Life’s Impact on Faith

Long ago, scientists discovered a meteor whizzing through space, half the size of the moon, which had the trajectory to impact Earth, seventeen years later. Upon this discovery, the world shifted its technological and economical endeavors towards space travel and the prospect of living on Titan, the moon orbiting Saturn. Once it was discovered that specially altered plants could be grown in the soil of Titan, governments began sending robots to plant trees and other various foliage all across the new frontier. Then, they built gigantic spaceships, the kind of science fiction; floating cities. This was possible with the creation of unique solar cells, capable of maximizing the sun’s energy. They had more power than they could use.

Anyway, they decided to leave three years ago, about a billion of them. The ones who could afford to; all the governments, industry leaders, scholars, scientists, entertainers and more, they left. They stole the life right out of the Earth, we thought, and we fell apart; we, the poor, huddled-masses. Murder rates skyrocketed; life didn’t matter anymore, to most. Eventually, however, most of the killers killed each other off; the rest of us became nomadic and just protected our people. My son, Danny, and I ended up in New York, meeting with more people, several thousands more. We knew the city would have plenty to sustain us, and we began to live together.

Central Park was the place to be; it gave us plenty of green space to be together and enjoy each others company: playing music, cooking food, telling stories, anything to have a good time. Some days we would all just sit and think at the same time; sometimes thinking about why we had been chosen to be here, and about how we didn’t want it to end yet.

One sunny day, Danny and I were smoking cigarettes talking.

“You ever think of what your life used to be like before the meteor?” said Danny. He was leaning up against the base of an ancient white pine tree that had grown on the waters edge of the park’s central lake. Ironic, I thought; my grandfather made his living harvesting white pine.

“Shit,” I sort of chuckled with a sigh. The only thing I could do was look up and stare at that damn meteor, headed straight for me, faster than I could ever imagine. It was a while before I spoke up, “Every minute of every day, Dan. God, there’s so much; I can’t even begin.” A tear welled in my eye, “I wish I could have been a better man; I wish I’d did what was needed to see you on one of those ships; I wish we had more time.”

We watched the meteor getting closer and closer to us as the days went by. Faith was the name we gave it, which should have been a sign to us all. Finally, the day came when they said it would hit, so we all gathered together in the park, joined hands, and shared our thoughts one last time. Some thought about the lives they once lived, some grieved that their young ones lives were in vain, some were angry at those who left us behind, but we all thought about how we didn’t want it to end yet. As Faith got closer, our thoughts grew deeper.

“Look!” shouted someone nearby.

This broke the concentration of the group, and we all looked up, watching what transpired. As Faith entered the space between the moon and the Earth, the sky flashed with a blinding light, just for a moment. All of a sudden a second meteor, nearly half the size of Faith, came screaming through space from out of the Eastern sky. Time froze for us all as we watched this meteor crash into Faith, smashing it into billions of pieces; one for each of us, I think.

We rejoiced, to say the least. The break up of Faith easily burned up in our great Earth’s atmosphere. The celebrations thereafter lasted for years I imagine; there had to have been billions that were saved. As for us, we started to rebuild after all the partying was done. The great minds of our time may have forsaken us, but we have them and their predecessors to thank for the knowledge they abandoned; we would be able to take what they left behind and rebuild our civilization.

We worked to bring back that what was once lost: our humanity. We spent tireless years, decades, retraining ourselves, reestablishing our race, fighting for the right to survive once again. Though it would take us years to rebuild the infrastructure we once relied upon, we did it, eventually. And when we did; when we could see back into space; when the satellites began responding to us; when we cleaned up the mess they had left behind and got our Earth back, we learned that those who left us for dead perished before their future could even begin. The solar cells they so much praised ended up failing them before they could even start living on Titan, and they died.

Since then we have created holidays to remember when Faith came into our lives, and all who perished in her name. All we could figure out about the other meteor is that it pierced our atmosphere for a brief moment, and we think that’s what caused the bright flash. But, we could never explain where it came from. We remember it by the name Life, for the life it restored to us on that day.

“Three…two…one…JUMP!” shouted Danny. He grabbed my hand, jumped out of the plane and there we were, speeding towards Earth like two little stones; I had never been skydiving before, and I wanted a taste of what it was like to be a meteor.

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