Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sudden Short Story 97

"Are you sure about this?" asked the leader, shouting over the din of the wind on the planetoid that they'd managed to hold together. 
"Absolutely not," replied the scientist, "but it's this or nothing.  Worst case scenario, our brains get sprayed across a few universes.  If we don't, then we get crushed into the singularity with the rest of the universe.  Everyone!" he said to everyone that was left, "If you're up for the gamble, put on your helmets.  Either way, we're in for a bumpy ride.  I hope to see you all on the other side." 
They were already putting on their helmets when the scientist put on his. 
"CALIBRATION: COMPLETE" intoned the central computer.  He hadn't bothered with any fancy voice programs, what with the universe's ending at hand.  With the Planck time units counting down faster than his eyes could see, and even faster than the screen's refresh rate, he confirmed that, the specified duration before the end of the universe, the conversion should happen to anyone linked in.  They were mere moments away, their magnetosphere's being held together by another device at the core, which would, itself, succumb soon enough. 
Theirs was the last civilization to ever develop in the universe, barely old enough to know what was happening in time to do anything about it. 
A few seconds before the end of the universe, the brains of a billion citizens on a planet that does not yet exist were penetrated by a hundred needles each.  Two Planck time units before the end of the universe, their fate was decided. 

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