the fuck are you doing?”
“I found the meteor…” Epani tutted as a massive fireball exploded in her back garden.
Trailing behind it, written in smokey letters from the meteor’s own emissions, were the words “Didn’t feel like cleaning up a mass extinction today, sorry…”