LUCRETIA'S LAST REQUEST

Oswald walked the sidewalk of Cosmopolis. The sun had been down for hours and the sky was unusually clear. He turned down a short, pitch dark alley. In the sky slot above him he could see a planet. He didn't know which one it was. But he knew it was a planet. He could even make out some of the dimly lit surface near the light/dark line. For a moment it made him shudder to see it as a beebee in space, tiny and insignificant in a huge void.

Lucretia was very happy to be graduating from college. She'd done just enough to get her diploma, majoring in political science, and was about to embark in quest of her dream, a political career. She had decided to focus on one issue, not too big, not too small and be an agitator for change, just for the experience. She would build her skills incrementally until she was ready to grab for some real power. To start, she was going to make sure that taxes were used to solve problems at home, not abroad. She would ensure that by no means would the government waste money on useless endeavors.

Oswald moved on. It was times like these, when he asked the big questions. Who are we? How did we get here? Why do we exist? What is death? He knew he was going to pass the zone. He was sure it would be cordoned off and he would not see much. How could it have happened without someone predicting it?

In the evening after the graduation ceremony, Lucretia went to a meeting of a group of like-minded individuals at a bar, known for its colorfully named cocktails, called Celestial Objects. She was hoping to take on the leadership of the group. They would be lobbyists, fighting for their cause. They were a little drunk at the time they chose it, so it might have been subject to review, but they named the group the Antinasans. Their first goal would be the removal of NASA's funding.

Oswald was wrong about not being able to see much. He turned a corner and was on a hillside overlooking the zone, a terrible scene of destruction. A ring of debris consisting of building and car parts mixed with earth and concrete surrounded a crater, a hundred meters across and sixty meters deep. It was the result of a meteorite strike right in the heart of the city. It had apparently been a complete surprise to everyone, including his sister, Lucretia.

At least it had been quick for her. On that fateful night, while a lump of stone and iron hurtled toward her, completely unaware of her imminent obliteration, Lucretia lifted her tipsy head from menu perusal, turned to a young gum popping waitress and uttered her final words, "I'll have a blazing fireball from space please."