Landed on barren white planet 4354449949. Chalk and gases. Jensen called it ‘the snowball’. Unexpected signs of life. Tracks, readings but no sighting. Returned to craft after three days of uneventful monitoring. Progman found white footprints in Bay 12. Not ours. Much larger. Still no readings. We wait. For something.
Landed on greenred planet 1333991001. Lifeforms intelligent/benign. They communicate neurally. Stully said his thoughts were stifled but, what’s new? Unclassifiable structures spread out across landmasses. We will not investigate. Crew has become subdued. We will leave this planet. We will not submit reports. We will never return. Forget everything.
The robot adored me. That’s for sure. Her cerulean humanoid eyes regarded me with a perfect programme-balance of love, loyalty and lust. The marriage ring-chip processor was installed and that night we experienced painfully beautiful sex. Still, I was gonna miss popping down the boozer every night with me mates.
The virus spread. By June it had infected the Northern hemisphere. By September, only a few thousand of us were left alive. Our immunity was a puzzle. There seemed no reason whywe had survived. Then ‘Dark December’, someone claimed to have sight in one eye. We made him king.
Landed on 345993383, a vast landless FHI water planet. Progman, the keen sailor, called it paradisiacal. Some interesting sea-dwelling species but little else. Took samples and image monitors. Sun fiercer than I’m comfortable with. Tomorrow a red planet 177.8 million miles on. The last ‘formerly human inhabited’ planet on mission.
The meteor was falling fast. The world’s population was informed yet strangely everyone took the news with a resigned calm and continued eating their breakfast, lunch or tea. There was no panic, no flinging farewells, and no tears. And then it struck me; no one believed anything they heard anymore.
I didn’t believe in time-travel until I met myself one rainy Tuesday. Back from a world unknown to me. Despite the shock we drank tea and laughed about our mother. For a few moments I was happy with myself. Until I told me not to look forward to very much.